Floyd Buenavente: Breaking into Freelance SEO
This week, on Freelancer Spotlight, we bring you another Freelancing.ph Community Admin, Floyd Buenavente. Floyd will talk about how he made it from being employed as an SEO Research Manager to breaking into freelance SEO. As you know, SEO is one of the most in-demand jobs online. If you’re keen to get started in SEO, read Floyd’s story below.
1. How did you get started in freelancing? What was your previous job/career before you became a freelancer?
I got started in freelancing in 2012 right after I got married, before that I was an SEO Research Manager in charge of troubleshooting site issues for a white label SEO company in Makati.
Before that, I worked with huge SEO companies and agencies until I decided to call it quits and focus my time with my family, and yes commuting is a very unhealthy exercise in the country >_o
2. As an SEO Manager, what are your main responsibilities?
I don’t know where to start because I really have a lot of responsibilities. But basically what I do is I optimize websites (yes I still do the grunt work) and keep them healthy or else my employer will not pay me.
In essence, I help them with:
A. Keeping up to date with the latest Google trends
B. Keeping their website fresh and optimized
C. Increase their websites’ traffic, ranking and conversion.
3. What’s your typical workday like?
- Wake up at 5 – 5:30am
- 6am -5pm work (This entails a lot of stuff, from eating, writing, studying to anything related to SEO so it’s really not work, it’s life hehehe)
- 6-10pm family time, wash up read, read, read (unless I go to the gym where I stay for an hour or two)
- 10pm – pray and sleep
4. What’s your biggest achievement and challenge as an SEO Manager?
You can take a look at the keyword “Outsourcing Philippines” and you will see secretwebsite.com on the first page.
There is a story behind this, secretwebsite is an offshore staff leasing company and they hired me for a client of theirs until that client cancelled their account and secretwebsite decided to absorb me in their company as the person in charge of their website secretwebsite.com.
Initially the company thrives on affiliate marketing and other projects under secretotherwebsite and their website secretwebsite.com is just something that they were hoping would rank on the first page of Google.
By the way I was also a consultant for all their secretotherwebsite websites so all the designs there are practically my brainchild. Last I heard their adsense earns at least $300 per day. 🙂
My boss made a bet with me that if I am able to rank the website on the first page of Google for the keyword “outsourcing” he will pay me 100k Php, this bet was made in front of 8 people and ended with a gentlemanly handshake.
After 6 months of optimization I was able to place it to number 11 and when I approached my boss and told him that in a months’ time it will rank on the first page of Google (which it eventually did right after I said it) My boss denied that he ever made the bet and never gave me the money.
I resigned immediately after that.
But their company expanded from 20 employees to hundreds, today they have two offices and their main source of income is the secretwebsite.com website (ouch)
So there you have it my sob story, I would say it was a really bad experience but it is what made me become a better SEO manager. ^_^
5. How do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Be able to help more people
- Enjoying life with my family and business
- Publishing a book
- Having our own house and lot
- Debt Free
- Reading, reading and reading 🙂
6. What have you learned that you wished you had known earlier?
I wish I’d known that I am a visual learner (thus learning better through reading and practice instead of auditory), and have an ENFJ personality. I also wish I was able to manage my time wisely and properly but I am thankful that I understand this by now I think it comes with age hehehe…
7. Please give 3 tips to those aspiring to be an SEO Manager?
Do not be afraid to fail – It is a VERY important part of life.
Do not be afraid to admit your mistakes – Follow Benjamin Franklin’s Chart of 13 virtues- Be Humble – Remember that above the sky there’s always another sky & down below there are always people who can only dream of what you’ve achieved today. So be thankful on what you have, not what you don’t or should have…
8. What do you do for fun?
Being with my family and enjoying a good movie or series (with subtitles of course), Read, exercise, write, meditate and eat.
9. Optional (only if you’re willing :)): Can you share your rate when you started as a freelancer and your current hourly rate?
Because I was already a practicing SEO and an old one at that I started out with (around 5-8 USD per hour)
As of current time (Thank God) I am now more than that 🙂
10. Quote to live by:
“You always have a choice” – Harvey Specter