Many writers have found freelance success by finding the right niche. If you haven’t considered your own writing niche yet, one modern industry to consider is SEO writing. Search engine optimization is crucial to any website’s presence, visibility, and outreach. It’s what helps businesses get found in search engines. It unites customers and clients with professional organizations and companies. Because of that, it’s a thriving industry, an industry perfect for freelance writers.
A major part of SEO efforts is content-fresh content, engaging content, optimized content. Even within the need for SEO content, it can be broken down further, allowing you to be selective in which services you offer or giving you the ability to encompass all aspects of SEO writing, including the following:
Part of writing in this industry is to create and revamp website content. If you don’t currently have any job leads, search for websites who have outdated content or a homepage that doesn’t comply with optimization guidelines. Reach out to these companies and suggest a few edits they could make and then offer your services.
While having optimized content on a website is great, you could also break into the industry by writing SEO articles for companies. Companies across the nation, and even internationally, need writers to spread the word about their products and services. Some will require you to find an online publication yourself after you’ve written the articles and others simply need you to write it, and they will place it where they want it.
SEO blogging can either mean you blog on the company’s blog, which will bring traffic to their site, or you can write guest blogs on blogs outside of the company’s control and domain. Writing guest blog posts can add credibility to the company you’re writing for; it can also spread the word and act as additional marketing for that company. Sometimes these blogs will be specific to the company itself and other times you will write on a more generalized topic, but one that is related to your client’s services or products.
Breaking into the SEO writing industry can give you new avenues to travel in your freelance writing career, but first you have to find clients. Here are a few ideas to help you in the right direction:
Start with who you know
If you want to build your SEO writing portfolio, start with acquaintances, past clients, and the businesses and websites of good friends and loved ones. This isn’t about begging for work. It’s about finding an opportunity in your closest circles. If they need SEO writing, why shouldn’t you be the one to do it?
Next, look for local, small businesses that might need your help. For smaller, family-owned, local businesses, many like local candidates, candidates they can meet with in person to establish an initial relationship. It will be a lot less intimidating for the business owner to see that you’re a real personal and a real professional.
Send proposals to your favorites
Have a favorite website, boutique, or big business? Review their website content, create a content proposal, and send it their way. Cold contacting may not work consistently, but you never know when you can land a big client by showing some initiative and confidence.
Find SEO agencies
Many SEO agencies outsource their content to freelancers. These agencies will have a multitude of clients that need daily, fresh content, and a lot of these agencies have a large group of freelance writers already working with them. If you can find these agencies, simply sending them a resume and writing samples or completing a new writing sample just for them can land you a consistent gig.
Know where to look
Luckily, you don’t have to do all of the legwork to find clients. There are many great resources that will list available gigs for you. You can start with the general, like Craigslist (under the “Gigs” section), Elance, or other similar sites. Or, you can get right to a more targeted resource, like right here at FreelanceWriting.com, with a long list of websites solely dedicated to freelance writing. Because SEO is a modern, thriving industry, you won’t have to look far to find a listing for an SEO writer.
Become an expert on trends
The SEO industry is constantly changing and evolving. The first and most important thing you can do is to become an expert on current SEO trends, and always keep a watchful eye for changes and updates. All of the search engines have different guidelines, but Google’s Webmaster Tools is a great resource that will keep you up-to-date on changes that will affect how you write SEO-related content and how it will affect your clients’ search engine rankings.
Whether you decide to make SEO writing your specialty or you plan to add it to your current list of skills, breaking into this new industry can get your name out there, connect you with prospective clients, and strengthen your freelancing reputation and overall brand.
About the author:
Charlene Jimenez is a freelance writer and adjunct college professor, teaching creative writing and magazine article writing. She earned her BA in English and her MALS in Arts and Culture with a creative writing concentration. She takes her love of writing and uses it to fuel her freelance and teaching careers, and her work has appeared on Wahm.com,
AGBeat.com, and Adoption.com, and one of her business articles was even featured on the New York Times blog. When she’s not grading papers or writing articles, Charlene is writing fiction or reading it. You can find out more about Charlene Jimenez through her website: www.CharleneJimenez.com