- By Yuwanda Black
- Published 09/30/2011
- Article Writing
I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993. I started writing SEO content in 2007 – and it changed the course of my freelance career, not only as a writer, but it opened doors to two other lucrative income streams (self-publishing ebooks and affiliate/internet marketing). In this article, I want to answer a couple of questions I receive from a lot of wannabe freelancers: the first question is, “Is now a good time to start an SEO writing career?” The second is, “Is the SEO copywriting field too crowded to be successful if I start now?” Since they both kind of piggyback on each other, following is an in-depth answer. The definitive answer is – yes, now is an excellent time to start this type of career. And, it will be for years to come. And why can be summed up in two words – content marketing. What is Content Marketing? According to Wikipedia, content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty. Why the Need for SEO Writers Is Only Going to Grow As the definition of content marketing alludes to, companies are going to need a lot of content in order to effectively compete online. This includes everything from simple SEO articles and blog posts, to more complex case studies and white papers. And, who do you think many of them turn to to provide it? You guessed it – freelancers; specifically freelance writers who understand how to write search engine optimized (SEO) content. Proof? Industry Report on Content Marketing Highlights Need for SEO Content Providers
In September 2010, Junta42 and MarketingProfs in conjunction with the Business Marketing Association (BMA) and American Business Media (ABM) released the largest study to date, 2010 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, showing how B2B marketers are using content within their marketing mix. This report took a granular look at how marketers from large companies (more than 1,000 employees) use content marketing. [Source: Content Market
ing Institute] The report, entitled “B2B Content Marketing 2010: Large Organization Report,” found that larger firms are much more likely to outsource content creation than their peers at smaller companies. In fact, over three quarters (77 percent) of large firms outsource some of their content development, compared to just over half (55 percent) on average. What I See In My SEO Copywriting Business Most companies, I’d venture to say as many as 95% — haven’t even begun to really invest in SEO content and content marketing yet. And I’m not exaggerating. Most business online these days either don’t know what content marketing is; or if they do, they don’t see the big picture yet and why it’s important to their future success. I know, because of the questions they ask me when they contact my firm, eg, how often should we update our website with fresh content, what is article marketing, what are some SEO writing guidelines we should be following, etc. The Bottom Line on Starting an SEO Copywriting Career – Now Many companies are starting to invest in content marketing. How heavily? The aforementioned report revealed that forty-six percent of B2B marketers at large companies expected to increase their budgets for content marketing in the coming 12 months, while 47 percent claimed their investment in content marketing will remain the same. Almost no marketers (3 percent) reported their content marketing budgets would decrease in the coming year. When companies who are investing in content marketing start leaving their competition in the dust, those firms will begin to figure out that they need to invest in it as well. This means tons of work for freelance writers. Learn more in this in-depth post, “Content Marketing: Conversation with a Leading Internet Marketing Expert on Why It’s the Wave of the Future and Why It Spells Opportunity for Freelance Writers,” on InkwellEditorial. As I tell those who contact me asking if now is a good time to start this career, you think SEO writers are busy now – wait until five years from now. This, too, I see in my business every day – the queries, the questions, the stops and starts (ie, request a proposal, haven’t heard back). It’s a fast-paced career – one that can make you a lot of money in a short amount of time. But, you have to be proactive. This means learning the trade (ie, getting SEO Copywriting Training), and learning how to market for SEO writing work.
Good luck if you decide to start this exciting freelance writing career.