Become an SEO Content Writer Like a PRO [in 2023]

What exactly is an SEO content writer and how is it different from a regular content writer?

To put it into simpler words, an SEO content writer goes beyond the traditional process of content writing to incorporate a few other elements into a blog post. These elements together help the content attract more organic traffic from Google and other search engines.


It’s called search engine optimization and if you don’t know what this is, you must read this article carefully.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO pretty much means the process of optimizing your blog posts to rank better on the search engine results page. As per experts, there are more than 200 ranking factors that Google uses today. You don’t have to worry about all 200 factors, just focusing on these will help you outrank most of the articles:

  • High-quality Content that solves a particular problem
  • Search Intent and Content Relevancy
  • Keyword Optimization
  • Content Structure
  • On-page Experience
  • Images

Yes, there are a few other ranking factors that are vital but those are out of your control. So, we’ll focus on the above-listed ones later in this tutorial instead.

Difference between a content writer and an SEO content writer?

Believe it or not, there’s only a small difference between a regular content writer and an SEO content writer. All you have to do is have a ground-level understanding of SEO and the target audience.

A regular content writer pumps out a piece of content for the audience without thinking much about search engines and the inbound marketing aspect of content production.

It’s okay to go this route but many businesses today look for content writers who can also optimize the piece for search engines before publishing it on their website.

It takes some effort to optimize a blog post or article but it’s nothing an experienced content writer cannot accomplish within 1 hour.

So, if you are a content writer who’s ready to up their content writing game, let’s get started.

Master the SEO aspect of content writing.

What if I tell you that your content needs to accomplish a single goal and that goal is “solving the problem” and that’s more than enough to compel search engines to send high-quality traffic your way? All other SEO factors are secondary in comparison.

Think about it.

Why do people visit web pages?

They are looking for a solution.

What would you do if you find a perfectly SEO-optimized piece of content that doesn’t offer the solution you were looking for?

You would simply click away and find some other website that offers the solution.

Understanding the psychology behind SEO is that simple.

Get to the point

So, first and foremost, you must focus on creating content that gets right to the point instead of beating around the bush. When someone lands on your article, they should be introduced to the problem and the solution.

Produce a well-researched content

Most people when writing an article forget the most important part of contr writing itself. It is not the length of the article that decides its fate on Google, it is the quality of content and information included in the article. If you write a 5000-word article with no fresh information, it might not attract any organic visitors from Google. 

A well-researched article will always outrank an outdated report. 

That’s the reason why you find so many thousand-word articles that rank better than long-form content on Google. 

That’s the reason why you should always prioritize research and citations more than anything when writing an article. If a particular piece of information is relevant to your article, you must include it. 

That’s it, you should also not include irrelevant pieces of information and your content just for the sake of it. Users will not find the information useful and it will only increase the word count of your article.

Link out to reputed research and articles

Linking out to reputed pieces of content and research will hint to Google that your article is related to the said topic. By doing so, you increase your chances of showing up on search results when somebody searches for particular information that is available on a different website. 

Let’s say that you are writing an article on mountain bikes and you find an interesting article that talks about modifying the suspension of a mountain bike for maximum shock absorption. You include a link to this article in your blog post because you are pretty sure that people who read your article will find the said article also useful. 

Now gradually Google will rank your article for the keyword that you are targetting. Still, whenever somebody searches for suspension modification on a mountain bike, your blog article may also appear in the search result. 

Keyword optimization

When I read content written by paid content writers, sometimes I wonder which keyword they are targeting. Although their content checks a lot of boxes when it comes to satisfying the user’s intent, they forget about one important aspect of ranking contact on Google. This aspect is called keyboard targetting. Focusing on a single keyword in your article will help you in ranking for that particular keyboard in Google search results. 

Let’s say that you are writing content on baseball bats, for some reason you don’t even include the term “baseball bat” a single time in your contact. How do you think Google will be able to gauge if your content is about a baseball bat or not? 

You don’t have to go deep into keyboard Optimisation but doing some basic keyboard Optimisation will definitely help you in the long run. 

Mentioning your target keyword a couple of times in your article will definitely help search engines figure out what your article is all about. 

That said many experts in the Search Engine Optimisation world believe that Google and other search engine use machine learning to determine the quality and relevance of content. So keyword Optimisation may not be as relevant as one might think. But I Would Still strongly suggest you include keywords inside your articles organically just in case. 

To be honest with you if you are writing content on a particular topic, you might already be including target keywords naturally inside the article.

