Hiring an SEO Content Writer: The Ultimate Guide (updated for 2024)

Struggling to see your content rank on search engines? With Google’s ever-changing algorithm and the advent of AI, you need both strategy and creativity to secure a spot on the first page. To achieve this, you should hire an SEO content writer who can help by leveraging keywords, adhering to best practices, and crafting high-quality content that meets search intent.

  54 Minutes Read

This article is an extensive guide on how and where you can find SEO writers for hire. You’ll discover why an SEO content writer can do more for your brand than a standard content writer could. I also share tips on determining the right match for your target audience, goals, and work ethic, along with secrets for improving teamwork and methods for tracking performance.

Understanding SEO content writing

Writing for SEO is more than just creating informative and persuasive content. When you hire an SEO content writer, you benefit from their ability to leverage the right techniques, ensuring that search engines can easily understand your content’s coverage and context.

These tactics include adding internal and external links and applying on-page and technical SEO. Combining these methods helps your content appear higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Google CTRs by ranking position

SEO content writer’s role and techniques overview

SEO content writers ensure their writing is easy for human readers and search engines to read and understand. People are their primary audience, so they focus on the user intent, which is why someone performs a search on a search engine like Google or Bing. This could be to seek information, locate a specific website, or make a purchase.

Here are some concepts that writers consider in creating content that appeals to both human readers and search engines:

Content strategy and content plan development

As I’ll discuss in more detail later, a content strategy outlines your marketing goals, brand voice, team functions, and performance metrics. Meanwhile, a content plan provides the steps for achieving these goals, from choosing topics to mapping keywords and setting timelines.

Deep understanding of the topic/keyword

Conducting keyword research allows you to discover what popular terms appear on search engines related to your topic idea. The results help you pick the target keywords to use—the heart of SEO. Keyword analysis also involves studying search results pages for well-performing competitor content and related trends.

On-page optimization

This technique covers the essential SEO content writing steps. They include providing a table of contents, headings, metadata (meta description and title tag), bullet points, internal links, and images or videos.

Make sure you hire an SEO content writer who will refrain from overusing keywords to maintain quality. Additionally, they will ensure each section is filled with current and accurate information.

The value of professional SEO content writers vs. regular content writers

The emphasis on search engine optimization is what sets SEO writers apart from regular content writers. Let me break it down in the following terms to help you better understand how their differences play out in the writing process:

The importance of keywords

SEO content writers aim to create user-centered content, while also prioritizing keywords to optimize for search engines. Meanwhile, regular content writers don’t focus on keywords. While they may use keywords naturally in their writing, they do not strategically incorporate them to improve search engine visibility and rankings.

Writing goals

Regular content writers create informative or entertaining pieces to meet their target audience’s search intent. On the other hand, SEO content writers not only produce copy that aligns with user intent and is informative or entertaining, but they also aim to direct internet users from search engines to your website.

Content strategy

SEO writers use content as part of a strategy to boost site visibility and rankings. Meanwhile, regular writers may not necessarily consider SEO as part of their business growth strategy.

Technical knowledge

While regular content writing doesn’t require SEO expertise, it is essential to hire an SEO content writer who understands optimization techniques. They must apply these techniques, including satisfying search engine algorithms and incorporating internal links, external links, and metadata.

Audience targeting

Regular content writers focus on writing for human audiences. In contrast, SEO writers consider both human readers and search engine algorithms when generating content.

Analysis and use of tools

SEO content writers often use SEO software and analytics tools to measure and refine their content’s effectiveness. Meanwhile, regular writers are less likely to use the same tools extensively.

Infographic - SEO content writers vs. regular content writers - Geri Mileva

Benefits of quality SEO content

When writers optimize your content for SEO, you reap the following:

Improved search engine rankings

Using SEO techniques allows website crawlers to understand your pages more efficiently. This helps search engines determine if your page has the answers internet users need. The relevance of your content to a user’s query determines its position on the search results page.

As people generally trust content that ranks higher on the results page, enhancing your rankings through SEO can subsequently increase your credibility.

Here are some examples of improved search engine positions for challenging keywords. These screenshots from my Semrush account demonstrate how the keywords ranked better after I created content for each respective client.

Example 1: An article about the best crypto exchanges. It ranks for 781 related keywords and many of those are very competitive like “best crypto app”.

Improved rankings

Example 2: An article about top marketing agencies I wrote for another client. It ranks for very difficult keywords such as “marketing agencies” and “marketing companies,” among others.

Improved rankings - IMH

Example 3: An article about Amazon’s daily revenue. It ranks number one for most keywords related to how much Amazon makes in a day. It also ranks for many Google SERP features, like “Instant answer”, “People also ask”, “Featured snippet,” and more.

Improved rankings - Threecolts

Example 4: A recent article about letterheads and how to make them—a very competitive niche. It outranked major competitors within the first month of publishing and continues to improve its ranking.

Improved rankings - Piktochart

Increased website traffic

Increased website traffic - Backlinko's research 2023

These also lead to cost savings because you appear higher on the search results page without spending on ads.

Here are some examples of increased website traffic for difficult keywords. These screenshots from my Semrush account show how the organic traffic to the respective websites increased substantially after I created content for each client.

Example 1: An article about the best marketing consulting companies that I wrote for a client at the end of 2023. It is an extremely competitive topic, and the article gradually increased its unique visitors from the US to more than 1,300 at the time of publishing this guide.

Increased website traffic screenshot from Semrush - Geri Mileva

Example 2: An article about Amazon return pallets that I wrote for another client at the beginning of 2024. This is another very competitive niche. The article’s traffic increased very quickly to more than 2,900 unique US visitors per month, ranking for over 1,300 keywords.

It even ranked and retained its position for top keywords like “amazon return pallets” and “amazon pallets for sale”.

Increased website traffic screenshot 2 from Semrush - Geri Mileva

Example 3: An article about editing videos on Instagram that I wrote for Backstage Magazine in April 2023. The article’s traffic gradually increased to more than 720 unique US visitors per month, ranking for over 770 keywords.

Most importantly, it sustained its ranking position and traffic for more than a year, which was full of major Google algorithm updates.

At the time of writing this guide, it is still ranked number one for “how to edit Instagram videos” and a lot of related keywords.

Increased website traffic screenshot 3 from Semrush - Geri Mileva

Example 4: An article about how to become a stock photo model that I wrote for Backstage Magazine at the beginning of 2024. The article’s traffic quickly increased to 350 unique US visitors per month, ranking for over 100 keywords.

At the time of writing this guide, it is number one for “stock photo model” and many related keywords.

Increased website traffic screenshot 4 from Semrush - Geri Mileva

Identifying your needs

To truly benefit from hiring an SEO content writer, define your goals so you can decide on the content types to focus on. Some popular formats include blog posts, product descriptions, white papers, and eBooks.

Whatever types you choose to use, your content should offer unique information and insights while meeting search intent at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

Understanding your marketing strategy

Understanding your marketing strategy - Semrush State of Content Marketing 2023 report

Objective

Audience identification

Content categories

Content type and format

Distribution channels and frequency

Success metrics

Keyword research

  • Informational keywords – used to find information or answers to a question
Examples: "how to bake a chocolate cake,” “tips for effective time management," "what is climate change"
  • Commercial keywords – used to learn more about products, brands, or services
Examples: "best smartphones 2024," "top running shoes reviews," "compare iPhone vs Samsung"
  • Navigational keywords – used to find a specific site, page, or brand
Examples: “Facebook login," "NY Times crossword," "Amazon customer service"
  • Transactional keywords – used to buy or complete an action
Examples: "buy MacBook Pro online," "Netflix subscription plans," "download Adobe Photoshop"

Keyword research - User intent examples - Geri Mileva

How to hire an SEO content writer

Know where to find quality content writers

Choosing the right hiring path for your SEO needs - Infographic - Geri Mileva

Platforms

Pros:

A large pool of freelancers with various specializations
Talent on demand
Streamlined hiring process (testing and evaluation)
Competitive pricing

Cons:

Tight competition
High commission fees
Communication challenges (exclusively within the platform)
Inconsistent availability

Upwork

Platform overview

Offers both hourly and project-based hiring
Suitable for both short-term tasks and long-term projects

Quality and vetting of talent

Freelancers are rated with a job success score
Rewards badges for top performers like “Rising Talent,” “Top Rated,” “Top Rated Plus,” and “Expert-vetted”

Cost and pricing

Freelancers set hourly rates or project fees (starter, standard, advanced)
One-time $14.95 contract initiation fee for clients
5% Client Marketplace Fee on all payments that you make to freelancers

Ease of use

Three straightforward options:
Post a job on Talent Marketplace then wait for applications
Buy a pre-made solution—such as writing a 1000-word blog post or a case study—on Project Catalog
Book a consultation with freelance experts
Filters can optimize your search (project attributes, pricing, delivery speed, and talent details)
Organized freelance profiles with portfolio and deliverables chart (including the number of revisions and focus keywords, as well as availability to provide topical research and citation work)

Support and dispute resolution

Protects clients and freelancers through escrow and mediation services
Offers comprehensive support, including a dispute assistance program

Best for

Larger projects or ongoing work that may require specialist skills
Buyers who want more control over the screening process and contract flexibility

Upwork - search for SEO content writers
A sample search for a freelance SEO content writer on Upwork

Fiverr

Platform overview

Focuses on gig-based hiring
Best for quick projects with fixed costs

Quality and vetting of talent

Indicates a level system (new seller, level 1, level 2, top-level) on freelancers based on completed orders, client volume, earnings, and success score
You can use Fiverr Pro for top-tier, verified professionals

Cost and pricing

Freelancers offer three versions of their service: basic (starts at $5), standard, and premium package
5.5% service fee added to each purchase

Ease of use

Simple to use: just post a gig request, use AI-powered Fiverr Neo, or use the search bar to find and choose a gig, see what you get, and order
Get streamlined search through filters, such as service options (industry, add-ons), seller details (rating, location), budget, delivery time
Seller profiles include a portfolio and a comparative table of deliverables per service package

Support and dispute resolution

Assistance from Resolution Center for order issues or Customer Support for refunds

Best for

Quick turnarounds and smaller, one-time projects
Buyers who prefer simplicity and fixed costs (although other options are available through Fiverr Pro)

Fiverr Pro - search for SEO content writers
A sample search for a freelance SEO content writer on Fiverr

PeoplePerHour (PPH)

Platform overview

Mix of hourly, project-based, and custom-priced work available through search or job posting
Encourages direct negotiation with freelancers

Quality and vetting of talent

CERT (work Content, Engagement, Repeat usage, and Trust)-level-based quality score and earnings
Option to browse curated lists of top freelancers via Monthly Leaderboard

Cost and pricing

10% service fee and an upfront deposit are required based on the freelancer’s offer
Single pricing/no multi-tier service package per freelancer
Clients often negotiate rates directly with freelancers

Ease of use

Fewer filters (delivery, freelancer location, budget range) for freelancer search
Freelancer profiles don’t include their portfolio or deliverables chart
Workstream project management dashboard eases communicating with the writer and tracking a project’s progress

Support and dispute resolution

Get support from PPH’s Dispute Team from WorkStream or go to the Contact Support page

Best for

Businesses in the UK and Europe
Good for mixed project types
PeoplePerHour - searching for seo writers
A sample search for an SEO writer on PeoplePerHour

Guru

Platform overview

Freelancer discovery through search or job posting; applicants send fee quotation
Upgrading to Featured Job widens reach by 50% and attracts more top talents
Has the industry’s lowest handling fee at 2.9% of the invoice amount

Quality and vetting of talent

Freelancers’ ratings are determined from past clients’ feedback scores (in percentage) and appear beside a thumbs-up sign under the freelancer’s name
Feedback and work history is transparently displayed

Cost and pricing

Flexible payment terms with fixed, task-based, hourly, or recurring payments; no multi-tier service packages
Lower service fees compared to similar platforms

Ease of use

Filters (includes categories, location, number of freelancer’s past clients, earnings) refine freelancer search; sample works included in freelancer profile
Navigable Workroom dashboard centralizes communication with writers, task assignments, file sharing, and payment processing

Support and dispute resolution

Arbitration service is available for payment-related issues only
SafePay ensures funds are secure and disputes are manageable

Best for

Cost-effective projects that need direct freelancer relationships
Guru.com - search in the seo content writing category
A sample search in the SEO content writing category on Guru.com

Toptal

Platform overview

High-end platform that consists of freelancers who are in the top 3% of freelance talent, having passed the company’s rigorous screening process
Focuses on experienced professionals in finance, design, and tech, including marketing and SEO

Quality and vetting of talent

Rigorous screening process ensures only top-tier talent
Caters to clients seeking premium freelance expertise

Cost and pricing

Clients are required to make an initial deposit which goes toward the first hire

Ease of use

High-touch service with Toptal domain experts assisting clients
Not as DIY as other platforms; focused on matching clients with freelancers

Support and dispute resolution

Matching team assists during recruitment
Support Center available for other concerns

Best for

Companies needing expert talent for critical projects
Toptal seo copywriters page
Toptal SEO Copywriters page

Platform comparison: freelancer and employer fees
PlatformFreelancer feesEmployer feesTotal cost example
Upwork10% freelancer service fee$14.95 one-time contract initiation fee on Client Marketplace and Product Catalog 5% Client Marketplace Fee on all paymentsHiring for a $100 job: Freelancer gets $90, employer pays $100 + $14.95 + $5 = $119.95
Fiverr20% fee on earnings5.5% of the purchase amount and an additional $2.50 if you buy a project less than $75Hiring for a $100 gig: Freelancer gets $80, employer pays $105.50.
PeoplePerHour – 20% (excl. VAT) service fee for below £250/buyer
– 7.5% (excl. VAT) service fee for between £250 and £5000/buyer
 – 3.5% (excl. VAT) service fee for over £5,000/buyer.
£0.6 + 10% via non-bank transfer services, credit/debit card, and 0% (gold members) or 2.5% (silver members) for bank transfers Hiring for £100 job: Freelancer gets £80, employer pays £110    
ToptalNo fee charged to freelancers$500 deposit (applied to first invoice); mark-up or service fee is confidential, but like agencies, they charge clients higher than what they pay freelancersHiring for a $1000 project: $500 deposit, total billed $1,000
Guru5-9% depending on membership level2.9% handling fee;  100% cashback if you send by eCheck or wire transferHiring for a $100 job: Freelancer gets $91-$95, employer pays $102.90 .
Freelance platforms comparison – fees

Platforms -7 steps to choosing freelance platforms - Infographic - Geri Mileva

Job boards

Job boards - CareerPlug recruitment metrics

Pros:

A wide range of candidates and search filters
Less expensive than print ads and hiring agencies
Employer brand awareness

Cons:

Overwhelming response
A paid subscription may be necessary for targeting niche roles
Competitors can view your job vacancy
LinkedIn Services Marketplace

Platform overview

Connects businesses with LinkedIn members who provide services or do freelancing work
Leverages your existing LinkedIn network or mutual connections for recommendations

Quality and vetting of talent

Clients visit LinkedIn member’s service page and check their profile, experience, and recommendations
 More DIY as clients review possible candidates or proposals

