I highly recommend that before you become a website entrepreneur, you do SEO for someone else’s site. There are just too many great benefits to doing someone eles’s SEO for a few months before launching your own site. Here are just 10 of those great reasons:
Probably the most obvious reason (and one of the best), getting paid is always good. Getting paid to do something not only puts money in your pocket, but it makes you feel good, especially when you get hired as a per-job contractor instead of as a per-hour laborer. Finishing a specific project—and getting paid for it—can give you a feeling of victory every time.
Building a successful WordPress website is not easy and it will take you a few years to earn a decent income. If you need money today then working on someone else’s site is a great option.
2. Quit your job
If you get good enough at doing SEO for someone else’s site to pay all of your bills, I recommend that you quit your job. I all of my real world businesses to pursue my online business and it freed up an incredible amount of both time and mental energy—not to mention that it helped me get rid of unhealthy habits like not taking any downtime for myself.
Quiting a job to do SEO for someone else’s site will also help you prepare for working for yourself. Sitting at home trying to motivate yourself to do your SEO work will teach you how to get work done without a boss looking over your shoulder. I’ve been self-employed for 25 years and I still learn a new trick every couple months about motivating myself to do hard work every day. Anyone can learn something new everyday.
3. Get the experience
This is probably the best reason to do SEO for someone else’s site—to get the experience in SEO which will help you build your own website later.
There is no better way to learn a valuable skill than to get paid for learning it. That’s what doing SEO for someone else’s site is, an all-expense-paid ticket to valuable knowledge.
With the knowledge of SEO you will gain, you also get the confidence to do it on your own and, more importantly, a high degree of efficiency. I’m much better at SEO now than I was when I started, and that’s only because I’ve been doing it every weekday for years.
4. See if you like it
But what if you don’t like doing SEO? What if, based on your SEO experience, you realize that you don’t want to do website building at all? That’s great—now you know you shouldn’t waste your time trying to become a website entrepreneur.
But just as importantly, you may discover that there are some parts of SEO which you don’t like. For example, when doing SEO for someone else’s site, a close friend of mine discovered that he didn’t like using certain blackhat techniques which are common in particular niches. Now he knew to avoid those niches—a valuable lesson he got paid to learn.
5. Hiring experience
When your own website gets successful, you will probably need to hire SEO experts of your own. Your experience doing SEO for someone else’s site will help you hire the best possible SEO expert without spending too much money. That means that you’ll get extra profits, which is kind of like getting paid twice for doing SEO for someone else’s site.
6. Find a mentor
If you’re a quality worker, you probably try to look after your clients; if you have good clients, they’ll probably try to look after you.
Doing SEO for someone else’s site often means you can use them as a mentor when you create your own website. That’s an invaluable relationship to have, as merely doing SEO for someone doesn’t give you the full insight into what it takes to run a website. Your mentor can help you figure things out with much less trial-and-error (and lost profits) than doing it yourself.
In addition, many mentors and students go on to form joint ventures which earn profits for both of them, so the more people you do SEO for (and who appreciate your work), the more opportunities you will have to earn money later.
7. Develop your templates and SOPs
Almost everyone I know who is effective at running a business has templates and standard operating plans (SOPs) for most routine tasks in their business.
If you start doing SEO for someone else’s site, you will develop those templates and SOPs for yourself. You’ll probably also develop SOPs for other parts of a business which are common to SEO work and running a website, such as bookkeeping, paying taxes, tracking your productivity, and maybe hiring contractors. Those templates and SOPs will make you much more effective when you do start your own website.
Working for someone else on a contract basis gives you a lot of freedom. Once you fulfill the contract, you can do whatever you want. You can find a new client, you can change what services you offer, and you can specialize in a particular niche or change which niche you specialize in.
You can also go on an extended vacation, provided you have the savings to pay for it.
This freedom gives you the chance to find a way to do what you love, even if that isn’t doing SEO for someone else’s site.
9. Sleep soundly
One nice reason to do SEO for someone else’s site rather than build your own site is so that you can sleep soundly. If you read SEO news sites, it seems like there are a whole bunch of people losing sleep over the possibility of a new Google search engine update which will cut their traffic (and their profits) in half.
Other webmasters have alarms on their iPhones which tell them if their website goes down. These people may have to wake up in the middle of the night to fix some website bug. I remember finding serious website errors and staying up all night sorting the problem out. I could not sleep until all was good.
But if you do SEO for someone else’s site, none of that’s your problem. You can sleep soundly or go on a tech-free camping trip without any worries about Google updates or website problems.
10. You might like it
The final reason to do SEO for someone else’s website is that you might like it more than building your own website. I know a number of people who took a job as an intermediate step—or just for some quick cash—and discovered that it was their true calling. You’ll never know whether doing SEO for someone else’s site is what you’re meant to do until you try it.