The Freelance SEO Professional’s Journey, How To Get Going In SEO [Study Outcomes]

Posted by

SEO is a field that’s ripe with opportunities to build satisfying professions, though there’s no plainly specified course to starting.

There aren’t always any degrees required to work in SEO. This leaves many aiming professionals left to question how they can show they’re received the job.

You’ll most likely get 10 various answers if you ask ten SEO pros how they got their first job. One or more of those responses is most likely to focus on freelancing.

Working as an independent specialist is how a meaningful portion of individuals get their start in SEO. Some utilize freelancing as a stepping stone to an in-house or firm position, while others build their entire profession around it.

According to information in our State of SEO in 2022, professionals can find substantial success doing freelance work. Near to 45% of freelance and contract participants reported earning $75,000 to $149,000.

In this article, we’ll look deeper at the information surrounding this curious group of SEO professionals.

How do you become an SEO freelancer? What does an SEO freelancer do? Most notably, how does an SEO freelancer get clients?

This article broadens on the data discovered in our yearly State Of SEO Report. Download the complete report to see the first-party information.

Numerous SEO Professionals Get Their Start As Freelancers

Freelancing is a popular choice for SEO experts early in their careers.

When we asked for how long SEO pros have actually been working in the field, over 45% of freelancer respondents stated they have less than five years of experience.

That number isn’t unexpected when you understand why many take the freelancing course in the first location.

If you’re not a market veteran with an established portfolio, discovering full-time work in an internal function or agency position can be difficult.

In a field without formalized education, freelancing is a path toward developing the experience employers are trying to find.

With that said, freelancing isn’t exclusively an early-stage career kind of gig. As our information in the next section programs, freelancers tend to make a higher-than-average wage, which makes it a feasible alternative to pursue long-term.

Freelancers Are A Smaller Group, However With Greater Typical Earnings

As pointed out at the start of this post, 44.5% of freelance and contract participants report making incomes above $75,000 per year.

That number is particularly noteworthy when you take a look at the number of years of experience freelancers have.

  • Out of the total variety of respondents with less than 2 years of experience, 9.4% were freelancers or founders.
  • Out of the total variety of participants with 2 to four years of experience, 10.1% were freelancers or founders.
  • Practically half of all freelancers and creators (45.6%) had 4 or less years of experience.

Although freelancers and founders are a fairly small group compared to others, they can often command higher rates than their peers. Only 6.7% of freelancers and creators took incomes of $34,000 or less.

However, it’s important to note that “founders” might represent the greater salary brackets discovered in this group, implying that freelancers might require to build a book of service prior to commanding the greatest rates.

How SEO Freelancers Work And Discover Business

When we asked SEO freelancers which channels drive the most service, they responded:

  1. Network referrals (9.5%).
  2. Browse (8.9%).
  3. Individual networks (8.7%).
  4. Organic social (7.7%).
  5. Upwork (7.7%).

As the data recommends, freelancers mainly depend on track record and word-of-mouth to generate work.

This puts newer SEO professionals at a downside as they’re less most likely to have the experience, portfolios, or client lists required to discover work.

That’s where natural search and social been available in. More recent freelancers can show themselves by marketing their services utilizing a website and social networks profiles.

Freelance job boards like Upwork provide another path for freelancers to take when they don’t have the advantage of word of mouth to carry them to their next gig.

Smaller sized percentages of freelancers also report using paid channels such as Google Ads (7.5%) and social media advertising (6.1%) to discover work.

Being An SEO Freelancer Is Difficult, But Comes With Chance

Freelancing isn’t for the faint of heart. In addition to being accountable for finding their own customers, freelancers are expected to provide a wider variety of services than other SEO experts.

For instance, an SEO pro dealing with an internal group might be solely responsible for auditing new customers’ websites. On the other hand, a freelancer might be anticipated to investigate the site, figure out how to enhance the site to deliver much better results, and then perform the plan.

Being a freelancer features a significant amount of duty. However, there are special opportunities in freelancing that make up for the drawbacks.

We’ve pointed out the higher-than-average wages, and we ‘d be remiss not to point out the liberty paid for by freelancing.

Operating in SEO as an independent contractor enables people to work from home and set their own hours. This level of flexibility can produce a much healthier work/life balance compared to operating in a workplace, as freelancers can easily make time for other top priorities in life.

On the other hand, you may choose to pursue freelance work only to discover the advantages aren’t worth the drawbacks.

That’s perfectly fine due to the fact that the experience you gain makes you better to employers. After a few years of freelancing, you’re much better positioned to transition into an internal or agency role.

SEO Freelancers Can Shift Into Full-Time Work

Being an SEO freelancer isn’t a lifetime dedication. While some flourish in it, professional life isn’t for everybody.

The idea of finding your own customers, producing your own income, and doing the work of multiple people is not surprisingly intimidating. That doesn’t indicate it’s unworthy putting in the effort.

SEO freelancers with even a year or 2 of experience are distinctively certified to shift into full-time work.

Here’s a list of reasons that:

  • Carrying out a vast array of services offers you experience operating in various roles.
  • Building up a base of clients suggests you have many employment references available when requesting jobs.
  • Your connections through freelancing can lead to irreversible employment in other companies.

In summary, taking the road less traveled can cause chances that weren’t previously readily available to you.

You can find all of our first-party data about the professions of freelancers, in addition to SEO experts in internal and company positions, in our yearly State Of SEO Report.

Included image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel