I troll a lot of websites looking for job leads to list on my freelance writing blog every week. This is very educational because you find out what the trends are in freelance writing, which jobs have increasing and/or decreasing pay rates, and complementary services you can offer (eg, social media consulting) to increase client retention rates.
Why is all of this important, and what does it have to do with the title of this post? Well, rates for writing search engine-optimized (SEO) content are definitely going up, so following are some “new” guidelines, if you will, of how much you should be charging in my opinion – at a minimum – for this kind of copy.
SEO Article Writing Rates
One thing the Google’s algorithm updates over the last few years (eg, Penguin and Panda in 2011, 2012 and 2013) has done is given definite guidelines for what the search engine is looking for in copy. And one of those things is length – as in, search engines look for and reward longer copy. Proof?
In the QuickSprout post, “How Content Length Affects Rankings and Conversions,” internet marketing guru Neil Patel writes:
The average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2000 words. And the higher up you go on the search listings page, the more content each web page contains.
This is one thing that has contributed to the rise in pay for writing SEO content in my opinion. Nowadays, clients want 500-750 or so word articles, instead of the 400-500 word articles they used to commission when I first started out in 2007.
How Much to Charge for an SEO Article? The rates I’m seeing posted in job listings range from a low of $20 on up to $100 or more for articles of this length. Note: I discount job listings that offer ridiculous rates like $5 for 500 words.
SEO Blogging Rates
Rates for even shorter content, eg, blog posts, have gone up too. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon to see $5 and $10 offered for 300-400 words. Now, it’s not uncommon to see blogging rates for content of this length go from $15 to $50.
How Much to Charge to Write SEO’d Blog Posts? New online writers who can demonstrate that they know what search engine optimization writing requires and who target a defined niche, should have no problems getting $25 to $50 per post, especially if you specialize in a niche you have experience in.
I don’t like telling freelance writers how much to charge. It’s always such a “charged” (pardon the pun, couldn’t help myself) topic. My take is always this – no one has to pay your bills when they come due but you. So charge what you feel is right for you and your financial situation. But, do so with some concrete data at hand.
Peruse job listings with titles like SEO writer, SEO copywriter, content marketer, online writer, etc., to see what you find out. Also, look at what other freelance web writers -- in your niche -- are charging; check out 10 or 20. If you do these two things, you should have more than enough data on which to make a decision about what you should be charging.
Gain more insight into how to set your SEO writing rates.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company she founded in 2008, and is the publisher of Inkwell Editorial, a blog devoted to helping others start successful, home-based writing careers. She's also the author of over 50 ebooks, most of which cover some aspect of freelance writing. They can be found on major outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Get everything you need to start a successful, home-based SEO content writing business.
Keywords relevant to this article: seo writing rates, seo article writing rates, what to charge for seo content, seo blogging rates, seo copywriter rates, freelance writing rates