In completing a few things on the boil this week, I just sent off a couple guest blog posts. They were really fun to write, and I hope they do well for us all. I also just tucked-in to a 17 page word document of new site content I am writing for a frame shop in Wisconsin – going to be reading and tweaking until my eyes slam shut tonight. Have an ad concept meeting on Friday, and gotta get a new statement of work together for a new project.
This made me think of the different types of work I have done recently, all of it tied in some way to SEO copywriting. I am going to list them here, and encourage you to use this as a reference if you are trying to figure out who might need your services:
- Site content. Ah yes, the staple of our trade. Businesses ALWAYS need site content. But in this case I refer to the core pages of a site, the skeleton of someone’s corporate message. There is always a new business idea seeking the right presentation or a tired business needing a new idea, so as a writer, you can make a huge impact on a successful launch (or re-branding). If nothing is jumping out at you for where to find work, go where your passions lie and see who needs help. Ask, and ye shall find. Working on the right project recharges your batteries, and more experience (both good and bad) makes you ready for bigger and better projects.
- Ad copy. Static ad copy that works is a very valuable thing. Making the most of a medium is key here, so if you have specific experience (e.g., in AdWords, Local Search, banners, Facebook, etc.) it is no crime to mention it. Writing tight little ads for Adwords, Facebook, or other specific mediums is bank. Proof of your mastery is visible in days (in many cases). If you have experience (and no non-compete agreements to prevent it), look to the niches where you have already found success. Build on it. Ad copy (of the Adword variety here – not speaking of more traditional ad copy) is not usually something I land as a gig on its own, but I lump it into a larger web project quite often.
- Blogposts.Yes, blogposts. As I said, I have been doing some guest posts lately which have been fun. Sometimes I even write as me now! But I also write a lot of corporate style blogposts anonymously. Businesses appreciate all styles of writing for blogs, so find the tones where you are most comfortable and offer your services, if appropriate. If you like a blog, you can also just write a guest post and offer it – most people would love to have something authored by an expert, so get out there. If they reject your guest post, they may offer suggestions on what to do to bring it up to speed for them – it rarely hurts to try, anyway. Blog owners like having a day off where the content still flows. It works for you in strangely wonderful ways sometimes.
- Press Releases.Press releases are gold for most small businesses. A press release is a legitimate way to spread positive propaganda about your business, and you can reach a really large audience very quickly if you handle it correctly. Knowing how solid press releases are written is a bankable skill in any industry. These are one of my favorite things to do, really – I find them incredibly easy, so I can spend a good deal of time strategizing the SEO and making them work really well. I have written press releases for auto salvage yards, doctor’s offices, financial providers, service providers, an international overhead door company, geospatial imaging specialists, architects, veterinarians, life coaches, a Vespa scooter dealer and more. All businesses have news, and knowing how to properly leverage a press release is a search engine strategy that still packs a mighty punch.
- Product descriptions. Last year, I wrote catalog descriptions for two large-scale retailers. What it does for them, is it gives each product page more meat so the search engines appreciate the site a little more. It is a great strategy to pull in more long-tail searches. For me, it was good, steady work for months at a time. There are lots of businesses that can benefit from unique, focused product descriptions – the difficulty I have experienced, is usually more about finding someone willing to pay what it costs for creating that many pages. (But many business owners understand the power here, and know a moderate investment now pays for itself repeatedly over time). Not the most glamorous writing gig for some people, but I actually like the rhythm of it once I get the corporate tone in stride – kind of like riding on a train while you work. Some companies like really unique product descriptions too, so it is a lot more creative than most people might think. Sometimes.
- Articles for article sites. A 200-800 word article on a specifically identified topic can help a business in their search engine efforts. I worked on a couple strategies recently that involved creating articles for article sites, so the embedded links could be leveraged from a topic aligned with the client’s business. The pay level is not usually high for this kind of thing, but it is something I can bump out without much effort. One important thing to know if you are not aware: power writers on article sites will get the love. If you are a freelance writer and don’t have many active clients, look to these article sites and aim to get enough solid material in one to raise your status to a power contributor. Personally, I don’t think enough of article sites any more to spend time developing my own profiles to gain power from them – I have other fish to fry. But I certainly have written my share of articles for these sites, and it is a strategy many businesses will hire you for. And if you become a power author, you have clout that can earn you some bank from what I understand.
The point of this list is to consider where you could target people looking for this kind of SEO copywriting. Or, if you are talking to someone about the possibility of hiring you, you might mention some of these as options for potential projects.
One last thing to think about from this list, is how widely varied the SEO copywriter’s tool chest can be. You can easily make a specialty out of any one of the things I listed above – or like me, you can go where they need you most.
Call it one small step for job security!