Many entrepreneurs, small and private businesses, and individual affiliates, hire freelance writers for SEO writing (also known as “search engine optimization” writing). SEO writing involves writing keyword-rich articles to rank the client’s website higher in search engines and generate more website traffic. SEO articles are less informative and less entertaining than articles you would write for magazines.
If you want to see examples of SEO articles, browse through any of the online article distribution directories. You will notice many of the SEO articles range in length between 500 and 700 words and paragraphs often repeat with selected keywords.
My friend, Peter Callahan, likes to write sports-related material for the Internet. Many writers, like Peter, write material to inform, entertain and educate readers. Some writers understand clients hire them to write web content for web pages (SEO writing) to ensure higher search engine placement. In many cases, these writers still provide quality-written work for SEO. However, if a client requests the writer to provide keyword-stuffed articles with a certain (keyword) density, then the writer is at the mercy of the client. Crafting keyword-stuffed sentences into a well-written article is hard. Still, both article types – magazine-quality articles and SEO articles – pay the bills. If you become a freelance writer who can swing to one type and then back to the next, then you will receive steady paychecks. The commodity you need will be time.
Here are a few things you should know if you decide to write magazine-quality articles or SEO content for websites:
1. Web content will likely range from 100-1000 words depending on what your client wants.
2. It will either be keyword-enriched or informative. Ask your client what his goals are and what he wants to accomplish with his articles.
3. Topics will range around keywords in most cases.
4. If quantity is worth more than quality to your client, then make sure you protect yourself. Don’t use your name. Use a pen name. There’s nothing worse than to ghostwrite a lot of keyword-stuffed articles aimed at search engines, and then to hit a major book deal and find your client had (accidentally) attached your byline to those non-informative, (almost) meaningless keyword-stuffed articles. Publishers will frown on this.
5. Topics for web content are wide-ranging.
WRITING SEO ARTICLES
Writers who write SEO content are in high demand. These writers often have 20+ jobs waiting in line for them at a time because clients will wait on them to do the job right.
SEO writing is an excellent way to break into freelance writing but it will not make you a recognized writer. Most of what you will write will be from the technical angle of search engine optimization.
A client in search of SEO material will submit a list of keywords focused on a specific term or category. The writer uses these keywords and writes keyword-stuffed articles using variations of these keywords
Usually clients who want SEO writing will request a certain number of words per article. If a client hires you to write a large batch of articles, you will want to range the lengths from 150 words to 1000 words. From my experience, SEO articles shouldn’t go beyond 525 words.
Writing SEO content is a wonderful way to make some great money but it won’t do anything great for you as a writer. In fact, SEO article writing can often hinder your talents if you stay with it long enough because it simply isn’t the best work out there to help you prove yourself as a freelance writer.
If you decide to write keyword-stuffed articles, you’ll need to know more than just the topic. You’ll need to write articles using specific keywords to help your clients rank higher on search engines, most specifically, Google.com. By doing this more people will see your client’s website and go to the site more frequently.
As an SEO writer, you will need to know the rules for density rates and so forth. This can be done by doing a search on “keyword density checkers” or “free keyword density checkers.” Find one that is user friendly. Run your articles through these density checkers to determine their keyword density. Clients will want to see articles with varying density. To ensure the best possible articles for SEO content, always use various keywords.
With the Internet adding more and more web pages, you can make a lot of money in web content. However, just because you are a talented writer doesn’t mean you will pick up the knack for writing SEO articles successfully. You will need to research SEO writing thoroughly to do it correctly.
Affiliates often hire writers to write content for their websites. If you want to break into writing for the web, you must know the ins and outs of writing SEO content. We aren’t going to visit those concepts here because you can find many books on the subject. You can also visit many free websites that teach you how to write for search engines.
Here are some tips to write effective SEO content:
TIP # 1: The keyword or keyword phrase should always be in the first line of every paragraph.
TIP # 2: If you are doing keyword articles as a ghostwriter, make sure you have a contract with your client stating he will not use your byline. You don’t want magazine editors or loyal readers to recognize you for writing non-informative keyword-stuffed articles. At the same time, SEO writing is a necessary skill if you want to make a lot of money in writing web content.
TIP # 3: Use Google’s keyword tool to see what keywords connect with other keywords or phrases. You can take Google’s keyword suggestions and use them in your article so your client’s website will rank higher in search engines. Google’s tool enables you to capture some of the keywords associated with a phrase, as requested by the client. If you learn to research which words can pull the most “hits” on the search engines, you’ll become more valuable to your client.
TIP # 4: Take the keyword phrase and use it in several variations.
TIP # 5: When a client hires you to write web content, ask what the client’s goals are because he may want SEO articles, or he may want informative, well-written articles, or he may want both.
FINDING SEO WRITING GIGS
1) Most clients who need SEO writers post their needs on Elance.com, Guru.com and GetAFreelancer.com, and let writers bid for the projects. Clients will tell you how many articles they require; the word length; the topics; keywords; and sometimes the keyword-density.
2) SEO has become an enormously popular type of writing and the demand is huge. Because of the huge demand, we now have many established SEO writing companies, instead of individual freelancers, that provide these same services. These SEO writing companies always recruit outside freelance writers. If you want to write SEO copy and don’t want to bid on SEO projects, then do a search on Google for SEO writing companies and contact the persons in charge for a freelance position.
3) Search Google News for press releases announcing new websites. Visit these new websites and contact the person in charge. These new websites always need SEO writing.
4) Search through the Elance Service Providers at Elance.com and contact freelance graphic designers and see if you can pair up your skills with theirs.
5) Search the search engines, jobbanks, such as FreelanceWriting.com, and advertise your skills as an SEO writer on your own website.