SEO (Search Engine Optimization) copywriting is an exploding niche field in the journalism world right now. Publications are looking for writers with the ability to create content that can easily be searched for using search engines like Google or Bing.
The purpose of SEO is to write for the web in a way that is highly relevant and accessible for search engines. You want to get your publication at the top of the search list for certain subject matter. For example, If I want to write an article for a fitness magazine with an audience of women age 35-50 about the benefits of kale smoothies, I want my article to be the very first option available to someone searching Google for ‘kale’, ‘smoothies’, ‘green smoothies’, ‘health drinks’ and so on. The way to accomplish that is to include those terms at the beginning of my copy, enabling the article to be crawled for those specific terms.
Before you even begin writing for SEO, you want to use online keyword tools such as Google AdWords. Keyword tools allow you to enter a general term and generate dozens of new terms related to your first term. This is based on the amount of searches conducted per month on Google by web users. The keywords and phrases that are generated by keyword tools are the words you want to use throughout your copy. Optimized SEO content need to include between five and ten percent keyword density.
The more traffic you can generate for a publication’s site, the more sales you produce…equaling more money for both the publication itself and you. Every publication out there is in need of SEO writing, meaning thousands of job opportunities out there for us pending journalism graduates.
Though SEO writing may not be as glamourous or exciting as editorial writing, it definitely pays off. SEO writers can make as much as $50,000-$75,000 per year in their first year. That is almost double what first-time editorial freelancers make.