Learning how to use SEO plugins for Wordpress and how to do backend SEO for your website is essential, but the SEO in your articles should happen naturally. If you're actually creating content your customers will find relevant and useful the keywords will already be there.
Here's the thing: every year Google's algorithms get smarter. There are still ways to game the system and there always will be, but it's getting harder as the technology improves and unless you're a tech genius who loves doing this kind of thing it's not worth it. Any strategies you do develop for gaming the system will likely become irrelevant the next time Google changes its algorithms and you may even get set back by multiple pageranks.
So what should you be spending most of your time on? A grand total of three things:
1) Excellent products/services
If you are the best you can be at what you do people are bound to notice. If you help people change their lives they will want to talk about it, and word of mouth is the most powerful type of marketing there is. And you know it's true--after all, aren't you more likely to buy something or watch a movie when one of your friends has already recommended it?
2) Extremely useful content
Free content has to be high quality too. Everything you do must be high quality if you want to set yourself apart from the average business owner in your industry. Every time you plan an article you should ask yourself three questions. Does this actually help your customer improve their life? Does it relate directly to any of your products and/or services? Is this content different from what my competitors are producing in some way?
If you can honestly say yes to all three of those questions, the content is worth creating. If not, it's time to go back to the drawing board.
Are you suddenly throwing out half of your ideas? Maybe you need to revisit your posting schedule. Posting an extremely high quality article, video or podcast biweekly or even once a month will get you more traction than posting tiny, somewhat useful articles every week.
3) Building relationships
Develop relationships with influencers in your niche. It can't be said enough. These are the people who will propel your career forward. Reach out to them. Post useful, genuine comments and compliments on their blogs. Pitch guest articles. Offer to interview them on your own blog.
The more you develop relationships with these people, the more likely they are to recommend your content or your services. Eventually you'll be able to develop massive marketing campaigns simply by asking people you know to spread the word about your latest product--and doesn't that sound like the best way to find new customers?
Do you think you've been too heavily focused on SEO writing? Or have you always approached SEO this way? Tell me all about it!