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u/abowmanlex
I'm new to learning about SEO, what should I learn if I want to create a career out of it?
What are the types of careers I can get focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? If you do this for a living, how did you get into SEO?
I'm currently a sophomore in college and want to gauge my options in marketing and advertising, so I've been learning about the different fields I could get into.
Thank you for the responses! :)
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ICanBeProductive
I tell all newbies the same thing: read the beginners guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by Moz. It's a great place to start, gives you enough info about the core aspects without getting too deep and boring.
Then start to read some case studies and how they were successful, the techniques the used, quick wins etc.
Then start your own SEO projects, it doesn't matter what they are. You don't need to make money from them; if anything, don't put that on yourself at first..
And you're on your way :)

abowmanlex โœ๏ธ
Thank you, I'll definitely look into the beginners guide to see what I can learn.
What got you hooked in the SEO field?

ICanBeProductive
I started with affiliate marketing projects to make some passive income. It worked fairly well although I was a bit behind and didn't know enough to really make something of it.
I 'accidentally' found a job in an SEO agency after being a web designer and thinking SEO was boring; turns out I really like Search Engine Optimization (SEO)!
I like the challenge of ranking for things, getting rich and featured snippets, seeing the upwards trend lines in analytics, the technical challenges. All that stuff :)

steffanlv
Get your feet wet. Research keywords, find a niche, buy your own domain, optimize your own site/content, take part in an affiliate program, create content, build back links and try to make money. You can read a guide on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but it's not going to take you very far at all and some of the guides you find (cough::Moz::cough) are often plagued with inaccuracies.
I graduated from a school with a prestigious computer science program and was a web developer for a number of years before getting into SEO. Now, I have a few clients and my own websites I make money through and make 5x on average a year what I was making as just a mid-level web developer.

reddituserplsignore
I hope to be living your story. I'm a senior programmer with a very secure job, I have worked as a web dev for the last 10 years. I'm signing up my first SEO client in a service agreement this week in my SEO side business. I need 5 more and I'll be feeling good about this being my new career path.

steffanlv
I recommend all the time that people interested in SEO work towards making money off a site directly. Find a niche, find a few competitive keywords where you think you can get a new site in the top ten for, buy a keyword rich domain, optimize that site, include unique content with affiliate offers, flood it and tier 2, tier 3 sites with links and good content and try to make money off it.
Start with one site and try to make $25 a day or a week. Then do another and another. The money in SEO is in affiliate sites and very large corporate clients. I do both and make about 50% of my money from clients and about 50% from my sites.
I've said this before and i'll say it again: any good SEO "expert" is making well into six figures yearly. Good luck! It is possible.

piccoach
You can read a guide on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but it's not going to take you very far at all and some of the guides you find (cough::Moz::cough) are often plagued with inaccuracies.
What are some of the inaccuracies in the Moz guide?

ICanBeProductive
It's a little out of date these days. Nothing specific I can think of (I need a refresher of it really).
I do know that they're currently in the process of updating it though, which is great news!
steffanlv
Look through my recent posts. I've talked about how wrong Rand and Moz are about a number of topics and have provided proof. Guides are ok but can be a trap, allowing you to over optimize and even just flat out get you a penalty. That's why I recommend CORA SEO software. You don't so much want to optimize based on a guide as you need to optimize based on what your competitors are doing.

starfes
what brings you more? doing SEO for clients or developing/maintaining your own websites? what kind of websites do you own (if that's not a secret)? thanks

steffanlv
My money is about 50/50 clients and my own affiliate sites. I have a myriad of sites also, never putting all my eggs in one proverbial basket. I have one site (automated) that you can pay to have your site included into a 'prestigious' link directory. I have another site that gets attorney sign-ups for advertising for local law keywords to a major metro city. I have another site that gets me half of all legit Google traffic for "hot air balloon" related keywords and a deal in place that nets me a percentage of all packages sold to local providers. And several others.
I have my own Private Blog Network (PBN) and can fairly easily rank for nearly any keyword phrase when/if needed. It's all taken a lot of work and years to accomplish, but it's been worth it. However, I do know a few people, like Holly Starks (look her up) that make a LOT more than I do doing essentially similar things. But, as a rule any good SEO should be making well into six figures and I recommend to anyone looking to hire someone or an agency for SEO work to ask for some of the sites they personally have made money on (not through clients). I tell them to ask for analytics and proof of income from affiliate programs and sometimes even what kid of car the SEO "expert" drives.
SEO isn't a secretive profession and it's certainly not a spam industry. You can make a lot of money legitimately ranking sites for competitive keywords. You just have to have the right tools, the right effort and plenty of patience.
abhorrent_creature
You sound like some warrior forum guru (not saying that as a compliment) and your mention of that Holly YouTube spammer person doesn't help.
steffanlv
Well, that's your dumbass opinion and you are entitled to it. Holly might be a spammer but she's probably forgotten more about SEO than someone like you will ever know. Same goes for me too.

dontwonder
So.many.questions. I don't expect you to answer this. But I'm so intrigued by this field.
When you say create content? So you mean a blog? Are you writing your own articles? How much content do you start with? Are you always adding? I own vrheadset.io – I'm a domain collector – it's not a bad domain for an upcoming technology. I know you aren't here to tell me how to do something. I'm able to do the work. But what would an SEO expert like yourself do with this? Make a blog? Grab traffic? And do exactly what with it? How long are your sites up until they start making money? Are you paying money with Google adwords?

steffanlv
I scrape, spin, buy and write my own content. Just depends on which type of site I need content for (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, etc). There isn't much value in the domain vrheadset.io. .com, .net, .org, etc give you value because they are tlds.
New sites could take a couple of weeks to a few months to start making money. I don't know how good a set of keywords "Virtual Reality (VR) headset" is but you have to look at the top sites currently ranking for those keywords and see how they are making money.
dontwonder
Thanks for the response. I've got a handful of about 200+ domains. A lot of crypto stuff. 98% are .com btw. I just threw that out there.
For example – do you have many different templates for the sites you create? Are they all WP?

thesupermikey
There isn't that much to "learn" about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It's fairly straightforward from a strategic perspective. The most important "skills" someone who does SEO can learn have nothing to do with SEO. You should learn in this order.
โ€ข Public relations: All "off page SEO" is, is PR. Getting people to talk about your stuff.
โ€ข Copywriting and editing: if you can't do this, you are screwed. Learn to write clearly and you are golden
โ€ข Data analysis: as someone doing SEO, web traffic is the only Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that matters. Ranking keywords means nothing without traffic. Being able to analyze traffic data and understand what is happening.
jallchin
Lynda.com has great tutorials that I would have my SEO team train from when I was a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) manager at an agency. It has courses on many different aspects of SEO, including technical, on-page, off-page and many other digital marketing topics. One thing I found is that you can often times get free access to Lynda with a public library membership.
In terms of skills, good copywriting skills are imperative. I started my SEO career 4 years ago by writing website copy for an agency part-time while I was a full-time teacher. Got hooked and made the switch from teaching to digital marketing and haven't looked back since.
Good luck!

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