Freelance writing has lately been turning into writing to improve a company’s SEO. Although this may not be your specialty or your ultimate goal as a writer, it’s a good way to make ends meet in the meantime, and it’s where you’ll find a lot of freelancing gigs. This means that understanding and breaking into the SEO industry might help you land these types of jobs.
Although SEO is a fairly new concept when it comes to writing content, it’s something that many writers today are having to scramble to understand; especially if they were trained in other areas. Writers need to ask themselves a few questions: Do I want to learn SEO, why do I want to learn it, and how do I even begin?
Tips and Tricks for Writers Trying to Understanding SEO
If you are a writer and have determined that SEO is something you want to add to your skillset, there are a few different ways you can begin to break into the SEO scene:
Do a lot of reading.
This is of course the number one way to help get a grasp on SEO. You don’t just want to read articles about how a writer can learn SEO, but rather just read articles about SEO in general. The more you can understand the overall picture and reasoning for SEO, the better you’ll be able to see where your writing skills fit into place. There are several sites (in addition to this one) that I recommend reading:
- Search Engine Watch
- Search Engine Land
- Moz (formerly SEOMoz)
- Search Engine Journal
- HigherVisibility (this is where you’ll find all of my articles covering SEO-related topics)
- Performancing (also powered by the SplashPress Network)
Even though you might not understand every article you read at first, you’ll begin to see a pattern. You may also want to consider searching for beginner resources on all of these websites (they all have some sort of tutorial for you!). These are trusted sites that even the most advanced SEOs read.
Connect with SEO experts.
Staring up a Google+ profile and trying to connect with experts is a great way to do several things. First, you gain a connection, which could help you earn a guest article on his/her blog or someone to help answer your SEO questions, and second, you see all of the social shares from that person, which will help introduce you to new articles. It’s a good way to keep up with what is going on in the SEO world.
Don’t know where to find SEO experts? Take a look at who wrote some of the articles you liked on the sites mentioned above. I also recommend checking out this article that discusses some of the top places to find influencers in the SEO industry.
Start your own website.
This is a bit of an undertaking, but if it is something you have considered for a while, now is the time. Starting your own website helps you put your newfound SEO knowledge to practice. You will learn more, and it will be a great way to show future employers you’re familiar with SEO. Read more about starting your own website here.
Apply for freelance SEO jobs.
There are tons of freelance SEO jobs out there that can help you get some practice. These jobs are typically just a few articles every once and a while, but any experience is good experience. This website is a great place to start finding these opportunities and applying. Just visit the Job Ads page to see results.
One thing to keep in mind is that it isn’t absolutely necessary to understand SEO if you want to be a successful writer. You have to know what type of writer you want to be, and for many, that isn’t writing online content. There is nothing wrong with choosing to ignore SEO and put your entire focus on creating the best piece of content you can. That should always come first, for any writer, but for those that are interested in SEO, it’s good to know that there are things you can do and places you can go to make it happen.
Are you a writer trying to understand SEO? What has helped you begin to grasp this way of writing? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from Google Analytics How-To’s to AdWords best practices. She works as a ghost writer and freelancer at amandadisilvestro.com and Coastal SEO Consulting, and works as the Marketing Manager for a Travel Company, Discover Corps, full-time. Visit her website to learn more!
I find that for me, the best approach is to do SEO for every other post. In between, I post content for whichever idea pops in my head as long as it pertains to my niche. I don’t research keywords for these, though. My fave SEO blog is Search Engine Land. I find that even if I choose to ignore the SEO tactics sometimes, I like to know what’s going on in the industry. Also, I just realized I have not been taking advantage of Google +. Shame on me! Great article!