Writing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) articles and/or blog posts is generally utilized by freelance writers in one of two ways. Those who are new to freelance writing sometimes use this form of writing to gain more experience for higher-paying jobs. Experienced freelance writers might turn to SEO writing as a way to fill in the gaps between other projects. SEO writing was most prevalent in the early days of the Internet, though there are still some companies who hire for this. The key is to find a company that presents itself well, and treats its writers as the professionals that they are; Search Influence is just such a company.
Based in New Orleans, Search Influence is a digital marketing/web promotion company – except, they’re much more than that! They regularly work with nonprofits, and have a vested interest in seeing the New Orleans community prosper.
When I first learned of Search Influence, I did my usual “checking out the website” thing, and was impressed by several aspects. The design is modern, yet streamlined. So many websites these days are designed in such a way that it takes forever to scroll down to the footer information. Not so, here! Anything I had a question about was directly addressed in either a dropdown menu, or, yes, in the footer information.
The Application Process
It’s important to note that Search Influence places a high amount of importance on original content, and therefore, skilled writers. The application consists of the usual request for basic information, though also asks for original (unpaid) samples according to their guidelines. I’m usually very much against unpaid original samples as part of any freelance writing process, but they make it very clear that the samples are only used for evaluation purposes. I decided to take a chance, this one time, and proceed with the application.
The samples will vary in accordance with the sort of work that writers want to do for the company. In addition to SEO articles and blogs (which are what I wrote), there are also social media updates and press releases that prospective writers can complete samples for. It can be time-consuming to complete this application, so it’s best to only have a serious interest in completing it in one sitting; I would estimate it taking anywhere from an hour to a couple of hours, depending on previous experience.
It took only a couple of days for my application to be reviewed, after which time I was sent a very thorough informational/welcome email. I had to submit all of the usual paperwork through RightSignature, which I found to be very efficient – I wish more freelancing jobs used them!
This is where writers with a gift for writing/researching quickly will benefit more, since the pay is low, and average at best. Payment depends on the type of work it is, as well as the rating/grade editors give each submitted assignment. For example, it can be on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. When I wrote for them, the highest amount possible was $12.00, the lowest was $4.00. Payment was made every other week via PayPal.
Summarizing the Good and the Bad
The strongest aspect of Search Influence is, as previously mentioned, the importance it places on building a community. They really do care about making their writers feel appreciated and part of a team. They reply to any queries politely and promptly. I never had an issue with being paid, either. That being said, there wasn’t a lot of work to choose from. Many times, I logged in to find only the more difficult or tedious projects remained. So, this wouldn’t be something to depend on for a substantial amount of regular income.
As to the editors, those who reviewed my work were nice, and graded fairly. However, I was annoyed when one editor immediately spelled my first name incorrectly, and proceeded to pepper the review with grammar and spelling mistakes. That editor (they remain anonymous) gave me the highest score on the blog post I had written, yet, when I went to see it published online, had edited it to the point where it was only minimally familiar to me. Usually, I prefer to have bylines with my work, so it was a departure from my usual routine to ghostwrite content for Search Influence; in this scenario, I was glad of it!
Despite some shortcomings, Search Influence is the only company I would recommend at this time for those looking to write SEO content. Those interested in applying may do so here.
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