• Home
  • >
  • Blog
  • >
  • Is Upskilling To Search Engine Optimization Your Much-Needed Freelancing Career Break?

Is Upskilling To Search Engine Optimization Your Much-Needed Freelancing Career Break?

By Yeshua Quijano | Last Updated April 29, 2024

Reading Time:  minutes remaining

freelancers upskilling to seo

“Gusto ko po sana tumaas yung sahod ko by upskilling or specializing.”

Are you feeling stuck in your current career? Are you looking for a change that can provide growth and stability that will make you happy?

Can you relate?

If you said yes to all those questions, upskilling to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may just be the answer you're looking for!

There are many benefits to upskilling to SEO. Not only will you be in high demand, but you'll also have the opportunity to work remotely, set your own schedule, and potentially earn a higher salary!

If you’re looking for career growth, then this guide is for you!

In this blog post, you’ll discover if upskilling to SEO is the right career move for you.

Key Takeaways

  • SEO has become an important part of any business's online marketing strategy, making SEO Specialists in high-demand.
  • Upskilling to SEO can provide you with growth, stability, and the opportunity to work remotely and potentially earn a higher salary.
  • With the right training and skills, you can become a successful SEO freelancer or land a permanent WFH job with a reputable agency.

SEO vs (General) Freelancing Salaries

One way to see if upskilling or shifting to SEO is the right career move for you is to determine if learning SEO will actually increase your income.

And the answer to that is, generally, yes, upskilling to SEO will most likely increase your income.

In most cases, freelancers who know SEO can command higher salaries, simply because SEO is a specialized skill in high demand.

But don’t take my word for it. We’ve got the numbers!

According to Indeed, SEO Specialists earn an average of ₱35,266/month (as of April 29, 2024). If you are employed by a foreign employer this number might go even higher.

high SEO salary from OLJ
high SEO salary from OLJ #2

OLJ has some pretty decent listings with high salary offers.

It’s difficult to make a blanket statement about freelancing salaries in general as the scope of “freelancing” is vast. For the sake of clarity, let’s limit this to General VAs, Admin Assistants, and Data Entry VAs.

According to Indeed, the average base salary for freelancers in the Philippines is only ₱21,402/month (as of April 29, 2024). 

Xander Dave Ceballos of Manila Bulletin tells of a grim outlook for freelancers in the Philippines as well. He wrote that the Philippines ranks 7th for lowest freelancer pay globally, with the average price per job for a Filipino freelancer costing a mere $106.70 or around ₱6,110.

Here are few more “general” freelancing jobs and their corresponding monthly salaries.



General VA

₱28,840-₱46,144/month (Source)

Data Entry Job

₱14,250/month (Source: PayScale)

SEO/Web Marketer VA

₱43,260-₱54,796/month (Source)

The point is, specializing into Search Engine Optimization may drastically increase your income.

SEO vs General Freelancing: Pros & Cons

Every industry has its pros and cons and SEO is no exception. To give you a better idea of what the industry brings, here's a comparison of pros and cons between SEO and general freelancing.



  • Potential for higher earnings due to valuable, in-demand skill
  • Schedule flexibility
  • More career growth opportunities into agency or in-house roles


  • Rapidly changing industry can be a challenge
  • Competitive job market
  • Result-driven pressure

General Freelancing (General VA, admin assistants, data entry)


  • Less technical tasks
  • High demand
  • Good entry point for new freelancers


  • Relatively lower rates.
  • Very competitive due to large hiring pool
  • Slow or no career growth

Why Shift? The Benefits of Upskilling To SEO

Here are some benefits of upskilling to SEO:

More Lucrative Opportunities

Adding SEO to your skillset can increase your hourly rates or project fees.

As more businesses realize the importance of reaching their customers online, the demand for SEO expertise will only increase. As a result, skilled SEO professionals are in high demand and they can ask for higher pay rates.

According to WebFX, a digital marketing agency, "SEO professionals with experience and expertise can earn up to $150,000 per year."

While this might be a farfetched rate for Filipinos (unfortunately), it doesn’t change the fact that learning SEO can unlock more lucrative opportunities and increase your earning potential.

Versatility and Diversity

Learning SEO can allow freelancers to offer more comprehensive services beyond the typical administrative tasks.

Here are some examples on how your current job responsibilities can evolve with the addition of SEO:


Job + SEO

Freelance writer

Offer SEO writing services to your clients, ensuring that the articles you write will help attract more traffic to their website.

Admin Assistant

Offer SEO services to your clients by managing and optimizing their website’s backend.

Web Developer

Offer SEO services that can improve a website’s speed, structure, and content.

Data Entry Specialist

If you know your way around spreadsheets (e.g. Google Sheets) you can start offering link building services to your clients.


Updating your resume to remain competitive is important. By upskilling to SEO, you can stay relevant in the digital marketing industry, which is known for it's frequent changes.

SEO best practices and techniques are constantly evolving, and by keeping up with the latest trends, you can provide better services to your clients.

What Is SEO?

We need more than this article to define what SEO truly is (and we have a free course for that), but allow me to give you some insights on the industry:

Why Do Businesses Hire SEO Specialists?