Content structure

The structure of your content plays a big role in creating an engaging reading experience. Your articles should follow a particular flow of information.

You should have an introduction, explanation, and conclusion.

Each of these segments must have an adequate amount of information that satisfies a user’s search intent.

In the introduction section, you should tease the readers with a small snippet of what’s about to come and in the explanation section, you should illustrate your solution in the conclusion section, and you should provide the users with a summary of the entire blog post. Make sure to not make the conclusion section more than 300 words.

Now, let’s talk about some technical structures.

  1. Never use the H1 tag(Main Title) more than once. In most cases, the title of your blog post is an H1 Heading.
  2. Use a couple of H2 tags with your keywords if you can. If keyword inclusion isn’t possible, don’t force it. You can have multiple H2 tags inside a single blog post.
  3. Include some H3 tags for sub-headings of sections.
  4. Don’t use H3 or H4 tags before an H2 tag. Once you insert an H2 tag, you can include as many H3 tags and once you include an H3 tag, you can also include as many H4 tags as possible.
  5. Include images in every single section of your blog post. Screenshots, product pictures, and illustrations work best but if you don’t have these, include a section image that you can easily download from Forget not to include your keywords in some of these images and always insert an ALT tag for your images. If your images don’t load, at least people will be able to determine what it was about using the ALT text.
  6. Break your long paragraphs into smaller sections. It’s a well-known fact that’s preached by several sought-after SEO gurus that smaller paragraphs are easy on the eyes and longer paragraphs could overwhelm readers and they might not even get started with the article.
  7. Link out to relevant, high-quality resources related to your topic. This improves your credibility as you are citing resources to back your claims and you are hinting to Google that you are a legit website.
  8. Link to internal articles that are already present in your client’s blog. 

These are all the SEO checklist items that you must take care of when writing an article. Skipping these would definitely hinder the search engine ranking process.

Proper usage of images

A picture is worth a thousand words.

I have linked out to the Wikipedia article in case you want to learn why. In short, today, most of us are visual readers. We prefer videos, images, and illustrations over large chunks of text. 

An image can quickly help you to compel users to focus on a specific set of data. This set of data could be:

  • Affiliate information
  • Graphs
  • Pie charts
  • Summary of a blog post with Infographics

Remember that you can also include snippets of texts from other blog posts from the web as well. 

Also, just because images are vital for SEO, don’t include irrelevant images that add no value to the blog post. Your primary goal is to create a superb article and not to convert a webpage into an image gallery. 

Furthermore, the more images you use, the longer it will take your webpage to load.

Career scope for an SEO content writer.

As you might have heard, talented SEOs and SEO content writers are always in high demand. Every marketing agency and content marketing firm always has openings and vacancies.

The image below shows how much firms are willing to pay for an SEO content writer.

SEO Content writer jobs

There’s always going to be a huge demand for SEO content writers because:

  1. There are only three ways to drive traffic to your website;
    1. Search engine traffic
    2. Social media 
    3. Paid Advertisement
  2. Paid ads are getting very expensive.
  3. Social media is unpredictable and social media platforms are notorious for de-platforming blogs, news portals, and similar websites.
  4. Search engine traffic is free and once you rank one article on Google, you will get traffic for years to come.

Don’t want to work as an employee? 

Well, you’d be excited to know that many businesses want to hire somebody to just write content for their business website as they are not willing to spend thousands of dollars on paid traffic.

All you have to do is reach out to them and show them a few sample articles that you have written.

Where do you get this sample content and where should you publish these articles?

Get your portfolio up and running.

So, you understand the importance of SEO content writers in the content marketing space and you also know that you have it to become a money-making SEO content writer. The next question is, “Where do you publish your sample articles to attract customers?”


You will definitely need a portfolio to get started as a freelance content writer and creating a portfolio is a simple task today.

I use WordPress and it is pretty straightforward for me but you are free to use any blogging platform out there.

Step#1: Sign up for a domain name.

Hands down the best domain hosting platform in the market are Google domains. It’s a straightforward domain name registrar with no hidden charges. So, you can head over to Google domains to get started with your domain registration process. 

SEO Content writer

A few things to note when registering a domain name:

  • Always go for the .com version of the domain.
  • Don’t register a domain name that sounds like a famous brand. 
  • Select a simple domain name that’s not longer than three words.
  • Never get the free domain name given by your web hosting provider. You will not be able to easily migrate the domain name if needed in the future.

Step#2: Get your web hosting.

