Viewing all posts by Pam Foster.

Go Niche or Go Home! Today’s success path for freelance SEO copywriters

Focus on one niche for a success freelance SEO copywriting business.

Focus on one niche for a success freelance SEO copywriting business.

If you want to grow your SEO copywriting business in a MAJOR way — whether you’re brand new to SEO copywriting or you’ve been doing it for a while but you’re at a career crossroads — you’ll want to take the niche path.

This is the top recommendation of industry experts now, because the cluttered field of skilled and not-so-skilled SEO copywriters is making it harder for you to stand out and attract new clients. This approach has worked gangbusters for me since 2010.

So what does it mean to take the niche path?

It means choosing one industry or market you’ll “own.” For instance, you can claim your position in a particular field, such as the craft beer SEO copywriter, the green/eco products SEO copywriter, the wedding SEO copywriter, the accounting firm SEO copywriter and so forth.

Then you can position yourself in your specific niche industry by writing a helpful website, blog posts and other content that includes the keywords your prospects will use in searches: [industry] copywriter, [industry] marketing, [industry] SEO, [industry] web content, etc.

Once you stake your claim in a specific industry, magical things will happen.

First, you’ll be a superstar in a specific market that needs you instead of being “lumped” among dozens or even hundreds of professional SEO copywriters. Clients in your niche market will be THRILLED to find a skilled SEO copywriter who understands their business, prospects and language.

Next, potential clients will find you quickly in Google and other search engines. Picture how a potential client searches for a skilled SEO copywriter in their industry: they’ll type in “industry SEO copywriter,” right? If you’re well positioned in that industry — with a nicely optimized website and blog posts — you’ll do well in Google, Bing and other search results.

In addition, you can quickly build a reputation as the industry’s go-to SEO copywriter. Once you set up your niche position in Google+ (and link your content to your Google+ profile), your blog posts and articles will give you credibility as a smart and trusted resource. Of course, you need to make sure all your content is offering helpful SEO and marketing tips for your niche industry.

That’s just for starters. You can also build a solid reputation and business foundation by writing articles for your niche trade association, partnering with niche web developers and finding other ways to immerse yourself in that industry. You’ll soon find that clients are calling you for help!

Wondering how to find a thriving, profitable niche market for you? Try these clues from my AWAI articles as well as Copyblogger and Nick Usborne.

About the Author

Pam Foster on finding your SEO copywriting nichePam Foster is a senior content writer and web consultant who has worked in marketing communications for more than 30 years, with 13 of those years entirely devoted to the veterinary and pet industry. She has coached numerous veterinary practices, manufacturers and pet companies on how to make the most of their online marketing efforts. Her specialties include local marketing, web content, SEO, blogging and social media. She’s been a frequent speaker/teacher at industry events such as the NAVC Conference, BlogPaws and the LifeLearn webinar series. She has worked for IDEXX Laboratories, The Pet Health Network, DirectVet Marketing, LifeLearn, numerous practices and other small veterinary and pet businesses. Her mission is to help her clients thrive online.

Top photo thanks to Daniel Zedda (Darwin)

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5 steps to building a powerful SEO copywriting business network with LinkedIn

Guest Author, Pam Foster

After 2-3 years of trying several different social networks for my SEO Copywriting business, I had a breakthrough in the past 6 months where most of my biggest web projects came from one source: LinkedIn.

I’ve come to realize that my LinkedIn connections have been more fruitful for my business, BY FAR, than any other marketing method I’ve tried. Here’s why I believe it’s a terrific resource for you too:

  • Your LinkedIn connections are truly business-focused connections.
    People are using LinkedIn primarily for business conversations, sharing business tips, finding business contacts and opportunities, and asking questions about business success. I have not found this to be true with the other social media.
  • LinkedIn connections are often from companies with decent marketing budgets.
    The clients who reached out to me via LinkedIn were mainly from companies looking for a skilled SEO Copywriter to help improve an existing website or launch a new site. This work was in their marketing budget for the year and they were ready to go. They were happy to find me and were willing to pay my fees for quality SEO Copywriting. The same can happen for you too.
  • Linked connections represent all types of opportunities for your business. Over the last couple of years, I’ve connected with more than 600 people I know personally from my career and my school days. I have connections with former colleagues, associates I met through business groups, college classmates and friends, high school friends, graphic designers, web developers, ad agency people I’ve met, fellow copywriters, industry leaders like Heather, and many, many other types of people. Any one of them can be a great source of referrals or business. You never know!

It’s not just me that’s having better luck with LinkedIn than some other social networks when it comes to finding business clients. HubSpot’s 2011 State of Inbound Marketing report shows that, “the effectiveness of particular social media channels varies according to the type of business.”

In a survey of over 600 professionals, they found that “LinkedIn is clearly more effective (than Facebook) for B2B businesses.

So why not try it and see for yourself? It’s incredibly easy and it’s FREE. Try these 5 ways to dive in and create a powerful network for your business, all from the comfort of home:

1. Create an optimized profile of yourself.

For example, include the phrase “SEO Copywriter” in your SUMMARY and in the description of current business. Include all past work you’ve done as a virtual resume under EXPERIENCE, but be sure to showcase the work you’ve done that’s relevant for today’s potential clients. You don’t need to do it all at once, but eventually you’ll want to create a robust profile with relevant content in each prompted section.

