How I Became an SEO Expert and You Can, Too! – By Hailey Hudson

How I Became an SEO Expert and You Can, Too! – By Hailey Hudson

When I first started freelancing writing, I kept hearing one term repeated over and over: SEO. SEO keywords, SEO optimization, writing for SEO, etc. etc. And, I wasn’t completely sure what that meant. So, when a new client wanted me to take an SEO workshop, I immediately said yes.

These days, SEO is almost a prerequisite for many writing jobs. You have a MUCH better chance of getting hired if you’re proficient in SEO best practices. In a nutshell, SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of getting your web content to rank as high as possible in search results. If you’re a nutrition writer and you write a blog post on dieting, for instance, you want your article to be easily found by anyone who has questions about diets. So, you might include keywords and keyword phrases such as “choosing a diet program,” “ketogenic diet,” and “best diet program” as you write the content.

How can you become an SEO expert? If possible, take an online course or workshop and definitely do some research by reading articles about SEO best practices online. When it’s time to start writing, use tools such as SEMRush to research common keywords for your topic. Do your own research, too. If you were searching for advice on a certain topic, what phrases would you search for online? What type of articles come up when you search for those phrases in your favorite search engine? Once you’ve decided on a list of keywords (prioritizing the most highly-searched ones over others), insert them into the blog post as you write.

It’s important not to partake in a practice known as “keyword stuffing” — shoving as many keywords as possible into an article. Articles that are loaded with keywords are earmarked as spam by Google. When you write SEO content, it needs to be natural and engaging, just like any other piece of content. Find subtle ways to include a variety of keyword phrases.

In addition to including keywords in the body of the blog post, include keywords in the title, headers, link text (any words or phrases that you hyperlink), alt tags (the text that shows up if an image cannot be displayed),  image file names, and in meta tags and descriptions (which summarize a webpage).

Through trial and error, I’ve become an SEO expert, and discovered the best ways to get an article to rank high in Google. Right now, a blog post I wrote for a client is the #1 result for its target keyword phrase and related keyword phrases. Even better, I can show that article to prospective clients, and make good money — $500 to optimize a pre-written 1,000-word article kind of good. What’s not to love about that?


Hailey Hudson is a full-time freelance fitness, marketing, and education writer based out of Atlanta. She is available for hire. Learn more at her website, The Hardworking Creative, or contact her on LinkedIn.

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