I've been a freelance writer since 1993, starting writing SEO content for clients in 2007, and founded a full-service SEO writing company in 2008. One of the main questions I receive from wannabe freelancers in this technical writing niche is:
"How long will it take me to start making money as an SEO copywriter?"
Following is my insight.
"How long it takes you to earn money as a freelance SEO web writer depends on you - and a few other factors."
I've heard from freelancers who got their first job within a day of sending out queries, and others it took three to six weeks to land their first job. Then, there are others who said they marketed for a couple of months and didn't earn anything. Like I said, it depends on you.
Factors That Contribute to How Long It Takes You to Earn Money as an SEO Content Writer
Following are a few factors that contribute to how long it takes you to earn money as an SEO writer.
I. SEO Writing Samples: One thing potential clients will ask for is writing samples.
You don't have to be a great writer to earn money as this type of technical writer, but you do have to be a good writer to do so. And usually, potential clients want them to be in the niche their business is in.
For example, one client I had was a computer services firm. So, they asked me for writing samples on cloud computing (which was one of their main services). I had quite a few SEO writing samples on computing, but none on cloud computing services. So the client commissioned one from my firm. Of course, they paid for this sample.
FYI, one thing you should not do as an SEO writer is write a sample for a client for free. If you've shown them samples and they like your work and want to hire you, if they're reputable, they will be more than glad to pay to write a specific article on a specific topic for them to see if you can write in their niche.
So if you're not landing jobs writing search engine-optimized content, have someone objectively evaluate the quality of your writing.
True Story: "Your Writing Samples are Not Good"
I had one new freelancer (a recent college graduate) tell me that he was frustrated because he wasn't landing jobs. So, he showed his samples to his mom, who was a technical writer for the government. She told him that his writing wasn't up to par.
So he worked on his writing skill and was able to land enough clients to quit his job waiting tables within a few months.
Really, this is a true story!
II. SEO Writing Rates: These should be competitive. Too low, and clients will think you're a "garbage writer; too high and they might not be able to afford you."
III. Erratic Marketing: This is the most common mistake new SEO writers make; they fail to market for these type of online writing jobs consistently.
And when I say consistently, I mean every business day. In the beginning of your SEO copywriting career, you should be sending out 15, 20 or 30 contacts - or more - per day. If you do this consistently -- and your writing and SEO writing rates are on point - it's not a matter of if you'll land clients, but when.
In my experience, this type of home-based, freelance writing business is one of the easiest and cheapest to start -- if you heed the advice dispensed here, and have the guts to hang in there.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words (NewMediaWords.biz), an SEO writing company she founded in 2008. In 2007, she started earning $250+/day writing SEO content -- in less than three weeks! Read actual testimonies of those who have duplicated her success -- everyone from students; to stay-at-home moms; to down-sized, out-of-work professionals seeking new career opportunities. If they can do it, so can you!
Learn more about Yuwanda via her Google+ Profile.
Keywords relevant to this article: writing for seo, seo content writer, seo writing, seo copywriting, seo copywriter, seo writing rates