Every business with an online presence can benefit from SEO content.
Whether you have a thriving business or have just launched your first product, you need content that will satisfy both your audience and the almighty algorithm.
But SEO is more than just stuffing in the right keywords. A good SEO content writer understands the strategies that will get your business the results it needs.
If you’re reading this article, it means you’re probably on the hunt for a great SEO content writer that drives traffic, conversions, and revenue.
Since that’s exactly what we do here at Embarque, we’ve put together this complete guide to finding and hiring the content writing talent that will get business where you want it to be.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
What To Look for in a Good SEO Writer
SEO writing is half art and half science. It needs to engage your audience and keep them coming back for more, while still appeasing Google’s ranking algorithms by paying attention to things like keyword relevance and site authority.
A good SEO writer understands both of these (sometimes competing) goals and works them into the content they create and your overall content strategies. But beyond this general knowledge, you should also look for someone who has the following skills:
On-Page SEO Knowledge
On-page SEO includes everything from the tags, titles, and headings of a web page to the content itself. A good SEO writer knows how to incorporate on-page SEO best practices into their writing without making it sound robotic or forced.
What are these on-page SEO best practices, you ask? There are a few:
- Keyword Placement: Whether you have pre-selected keywords for your niche or you want your writer to find keywords for you, you need someone with the skill to incorporate these keywords into your content. And keyword placement does matter – you want the exact keywords you want to rank for, preferably in a long-tail format.
- Internal & External Linking: It’s also helpful to have relevant internal or external links attached to the keywords. This helps search engines see that the keyword is both important, and relevant to other content.
- Research Skills: SEO content writers need to be able to research the topics they’re writing about. Good writers will be able to quickly and accurately dig up the information needed to provide a comprehensive and valuable SEO content piece.
It’s important to note that lots of SEO content writers only handle writing. Not exactly a revelation, I know. But if you’re looking for end-to-end SEO support that includes content planning, keyword research, and back linking, you may need to work with an agency like Embarque or hire a content strategist in addition to a writer.
Off-Page SEO Strategies
To use a metaphor, off-page SEO strategies are the skeleton that gives your website structure and on-page SEO is what fills it in. In other words, a good SEO content writer needs to understand off-page strategies, too.
There are a few key skills you should be looking for here:
- Content Pillars: Content pillars help give your website a structure by contextualizing niche content within larger themes. It also helps plan your content strategy, so you always have something to post about.
- Link Building: Link building (or back linking) is the process of getting links from other well-established sites in your niche to point back to your site. This shows Google that other sites recognize you as an authority. This isn’t something that an SEO content writer will necessarily handle for you, but having knowledge of how to create content (ie link baits) that can organically garner backlinks is a powerful tool for improving your site’s ability to rank.
Where To Hire the Best SEO Content Writers
So now you know what to look for in an SEO content writer—where do you actually find this person?
The Internet is full of content writers (and people claiming to be content writers), but finding the good ones can be a challenge. Let’s take a look at some of the most reliable ways to find top-notch SEO content writers.
When you work with an SEO agency, you get more than just a content writer.
Yes, you get access to professional-quality writing talent. But behind the scenes is an entire team that can handle fact-checking, editing, content strategy, on- and off-page SEO, link building, and more. Plus, you don’t need to worry about managing and coordinating an entire team—your agency liaison takes care of all that.
At Embarque, we work with you to create a service package that meets your needs. Want to order a standalone article? No problem. Want us handle link building, content writing, keyword research, and CMS publishing? We can do that, too.
We work with writers across multiple different niches to serve clients in a range of industries—from SaaS to childcare to podcasting. Want to learn more? Check out our selection of case studies to see our approach to SEO content in action. Or, contact us today to see how we can bring the same results to you and your business.
2. Freelance Marketplaces
Freelance marketplaces are great for connecting with a lot of SEO content writers. Some sites feature thousands of profiles that you can browse through, with reviews and samples to help you make a decision.
Here are a few sites to get you started:
- Upwork: Upwork is the world’s largest freelancer marketplace by revenue. You can post a job and freelancers and will come to you with their best offers and pitches, making it a low stress way to connect with writers.
- Fiverr: Fiverr is a great Upwork alternative with a huge network of freelance writers. It can be a great way to connect with talented writers if you’re willing to weed through a ton of low quality listings. Fiverr doesn’t vet their freelancers, so you’ll need to base your decision off of writing samples and reviews alone.
- Toptal: Toptal is an alternative to Upwork and Fiverr that only works with the “top 3% of freelancers”. This focus on quality over quantity makes it a great choice if you’re looking to hire experienced SEO content writers and strategists. It’s going to cost you, though!
3. Networking and Outreach
If you're not interested in combing through hundreds of profiles in a freelance marketplace, you can always use traditional networking to find the best content writers.
Start by asking your contacts in similar industries for referrals. If that doesn’t work, try searching for SEO content writers on LinkedIn using the advanced search feature. For example, if you’re looking for someone in the healthcare industry, use the keywords “healthcare” and “content writer” and see who pops up.
Alternatively, cold outreach is always an option. There are two simple options for doing this:
- Organic Search: A simple Google search for “SEO content writers” will give you a list of potential targets. You can then reach out to them directly with an email pitch.
- Competitor Research: If you have competitors in your industry, check out their websites and see who’s writing content for them. Reach out to those writers with a pitch.
4. AI Tools
There’s been a great deal of buzz lately about AI—what it can do and what it's going to be able to do in the very near future. One of the newest applications is AI-powered content writing.
There are new AI-powered writing assistants popping up all the time, but three of the most popular are:
- ChatGPT: A (temporarily) free AI chatbot developed by OpenAI that can generate content on its most topics with nothing more than a simple prompt.
- Jasper: Probably the most advanced AI-powered writing assistant currently on the market, Jasper can generate entire articles from scratch on any topic.
- Frase: Frase is a content writing assistant with the added benefit of being able to optimize for SEO.
These tools are obviously exciting for business owners who need content but don’t have the resources to hire a full-time writer.
But there's a major caveat—AI-generated content does not come close to competing with human-generated content in the realm of SEO. Sure, you can use an AI-powered tool to pump out keyword-rich content, but without the human touch, it’s unlikely to rank highly in search engine results.
Why? AI-generated content is robotic, lacks nuance, and often comes across as spammy. So while AI content generators can be helpful for getting basic blog posts written quickly, they shouldn’t be used as a full-time content writing solution.
Create Results-Driven Content With Embarque
Embarque is a content marketing agency that specializes in SEO-friendly, results-driven content.
Our experienced writers understand how to craft copy that's optimized for search engines and engaging for readers. So, whether you need website copy, blog posts, or comprehensive content writing services, we can help.
Reach out today to learn more about how Embarque can help your business reach its content marketing goals.