Becoming a freelancer has always had its perks, but its popularity truly exploded in 2020. Freelance work offers income opportunities, as well as the potential for more freedom and a better work-life balance than a 9-5 job for many people – which is why its popularity is still growing in 2021.
SEO freelancing has a few peculiarities that make it stand out from other types of freelance work. Still, if you have the correct qualities and mindset, and put the work in, you can definitely make it work for you. Here’s how you do that.
Know Your Stuff
SEO freelance is not exactly rocket science, but you do need to have a very specific set of skills honed to a point to do it effectively.
To even take a shot at freelance SEO work, you need to be proficient at content generation. Copywriting, in particular, is a skill you must be competent in to be able to do SEO well. Since you’re going to be doing SEO freelance jobs, you probably will not be working with an editor, which means you will likely also need to be proficient in editing and proofreading as well as researching and writing high-end content.
Visual content is widely regarded as the future, which is why proficiency in video production and infographics will be invaluable for you as an SEO freelancer.
Additionally, you need to be highly proficient in keyword research and know what you need to do to find high-volume, low-competition keywords for your content. You don’t need to be an IT specialist to do freelance SEO work, but a rudimentary understanding of HTML is going to do you a lot of good. What’s more, you need to be familiar with the anatomy of a web page and know where and how to add keywords to it.
Naturally, in order to do your job as an SEO freelancer, you need to have a thorough grasp of how technical SEO influences rankings. One of your main tasks will also be to build links and to promote key pages – so you need to have a firm understanding of how to do that effectively.
Finally, in its current form, SEO is a continuous process that needs constant monitoring and tweaking in order to produce results. You need to keep on top of both past and emergent SEO trends and algorithm changes that may impact the performance of a site, and know how to react to said changes.
Improve Your Qualifications
As an entrepreneur, you will need to fulfill a variety of roles. You will both need to actively look for clients, get in touch with potential customers, communicate with them about the job you’re doing, and negotiate suitable payment. You’ll also need to be both the manager and the executor of the project – which can turn out to be quite taxing.
Additionally, there are purely administrative tasks, such as bookkeeping and other documentation, be it legal or technical, that will also require your attention.
As an SEO freelancer, you will have to juggle a whole bunch of different tasks that can all eat into your time and demand your attention constantly. You need to be very organized and highly motivated to be able to do so effectively – but that’s usually not enough.
More so than a rank and file employee at a company, you will need to be on your best game and successfully handle problems in your stride. Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to mess up as an SEO freelancer than it is if you’re working for a company.
If you aren’t well-practiced in all of your new roles, things can spiral out of control very quickly. If you can’t handle the heat on all fronts, you risk missing important deadlines or even botching jobs, which is a sure-fire way to disappoint clients.
This is why if any of the aforementioned crucial skills need improving, you should make every effort to do so.
Start Small And Build Up
Becoming an authority in a general SEO niche is a rather difficult and time-consuming task. But, as the old saying goes – Rome wasn’t built in a day. The best way to go about business as an SEO freelancer is to pick a micro-niche, or three, that you are comfortable with, and try to use it to establish your own brand.
The first step you should take is to create a website and a brand in the niche of your choice, then concentrate on populating it with high-quality content. Focus on content marketing, and play to your strengths. As a startup SEO freelancer, what you want to do is build up a successful brand.
Branding is crucial for your success, as it facilitates important aspects of your work like generating consistent leads, reviews, and referrals. Once you have built up your brand and can close deals easier due to trust and authority, you can focus on improving your button line – and even charge higher prices than the competition.
All of that will come in time – but for now, concentrate on creating content and taking up affiliate marketing, mastering ad revenue, and selling coaching and courses.
Go Beyond Google
Google is a dominating presence in the SEO world, with a majority share in all online searches on desktop devices and a near-complete monopoly over mobile searches.
However, it would be a mistake to neglect the second largest search engine online – namely YouTube. Generating quality video content can be a surprisingly effective way of building your brand up quickly. Naturally, your production value needs to be up to snuff, but if you combine quality content with proper keyword research, you’ll be up and running in no time.
As usual, the key is to focus on high-volume, low-competition keywords. If you manage to nail that down, you should see your efforts bearing fruit.
Blogging Is Key For SEO
Another potent tool you could utilize to great effect when as an SEO freelancer is blogging. A well-built blog opens up a terrific communication channel that you can use to reach users and put eyes on your content.
Ideally, you want your blog to have keywords with high search volume and low competition – just like with your YouTube Videos. Achieving that can be a bit tricky, especially if you already have competitors in the field. However, having established competitors can actually work to your advantage when it comes to keyword research.
Keyword tools can allow you to research the keywords sites are ranking for, as well as estimated data about the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. This can allow you to pick your battles and choose low competition keywords.
Guest blogging is another practice you should definitely incorporate into your growth strategy.
Look for Opportunities on Facebook & Forums
Always remember – Facebook, all the other social networks, as well as various forums and discussion boards, are invaluable for brand-building, promotion, and networking.
Your ultimate goal is to secure access to paying customers, draw attention to your content and generate organic traffic. To do so effectively in this day and age, you’re going to have to invest time and effort on forums and social media, promoting your brand to businesses and providing value to users.
As mentioned, finding a small but active niche and using it as a jumping-off point for your business is a very effective way to start with SEO freelance. If you can manage to do that effectively, you should have no problem expanding your reach and becoming successful in your SEO efforts.