I was recently featured Mark A Preston's “Ultimate SEO Freelancer Guide”.
The article is a guide for SEO freelancers who want to start or grow their business. It covers 26 topics such as:
- How to find your niche and target market
- How to set your rates and get paid
- How to create a portfolio and testimonials
- How to pitch and win clients
- How to manage projects and communicate with clients
- How to deliver results and reports
- How to scale your business and outsource tasks
- How to deal with challenges and risks
The article also provides tips, tools, resources, examples, templates, checklists, case studies, interviews and podcasts related to each topic
I am in the Freelancer story in the beginning. I follow the guy on Twitter and read his first book about the business side of SEO.
It's a short book but packed full of useful information if you want to sell SEO.
Prior to becoming a professional SEO trainer & speaker, Mark A Preston has self-grown two successful SEO agencies with zero investment. This book is an honest overview of all the challenges he faced starting and growing an SEO agency, and after a few mistakes, the solutions he found to push things forward. If you are an SEO agency owner or an SEO freelancer who wants to take your business to the next level, this book is packed with proven lead generation and sales techniques Mark spent years perfecting. It guides you through the whole process from knowing who your clients are, right through to after-sales care.
It's well worth the £4.97 on Kindle.
So when he asked for stories about freelancing, I thought I would share mine.
My freelance story is not great but it’s probably because I was on the gravy train for too long and now, I have to actually work 🙁 I was a full time affiliate for much of the 2010s but recent Google updates have not been kind. The Helpful Content System one has just totally finished me off.
I'm no good with sales as when you are an affiliate with traffic, it’s just about delivering converting traffic. The commissions are more or less fixed. You send traffic and get paid. Client SEO work is totally different, as you have to ‘sell' your services. Even though I rank for all my local SEO terms, no one really searches for those. I have gotten 1 lead in a year from it and that was for web dev.
So, I am transitioning to GA4 as I figured more people will need help with that as the UA sunsetting deadline approaches. That’s been OK but there's no recurring revenue. You fix problems, set up tracking or do training and that’s it.
The good thing about freelance is being able to buy all your own kit. I have equipment some agency staff can only dream of. You would think with the low price of computer hardware compared to labour, everyone would have a fast computer, but some agencies are pennywise, pound foolish. My advice to anyone starting out is to buy a m1 MacBook air or better. You'll save in terms of boot time and working speed but also electricity.
It's obviously a very short version of my experience but I hope it gives people some food for thought. So many freelancers want to do affiliate stuff but I am going the other way.
SEO affiliate marketing is dead
I honestly don't think its possible to SEO your way to a side income now and definitely not spend a decade living off it like I did. Times have changed. There was a window of opportunity a decade ago but not anymore.
The SERP layout, EEAT and the Helpful Content System make affiliate SEO from scratch almost impossible in 2023. By all means try but you are better off learning paid channels, YouTube or Meta properties for an alternative income stream.
If you are tempted in to freelance as an SEO give Mark's full article a read
Ben has a BEng (Hons) in Computer Science and 20 years of experience in online marketing, specialising in SEO, lead generation and affiliate marketing. After spending over a decade as an igaming affiliate, he has decided to concentrate on GA4 training and SEO Audits.