I've been a freelance writer since 1993. In 2007, I started offering SEO content to clients – and my freelance business taken off. This niche of technical writing became the most lucrative part of my business, so I formed a full-service SEO writing company in 2008.
There are two ways to make money "writing for SEO." The first way is to provide the service to clients; the second option is to offer content to what I call "write-for-pay" sites.
Writing SEO Content for Write-for-Pay Sites
The main benefit of providing content to sites like Examiner, AssociatedContent, HubPages, and eHow, et al is that you do not have to go looking for clients.
Usually, you just create an account there and / or fill out an application. If approved, you start writing and getting paid. Most pay based on the performance of your content (eg, you get paid every time someone clicks on – and reads – your article).
The downside of this is that it can take a while to start earning decent money (if ever). The upside is that If you're in a hot niche like entertainment or tech, you can make quite a lot of money. Some freelancers on sites like Examiner earn six figures per year. So it's possible to make a full-time, or at least part-time living writing for sites like these.
But in my experience, the real money in writing for SEO is providing the service to businesses. I know this first-hand. When I first started in 2007, I got so busy within the first couple of months that I had to hire other freelancers to help me out. Following of the pros and cons of going this route.
Writing for SEO: Offering the Service to Businesses
Pro: The client possibilities are limitless. At my SEO writing company, clients run the gamut from individual website owners (eg, one-person online entrepreneurs), to Fortune 500 companies. All you have to do is figure out a marketing strategy to get them flowing in, which brings me to my first con.
Con: Many new freelance SEO writers have weak marketing skills. Here, they find it hard to land clients. Luckily, this is an easy con to overcome.
Pro: SEO content writing is hot! How hot? A 2012 study by Shareaholic revealed that professionals with 'SEO' in their title or description on the social media site LinkedIn grew by 112% in just 12 months; and job listings with 'SEO' in it increased on the popular job site Indeed by 1900% since 2006 .
So the need is there.
Con: Learning how to price article writing jobs is tough for many newbies because SEO writing rates are all over the place. Again though, this is an easy con to overcome with the right, "go to" source for information.
Pro: You can make a ton of money as an SEO writer, especially if you decide to freelance. How much?
According to a 2012 survey by Robert Half, which is one of the largest staffing agencies in the world, salaries ranged from the mid-40s ($ 45,000) to just over $ 90,000 per year . The study specifically revealed the following:
"Web content writers with five or more years experience can expect a salary range of between $ 60,500 and $ 90,750, while those with less than five years experience should receive something in the range of $ 45,250 and $ 66,250."
The Real Benefit of Writing for SEO
When you learn how to write SEO content, what you're really learning is how to how to market online. And you can parlay this skill into marketing almost anything you want online to make money.
For example, once I learned how to write for SEO, I started selling more of my ebooks, getting more participants in my freelance writing classes, and selling affiliate products. This is because I knew the rules of the online marketing game.
And this, to me, has been the largest benefit of becoming an SEO writer because I developed several income streams so I do not have to rely on one way to earn money. And, I can work from anywhere in the world, which I do – a lot!
You can too.