Tonight, I have been writing SEO content blogs for extra money. Bear with me, this is less adventurous tale of traveling and more of a nuts and bolts narrative about writing.
Sometimes I write SEO content for extra money. It is exactly as exciting as it sounds. I have written all sorts of things. Grass-fed, dry aged mailorder steaks, outdoor cladding and water barrier architecture blogs, online condom content, sales, legal, renewable resources, fancy knives, alpaca wool sweaters, heavy equipment tires, and all sorts of other stuff. When it pays off, it is extra money in my pocket. Last year, I was able to use it to go out to dinner and go on a hot-air balloon ride. Sometimes it’s a much-needed $50 when I need it, or $20 for gas when the tank is low. The good part is I can write as many as I want for $10 a pop. They go up from there, depending on the word count.
The bad news is often the blogs are mind-numbing. Sometimes they don’t pay off for months, if at all. The work is on-spec and there are literally thousands of other writers writing content I am competing against. If I write something, there is no guarantee another writer won’t be better and I’ll lose the sale to them, as well as the 15 minutes to one hour of my life I used writing that blog. The worst part is probably the waiting. I have some blogs I wrote in August, where the customers just haven’t bothered to look at what is in their inbox. Eventually their accounts will expire. And all the work won’t mean a thing.
I do like being able to write whenever I want, and there is a wide variety of topics to pick from. It’s a nice way to supplement the day job, and believe it or not, this site doesn’t pay anything. It’s just something I enjoy doing. It also keeps my writing sharp. It helps me research quickly as well as write content and copy with a customer in mind. Both are excellent things to keep in mind, and if you do it enough, it’s much like muscle memory.
I rarely edit. Just about everything I write is in one shot, editing and thinking laterally as I go. Sometimes I outline, sometimes I just wing it. Sometimes my writing is full of cliches and businessy throwaway terms like “We’ve got you covered.” I take a lot of my inspiration from radio ads. Most of those are under 300 words long, they catch your interest, bring you in, and tell you one or two things you didn’t know. They bookend all of it with information about the company. Sometimes they throw in a catchy word or phrase. When you break it all down, it’s basically math. Words connect in an order. They play out an equation that balances on both sides of the equals sign.
It’s often dry. It is like going to the gym. You stand in place, working muscles, but you aren’t stepping over creek beds or listening to blue jays squabble in the trees. But sometimes you need to do it. Sometimes it is nice to get paid for doing something you love.