I've been a freelance writer since 1993. In 2007, I started offering SEO content to clients - and my freelance writing business took off -- so much so, that in 2008, I formed a full-service SEO writing company (NewMediaWords.biz). To this day, this niche of technical writing is very lucrative, and the need is growing by leaps and bounds.
In Econsultancy’s and Responsys’ Marketing Budgets 2013 Report, 72% of companies surveyed said they planned to increase spending on content marketing in 2013.
If this form of technical writing interests you as a freelance writer, following is some insight into two ways to make money "writing for SEO." The first way is to provide the service to clients; the second option is to offer content to what I call "write-for-pay" sites.
Writing SEO Content for Write-for-Pay Sites
The main benefit of writing for freelance sites like Examiner, HubPages, and eHow, et al is that you don't have to spend time marketing for clients.
Usually, you just create an account there and/or fill out an application. If approved, you start writing and getting paid. Most pay based on the performance of your content (eg, you get paid every time someone clicks on - and reads - your article).
The downside of providing content to write-for-pay sites is that it can take a while to start earning decent money (if ever). The upside is that If you're in a hot niche like entertainment or tech, you can make really good money. Some freelancers on sites like Examiner earn six figures per year. Many more earn decent part-time and full-time incomes. Just know, it is possible to make a living writing for sites like these -- if you put in the work.
In my experience, the real money in writing for SEO is providing the service to businesses. When I added SEO content writing to my list of services as a freelancer in 2007, I got so busy within the first couple of months that I had to hire other freelance writers to help me out. Following of the pros and cons of you'll encounter if you decide to go this route.
Writing for SEO: Offering the Service to Businesses
Pro: The client possibilities are limitless. At my SEO writing company, clients run the gamut from individual website owners (eg, one-person online entrepreneurs), to Fortune 500 companies. All you have to do is figure out a marketing strategy to get them flowing in, which brings me to my first con.
Con: Many new freelance SEO writers have weak marketing skills. Hence, they find it hard to land clients. Luckily, this is an easy con to overcome.
Pro: SEO content writing is hot! How hot? A 2012 study by Shareaholic revealed that professionals with 'SEO' in their title or description on the social media site LinkedIn grew by 112% in just 12 months; and job listings with 'SEO' in it increased on the popular job site Indeed by 1900% since 2006.
So again, the need is red hot and growing!
Con: Learning how to price article writing jobs is tough for many who are new to this niche of freelance writing. That's because SEO writing rates -- like other niches in freelance writing -- are all over the place. Again though, this is an easy con to overcome with the right, "go to" source for information.
Pro: You can earn a very good living as an SEO writer -- whether you decide to freelance, or do it for a company. What's the going salary for SEO cotent writers these days?
According to a 2012 survey by Robert Half, which is one of the largest staffing agencies in the world, salaries ranged from the mid-40s ($45,000) to just over $90,000 per year. The study specifically revealed the following:
"Web content writers with five or more years experience can expect a salary range of between $60,500 and $90,750, while those with less than five years experience should receive something in the range of $45,250 and $66,250."
The Real Benefit of Writing for SEO
When you learn how to write SEO content, the skill set you're really picking up is how to market online. And you can parlay this knowledge into into marketing almost anything you want to make money online.
I speak from first-hand experience here. For example, I write, self-publish and sell my own line of ebooks, in addition to developing and teaching freelance writing seminars. Once I learned how to write for SEO, I started selling more of them, getting more participants in my freelance writing classes, and selling affiliate products (I also do some affiliate marketing). This is because knowing SEO taught me the rules of the online marketing game.
And this, to me, has been the biggest benefit of becoming an SEO writer because I developed several income streams so I don't have to rely on one way to earn money. And I can work from anywhere in the world, which I do - a lot (eg, Jamaica)!
You can too.
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 for SEO -- in less than three weeks! In the link here, you can read actual case studies of those who are have duplicated her success -- everyone from students to stay-at-home moms. You can too!
Learn more about Yuwanda via her Google+ Profile.
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