If you don’t have any experience with a website hosting provider or server hosting, the best choice would be to go with a decent shared web hosting provider such as Bluehost

Bluehost hosting

Bluehost is one of those web hosting platforms that has made a name for itself through great customer support, reliable hosting solution, and happy customers. 

As a new blogger, what more could you possibly ask for?

Their affordable shared hosting plans are more than enough to get started as an SEO content writer.

One major bonus you get with Bluehost is that it is extremely optimized for WordPress. As soon you log in, you will be able to get started with a “One-Click” WordPress installation process. Within 5 minutes, your WordPress website will be live and you will be good to go with your content creation.

That said, if you are an IT geek who loves playing around with much more powerful stuff, I would strongly recommend you try Linode. It is one of the oldest running VPS providers out there. You can do what you want with it and install packages that are essential for the job. 

Again, Linode is not for a non-technie person. If you are a content writer with no technical background with servers, you should stick with Bluehost instead. Keep in mind, you are here to get started with your content portfolio.

Step#3: Set up WordPress.

Setting up WordPress with Bluehost is simple. All you have to do is click on a few buttons are you will end up with a fine blog at the end.

The below images will illustrate the process for you.

bluehost homepage
seo content writer
Bluehost seo content writer
Bluehost image
Final bluehost become seo content writer

I have not included the images after the signup process is completed as they are pretty basic and I am sure that you can take care of them yourself.

Furthermore, when setting up your blog, make sure to uninstall all the plugins that come preinstalled in your new WordPress website.

Also, you can install these plugins to add more functionality to your WordPress websites:

You can a few more plugins if you need but keep in mind, if you add too many plugins to your website, it will make your website slow and irritate your visitors.

Step#4: Select a premium or free WordPress theme.

Yes, there are plenty of free themes that could get the job done but investing in a great free theme will help you in ensuring a few things such as:

  • Regular updates and security patches.
  • Customer support.
  • Peace of mind.
  • Multiple templates to choose from.

If these aren’t enough, the performance alone should be enough for you to consider a premium theme over any free theme out there.

I wouldn’t recommend you get those “free” themes that nag you to pay money to unlock all features. Because the free versions of these themes don’t actually have any useful features unlocked. Imported customization features are locked.

If you have a budget for a premium theme under $200, I would recommend you get either:

If you don’t want to spend this much money on a template, you can hop on to and select any theme you like. Make sure to use “Portfolio” as your search term.


All the themes that you get from Themeforest come with a lifetime update and upgrade option, you also get a limited period of customer support from the theme developer.

Step#5: Get started with a blog to establish yourself as an SEO content writer.

Now that your website is up and running, all you need to do is start a blog on your portfolio site. This is where you publish sample articles to attract your future clients. This is also the place where you will publish content to prove that you have what it takes.

A blog section shouldn’t look complicated or busy. It should be minimal and balanced. 

In the blog archive section you should have the following elements:

  • About section with a small introduction.
  • A few articles rank well on Google.
  • Case studies.
  • Former client brand logos.

On the actual blog post page, you shouldn’t have any of these elements. The blog post page should focus on the main content of your blog post instead.

You can have the following elements there:

  • About the author below the actual blog post.
  • Social media sharing icons.
  • A CTA section for your clients to contact you.

Step#6: Start writing blog posts.

Writing SEO content is different from writing a regular blog post. In a regular blog post, you can write whatever you want without thinking about keywords, related keywords, keyword density, and more. 

In SEO content, you need to focus on all of these elements. Especially, if you are building your portfolio, it is important to include these elements as they will prove to any potential clients that you can actually write content that’s search engine optimized.

When I write content for my clients, I follow this checklist to make sure I end up with a complete piece of content:

  1. Find the seed/focus/primary keyword and related keywords for the same.
  2. Come up with a few section titles.
  3. Do some research and find reputed citations to boost the credibility of your content.
  4. Include screenshots, section images, and quotations if needed.
  5. Break long paragraphs into smaller ones.
  6. Use vocabulary that can be understood by an 8th-grade student. 
  7. Keep the flow of the article clear. Go from point A to point B. Don’t include random information or else it will confuse your audience.
  8. Start with an introduction and end with a summary. Include keywords organically in each of these sections.
  9. Don’t focus on writing long-form content. Don’t go beyond 3000 words. Nobody reads such long articles.

Focus on a single niche/top.

Pick your niche and stick with it. Read as much as you can and become an authority content writer of the said niche. 

Brands want to hire experts to write content because they assume that the content will have solid information. They don’t have to worry about people giving negative feedback and Google not ranking the article due to the content not adding any value.

