How do I become a professional SEO?

16 replies
  • SEO
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I want to become an SEO professional but I don't know where to start. Help me out. How do I become a professional SEO as I would like to pursue this as a career?

I have been writing SEO articles for the last 5 years and have managed a couple of websites, so I am not totally clueless about SEO. I now want to move things a notch higher so that I can offer SEO and SEM services to website owners and organizations.

I want something that will help me to systematically learn about SEO, from basics to advanced level. Should I study a course? If so, which one? Should I get a mentor? If so who or where? What other options do I have?
#professional #seo
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  • Profile picture of the author godoveryou
    Years of experience and testing on your own websites. Trying things, see what works and what doesn't. Figure out why.

    You aren't going to be a PRO tomorrow, next week or even next year. You might find something that works, but that won't make you a PRO. You might be able to sell a service, but that won't make you a PRO either.

    If you just want a job, get good at blogger outreach first as that's something you can depend on to provide a safe, logical method of promotion for your clients. It's not glorious and you won't be a PRO, but you can collect a paycheck while not screwing up someone else's website.
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  • Profile picture of the author Big Kahuna SEO
    I would start by ditching anything to do with UAW in your sig…. That just screams 2009 outdated SEO tactics.
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    • Profile picture of the author Slin
      Originally Posted by Big Kahuna SEO View Post

      I would start by ditching anything to do with UAW in your sig.... That just screams 2009 outdated SEO tactics.
      UAW is actually a secret weapon of mine in local SEO


      To answer the original question, most "SEO GURUS" have no idea what they are doing, to be seen as a pro you just need to be a good salesman.

      If you are talking about being able to do real SEO and actually rank sites, well it just takes either constant work and reaching out to blogs for links, or trying to create a viral website.
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  • Profile picture of the author blackli0n
    Hehe... I'm with Big Kahuna SEO.

    In regards to being a pro...it would be a good idea to make some real life SEO friends. Obviously you don't have enough as you're on here asking a bunch of strangers to help. You should either get a position at an online marketing firm or join a meetup group somewhere with internet marketers and to talk to them IN PERSON. Offer to buy them lunch and pick their brains. You will learn a lot that way and they will cut the crap and allow you to guide the conversation.

    At some point you will have learned enough that you feel you know what all the pros know and then you can charge what all the pros charge. And if you're lucky, you'll hit a point where you feel you know more than everyone else and can produce results better and faster...and at that point, you can comfortably charge more.
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  • Profile picture of the author godoveryou
    In San Fran. it might work to meet people, but in the middle of Kansas, Ohio or Alabama (and countless other areas across the country) that just does not work... Not everyone is from California.
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    • Profile picture of the author greatwriter
      Thanks for all the replies.

      Originally Posted by godoveryou View Post

      Years of experience and testing on your own websites. Trying things, see what works and what doesn't. Figure out why.

      You aren't going to be a PRO tomorrow, next week or even next year. You might find something that works, but that won't make you a PRO. You might be able to sell a service, but that won't make you a PRO either.

      If you just want a job, get good at blogger outreach first as that's something you can depend on to provide a safe, logical method of promotion for your clients. It's not glorious and you won't be a PRO, but you can collect a paycheck while not screwing up someone else's website.
      That's a real eye opener. I was hoping to be a PRO in a year or two. But I can set up a website to use purely for experimental purposes with and see what works. I follow some SEO professionals and was hoping to use the same methods one or two of them use to promote their sites seeing that they have been successful in IM. Is that a good idea?

      Originally Posted by Big Kahuna SEO View Post

      I would start by ditching anything to do with UAW in your sig.... That just screams 2009 outdated SEO tactics.
      Well, some people still use it and I am happy to provide the service to anyone who wants. But I am working to learn more about article marketing. I was actually thinking that I could specialize in article marketing. But haven't made up my mind yet.

      Originally Posted by blackli0n View Post

      Hehe... I'm with Big Kahuna SEO.

