The Freelance SEO Expert’s Journey, How To Get Started In SEO [Study Results]

Posted by

SEO is a field that’s ripe with chances to develop satisfying professions, though there’s no clearly specified course to starting.

There aren’t always any degrees required to operate in SEO. This leaves lots of aiming practitioners left to question how they can prove they’re received the task.

You’ll probably get ten different answers if you ask ten SEO pros how they got their first job. Several of those responses is most likely to focus on freelancing.

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

According to data in our State of SEO in 2022, professionals can discover substantial success doing freelance work. Near 45% of freelance and agreement respondents reported earning $75,000 to $149,000.

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

How do you end up being an SEO freelancer? What does an SEO freelancer do? Most importantly, how does an SEO freelancer get clients?

This article expands on the data discovered in our annual State Of SEO Report. Download the full report to see the first-party data.

Many SEO Professionals Get Their Start As Freelancers

Freelancing is a popular option for SEO professionals early in their professions.

When we asked for how long SEO pros have been operating in the field, over 45% of freelancer respondents stated they have less than 5 years of experience.

That number isn’t unexpected when you comprehend why numerous take the freelancing path in the first place.

If you’re not a market veteran with a recognized portfolio, discovering full-time operate in an in-house function or agency position can be tough.

In a field without formalized education, freelancing is a course towards building the experience employers are searching for.

With that stated, freelancing isn’t specifically an early-stage career kind of gig. As our data in the next area programs, freelancers tend to make a higher-than-average wage, which makes it a feasible choice to pursue long-term.

Freelancers Are A Smaller Sized Group, However With Higher Typical Earnings

As discussed at the start of this short article, 44.5% of freelance and contract participants report earning incomes above $75,000 annually.

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

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

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

Nevertheless, it is essential to keep in mind that “founders” may represent the higher salary brackets discovered in this group, meaning that freelancers may require to develop a book of service before commanding the greatest rates.

How SEO Freelancers Work And Find Organization

When we asked SEO freelancers which channels drive the most company, they reacted:

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

As the data suggests, freelancers mainly depend on reputation and word-of-mouth to generate work.

This puts more recent SEO specialists at a downside as they’re less most likely to have the experience, portfolios, or customer lists necessary to find work.

That’s where organic search and social can be found in. Newer freelancers can prove themselves by marketing their services utilizing a website and social media profiles.

Freelance task boards like Upwork offer another path for freelancers to take when they don’t have the benefit of word of mouth to bring them to their next gig.

Smaller portions of freelancers also report using paid channels such as Google Advertisements (7.5%) and social media marketing (6.1%) to discover work.

Being An SEO Freelancer Is Difficult, However Includes Chance

Freelancing isn’t for the faint of heart. In addition to being responsible for discovering their own customers, freelancers are anticipated to offer a more comprehensive variety of services than other SEO professionals.

For instance, an SEO pro working with an internal group might be entirely accountable for auditing brand-new clients’ websites. On the other hand, a freelancer might be anticipated to examine the site, determine how to enhance the site to deliver better outcomes, and then carry out the plan.

Being a freelancer features a significant quantity of responsibility. However, there are distinct chances in freelancing that offset the drawbacks.

We’ve pointed out the higher-than-average salaries, and we ‘d be remiss not to discuss the freedom afforded by freelancing.

Working in SEO as an independent professional enables individuals to work from house and set their own hours. This level of flexibility can create a much healthier work/life balance compared to working in a workplace, as freelancers can easily make time for other concerns in life.

On the other hand, you might decide to pursue freelance work only to discover the advantages aren’t worth the downsides.

That’s perfectly great due to the fact that the experience you gain makes you more valuable to employers. After a few years of freelancing, you’re much better placed to transition into an internal or firm role.

SEO Freelancers Can Shift Into Full-Time Work

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

The idea of discovering your own clients, creating your own wage, and doing the work of multiple people is not surprisingly intimidating. That doesn’t suggest it’s not worth putting in the effort.

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

Here’s a list of reasons that:

  • Carrying out a large range of services provides you experience operating in various functions.
  • Developing a base of customers suggests you have many work referrals offered when looking for jobs.
  • Your connections through freelancing can result in irreversible work in other companies.

In summary, taking the roadway less traveled can lead to opportunities that weren’t formerly offered to you.

You can find all of our first-party information about the professions of freelancers, as well as SEO professionals in in-house and company positions, in our annual State Of SEO Report.

Featured image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *