One of the biggest industries for professional writers today is search engine optimization (SEO) writing. This job has been designed specifically for websites to garner a better placement on search engine results pages. While, it does take certain expertise to perform SEO writing duties, you can often make personal and professional sacrifices in this realm.
For a lot of professional writers, individuals who perfected their craft to be the next Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen or Agatha Christie, SEO writing can certainly be soul-draining. But that little man inside of us reminds us each day that we have rent to pay, bills to catch up on and food to put in our belly.
SEO writing requires writers to pen articles like robots, be clandestine and perhaps even create a negative image of ourselves - this is why it’s always better to ghostwrite for SEO writing jobs. Although this niche has greatly improved in recent years because of smarter algorithms, it can still often be a nuisance. Again, it pays the bills.
Here are 5 things professional writers hate about SEO writing:
1. You Focus More on Search Results Than Writing
When you start a writing gig, you’re ecstatic: "Finally! I can buy that can of tomato soup with my earnings from this project. Plus, the world can see my eloquent words with my name attached." Well, unfortunately, that enthusiasm wanes as time goes by because you have to really focus more on SEO than the writing itself.
Instead of mulling over the best word to use for a sentence or the right kind of sentence structure for an idea, you have to hone in on keyword density, blurbs, links and so on.
We didn’t become writers for keyword percentages.
2. You Have to Compete With Low-Pay Writers
In the last decade, this was a common theme: highly qualified writers in North America or Western Europe having to compete with third-world writers who are not native English speakers. This also means that writers from Nigeria, India or Pakistan charge very low rates, and marketers and webmasters will first look at the dollar amounts.
The latest positive change, however, is that website owners, digital marketers and other publishers are now caring more about quality and are willing to pay extra to have this level of care in writing projects. If you scan, for instance, Elance, there will be job ads that demand "English first!"
Unfortunately, the pay is still relatively low, but as time goes by you can certainly find the high-paying gigs as long as you have the experience and skills to command better pay
3. You Need to Have Linking Connections
SEO is all about search rankings. One way to gain higher placements on Google or Bing is through link-building campaigns. Therefore, potential clients will inquire about what websites you have accounts with and if you can publish articles with third-party links in them. Beware!
Writers can easily get sucked into this type of project. This is because, depending on the link, writers can sometimes command a great fee for simply penning an article, burying a link inside the content and then publishing it without the editors knowing. Well, editors and publishers are beginning to understand and will immediately ban authors for taking part in this practice.
Overall, SEO writing may not necessarily be about your talents but where you can publish.
4. You Will Publish Articles for Weak Attention Spans
In today’s world of digital content, you have to publish articles that are crafted specifically for younger audiences. As we reported last month, we have weaker attention spans than goldfish, and publishers and marketers are adapting to this environment.
What does this mean for writers? Well, you will have to write 500 words, use one- or two-syllable words, create very short sentences and paragraphs and refrain from incorporating certain words, phrases and even Latin into your work. SEO writing simplifies the complexities of writing and minimizes the excitement of writing content.
5. You Are Likely to Embarrass Yourself with Keyword Structures
If you’re writing an article about personal finance, vegetarian cooking or the 1980 U.S. presidential election and you have a keyword of "good plumbers," it’s guaranteed that you’re going to embarrass yourself. Why? Because readers will certainly identify how out of place "good plumbers" was in the piece. Moreover, if you’re actually penning an article about plumbers and you have "good plumbers" with a link attached, then they’ll still realize the purpose of the report.
Often in SEO writing, you have awkward sentences and structures because you have to include a linked keyword in there. All you can do is shake your head.
The only consolation about SEO writing is that at least you’re earning a living doing something you enjoy: writing. Much like how SEO has changed in the last 10 years, it’ll continue to change in the coming 10, 20 years. If you are constantly involved in SEO writing, then you can perhaps help change this niche and make it better.
Are you involved in SEO writing? Do you find it a tedious task or do you enjoy it? Your thoughts and comments below please...