Written By Alexandra Romanov

How to Build a Residual Income With SEO & Yahoo Voices

Using SEO to Maximize Your Residual Income on Yahoo Voices

I’ve had articles on Yahoo Voices that averaged 100 views a month and I’ve had articles that, once I mastered SEO, averaged 100,000 views a month. The financial difference is hundreds of dollars per month and thousands of dollars a year.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. What that means, in a nutshell, is a manner of writing that makes it easy for the search engines to read and add your articles to their results list. The better you are at SEO, the higher your article will list on the results page.

Internet Writing

The difference in writing for the Internet as opposed to writing for print media is that in print writing you focus on a catchy title and a compelling article. While both of those factors are still extremely important, people have to find your article before those two aspects come into play. That is why SEO is so important for writers to master quickly: It’s how we get read.

When working with any residual income site, SEO is the single most important aspect of your writing. It’s so important that Yahoo actually created its own style guide so that writers can maximize their SEO without running into issues with search engine filters.

What is Yahoo Voices?

Yahoo Voices is a part of the Yahoo family of sites that allows writers to essentially write on any non-fiction topic that they choose. Writers have other writing options to earn even more money through upfront as well as residual payments. I reviewed them previously here and that article is worth a look if for no other reason than Yahoo Voices is a great place to write and earn an unlimited amount of money through their residual payments.

Any Internet writing is going to require you to master SEO. For a residual income site like Yahoo Voices it’s the best way to make good money and to establish yourself and your brand.

Keywords and Keyword Phrases

The single most important factor within SEO itself is the keyword or keyword phrase that you use. This is the word or phrase that people are going to type into the search engine when looking for information.

Some keyword phrases are obvious. If you are writing and article on how to kill aphids on roses then ‘kill aphids on roses’ is the obvious choice for a phrase. Unfortunately, not all keyword phrases are obvious.

I once wrote an article about a reclusive heiress, Huguette Clark. She had recently died leaving her estate to those who had cared for her along with her attorney. Distant relatives were challenging her will. The story was trending all over the Internet but the keyword question was whether to use her name as the keyword or something else. Because she had not only an unusual name but also the trend factor, I chose the keyword phrase ‘reclusive heiress’ as opposed to something else. Now the obvious choice in cases where articles are about a single person (I’ve also written about numerous political figures) is to use their name. This is generally the best option when the name is well known. When it isn’t, often another distinguishing factor is best. The goal is to use what people would most likely be searching for in regards to the person.

One of the best ways to decide on a keyword or keyword phrase is to check out what’s trending on Google. If your article is more evergreen (it is designed to be relevant for a long time) than trending, then simply consider what you would search for if you wanted to find your article. Keeping it simple is always best.

Keyword Research

There are several ways to research the best keywords and keyword phrases to use in your writing. You will always want to do this before you begin the actual writing of the article. There are two free tools that you can use to help with this: Trellian’s Keyword Discovery and Google AdWords. Just input a potential keyword into the tool and it will generate alternatives and additional keywords and keyword phrases.

Using Keywords and Keyword Phrases

Once you have settled on a keyword or a keyword phrase you have to know how and where to use it. There are a few rules to proper SEO keyword use that need to be followed for the search engines to not only properly index your article but to avoid being blacklisted as a result of keyword stuffing.

  • Title: Use it in the title of your article
  • Opening: Use it within the first 100 words of your article
  • Per article limit: This is based on overall word count. It’s roughly 3 times per 1000 words. You never want to go over 10 times, no matter how long the article.

Use in the title should be fairly obvious: This is what your article is about and it needs to be there. Make the article title catchy or at least targeted and relevant because after it appears in the search results people have to want to click on the link and read it.

Using the keyword phrase in the opening is important because it sets the tone for the article. Again, you want people to be interested enough to keep reading.

Usage limit: We have all seen sites on the Internet that were little more than a collection of keywords and keyword phrases. You probably haven’t seen many of them lately. The reason for this is that the major search engines (Yahoo, Google, Bing) have all started to blacklist sites that do this.

It’s not hard to avoid this problem. Not only do the search engines scan for the keywords but they also scan for what is deemed ‘natural use’ that means that if you have over used a keyword but the use is natural then you would be okay. For example, in the above-mentioned article on roses, if you chose to use either ‘aphids’ or ‘roses’ as a singular keyword, you are probably going to have to overuse the word. That’s a rookie mistake and one that would normally be overlooked by the search engines.

