Mar 292012

‘Well, who’d want to hire a crappy writer’, I want to scream at these ads I read on or craigslist, on just about everywhere else. Like you I search the boards, get email updates for writing work, I am out and about hustling my freelancing ass to the far corners of the globe trying to find decent paying gigs (or even just gigs that pay) as I live the dream of being a writer. And I don’t care if you are penning SEO content (which I do a lot of the time) or writing anything else for hire, you want to be paid a decent wage, doncha?

But I see jobs for ridiculously low pay on highly respected writing boards all the time! And all anybody ever wants is to hire a good writer, someone well-versed in exactly the kind of writing an employer needs, but that employer is not willing to pay the right amount of money, they expect samples (and we all know what that means…they cull a bunch of free samples from a bunch of writers, gather all the content they need and never hire a writer) and they don’t understand why they have to keep posting!

Here’s my quick and easy take: You went and hired whomever you hired or at the very least took the time to create your website (and granted that can be done easily these days in wordpress and the like) but still it cost you time, effort and consideration, right? Why cheap-out and pay so little for a writer to create content (SEO or otherwise) that could literally make or break your website. And I double dog guarantee you if you do cheap-out you are going to get what you pay for as most writers worth anything know what they are worth (give or take) and will charge accordingly and will work with a client to bring in quality work for a budget. Our work is our resume after all and we want to do lots of it, well, but get paid a fair wage.

So, while you might be a good writer and clients might be looking for good writers beware….not so many are ready to pay a good price for good writing.

Jan 192012

Low and behold, writers’ work is being undervalued. What a surprise!

Unfortunately from the ads I read on Freelancers Marketplace and in Craig’s List (God knows why I am still looking for work on Craig’s List, I should be looking for killers, right?) the prices for what we do have not increased, if anything they seem to be going into the toilet. Attempting to stay humble in the SEO writing I do, trying to consider myself as well as the work as simply work and nothing to get my panties all in a twist about (and if it’s a Tuesday you probably can catch me in panties) I really don’t ever gauge anybody with the prices I ask and if anything seriously all jobs that come my way, since being a freelancer you really don’t have much of a choice.

But some of these salaries,$3 per a 500 word blog, for instance? Are we kidding? There is a fine line between selling yourself and selling yourself short. I know we all need the work, I know lots of people claim they can shoot out weekly blogs, review and renew existing SEO copy or create new, but let me assure my little droogies, not everybody can do this work and those of us who can should not be treated as if we are just like everybody else, treated like it didn’t take a while to nurture these skills we have, treated like it doesn’t much matter if we work for slave wages because, let’s face it, we’re just lowly writers.

The web is the great wasteland kids, though it might make us some money and see us manage a one-handed chat or two. Everybody comes on, every puts their band’s music up on Facebook and every thinks they can write or at the very least can hire just any ole writer to do any ole job…and pay nothing for it. You don’t have to think you are ‘all that’ to demand a decent day’s pay for your work and you certainly don’t have to accept pay that undervalues you.

Nov 172011

I don’t know how to say this without just coming out and saying it…you don’t need a website anymore.

What I mean specifically is, if your client is spending tons of cash on a site builder, enlisting the opinion (and paying for that opinion) of a site designer and he is including you in on the budget for some SEO copy, that’s all well and good, but really all any of us need these days is a WordPress, Typad or Drupal site or something comparable. And if your client goes this way-a much cheaper way of creating a web presence-it will only benefit you in the end.

So I guess what I am saying is, if your opinion matters in the process of a client’s budget or concerns know that he will be better served by going the easier, cheaper way.

Why is this better for you, the master SEO scribe?

Basically the client is the master of his or her domain with W.P., Typad, etc.He can change or allow you access to change content and update at will, he will not be at the mercy of the site’s developer and therefore neither will you. This is especially helpful if you are blogging for somebody (or a few somebody’s) on a regular basis, as you can just pop on a site, do what you need to and pop off, leaving you to your weekly missives, articles, options that you been hired to write.

In making SEO easier, it is sometimes not just how you write what you write and the tools of the trade I can impress upon you but also the logistics of taking the easy way over the hard if you can.

Press the press my fellow droogs, press the press.

Sep 222011

If you get in the lucky position where you have too many paying writing gigs on your plate, you’re going to have to manage your time and stick to the gigs that either pay the most or the ones you really love (hopefully these can sometimes be the same job). When it comes to SEO writing, unlike other writing gigs, you really do have to allot a lot of time to the blogs or articles you are writing.

Now don’t come down on me for saying (which I’m not) that other writing gigs are not as hard as SEO writing, I’m just relating from my experience-which lately has been mainly SEO writing-that out of all the time-intensive SEO writing you are attempting you have to push to the forefront those that pay you the most for your time, or that you love (hopefully these can be the same job…where have I heard that before?)

If you are given specific keywords by a client this writing job will probably easier then if you got to go search for or think-up keywords yourself (I have told you before you should figure these two alternatives into your overall price when first determining the job), but the job that’s easier might pay you less, if your client is a savvy guy or girl. Really, do yourself a favor and weigh your options here.

