The salary of an SEO content writer can vary greatly based on a number of factors, which we will discuss here. First, though, let’s clearly define what an SEO writer does so that we’re on the same page about the duties associated with this profession.
What Does a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Writer Do?
FYI, these professionals are also known as web content writers, article writers, and SEO copywriters, among a few other titles. As for what they do, in simple terms, they write web copy to increase a site’s visibility in search engines.
Why SEO Content Writers Are In So Much Demand
There are specific web writing guidelines from search giants like Google that need to be followed to achieve the desired results, and these change all the time. This is one of the reasons why SEO writers are in such high demand.
Many small business owners simply don’t have the time to keep up with the changing algorithms of search companies like Google, Yahoo, and Bing; nor do they have the time to produce a constant stream of content (which is one of the things required in many cases to rank well in search engines). Therefore, many companies turn to freelance web writers, those who are aware of current SEO guidelines and who can produce just the right copy for their websites, newsletters, and blogs.
Now that you know why these editorial professionals are in such high demand, let’s look at some of the factors that affect how much they earn.
SEO Content Writing: Salary Expectations
Salaries for this profession are all over the place. If you check major job outlets like SeoJobsFinder and SimplyHired, you’ll find ranges from a minimum of about $35,000 to a maximum of about $75,000. The average, according to SimplyHired, is $66,000 as of this writing (Summer 2013).
Freelance SEO Writers Can Earn More! Because? Because you can tailor your service offerings, and your rates, to achieve whatever revenue goals you may have.
Factors Affecting SEO Content Writing Salaries
There are many elements that affect what an SEO writer is likely to get paid. Some of them are:
Niche: If you’re an SEO writer who specializes in fields like legal, medical, or technology, for example, you can set, and get, higher rates because not everyone can write this type of copy.
Rent: If you decide to work full time, the amount you earn will vary depending on where you are. For example, using the title “SEO writer” on SimplyHired shows an average salary of $57,000 in Jackson, MS. The same position in New York, NY pays $77,000 – a difference of $20,000 per year.
Experience: The search marketing industry has matured and companies are looking for experienced writers. Ideally, they should look for at least three to five years.
FYI, as a freelancer, this won’t matter as much when you’re looking for clients. All they will want to know is if you CAN write SEO content and this can be proven by writing examples.
These are three of the most important factors that affect the salary of an SEO content writer. The following are a few more.
Educational background: This is especially important if you specialize in a highly technical niche like the ones mentioned above.
Writing samples: You need to know where to put your keywords; how to write headlines that generate traffic; the do’s and don’ts of using anchor text; etc
Type of client/company you work for/with: Some clients simply pay better than others, eg content mills vs. customers you find on your own.
Marketing ability and consistency: If you freelance as an SEO writer, you can easily earn six figures per year if you market consistently. You will work hard, for sure! – but it’s possible due to necessity and because there are so many add-on services you can add to increase your earnings (eg social media account management).
With the right training, writing SEO content for small and medium-sized businesses can be the perfect, well-paying freelance home-based business, as evidenced by the salaries quoted here.