5 Ways to Spice Up Your B2B Content

SpicesNews flash: B2B content doesn’t have to be boring.

I know, I know. Writing for B2B sites isn’t easy. Products like lanyards and construction helmets aren’t necessarily sexy. Your competitors’ sites are probably just as boring. And the powers-that-be may feel more comfortable with “just the facts” feature-filled content.

Yet, for many (most) B2B sites, there’s room for so much improvement. By adding just a little bit of spice, you can connect with your readers and boost your conversion rates.

Here’s how to do it:

Use the word “you” in your copy

You are not selling to robots. Nor are you selling to a “company.” You are selling to people. And people (otherwise known as your target readers) respond to the word “you.”  Using the word personalizes your message and makes your content more compelling. For a great example, check out Basecamp’s homepage. Their line, “Our job is to help you do your job better” is a fantastic mission statement. It’s punchy, personal and implies a pretty big benefit. Plus, it makes you want to look more closely at their services – so the content is definitely doing it’s job.

Shorten your sentences

Many B2B companies are guilty of zombie run-on sentences. You read one endless sentence and BOOM you see another one. They’re everywhere. And they suck the life out of the content.  Guess what? Nobody wants to read your 35+ word sentences.  If you find yourself writing long, paragraph-like sentences, mix up your sentence structure, stat! Write one longer sentence and then follow it up with a shorter one. Experiment. Your copy will be much punchier as a result.

Get inside your readers’ heads

What is your reader really thinking? It’s not, “Hey, I’m going to purchase these firefighting helmets for our team.” It’s probably something like, “I need to find the safest, most comfortable helmets for the best possible cost.” You shouldn’t start writing until you have fleshed out what your unique sales proposition is, what’s driving your reader to make a purchase and what motivates them. If companies in your industry are known for poor customer service, play up the fact that you have staff on call 24/7. If your solution is high value (and more expensive,) overcome any price objections within your copy and show how paying more is a great investment. The more you know what your reader is thinking when he or she reaches your landing page, the more persuasive your content.

Boost your benefit statements

Have you ever wanted to scream “HOW DOES THIS PRODUCT HELP ME?!” Yeah. Me too. Features are nice but they don’t tell the whole story. It’s one thing to sell a hard hat. It’s another to discuss how your hard hat won’t slip off, is ultra comfortable and won’t cause headaches. Statements like that will cause your target reader to sit up and take notice.

Dare to be different

I am so tired of people saying that their content has to be boring. Why? It’s “industry standard.” If they write it any differently, their target market may respond negatively. Look at companies like AppSumo. Their content for their Piktochart product not only tells a story, it tells a funny story – plus weaves in some impressive benefit statements. They even use the words “you” and “your.”  Their sales copy shows being different works and can truly differentiate your product line. Sure, I’m sure they’ve tested their results to confirm that the tone and feel is spot on. But at least they took a chance rather than following the herd.

Instead of making excuses, why not go out on a limb? Try one (or more) of these spicy techniques and see what sticks. Rewrite a landing page. Test new approaches via social media.

You may be surprised at the results. And you may make more money, too.

Photo thanks to Clyde Robinson. 

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SEO Copywriting Top 10: July 30 to Aug. 6, 2014

repurposing

Hey, you can repurpose a toilet paper roll as a seedling pot. It’s even easier to repurpose your content!

If you’re not repurposing content, you should be!

Save time and energy on coming up with new content – and easily fill up that content calendar – by repackaging existing content in multiple ways. For more on how, check out Niki Payne’s guide to repurposing content in post #2.

Repurposing also helps for those times when you’ve – *gasp!* – lost your writing motivation. It happens to all of us, and Len Markidan offers help in post #4.

Also, to keep with the repurposed-toilet-paper-roll-as-seedling-pot that’s over to your right – get growing! Grow your subscriber list – because that’s where your money is! Rob Young tells you how to add 500 subscribers with a contest in #6, and write high-converting landing pages with Sean Ellis’ six principles of persuasion in #9.

