The world of SEO writing lends itself to a lot of opportunities, including the opportunity to obtain work as a contract SEO writer. Working as an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) writer is a great way to learn more about the world of SEO and how to incorporate it into content. What do you need to know to start out as an SEO writer? We asked one of our very own content writers to give you an inside scoop.
1. Know How to Manage Your Time
When working as a contract content writer, you may have other responsibilities, possibly including a full-time job. Therefore, you must be able to manage your time wisely. While this position may not be your full-time job, it’s still a work responsibility that you accepted. It’s one that will require creativity, research, and a good amount of time depending on how much work you’re taking on.
Understanding the job and your own writing process will allow you to manage your time wisely. Will you have to choose keywords and topics? How long does it take you to research your topic? These are important questions to ask your supervisor and yourself. If you’re unsure, time yourself from the beginning of your writing project to the end. This will help you identify how much time to set aside each week for you to complete all your writing responsibilities.
In addition to knowing how to manage your own schedule to get your work done in a timely manner, you may be working with different deadlines for different clients. For instance, you may have two blog posts due the first week of each month for one client and two more due at the end of the month for a different client. Knowing how to manage your schedule and commit to certain deadlines is very important for this role.
2. Be Flexible
In order to be an SEO writer, you must be flexible in multiple ways. The topics you cover and the companies that you write for can change monthly. One month you may be writing content for a blog and the next month you could be writing content for some new pages on a website for a different client. To be successful as a content writer, you need to be flexible in the topics you can and will cover.
Writing content for different companies also means that you need to be flexible in your writing style and tone. As a content writer, being able to change up your style and tone to fit that of the business you’re writing for and the right audience will help you and the company you’re working for maintain a diverse reputation. It’s important to review past content for each company you’re writing content for to match your content with the overall tone, theme, and style of the company.
3. Understand SEO
Being an SEO writer means that you need to learn to understand what SEO means and how it works. For some, a prior background in writing or SEO might be a requirement, but others might be willing to train you if they feel you’re a good fit for the role.
If you do have prior experience with SEO, understanding different ways to include SEO best practices in your writing will help you to stand out from other content writers. For example, if you understand how a featured snippet works, you can create content that will help to boost the chances of your content appearing in that position zero spot.
While understanding SEO is important, you don’t have to be a pro to land contract SEO writer opportunities. Your willingness to ask questions and do the research will get you a long way. If the company you’re contracted with is invested in you, then they will be willing to take the time to enhance your SEO writing skills by answering your questions and helping you stay up to date on major changes in the SEO world.
4. Be Creative
Taking on the task of being an SEO writer means that you need to be creative. Creating content with specific keywords that fits the right audience can be a challenge. You want to be sure that your content is still engaging and readable while including SEO best practices. Additionally, there is a lot of content on the internet already on many of the topics you will be writing about, and plagiarism is not accepted. In fact, Google may even flag you for any “substantially similar” content to what’s already out there. Get creative to change up the content enough to differentiate it from other content that is already available. Ultimately, your goal is to create really good and unique content in the eyes of not only your audience but search engines too.
You may get the keywords, topics, and other information, such as internal and external links to include in your content from the company you write for. Don’t be afraid to expand on this content. If there is other content from the business that makes sense to include and link to, add it. However, if they do not provide this information for you, you will have to do the proper research yourself.
Remember though, your basic writing skills are just as important as making the content SEO-worthy and making users and search engines happy. Your target audience must want to read your content. In addition, search engines must be satisfied with the content in order to help it rank. If it’s hard to read or uninteresting, all the SEO work you put into the piece will be less valuable.
5. Ask for Feedback
When working as an SEO writer, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. This will show that you are willing to learn and will help you enhance your SEO writing skills. Being open to constructive criticism benefits not only you but the company you work for as well.
Listening to and considering constructive criticism will increase your knowledge about how to incorporate SEO best practices into your content. It will also help you to adjust the tone and writing style for each piece you are working on. You may be writing a different piece of content for three different companies. In that case, each will have its own preferences that you have to remember to incorporate while writing.
Juggling other responsibilities and the many topics and companies you may be writing content for as a contract SEO writer can be a challenging yet rewarding job. Looking at this opportunity as a way to expand your SEO knowledge and writing skills will help you focus on the goals of your content. This will allow you to produce a piece of content that you can be proud of.
Root & Branch is a digital marketing team with operations in Pittsburgh, PA and Jacksonville, NC that provides a wide variety of digital advertising and analytics services for B2C and B2B companies. Root & Branch is a certified Google Partner agency and focuses on paid search (PPC), SEO, Local SEO, digital reputation management, digital analytics, and social media management. You can get in touch with us or read more about the digital marketing services we offer.