Learn how to step up your freelance SEO game and reap the benefits that will future proof your SEO freelance career.

Freelancing is often romanticized and seen as an escape from an underappreciated, abusive boss.

However, many people who begin working for themselves rapidly come to the realization that they are "quitting the 9–5 job."

It can take a toll on your self-esteem and mental health, but that doesn't mean freelancing isn't worth it.

It can be a great experience if approached with the right attitude.

In this column, you'll learn free SEO tips that will help you get more (and better) clients, build a sustainable business, and truly love what you do.

But first, let's look at why most people hire freelancers.

SEO Freelancing: 10 Things You Need To Know To Be Successful

Benefits of Freelancing

Above, I mentioned some of the pitfalls of starting an SEO freelancing business. Now is the time to weigh the pros and cons of this trip.

When you become a freelancer.

Your life and your schedule are more in your hands.

You do not need to ask permission to visit the dentist on a working day. If your projects allow, you can spend all day. Your schedule is yours.

Your salary can grow quickly.

A study by Search Engine Journal found that 60% of full-time SEO professionals are similar to the US average.

But promotion is often limited to years of experience, and your salary may not increase significantly within the organization. You may need to change jobs frequently to grow.

But when you become an SEO freelancer, you shouldn't expect your salary to "increase by 3% every year". You can speed it up.

I made my full-time salary the first year and doubled it the next year.

While this may not be an amazing result, there are success stories from other SEOs who have decided to start a freelance career.

Also, there is no limit to how much money you can make because you can grow your freelancing into a company or something.

Work directly with customers.

This was the most important priority for me because I wanted to have the biggest impact on my clients' success.

You understand your customers better.

As a business owner, you understand your customers better because you know more about what they value.

This will help you focus on more meaningful offers instead of solving all your SEO problems.

I started this two years ago with no business or freelancing experience, so I had to learn everything quickly.

Here are my 10 most valuable tips that will hopefully help you grow your SEO freelance business (and stay sane while doing it).

1. Talk to other freelancers

Wherever you are, there are people who have been there. They have experience and wisdom that you can use.

You can take advice from such people and meditate for months. Thanks to Aleda Solis, Luke Carthy, Andrew Optimize, Kirsty Hulse, and Troy Fax for valuable advice and guidance.

Here are some tips for asking people for advice…

Respect their time.

Don't DM a list of questions or say things like "please help me", instead if you build a relationship people will be more than happy to help.

Ask specific questions.

The questions you get depend on the questions you ask. So ask specific questions that move the needle for you.

You are responsible for your decisions.

You are asking people to help you run your business. So use common sense and see what works for you and what doesn't.

2. Create your online presence

You can be the best SEO. But if no one is aware of it, success will be challenging.

We live in a world full of voices on social media, and your voice needs to be heard.

You can use LinkedIn to build your presence. You can tweet, start a newsletter or work at once. The choice is yours.

But trust me, it's easier to communicate with potential customers if you have a large digital footprint.

Two months before I quit my job, I started participating on LinkedIn and Twitter. It helped me get my first clients and first students for my SEO course.

3. Treat yourself like a business

When you start your own business, you are now the accountant, salesperson, account manager and legal department.

You also pay taxes (yes, it's scary at first).

This should be considered when evaluating your services. Calculating an hourly rate for a day's work is not enough. You will need a few more seasons to cover other expenses.

4. Learn how to rate your services

Now you know you're a business, even if you're the only person working there.

Any business's primary objective is to turn a profit. So the next most important thing is to accept yourself and stop selling (it may be easier when you see the first tax bill).

Here are some tips:

Don't work for free.

Use project-based pricing when billing hourly.

Keep raising your prices.

5. Learn to sell

I've heard people say before, "If you can't sell, you're not in business." It always scares me.

I didn't want to sell; Of course I was afraid to do it.

And there's a common misconception that if you're good at your craft (in our case SEO) more clients will want to work with you.

This is not true. Of course, marketing and SEO are completely different skills. You need both to succeed.

When I realized this reality, everything in my life changed. I started learning to sell.

I'm not talking about your door-to-door sales or spamming your LinkedIn contacts. It's more subtle.

You sell when you jump on the phone with a potential customer.

You also sell when you talk about or share your past accomplishments.

As a professional, you sell ideas, results, and yourself as a company. Any exchange in words with a potential customer is a sale.

The sooner you understand, the better.

6. Establish procedures and systems

I hear a lot of people say that there is no clear path for SEO audits or similar repetitive tasks.

You currently have no processes or systems in place. But now is the time to begin construction.

Creating a process can help make your freelance business more efficient and improve margins. Later, the delegation process is useful if you decide to hire someone else to help you.

You don't have to do anything fancy. This process can start as a simple checklist that you can expand on over time.

7. Building materials.

When I started my freelance business, I started building a course at the same time.

I don't recommend doing this on a large scale (because it's weak), but it's useful to start building some assets (like an e-book or a paid membership).

I really believe you get better SEO by selling products instead of services because you learn a lot of marketing skills.

You'll start looking at audience research differently, learn how to write copy, and better understand SEO for your clients.

Plus, real estate gives you passive income that keeps you busy when you don't have a lot of client work. They might be a big thing in the future - who knows?

8. Prepare for a long trip

Starting your freelancing journey is not easy. There are many things that need to be understood quickly. He may be lonely.

All of these can lead to chronic work and mental health problems.

In fact, according to this poll I did on Twitter, work/life balance is one of the top 3 hardest things about freelancing.

So it's better to take care of yourself and your work/life balance, it's hard to remember who you are in life outside of your business.

Here are some tips:

Have a support group (partners, friends, colleagues) to motivate you.

Have a hobby that has nothing to do with your job (and very little to do with computers).

Keep your happiness.

Establish clear boundaries with yourself; avoid working in your jammies for 12 hours a day.

These little things ensure you're running a marathon, not a sprint (yes, that's an SEO tip).

9. Know your "rules" and stick to them

There are some SEO projects that you cannot work on there. You can't meet every customer that comes in.

Trying to help everyone will burn you out.

Instead, you should be clear about what you do (your strengths), how you help (your services), and who you help (the types of clients you work with).

First, it's hard to say no to future projects. But it will soon pay off.

10. Help people on the road

You are worth so much. No matter where you are on your journey to freedom, someone who is just a few steps behind can help you.

You can help in any way you want: write a blog post, give your advice, answer someone's question, etc.

Know that your experience is important and that one day (soon) you will be helping someone starting out.

The last brick

Life is too short to stay in a job you don't like or work on a project you don't like.

There are no restrictions on your free travel.

I believe in you.