Search engine optimization (SEO) involves getting traffic to client websites by ranking highly on search engines such as Google and Bing. SEO freelancers produce high-quality content, build backlinks and incorporate keywords that match current user searches.
The world of SEO is constantly changing and any freelancer that would like to make a living as an SEO freelancer needs to stay on top of the latest trends and tactics to rank their clients. In this guide, we will dive into what it takes to get started as an SEO Freelancer and some of the tactics you can use to build your career in SEO.
You should also take note that SEO is becoming an increasingly competitive space and there are large companies out there that are gobbling up all of the prospective clients and if you want to stand out you will need to get really good at what you do and build case studies quickly.
This is possible, and with some hard work and dedication to the craft there is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to stand out and build your SEO freelancing career.
What is an SEO freelancer?
SEO specialists use research to improve a website’s ranking on search engines. These marketing professionals are often freelancers who are tech-savvy writers, editors and content managers. Much of the effort involves using tools such as Google Analytics to find the most popular keywords associated with the products and services offered by clients. Then, the SEO freelancers create value-added content containing those keywords. This draws searchers to the target website. SEO leaves crumbs for search engines to follow once a user enters a search string. With the right research, this is a reliable way to grow organic traffic and attract users who hopefully convert to paying customers.
How much do SEO freelancers make?
Sources wildly vary on this number, with Indeed.com listing averaging $53,000 and $67,000 for SEO editors, writers and specialists. Ziprecruiter, another popular online job board, reports a range of $19,500 and $102,000, with most positions falling in the area of $60,000.
Some of the variations in pay range may stem from high number of part-time workers. Many SEO professionals have other jobs and pursue this career as a side gig. Working full-time at an agency or starting your own SEO services can pay off in a big way.
According to Search Engine Journal, SEO professionals earned an average of $81,103 in 2018, with typical clients paying around $1,779 per month. The SEJ article was based on a Bright Journal study of 650 SEO marketing firms.
How to be a successful SEO freelancer
Here are some of the most in-demand services offered by SEO freelancers:
- Citation management
- Content optimization
- Content creation
- GMB optimization
- Link building
- On-site optimization
- Reputation management
- SEO audits and analysis
- Social media
- Website design
Decide which services best match your abilities. Consider outsourcing tasks that you are still mastering, at least in the beginning, to increase your return on investment.
A crucial step in how to become an SEO freelancer is finding someone to pay you for your services. Start with online platforms that match freelancers with paying clients.
You can bid for work on these platforms as you build up your clientele. The more clients you have, the more you can charge for proven results:
Join forums on job boards and other sites, such as Reddit, where you can ask questions and see what other professionals in the field are doing. You can learn how to get paid upfront to avoid working for free for non-paying clients. Some jobs, like those on Upwork, are funded before you start a project.
Starting a new career demands dedication
You must put in the time and effort to get your name out there, just as any new brand has to do. Start with a strong cover letter that helps you get hired for projects that appeal to you. Keywords in the cover letter might include the following:
- Keyword developments
- Website analytics
- Content optimization
- Web traffic management
- Social media marketing
- SEO best practices
Finding clients takes a lot of time and energy. Continue adding new skill sets that will bring you paying clients and help you stand out from the competition.
As eager as you might be for your first job, know your worth. Slaving away for pennies on the hour will quickly sour your outlook and that will show in the work you do.
You can succeed as an SEO freelancer by learning the ropes quickly. Before you sacrifice time and effort learning on your own, make this important transition the right way. School for Freelancers offers classes and tools to get you started in this competitive field.
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