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An SEO copywriter writes all the textual content for a digital marketing agency. This can mean anything from website content to blog posts, press releases to articles on a given subject specific to a client's business. It’s a creative position within one of the UK's few boom industries, and is therefore a great opportunity for recent Arts graduates who are unsure of how their degree can be useful to them in the business world.
However, if you wish to secure a position as an SEO copywriter, knowledge and experience will prove just as important as your degree. I've put together a list of online resources that are (mostly) free, which, if used to their full potential, will set you apart from the crowd when you start applying for positions.
- Copyblogger's SEO Copywriting Tutorial: In 2008 Copyblogger was ranked amongst the world's Top 50 most powerful blogs, and it's an accolade that still rings true today. Copyblogger can tell you everything you need to know about writing content for the web, and their SEO Copywriting tutorial is perfect for online content first-timers who are starting from the bottom knowledge-wise. Read through their tutorials and you're already a step ahead of your competitors in the job market.
- Investigate Google's search tools: If you're going to become an SEO Copywriter, you're going to need to know how to use Google's search tools, chiefly Google Analytics, Google Adwords: Keyword Tool and Google Insights. Basically, these are the tools of the SEO trade; they enable SEO Consultants and copywriters to find out what specific keywords people are searching for, allowing them to target online content accordingly. Read about them, have a play around and see how they work. There's no need to be an expert - a working knowledge of these tools will be enough to impress potential employers, particularly if you have no prior experience of SEO.
- Engage with your local online community: Bloggers, digital content creators and SEO Consultants like to arrange little get-togethers for themselves. For example, in Manchester there's the annual Blog Awards, a new event for digital content creators like copywriters called THERE WILL BE BLOOD and a monthly SEO meet up organised via the Manchester SEO blog. These events tend to be free to attend, and are a great opportunity to chat with people already working in the industry in which you're hoping to gain employment.
- Start a blog: Starting a blog through Google's Blogspot service or Wordpress is free and easy, and will demonstrate to potential employers that you are serious about digital content creation. It's also a great way to learn about tools such as Google Analytics, which are easy to install. Just make sure that you have an interesting topic to blog about - perhaps start a blog chronicling your growing relationship with the world of SEO Copywriting. Alternatively, write music reviews, post creative writing, anything you like!
- Society for Editors and Proofreaders: If you have the time, money and inclination, the SfEP offers a series of training courses which can help you brush up on your language, editing and proofreading skills.
- Indulge in a little self-promotion: If you haven't already, familiarise yourself with the major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media is steadily growing in importance in the online marketing world, and is currently being integrated in a more complete fashion into the results pages of the major search engines. Advertising your interest in gaining experience of SEO copywriting on your social media accounts might even bring in some enquiries, particularly on LinkedIn.
- Be prepared to value experience over a hefty wage-packet: Don't be afraid to take a low-paid job if it means gaining experience of your desired profession. Experience is extremely valuable, and could lead to you getting a much better job in the long-run. Compared to what your science graduate friends are earning, sites like Copify offer relatively low rates of pay, but are free to join (provided you pass their initial application process) and could provide you with the experience you require to secure a permanent position as an SEO copywriter with a digital marketing firm (Ed: This section amended in light of Martin's comment below).
SEO copywriting isn't for everyone; you may find that, after looking at the above links, you realise that it's not the job for you. However, if you are still interested, the above information should provide you with everything you need (bar a degree, a good CV and good interview technique, not that you necessarily need a degree - being a good writer is the most important asset any prospective SEO copywriter can have) to secure a job as an SEO copywriter. Good luck!