Solve Your Client’s Biggest Problem … While Making $750 (or More) for Writing One “Page” of Copy

There are thousands of companies that share a common problem …

Their website is nowhere to be found when a potential customer searches the Internet for a product or service similar to the one they offer.

Not only that … they don’t have the knowledge or expertise to fix that “invisible” problem.

They know it involves changing their website, but they’re not sure how. They’ve heard of search engine optimization (SEO), but the whole idea of it seems confusing and a bit overwhelming.

So instead of making changes to their website in order to get lots of free search traffic, they decide to pay for their site traffic by using pay-per-click (PPC) ads … or they do nothing at all.

Or they think SEO means jamming a bunch of keywords into their Web pages, and they make the problem worse. (Indeed, one of the reasons the PPC industry has grown so much over the past few years is the general lack of knowledge about SEO copywriting. But don’t worry, we’ll tackle PPC next.)

And although running PPC ads might make sense in some situations, optimizing a website using SEO techniques should be done regardless.

For copywriters who can advise and provide their clients with a solution to this problem, the payoff is extremely lucrative.

I’ll tell you exactly how lucrative in a minute, but first let’s take a quick look at what SEO copywriters do …

In a nutshell, the SEO copywriter’s job is to increase the ranking of his client’s website in Google’s (or another search engine’s) “organic” search results. If you’re not familiar with the term “organic” as it applies to search results, let me explain …

There are two ways a web page can appear on a search engine’s results page. One way is if the search engine places it there because the site owner is paying for it with a PPC ad.

[Note: If you are unfamiliar with PPC ads, go to Google and do a search for the phrase “running shoes.” Just under the blue bar, you’ll see two headings labeled “sponsored links.” And directly underneath them, you’ll find the PPC ads.]

A second way is when the search engine deems a Web page relevant for a specific keyword or phrase being searched. Because search results like these are not paid for, and show up on the results page naturally, they’re often referred to as “organic.”

The SEO copywriter’s main job is to improve their client’s organic search results. This is done by strategically modifying the copy to include specific keywords or phrases.

So … just how big is the opportunity for SEO copywriters?

Heather Lloyd-Martin, SEO copywriting pioneer and President/CEO of SuccessWorks Search Marketing Solutions, breaks the earning potential down into three categories …

  • Beginner-Level SEO Copywriter: You’re new to SEO copywriting, but are familiar with copywriting and direct-response principles. You’re in learning mode. Your focus is on smaller clients. You’re not quite ready to set a company’s SEO strategy, but you’re moving in that direction. You can expect to make $50 to $100 per page.
  • Intermediate SEO Copywriter: You usually have to have at least six months of experience. At this level, you feel comfortable selling SEO copywriting packages that include such things as keyphrase editing, writing articles, writing and submitting to directories, and possibly creating PPC ads. You can expect to make anywhere from $150 to $750 per page.
  • Highly experienced SEO Copywriter: On top of everything else, you offer consulting and training as part of your SEO offering. You’re comfortable working with big brands. You can charge at least $750 for writing a Web page, and oftentimes you charge much more. You offer SEO consulting from $300 to $500 per hour, and charge at least $5,000 for one full day of training.

Now becoming an SEO trainer or consultant may not be your ultimate goal, but I think you can see the money-making potential of a career as an SEO copywriter. In as little as six months, you could be well on your way to making $750 per web page.

According to Heather, building your SEO copywriting career is a four-step process:

  1. The first thing you should do is take training – It’s the fastest way to get up to speed and build your confidence.
  2. Next is to “SEO” your own website – If you don’t have your own website, now is the time to launch one. Your clients are bound to ask you about it: what keywords you use … where it’s ranked in Google’s search results … etc. Practicing on your own site is the best way to find out what works and what doesn’t.
  3. At the start, work with smaller clients – Working with smaller companies is a great way to get your feet wet. They make excellent case studies you can use to promote yourself as you progress in your SEO career.
  4. And, lastly, continually update your skills – As with any career, you have to keep educating yourself. Go to conferences, read books and articles. Stay on top of what’s going on in the search engine world.

Your potential client list as an SEO copywriter includes any company – from a mom-and-pop shop right up to a multimillion-dollar corporation – that has a website they want to attract more visitors to.

To start building your client list, simply check your local online business directory for companies that interest you. Take a look at their websites and where they’re positioned in search engine results … and then send them an email or a letter telling them how you can help their business.

Another way is to hook up with a Web designer, an SEO copywriting firm, or an advertising agency. They are always on the lookout for people who can help them fill their clients’ demand for SEO copy.

Whichever route you chose, if you do a quick search on the Internet, you’ll find there’s no shortage of job postings for SEO copywriters.

If you’re looking for a break from 20- to 30-page sales letters, or your copywriting career simply needs a shot in the arm, SEO copywriting just might be the perfect fit.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: July 8, 2008

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