Finding Side Work – I’m A Freelance SEO Consultant (and You Can Be, Too)

tell-others-what-you-doI’ve talked a bit on here about freelance side work. It’s taken me a little bit of time to get my sh*t together, but I’ve finally got going on a few projects. Here’s the path I followed to get my freelancing up and running.

Learn something (if you don’t already know enough!)

I covered this pretty extensively in the past. Rather than summarize all the resources again in this post, I’ll just point you to “How to Become an SEO Freelancer in 48 Hours.” I still refer back to this all the time, and it’s definitely the best post I’ve found for both getting familiar with SEO and implementing all the steps to get projects going.

If you don’t want to do SEO, there are a ton of options out there. Some of the easiest simply involve writing or other things you’re already able to do without having to learn more. Writing is a great place to start. I really like this post on 15 Ways to Get Paid to Write. What’s really great about this post is that Sarah goes from easy projects that you could essentially start on today all the way up to high-paying projects that you can make a career out of.

You can also check out Ashley’s free “The Definitive, Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Off Your Butt, Finding Some Focus, And Jump-Starting Your Biz” to get going, too.

Also see my post on money making skills you can learn online to get you started and give you some ideas of the information that’s out there for free to get going on what you want to learn.

Before you say you don’t know enough…

Keep in mind, you don’t have to be a professional to get paid to do something. You just need to know enough to be able to help someone else that’s willing to pay you to do something for them. Even if you don’t know enough right now, you can spend mere minutes a day learning how to do something you didn’t know much about before. I’ve learned a TON about SEO just by reading different guides, books, and blog posts.

If you don’t have any projects to work on from the get-go, start by working on your own projects. You’ll learn a lot just by writing on your blog every day or by optimizing your own sites for SEO. Once you know enough but might still be looking for projects to work on, consider offering free work for others.

Create a list of services

Although I’ve been offering SEO services (and writing services, too), I haven’t done anything to publicize them. Now, you can see a basic description of what I offer on my services page. This is simply to give potential clients an idea of what I can do for them and a ballpark of what my services cost. I’ve tried to focus on how you can help them achieve something. For example, with SEO, most clients want their website to rank higher in Google and drive more traffic to their site. This is something I’ve highlighted on my sales page.

There are lots of different ways to advertise your services as well as many different opinions on what the best practices are. I just finished reading The Wealthy Freelancer (highly recommended), which gives a lot of advice of how to quote your prices and charge the right amount for your work. I also found Chris Guillebeau’s recent “Instant Consultant” post intriguing, which led me to add the “buy now” button to my services page, too. Will it work? I’m not sure, but it’s an interesting experiment.

I know I’ve got some work to do on improving this page, but I feel better already just getting it up there and starting to tell people about what I do.

Tell people about what you do!

Lately, I’ve primarily been working on SEO analysis for a friend that I met in a context unrelated to SEO. I’ve been happy with how this worked out simply because I didn’t have to do any work or promotion to make it happen. I simply mentioned that I was good with SEO (and lead a discussion on it at one of our Meetups), and now the members of my group know who to turn to if they ever need help.

I’ve mentioned to many friends and family that I’m a paid freelance writer and that I do SEO, too. For those of you that didn’t already know that, now you do!

Thanks again to Sean and Location Rebel for a lot of the inspiration and ideas for this post.

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photo by: Steve Rhodes


  1. Great tips!  Thanks for the link to Ashley’s  ebook.  Going now to download it!

  2. I like your approach when you say “Keep in mind, you don’t have to be a professional to get paid to do something. You just need to know enough to be able to help someone else that’s willing to pay you to do something for them.” Brilliant!

  3. Number of good links in the post!  I will be checking them out!

  4. I have been thinking about a few ideas recently. Have to give them some shape. I agree with you that you don’t have to be a professional. It has taken me a very long time to realize this. As long as we can solve someone else problems we are in the game. Thanks for those links. I will check them out.

  5. I’ve been blown away at how much impact just telling people what you do has had.  It’s crazy.

  6. I agree about not needing to be a professional to charge to do something – you just have to have some insight into that area – or some previous experience even.  I’ve done this by charging other bloggers to help them set up their websites, set up plugins, explain basics of SEO, etc.  While I’m not an “expert”, I know enough to charge for the help, and still feel good about it!  I even turned my experience into an ebook that has earned me thousands now..  It’s all about taking your experience, and turning it into a marketable asset.

  7. agree…. I am in this stage now to start my own freelance

    as consultant and radiation protection officer and wish me luck

  8. Did you know this site? it’s a very cool blog

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