Job Close up- SEO Specialist

What is SEO and why is it important? What does it even mean? Is it a lucrative job? Can you work with only local clients or can you find online businesses that will work with you? Can you really do it from anywhere? (See our other post on Working from Anywhere) Does every website need SEO? Does every business need it as part of their internet marketing strategy? How can you begin learning about it and where should you begin?

SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. It is one of the many branches of internet marketing that focuses on positioning websites through the use of keywords on search engines. The main goal is to place the website in the first few spots of the first page on a search engine.

Let’s discuss the job characteristics of someone who works in SEO.

1- They are disciplined and manage their time very well. Due to the many different tasks that have to be done, you must be very organized and stick to a schedule.

2- They are constantly adapting and testing strategies trying to determine how the algorithms are changing. This is a hard part of search engine optimization and requires a lot of technical knowledge. Best to enlist the services of a professional search engine optimization agency.

3- They are building links and creating content for marketing daily, weekly, monthly. Whether they create it themselves or hire writers there is plenty of research that comes with this part.

4- There are freelance SEO specialists and in-house SEO specialists. Depending on who they work for, they may or may not have to look for customers and be prospecting all the time. This requires social skills, ability to speak in public, selling ability and more.

5- They must understand how search engines work and what it takes in order for a website to rank on the first page of a search engine.

6- They must know how to do on page SEO and off page SEO. This entails fixing URL’s, titles, meta descriptions, alternative text on images and videos and keyword optimization in the content. Off page SEO usually, refers to the building of links on different websites. Social profiles, business directories often called citations, and many other sites are the usual places for this. It can also involve press releases and the use of video marketing.

If you have a business website where you sell products, then search engine optimization is really important for your business to attract visitors. It has to be well positioned on any search engine because if not, you won’t get any traffic. Perhaps you’ve had the experience of starting a website and had it end up nowhere in the search engines when you look for it. If it’s not on page one of Google, it’s basically a deserted island. Not where you want your business to be if you sell mainly online.

SEO specialists who work in-house can make anywhere from 60 to 150k USD per year in the United States. There are always exceptions. Many times they are asked to do a lot more than their job description. The best way to go about it with search engine optimization to make the highest income is to freelance or start an agency. They typically take on many clients and outsource the simple part of the work to others. It is not rare to hear of SEO specialists who own their own agency to be making anywhere between 30 to 100K USD per month. That’s what many people make per year, including their counterparts who work in-house.

These SEO specialists have a greater responsibility, however, as it is not just one business, but many that they have to create a strategy for. They have to be very careful not to create a cookie cutter approach if clients are in different industries. They also have to be prospecting all the time, looking for clients, in meetings, networking and seeking referrals. In essence, they must be more resourceful and think like an entrepreneur or a business owner and not an employee. They have to develop their people skills, charisma, selling ability and more characteristics that allow them to be social, likable and inspires people to work with them.

Since everything an SEO specialist does is online, they can work from anywhere and with businesses who are both local or online. Meetings can be done over VOIP programs like Skype and WhatsApp.

Depending on what the website is for, not all of them need SEO. Perhaps most of your customers come from referrals, they may look up your website. They may already know the address. But if it is someone who doesn’t know you and is looking for a business like yours and that is your typical potential customer then you need to have an SEO strategy as part of your marketing plan.

You can begin by checking out the Quick Sprout blog guides or the beginners guide on MOZ. Those will give you a good start to what SEO really is and whether or not it really is for you.

Work from anywhere

The times of working a job from nine to five are rapidly evaporating. With the speed of technological development and advancement, everything has changed. Think about how many people work from home, how many people work online, how many of them work for themselves and how many seem to barely work and still live well.

Bob Dylan had it right when he said the “times, they are changing.”

Anyone can start their own business or freelance and do something they greatly enjoy on the side or full time nowadays.

While anyone can do that, it does not mean that anyone can survive or live well while doing so. There is a big distinction between survive and live well. I realize that this could not be more subjective of a definition, but let’s assume the following:

1- Surviving means you have enough money to cover your monthly bills and food but nothing left over. You live paycheck to paycheck.

2- Living well means you have all your monthly bills and expenses covered, you are able to save and still have some money left over to play with and invest.

Here are some jobs that you can consider if you want to work for yourself and immediately start getting clients.

1- Social media manager and marketer
2- Search engine optimization specialist
3- Copywriter
4- Digital Marketer
5- Videographer
6- Photographer
7- Writer and translator
8- Product Reviewer
9- Influencer
10- Affiliate Marketer
11- Consultant
12- Blogger\ travel blogger
13- food blogger

That is a short list of all that is really available. Do any of these sound like they could be for you?  Now you have to ask yourself some questions.