OK, now get reading and get growing everyone! :)

1. Jason Acidre writes Using Modern SEO to Build Brand Authority for Moz.

2. Niki Payne writes 6-Step Guide to Repurposing Content for Bruce Clay Blog.

3. Mike Sansone writes Is Guest Posting a Good Business Practice? for ConverStations.

4. Len Markidan writes Lost Your Motivation to Write? The One Thing that Helps for Write to Done.

5. Joe Bunting writes How to Become a Better Writer in One, Simple Step for The Write Practice.

6. Rob Young writes How to Run a Simple Contest and Add 500 New Subscribers to Your List for Boost Blog Traffic.

7. Gabriella Sannino writes SEO and Content Audits: An Honest Look at Your Company’s Web Content for Level 343.

8. Rebekah Radice writes How to Deliver Outstanding Customer Service With Social Media for Social Media Examiner.

9. Sean Ellis writes How to Use the 6 Principles of Persuasion to Create Landing Pages That Convert for Unbounce.

10. James Parsons writes How to Immunize a New Website Against Negative SEO for Search Engine Journal.

Whoa! You’re in luck! Heather extended the Copywriting Business Boot Camp deal. Save $400 with coupon code VIP. Sign up now because this unbelievable deal won’t last much longer.

Creative Commons licensed photo thanks to Stacie.

5 Simple Tips to Make Your Copywriting Clients Deliriously Happy

Make your freelance copywriting clients deliriously happy!

Make your freelance copywriting clients deliriously happy!

We’ve all been there …

You speak to a new client. You’re excited to work with them. You’ve signed an agreement. Yay! This is going to be fun.

But when you start writing their web copy, you begin to feel a little insecure.

Is your copy good enough? Do you really understand their business well enough?

Writing for a variety of clients is great.

You get to know different people and different businesses.

But it can be challenging, too.

How can you learn enough about each business to make each client happy? How can you write copy that converts so your clients can grow their business?

1. Sneak into the head of your reader

“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

When you don’t know who you’re writing for, you can’t write good copy.

Before you start writing, ask your client who their ideal customer is:

  • Is he male or female?
  • How old is he?
  • What is he looking for? And how does your client help him achieve his objectives?
  • What makes him feel frustrated? And how does your client take these frustrations away?
  • What type of language speaks to him most strongly? Formal or informal? Rebellious or friendly? Streetwise or business-like?

After you’ve written your copy, imagine yourself phoning the ideal customer and reading your copy aloud to him. Are you inspiring him to buy? Are you taking away his objections to buying? Or does he slam down the phone because you sound so ridiculous?

When you know who you’re writing for, your copy becomes engages and seduces the right people. And that makes your clients happy because they’ll gain higher quality leads.

2. Dig up the details that make a business special

When you don’t understand enough about a business, your copy becomes wishy-washy, watery and ineffective.

Only when you understand the specific details, can you make your copy credible and compelling.

“When people perceive certain general statements as puffery or typical advertising babble, those statements are at best discounted or accepted with some doubts. By contrast, statements with specific facts can generate strong believability.” ~ Joe Sugarman

Learn as much about your client’s business as you can. Never be afraid to ask more questions, for instance:

  • When a client tells me their facilities are state-of-the-art, I ask them to explain to me why this is the case. What makes their facilities so special? What makes their facilities better than their competitor’s?
  • When a client tells me their customer service is excellent, I ask them to give me specific examples of how they treat their customers.
  • When a client tells me their customers are looking for modern interior design, I ask them to explain exactly what makes a modern interior appealing. And I ask for examples of the type of interior designs their clients admire.

Learn more details about a business, so you can write copy that’s more specific, credible and persuasive. That’s how your client can win more business thanks to your copy.

3. Focus on benefits

Readers aren’t interested in your client’s products.

They’re not interested in your client’s company.

They want to know how they can benefit.

Clients are often so wrapped up in their products and services that they forget what’s in it for their customers.

“The most frequent reason for unsuccessful advertising is advertisers who are so full of their own accomplishments (the world’s best seed!) that they forget to tell us why we should buy (the world’s best lawn!).” ~ John Caples

Your job as a copywriter is to translate features into benefits. Features are facts about a product, while benefits explain what’s in it for customers.

Always ask your clients why a customer should care about a feature. How does it make their life better? What problems does it take away?

4. Keep your web copy concise

Long sentences and long paragraphs make your web copy drab. They’re not inviting. They wear your readers down.
How can you be more concise? And keep web visitors reading on?

  • Make your copy easy to scan by using straightforward headlines and subheads.
  • Don’t be overly clever. Instead, use simple terms to get your message across.
  • Use bullet points. Because they’re easy to scan.
  • Avoid copy sagging under adjective sludge. Highlight all adjectives in your draft copy, and remove as many as you can.

Word count doesn’t indicate the value of your copy.

In contrast, your writing is most valuable when you communicate a clear message concisely.

5. Be compelling

What’s the purpose of each web page?

What would you like your reader to do next?

Should readers pick up the phone to call your client? Or should they sign up to an email list? Or buy straightaway?

Understand your client’s sales funnel, and how the website (and your copy!) should contribute to sales. Agree on website objectives and a call-to-action for each page.

Make your calls-to-action crystal-clear, and conversions will go up, making your client happy.

The Truth About Your Client’s Copy

To write persuasive copy, you have to become a super salesman, a supreme marketer and an excellent psychologist.

Get to know your client’s business at least as well as your client does.

Sneak into the head of their ideal customer. Tap into their desires and dreams; and take away their objections to buying from your client.

That’s how you write persuasive copy. And that’s how you make your client deliriously happy.

And happy clients means more business for you, and more referrals and higher fees.

About the author

Henneke Duistermaat is an irreverent copywriter and marketer. She’s on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and to make boring business blogs sparkle. Get her free 16-Part Snackable Writing Course for Busy People and learn how to enchant your readers and win more business.

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Creative Commons licensed photo thanks to Eric Danley.

SEO Copywriting Top 10: July 23 to 29, 2014

Want to become a full-time writer? Check out post #1 for a way to overcome woes and live your dream.

Want to become a full-time writer? Check out post #1 for ways to overcome woes and live your dream.

Leave all of the above writer cliches behind – oh, except for that “successful” one (which isn’t a writer cliche at all anyway) – and live your dream of becoming a full-time writer. Carlos Cooper shares how he did it – and how you can, too!

Lying awake at night distraught over your glaringly blank editorial calendar? Heidi Cohen’s content curation tips will help you quickly fill it up!

For you search geeks – aka you … and me – Bill Slawski gets all knowledge base entities on us. To learn more about that, check out post #5.

The rest of these posts are great, too! Enjoy!

1. Carlos Cooper writes 9 Things I Did To Become A Full-Time Writer for The Write Practice.

2. Ray Edwards writes A Five-Part Framework for Writing Better Sales Copy for Goins, Writer.

3. Heidi Cohen writes 9 Content Curation Ideas for Bulking Up Your Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing Institute.

4. Jon Morrow writes Why Your Site Gets Such Pitiful Traffic (and What to Do about It) for Boost Blog Traffic.

5. Bill Slawski writes How Knowledge Base Entities May be Used in Searches for SEO by the Sea.

6. Chloe Mason Gray writes 39 Resources for Understanding the Science & Psychology Behind Great Marketing for KISSmetrics.

7. Heather Lloyd-Martin writes New to SEO writing? 5 Essential Things You Need to Know for SEO Copywriting.

8. Ronell Smith writes How To Crush The Competition And Own Your Business Category for ISOOSI Blog.

9. Webbiquity writes 17 Helpful SEO Tools and Tool Reviews.

10. Henneke writes 13 Ways to Move Forward When Self-Doubt Sabotages Your Business Progress for Enchanting Marketing.

Impress – and help – clients with your search knowledge. It’s easy! Sign up to receive the SEO Copywriting Buzz newsletter for the latest updates delivered right to your inbox.

Creative Commons licensed photo thanks to kbowenwriter

New to SEO writing? 5 Essential Things You Need to Know

Are you new to SEO writing and wondering if it’s right for you?

You may fear that SEO writing is too technical. Or it’s too unnatural to write “how Google wants.”

Relax. SEO writing is much easier than you think.

If you’re looking to build a new skill set, here are the essential things you need to know.

– You need to be a good writer. Period.  

Can you tell a compelling story? Can you keep readers on the edge of their seats, salivating for more information? Good. SEO writing is more than “giving Google what it wants.” It’s being a good writer – period.  That means years of writing, practice and good old fashioned trial and error. Understanding Google’s “rules” doesn’t mean a thing if your site copy sucks.

– What you think is SEO writing may not be accurate

I’ve talked with many writers who say, “SEO writing is so unnatural. I don’t want to worry about keyphrases, meta descriptions and search engine stuff.” I get it. I do. At the same time, the definition of good SEO writing has changed over time. It’s no longer about sticking as many keyphrases into the content as you can. It’s about writing tremendous content and making it easy for people to find it. Once you learn the “rules” of SEO writing, you’ll see that they aren’t as restrictive as you thought!

–  Geek speak? No problem. You’ve got this.

HTML. Meta descriptions. rel=author. SEOs’ alphabet-soupy terminology can be scary – especially if you’re a new writer. After hearing the terminology, some writers decide right then to never learn SEO. After all, SEO is what “geeky people do.”

Although the terminology is a bit propeller-head geeky, it’s actually easy to figure out. Yes, there’s a learning curve. No, you won’t understand everything in a day. But you will understand it. It just takes practice.

– You really do need to learn this stuff.

If you write in-house, mastering SEO writing will give you the skills to really shine. The content you write will be sharable, seen by the right people and drive lots of yummy traffic. That means great job security (and more opportunities) for you. If you’re freelancing, offering SEO writing services to your clients gives you another profit center. After all, if you don’t offer it as a service – your competition will.

– No matter what, it will help your career.

Are you selling a book? Understanding SEO will help you reach more people, build your authority and create a killer author platform. Starting a side business? Why pay an SEO consultant to drive traffic when you can do the work yourself? Want to get a better writing job? Companies love working with experienced writers with proven track records. A few hours of learning time could result in a huge income jump. That’s some pretty powerful ROI.

I love teaching people how to be better writers! If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll learn about the latest blog posts, be first in line for exclusive sales and more. Join me!

 

Photo thanks to © Edwardsamuel | Dreamstime.com

SEO Copywriting Top 10: July 16 to 22, 2014

niche market content strategy

Niche market? There’s a content strategy just for you!

You freelance SEO copywriters won’t want to miss this one!

In this week’s SEO Copywriting Top 10, there’s a guide to optimizing client websites, 140 websites that pay writers – and hot USP strategies!

You’ll also want to keep up with Google by reading the latest on author rank and how Hummingbird has impacted search so far.

AND …

Got an unfamiliar niche? Check out #8 for a content strategy that’s perfect for you!

There’s more copywriting greatness in there for ya, too, so enjoy!

1. Kristi Kellogg writes Google Authorship Photos Removed, Author Rank Ahead for Bruce Clay Blog.

2. Peter Da Vanzo writes Guide to Optimizing Client Sites 2014 for SEO Book.

3. Matthew Barby writes How Press Requests Can Be A Link Building Gold Mine for Search Engine Land.

4. Jennifer Roland writes 140 Websites That Pay Writers in 2014 for Make A Living Writing.

5. Mike Sansone writes 13 ½ Business Blogging Tips to Impress Readers and Skyrocket Sales for ConverStations.

6. Kevin Carlton writes 10 super simple strategies copywriters use to find a sizzling-hot USP for Write Online.

7. Gabriella Sannino writes Optimizing Your Content The Best SEO for Level 343.

8. Adrienne Erin writes How to Develop a Content Strategy for an Unfamiliar Niche for Search Engine People.

9. Ian Lurie writes 8 Simple But Powerful Landing Page Copywriting Tips for Unbounce.

10. Eric Enge writes Assessing Hummingbird’s Impact On Search — 10 Months Later for Search Engine Land.

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Creative Commons licensed photo thanks to Daniel Hanson.

Creating Blockbuster Content: 7 Essential Tips for SEOs

you-are-what-you-createMore content no longer means more success in SEO. It just means too much content.

When it comes to content creation, we’re seeing a shift in quantity to real quality. The launch of Google’s original Panda algorithm, which targeted thin content, started this big focus shift, which continues to this day.

At SMX Advanced, Brent Csutoras, Social Media Strategist & Owner at Kairay Media, shared seven essential tips on how to create blockbuster content today. Here’s a recap.

1. Goals Define Your Definition of Quality

Quality is in the eye of the beholder (the reader or customer). That means quality varies from person to person.

Ultimately, quality is defined by your goals. The content you create needs to be beneficial to you as a company.

What sells? What’s profitable? The content you create should have a business benefit.

If you sell 50 products, but only 10 are real movers and shakers, start there. Explore related topics to those products and prioritize creating content around those items. Don’t start with the whole company or every product.

Don’t be too commercial or create content that is totally unrelated to your business. Find balance.

2. Winning Types of Content

The best sites are those that are resourceful, helpful and interesting. People link to and share this type of content. You also want to be viewed as forward thinking.

Some examples of content that, when executed well, are popular include:

  • How-to guides
  • Long-form content
  • Lists (Greatest/Best/Top 10/15/20, etc.)
  • Infographics
  • Visual guides (especially on Pinterest).

Content should exist for a reason, such as to solve a problem or answer a question. Visit a support forum and see what questions people are asking. Wherever there are lapses or content gaps, there is a content opportunity!

When your content is really resourceful, it will be shared and referenced. And it can help brand you as an authority on a topic.

3. More Minds = More Great Ideas

You’ve done your keyword research using your tools of choice. You’ve explored popular hashtags on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. And you’ve looked at sites like Reddit to see what is being written about in your niche.

Don’t stop there.

Once a week, gather everyone on your team together in front of a whiteboard and start coming up with ideas. Most people get ideas from other people’s ideas.

By pulling in all the minds you can, you’ll get a lot better variety of ideas. Come up with 100 ideas in one session.

Once you’re done, have everyone involved in the process score the ideas from 1-10. Put it all together in Excel and you’ll get a good sense of what ideas have the most potential to be popular and help you successfully hit all your goals.

4. Look at Your Competitors’ Content

What is getting the most social shares and comments on your competitor’s site? What are they showcasing?

Certain content succeeds, some doesn’t. Look at what content works, and compare it to what content doesn’t work. See what is getting the most traction for your competitor and figure out what similar types of content might also work for you.

5. Push Your Content Further

Your content can always be better. Your goal is to be at least a little better than the competition.

Ask yourself these questions when you’re writing:

  • Is there more to the story?
  • Has it happened before?
  • Does it relate to current events?
  • Are there unanswered questions?
  • How are you adding perspective?

Also, make sure to do a quick search and social lookup to make sure your article is complete, add quotes and references, and link out to related information that adds value.

People are going to share the best source, the one with all the information. Make sure your content isn’t just one of 50 stories about a topic.

6. Formatting Your Content

  • Provide quotable, shareable, linkable text excerpts. Providing people with excerpts will help them share on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites, which will then drive more people to your site.
  • Break paragraphs for easy skimming. Try to limit yourself to one idea per paragraph. The majority of folks have lost interest in deep-form reading, so make it easy for people to skim.
  • Use bulleted lists. These help break up content, are easier to read and let you highlight key words and phrases.
  • Images. Use pictures to summarize concepts, break up content and provide something socially shareable.
  • Optimize for mobile. Make sure people can read and share your content on mobile devices, and make sure your content loads fast with a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights.
  • Avoid commercial elements (e.g., shopping cart buttons) or pop-ups (e.g., ads, signups). These end the user experience. Users are turned off, close your page and leave the site (and may never return). Also try to avoid ads within content.
  • Get rid of old junk: Ditch those calendars, tag clouds, counters, and any old social buttons.

7. Don’t Forget the Power of Social

If you see a bunch of people waiting outside a restaurant to get in, you presume it’s good. The online equivalent of this is social engagement.

If you see that a piece of content has many likes, retweets or comments, this sets up a subconscious expectation in a reader’s mind that the content they’re about to experience is of a certain level of quality. Don’t forget to promote your content socially and engage when people comment (or start the discussion in a positive way).

Creating blockbuster content is only half the battle. You must Plan for social promotion.

You can check out Csutoras’ presentation here.

About the Author
Danny Goodwin is Associate Editor of Search Engine Watch, the longest-running search industry publication dedicated to covering the latest search and social marketing news and trends, as well as providing how-to guides and actionable advice for marketers and advertisers of all skill levels. You can find him on Twitter.

Now’s the time to learn how to create high-quality, SEO-optimized content! Save nearly $200 on SEO Copywriting Certification training with coupon code FUN. This discount ends soon, so get it while you can!

Creative Commons licensed photo thanks to wiredforlego.

SEO Copywriting Top 10: July 9 to 15, 2014

Delve into the psychology of anticipation in this week's SEO Copywriting Top 10.

Delve into the psychology of anticipation in this week’s SEO Copywriting Top 10.

There are a couple posts about the psychology of conversion for you this week.

Neil Patel shares some insights on anticipation while Nate Desmond gives you some psych tactics with case-study examples.

Ready to throw in the towel on your writing biz? David K. William helps you delve into your own mind to deal with thoughts of giving up your freelance writing career.

The anticipation must be killing you, so I’ll let you get to it! 😉

1. Mike Murray writes The Great Content Checklist: Tips, Tools, and Examples for Content Marketing Institute.

2. Heather Lloyd-Martin writes 9 (more) questions writers ask about SEO copywriting for SEO Copywriting.

3. Andy Crestodina writes 3 Myths About Duplicate Content for KISSmetrics.

4. Greg Gifford writes Everybody Needs Local SEO for Moz.

5. Kelsey Jones writes How Does Google Index Tweets? A Study by @StoneTemple for Search Engine Journal.

6. David K. William writes What do you do when you feel like giving up? for The Web Writer Spotlight.

7. Neil Patel writes The Psychology of Anticipation and What it Means for Your Conversions for Unbounce.

8. Aki Libo-on writes How to Be a Better SEO: An Interview With Benj Arriola for Search Engine Journal.

9. Nate Desmond writes 5 Psychological Principles of High Converting Websites for KISSmetrics.

10. Ronell Smith writes How To Go Where The Competition Isn’t And Win for ISOOSI Blog.

Don’t miss a thing! Sign up the the SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting Buzz newsletter to stay up-to-date on all of your SEO info.

Creative Commons licensed photo thanks to David J Laporte.

9 (more) questions writers ask about SEO copywriting

Would being an SEO copywriter make you smile?

Wondering if you’d be happy as an SEO copywriter?

In a previous blog post, I discussed 9 common questions writers ask about SEO copywriting. But what about SEO copywriting as a career choice? If you’ve wondered how you could find a job as an SEO copywriter – or how you can start a freelance shop – this post is for you.

I originally wrote this post in 2012 and I’ve updated it to reflect other questions I answer every day. Enjoy!

I’m a print copywriter.  Are you sure that I can learn this? Or can an old dog really learn new tricks?

Yes, this is a skill that you can learn and master (check out Lynda Goldman’s interview for a real-life success story.)  Online writing is much different than print copywriting – so there will be a learning curve. At the same time, if you know how to write and connect with your audience, that’s half the battle. The main challenge I see with print copywriters is that they think that SEO copywriting is too “technical” to learn. Here’s how I answer that question …

I’m not a really technical person. Can I still do this?

Yes, you can. It’s true that the more you know about the “techie” side of SEO (and SEO copywriting,) the more opportunities that you’ll have. I highly recommend reading everything you can about SEO (including how to code) and upgrading your skills. Having said that, there are many SEO copywriters who partner with SEO firms. The copywriter writes the copy – and the SEO firm takes care of the “techie stuff.”

There seems to be a lot of SEO copywriters online. Is the market too saturated?

Nope. Granted, if you want business, you’ll have to learn how to market yourself – and ideally, you’ll choose a niche. But there are still many opportunities to make money.

But I’ve heard that SEO copywriting is dead. Is that true?

Nope. Certainly, the SEO writing “rules” have changed. And it’s more important than ever to keep up. But companies (and clients) are still begging for smart SEO writers who can help make them money.

What kind of companies hire in-house SEO copywriters?

All types of companies, including B2B, B2C and publishing companies. If you’re looking to work in-house, think about sites that produce a large amount of content every month – and consider those companies possible employment targets. For instance, ecommerce sites are constantly updating their product pages and blogs. A publishing company may require you to write SEO-optimized articles. Some in-house writers may also create newsletters, emails and white papers. Others focus just on SEO copy. It depends on the employer.

I’ve seen job titles like “Web content writer,” or “SEO content writer.” Is that the same thing?

Yup. There are quite a few different job titles for SEO copywriters. The main thing is choosing a job that fits your skill set. For instance, if you love blogging – but sales pages aren’t fun for you – you’ll want to choose a job that’s more social media related. If you can write high-converting sales pages, you may want to look at jobs that allow you to write landing pages, product pages and service pages.

Can I find a job that can teach me this stuff?

Yes, but don’t expect to get paid a lot. Many companies are looking to turn this over to an “internal expert” – so you’ll make more money if you have training, experience and fantastic clips. Having said that, starting out as a “copywriting assistant,” can fast-track your knowledge. Some of the best copywriters I know had someone helping them expand their skills. The pay may be lower, but the experience will be fantastic!

How can I find clients (or someone who would hire me full time?)

