Learn the pros & cons and the key differences between being an independent SEO consultant vs SEO specialist working for a company.

This episode of the SEO Podcast focuses on comparing the roles of an SEO consultant and an SEO employee. We’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of each, as well as their similarities and differences. Drawing from my personal experience in both capacities, I aim to provide an insightful and accurate depiction of what it’s like to be on either side of the SEO industry.

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Being an SEO Consultant vs Having a Job As An SEO (Video)

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Being an SEO Consultant vs Having a Job as an SEO (audio)

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The transcript of the “SEO consultant vs SEO employee” episode is available on seosly.cloud.

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SEO Consultant vs SEO Employee: Insights from My Journey

Hi, I’m Olga Zarr, an independent SEO consultant with over ten years of diverse experience in the SEO realm. Today, I want to share my insights on being an SEO consultant versus having a job as an SEO specialist. SEO is not just my profession, it’s my deepest passion and a significant part of my life.

The Path to Becoming an SEO Consultant

I started my career as an in-house SEO and worked at various SEO agencies. Initially, I dabbled in freelance SEO, but quickly realized that without substantial experience, this path was challenging. My journey through these roles was crucial in shaping me into an independent SEO consultant capable of running a profitable business and providing top-notch services.

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Differences Between SEO Consultant and SEO Employee Roles

  • Independence vs Structure: As a consultant, I enjoy the freedom of making my own decisions and managing my time, unlike the structured environment of an SEO job where tasks and working hours are predefined.
  • Work Environment: The flexibility to work remotely as a consultant suits my introverted nature and need for a quiet environment, which was often not possible in office-based SEO roles.
  • Financial Aspects: SEO consultancy can be more financially rewarding than being an employee, albeit with less financial security. However, the higher income as a consultant allows for savings to cover periods of illness or vacation.

The Life of an SEO Employee

  • Stability and Security: SEO jobs offer a sense of security with regular paychecks, paid leave, and benefits like sick leave.
  • Limited Financial Growth: The potential for financial growth in an SEO job is often capped, with income being a fraction of the revenue generated for the agency.
  • Work-Life Balance: Employees can usually maintain a better work-life balance, with set working hours and free weekends.

The Life of an SEO Consultant

  • Higher Earnings with Risks: As a consultant, I earn significantly more, but this comes with the risk of income instability.
  • Autonomy and Responsibility: Complete control over my work and the absence of a traditional boss is liberating but requires strong self-management and organizational skills.
  • Flexible Work Hours: I relish the ability to set my own schedule, though it often leads to working longer hours due to my passion for SEO.

Personal Preferences and Lifestyle Choices

The choice between being an SEO consultant or an SEO employee largely depends on personal preferences and lifestyle. For example, people with families might prefer the stability of an SEO job, while those seeking independence and higher earning potential might gravitate towards consultancy.

Growth and Learning Opportunities

  • SEO Employee: Growth can be limited by the agency’s willingness to invest in continuous learning and development.
  • SEO Consultant: I spend a significant portion of my time on self-education and experimenting, which is vital for staying ahead in the ever-evolving SEO landscape.

My Choice: The SEO Consultant Path

For me, being an SEO consultant is the only path. It aligns with my desire for independence, continuous learning, and direct client interaction. While it may not suit everyone, it’s important to understand both sides of the coin to make an informed career decision in SEO.

I hope this comparison gives you a clearer understanding of the differences and similarities between being an SEO consultant and an SEO employee. Remember, the right path for you depends on your personal and professional goals, along with your lifestyle preferences.

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Check other articles about SEO career

Olga Zarr is an SEO consultant with 10+ years of experience. She has been doing SEO for both the biggest brands in the world and small businesses. She has done 200+ SEO audits so far. Olga has completed SEO courses and degrees at universities, such as UC Davis, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University. She also completed Moz Academy! And, of course, has Google certifications. She keeps learning SEO and loves it. Olga is also a Google Product Expert specializing in areas, such as Google Search and Google Webmasters.