Getting a site up to the top search results using SEO includes manipulating ad placement, optimizing HTML coding and correct use of keyword placement. Contracted writers don't need to know about ad placement or HTML because site owners take care of that. Content writers do need to know, however, about keywords and understand keyword optimization within content.
Keyword placement in content writing is standard and if you don't understand it, or you use it to create spam, you diminish the marketing aspect of becoming a successful content writer for the web. Promotional tactics for a contracted content writer have always been to use keywords and deliver solid content, and both are still very much relevant, but that content you just wrote needs to get to the people who are looking for it.
As the Internet grows and morphs with ever expanding social media, delivering optimized content using keyword SEO methods isn't the only trick a content writer must know. On today's competitive Internet, writers who don't understand social media marketing will get left behind. Social media gets the content out to the masses without depending on search engines. And it's free.
Facebook, Twitter, Digg and many other social networking sites aren't changing the optimized writing style; instead, it's being told to move over, to take its proper place. One way conversation isn't fun anymore. Web followers want interaction and love to have a dialogue with others. Social networking accomplishes this and more and it become relevant because it depends upon sharing.
Social media marketing gives writers the opportunity to communicate with potential audiences that conventional SEO methods might not reach. Writers have never been able to live in a bubble if they wanted their work to reach the masses; social networking sites are where the masses are today.Social networking oftentimes brings the writer and her article in front of the masses much quicker than a search engine ranking. However, that doesn't mean SEO is dead. As Gary Vaynerchuck said, "content is king, but marketing is queen (and the queen rules the household)." SEO has a new partner and content writers do themselves a disservice if they don't learn to engage her.