Iíve been a freelance writer since 1993, and an SEO writer since 2007. I often receive requests from others who want to do this type of writing asking me how I learned it. So, how did I learn SEO? I taught myself and went on to create an SEO copywriting class.
If you don't want (or can't afford) to invest in a class, learning the fundamentals are easy; all it takes is time. Following is how I went about it.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
If you want to know something, start from the beginning. When I first started out, I didnít know anything about concepts like keyword density, blackhat tactics, how to write meta tags, backlinks, etc. So I started from scratch by Google the acronym ďSEOĒ and doing some in-depth reading. Once Iíd read five or six articles, I had a good grasp of what this field was all about.
Learn SEO Terminology
When I was researching what search engine optimization was all about, I ran across industry-specific terms like anchor text, long-tail keywords and latent semantic indexing (LSI). As I didnít know what these were, I wrote them down and looked them up individually.
After gaining an understanding, I tried to figure out how each concept fit into the overall strategy of SEO. As an aside, when you start reading about SEO, youíll start to get a ďbig pictureĒ idea of what itís all about.
I liken it to doing a jigsaw puzzle. You already know what the final picture is going to look like from the photo on the box; but you have to figure out where each puzzle piece (each SEO concept) fits in the overall scheme.
When You Learn SEO, Itís Important to Learn What Not to Do
Thereís a lot of info to ingest when you take it upon yourself to learn SEO. Some of it can seem contradictory, which can make it confusing. Thatís why itís just as important to learn what not to, as it is to learn what to do.
To cut down on the confusion, what I did was go directly to the guidelines of Google. Why Google? Quite simply because it is the most popular search engine by far, delivering well over 50% of search results in the world. So for me, it made sense to figure out how not to run afoul of their policies.
I started with their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (pdf file). Googleís Adwords Learning Center is also another good place to learn more about SEO. Even though the AdWords Learning Center is for advertisers, itís good knowledge for SEO writers because a lot of the practices you put to use in advertising on Google are exactly the types of things you should know as an SEO copywriter.
Learn SEO: Conclusion
The above is how I got started. But, Iíd be remiss if I didnít tell you that if you want to learn SEO Ė and make money as an SEO writer -- you have to be prepared for it to be an ongoing education. This is because search engine guidelines change all the time. Google itself has said that it makes over 500 changes a year to its search algorithm. Hence, to stay informed, I read articles on this subject on sites WebProNews.com, SearchEngineWatch.com and DailySEOBlog.com all the time.
Good luck if you decide to learn SEO in this manner.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company. If you want to learn SEO with the aim of becoming an SEO writer, she dispenses in-depth info on this form of freelance writing at SeoWritingJobs.com; is the author of several best-selling ebooks on the subject; and is the developer of an online SEO copywriter training class. The class not only teaches the intricacies of SEO writing, but how to earn $35,000 to $75,000 your first year Ė really!
Keywords used in this article: learn seo, seo copywriting training, seo writing, what is search engine optimization, seo writer