Life As A Freelance SEO Consultant
Want to know what it's like to be a freelance SEO? Let me take you on a quick tour!
To start with, you need to keep up with best practices and Google algorithm updates daily. Several times per day. No kidding, you check in first thing in the morning...everything's copasetic. You go back in the afternoon, and BAM! Google's updated something that could turn your entire SEO strategy upside down.
You need to be self-motivated, able to juggle multiple priorities and projects, and stay focused on the priorities that either you set, or are set by your client.
You need to have good reading, analytic and writing skills. It also doesn't hurt to have some public speaking skills, as you'll probably do some presentations. You'll be doing lots of checking in verbally and by email with your clients, and you'll prepare reports for them at least monthly.
Have some confidence that what you do to sites will work. Be patient, because unless you're doing pay per click, it's going to take time. Lots of time. How much time? That depends upon the industry, the keywords and the competition. Months is a good bet, however.
Freelance SEO Ups, Downs & Flexibility
You need to love this industry, because it can be frustrating and maddening. Imagine waking up one morning and finding out that overnight, Google changed the algorithm to where what you were doing yesterday was "white hat;" today it's "black hat!" Now you need to scramble and adapt your methods and processes, plus there's a good chance you'll need to do some site mitigation to stay in Google's good graces. I know, it sucks!
I go by the motto "Semper Gumby" - always flexible. You can never assume that what you do this month is going to be in place down the road. Practicing the Buddhist way of staying in the moment can be a great help, trust me.
Every day, you're probably going to do different tasks - keyword research one day, writing content the next, doing an inbound back link analysis and clean up after that, and so on.
This is not a career field for the faint of heart. Get used to the idea that no matter how hard you try to abide by Google Webmaster Tools, sooner or later one of your sites is going to get burned. There's no shame; we've all been hit.
Make friends with your fellow SEO consultants and specialists. Believe it or not, there's more than enough work to go around, and the day will come when you will need to call one of them and ask for help, or vice versa. I don't have SEO competition; I have fellow pros I can call on when I am stumped by something.
You need good people skills. Businesses don't understand what we do, and it scares them. Your point of contact can get really cranky and angry. Always tell the truth, and under promise, but over deliver.
Here's more information about doing SEO as a career.
We also offer online training for SEO.
Until we meet again, stay safely between the ditches!
All the very best to you,