The Freelance SEO Specialist’s Journey, How To Get Started In SEO [Survey Results]

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SEO is a field that’s ripe with opportunities to construct satisfying professions, though there’s no plainly defined course to getting going.

There aren’t necessarily any degrees required to work in SEO. This leaves lots of aiming professionals left to wonder how they can show they’re received the task.

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

Working as an independent professional is how a significant percentage of people get their start in SEO. Some use freelancing as a stepping stone to an in-house or agency position, while others construct their entire career around it.

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

In this short article, we’ll look deeper at the data surrounding this curious group of SEO experts.

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

Numerous SEO Professionals Get Their Start As Freelancers

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

When we asked the length of time SEO pros have actually been operating in the field, over 45% of freelancer respondents said they have less than 5 years of experience.

That number isn’t surprising when you understand why lots of take the freelancing course in the first place.

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

In a field without formalized education, freelancing is a course toward developing the experience companies are searching for.

With that said, freelancing isn’t specifically an early-stage profession kind of gig. As our data in the next area shows, freelancers tend to earn a higher-than-average wage, which makes it a viable choice to pursue long-lasting.

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

As mentioned at the start of this short article, 44.5% of freelance and agreement participants report earning wages above $75,000 each year.

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

  • Out of the total variety of respondents with less than two 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 creators.
  • Nearly half of all freelancers and creators (45.6%) had 4 or fewer years of experience.

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

Nevertheless, it is necessary to note that “creators” might account for the higher income brackets discovered in this group, suggesting that freelancers may require to construct a book of organization prior to commanding the greatest rates.

How SEO Freelancers Work And Discover Company

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

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

As the information recommends, freelancers primarily depend on credibility and word-of-mouth to create work.

This puts newer SEO professionals at a disadvantage as they’re less likely to have the experience, portfolios, or customer lists necessary to discover work.

That’s where natural search and social can be found in. Newer freelancers can prove themselves by marketing their services using a site and social media profiles.

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

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

Being An SEO Freelancer Is Difficult, However Includes Opportunity

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

For instance, an SEO pro working with an in-house group might be exclusively accountable for auditing brand-new customers’ sites. On the other hand, a freelancer might be anticipated to examine the site, find out how to optimize the website to provide better outcomes, and then carry out the plan.

Being a freelancer features a substantial quantity of duty. Nevertheless, there are special opportunities in freelancing that offset the drawbacks.

We have actually mentioned the higher-than-average salaries, and we ‘d be remiss not to discuss the freedom afforded by freelancing.

Operating in SEO as an independent professional enables individuals to work from home and set their own hours. This level of versatility can create a healthier work/life balance compared to working in a workplace, as freelancers can quickly make time for other priorities in life.

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

That’s perfectly great due to the fact that the experience you acquire makes you more valuable to employers. After a few years of freelancing, you’re better positioned to transition into an in-house or firm role.

SEO Freelancers Can Transition Into Full-Time Work

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

The idea of finding your own clients, creating your own salary, and doing the work of multiple people is understandably frightening. That does not imply it’s not worth putting in the effort.

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

Here’s a list of reasons why:

  • Carrying out a wide variety of services provides you experience working in several functions.
  • Building up a base of customers means you have many work referrals offered when requesting tasks.
  • Your connections through freelancing can lead to irreversible work in other business.

In summary, taking the roadway less taken a trip can result in opportunities that weren’t formerly readily available to you.

You can discover all of our first-party information about the professions of freelancers, in addition to SEO professionals in internal and company positions, in our annual State Of SEO Report.

Included image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel