As the publisher of a blog on SEO writing, one of the questions I field a lot is earning potential, ie, new/aspiring freelancers wanting to know, “Just how much can a new SEO writer make?” This depends on several factors, four of which will be discussed here.
Before we get to that though, let’s look at some hard figures about how much SEO writing jobs pay.
SEO Content Writing: Average Industry Salary
According to job search site SimplyHired, the average salary in this niche is $66,000 as of this writing (September 2013). I started tracking this a few years ago and noticed that from September of 2012 to April of 2013, the average salary increased from $56,000 to $66,000 (where it stands now).
How does this stack up against what most Americans earn? According to the CNN Money article, Wages stink at America’s most common jobs:
“Workers in seven of the 10 largest occupations typically earn less than $30,000 a year, according to new data published… by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a far cry from the nation’s average annual pay of $45,790.”
Factors that Impact Your Earning Potential as a New Search Engine Optimization Writer
So the earning potential as an SEO content writer is high. Now, let’s turn to the four most important factors that impact how much you can earn.
1. Writing Samples: These are, in essence, your “resume” when it comes to proving your abilities as an SEO copywriter. For, they prove to prospects that you know how to write for the web in this capacity.
2. Understanding of SEO: You must have a fundamental understanding of search engine optimization (SEO). This includes not only an overall grasp of what this technical concept is all about, but how the guidelines impact how content for the web should be written.
A good SEO copywriter training class can teach you everything you need to know.
3. Niche: It’s been my experience that those freelancers who specialize in a niche tend to earn more than those who don’t. This is especially true if you specialize in high-paying writing niches like technology, medicine and law, because there’s less competition than in say, fashion writing; hence, you can charge more.
4. Marketing Ability: Freelance SEO content is a business. You must treat it as such, which means making marketing part of your daily/weekly duties.
Notice how I didn’t list “experience” as one of the most important factors that impact how much you can make as a new SEO writer? That’s because, while experience is important, it’s not nearly as important as what’s discussed here. When I first started writing this type of web content in 2007, I had no experience – but landed jobs the first week.
And that’s because the need for this type of writing professional is so great due to the popularity of content marketing, that once prospects saw proof that I could do it (via my SEO writing samples), most never even bothered to ask about experience.
So if you conquer these four areas, your earning potential is practically unlimited doing this type of technical writing – especially if you add complementary services like social media account management to your freelance business.