Surfer SEO Writing Masterclass:
A Freelance Writer's Review

How does Surfer SEO Writing Masterclass stack up in the sea of content marketing courses? In this review, I break down what you’ll learn and why it’s ideal for freelance writers.

I’ve bought my fair share of content marketing courses. 

Smart Blogger’s Content Marketing Certification program. 

Grow And Convert’s membership community course. 

And recently, CXL Technical Content Marketing mini-degree.

So it goes without saying… 

I have a pretty high bar for standard. 🙂 

A few months ago, when Surfer announced it was launching an SEO writing course for free till February 2021, I immediately jumped on it.

Wondering if Surfer SEO Writing Masterclass is worth your time?

In today’s post, I share my no-holds-barred review and why it’s perfect for freelance writers.

Random thoughts: Why do people keep using “copywriting” and “content writing” interchangeably when they're of different fields? Oh well.

Module 1: Content Strategy and Keyword Research


Surfer does a great job covering the different stages of awareness and how they each play a role in content. 

I like how the course breaks down the concepts behind keyword research and prioritization

For example, if you’re targeting an informational-intent keyword like “How to write a content brief,” you’re unlikely to rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs) with a product or landing page. Your chances will be much higher if it’s a how-to guide. 

Next, Surfer moves on to topic clusters (e.g., how pillar pages and subpages work together). The real-world and theoretical examples are helpful for anyone trying to make sense of SEO for the first time.

Surfer even offers a free worksheet to put these learnings into practice.

Module 2: Four Phases of SEO Writing


Holy moly, module two is a beast. There are 18 videos! If you’re a freelance writer intimidated by SEO, this is the section you want to focus more on.

Surfer kickstarts module two with the discovery phase

It goes in deep on search intent, exploring transactional, informational, navigation, and commercial-type keywords. Next, the course shows you how to analyze the SERPs and outline your post based on what you’ve learned using Surfer’s tool.

The course then moves on to the writing phase. Surfer does a splendid job covering the fundamentals (e.g., write as a subject matter expert). 

Surfer SEO Writing Masterclass also left me surprised… and embarrassed. In my 8+ years of content writing, I discovered a few things I didn’t know. Like how title tags and h1 tags are not the same. 😲 

Surfer also briefly explores copywriting and how you can apply some of its tactics in your content. The course touches on the importance of internal linking, meta descriptions, and image alt-texts. The last bit got a “Heck yeah!” from me as most of the SEO writing courses I’ve bought rarely teach this.

Toward the end of module two is the conversion phase. Here you’ll learn how to attract leads with irresistible offers (e.g., gated content and its pros and cons) and calls-to-action (CTAs) that align with the reader’s experience.

Lastly, the optimization phase. Surfer shows us how to check rankings and run SEO audits with Google Search Console. The course even offers an on-page optimization worksheet. 

Module 3: Increase Wages For Your Content Services

This is me being picky, but it would've sound better if Surfer uses the word "rates" instead of "wages!"

Surfer’s last module brought a smile to my face when I first saw it. An SEO writing course that teaches practical tips on raising our rates? Say no more.

A quick observation: Most SEO content marketing courses don’t offer raising rates as a module, and for the right reason. Given that Surfer counts freelance writers as one of its target customers, it makes perfect sense to include it in the course.

Before enrolling in Surfer SEO Writing Masterclass, I’d already been applying their tips whenever I pitch my services to leads and past clients. 

I can vouch it works. 🙂

Bear in mind, this isn’t the typical “I’m raising my rates” template email. Surfer shows you the specific angle to use to convince clients of your worth. I’m not going to share what the instructors teach in this course because… well, it wouldn’t be fair. 🤭 

Surfer SEO Writing Masterclass: Buy Or Pass?

The Surfer SEO Writing Masterclass is a product-led course. On top of actionable SEO advice, the videos are sprinkled with bite-sized product demos.

However, don’t let that fool you. Even if you’re not planning to buy Surfer’s SEO tool, the videos are still immensely helpful. I’ve been writing content since 2012, and I managed to walk away with a few new ideas.

Surfer SEO Writing Masterclass costs $199. This one-time payment gives you lifetime access to the course, discounts for Surfer’s tool, and a personalized certificate of completion.

Here's mine!

Final Verdict: Surfer’s SEO Writing Masterclass is for you if you want to transition from writing to content marketing and feel more confident in doing SEO.

One of my business goals in 2021 is to complete the content marketing and copywriting courses I’ve bought over the previous years. The next one on my list? Grow and Convert’s membership community course. Want to know if it’s the right fit for you? Sign up and get notified when the review’s live. 👇🏼

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