It’s important to remember that on Yahoo Voices you will add your Keyword to the tags section. That does not change how the search engines examine your article. Proper SEO is the same on every site, no matter how the writing block is set up.

Which is better: Keywords or Keyword Phrases?

Without a doubt you should always use a phrase as opposed to a single keyword. Using a single keyword will result in the just mentioned rookie mistake. It’s much easier to use a phrase because that phrase must be used precisely as it is designated. So your article on “How to Kill Aphids on Roses”, keyword phrase ‘kill aphids on roses’ is perfect. You can use that phrase 3-5 times depending on the length of the article but still mention killing aphids, aphids, and roses as often as necessary.

Other SEO Factors

SEO goes beyond keywords and keyword phrases. When the search engines are indexing Yahoo Voices, they scan over all of the articles. They look for the keywords, keyword phrases and use of keywords in the articles. They also look for types of print, additional search tags and links.

Print Type

Very few people realize that search engines also look at two types of print: Bold and Italic. You can use this information to boost the SEO score for your articles.

  • Bold Print

Save this for headings and sub-headings. This denotes something to focus on which is exactly what the search engines will do when they encounter bold text. It will ideally add a boost to your SEO rating if for no other reason than you have broken up your writing in appropriate Internet fashion to make it easier to read on the computer screen.

  • Italic Print

Use this for quotes and for titles, such as a book or movie you are reviewing. You also use it for referencing within your text. The search engines will scan the entire italic print and index it accordingly. I had a huge bump in page views on Yahoo Voices when using italic print in a review I did of Mockingbird Lane, the Halloween remake of The Munsters.


Tags sometimes throw people. Part of the problem is that the term is overused on the Internet. Within writing on Yahoo Voices it means search terms that people might use to search for your article, including your keyword phrase. This is also the place to put single words that people might use. For the sample article above, you could list ‘aphids,’ ‘roses,’ ‘kill aphids,’ ‘rose care,’ and ‘kill aphids on roses.’ When search engines examine Yahoo articles they compare the list of tags with the words of the title and the introduction to the tags. They will focus on your specific phrase even though there is no specific place on Yahoo Voices to designate it.


Links can also boost your SEO score with search engines. Three links is generally enough to get a good boost in SEO and it adds credibility to your article.

Let’s put it all together

You are writing an article on killing aphids on roses. It’s going to be a 600-word article. Your title is: How to Kill Aphids on Roses

  • Your keyword phrase is: Kill aphids on roses
  • You are going to have 3 sections: What are Aphids, Removing Aphids, Preventing Aphids. These will all be in bold print.
  • You are going to refer to three websites, one for each area. You will cite them in text using italics. You will also include them in the links section at the end.
  • Write the article being sure to include the exact phrase ‘kill aphids on roses’ 3 times.
  • Set as your tags: ‘aphids,’ ‘roses,’ ‘kill aphids,’ ‘rose care,’ ‘kill aphids on roses.’

Once you get used to writing good SEO it will be as natural to you as writing without it is now. It’s vitally important to master SEO as quickly as possible if you are writing on the Internet. The higher your rankings the more money your articles will be worth. Yahoo Voices will pay residuals to you for your articles posted there and those are based entirely on page views. The better your SEO, the more page views you will generate. This gives you more residual income as well as opens you up for targeted articles from the Yahoo editors. These articles pay well upfront plus you also earn residual income from them. Many writers on Yahoo Voices make more than $1000 a month just in residual payments.


We send you writing jobs.

Sign up and we'll send you 3 companies hiring writers now. Plus, we'll send more companies as we find and review them. All in our free email magazine.

We're the magazine for freelance writers.

We send you companies hiring writers.

Subscribe and we'll send you 3 companies hiring right now.

We'll also send you a guide that gets you started.

We're completely free.

Subscribe now. (It's free.)


About Us

We're dedicated to helping freelance writers succeed. We send you reviews of freelance writing companies, assignments, and articles to help build your writing career. You can view our privacy policy here, and our disclaimer. To get started, simply enter your email address in the form on this page.