How to make more money in 2011

2011 has been called “The Year of Content Marketing” – and that means many exciting income opportunities for smart SEO copywriters.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a SEO copywriting newbie, we all want to make mo’ money this year. Here are some places to start:

  • Done some great writing? Ask your client for a testimonial.  This is such a fundamental step – and yet, it’s one that’s easy to forget. For tips on how to ask for a testimonial, check out this post.
  • Show off your skills with clips and case studies. It’s one thing to have glowing testimonials. It’s another to have great “before and after” screen shots paired with success metrics.  If you have problems writing about your own company (a lot of writers do,) ask another writer to create your case studies for you. This is too important to put off, so do it now!
  • Get out of the house (or cubicle) and network. Yes, I know that you’re glued to your laptop screen for eight hours a day. Yes, I know that talking to people interrupts your writing flow. I get it. I really do. But if you want to be on the radar (especially if you work locally,) networking is important. Besides, for SEO copywriters who work from home, it gives us an excuse to wear something other than yoga pants and a tshirt (or maybe that’s just me….)
  • Work in-house? Ask your boss if you can freelance. Many companies don’t have problems with their employees doing “side work” as long as it doesn’t happen on company time. Having a couple freelance clients could help net a nice part-time income!
  • Touch base with “old” prospects. It’s a new year with spanking-new budgets. If you haven’t already, check in with some of 2010’s prospects and see how you can help. You may contact them at the perfect time – and they have a project needing someone with your exact skill set (Believe me, it happens!).
  • Fire clients if it’s just not clicking anymore. Maybe you have a client grandfathered in at your “old” rate – but you can’t afford to help them anymore. Or you have a client who, upon reflection, is a little more…intense…than you’d like – and you think they’d be better served elsewhere. Help them find another writer to work with and set them free. You’ll be happier…and they probably will be, too.
  • Raise your fees. The last couple years were very scary for some writers, so the idea of “raising fees” is terrifying (What if people won’t hire me? What if my fees are too high?) If you were working for bargain-basement prices during the recession- and you’re barely making it work – it’s time to raise your rates. If you feel like you can’t justify a rate raise, another solution is to…
  • Expand your service offerings. There’s a lot of talk about choosing a copywriting “niche” – but hey, some folks prefer variety. You may love creating newsletters, tweeting for clients and B2B technical manuals. And that’s perfectly OK. The more services you can offer your clients, the more ways you can help them (and the more ways you can make money, too!)
  • Deal with the overwhelm, fast. Feeling overwhelmed will sap your strength and put the breaks on your writing flow. For tips on how to overcome the overwhelm monster, check out this blog post. (This was one of my post popular blog posts of 2010…which shows how everyone is feeling a little frazzled.)
  • Take care of business. It’s amazing how much money we can make when we clear up our cash flow issues. Bill your clients on time, follow-up on your receivables and track your expenses. Or hire someone to do it. I’ve seen businesses fail because the owner let his receivables slide.
  • Continue your SEO copywriting education. Want to be a better writer? Work one-on-one with a mentor. Want to show clients you’ve mastered SEO copywriting best practices? Take the online SEO copywriting training for freelance and in-house copywriters. Anything you do to better yourself differentiates you from those “other” copywriters out there. It shows that you care enough about your profession to learn everything you can. Besides, mentoring and continuing education will make you a much better writer. Really.

What ideas would you add to this list?

(Thanks to my SEO Copywriting Certificate students for inspiring this post!)