SEO professionals don't have the best reputation in the freelance writing community. If anything, they take the brunt of the blame for the incredibly low-paying Web content writing market. You know the one I mean--where a penny per word is too rich for many buyers' blood.
As it turns out though, SEO professionals are making up for past "wrongs," by positively influencing the growing freelance blogging market.
The Blogging Market of Old
Over the past year or two, advertised blogging gigs were few and far between. Most paid blogging seemed to be full-timers or handled by marketing and PR firms for their clients.
When we did see freelance blogging jobs advertised, it was common for the typical pay to be $5 or so per post (sometimes even less).
Things are Changing
While there are plenty of blogging jobs still paying those absurdly low rates, there's a bright side--more and more blogging gigs are paying more.
Now it's far more common to find blogging jobs paying $10 - $25 or so per post, and I've seen plenty paying up to $50 per post.
Given, these higher rates are nothing to get excited about if you're already earning more or if you're able to get the un-advertised corporate blogging jobs, but for those Web content writers and niche bloggers struggling to break from penny-per-word markets, these jobs are a definite step up.
Why We Should Thank SEO Firms
Those writers who might benefit from the increasing pay trends in advertised blogging gigs should be thanking SEO firms. Sure, it's bad SEO advice that led to the market for crap, keyword-stuffed writing meant to appeal only to search engines, but the SEO field has come a long way.
More professional SEOs understand that their field is a function of PR--designed to build visibility and an audience. As that field grows, and professionals are understanding the real value SEO can bring to their clients, firms are moving away from garbarge content in favor of higher quality, authority content (which tends to bring better rankings and more natural incoming links than only on-site optimized SEO content and blog posts).
The firms are essentially "growing up." Their views and tactics are maturing, as is their advice to clients. These are the people who ultimately influence whether or not businesses are using freelance bloggers, blogging in-house, or not getting into blogging at all. Blogging has been turning into an extremely effective SEO tool, and when these professionals and firms advocate blogging, the market grows. As that market grows, demand for freelance blogging grows. As the demand grows, the prices increase.
This is what we've been witnessing over the last year, and it's (significantly) SEO professionals making that happen.
I've noticed the same trend in non-advertised blogging jobs that I hear about. People are paying more. While blogging has other marketing and PR benefits, one of the biggest reasons companies are getting into business blogging is the SEO value--they want to attract more visitors and customers, and they know blogs are great tools for attracting links and ranking higher in search engines.
What trends have you noticed if you're a freelance blogger? Even though the rates may not be as high as we'd like just yet, do you take any comfort in the fact that the rush for "cheap content" is (at least in one area) being superceded by the need for quality and authority posts?