Search Engine Optimization is the process of making a website appear higher in search engines like Google.

Do you remember the last time you clicked on a search result in Google? That result was brought to the first page by SEO Specialists.

Businesses want their website to be in the number one position because it gets the most clicks and visits. And more clicks = more money. Obviously, businesses love money.

That’s where SEO Specialists come in. 

The Main Components Of SEO

As a summary, SEO can be broken down into three main components:

  • On-page SEO: Optimizing individual web pages through content and HTML source code to rank higher and earn relevant traffic.
  • Off-page SEO: Building the website's authority through external factors like backlinks, social signals, and other online marketing activities.
  • Technical SEO: Ensuring that a website is accessible, fast, secure, and mobile-friendly, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index.

These are simplified definitions, but I hope I gave you some idea on the components of SEO.

What Are Your Career Options Within The SEO Industry?

Someone in the the SEO industry can specialize into:

  • SEO Specialist - More of a generalist, an SEO Specialist is someone who optimizes a website
  • Content strategist - someone who determines and plans what content gets published on a website. For smal-scale employers, a content strategist can also be the writer.
  • Link builder - someone who does digital Public Relations (PR), often reaching out to various websites in their client’s industry.
  • Technical SEO - someone whose work is geared towards the technical aspects of the website like speed and user experience.
  • SEO Analyst and SEO Consultant
To give you an example, I’m an SEO Specialist with a focus on Content Strategy and Link Building.

To give you an example, I’m an SEO Specialist with a focus on Content Strategy and Link Building.

I’m Currently A General VA. Are There Transferable Skills From My Current Work To SEO?

Absolutely. In fact, virtual assistants and content writers are the easiest transition paths towards becoming SEO Specialists.

If you’re working as a VA, you’ve already developed a plethora of skills that 100% translates into SEO!

Some invaluable skills that will help your transition to SEO are:

  • Your ability to communicate effectively
  • Manage time
  • Multi-task
  • Solve problems
  • Use spreadsheets and/or manipulate data

The Challenge: Is Transitioning to SEO Really Tough?

Transitioning to a career in SEO may seem intimidating, but it's not as difficult as it may appear.

While SEO is a constantly evolving field, it's not rocket science. With the right mindset and approach, anyone can learn and excel in SEO.

However, it’s still important to set realistic expectations and understand that there is a learning curve involved.

SEO is a journey, not a sprint, and it takes time and effort to gain a solid understanding of the field. If you're already in a freelancing role, you have an advantage when it comes to transitioning to SEO.

You likely have experience with project management, client communication, and working independently and these skills can be used in an SEO career. Additionally, freelancing can provide flexibility and the ability to learn at your own pace.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Shift to SEO

If you are considering a career shift to SEO, there are some steps you can take to make the transition smoother.

We’ve determined eight steps to successfully upskill or outright transition into the SEO industry. If you want to learn more about SEO, we have a FREE guide, just for you: Square One: The Free SEO Starter Course!

seo roadmap

How long does it take to upskill in search engine optimization?

The time taken to upskill in search engine optimization depends on your current knowledge and experience. 

If  you have some experience in digital marketing, you can upskill in SEO in as little as 1-2 months. It's important to note that upskilling in SEO is an ongoing process, and you need to keep yourself updated with the latest trends and practices.

For example, our students are able to learn SEO in as little as one month. Of course, each student’s mileage differs, and some students are able to upskill quicker than others.

Are there any free resources available for upskilling in Search Engine Optimization?

Yes, there are many free resources available for upskilling in SEO.

Some popular websites that offer free SEO resources include Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush. And as mentioned above, we also have a free SEO starter course you can take!

Related Posts: Career Shift Guides archives

SEO Training Philippines: Your Perfect Upskilling Partner

If you're looking to upskill in search engine optimization, the SEO Training Philippines program is the perfect partner for you.

This comprehensive course is designed to help freelancers learn the fundamentals of SEO and the latest optimization strategies at their own pace and in the comfort of their own home.

Made to help freelancers in their SEO upskilling journey, our course provides in-depth training on how to drive more traffic and sales for your clients' businesses.

You'll learn how to boost your client website's visibility and rankings, and develop the skills you need to find clients and even ace interviews.


As a freelancer, upskilling to SEO can open up a world of opportunities, allowing you to work with a wide range of clients and industries. It can also help you stay competitive in a constantly "fast-paced" job market.

SEO is not a one-time effort, but rather an ongoing process. It requires continuous learning and adaptation to stay ahead of the curve. With the right training and resources, however, you can master the skills needed to succeed in this field.

So, if you're looking for a much-needed career break, consider upskilling to SEO. It may just be the boost your career needs!

SEO Training Philippines uses credible sources, our own internal testing results, as well as our experience as SEO Specialists to validate the information in our articles. Read our editorial process to understand how we ensure the accuracy, dependability, and integrity of our content.

Yeshua Quijano

Yesh is the founder owner of SEO Training Philippines. He is an award-winning Digital Marketing Consultant with almost a decade of experience in building, growing, and selling digital businesses.