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4 ways to turn your journalism qualification into an SEO Career

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It’s no secret that print has been disrupted over the years by digital publishing, pushing many journalists into the online writing world or cross-platform opportunities. We hear reports about newspaper reporters being laid off, network news dropping and newspaper circulation rapidly declining – but despite contrary belief, the art of journalism is far from endangered. In fact, it’s still very much alive and well.

As the digital age continues to boom, journalism jobs have needed to evolve to keep up with the latest innovative trends. Gone are the days of print-only or broadcast journalists – these days, journalists must be able to gather the facts and tell a story through a variety of mediums to truly stretch their writing wings. The way journalists do their jobs has definitely changed but the basics – critical thinking, cutting through the mass of information and great writing still remains strong.

Media is and will continue to change, so how do you break into the progressing world of journalism? We check out top ways to turn your journalism or communications qualification into a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) career.

1. Become a SEO Content Writer

Search Engine Optimisation refers to the process of optimising a website in a way that’s easily accessible via major search engines like Google. Combining the use of online marketing with traditional advertising, SEO content writers have become high in demand thanks to technology advancements and the need for an online presence for businesses.

As an SEO content writer, you’ll be responsible for combining the use of online marketing with traditional advertising. Content written will be keyword rich and appealing, complete with prior keyword research and optimisation before you put pen to paper. Once the content has been written, logical content organisation and promotion will help to boost chances of visitors staying on the client’s website longer and be noticed by major search engines.

Similar to a professional blogger, an SEO content writer will create content with a specific client in mind and can include anything from product pages to guides, blog posts and news and feature articles. With the continuous innovations of technology, SEO content writers are high in demand and as a result have become a crucial role for many businesses. This profitable career can be accessed through English, journalism or communication majors.

2. A Career in Copywriting

Copywriting is a whole new ball game from journalism but they share the same underlining passion – getting paid to be creative. Acting like a bridge between creative writing and advertising, a career in copywriting is a journalism major’s dream and suits diligent writers with colourful and artistic minds.

Businesses big and small will utilise a creative department complete with a copywriter and the SEO industry is no different. Landing yourself an SEO copywriting job involves writing digital and print copy, editing and proofreading, social and web campaigns, online PR and creating fantastically compelling content that ranks naturally in search engines. Because Search Engine Optimisation is a process that’s used across all boards, you can find yourself writing in a vast range of industries. Copywriters must be able to capture attention through creative copy, beat that dreaded writer’s block and attract viewers to the client’s website by writing for both humans and search engine robots. Understanding of the SEO industry is definitely an advantage too – this article provides a good starting point in working SEO words.

3. Strategic Public Relations

As traditional media journalism makes a prominent switch from print to digital, a background in either journalism or communications can open the door to PR opportunities. Strategic public relations has more to do with SEO than a lot of people realise – it’s all about building relationships which is a core part of effective SEO.

The most important aspect of SEO is unquestionably quality content. Whilst high quality content helps to build backlinks, it’s not enough anymore. This is where strategic PR shines. Along with quality content, people (and relationships) produce links. If the right people know and trust you, you’re more likely going to get what you need from them and the best person to build these relationships and links is the job of a public relations officer.

From content distribution and pitching the right press releases to relevant media outlets, to ongoing networking and influential marketing, strategic public relations works hand-in-hand with search engine optimisation. And as this field requires a strong understanding of research, AP style writing and marketing-based journalism – a background in the industry can help you excel in an SEO business.

4. Social Media Savviness

These days, social media plays a crucial role in almost everything we do. From engagement and networking, to content promotions and brand awareness there’s really no escaping it. It’s important – as a journalist, copywriter or PR officer in the SEO industry that your skills go beyond critical thinking and great writing – you need to be willing to develop new skills all the time and be social media savvy.

If you’re wanting to turn your journalism qualifications into an SEO career, your social media profiles should demonstrate a high level of understanding of the different social media platforms and the potential value they bring for your content. Future journalists, content writers and PR officers need to be aware of the relationship between social media and SEO and the affect (both positive and negative) they can have on each other.

By combining a journalism qualification with the right tools, attitude and industry knowledge you can open up a world of opportunities by making a lucrative living in the SEO industry. Despite how much journalism changes, breaking into the field in this digital age is still very possible.


About the Author:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson who writes for White Chalk Road – a specialised SEO and Online Marketing company in Perth. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.