6 steps to becoming an SEO freelancer

By James Donaghue

Search engine optimization is an industry in demand. Millions of websites compete daily for their positions in the search engines, and a qualified and experienced SEO professional can make an enormous difference to those positions.

If you know your SEO and have been thinking about becoming an SEO professional, there is a good chance you have thought about going freelance. Going it alone in this manner carries plenty of risks, but you will also get to enjoy many benefits. You are your own boss, you can work to your own schedule, work from home, and not have to worry about commuting.

So, how do you go about starting a freelance career in search engine optimization? Let’s take a look.

Gauge Your SEO Knowledge

Anyone can claim to be an SEO guru, and in fact, millions already do. However, if your knowledge and ability are not up to par, it will not take long before clients realize you know less than you should. You must have a strong understanding of all core SEO concepts. Not only that, you will have to have access to a plethora of expensive SEO tools, software, and resources.

Think long and hard about your skillset and experience. SEO is a competitive industry, so you need to have a lot of confidence in your abilities. For an essential guide to international SEO visit Online Marketing Gurus.

Design a Website You Can Direct Clients to

Before you can embark on your freelance SEO career, you will need a website. Potential clients will always choose a search engine optimisation expert that has a website over one that doesn’t. A website shows that you are professional, credible, and serious about your chosen career. Plus, it might prove difficult to market your services and skills without one.

Design a website and use it to list what you have to offer. Use it to share your previous work, testimonials from previous clients, and to provide potential new customers with your contact details.

Start Applying for Work on Freelancing Platforms

In the beginning, the most difficult aspect of your new freelancing career will be finding clients and projects. You will start from scratch, so you will not have any feedback or history on freelancing platforms such as Upwork, People Per Hour, or Freelancer. It does get easier, however. In the beginning, offer your services at amazingly low prices. This should allow you to get the feedback you need. Getting future jobs should prove easier, and at that point, you can start to increase your rates.

Go the Extra Mile With Your Services

Especially in the beginning, you really need to go the extra mile with your clients to ensure good testimonials and feedback. Throw in some free services, or strive to get even better results than your client could ever dream of. The hard work you put in here will reward you further down the line. Once you have a few completed gigs on your profiles for freelancing platforms, finding new gigs becomes much easier.

Keep Adding to Your Skills

SEO is such a broad industry, and therefore, there will always be something to learn or improve at. Never stand still in your development, as your top competitors will certainly not rest. Keep an eye on what other SEO professionals are doing, read all the best SEO blogs and websites, and become an active member of freelancing communities. Never stop looking at ways to improve your skill set and what you can offer to your clients!

Learn to Master the Writing of Cover Letters

Writing effective cover letters is a skill of its own. There is a fine balance between writing too much and not writing enough. Your letter should point out your strong points without boring clients who have had to read the cover letters of dozens of other applicants. Keep it as short as possible, but make sure you highlight what your services are and what you can do for your client. It is about catching their attention, as they can always ask further questions if they decide to shortlist you.


Those are the first steps that you should be thinking about if you have plans to venture into a freelance SEO career. You will find that once you have picked up a few clients and they are more than satisfied, it will not take long before you have a steady stream of work coming your way. In fact, your only issue will now become knowing how to handle all this additional work. It is important not to take on too much as you might end up disappointing some clients.

Freelancing is not for everybody, of course. To be successful, there are certain skills that you will need. While it is great being your own boss, you still need to motivate yourself, ensure you make deadlines and have exceptional communication skills. And, of course, you need to have a solid understanding of all things SEO!