So you want to write – good for you. The internet is full of would-be copywriters, some of whom are churning out barely intelligible English for site owners who don’t even seem to care which order the words fall into. However, an ongoing string of zoo animals from Google is cracking down on the churning, and the future – for good quality content and copy – is bright.
Content Mills and Content Brokers
Getting a foot in the door with SEO copywriting – and content – work isn’t hard. Content mills and brokers elicit a lot of grumbling from professional copywriters who view the pennies-per-word pay as insulting not just to them, but to the writers who are, as they see it, being exploited. However, there are few ad-hoc places of work where you are almost guaranteed work when jobs are thin on the ground elsewhere. Although open board work is likely to pay as little as a penny per word, building good relationships with clients means that privately-assigned work can bring in considerably more lucrative remuneration. Copify are relatively new to the US market, but are growing fast. They give clients the option of choosing a standard or a professional service. Writers have an easy, unfussy interface to work with, and a variety of interesting topics to write about. Similar in setup, and accepting international applications is the US-based Interact Media (www.zerys.com). Operating an open and favorite job board system, writers are graded subject to client satisfaction. Again, work is reasonably plentiful, and with organization and application, it’s possible to at least keep the wolf from the door when things are slow elsewhere.
Bunfight at the Freelancer Corral
An option for seeking out higher-paid assignments is to enter the arena of dedicated freelance work sites. The unfortunate truth of these is that you will be competing with people who are prepared to write 500 words for a dollar. Even more unfortunate is the fact that there are clients who will happily accept the cheapest bid, and not look too hard at the end results. However, for serious clients, quality sells, and a carefully crafted pitch on somewhere like eLance will eventually pay dividends. It can seem almost impossible to get a foot in the door if you have no feedback, so consider the site’s own advice of bringing existing clients with you to raise your profile.
Going it Alone
The scariest thing a freelance SEO copywriter can do is look at an empty work diary, and take the decision that today is the day they’ll find their own clients. Quite often, that diary will stay empty even after the third coffee, but here’s a useful hint – stay local. Walk up and down your high street, and note local businesses. Look them up. A website full of hurriedly-written duff content? Offer your services as a professional to help them raise their game and be more competitive just through SEO-friendly web pages.
Finally, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be visible. If you don’t have a blog, or website displaying examples of your work, start one, and update it frequently. And don’t be too proud to take the lower-paid jobs when there’s nothing else – treat every $5 job like a $50 job