Search Engine Optimisation Freelancing – Is It Big Business?


Freelancing over the internet is becoming a common way for people to earn money and is a very big business. Many websites have been set up to match freelance workers to potential employers. However, as with all things connected to the internet, there are possible pitfalls. This article discusses SEO freelancing using one of these specialist websites.

What work is available online for an SEO freelancer?

The work available is varied and mainly is focused on:

  • Internet business development
  • Onsite optimisation
  • Writing, proofreading, and editing content
  • Link building
  • Development of social media accounts

This list is not complete as many SEO-related activities can be done for businesses or individuals.

How does online freelancing work?

The SEO freelancer will need to register on freelancing websites or create his website to market his skills. On third-party freelancer sites, you need to complete a profile that includes details of their skills, their experience, and expected pay rates. Many reputable websites offer tests that you can take to demonstrate your skills. The potential employer must also register before posting any work.

Once a position is posted on a freelancing website, SEO freelancers can apply for the work by answering the advertisement and stating the amount they expect to be paid, either as an hourly rate or as a lump sum, and the time that it will take to complete the work.

The employer will sift through the applications and “interview” one or more freelancers before offering them work.

A freelancer may be restricted to the number of job applications they can make (about 10 per week).

Each website differs, but the employer, freelancer, or both will be required to pay a fee when the work is agreed upon. Many of these websites offer a facility for the employer to pay the freelancer through the website.

What is in it for the freelancer and the employer?

The employer may well be able to get the work done at a lower cost than employing someone for a short period. The freelancer can complete the work at their own pace and usually at the hours they want.

What is the usual rate of pay for a search engine optimisation freelancer?

There is no set pay rate on any of the advertised positions; however, you must remember that there are many skilled people in the world who are prepared to work for lower rates of pay than people in, say, Europe or the USA. Therefore, if you live in a country with higher living costs, you will be competing against those from Pakistan and India, who are often able to complete the same work at a much lower price. However, if you are a skilled search engine optimisation guru or have PPC expert skills, you will find companies that are prepared to pay more for your additional knowledge.

What about taxes?

It depends on where you live and how you are required to account for your taxes. As a freelancer, you are accountable to the tax authorities in the country you live in for the money you earn. Many tax authorities watch the freelancing market and can catch up with you if you do not declare your income to them.