Think about why you want to be able to work from anywhere. Do you want to be your own boss? Why? Have you ever tried doing that before and how did it go? Are you going to do this all by yourself or are you going to work with other people? Do you have the skills to work well with others? Are you organized well enough and is your time management good enough to avoid wasting most of your day? How will you measure the results?

Now consider your strengths.

What are you really good at?
What do you enjoy doing that you could make some money from?
Could you build an online business out of it?
Which one of the above jobs could you try for some time? Could it just be something you do on the side for some extra money? If enough people are willing to pay you, it may turn into something that could be full time. If you are able to fully focus on it, imagine what you could create.

What would that do to your sense of fulfillment and accomplishment and how would that create more momentum and inspire you to create even better work.

It’s interesting how we will spend most of our lives dedicated to working. Whatever that may mean to you, it is time well spent to really understand and get a clear idea of what you could pursue for a while. It is difficult to obtain the skills necessary to really get to a high skill level in anything if you don’t spend enough time at it. With time and practice (perfect practice) you begin to develop high-level skills, the work brings you more enjoyment and at some point, you may feel you were meant to be doing just that.

That is the irony of life. That in order to know if something is for you, you have to try it long enough. It is easy to give up when the challenges come at you, one after the other. Yet those same challenges when surpassed, create a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment and may even cause you to really enjoy your work. We have evolved to use our time in different ways. We no longer have to worry as much about survival and shelter and food and water and other basic necessities. Perhaps we are only adjusting to a new level of Maslow’s hierarchy. It may take some time to figure it all out.

Finding the ideal job for yourself

You’ve heard it, said it and most likely feel it. Finding the right type of work, meaningful work that gives you a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction is very important. At the same time, it is quite challenging. It is, for most of us, where we will invest the largest portion of our life. Unfortunately, we are ill- equipped to decide which path to take.

There are ways, however, to determine what we can do and what could bring us fulfillment.

Let’s first discuss why we have such a difficult time finding the fulfilling work we deserve.

Formal education is nice. We get to make friends, learn about different topics, our history, our country, languages, reading and writing and other useful skills. Our strengths and weaknesses are often mistaken to be directly related to the grades and awards we achieve. Many people get good grades in different subjects. That does not mean they are great at all of them. It also doesn’t mean that they would enjoy working in that field. It could, but we have to be more open to evaluating from different angles.

There are also other less tangible qualities that have to be looked at. Leadership skills, ability to socialize and make friends, communication, speaking, personality, etc.

One of the main problems with finding meaningful work is the way our educational institutions are set up.

In great part, because they are run by people who don’t themselves know what they should be doing with their life. Based on studies about 70% of people are not happy with their work and are unfulfilled. That means that of all the people we have around us and in our family, many of them have not found meaningful work to do with their lives.

This stacks up the deck against us. If our teachers, our educational institutions, parents, and siblings are part of the 70%, then we will have a tough time finding our true path.

To top this off, once we find something worthwhile to do with our time, something that gives us meaning, then we have to consider whether or not we can actually live off of it. That adds to the difficulty of doing what we actually want. Some people just don’t want to put in the effort. It is just too difficult they think. It may be wiser to see the other side of that coin. Maybe, not doing something fulfilling will be even harder and will result in a life that you don’t enjoy.

There is a lot of subjectivity and different perspectives related to this topic, so we will focus specifically on how you can find something you enjoy, that gives your life a sense of purpose, and adds value to enough people in society to allow you to live off that. We will also leave out the clear issues with the current education system and the one size fits all approach.

Some will say find your passion. Others will say do what you are good at, not what you like\ love. Follow your strengths. Solve a problem. Fulfill a need. Do this, do that.

Whatever you believe is the way, here is one thing that you can do with every single path you take.

Test, test, test and then test some more.

You will only know if you try. You can read on it and talk about it and listen to others talk about it and take courses but unless you go through certain things, you won’t know if it’s for you.

Use your younger years to try out a bunch of different jobs. It will give you experience, build your work ethic, give you extra money, develop your independence and responsibility, teach you the value of work and money and more than anything…it will allow you to find opportunities that no personality test, counselor, friend or family member could provide.

Whether it’s a part-time job, internship, full-time job, for a week, a day, a month, a year, etc. Just try as much as you can and take notes and get feedback from people who work with you. At the same time, talk to everyone in that business. Get to know how it works, the marketing (, the sales, the finances, the suppliers. Ask as much and learn as much as possible. After a few years of doing this and many jobs, you’ll have more skills, value, and knowledge. Not just of different types of work, but of yourself. That is where it all begins after all.