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

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SEO is a field that’s ripe with chances to develop satisfying careers, though there’s no plainly specified course to getting started.

There aren’t always any degrees needed to work in SEO. This leaves many striving specialists left to wonder how they can show they’re received the task.

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

Working as an independent specialist is how a meaningful percentage of individuals get their start in SEO. Some utilize freelancing as a stepping stone to an internal or firm position, while others build their whole career around it.

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

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

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

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

Many 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 been operating in the field, over 45% of freelancer participants said they have less than five years of experience.

That number isn’t surprising when you understand why numerous take the freelancing path in the very first location.

If you’re not an industry veteran with an established portfolio, finding full-time work in an in-house function or firm position can be challenging.

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

With that stated, freelancing isn’t solely an early-stage career kind of gig. As our information in the next section programs, freelancers tend to make a higher-than-average wage, that makes it a viable choice to pursue long-lasting.

Freelancers Are A Smaller Sized Group, But With Greater Average Income

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, 44.5% of freelance and agreement participants report making incomes above $75,000 per year.

That number is particularly significant when you look at the number of years of experience freelancers have.

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

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

However, it’s important to keep in mind that “creators” might represent the greater income brackets discovered in this group, meaning that freelancers might require to build a book of organization prior to commanding the greatest rates.

How SEO Freelancers Work And Discover Service

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

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

As the information recommends, freelancers mostly count on track record and word-of-mouth to produce work.

This puts more recent SEO professionals at a disadvantage as they’re less most likely to have the experience, portfolios, or client lists essential to find work.

That’s where natural search and social been available in. Newer freelancers can prove themselves by marketing their services utilizing a website and social media profiles.

Freelance task boards like Upwork provide another route for freelancers to take when they do not have the benefit of word of mouth to carry them to their next gig.

Smaller percentages of freelancers also report using paid channels such as Google Ads (7.5%) and social networks marketing (6.1%) to find work.

Being An SEO Freelancer Is Difficult, But Includes Chance

Freelancing isn’t for the faint of heart. In addition to being responsible for finding their own customers, freelancers are anticipated to offer a wider series of services than other SEO experts.

For example, an SEO pro working with an internal team may 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 optimize the website to provide better results, and after that perform the strategy.

Being a freelancer comes with a significant amount of obligation. Nevertheless, there are unique chances in freelancing that make up for the downsides.

We have actually discussed the higher-than-average salaries, and we ‘d be remiss not to point out the liberty managed by freelancing.

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

On the other hand, you might decide to pursue freelance work just to find the benefits aren’t worth the disadvantages.

That’s completely great since the experience you gain makes you better to companies. After a couple of years of freelancing, you’re better positioned to shift into an internal or company function.

SEO Freelancers Can Transition Into Full-Time Work

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

The idea of finding your own clients, generating your own income, and doing the work of several individuals is understandably daunting. That does not imply it’s unworthy putting in the effort.

SEO freelancers with even a year or 2 of experience are uniquely certified to transition into full-time employment.

Here’s a list of reasons why:

  • Carrying out a wide range of services provides you experience operating in various roles.
  • Developing a base of customers indicates you have numerous employment recommendations offered when requesting jobs.
  • Your connections through freelancing can result in long-term employment in other companies.

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

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

Included image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel