To be honest, Search Engine Optimization is not everyone’s cup of tea. To help our websites scale better in terms of their search engine rankings, we often end up hiring expert SEO professionals or agencies that do the deed for us.
Even if we begin to take on the SEO tasks all by ourselves, there is always a time for seeking professional help when we are stuck at difficult points in our SEO journey. This further implies the importance of SEO professionals in the life of website owners. Now, that brings us to the relevance of the career as an SEO professional.
If you have substantial SEO knowledge and had always wanted to be an SEO professional, it’s worth considering going the freelance way. We bet you might have even given this a thought, at least once.
A freelance SEO career can be a fulfilling experience in terms of the kind of work contribution and finance as well. Hence, it is a great way to take charge of your career in your hands and be a professional success, working on your own terms.
So, how do you exactly start a freelancing career as a Search Engine Optimization expert? Let’s find out.
Gauge the understanding of your SEO expertise
If you choose to impart your services in SEO as a freelancer, you will have to be equipped with all that is about SEO. Once you have gauged that understanding of your skill level, you must then ensure that you are in possession of proper resources, tools, and software that would be needed to meet the SEO needs of your clients.
You must be skilled to handle the SEO of all kind of websites, regardless of the website builders they are built on. This understanding will help you reach out for the right projects that fall under your skill set and perform better.
Get a website and list your services
Before establishing yourself as a freelance SEO professional, you will need a website to market your skills and your services. Having a website puts your credibility on the right front and brings you forward as a reliable candidate for potential clients.
Again, listing your services is beneficial in terms of staying clear about what SEO services you offer. This will save time off your grid as well as that of the clients who might get in touch with you to get their project started.
List yourself on freelancing portals and start bidding
Once you have made up your mind regarding your career as an SEO freelancer, you will have to look for leads for getting hired on projects. Very similar to putting out your business on an ecommerce platform, you can sell your freelance SEO service as well.
Finding the right leads can be an overwhelming job for many new freelancers in situations where they are not aware of the sources of these leads. Here are a few Freelance bidding platforms that can help you get hired easily.
Look at what the leading SEO freelancers are doing
In order to be able to perform well as a freelance SEO professional, you are obligated to work like one. Studying the professional work ethics of successful or in-demand freelancers will help you create better job cover letters, make better bids, and seal in on great project deals.
You can even try being an active part of Freelance communities so that you can stay aware of the changes in freelancing trends and even create a strong union of like-minded professionals who can help you in dicey situations such as an event where your payment gets clogged by a client.
Commit to a work schedule and stick to it
Freelancing is not always all fun. It requires commitment like no other daily profession.
Being a freelance SEO, you will be expected to quickly churn rankings for your clients. This means that you will have to put in all your efforts into that direction. All these efforts require you to timely deliver work as per the client’s expectations and work on a schedule.
Begin with a small budget and garner reviews
Starting out on your freelance SEO career, you might not always catch the bigger fish. But in order to land up with bigger projects, good work recommendations, and client reviews can come to your rescue.
These reviews are really important in building your credibility as a reliable freelancer. You can start taking up smaller projects and as you finish them, you can request the client to provide you with feedback as well as reviews.
The feedback will be helpful in enhancing the quality of your work, whereas the reviews will help you get more projects.
Sell your freelance services with complete dedication
By asking you to sell your services with complete dedication, we mean that you should build a very strong cover letter strategy so that you can increase your chances of getting hired for a project or a job that you have applied for.
As an SEO freelancer, your cover letter will be quite different from that of the other freelancers. Your cover letter should talk about Online content strategy, Keyword development, Website analytics, Organic and paid traffic, Web traffic management, and growth, ROI analysis, SEO best practices, Social media platforms etc.
Keep adding a new set of skills
Once you have started your freelancing career, you will gain a lot of working experience. However, since all your working time will be involved in completing and working on projects for your clients, you might run out of new skills/technical knowledge that has just happened to brace the market.
Hence, it is important for you to stay informed and work on adding new skills to your existing skills set and expand your knowledge of SEO. This will help you be competent enough to expand your work horizon and take on new projects that you might have earlier not even thought about.
Know your worth
All of us go for the freelance life only because of two beneficial factors: the freedom to work at one’s own will and financial gain.
It is true that an established freelancer is capable of making more money than other regular work professionals. But, that will only be possible for you when you know your real worth and are able to gauge the pricing of your projects as per them.
SEO is a flourishing industry, thanks to its growing digital prominence. This also brings about the fact that there are more professionals involved in the competition than ever. This competition has a negative effect on the pricing on the projects because a lot of SEO professionals are ready to work at real low rates than average. This affects the pricing in the SEO industry overall and the clients tend to go for cheaper SEO professionals.
This makes it an obligation for you to work on stipulated rates as per your skills and not accept projects at any rate lower than that. This will also be a great way to freelance for you as only credible clients will associate with you, assuring absolute timely payment.
Beginning your career as a freelance SEO specialist will be full of challenges and opportunities. Before you make the move and sacrifice a significant amount of time and effort into making the transition, it is important for you to assess if you are the right fit for this kind of work opportunity. Search Engine Optimization is a task that requires dedication and time.
Make sure that you are able to deliver that. Be aware of your self-learning process and determine if you can adapt to Algorithm changes quickly. If all the answers are in positive, you can definitely get started with your SEO freelancing career in a jiffy.
Note from the SEW team: If you’d like to further up your freelance SEO ante, we accept applications for Search Engine Watch contributors here.
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