Are you new to SEO writing, and you’re learning how to set up your freelance writing business? Or, have you been writing SEO content for a while, and you’re searching for business tips that will supercharge your success?
I could talk for at least an hour on every one of these 11 tips — but for you, I’ve summarized everything into one short blog post. Enjoy!
— Beware of comparison-itus.
This is a big one. It’s easy to scroll through Insta and want what others have. A big agency! Millions of followers! Course and retreat offers! Businesses are like fingerprints — completely unique to you. Living someone else’s dream will burn you out and hobble your success. I learned that one the hard way over many years. Learn from my mistake.
— Hire a coach.
Want to shorten your learning curve and build a successful business faster? Hire a coach or mentor. In the words of James Clear, “One of the only true shortcuts in life is finding an expert and apprenticing under them.” Working with a coach may seem like an “unnecessary expense” — but it’s amazing how an outside perspective can powerfully simplify your business model. I make more money, live a happier life, and work less when working with a coach.
— Always find the workarounds.
Don’t let irrelevant sh*t stand in your way. Don’t have a website? Build out your LinkedIn profile instead. Don’t have clips? Contact a non-profit that fills your heart and write blog posts. Can’t afford a keyphrase research tool? Get the data you need by signing up for a trial account (which is the best way to try out any keyphrase research tool). The key is, there is always a workaround. It may not be THE perfect solution, but it will keep you moving forward. Moving fast and breaking things is a better solution than waiting forever and never implementing.
— Keep learning — but don’t turn education into an excuse.
Don’t hold off on your dreams because you think you have to buy another course or attend yet another training. Why? No one course is going to set you free and give you everything you need — especially if you’re putting other stuff off. It reminds me of the lyrics from the song Baker Street — “just one more year until I’ll be happy.” (Best. Sax. Solo. Ever.) It doesn’t work that way. You deserve more.
— Don’t skimp on the business necessities you need.
Items like keyphrase research software and additional training courses — or even a live conference — aren’t business luxuries. They’re things you need to do your job, to help your clients, and to drive more income. If you find yourself thinking, “I can’t afford it,” flip it around and see how “it” could help your business. If you’re finding more positives than negatives, it’s time to figure out the workaround to get what you need to succeed.
— If you’re feeling comfortable, it’s time to shake it up.
Every business owner goes through times when things feel a little…blah. Motivation flies out the window. Things feel too easy. That’s a cue that you’re ready to step into a more significant challenge. Maybe that means going after a bigger client or blogging for high-profile publications. Or a speaking gig. Feeling “comfortable” and tolerating the blah can be the kiss of death for many businesses. Shaking it up is always so much fun.
— Prepare for the slow times.
They happen to every business owner. Sometimes it’s because a big client leaves. Sometimes, circumstances out of our control mess with our business income. (Hello, 2020.) Set aside a small portion of every receivable as “just in case” money — even if it’s just $25 per check. You may not ever need those additional funds, but knowing that they’re there makes all the difference. Trust me.
— Focus on what’s fun.
Life is too short to offer copywriting services you don’t like, to clients you can’t stand, for money that doesn’t pay the rent. Consider what you love doing and see how you can do more of that. It’s okay if your specialty is a small piece of the pie (for instance, keyphrase research or optimized white papers), and you don’t want to offer anything else. You can always bring in other experts who love to do what you don’t — and everyone wins.
— Remember, time is your only nonrenewable resource.
You can always make more money. But you’ll never get back those multiple hours you spent trying to (unsuccessfully) format a website. Or the big chunks of time you spent trying to design the perfect Canva image. Or providing free SEO writing samples. As you go about your day, make a list of stuff that drives you nuts and takes you forever to do. THAT’S what you should outsource.
— Tune out the naysayers.
There will always be someone telling you why you can’t have the writing business of your dreams. It may be a prospect who tries to lecture you about your rates. Or a colleague who snipes at you on social. Or a snarky client you’ve thought about firing forever. It’s easy to let that stuff take up space in your brain and make you question yourself. Don’t let it. It’s just noise.
— Be kind.
Help other people get freelance jobs. Give freely of your time when you can. Don’t engage in flame wars, even if someone comes after you and you want to bite back. Being kind may not land you SEO benefits — heck, it may cost you money sometimes. But knowing that you’re “that person” that everyone knows, likes, and trusts makes all the difference.
What do you think?
Which tip was most helpful? Is there anything you’d add? Leave a comment, or let me know in the SEO Writing Tips group.