      In regards to being a pro...it would be a good idea to make some real life SEO friends. Obviously you don't have enough as you're on here asking a bunch of strangers to help. You should either get a position at an online marketing firm or join a meetup group somewhere with internet marketers and to talk to them IN PERSON. Offer to buy them lunch and pick their brains. You will learn a lot that way and they will cut the crap and allow you to guide the conversation.

      At some point you will have learned enough that you feel you know what all the pros know and then you can charge what all the pros charge. And if you're lucky, you'll hit a point where you feel you know more than everyone else and can produce results better and faster...and at that point, you can comfortably charge more.
      Making real life SEO buddies is a challenge as there aren't many people who are into SEO or Internet marketing where I am from. That is why I want to learn more about it and provide the service to those who want. I like the idea of applying to an online marketing firm but I feel I need to learn a bit more first.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    The bare bones basics for SEO is quality links & plain text.

    Everything else is testing/research.

    You can go in a bunch of different directions with SEO depending on what your trying to accomplish (ex: Global, Local, Video, etc...), each type of SEO is it's own little specialty but they all revolve around the basics (quality links & plain text).

    Since your into articles, your best bet is to learn how to use that to your advantage with on-page SEO (internal links & page optimization). My advice for learning on-page SEO is to first learn basic HTML, then research Wikipedia article pages, compare the live web pages to the Google Cache (text version). That's part of the research/testing.

    Research ranked pages for competitive keywords to learn new things, doesn't have to be in your own niche. Example, when I first started learning how to get video thumbnail images in the SERPs for my own self hosted pages I researched the Yoast website source code because I knew he already had video thumbnail images in Google SERPs. I went to a known source to learn from, that's where knowing HTML helped me. Now I can get a self hosted video thumbnail image in Google SERPs whenever I want, as often as I want, which helps boost SERP CTR.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hossain
    Learning SEO takes time, Hard work and Money too. It doesn't mean SEO is so complicated. It is because lack of authentic information. So the better idea will be starting with your own website.

    1- First of all purchase a domain and setup your own guinea pig website.

    2- Start learning onpage SEO first. See what Yukon said. He provided you most authentic advice for onpage SEO. I will recommend you to see what is silo architecture and learn how to implement it. Also learn common mistakes and myths of onpage SEO.

    3- Learn how to get high quality backlinks. This is the most complicated part of SEO. Often people go for low quality backlinks and ruin their life (I did it and still do it. But not doing extensively like before). Just keep in mind. You need few high quality backlinks to funnel authority to your site. Go for high PR, dofollow, one way, contextual, anchor text, relevant backlinks. These kind of backlinks are found in authority sites. Contact with admins and purchase them. Or even you can buy high PR domains and then easily create backlinks to your site. But this process takes time and efforts too. For low budget solution try broken link building. Pretty awesome when you find few high quality backlinks.

    4- Listen to fellow warriors and don't always trust warriors with thousands of posts and likes. Ask questions once you are in trouble. WF is an outstanding knowledge sharing platform specially for newbies like you. Search for threads with tons of thanks. Most of the time these kind of threads contains high quality information.

    5- Try to be creative. SEO requires creativity. Lets say you have 3 ideas. Now blend them and create 1 new idea. Blend the 4 and create another new idea. Then implement the ideas and see what happens. Once you will find some great effective ideas which really works you will become a good SEO.

    6- Don't give up. There will be times when you will feel temptation to give up and left SEO. Specially when you will see your site got penalty. If that occurs just remember Adison's quote "I will not say I failed 1000 times, I will say that I discovered there are 1000 ways. that can cause failure…"

    7- Finally don't only learn SEO and rely on search engine traffic. It is horrible idea to market your website. There are numerous other methods to drive traffic. Start learning all the effective methods including SEO. Be informed thousands of low quality traffic is not gonna work. Even few hundred visitors can give you great success if you know how to find quality traffic.

    Best of luck
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    --- Do not correct a fool, or he will hate you! Correct a wise man, and he will appreciate you --- '(◣_◢)'

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    • Profile picture of the author lalit.burma
      Originally Posted by Hossain View Post

      Learning SEO takes time, Hard work and Money too. It doesn't mean SEO is so complicated. It is because lack of authentic information. So the better idea will be starting with your own website.

