Tag Archives: freelance SEO writing

SEO: A Crash Course

Amanda Smyth Connor1148745_crashed_car

More often, you may see “knowledge of SEO” popping up on job descriptions and in your freelance positions. Having a working knowledge of SEO best practices, keyword usage, and proper linking strategies makes you that much more valuable and gives you an extra leg up over the other shlubs applying for the same projects.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of adding keywords that will make your copy “search-friendly,” adding links that will help the bots find your copy, and being able to make informed decisions regarding how to use the two to add power to the copy you create. What good is this great copy if it doesn’t get read/found? SEO helps Google (and other search engines) find and list your copy so that it appears in appropriate search results. Continue reading SEO: A Crash Course

The Future of Freelancing: 2009 Beckons

freelance-writing-advice-3In our current economy, more and more people are being driven out of the traditional workplace and into contract positions, freelance gigs and other arrangements formerly the exclusive territory of the full-time freelancer.

What’s going to happen to freelance writers in 2009? From where I sit, it will be a combination of  “more of the same” and a major shift to the Internet from the newsstand.

I remember when the dot com bubble burst back in the late 90s, and many net workers were out of a job after being paid staggering sums by overvalued .com companies. The dot commers killed themselves inthe late 90s because companies that had nothing to sell were getting mad startup money, tricking out their offices with pool tables and video games, and basically driving themselves into the ground.

Now we see the inverse happening damn near exactly ten years later–solid companies with much to offer are being pulverized while companies selling dollar electronic widgets (see the iPhone App store for a great example) are thriving. What does any of this mean for US?

Two big things spring to mind. If your website still looks like a web 1.0 dinosaur, you’ve got trouble coming. What is the sound of no mouse clicking? That zen riddle I just made up is something you’ll be pondering next year unless you get into web 2.0-land. Things are shifting to the net so completely that some people are actually discussing the “death of bookstores”.

The second thing–which is already happening to my fellow freelancer pals in some quarters–is that there will be a larger tidal wave of ridiculous freelance clients out there who actually expect you to take the penny-per-word rates they offer. Folks—one cent per word is what NOOB FICTION WRITERS make. Not freelancers who deal in non-fiction, e-commerce, SEO writing or other skilled areas.

There are plenty of people who will settle for these rates. I strongly urge you to re-evaluate your rates NOW and tell clients who want you to accept their peanuts for your hard work a polite version of the following:

“I understand your need to keep your overhead low and I am happy to work with you on a volume discout basis, but I also want to explain someting to you: with today’s SEO environment, you GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. You will find a writer willing to write for a penny per word, I assure you. I can also assure you that NOBODY WILL TAKE THAT WRITING SERIOUSLY. You may get the right attention from Google, but when HUMANS read that crap, they will click away from your page.  Today’s market is not just about Google placement–it’s about CONVERSION. What good does 10,000 unique visits do you if you have 0% conversion from those visits?”

I could rage on about this, but why bother? Everything you need to know (in this context) is in those last two sentences.