Freelance SEO Writing

Any person or company that wants to drive traffic to a website or webpage needs to optimize it for search engines. SEO, abbreviated for “search engine optimization,” consists of many techniques to rank a website higher in search engine results. An optimized website will always outrank and outperform a competing website that is not optimized. More website traffic from search engines can translate into more sales or more customers for a company. SEO writers are always in demand to write search-engine friendly copy to increase a website’s rankings and/or sales.

The three top search engines (Google, Yahoo! and Bing) comb websites for relevant words and phrases and then structure them logically on the “Search Results” pages. A higher ranking website within the top 10-20 results means more users will see the website’s link and click on it.

Common Pay Rates for SEO Services

Nearly any business or individual in any industry or niche employs freelance SEO writers to transform their static websites into dynamic marketing machines. Because optimization means improving a website’s traffic to generate more sales, businesses and individuals are willing to pay good rates for quality work. Naturally, pay rates vary, depending on the company or individual, your level of skill and expertise, what services you will be offering, and so on.

  • Writing SEO articles or blog posts may pay from $10 – $60 per 300-600 article.
  • Optimizing a website’s HTML tags, navigation, title pages, restructuring words, and adding contextual hyperlinks can pay from $15-$65 per hour.
  • If you are computer-savvy, you can also offer to manage the company’s website, write daily articles, approve user-submitted comments, monitor its ranking on search engines, etc. In this role you can expect a monthly salary of $500 to $4,000.
  • If you’re just editing to improve and add relevant keywords, then expect to earn about $10-$15 an hour.

Why SEO Writers are In-Demand

Anyone with a business or personal website can profit from a skilled SEO writer. Competition among websites may fluctuate but competition never goes away. SEO is one effective method to rise above the competition, if only temporarily, to grab more visitors and improve sales or increase reader loyalty. Some of the most competitive industries like real estate, insurance, travel and healthcare are where you will find the best pay rates and plenty of work. Businesses in such cutthroat industries know that if they fail to rank high (or above their competitors) in search engines, they know–based on common sense—that they are losing business to their competitors.

As an SEO writer, you wield the weapons of website optimization to help a company trump competition and reach new customers. A competent SEO freelancer will seamlessly combine search-specific keywords and phrases into a website’s pages and content. The result: search engines will match what the user types into the search engine box with the relevancy of a website’s content.

SEO writers must know how to integrate keywords into copy without making it look spammy. Search engines have zero tolerance for keyword-stuffing or writing meaningless content to outsmart search engine rankings. These foolish methods no longer work. You must know how to write copy that flows naturally and has a low-density of keywords. Use repeated keywords sparingly. A good density is to use one or two keywords for every five sentences. These days it’s all about writing quality and original copy for readers. Quality and original content not only attracts visitors, but it also makes readers share your content with friends and colleagues via social networking.

Where to Find SEO Writing Jobs

You can find current SEO writing jobs at any job site or online outsourcing marketplace. I find many of my SEO writing gigs at and Besides finding hundreds of new jobs weekly at these sites, you can also create your own profile and portfolio and market yourself to prospective clients.

Don’t just rely on applying to jobs. You should also create your own website to market your services and showcase your samples. You can then link your website to a Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, and insert your website’s URL in promotional articles and emails. The best proof of being a competent SEO writer is if you can rank your own website high in search engines for a specific keyword or phrase.

[ Search for Freelance SEO Writing Jobs | ]

How to Respond to a Job Ad

The best way to respond to any job is to adopt the viewpoint of the job poster. Why does he or she need an SEO writer? What results does he or she desire?

Here’s a bit of advice: a person or business wanting SEO services is curious about three things:

1) Your track record. What results have you achieved for other clients?

2) Your writing skills. You must know how to write original and interesting content without spelling and grammar mistakes; and

3) SEO skills. Your expertise in using keywords seamlessly and dynamically in copy to achieve higher rankings.

If you can prove these three skill-sets, then you can feel confident that you can convince the job poster to hire you.

Another tip is to estimate a reasonable quote. Freelance job sites like and make this chore difficult because you will always spot writers estimating cheaper rates. Avoid estimating a cheaper rate that is below your hourly rate. You don’t just want to make money, but you also want to make a profit. It’s better to bid a price that matches your skill-set. Besides, not all prospective clients hire a writer with the cheapest rates, but with the best skills. The only time you should underbid is if you lack experience and want to work on a project to improve your skills.

Sample job ad

The following job ad is one that you might come across on a job site. How would you reply to the job poster?

I am a regional life insurance agent for a national brand and wish to rank my website higher in search engines so that local people can visit my website and opt-in for my email newsletter. My website is relatively new and was designed by a website designer, but he wasn’t very knowledgeable with optimizing it. Can you help me get more traffic and rank higher? Thanks, Shelly.

Remember, the most effective SEO methods are not just about keywords—it’s also about engaging readers so that they take an action, such as ordering a product or signing up for a newsletter. This job ad answers why this job poster needs to hire an SEO writer. She wants to rank her website higher, get more traffic, and turn visitors into subscribers of her newsletter. In your reply tell Shelly about your incredible SEO skills and how you can achieve all of her goals. A proven technique is to suggest certain keywords and/or optimization strategies that you will use to rank her website higher. Also let her know that you can write and optimize content, not only for search engines, but also for her readers.

About the author

Brian Scott

Brian Scott

Brian Scott uses his creative skills to freelance full-time as a copywriter, SEO marketing specialist, and graphic designer. Self-employed since 1996, he's had the opportunity to work in traditional media (pre-Internet Age) and now online media. Prior to freelancing, he worked in public relations, newspaper copy editing, and mail-order marketing.

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