freelance writing jobs in Kenya

Introduction to SEO Article Writing

Today, the real fun begins. By the way, I received you article and it was very expertly written. I am very optimistic that you are going to get to places with your style of writing!

So, What is SEO Writing

SEO writing involves writing articles to help a client’s website rank well in Google and other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing. The main reason why clients are concerned with good rankings for their websites is very simple:
Good rankings equate to more traffic/visitors to their websites, which equates to more earnings for them.
Many clients hire freelance writers to create articles for them. As a freelance writer, you need to understand the qualities of a good SEO article in order to make sure that the article has served its purpose and that the client is contented with the content you have created for them.
In a nutshell, here is what makes up a good SEO article:freelance writing jobs Kenya

  1. Headline/Title of the Article– The headline of your SEO articles must be captivating, include the main keyword and be less than 65 characters in length. Google truncates titles at 70 characters and your client will need to have articles whose whole title is visible in the search engines.
  2. The First Paragraph of your article– Unless otherwise stated, make sure that you have used the keyword provided once in the first paragraph of your article. Additionally, clients looking for SEO articles appreciate it if you can dive right into the topic provided. Remember, you are being paid according to the number of words written and a client wants to capture as much information as possible within the number of words he is paying you to write.
  3. Formatting Your Article- Unless the client has given you strict instructions to write in prose, make sure that you make use of subheadings and bullet points as much as possible in your article. Keep the paragraphs short- at most three sentences long.
  4. Style of Writing– Write in second person point of view. Address the reader ar ‘you’ as this makes for more engagement with the audience. Although you will use the web to research your content, make sure that your content does not contain plagiarized material. Never pick off phrases from another author’s work and duplicate them as your own. Instead, paraphrase the information you come across when you are researching the content.
  5. Finalizing your article– Before you submit your work, make sure that you have checked it for unintentional plagiarism instances. There are several free online plagiarism checkers you can use to do this. I personally recommend you use Duplichecker.

Where to Find SEO Article Writing Jobs?

<< Test First Name >>, Now that you know what goes into an SEO article, why don’t we take a quick second to analyze the places where you can actually come across your first SEO article writing job.
There are several places where you can find SEO Writing jobs but I personally recommend the following four websites:

Freelancer

If you would like to land your first writing job very fast, head over tohttp://www.freelancer.com and create an account with basic free membership. There are many article writing jobs in Freelancer but many of them are low paying. So, if you really trust in the power of your writing craft, you should probably bypass Freelancer.

oDesk

oDesk pays well and is friendly to non-native writers. A lot of Kenyans work in oDesk. I a later chapter, I will discuss what really goes into becoming a top freelancer in oDesk and Elance (see below). For now, head over tohttp://www.odesk.com sign up for an account and start familiarizing yourself with the platform.

Elance

Elance works like oDesk. Kindly visit the platform right now and create an account. When creating your profile, make sure you have selected that you want to work on the writing and translation category. We have a whole lesson coming up on what you need to do in order to be successful in both oDesk and Elance.

iWriter

iWriter is by far the best place for a new freelance writer to start. However, if your writing skills are not up to par, please do not attempt to start your career in iWriter. Your account will get banned if clients are not satisfied with your work and give you low low rating.
There is also another downside to working in iWriter. Some few years ago, iWriter blacklisted many Kenyan IPs from accessing their website. If you access the internet using Safaricom or Orange internet, chances are that you won’t be able to access the iWriter platform. Airtel, Zuku and other ISP providers are however still able to access iWriter.
I have a whole lesson set aside to discussing iWriter. However, if you would rather not wait, head over to the platform and try completing an article that is in your level. You will like it.

Where Else Can You Get SEO Article Writing Jobs

So far so good. But remember we don’t want to limit ourselves to getting freelance writing jobs from these websites where we are competing with every other freelancer in the world. Instead, it pays if you can extend your wings a little wider, move out of the comfort zone and proactively request clients to hire you.

Cold-Calling

I am a big proponent of cold-calling, and I will show you how you can contact business owners with requests for SEO article writing jobs. Cold-calling works best if you are an expert writer in a certain field. The best clients to cold-ca;; are small businesses that are advertising their businesses in Google and Facebook. Simply find such businesses, get their contact information and shoot them a message requesting to write them content for pay. It is as simple as that but it is best to first build  a portfolio before you can start cold calling.

Your blog

If you are serious about your writing business, if you are not doing it to simply get you through a rough financial patch, you should think of starting a blog to document your journey as a freelance writer and to serve as a central contact area where clients can get you. In a later lesson, we will see how you can start a professional blog that will attract clients to you.

That is it for now. Any questions? Remember to shoot me an email or contact me on Facebook.

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Elance and oDesk Survival Tips

Why Elance and oDesk?

….Because these two are the most popular and decent freelance job websites right now. You could probably also try working in Freelancer but honestly speaking, I have never been a big fan of Freelancer although that is where I first launched my career.

What Determines Your Success in Elance/oDesk?

Your success in these two platforms will depend on three main things:

  1. Your profile
  2. Your job proposals
  3. Client feedback and reviews.

Creating and Polishing Your Profile

Perfect Profile Tip #1

The information you provide on your profile matters. It is the first thing that a client looking for a freelancer to hire will see. The first few lines of your Elance profile will also appear in every job proposal that you make. It is important that you highlight a quality that sets you apart from the others in these first lines. What is your selling line? Mine, for instance, is “a freelance writer who gets it right the very first time- saving you time and money…
If you will be bidding on jobs on a particular category, say medical writing, it is important to point out this in the first few lines of your profile. I would for instance have this as, ‘a doctor who also writes‘ This very minor sentence can make the difference between a client passing you over and hiring you.

I will repeat this again…. mention what sets you apart within the first few lines of your Elance/oDesk Profile.

Perfect Profile Tip #2

Include samples of your writing in your profile. Many freelancers ignore this important part or include samples that turn clients off. If you are not looking for a job as an academic writer, forget about including your essays from college as samples. The best samples for your Elance/oDesk profile should be ones that are in line with the jobs you aspire to get.

If you will mostly be bidding for jobs as a press release writer (I personally enjoy writing PRs more), make sure your profile has some sample press releases that you have written. If you are trying to get jobs as an web content writer, include samples that show your prowess in this. You could also start a blog that acts as a reference point for clients.

Perfect Profile Tip #3

Include a professional photo in your profile. I cannot emphasis the importance of a professional photo strongly enough. Go to the nearest studio and get a clear headshot showing your perfect smile. Think of getting a job in Elance as going for an interview; you dress to impress don’t you?

That is all about the profile. I trust by now you have opened an account in Elance and oDesk. Share the url with me, and I will advise on what areas to improve.

Writing Your Job Proposals

Elance calls them proposals while oDesk calls them job applications.
If you are familiar with the platforms, you will understand that they require you to bid for jobs, which is not that easy, especially for a new freelance writer. Fortunately, you are enrolled to these lessons, and if there is an area where I pack the most knowledge, it is here.
So, what goes into writing the perfect proposal?
Start by going over some of these resources that explain a lot more about writing job proposals:

Apart from the above resources, I will also steal you into a secret. If you would like to write great proposals that any employer cannot resist, put yourself in the mind of an employer.

After you have read the above referenced resources, post a job (one that closely resembles what you would bid on in terms definition and price) in Elance or oDesk and let the applications start pouring in. Read through the applications as an employer would.

Pick the best application and spend a few minutes studying it? What makes it stand out, how has the freelancer addressed the employer? What makes you think that you could hire that particular freelancer and not any other.
It costs nothing to post a job in the platforms and you do not need to proceed with hiring a freelancer for the posted job. I do this every time that I think my job proposals are getting a little rusty, and it helps!

Getting Feedback and Reviews

Many clients look down upon newbies. The clients who really pay well are not willing to spend their money on someone who does not have any reviews, rating or feedback.

So, how do you get the reviews?

One of the ways that you can use to get reviews is to bid low on jobs and hope that an employer will hire you as a result of your low prices.

However, do not forget to mention to such an employer that the reason you are bidding lowly is because you want to establish a reputation in Elance/oDesk. Otherwise, the client might equate your cheap to low quality. To prove that you can indeed offer awesome quality, do not forget to include a sample article in your bid.
The other way of getting reviews is to ‘hire’ yourself! It is illegal to do so and your account might get banned if you are discovered. I have personally never done this, but I have friends who launched their careers this way.
If you are willing to take the risk, simply create another Elance/oDesk profile, post a job, go back to your true profile, bid on the job. Go back to the fake account, award yourself the job. Do the job. Complete it and forward it to the client account. Log into the client account and give yourself some good feedback and some 5-star rating. You might want to use different computers to accomplish all this.
However, if you have followed my advice about writing awesome proposals, you do not need to do this or bid low on jobs. Your job proposal is enough to land you high paying jobs. Spend some few minutes every day bidding to see how your proposals perform.
If you have any questions about working in Elance/oDesk, feel free to chat with me on Facebook, Google Plus or WhatsApp.