Most people that get into SEO hear about something that is called the “SEO Lifestyle”. It is this mindset that in a short amount of time you can outsource everything you do to someone living in a 3rd world country somewhere and they will be off on an epic vacation that lets them travel the world 10 months out of the year.
When I think “SEO Lifestyle”, 2 things come to mind. The first is the song by Lord with how they expect all these amazing things, and the 2nd is this video, because they are all so impatient. Most seem to want everything now, and can’t handle waiting 10 minutes for anything.
The sad reality is that for most of us SEO takes work, takes a long time to learn, and is something you need to spend a lot of time keeping up with the latest tricks and trends in the industry. You not only need to know where the industry is going, but you need to know where it was, and why the past does not work anymore. Many people have sites now that can’t rank because of something that was done in the past. If you cannot identify the problem and remove it, there is no reason for them to hire you.
Like many new businesses, it took 18 months for me to get to a point where my business was profitable. I’m very lucky with how it worked out where I had a lot of that 18 months I was working for a company that let me learn SEO while working, and even after they laid off my department I had unemployment money coming in to cover me until I had enough momentum to earn a living from it.
Now, while I’m not living the “SEO Lifestyle” by any means. I am building up momentum still earning more each month than the month before (most months). I will openly admit that I love my job a ton more working for myself, and not working for anyone else. I am building towards the “SEO Lifestyle”, I mean who does not want to make it that far, but I realize I have a good deal more work ahead of me before I can get there.
If you are looking into doing SEO, it can be a lot of fun, it can be really rewarding and satisfying seeing domains you rank hit the #1 spot. It can also feel like you were kicked in the junk when Google does an algorithm update and all the hard work you did, all the careful planning you put into a domain and you watch it fall from the first page to page 18.
If all this does sound like something interesting, dig in. There is a mountain of free information out there to learn from. There are even some decent books. Start with the basics, learn what SEO is, learn the history, and what people have been doing for years, and read up on other trends going on now.
School can help with marketing ideas, but its not at all required. What you need to realize is that SEO is so much more than ranking websites. It is about marketing, and selling a product or service, getting conversions. If you can’t get people to your site, you’ll never make any money. If you can’t write a compelling call to action to get them to give you money or sign up for something, you’ll never make any money.
This site is a good site to get the basics down. I cover a lot of different things that someone learning SEO will want to know, tips, tricks and short cuts. However to grow you will need to join some forums and private Facebook or Skype groups with people that either are already doing SEO or learning it like you are. These groups will help take what you are learning and speed up everything. One of the greatest things I ever did was join a Skype group with other marketers and shared what we all knew. Several people from that group were not much further along than some people that read this. Several of them are making 5 figures a month. Others decided it was not worth the effort and have moved on.
If you do decide to do SEO, there will be countless opportunities out there for you as the internet is still growing, and new companies are going online all the time. Most will need someone to manage their online presence. That someone could be you.