When I started out as a technical writer, I was excited about a few topics which included computers and hardware, but I wanted to dive into the world of digital marketing. So, I started reading every single article published on SEO, marketing, and social media marketing.

I noted down my findings and kept reading old-school marketing books to understand the core idea behind marketing, negotiation, and the psychology of selling.

Today, I can confidently write about marketing all day long. There are so many article ideas and I don’t have to worry about scoring new clients as I have a list of loyal clients.

All this happened because I decided to stick to a specific niche; Digital marketing. 

If you write content on any given topic, you will not have an identity in the market. 

People don’t contact me to get a Pet related article written. They contact me when they need an article on digital marketing or SEO.

So, stick to a particular niche and become an expert in that niche. It will take some time but you will get there.

Reach out to businesses in your niche.

Your local businesses may be looking for a content marketing partner to help them establish their presence online. Maybe they already have a content marketing team but they need someone to take care of the writing part. 

So, if you reach out to them with your portfolio and proof of work, they will gladly welcome you to their team. 

You don’t have to limit your reach out boundary to your city, you can reach out to businesses and startups in other districts and cities.

As they say, content is king and there’s always a need for content writers who can help a brand reach its true potential online.

Find out where your target clients hang out.

Think about it.

Where are your target businesses hanging out?

On LinkedIn, Quora, or Twitter? Or maybe they are active on some internet forums?

Think from your client’s perspective and figure out where they post questions online.

Once you figure that out, you can start answering questions and establishing yourself as an expert there.

I reply to a lot of queries on LinkedIn and Quora. And occasionally, I get a few short-term clients from these forums. 

If you are starting out as an SEO content writer, you could just use Quora and LinkedIn to land a few clients. If you price your services accordingly and offer high-quality articles, you may be able to convert them into long-term clients easily. 

Establish your presence on YouTube.

YouTube is huge. No matter who you are, no matter where you are, somebody nearby might be watching something on YouTube. It has not only become a widely used platform, but it’s also started to replace traditional media such as mainstream news, entertainment, and music sources. 

Youtube become an SEO content writer

It makes sense to start a YouTube account to post educational content to help people. In comparison to traditional text-based content, YouTube videos noticed a swifter growth and great exposure in the short term. 

Google itself prefers article that has relevant video content from YouTube

You don’t have to become a full-time content creator on YouTube but if you upload 2 videos every week, you will see significant growth in the long term. Not to mention, your potential clients may see your videos on YouTube and decide to hire you.

YouTube is a free platform and if you become popular enough on YouTube, you will be able to monetize your video and generate a passive income that way.

Increase your pricing gradually.

Obviously, new writers aren’t going to make as much as seasoned ones. So, pricing yourself inappropriately will push away interested parties in the beginning. Once you have written 50+ articles, you could gradually increase your pricing. 

When I started writing content back in 2014, I was making somewhere around $50-$70/per article. My article was:

  • At least 1200 words long.
  • 100% optimized for search engines.
  • 100% original.
  • Images, screenshots, and citations were included.
  • Internal links and links to other reputed resources.

Within three months of offering this service, I had secured 21 repeat customers who wanted to place bulk orders and some even wanted to hire me full-time with a contractual commitment.

So, I increased my pricing from ~$50 to ~$99. The number of clients dropped but I was still making three times the revenue.

People who wanted the same level of quality were willing to pay extra for the work. I want to work with such people. 

Eventually, after working for 14 months with this price, I hiked the prices again from ~$99 to ~$150 and my clients were happy to continue with my services.

Some key takeaways here are:

  • It only took me around 4 hours to complete writing an article.
  • I was able to write more than 20 articles each month without compromising on quality.
  • In case my clients needed longer articles, I charged accordingly.
  • I was easily making $3,500/mo on average.

That said, if I had decided to hike my prices sooner, most of my clients would have left me for some cheap content writer on Fiverr. I had to spoil them with quality and quantity to convince them to stick with me. I never excluded the regular items that made my blog posts rank. 

Quality of the content always took precedence.

Conclusion: Becoming an SEO content writer

Building a career out of writing content is not an easy job. In essence, you are going negotiate, argue, and explain things to people who aren’t experts in writing content.

Sometimes, you will feel lost and nothing will be clear.

It has happened to me countless times. 

For me, the only reason for continuing to create text-based content is the freedom it offers. I am making more money than most people my age and I am doing that while traveling, never missing family gatherings, studying university courses on the side, and helping out my community. 

I can decide which clients to work with and which ones to avoid. 

I am my own boss.

That’s all that matters.