I sometimes have clients come to me with a promise to send a goodly sum to my paypal to begin some seo blogging for the month and while the am’t seems large at the time we need to project into the future how much time this writing is going to take us and if the am’t you are promised is worth that time and if this job is worth you maybe putting others on the back burner. If you are a writer you’re probably not great in math (I suck at math) but really try to figure these jobs out by how many hours it’s going to take you to do them then see what you’re making an hour.

If you do this you’ll be able to weigh your options (if you have them) and say no or maybe later, to jobs that simply don’t pay you enough or take up too much of your time.

Apr 212011

So what happened recently, if you haven’t heard, was that Google began cracking down on content houses over their output. Seems that some people were handing back rather shoddy written work for blogs and articles that were to be used on the web. You know, all the stuff I try to tell you not to do; keyword stuffing, blogs that had little or no meaning, just a seeming bunch of paragraphs to drop keywords into, over-all sophomoric content written by people who are not really writers. It is good for us scribes who do this voodoo that we do and consider it a real job, bad news for houses that simply churned out stuff with no care for the quality.

If you were to hold my feet to the fire-and I’m kinda into that, so have at it, just make sure you buy me a soda first-I wouldn’t be able to tell you what is good or bad writing. I am not the grammar police (ever see some of my stuff?) so I really wouldn’t know what’s good or bad, but I do think I know a thing about SEO and SEO as it applies to the adult industry, but an expert I aint’. And in fact, if anybody tells you they are an expert-about anything-take it from your old uncle Ralphie with the charred tootsies, they ain’t an expert either.

What I can tell you about SEO is, the keywords need to relate bro (either the client will provide them or you will be asked to research for some…and for this you damn well better be charging), the keywords need to sit nice and comfy in the article, blog, what-have-you and the article, blog, what-have-you need to be about something and something germane to the site you are writing for…unless your client tells you they do not want it to be germane.

But I can’t sit here and advise you what is good writing or bad, I just know what moves me when I see it and what doesn’t. The actual good or bad part is subjective, even Google’s not cracking down on that part of the writing, they are cracking down on writing that reeks of pure badly placed SEO and rambling content.

But I can tell you this for sure….if you are out there writing SEO content for clients you damn well better step-up your game because the stakes are higher now and big brother-of Google-is watching.

Aug 122010

Not that my name means much to anyone except me (and it hardly does me) I do think a quick introduction is in order. More to see my credits listed then to impress, I am a freelancer in this writing thang we do, having been published in small press, major market, anthos and on-line; penning blogs, essays, SEO webcopy (more on that in a bit), produced one-acts (so off off Broadway they have been produced in northern NJ where I live), short fiction, reviews and interviews, 800# pre-recorded scripts and my weekly column SEX FILES at a website to be named later. I also have a music show on Radiodentata and am an ASCAP licensed songwriter, having played in the US and abroad.

So that’s me, for good or bad.

The main gist, point, fol-de-rol and fiddle dee dee of what I will present here we be the ins and outs of SEO (that’s search engine optimization) in the sex writing field, where it fits in and how and why to do it. Since I write everything from P.R. for clients, to product descriptions, interviews and even short gonzo pieces, and almost all of it needs to have some sort of SEO compliance, I might be in a position to give some tips, advice or at least answer questions about this voodoo that we do.

The thing I have come to see (and I’m sure you have also) is how all bets are off these days. The table lists constantly. One day one type of doing something is the only way, and by the end of the week the rules change. As seems to happen more and more, the Net allows for so much freedom while at the same time opening doors to ways of thinking and working that are seen as innovative on a Monday but grow obsolete by Friday. What I will be on about here is ways of writing more dictated by trends and market-place rules then your own little style and way of writing that makes you you. And while in all my writing I endeavor to find my own voice, I do find I am implementing so many new paradigms as the days go on that sometimes make my head spin.

To this end I am ever learning. I don’t take everything to heart, some ideas or trends are simply too silly or don’t apply with what I do, but writing copy with a specific eye on SEO is different then penning the great American novel in your enviable style. And though I don’t start my fingers flying with the express purpose of stuffing keywords into every line nor am I even compelled to do so with every scribble, this way of thinking has crept into the work I do when I am hired to do the work this way.

Again, I really do hope I have something to offer here. I do not have a rarified view of what I do, of art in general. I think that anything you do with a passion is artful. If you have a desire to lift, topple and shift garbage from a garbage can, and this is a job you take pride and view as artful, then it is just as important as another guy or gal penning that great American novel. And maybe that’s what I’ll leave you with today. Nothing specific in the way of SEO writing or its ilk, but more an idea that whatever you do do, if you do do it well and want to do do it well, that you are approaching that thing you do ‘artfully’ and beyond paying attention to a certain number of keywords in your copy or fitting in the website name in a blog or article, maybe the most important aspect of anything you do is to always endeavor to do it with care, passion and some sort of artfulness.

 Then again, I’m new here, what the hell do I know?