Search engine optimization (SEO) writing is a fast-growing niche in freelance writing. It pays well, has a relatively low bar of entry, and can be started by almost anyone who has a computer/laptop and an internet connection. For all of these reasons, SEO courses geared towards freelance writers are popping up all over the web.
Not all of these courses are created equal. Following are three things – in my opinion – that you should look for before you invest.
Researching SEO Courses? Make Sure You Look for These 3 Things
1. The Instructor: Like any class, how much you actually learn depends a lot on the instructor. So the very first thing you should look for when investigating SEO courses is the background of the instructor.
You want someone who has actually written SEO content, eg, for a company they worked for as an SEO writer and/or for clients and/or for clients they’ve cultivated in the course of running a freelance business. While the obvious reason is you want someone who has hands-on experience, another reason is that the rules of search engine optimization change all the time. If you’re an SEO copywriter, part of your job is to stay abreast of these because it impacts how you “write for SEO.”
Remember Google’s Panda update? A lot of sites lots rank – and much of it had to do with the type of content displayed that Google didn’t like. On its blog, Google explained the Panda update this way:
This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.
One takeaway for freelance SEO content writers is to alert clients who may have been affected -- and/or who wanted to ward of being affected in the future -- is to add more original, in-depth content to their sites.
Only by writing copy and staying abreast of search engine changes though can an instructor who teaches SEO courses let you know that you should be doing the same.
2. Online Presence: What I’m getting at here is does the instructor have a web home, eg, a blog, a website, social media accounts, etc. SEO writing is ONLINE writing, and instructors of SEO courses should be fully immersed in it to be effective at it.
Also, a blog or website updated by the course instructor will give you great insight into their teaching style.
3. What Class Covers: SEO covers a lot of things – from content writing, to web analytics, to web design and navigation -- and more. So while you have to “know a little about a lot” as a search engine optimization writer, you want the course you invest in to primarily focus on how to effectively write SEO content.
SEO Courses: Other Tangibles to Consider
If you want to start a freelance business writing SEO content, some other things you might want to look for are: (i) advice on marketing; (ii) how to price your services; and (iii) insight into what to expect from clients, to name a few.
With so many SEO courses popping up, it can be hard to decide which one to go with. But, if you keep the focus on the instructor (ie, are they qualified to teach the material) and the other intangibles (ie, does this course give me everything I need to get my freelance web writing business off the ground), you should be able to choose the one that’s right for you.
FYI, in case you don’t know, here’s a full explanation of what SEO content writing is, how much you can earn, and much more about this high-paying, work-from-home freelance writing job.
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 courses but for those who want to start this type of home-based freelance writing career. 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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