Welcome back! Today Heather answers a question from her SEO Copywriting Facebook group: “How do I become an SEO copywriter and get clients?” In a two-part answer to this loaded question, Heather first addresses how to go about learning SEO and direct response copywriting before you start working with clients, and then what to do once you feel ready to work with clients.
Ready? Then get set: Here’s the word on how to become an SEO copywriter and land those clients!
A lot of folks decide to enter into an SEO copywriting career because they not only love to write — blogs, short stories, poetry, etc. – but also want to make it pay. Does this sound like you? If so, then here’s how to do it!
Before You Start Working With Clients…
- Learn everything you can about SEO and online writing: If you come from print, you’ll be taking the same set of writing skills and applying them just a little bit differently when you write online.
There are a few critical differences between print and online writing that you’ll want to master. And while it may sound really technical at first, and there may seem entirely too much to read on the subject, it will serve you well to wade through a few lessons. The more you know about SEO copywriting, the better you’ll be able to help your clients.
- Want to write to sell? Learn the direct response writing basics: Writing to sell involves a whole different set of skills. You will want to learn as much as you possibly can about direct response copywriting basics. This will help you write online content that is engaging and converts.
- Consider taking a copywriting course: Many freelance writers report that they’ve successfully used copywriting courses as a “jumping off spot.” This is a great way to get all the information you need at once from a trusted source before moving on to the next level. Recommended resources are AWAI Online and of course, the SEO Copywriting Certification course.
- Start your own website. Put what you’ve learned into practice: This is a fantastic opportunity to play, by taking what you’ve learned and testing it on your own website. Are those techniques and best practices you’ve studied working for your own site?
Ready to Work With Clients?
Once you’re confident you’re ready to work with clients, you’ll want to:
- Make sure that your own site is perfect: If you don’t have a website for your own business, then now would be the time to create one! Why? Because your prospective clients are going to ask you if you’ve a site to check out. If you don’t have one, well…it’s gonna look pretty weird if you call yourself a website/online/SEO writer, and yet not have a website of your own!
- Optimize your website for your name, as well as for your main keyphrases: This piece of advice comes straight from Richard Hostler, the senior SEO copywriter from Brookstone (via an SEO Copywriter’s Certification call): he routinely evaluates new copywriters he’s considering to hire by doing a google search for the applicant’s name. So be sure you’re there in search results when you are being considered for that copywriting gig!
- Consider offering your services for free or low-cost to get your foot in the door: Sure, we’d all like to make money right out of the gate, but it does take a while to ramp up your copywriting career. Providing your services at zero to little cost for a non-profit or small business is a great way to prove your value. In return, they can provide you with testimonials, clips, and everything else you might need to cultivate even more clients… that you can charge for your services!
- Consider working as an SEO copywriting assistant to gain experience: Folks who have pursued this route have reported great results from being able to work one on one with an established pro. Granted, while you may not be making that much money when you’re working within this kind of relationship, the long-term benefits do make it worthwhile. You’ve an expert in your pocket to help you with questions and otherwise guide you on your way.