5 Things Every Freelance SEO Writer Can Do to Earn More – Immediately in Some Cases

I’ve been writing SEO content since 2007 – even though I’ve been freelancing since 1993. It’s one of the fastest growing fields in freelance writing, and most of this has to do with content marketing. This was true when I first wrote this post at the end of 2013, and it’s true almost four years later.

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How Content Marketing Has Affected the Need for SEO Writers

Content marketing is simply reaching a defined market via, well … content. This can be in the form of web articles, blog posts, case studies, white papers, etc. Note: In case you don’t know, SEO is the acronym for “search engine optimization.”

The reason content marketing is so popular is because consumers use the internet to find I-N-F-O-R-M-A-T-I-O-N. But in order to show up in search engine result pages (aka SERPs), the content has to be written (ie, “optimized”) in a certain way. This is where SEO writers come into play.

Companies pay a fortune to produce content and to have it pop up high in results on search engines (SEs) like Google, Bing, Yahoo! – three of the largest SEs by the way. How much exactly? Well, consider the following mind-blowing statistics.

Content Marketing Stats: From 2012 to 2017

Because 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content, they are also more likely to buy from that company. And who produces a lot of this content – freelance SEO writers. Proof?

Seventy percent (70%) of the B2B marketers polled by CMI and MarketingProfs said they expect to produce more original content in 2017 and 25% indicated they will produce about the same amount. … Among the 219 marketers Ascend2 polled in June of 2016 72% outsourced all or part of their content creation. [LinkedIn]

SEO Content Writers: 5 Actions to Take NOW to Earn More

Now that you know why SEO content writers are so in demand, following are five things you should look at doing to increase your income if you start this freelance career – and/or if you’re already doing it.

1. Raise Your Rates

Too many freelance writers set their rates and forget about them. Then, they’ll look up in two, three or five years and realize, “Hey, I haven’t raised rates for a while.” One SEO writer I know wrote in to me saying something to this effect in response to a post I wrote about taking on low-paying freelance writing jobs:

Thank you Yuwanda for another great post. I’d been so busy, I’d forgotten about the annual price increase. Thanks for reminding me.

2. Add Complementary Services

Once content is written, it has to be distributed to be effective. You see, effective content marketing is all about building a community around your/your client’s content. So if you’re their SEO writer, why not add social media marketing to your list of services. It’s relatively easy to do, and can increase each invoice easily by 15% to 40% or more. This is like giving yourself a big fat raise – and the best thing is, it comes from existing clients!

3. Upgrade Your Skills

Did you know that Google has admitted that it does 500 to 600 algorithm updates per year? Yep, that many! We only hear about the major ones like Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, Fred, etc.

This means you have to constantly upgrade your SEO copywriting skills in order to stay current. It’s not hard once you learn SEO, ie, get the foundational knowledge of how to write this type of content under you.

But as Google goes, so does your effectiveness and if you don’t stay abreast of the changes, your skills can become outdated very quickly.

Make a habit of letting clients know that you do this via newsletters, announcements on your blog/website, and little notes to them when you turn in assignments, etc. This increases your value to them – and makes it easy for them to stick with you as their preferred content provider.

4. Boast More

Yep, I said it – brag on yourself more. Too many freelance writers are scared to death of marketing. And in their marketing, they’re even more afraid to tout their successes for fear of looking like they’re bragging.

Well darn it, you’re in business! You’re SUPPOSED to brag a bit. For example, at my SEO writing company, we got one client on Page 1 of Google for a keyword phrase very important in her industry. I posted the following message on our Facebook page:

Just found out we got one of our clients on Page 1 of Google (#2 spot) for a great keyword phrase for her industry. She’s pleased, which makes us ridiculously happy.

There’s nothing like letting prospects know how effective you are as an SEO writer to get more of them clamoring to use your services and/or referring someone to you who might need your services.

5. Implement a Referral Program

One of the easiest ways to get more business is to proactively ask for referrals. And it’s the one thing too many small business owners (and that’s what you are as a freelance SEO writer, an entrepreneur) don’t do. I know I don’t do enough of it. We get so caught up with existing work and doing the “hard” marketing that we forget to do the simple, easy stuff that can land SEO writing jobs.

So put a referral program in place. It can be as simple as reaching out to one past client, once a week. Or, or asking other freelance writers for overflow work from their businesses at the end of every blog post. Or, sending along a referral slip with each project you turn in to existing clients. Or all of these ideas!

The main thing is to get in the habit of asking, asking, asking for that next client. You’d be amazed at what can happen when you consistently ask.


One thing I stress to students in my SEO copywriter training class is that marketing is an ongoing thing.

You can be the best writer in the world, get the best results for clients and be the most courteous, professional writer on the web – but if you don’t treat your SEO writing business like a business, you’ll soon be out of business. Implementing these five things helps you to do just that.

Note: This post was first published on the now defunct, e-Junkie.info blog in November of 2013. It was entitled, “5 Things Every SEO Writer Should Do In 2014 to Increase Their Income – Dramatically! It was updated, retitled and published here in June of 2017.

P.S.: Make Money Writing in 3 Different Ways: Get full details.

P.P.S.: A Practically Fail-Proof Way to Start a High-Paying Online Writing Biz

There are so many online writing opportunities these days. With the right knowledge, it’s an excellent way to earn a living from home – part-time or full-time. Get online (SEO) copywriter training and claim your share of the freelance writing pie!

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