SEO Careers – From Copywriting to Coding From Home: What You Really Have to Know

I was recently asked how one gets into an SEO career. My first reaction is, “don’t go there, it’s not as easy as many think”. The competition is fierce, and unfortunately, a lot of people out there shouldn’t be writing to begin with. It reminds me of the era. Everyone that had a computer became a web designer. Bottom line is, you’re dealing with maybe 35% of the SEO population that knows what the heck they’re talking about.

However, if you’re a copywriter or journalist and have been laid off, then thinking about writing from home for a living may be right for you. It seems many people out there calling themselves SEO service providers don’t know the first thing about SEO copywriting, but for the sake of this article and for my Sunday rant I wanted to share this information with you. There are many SEO careers on the rise; however, there are also many different ways those writers can find their own niche when dealing with any type of SEO.

This is becoming a very popular job prospect. SEO copywriters however, are copywriters first. They must have a basic knowledge of how SEO works in order to write copy properly. I’ll share a few simple tasks with you.

SEO by definition is search engine optimization. How this is done is by using keywords that will or are highly ranked in Goggle’s organic search. There are certain techniques that become natural once a writer gets into the “SEO state of mind”. They include writing the necessary tags, using your Bio box properly and, of course, writing the content.

Let me explain. Most SEO service providers will start with finding the keywords by using a specific tool, such as Adwords or other keyword analysis tools. You find the most popular terms currently in use and write your article with those terms in mind. Well that was a mouthful, but that's just the beginning.

Note I said “most” SEO service providers. If you want to get the most for your hard work, however, there has to be more to your SEO efforts than copy that’s keyword driven. It has to engage your readers in order to get your readership numbers up. It has to inform your readers regardless of whether you promote one technique or product.

You see, people want to learn and feel that what you’re writing is honest and well researched. Therefore, do yourself or your client a favor. Brand your words along with the services you offer. Stand out, be unique and cause a revolution if you must. There I go again; I’m digressing and getting off the topic.

The simplest method is to make sure your keyword is in the title, then in the first sentence, the middle of your copy and in the last paragraph of your copy (preferably the last sentence). That’s not to say that as long as you have your keywords your page will rise in ranks. That may work on one copy - if it’s an obscure word and not a competitive one.

The key here is to have the content read naturally, not forced. If you can’t use your keyword in the copy as I have described above, then choose another keyword or just leave it alone. Not every copy has to be drowned with keywords. Sometimes people just want to enjoy your story, your experience, your blog.

So, okay, now you know how to write SEO content. The next thing you have to do is article submission, directory submissions, blog postings, and socially networking your content in order to drive traffic to your site.

Here is where article and directory submission come into play. Article submissions help in your SEO efforts by seeding the Internet with your content and keywords. SEO articles to article databases and directories help your site and allow you to promote various services and products. It’s simple: the better the articles submission site the more traffic you will generate. Ultimately, this is the most organic way to drive business to your site; many SEO professionals know all the tools and can advise you wisely in your future projects and goals.

Now, if you’re looking at SEO careers in coding, most SEO service providers have a working knowledge of the current version of HTML. HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. The current version available is Version # 5. Using hypertext is a way of creating links both to the page in question and links, such as track backs, for articles that someone else comments on or tracks.

A basic way of creating a hyperlink is by typing the address of another page directly into the document and content. If you’re using a word-processing program, then you can create the link by choosing “create hyperlink”. Most word-processing programs allow you to chose the text you want displayed for the hyperlink; the user sees the word in blue, clicks on it and is taken to the page in question. The other aspect of coding is to make sure you use your tags properly. Description tags, image tags, keyword tags and anchor texts are all examples of coding you’ll need to learn.

If you’re looking for a trade and are a creative writer able to think outside the box, consider diving into these SEO careers.

Small Businesses Need SEO

With all the listings on a search engine, the millions of websites and billions of pages, it’s not about strategy but about survival when I say that small businesses hoping to gain some notice online absolutely need SEO. It’s just a matter of fact. Small businesses with small visibility need all the help that they can get, and SEO is just the help they need.

Here’s an illustration from my own life. I was at a wedding recently, and it came time at the reception for the garter toss. Now the dance floor was full of eligible bachelors, each vying for the front row position so they could catch the good luck charm. One bachelor in particular was comparatively shorter than the others, and I knew from first sight that he had no shot.

It was true. There was no way he could jump higher, out-wrestle or out-will the other men to get that garter. The only chance he had was if the wind just happened to pick the garter up like the leaf in Forest Gump and gently land it in his waiting arms. Needless to say, neither he nor I were holding our breath.

Now, if you’re an eligible small business, waiting on the market dance floor to grab the searching user so you can have more success in the future, you don’t want to rely on happenstance. You need to have a strategy. You need help, and that help is SEO.

Why SEO?

SEO helps you compete with the “big boys” by boosting your page higher on the search engine lists than theirs. The size of a company doesn’t matter to search engines, and it doesn’t matter to users. Users care about two things: where you are on the results page (because most absolutely will not go past the second or third page, if those) and how trustworthy your site appears. Through SEO you can earn the coveted front row position.

SEO also costs much less than traditional advertising, which works well for a smaller budget. You can utilize many of the tools on your own without talking with a SEO specialist. As long as you have a little know-how and little more patience, you can begin optimizing your webpage with relevant content and media.

Yet, even when you use an SEO specialist to help run your optimization campaign (highly recommended), your budget can remain much less than trying to market on your own, and a little money goes a long way. By investing just a little into an SEO campaign, you can receive a lot of new and promising traffic.

