I’ve been an SEO content writer since 2007. In 2008, I started an SEO writing company. I also write a blog on search engine optimization writing. Hence, I receive a lot of questions from fellow freelance writers about this form of technical writing. And, many of them have to do with rates – particularly how to stay away from low-paying article writing gigs and snag the higher paying ones.
Following are a couple of things I did early on in my career that allowed me to graduate from charging $25 per article to $85+ per article.
Desperation and My Journey to Landing High-Paying Freelance Writing Gigs
I’ve been freelancing since 1993. I’ve been doing it full-time since 2007. That year, I got laid off from my job as a corporate recruiter. At that point, I vowed never to work for someone else again. At the time, I didn’t realize it, but writing SEO content was my ticket to financial freedom.
When I first started out in 2007, many SEO article writing gigs paid ridiculous rates like $1, $3 or $5 for 200 to 500 word articles. And FYI, $5 was a “decent rate” at the time.
I set my rates at $25 (for 500 words) and while many in the freelance writing community lamented that this was “too low,” I was landing gigs at a pretty quick clip. This was enough to allow me to pay my bills. In fact, I got so busy within the first couple of months that I started outsourced writing jobs to other freelancers to help me out.
The Lesson I Learned from This: Forget what other freelancers charge; charge enough to be able to pay YOUR bills.
Landing High-Paying SEO Copywriting Gigs: Why It’s Important to Know Your Numbers
When my article writing rates were at the $25 mark, I landed a lot of clients and learned a ton about how to be a professional SEO writer. I was able to parlay this knowledge into a successful SEO content writing business.
After I got busy and started outsourcing work to other freelancers, I realized that I’d have to raise rates to hire quality writers. How did I know this? I took a hard look at my numbers. This is a lesson I’d learned from a business mentor years ago when I ran my editorial staffing agency in New York City.
He’d say, “Get intimate with your numbers; they will never lead you wrong.” So, I went from charging $25 per article to $35/$45 (depending on the type of content). This way, I could pay other freelancers a decent rate, and still earn enough to operate my business and pay myself a decent salary.
The Lesson I Learned from This: Once you know exactly what your numbers are, you can answer the “how much should I charge to write SEO content” question pretty easily.
There’s a lot that goes into setting your SEO content writing rates, but keeping this info in mind will make it much easier to arrive at a figure that works for your freelance writing business.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words (NewMediaWords.biz), an SEO writing company. She's the author of numerous ebooks on the subject, as well as the creator of one of the leading SEO copywriter training courses online. The course teaches everything you need to know about not only how to write SEO content but how to earn $50,000 to $75,000 per year – your first year – as a freelancer. FYI, you can take the course online or in person -- in Jamaica!
Learn more about Yuwanda via her Google+ Profile.
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