As the owner of an SEO writing company, I receive a lot of questions from new freelance writers. They run the gamut - from the general "how to start," to the more specific, "how do I target a niche." A running theme for many newbies though is "what am I doing wrong."
Following is an actual question I received from one new SEO copywriter; she'd only been marketing for a couple of weeks and was already discouraged. She wrote, in part:
Question from a Brand New SEO Web Writer
I purchased your SEO training ebook a couple of weeks ago (emphasis added). I'm very happy with all of the helpful info and it's very well planned out. However, in the marketing of my service, I've done all of the steps you advise on getting SEO clients... I'm not getting any responses! This is very discouraging as I absolutely believe that there are SEO clients out there... but I don't seem to know how to find them.
This leads me to three pieces of advice I want to give all freelancers who are new to the "writing for SEO" trade. It'll save you a lot of frustration if you know this going in, instead of having to discover it on your own at a later point.
1. There are plenty of opportunities in freelance writing in SEO -- plenty! So, don't get discouraged and think, "There's no work out there," or, "I must be doing something wrong." You probably aren't. And if you're wondering how I know there's plenty of work out there, consider this:
For the coming year (2013), the number of marketers listing content marketing as their top priority nearly doubled (emphasis added), to 34.8%, making it the top focus for the highest percentage of respondents in 2013. [Source: January 2013 study of marketing decision-makers worldwide conducted by CopyPress, a software company specializing in content marketing tools, as reported on eMarketer.com.]
2. Check yourself: As in, check that your writing samples are professional and 100% error-free; your SEO writing rates are competitive; and that you're marketing consistently.
FYI, consistency in marketing is key in any business. This is the most common mistake I see among freelancers - they fail to do it all the time.
It's why you still see McDonald's commercials. Do you think no one knows what McDonald's is? Of course not! Almost everybody does. But you can still see their ads on TV, in magazines, on YouTube, etc. It's because they know they have to market to continually bring in customers.
If McDonald's still has to consistently market, how important do you think it is for you, a new freelance SEO writer?
3. Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur? Some people think that they want to own a business, but soon find that they're not cut out for the bumpy reality when they start. And this is fine. Better to realize it sooner than later.
If you freak out after just a couple of weeks of marketing with no response, I'd seriously advise you to really think about if freelance (SEO) writing is for you. I've been a freelance writer since 1993, and it took me probably three or four years to really get used to how much of a feast-and-famine existence it could be.
SEO writing is a great, flexible, work-from-home business. And, it can be very lucrative; but make no mistake, it's also an up-and-down financial existence. If you don't have the stomach for this - you might want to reconsider.
I personally wouldn't trade it for anything. But you might.
Just some food for thought.
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 from the comfort of home -- in less than three weeks! Read actual case studies of those who have duplicated her success -- everyone from students; to laid-off professionals; to stay-at-home moms.
Keywords used in this article: seo writing, writing for seo, seo content writing, freelance writing job, opportunities in freelance writing