Cost and pricing

Free to post and browse services
Optional paid accounts (Premium, Recruiter, or Recruiter Lite) offer more in-depth talent searches and greater outreach capabilities

Ease of use

Seamless integration with LinkedIn’s user interface makes it easy to search for candidates and seek proposals
LinkedIn offers advice and best practices to maximize hiring from their marketplace

Support and dispute resolution

Basic customer support through LinkedIn Help Center/LinkedIn Support; Premium and Recruiter accounts get access to live chat

Best for

Businesses looking to quickly connect with freelancers without the traditional overhead costs
Companies that prefer to leverage professional networks for hiring to ensure credibility and skill verification
FlexJobs

Platform overview

Specializes in remote or hybrid (full/part-time), temporary, and freelance flexible jobs
Offers email and social media promotions on job posts

Quality and vetting of talent

Employer Team offers consultations for recruitment and branding strategy
Reaches out to untapped job seekers, such as working moms, military spouses, and retirees

Cost and pricing

Monthly, quarterly, and annual employer plans include unlimited job posts
Premium placement add-on puts your job post at the top of a category or location page

Ease of use

User-friendly interface with advanced search options to tailor job searches
Integration with over 20 application tracking or HR software tools (such as Greenhouse, JazzHR, Breezy)

Support and dispute resolution

Access to Employer Services staff via virtual chat, phone, contact page

Best for

Employers looking to hire individuals seeking flexible work arrangements
Indeed

Platform overview

Aggregates listings from company websites, other job boards and recruiter listings
Offers a wide range of job types, from temporary gigs to full-time careers

Quality and vetting of talent

Lets you choose criteria for screening—skills, experience, willingness to relocate/commute, education
Free access to the assessment library for ready-to-use skills and knowledge-based tests to include in writer applications
Includes screener questions via voice or video recording

Cost and pricing

Posting a job is free but sponsoring job posts, starting at $5/day, increases visibility
Instant matching with quality candidates through Smart Sourcing (standard or professional) subscription

Ease of use

Allows passive and active candidate discovery through alerts and direct applications
Offers AI-powered job description generator
Provides automated recruitment through Indeed Hire

Support and dispute resolution

Provides basic customer support and help resources for employers and job seekers
Employers can report spam messages and other inappropriate content

Best for

A broad audience of employers and job seekers from all industries and experience levels
We Work Remotely (WWR)

Platform overview

Focuses exclusively on remote jobs with the option to specify timezone and location restrictions
Claims to fill over 90% of positions posted with the help of a partner network that has over 20 members

Quality and vetting of talent

WWR screening team manually prioritizes applicants in batches 3, 14, and 30 days after your job has been posted
Emphasizes transparency and thoroughness in job requirements to improve filtering

Cost and pricing

Base price is $299 for the job listing to stay posted for 30 days; you can get discounts through bundle offers
Can highlight your job post through upgrade options, which also promote your listing via social and email

Ease of use

Straightforward job posting form
Integration with Workable and work applicant tracking systems (ATS)

Support and dispute resolution

Basic email support available for users
Focuses on community-driven solutions and direct communication between employers and potential hires

Best for

Companies and job seekers dedicated to the remote work lifestyle and looking for quality job listings
Mediabistro

Platform overview

Offers freelance/full-time and remote candidate hiring with analytics for content marketing and other media-related teams
Provides employer branding services through their in-house content studio (Uncubed Studios)

Quality and vetting of talent

Pre-screens and curates candidates
Mediabistro Team can customize recruitment based on your requirements

Cost and pricing

Job posting plans available (from single to 10-job pack), starting at $297
Offers SMB Unlimited and Enterprise Unlimited subscriptions for unlimited job listings

Ease of use

Hard-to-find Talent Marketplace page—you get there by clicking the “Member Profiles” link found either in the top menu under “Resources” or in the footer menu
Mediabistro team handles job listing after you supply your requirements; the dashboard with ATS and analytics is only accessible with unlimited membership

Support and dispute resolution

 Subscribers can contact a Mediabistro representative by phone or through email

Best for

Media firms open to seeking writers of varied lengths of experience
ProBlogger Job Board

Platform overview

Specializes in job postings for bloggers, content marketers, and writers
Gives access to candidates’ contact details and full resumes through membership

Quality and vetting of talent

Attracts seasoned writers and bloggers
More DIY; view profiles on “Candidate List” or go to “Candidate Search” and use filters for more targeted results

Cost and pricing

Five membership packages with varying premium candidate access (starting at $10 for single resume access)
Non-member job posting ($80 for standard or $160 for featured/top-of-board postings)

Ease of use

Easy-to-use “Candidate List” page and filter-equipped “Candidate Search” page
Quick job posting process, with editing and republishing options

Support and dispute resolution

No help center/support page but you can reach out through social accounts posted on the home page
No dispute resolution mechanism

Best for

Businesses from various industries aiming to beef up their content on blogs and other channels
Job board comparison: job listing fees
PlatformCost to post a jobSubscription/Additional feesContact and interactionCost example and features
LinkedIn Services MarketplaceFree to post services, free to browse; paid membership required to access more search filtersLinkedIn Premium starts at $29.99/month for Premier Career; $170/month or $1,680/year per single license of Recruiter LiteContact via InMail: only available for Premium members (5 credits for Premium Career), 30 credits for Recruiter Lite membersPosting and hiring a content writer: $0 platform fee; costs depend on negotiation. Premium Career ($29.95/month) for more InMail credits; Recruiter Lite ($170/month) for more InMail credits and search filters
We Work RemotelyStarts at $299 per job listing, which runs for 30 daysNo membership required but employer pays additional fees to show corporate logo, highlight ad, and get featured in its Daily DigestApplicants can only apply, no direct outreach from employersPosting for a content writer job: starts at $299
Mediabistro$297 for a single-job standard listing (active for 30 days)Discounts available for bulk postingsApplicants can only apply, no direct outreach from employersPosting for a marketing job: starts at $297
ProBlogger Job BoardStarts at $80 per job post for 15  days (without membership)No additional feesWebsite doesn’t mention built-in features for employer-job seeker communicationPosting a blog writing job: starts at $80
FlexJobsEmployer membership requiredMemberships range from monthly ($399) to annual ($2,999)  subscriptionsUnlimited contacts within subscription, employers can initiate contact and receive applicationsBasic membership for unlimited job posts: $399/month
IndeedFree job postings availableSponsored postings: prices vary based on your budgetEmployers can initiate contact and receive applications via dashboardSponsored post budget: at least $5/day, estimated total of $150/month
Job boards comparison – fees

Agencies

Pros:

Access to more resources
Comprehensive services (simple to complex jobs)
Established processes and quality control
Scalability

Cons:

Higher cost
Possibility of impersonal service
Less control
Contently
Target audience: Best for large enterprises needing comprehensive content strategies.
Features: Robust content marketing platform (CMP) with advanced analytics, and strategic services (including Tone Analyzer for brand voice and social listening); known for high-quality, vetted freelancers specializing in various industries.
Integration: Integrates smoothly with other marketing tools and systems.
Support and strategy: Offers assistance through the “Submit a Ticket” page and dedicated email address; blog, knowledge base, and other resources available to enhance content effectiveness.
Skyword
Target audience: Suitable for mid-sized to large organizations focused on storytelling and brand elevation.
Features: Provides a full-service content creation platform with access to qualified subject-matter experts and multimedia professionals. Includes tools for content planning, creation, distribution, and optimization.
Integration: Offers seamless integration with analytics and other digital marketing and sales tools.
Support and strategy: Conducts user training and tailored content marketing strategies to meet specific brand goals.
Clearvoice
Target audience: Ideal for companies of all sizes looking to streamline content production for SEO with a flexible, scalable solution.
Features: Proprietary VoiceGraph® software matches clients with the best talents by scanning portfolios for content that aligns with the job’s requirements. This is supplemented by Clearvoice content managers who vet creators. The Clearvoice Content Platform also lets you reach freelancers, manage writing assignments, update your calendar, and track campaigns in one hub.
Integration: Capable of integrating with major CMS platforms.
Support and strategy: Provides support with a focus on ease of use and freelancer-client collaboration.
Content agencies comparative table
AgencyBasic fee structureAdditional feesTypical project costsKey features
ContentlyCustom pricing based on project scopePossible setup fees for platform accessProjects can start from $2,000 according to Capterra and GetAppExpert-level talents trained on Contently platform usage, feature-rich CMP, dedicated managing editors
SkywordCustom pricingSetup fees may apply for platform use and strategy developmentPlatform use alone starts at $5,000 according to Capterra and GetApp; strategy and content volume  needs will add to total costIntegrated content creation and distribution, SEO optimization, content audit and business intelligence
ClearVoicePricing per piece or via managed servicesNo standard additional fees; custom services (add-ons such as illustrations, photography, or social media/email snippets) may incur costsPlatform use starts at $99/month according to Capterra and GetApp; cost of  managed services  depends on work scope.Freelancer matching technology, simple interface, flexible content scaling
Content agencies comparison – fees/costs

Social media

Social Media - The Harris Poll survey - SM to research potential candidates

Pros:

Convenient and fast, especially if you work with a social media screening service
Helps uncover any gaps in the candidate’s resume
Cultural fit assessment
Personalized direct messaging

Cons:

Needs fact-checking
May violate privacy
Implicit bias
Requires response management (if you make a social media post about an SEO job)
Writing groups for job postings and networking
PlatformGroup/Channel nameFocus/AreaConditions for posting jobs
FacebookTech Ladies®Tech jobs (engineering, product management, design, and marketing), U.S. focus (80% of community members are from America)Must enter into hiring partnership via website, www.hiretechladies.com ($3,999 for three months)
FacebookDigital Nomad Girls (DNG) Community“Location- independent” online entrepreneurs;  women onlySign up for membership so the group can post your job openings in the DNG Newsletter
FacebookSkip’s Remote Job Board — US EdTech and Education-Adjacent Jobs (part time and full time)Remote jobs in education; US-basedJoin and post jobs that meet these salary criteria: remote, $35+/hr (part time) or $70k+/yr (full time); job postings appear on: https://edskip.com/
LinkedInThe Freelance Writer’s ConnectionFreelance writingMust be a group member; job postings need admin approval
LinkedInAuthors & Publishers AssociationPublishing industryJoin the group and follow admin guidelines when posting;  messages must carry value beyond just jobs
Social media groups for writers

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Writing communities and forums

Pros:

Gives a perspective of members’ thinking process, personal brand tone

Cons:

Community rules may restrict you from making a call for proposals

Professional associations

Copyblogger Certified Content Marketers
Certified Writer’s Directory
All Freelance Writing Directory
American Writers and Artists Institute
American Society of Journalists and Authors
The Professional Writers’ Alliance

Pros:

Searchable directory
Fresh profile presentation

Cons:

Limited to zero direct messaging opportunities
Posting jobs and finding writers through professional associations
Association/DirectoryCan you post jobs?How to find writersConditions/Costs
Copyblogger Certified Content MarketersNoSearch the directory for certified SEO writers (includes website, email, and social media info).Free access
Certified Writer’s DirectoryNoUse the directory to find individual writers (links to sample work, website/email address available).Free access
All Freelance Writing DirectoryNoBrowse profiles manually—no search bar or filters (all members charge at least $50 per article/per page/per hour).Free access
American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI)YesClick “Directory of Writers” in the footer menu to view its freelancer directory (Professional Writers’ Alliance) for free. Click individual names/images to view the writer’s specialization (no search bar). Registration as a marketer required for job posting.Free access to the directory; to post a job, register for free as a marketer at https://www.awai.com/writers-wanted-signup/. No other information on fees and other terms. Your job listing will appear on AWAI’s job board https://www.writerswanted.com/.
American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)NoGo to https://www.asja.org/finder/ to search for an SEO content writer.Free access to directory; no job board.
Professional associations

Direct outreach

Pros:

Personalized outreach: You can craft a message to be sent through email or social platforms, which can more authentically convey your company’s branding.
No platform signups needed: You can get a direct response from the writer more quickly, speeding up discussions and negotiations about your project.
Personal connection and trust: Trust and mutual understanding can come easier when you tap a writer whose blog or web content resonates with your brand tone or preferred writing style.
Direct communication: You can reach out to the writer in real time about any revision or new ideas, enhancing your content’s relevance and quality.
Cost-effectiveness: You skip paying agency or platform fees when hiring writers directly.
Consistency in voice and style: You can increase brand voice consistency by working with the same writer whose style matches your brand tone.
Flexibility and customization: You can negotiate your pay terms with the writer, who tailor-fits their approach to your specific needs and audience.
Long-term partnership potential: As you nurture your relationship with writers, their understanding of your brand deepens, strengthening the impact of your content marketing efforts.
Faster turnaround times: Direct hires can turn in work earlier as they typically engage with fewer clients. In contrast, writers on freelancing sites juggle several projects at once.
Enhanced accountability: Direct hires are more committed to high-quality outcomes because their reputations are on the line.
Easier management of intellectual property: Content ownership is more straightforward when partnering with direct hires—an advantage in sensitive contexts.
Custom contract terms: You’re unbound by agency or third-party platform policies.
Reduced risk of miscommunication: You minimize misunderstandings or clarify issues directly instead of through third-party mediators.
Opportunity for co-creation: When you and your writer share a creative partnership, the final output can be more innovative than your original plans.
Niche expertise: You can leverage your writer’s capabilities, especially if their expertise and voice match the image you want your company to project.

Cons:

Lack of backup or scalability: You’ll need to find a replacement if a freelancer goes on vacation, becomes ill, or changes careers. In such cases, agencies have an edge as they could field a replacement or assign more writers if work volume increases.
Increased management overhead: Coordinating with your SEO writer about content details, drafts or revision approvals, and payments requires time. In agency-based (and sometimes platform-based) hiring, an external team or account manager manages these steps for you with the help of technology.
Time investment in vetting: When hiring writers directly, you take on the task of reviewing their credentials, references, and portfolios before shortlisting and interviewing applicants. Agencies save you time and effort by pre-screening their suggested candidates, while platforms sometimes partially pre-screen theirs.
No integrated collaboration tools: Acquiring and setting up a project management and communication tool is recommended so you and your writer can collaborate in one shared space. Agencies and platforms offer such tools, helping reduce your operational expenses.
Limited access to multi-disciplinary expertise: The skills range of some SEO content writers may be limited, unlike agencies that have writers with various specializations, such as strategy, advanced analytics, social media management, and graphic design.

Evaluating SEO content writer skills

Portfolio

Understanding of SEO techniques

Keyword research abilities

Plan your interview questions

Understanding of SEO

  1. How do you stay updated with Google’s algorithm changes and SEO best practices?
    • Google regularly updates its algorithm to make search results more relevant to its users. SEO writers who stay on top of these changes can take prompt action to prevent their search ranking from sliding drastically.
  2. Can you explain the importance of keywords in SEO content writing?
    • Your candidate’s response will help you assess their knowledge level of basic SEO principles.
  3. How do you conduct keyword research and select the right keywords for a project?
    • Because keyword research is critical to your content’s performance, ask the applicant’s process for identifying effective keywords.
  4. What’s your approach to balancing SEO and engaging content?
    • Writers can best prove this through their sample work. However, their reply can provide insights into how they prioritize online visibility without sacrificing reader engagement.
  5. How do you optimize content for both search engines and users?
    • This question is a follow-up to the previous one. An applicant’s answer can reveal their techniques for achieving this balance for quality SEO content.
  6. What strategies do you use to reduce bounce rate and increase dwell time on a page?
    • An experienced SEO writer knows that it takes a good mix of the following to boost a web page’s dwell time, inversely lowering the bounce rate:
      • engaging and high-quality content
      • website optimization for fast loading and mobile use (this should be done by the client)
      • multimedia assets
      • strategic use of internal linking and compelling calls to action
    • Additionally, regularly updating content, improving readability, providing clear navigation, and including related posts can further enhance dwell time.

Experience and expertise

  1. Can you share examples of successful SEO content you’ve written?
    • Request applicants to present their portfolio to examine how their writing style impacts you.
  2. What industries or niches have you written for previously?
    • A writer’s website or the platform where you found them typically includes this information. However, you can ask for specifics not mentioned online.
    • Find out if they’re servicing other companies in your niche (including your competitors). Ultimately, their answers will clarify their expertise and versatility.

Performance measurement and analysis

  1. How would you measure the success of your SEO content?
    • Effective SEO doesn’t stop at writing. It involves analyzing your content’s performance against several metrics, which your candidate must be familiar with.
  2. Can you provide an example of a time when you significantly improved traffic or rankings for a particular keyword or page?
    • If a case study isn’t part of your pre-interview requirements, ask applicants to be ready to present one during the interview. Such reports or studies are necessary to back up any claims found on their resumes or online profiles.

Content strategy and execution

  1. How do you handle SEO for different types of content (e.g., blog posts, product pages, landing pages)?
    • Choose a writer who can create content for the formats you publish. This question will help you determine if they do, including what they specialize in.
  2. How do you integrate long-tail keywords into your content without sacrificing quality?
    • Using long-tail keywords to capture targeted traffic is a skill that SEO writers acquire over time. Seasoned content creators seamlessly integrate them into their content while maintaining its natural flow.
  3. Describe your process for updating and optimizing old content.
    • Let your applicant share their steps or workflow for adding SEO value to existing content.
  4. What’s your experience with local SEO content strategies?
    • Local SEO is a strategy that aims to generate online and offline visits by internet searchers within your company’s physical vicinity. Content writers who practice local SEO can improve traffic to your website and store or office.
  5. Do you use AI in developing content? How?
    • Several writer’s tools contain an AI element. They include keyword research software, grammar checkers, analytics platforms, and other tools that can help speed up the writing process. However, you should clarify with them if you do not want them to use AI in writing content.  To verify if content has been AI-generated, you can use an AI detection solution to scan the body text.

Working relationship

  1. What is your workflow for revisions and feedback?
    • The applicant may share their setup or practice with current clients. You can ask for details in line with your expectations or preferences.
  2. How do you stay organized and meet deadlines?
    • Ask them how their typical work day goes and what process they follow to ensure timely delivery.
  3. Can you work with specific SEO tools or platforms we use?
    • Identify your tools (like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Google Analytics) and verify if they’re familiar with them. Ask them to rate their skill level on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the most proficient).
  4. What do you need from us to be most effective in your role?
    • The candidate’s answer allows you to discover their expectations. This also allows you to assess their preparedness for the task and compatibility with your work ethic.

Industry rates of SEO content writers

Writer’s experience

Location

Pricing model

Pricing model - SEO writers rates

Work scope/services you need

Keyword optimization

High-quality content

Meta descriptions and title tags

Header tags

Image alt text

Internal linking

Tools used in SEO writing

Keyword research and SEO analysis

SEMrush (My personal preference)
Ahrefs
Moz Pro
Ubersuggest
Google Keyword Planner (I also personally use this)

Content optimization

Surfer SEO
Yoast SEO (I personally use this on my website)
Clearscope
Frase

Technical SEO

Screaming Frog SEO Spider (I personally use this)
Lumar (previously DeepCrawl)
Sitebulb

Grammar and style checking

Grammarly (I personally use this)
Hemingway App (I personally use this as well)

Plagiarism checking

Copyscape (I personally use this)
Turnitin

AI content detection

GPTZero (I personally use this)
ZeroGPT (I personally use this as well)
Originality.ai
Copyleaks AI Content Detector
SEO writing tools - Geri Mileva

Your content manager plays a vital role

Working with your SEO content writer

Best practices for collaborating with an SEO writer

Using tools and platforms

Tools and platforms for collaboration with SEO writers

Project management software

Trello

Allows you to customize a Kanban-style board to define a project’s stages and tasks
Label the drag-and-drop cards with due dates, members, and comments then move them to their appropriate column or list
Timeline and calendar views help you see your team’s progress and what lies ahead
Its user-friendly and visual interface works best for small teams

Asana

Ideal for work teams simultaneously handling various tasks under several projects
You can view your projects as a spreadsheet, Kanban board, Gantt chart, or calendar
Choose from over 80 ready-made templates to automate workflows
Spot blockers allow you to flag tasks that can’t be started until another is finished