      1- First of all purchase a domain and setup your own guinea pig website.

      2- Start learning onpage SEO first. See what Yukon said. He provided you most authentic advice for onpage SEO. I will recommend you to see what is silo architecture and learn how to implement it. Also learn common mistakes and myths of onpage SEO.

      3- Learn how to get high quality backlinks. This is the most complicated part of SEO. Often people go for low quality backlinks and ruin their life (I did it and still do it. But not doing extensively like before). Just keep in mind. You need few high quality backlinks to funnel authority to your site. Go for high PR, dofollow, one way, contextual, anchor text, relevant backlinks. These kind of backlinks are found in authority sites. Contact with admins and purchase them. Or even you can buy high PR domains and then easily create backlinks to your site. But this process takes time and efforts too. For low budget solution try broken link building. Pretty awesome when you find few high quality backlinks.

      4- Listen to fellow warriors and don't always trust warriors with thousands of posts and likes. Ask questions once you are in trouble. WF is an outstanding knowledge sharing platform specially for newbies like you. Search for threads with tons of thanks. Most of the time these kind of threads contains high quality information.

      5- Try to be creative. SEO requires creativity. Lets say you have 3 ideas. Now blend them and create 1 new idea. Blend the 4 and create another new idea. Then implement the ideas and see what happens. Once you will find some great effective ideas which really works you will become a good SEO.

      6- Don't give up. There will be times when you will feel temptation to give up and left SEO. Specially when you will see your site got penalty. If that occurs just remember Adison's quote "I will not say I failed 1000 times, I will say that I discovered there are 1000 ways. that can cause failure..."

      7- Finally don't only learn SEO and rely on search engine traffic. It is horrible idea to market your website. There are numerous other methods to drive traffic. Start learning all the effective methods including SEO. Be informed thousands of low quality traffic is not gonna work. Even few hundred visitors can give you great success if you know how to find quality traffic.

      Best of luck
      Hats off to you for taking time and adding value
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  • SEO is not hard to learn but you should keep on learning new things to adapt to the fast-changing world of SEO. Learning SEO should not be expensive at all. Well when I started learning SEO, I never paid anything. I get the free information online. I follow related blogs and forums and applied what I learned to my own website. That worked for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author greatwriter
    Thanks for all the pointers. I am willing to put in the hard work, time and money to learn as
    much about SEO as possible. I realize that I will have to narrow down my options to a few things
    so as to be effective. I am thinking of concentrating on link building, article marketing and content. I can learn more on on-page SEO as Yukon suggested.
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  • Profile picture of the author DizenSounds
    Practice practice and more practice

    Don't be afraid to push the envelope. You will learn a lot of where the boundries are and what really works.

    Google pounds it in everyones head that paid links don't work. You'd be surprised to know that they do work and work incredibly well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Xebekn
      It depends on what you're wanting to do. Do you want to sell SEO services to SEO's or do you want to sell it to businesses themselves?
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  • Profile picture of the author online only
    Fake til you make it.

    In all seriousness, do what godoveryou suggested + read some reputable SEO blogs and see what others doing/finding useful.

    Secondly, get rid of your signature. Real SEO pros don't sell UAW articles.

    Hope that helps =)
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    • Profile picture of the author anusantosh
      You may have already some idea on SEO. Bits of trial of everything. Try ranking one of your site. If you are successful on that then you can be professional SEO man to experiment on other people sites. Am novice in 2006 with all these terms - SEO, SEM, Backlinks, Keywords etc etc. Do you believe I started link building for my first site with the keyword "weight loss". By the year 2012 for the first time I was able to rank my 13th site on my own to 1st place of 1st page on Google.

      Now I have 4 sites which are ranked well and making me money, keep in mind all these 4 site's SEO is outsourced!!!!

      Am not passionate about SEO so am outsourced it off. If you are passionate of it learn it and one day you may become professional in that. But if you are after money better be a good writer or something else.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    First absorb all the quality posts by using WF search function.
    Build a good blog networks, it is necessary for seo.
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