Don’t be caught at the back of the line waiting for chance to choose you. Take hold of your own future and compete with all the businesses, whether large or small. SEO is what you need

SMO is Where SEO is Going

The future of SEO is SMO. That should be clear by now, if not clear relatively soon. The rise and dominance of such technologies and sites as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Digg, YouTube, Sphinn, (etc.) have ensured this future. Like telling our kids that the future is in their hands, so we are telling the users - not the companies - that the future of the Internet is in theirs.

What is SMO?

SMO, or Social Media Optimizing, is the newest and most sought after branch of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It’s taking what was once all about writing, codes and web design, and expanding to include social networks, the media and the camera. In fact, by definition it’s using these additional tactics for the purpose of boosting visibility and traffic through social media, online communities and community websites.

How does SMO work?

There are many methods of social media optimization, but they generally break down into two types: on-page and off-page. Both work together in cooperation to build your network and stimulate traffic to your site. They combine to increase visibility, adapt and refresh your site’s style and voice, and build a greater fan base.

On-Page SMO

Some of the greatest and easiest methods are done on your website. The goal of performing on-page SMO is first and foremost to create a greater “linkability” for your page, especially for the content. A great first step is blogging. When you connect your site with a personal or corporate blog, you immediately speak to a different circle. Blogging offers an informal space for you to inform, engage and discuss your company. The better the blog, the more traffic you’ll have.

Also important is adding content to your site that makes tagging and bookmarking easier, not only so a user can remember and return to your site, but also so that he or she can share your site with others. Social bookmarking websites like have made sharing sites easy and popular.

Off-Page SMO

Working off-page is important also for boosting traffic and visibility. By sharing content with other social media sites you can expand your network and target audience beyond the search engines. The first step is to create sharable media like .pdfs, video files and audio files. Then, you can submit them not only to your site, but also to the media sites. Again, the better the content, the more traffic you will receive.

Two examples of social media sites are Twitter and Facebook. While Twitter was originally just a way to keep in touch and update friends on what you’re doing, it’s now much more than that. Businesses have begun using Twitter for company updates and information, as well as getting immediate feedback from customers and clients. Twitter isn’t for posting ads; it’s for engaging and building your audience (i.e. potential customers).

Facebook and other sites such as LinkedIn, are excellent places to expand your network. Whether this means making friends, meeting others interested in your particular niche or creating strong B2B relationships, adding these sites to your SMO efforts can achieve several purposes; back links to your site, increasing awareness of your site or product, public exposure and creating interest in your brand are just a few examples of what using these sites can do for you.

As the Internet changes so does SEO. It’s no longer simply about writing and coding, but about blogging, videos, networks, conversations and, most importantly, engaging your target audience. Marketing and networking are now just as important and effective; SEO must transition into, and turn toward, SMO. As you continue building your site along the Internet highways and byways, ask yourself: What are you doing to get your SMO on?

Can I help it that I am smiling from ear to ear?

I have been floating on air for the last 24 hours. Let me explain. I have been telling our clients and writers alike to engage with our readers for quite sometime. Of course, their response is "yes" then they never do anything about it, or should I say their response is “I never get anything out of it”. Quite honestly, I wonder if people know what "Engage with your readers" really means.

I asked one of our clients to join every Social network they thought would have their target market and start engaging them in NON-sales copy. If you are into online marketing, you can see the blank looks on their face. You see, we are entering a second Internet phase; businesses are downsizing and trying to stretch every dollar looking for efficiency. They're shifting their budget from PPC, while using SEO for organic traffic.

What does that mean? In simple terms, great content with a mix of social media. The new era of marketing, which created the foundations of marketing on the web, made its way to a new buzz in the industry - Inbound Marketing.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing focuses on bringing the customer to the business, instead of the business searching for the customer

In outbound marketing, the "traditional" way, companies use poorly targeted techniques to bring in customers. They use radio and T.V. advertising, spam, cold-calling, print advertising, junk mail and more. In other words, they use every method that most people get irritated about.

These techniques are long out-dated, less effective and more expensive, thanks to technology. TiVo, spam filters, caller ID that blocks cold calls and tools like RSS render print and visual advertising almost useless. While these methods of advertising still work to some extent, it's much more expensive.

Inbound Marketing flips outbound marketing on its head.

The Internet opened up whole new avenues and marketing possibilities. Instead of television ads that scream at potential customers to "buy, buy, buy", or junk mail that gets thrown away, inbound marketing has a gentler, more persuasive technique. Entertaining, informative videos, interesting blogs, useful content and tools – inbound marketing is a soft, inviting whisper rather than a pounding sledgehammer. With these tools and techniques, highly qualified customers are attracted to the business through a combination of curiosity, confidence and trust.

The Three Components of a Successful Inbound Marketing Campaign

1. Content: Every Inbound Marketer knows that content is king. Information and persuasive writing, helpful tips and tools help attract potential customers to the company's website or business.

2. Search Engine Optimization:
Potential customers find this informative content much easier through SEO. Building your site, and building up inbound links to your site, through optimization and website design "best practices" maximizes your search engine rankings. SEO brings your product, website or company into the public's eye, so they can begin the buying process.

3. Social Media: When the content is truly helpful, informative and interesting, people tend to discuss it with their friends, family, co-workers etc. Distributed across several networks, it gains credibility and authenticity, making it more likely to draw people to your website.

You're wondering what any of that has to do with the smile on my face? In one day I was able to prove that using inbound marketing can not only save you money by getting free targeted traffic, but you learn that investing in your company's future sometimes has it’s rewards without trying.

I was featured in Business for engaging in Social media. That alone has sent our website a nice boost of traffic. I know I may not get all that‘s out there the way I see it nobody does, but the new business I do get can result in a higher base of happy customers, more referrals, and ultimately more sales.

You know you can help

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