It’s been three years now. For three years I have been offering freelance writing services to any who need a talented writer, and I have found my way into some pretty interesting places.
I started as a journalist writing for newspapers and websites, and now I have branched out to content writing, blogging, PR, and copywriting. Early in my career I figured out that if I want to make a decent living at this freelance writing game I have to do a lot more than just write for newspapers. That medium has outlived its usefulness as the world increasingly goes digital, so the market for freelance work in the journalism industry seems to get smaller every day. Journalism still has a lot of value for freelancers in that it puts your byline in front of a lot of people, especially if you’re writing for a national newspaper as I have. I have several clients who found me after reading one of my features in the National Post.
Today, I don’t seem to do much journalism stuff at all. The bulk of what I do now is content and copywriting. I don’t get any bylines, but that’s okay since I have accumulated enough clips and I am making a much more stable income with what I’m doing now. Even still, I need to diversify further. I need to add more skills to my suite of services.
So what can I do? For a long time I have considered doing something that doesn’t involve writing as I have often found myself battling burnout from doing so many different writing assignments and still making time to work on my own writing projects. A change of pace would be beneficial but going back to school is out of the question because of how outrageously expensive it is in Canada, and I am not willing to move back to Toronto so I can get a regular 9-5 again. But now I believe I’ve found the perfect next stage in my freelance career: SEO.
It’s not exactly writing, but it isn’t completely different from what I’m already doing. In fact, SEO marketing would be the perfect compliment to my writing services. For example, I could hook another business client and write blogs for them as I normally do but I could also sell them on my SEO services which would turn out a lot more work. It would also provide a whole new stream of income which certainly doesn’t hurt. SEO is a highly sought after service these days since having a strong web prescience is essential to success in today’s marketplace, but to get the most out of your webpage you need to search-engine-optimize it and that isn’t something just anyone can do. It’s a form of passive digital marketing that can turn a webpage into an inbound lead generation machine.
A good way to start would be to SEO my own website. I get a pathetically low amount of daily traffic, so if I can even apply SEO principles here that might be enough to give my business a shot in the arm. But of course I have to begin with learning the basics and all the techniques and technologies involved in SEO’ing things. The good news is that it isn’t very hard to learn and I have read that you can teach yourself everything you need to know in a weekend. While there are courses that cost as much as college tuition, I’d be a fool to sink my money into that. The internet and the public library have all the information I need. All it takes is a little focus and persistence. Both of those things I happen to have in stock.