A few months ago, I was reading a great post by one of my favorite bloggers on the subject of keyword article writing, also known as SEO writing (for those who may not know). This particular blog is known for initiating some very thoughtful conversations among other freelance writers who visit. At the time I was just getting started freelancing full-time, but I quickly learned how many writers out there perceive SEO writing.
Insults about "lowly SEO writers" were being hurled left and right. The discussion started out innocently where writers discussed the type of writing they did on a regular basis to support themselves. Things quickly went haywire and continued spiraling out of control.
I followed the comments throughout the day. I was afraid to post in defense of SEO writing because (1) I had just started doing it a week before and (2) I saw how my fellow SEO writers were being eaten alive. It was a hot mess. By the last time I checked in that day there were 45 comments. The number grew overnight. The first thing I did when I turned on my computer the next day was check the comments of that blog to see what I had missed. There was a new post where the blogger expressed her disappointment about the discussion. She had to resort to deleting posts because things had gotten so ugly that writers had resorted to name calling. Wow.
I got my start writing for newspapers and a couple of niche magazines. But I quickly found that SEO gigs were plentiful and paid well and often over time – something I needed as the primary bread winner in my family. SEO writing is what made it possible for me to go full-time almost immediately, and I didn't start out with those $1, $3 or $5 an article jobs either.
Today, I do a decent mix of copywriting and SEO along with my print publication gigs. One thing I found interesting about that blog blood bath is not one commenter that put down SEO writing bothered to qualify what DOES make a "real freelance writer." Well shoot, I guess we'll never know now.