Monday

Another visually engaging software, offering over 10 different views, including Kanban boards and Gantt charts
You can choose from over 200 automation templates for various business processes
It can integrate with various tools, such as Google Ads and Supermetrics, enabling you to analyze campaign performance from one hub
Its portfolio management feature helps you assess the status of all your projects and properly allocate team resources
Communication platforms
Slack is the most common real-time messaging tool in professional settings. You can include your writer in channels or group chats where they can get internal support.
Microsoft Teams integrates with your Microsoft 365 suite. You can chat, hold video meetings, and store files in one place.
Discord, originally designed for gamers, has become popular in casual corporate settings.
Google Chat, formerly known as Google Hangouts Chat, is part of Google Workspace. This provides instant connections with Google Tasks or Google Meet. You can form spaces, which are similar to Slack and Discord’s channels.
Document-sharing tools
PlatformFree storageCapacity of basic paid plan
Google Docs15GB storage100GB
Microsoft OneDrive5GB1TB under OneDrive for business (Plan 1)
Apple iCloud5GB50GB
Dropbox2GB9TB (for teams, 3 members)
Document-sharing tools to use

Setting clear expectations and goals

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Monitoring progress and adjusting strategies as needed

KPIs to measure content writing outcomes

Measuring the success of SEO content writers

Proactively refine your content. Compare several content pieces of the same format and identify the ones with high scores based on your metrics. The results can help you determine the aspects or parts of the content you can replicate, add, change, and test before your next publication.
Encourage buy-in from stakeholders. If you lead your marketing team or run a business with one or several partners, your colleagues need proof that SEO content writing improves your online presence. Data allows you to quantify the results of your SEO efforts and investments, making it easier for teammates or fellow business owners to appreciate them.
Overhaul your strategy if necessary. If your metrics show a decline when compared to your content performance before implementing SEO techniques, it may be necessary to rethink and revise your strategy.

Tracking ROI from SEO content writing

Set your time cycle

Agree on your content performance metrics

Higher search engine rankings
Increased traffic
Page views – the number of times a user views a website page
Sessions – the number of interactions a visitor made within one browsing session
New or unique visitors – the number of first-time visitors within a specific timeframe
Conversion rates
KPI categoryKPIMetric
Search visibilitySERP positionSpecific ranking positions for target keywords
TrafficNumber of organic visitors
ImpressionsNumber of times your site appears in search results
CTR (Click-Through Rate)Percentage of impressions that result in a click
Building authority and trustDwell timeAverage time spent on each page
BacklinksNumber and quality of backlinks
EngagementNumber of comments, shares, and likes
Increasing leads and conversionsConversion ratePercentage of visitors who take a desired action
Leads generatedNumber of new leads
RevenueAmount of sales generated from organic traffic
KPIs to measure

Decide on how to measure these metrics

Google Analytics 4 allows you to view organic sessions, average session duration, organic conversions, and bounce rate.
Google Search Console shows your site’s average position on the search results page, impressions, clicks, and click-through rate.
Ahrefs tracks website ranking and specializes in backlink analysis and competitor research with the Content Gap feature.
SEMrush monitors your content’s SERP position and specializes in keyword research with Keyword Gap.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider audits your website for SEO issues, including broken links, duplicate content, missing/too short/too long page titles and metadata, and more.
WebFX’s Free SEO Checker creates a report on your website page’s speed, backlinks, and mobile friendliness when you paste your URL on the platform.

Check on progress and optimize

Integrating SEO content writers into your content strategy

Content strategist

Content manager

Content strategist vs. content manager

Creating your content plan

Keyword mapping

Content calendar creation

Timelines (start date, submission date, and other deadlines)
Team members (writer and editor)
Content inventory (topic, goal, target audience, format)
SEO information (keywords, meta description)
Special events (holidays, annual celebrations)
Metrics (sales, leads, clicks)

Topic ideation

Research customer challenges on your blog’s comments section, reviews, and customer support tickets or conduct surveys
Conduct research on your competitors by analyzing customer conversations within your industry. This can help you identify and leverage gaps that are not fully addressed by your competitors.
Track topics using Google Trends and tools like Buzzsumo to identify the most popular search terms and shared keywords.

SEO writers can keep your strategy fresh

  1. Search engine algorithm changes
  1. New technologies affecting user behavior
  1. Competition
  1. New SEO-related tools and knowledge
  1. Penalty prevention
Voice search users statistics

E-E-A-T

EEAT - Google's guidelines - Infographic - Geri Mileva.png

Long-form content

Other changes in search engine algorithms

  • Writing reviews
  • Automation-generated content
  • Assessing content for a “people-first” focus

Make your content stand out and convert with professional SEO writers

About the author

  • Geri Mileva

    Geri Mileva blends the precise thinking of her engineering background with the storytelling skills of an experienced writer. Based in Prague, she writes everything from engaging copy to in-depth journalistic pieces. Geri also focuses on content strategy and has a keen interest in understanding how people interact with what they read and see, using insights from consumer behavior analytics to make her work resonate more deeply.

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