2. Start connecting with the most obvious folks on your list.

This will include current employers (if you’re still working at a company), current colleagues, past colleagues, college friends, local business folks you know… anyone who comes to mind. You might make a big list on paper and then search for those people in LinkedIn’s SEARCH area. When you send a request to connect, always add a little personal note to say HI and let the person know what you’re doing. Here’s an example, “Hey Bob! Great to see you here. Just letting you know I’m now a Certified SEO Copywriter focusing on improving website performance for clients. Perhaps you know someone who could use my help? In the meantime, I’d love to add you to my LinkedIn Connections. What are you up to these days? Cheers, Pam”

3. Continue connecting with “People you may know.”

As you begin building a network of connections from all your past jobs, etc., LinkedIn feeds you a list of people who you may know based on your new connections. This list is a goldmine, so make the most of it!  You’ll find people you completely forgot about or you haven’t seen in years. With a quick invitation to connect, you suddenly strike up a new relationship that could lead to a great referral or project. I check out the “People you may know” at least once a week and send out at least 10 invitations each time. It adds up quickly.

4. Join Groups that are relevant to your business.

If your SEO copywriting work is for a particular niche market (which I highly recommend), join groups in that market. For example, I’m focused on the pet industry, so I’ve joined Pet Business groups and Veterinary groups. Joining groups helps you keep track of questions and topics that are important to your specific market, and when it makes sense, chime in on a discussion (without promoting your business of course, because no-one likes spammy participants).

5. Be an amazing contributor.

Whenever you can, use the “Share an update” box on your home page to post helpful tips, links, ideas, questions, answers, sources, industry news, etc. that your connections may find helpful. Try not to be overly promotional. Just be helpful. That’s the simple rule of thumb for all your social media efforts. And don’t forget to use relevant keywords in your posts! This helps potential clients find you in LinkedIn search.

Bonus tip: Ask for Recommendations and Give Recommendations.

LinkedIn makes it very easy to reach out to folks and ask for a personal recommendation of your work. By clicking on the Recommendations button, you can send a simple request via email. Be sure to add a personal message and offer to return the favor. Not everyone will stop and write a recommendation, but it’s great when some people do take the time. I’ve accumulated a nice list of testimonials through this feature.

This gives you a solid start on making the most of LinkedIn. There are many other ways you can make the most of this free resource once you get your foundation going.

Have you experienced any LinkedIn successes. … or heard about any from other SEO Copywriters? Please let us know. Also let us know if you have any other thoughts or findings related to LinkedIn.

Keep linking and good luck!

Pam Foster

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Author, The Web Copywriter’s Clear Path to Profits
SuccessWorks Certified SEO Copywriter and Sr. Content Marketing Consultant
ContentClear Marketing and PetCopywriter.com


 

Think Penny Wise, Search Foolish when it comes to investing in an SEO copywriter

Hello, all!

Today’s post is by Pam Foster, a highly experienced SEO copywriter and one of the first Certified SEO Copywriters in the world. Enjoy!

The other day, a marketer for a sophisticated mid-size national company inquired about hiring a professional SEO copywriter to improve his website’s search engine traffic and sales results.

He admitted that his website is in very tough shape (weak search engine rankings, not much activity on this site), and that he doesn’t know why. This kind of awareness is terrific — it’s the first step toward making big improvements!

So let’s quickly hit the key points about what’s wrong with his site”¦ those missing critical elements that drive results online these days:

  • The web pages don’t include a single keyphrase his ideal prospects may be using to find his company’s services in search engines such as Google and Bing.
  • The page titles and meta descriptions have absolutely no information about why someone would choose his company among the many options in search results
  • The messages on every page are all about “how great and cool our company is;”  not focused on what the customer needs
  • It doesn’t seem to set itself apart from the competition. There are no messages that differentiate this website from others in the same business category
  • It isn’t “conversion-focused,” meaning there are no inviting calls to action; no compelling reasons to sign up for his company’s emails, inquire about services, or buy anything

And that’s just for starters.

So as you can imagine, this marketer would find tremendous value in hiring a skilled SEO copywriter who knows exactly how to bring his website to life with a smart keyphrase strategy, customer-focused messages, and compelling sales copy that offers unique and exciting reasons to choose his company over others. Right?

In other words, copy like this would be “found money”in the bank for his website, yes?

Well, sadly he didn’t see it that way. He balked at the fees for hiring a professional, skilled SEO copywriter — someone who will offer a terrific return on his investment and deliver measurable results. Instead, he decided to search for a cheaper resource; even though his company can and should make the sound investment in what works.

Ah, well. He’ll soon find that this “Penny Wise, Search Foolish,” approach means he’ll end up working with someone who doesn’t know all it takes to write successful SEO copy. Therefore, his frugality will come back to bite him.

We hope to help you avoid this problem with the following logic.

We’re not saying you have to take out a second mortgage to invest in SEO copywriting that works. But if you plan on a budget of at least $500-$800 or more per page, you’ll soon find that it’s a drop in the bucket when you consider the immediate and long-term gains you’ll realize.

For example, let’s say a single new client is worth $1,000 to you (if you’re a consulting service). Or 20 new product sales may equal $1,000 if you’re a retailer; even more if you’re a B2B marketer.

So would a $500 web page investment today, that returns $1,000 in business tomorrow, be worth it? I’m pretty sure I hear you saying, “Heck, ya!” Plus, when you consider the long-term gain of each new customer relationship, the revenue potential is infinite. Trust me on this one.

It’s important to banish short-term thinking when investing in your web content. Instead, consider it a solid foundation that will support your business revenue growth for quite some time. (You wouldn’t build your dream house on quicksand, now would you?)

Thanks for giving this some serious consideration. Here’s to your web success!
Pam Foster

Guest blogger Pam Foster is the owner of ContentClear Marketing and PetCopywriter.com. Pam recently became one of the industry’s first web content writers to achieve SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting Certificatio,n” the world’s only SEO copywriting certification program.