If you’re looking for an in-house job, you can certainly check out online job boards and see what’s out there. However, I recommend getting out there and actively networking – especially within your local community. Many writing jobs are “insider hires” that aren’t posted. The more you can connect with people, the more you’ll learn about secret opportunities and can position yourself as the perfect candidate!

Networking (whether it’s local or on social media) is also important if you want to freelance. In a perfect world, most of your clients come from referrals and you have a steady stream of business. Many freelancers love LinkedIn for copywriting leads. Pam Foster has said that LinkedIn “has been more fruitful … by far, than any other marketing method.” Why not give it a shot?

I want to be my own boss and work as a freelance SEO copywriter instead. How do I do that?

Read my “Ultimate Guide for Beginners.” it will tell you everything that you want to know.

I’ve heard that SEO writing is a low-paying gig. Tell me why I’d want to do this.

It’s true that some companies pay a paltry $5 per blog post. Having said that, some companies pay $250 or more per post – especially if the writer is truly top notch. I know many SEO writers who are happily writing content and making a fantastic living. You won’t make 100K starting out (whether you freelance or work full time.) But you can find clients (and employers) who value great writing. As your skills improve and you can demonstrate results, you can make more money over time. That’s pretty cool.

Wow, I’m sold! I want to quit my job tomorrow and freelance full time. What do you think?

Um, don’t do this. Not unless you have a pretty flush savings account, have clients already lined up, or have other income coming in. No matter how “hot” SEO copywriting is as an opportunity, it takes time to get your business off the ground. Having said that, learning everything you can about running a successful copywriting business will help you make more money, faster. For instance, check out my Copywriting Business Bootcamp classes for all of the topics that you’ll need to master.

Are there other ways I can use my SEO writing skills?

Heck yes. If you ever want to launch a side business, your SEO skills give you a competitive advantage. You’ll know how to drive more traffic and convert it into paying customers. Want to help out a friend who owns a business? Yes, you can do that, too. I’ve even heard of SEO writers bartering their skills for Pilates lessons, haircuts, landscaping … you name it. Plus, if you ever write a book, you can easily build an author platform with your SEO know-how.

Are you sure this is fun?

Oh yeah. It’s really fun. If you enjoy a fast-paced career – and you love working in an ever-changing industry – you’ll love SEO copywriting. If it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t have been doing this for the last 16 years. :)

Want step-by-step SEO-writing training and personalized help? Check out the SEO Copywriting Certification training!

SEO Copywriting Top 10: July 2 to 8, 2014

search

This post is packed full of search!

There’s a whole lot about SEO in this week’s Top 10!

Ruth Burr Reedy tells you what you need to know to succeed in SEO today, and HubSpot gives you a gigantically awesome Google ranking factors infographic.

But there’s more! (Yes, I did just use that overused, persuasive copywriting line on you. Jokingly, though, because you’re one of us! Oh, and there also really is more.)

Builtvisible gives you a candidate’s perspective on landing an SEO gig, and Arnie Kuenn interviews Danny Sullivan on the state of search.

Go forth and enjoy all of this searchy goodness!

1. Henneke writes How to Woo Clients with Your Online Personality for Enchanting Marketing.

2. Amanda DiSilvestro writes Find Writing Opportunities the Unconventional Way for SEO Copywriting.

3. Carol Tice writes How to Get Over Your Paralyzing Article Writing Fears for Make A Living Writing.

4. Tamar Weiss writes 4 Steps to a B2B Content Marketing Strategy that Drives Revenue for Content Marketing Institute.

5. Ruth Burr Reedy writes Essential Skill Sets for the Modern SEO for ISOOSI Blog.

6. Sam Kusinitz writes An Exhaustive List of Google’s Ranking Factors [Infographic] for HubSpot.

7. Ben Davis writes The Natural History Museum online: a lesson in copywriting for Econsultancy.

8. Bridget Randolph writes How To Tap Into Social Norms to Build a Strong Brand for Moz.

9. Dani Mansfield writes Getting a job in SEO: A Candidate’s Perspective for Builtvisible.

10. Arnie Kuenn writes The Current State of Search: An Interview with Danny Sullivan for LinkedIn.

Stop wasting time searching for search news! Let us do it for you! Sign up for the SEO Copywriting Buzz newsletter now and get your time back.

Creative Commons licensed photo thanks to brewbooks.