Thinking about jumping into the wild and wooly world of SEO copywriting?
You have questions – and I have answers! Today’s post is the first in a two-part series where I answer the most common SEO copywriting questions that I hear from writers. Enjoy!
So, what is “SEO copywriting” anyway?
SEO copywriting is an umbrella term for any type of “keyphrase-based” writing. That means understanding how your prospects search – and strategically including those search terms on the page and in the code. You can read this post to learn more.
Placing search terms on the page? Oh no – so, SEO copywriting means writing really bad articles that repeat the same words over and over?
Goodness, no. That’s spam. Good copywriting is good writing, period – and it was never about keyphrase stuffing (although that’s what some people did.) Thankfully, Google is focusing more on content quality. In fact, a Google update (code name: Panda) emphasized good content, and kicked the “thin,” keyphrase-stuffed content to the search engine curb.
What about blogging or tweeting? Is that SEO copywriting?
You bet. Some people call this “social media writing,” and call writing a sales page “SEO copywriting.” Whatever you call it, you’re still researching keyphrases, determining the reader’s intent and making sure that those words appear in the content and code. Here’s the difference between social media writing and “traditional” SEO copywriting.
What kind of people make the best SEO copywriters?
I’ve met SEO copywriters from all walks of life – and they all love to write, love to research, love to learn and love working online. They also tend to have a high tolerance for change – which is good, since Google (as well as other providers) love to change things up on a regular basis. If you are the kind of person who gets bored easily, SEO copywriting is a great gig. I can guarantee that it’s never boring. :)
Hmm…will people actually pay for this?
Yup! You could work in-house for a company, or you could freelance. Some people do both. It’s up to you.
How much will they pay?
That depends on quite a few factors. The freelance SEO copywriting range can be anywhere from $75-$1,500 a page. I’ve heard of in-house SEO copywriters making anywhere from $35,000- $100,000+ a year. How much you make depends on who you want to work with, where you want to work, what kind of copywriting skills you have, and how much SEO knowledge you have.
How do I learn this stuff?
In a perfect world, you work with a mentor who can guide you through the process, check your work, and help you hone your craft. That’s why some people prefer to work in-house – they figure that they can earn while they learn. You’ll want to do a lot of research on traditional copywriting techniques (Bob Bly is a fantastic resource,) read everything you can about how people search online, and also consider taking my SEO Copywriting Certification training to learn best practices and the latest information.
Do I have to do all that? Can’t I just figure it out myself?
Not easily. SEO copywriting is an ever-changing skill set – and it can be somewhat overwhelming to learn for new (and even experienced) writers. You’ll need to put in the time to learn how to do it right. I can’t stress how important it is to know what you’re doing before you work with clients. If you do something wrong, it can hurt your client’s Google ranking – and damage your professional reputation.
Why should I spend all that time “honing my craft.” Isn’t Google just going to change everything anyway?
It’s true that Google loves to keep us all on our toes. However, the SEO copywriting fundamentals have stayed the same over time. Yes, strategies have changed – and there are definitely some new opportunities – but you won’t have to worry about the knowledge being obsolete in six months.
I’ll be answering even more common SEO copywriting questions next Thursday – stay tuned! In the meantime, if you have a question, please include it in the comments and I’ll make sure that I cover it next week. Thanks!