Why Freelance Writers Need to Learn SEO and How to Get Started

learning seo

It is quite understandable if you know little to nothing about SEO, but times have changed and it is now important for you to understand at least the basics of SEO as most clients who need website work require SEO knowledge.

SEO is embraced by countless businesses because they understand that if they want to be visible on search engines and drive traffic to their website, they need to implement effective SEO tactics.

A major part of SEO is content creation. So this is where the freelancer fits in all of this. Content creation for blogs is important for every website. The more up to date you keep the blog, the better it is for SEO. Have a look at this blog example to see how awesome posts should be written.

You may still be thinking “Why should I even learn SEO?”. There are 3 main reasons freelance writers need to learn SEO.

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Why learn SEO?

Reason #1: Improve Your Search Results

If you have a website or online portfolio, then learning SEO is a must. When you understand SEO, you can apply the tactics to your own website and therefore improve your rankings in Google. This will help you become more visible and increase the traffic to your website. The more traffic you have, the higher the potential conversion rate.

Even if you don’t have a website, by implementing SEO tactics to your actual work, you will keep your clients happy. This is something most website owners are looking for, and by understanding how to use SEO, it means less work for your clients to do when optimising their web page with that content.

Reason #2: Increase Your Asking Price

By understanding and learning SEO, you are gaining a new skill. It is important to remember that writing for the internet is a lot different to writing for print. You should be able to know the difference between the two and adapt your writing depending on your client.

When you expand your skill base, it means you can charge a higher fee for your work. Isn’t this what every freelancer wants?

Knowledge = power! And, when you have greater SEO knowledge it will give you more negotiation power. With SEO on your side, you know how to create better content than other freelancers and your clients will thank you (pay better) for it.

Reason #3: Ability to Offer Greater Range of Skills

As explained above, when you learn SEO you are adding a new skill to your tool belt. SEO is also another great way to help expand your business. You are able to offer a greater range of skills – skills that your competitors might not have.

A client is certainly more likely to choose a freelancer who can write high-quality content which has SEO elements, as opposed to a freelancer who doesn’t have that knowledge. With more skills at your disposal, you have the ability to create a better package that potential clients cannot refuse.

seo basics

How to get started with SEO

So now you know why SEO is important, let’s look at how to get started and how you can actually make your content more SEO-friendly. Get started with SEO basics with the following elements.

1. Length

Most of the time your client will give you a guide on the word count. However, you could suggest to your clients that if they are looking for SEO-optimised articles, the length should be no less than 300 words but the longer, the better. Opinions differ, but posts over 1,000 words perform best.

2. Links

Links to reputable and high domain authority websites help to increase the validity of the home website. Therefore, it is important to include links to other websites (but not the competitors, obviously) in your work. Also, adding credible sources to support any facts or statistics you include will help boost trust with readers.

3. Headings (and sub-headings)

This is a very important element in SEO. Headings and sub-headings make the content so much easier to read for both users and search engines. If the content is easy to read, it increases the chance of it being shared.

4. Keywords

Most of the time your client will give you the keyword they want you to base your content around. It is important to remember to only include the keyword a handful of times. If you include the keyword too many times, the content could be flagged for keyword stuffing. This is something that Google will penalise websites for. It wouldn’t look good for you if one of your client’s website receives a penalty because of the work you wrote.

5. Optimise Images

Normally, you won’t have to add pictures to your content. But if you do, it is important you understand how to optimise those images. This is done by adding keywords to the file name and description. Also, remember that images which are too big will slow the website speed and hurt SEO. Therefore always ensure that you compress the images but without comprising quality.

Final Thoughts

SEO management is essential for websites. Most business owners are now investing time and money in SEO for their websites. As a freelance writer, you can improve your offerings by learning more about SEO. As a result, you can increase your asking price and improve your own website as well.

SEO will only become a more influential issue in the years to come. Therefore, it is important that you understand SEO and how you can make your work more SEO-friendly. This will help you improve your work and beat your competitors.

Additional resource: SEO: The Movie


7 responses
  1. Oscar Avatar

    It might be helpful if you actually said what SEO is.

  2. Cent' Avatar

    It would have been very helpful if you included how to receive SEO training and where to get it. I’m guessing YouTube?, that’s where I’m going to look. Great article overall, I learned SEO is important to know how to do and understanding what it does, thank you.

  3. Cheryl Van Til Avatar

    I agree with Oscar. I just went and Googled “SEO” to find out what it meant!

  4. Melissa Glenn Avatar

    Okay…..now we now know why we need to learn SEO…….but this article did nothing more than an overview of what it is. What I want to know, is where, we as writers can learn it?

  5. Noemi Tasarra-Twigg Avatar
    Noemi Tasarra-Twigg

    Thanks for the comments, guys. You are right – we should not have assumed that everyone knows what SEO means. This is something we’ll definitely bear in mind for future articles. In the meantime, I recommend starting your SEO journey with this article: https://moz.com/learn/seo/what-is-seo.

  6. LiquidLoop Tech Avatar

    Thanks a lot for sharing this post

  7. Caisey Ryans Avatar
    Caisey Ryans

    Since almost any author’s text is used for blogs, knowing seo has become a requirement for almost all copywriters.
    This article has a good basic overview of the seo-text components. And all the details and how these components should be applied, I think each copywriter should learn on his own.

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