It's not enough anymore just to write articles and post them on your site. SEO has taken over the digital world and it's not going anywhere anytime soon, which means there will always be a demand for SEO writers and experts. If you love to write and know a thing or two about SEO, becoming a writer about SEO and for SEO purposes seems like a no brainer. The work is there and it’s growing, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. How can a writer break onto the SEO scene?
It wasn't long ago that we were in your shoes, looking to get into the world of SEO and unsure of how to accomplish that, but there are things you can do to help put you in a position for success. Once you get your foot in the door you should see a domino effect of work coming your way (as with most industries and positions), you just need that initial push.
A Quick Recap: Why Good Content is Absolutely Essential in the SEO Industry
If you’re a writer and you simply heard that writing for SEO and in the SEO industry was a good option but aren’t actually sure why, don’t sweat it. Understanding the basics of SEO is your first step to breaking onto the scene. In short, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it refers to enhancing your website to help get a boost in the search engine rankings on engines like Google or Bing.
Imagine you're running a site, but you're not sure how to get people to come visit and click around or consume your content. How can you gain visitors? It's not like you can just go hand out flyers on the street and expect that to work, but the search engines work as a digital flyer, of sorts.
The higher you rank on search engines and the better you cater your site to their standards, the more these major search engines can help your site show up when someone is searching for something specific on their engines. You then get clicks, people see your brand, and hopefully you get conversions.
So what does this have to do with you as a writer? For one, there are many SEO agencies out there that are looking for a writer who cannot only write, but understands SEO so that they can write about SEO.
If you’re looking to write for another website outside of the SEO industry that’s great, but SEO knowledge can still be an asset to you and can be a great place to start. There are two major ways that the SEO industry puts a huge value on quality writers:
- Content for the website. Google crawls different websites for quality content that references authoritative sources, uses keywords correctly and is natural. Consumers also visit a website to read content, so it’s the job of the writer to create something engaging to keep users clicking around. Whether this by through internal links, different content types (infographics, e-books, etc.), or researching the content with the best metrics, great writers can make success happen on a website.
- Content for link building and visibility. An SEO writer always writes for readers and not the search engine bots, but that doesn’t mean that writing content and contributing it to authoritative sources is a bad thing. This is a great way to get your content published around the web and build visibility and links back to your website. It will improve your SEO and the reputation of your brand, and it all starts with a writer.
In short, a web site is made to be seen and the best way to get eyeballs on your site is to enhance your SEO. Find out more about the basics of SEO in this article. So how do you break into this industry as a writer? Read on!
Teach Yourself SEO and Become an Expert
You don't have to go back to school and get a master's degree or anything like that, but you definitely want to read up on SEO and learn the ins and outs, far beyond just the basics. If this is something you're going to be writing about every day, you need to know as much as you can on the topic.
This may seem obvious, but it's not an area where you can take any shortcuts. You will need to do a ton of reading up on SEO to be able to write on the topic, especially if other SEOs are your audience. And don't just read articles about how you can learn SEO and how to write for it, but also make sure you're reading articles on SEO in general, keeping up with the latest trends and information.
There are plenty of good sites to go to learn all you need to know about SEO, including: Moz, SearchEngineLand, SEOBook, Search Engine Watch, HubSpot, Search Engine Journal, and many more. Any of these sites can give you a rundown on the basics of SEO, but also delve more into the topic to help you become an "expert" in the field. It may all seem daunting at first, especially if you're new to SEO, but don't worry, it will be easy enough to catch on the more you read and learn. SEO is a tricky topic, but the more you read, the more you will see similar topics and information on different websites and it will start to set in more for you.
Obviously something drew you to write for SEO in the first place (maybe it became a necessity for you), so don't get discouraged if you're confused or not catching on immediately. It will take some time, but we promise, it will come in time.
Networking in the SEO Industry
Like just about any job in any field, who you know is going to be a major factor in opportunities and doors opening to you. If you know somebody who is already an SEO writer, obviously that's a great first step. However assuming you don't, there are plenty of ways to proceed from there.
For one, you can find a way to connect with other SEO writers and experts on sites such as LinkedIn or Google+. In this day and age, you don't actually have to meet people in person anymore to be connected, but that is an option, too. There are SEO socials and meet-ups that will help you meet other like minds face-to-face and develop a professional relationship from there. Of course, just like with any other networking, meeting and connecting to people opens up the door to their network of people, too. Another way to find SEO experts is to go to one of the sites above and check out the author of the articles and try to find their contact info/social media profiles from there.
Once you connect with SEO writers and experts, you can cash in on those relationships to help you in different ways. For one, you can cultivate the relationship enough to acquire guest posts from these experts on your site to help enhance your overall content, but you can also pay attention to what your connections are doing, talking about, and writing about. They will share SEO articles on social media that will be invaluable in helping you learn more about the topic. Make sure you read what they're writing about, too, to continue your education.
Look for Freelance Opportunities
Regardless of what your end goal is, when you're first trying to crack into the business of SEO writing, freelancing is a fantastic place to start (for many this will be the only way to start). There are plenty of freelancing SEO gigs out there that will not only help you learn more about the topic and provide quality experience and practice, but it will help build your pool of contacts and connections. You can find these opportunities through your social connections, doing searches online or looking at websites like Freelance Writing Gigs. Visit this article to learn about more ways to find opportunities.
The reason freelance is so important is because many companies will not take you seriously if you don’t have at least some experience under your belt. For most, freelancing for smaller companies is the only way to build up a portfolio. It may take some time to work full-time with a company being an SEO writer, but freelancing is a mandatory first step for many.
Do you have any extra tips to becoming a freelance writer? Let us know in the comments below.