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Doing SEO for others or being your own master?
What is the preferred option of members and why?
web_india




msg:792998
 4:12 pm on Jan 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

For someone starting online, I find basically 4 approaches anyone can take :

1. Start with one's own site and keep working on own site(s), never to bother for getting clients.

2. Start with clients sites and keep working on them, never to bother for own site.

3. Start with one's own site and as you learn the tricks, move on to getting clients too, now working both for your sites and for others sites too, focussing more on clients sites.

4. Start with clients sites and you learn the tricks, move on to working on your own site(s), now working both for clients sites and your own, focussing more on your own sites.

I belong to category 2 but now I want to make the jump towards category 4. What categories other members belong to and what has turned out as a better experience for them especially who switched from one category to another?

Till now, I have been doing SEO for others i.e. my clients. I do not have a site of my own (should I say I didn't get the time ;) ) But seriously, I had some ideas and registered a couple of domains too but never worked upon them to complete the sites. So far, I have concentrated only on clients sites. But of late, I am thinking of starting a couple of my own sites.

What do members here think has been more rewarding and satisfying for them - working on their own site(s) or working for clients? Also I think satisfaction would weigh more for own sites but would there be good money too to justify in this case?

I am sure many of the experienced members here can shed some light on this.

Thanks in advance for sharing.

 

Macguru




msg:792999
 4:18 pm on Jan 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

5 - Subbing SEO on behalf of well established web agencies.

hurlimann




msg:793000
 4:27 pm on Jan 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

A lot depends on the ROI. In other words will you make more from the SEO time you send on your site than the fees you could charge others for your SEO time.

Mike_Mackin




msg:793001
 4:43 pm on Jan 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Get a percentage of sales from the client and make their site your own. As far as I'm concerned there is no their sites / my sites issue any more. imho

web_india




msg:793002
 7:25 am on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Subbing SEO on behalf of well established web agencies.

Hadn't thought of that one but probably will take me some time to do that.

web_india




msg:793003
 7:34 am on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> In other words will you make more from the SEO time you send on your site than the fees you could charge others for your SEO time.

I am hoping it would be more but would know only after I start out. Anyone else tried this approach before?

andreasfriedrich




msg:793004
 7:38 am on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don´t do SEO, I just build sites that are useful to the user and expect SEs to recognize that and rank my pages so as to reflect that usefulness. As of right now that would more or less be cat #1. Let´s see what I´ll be doing in the future.

Andreas

jaski




msg:793005
 8:38 am on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have done what Mike_Mackin said

Get a percentage of sales from the client and make their site your own. As far as I'm concerned there is no their sites / my sites issue any more. imho

And it is indeed a very good idea.

I believe its especially good for us Indians because most of the e-comm savvy markets are in US,Canada and Europe. Collecting orders from web site is fine but shipping costs, customs and the 'documentation required for exports' hassles have prevented me so far from running my own shop. Tying up with webmasters in those countries and getting a share of the profits works very well.

Though I would love to hear from any other Indian out here who has tried it :)

Jaski

cornwall




msg:793006
 9:38 am on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

3. Start with one's own site and as you learn the tricks, move on to getting clients too, now working both for your sites and for others sites too, focussing more on clients sites.

As with all things on the web, it depends on what business sector you are in.

I started with my own travel sites, which generate traffic, which I now feed to clients sites. The thing works synergistically.

Wouldn't say I focus more on clients sites. Their traffic depends on my own sites traffic.

wackybrit




msg:793007
 9:41 am on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't mean to stereotype India, but I imagine getting commissions from the US/UK etc is good for Indians, since the money goes a lot further in India?

That is, someone in the US might not be so glad to make $5 on a sale, whereas in India, $5 gets you a lot more. Or am I wrong?

Smiley




msg:793008
 12:25 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree with Mike. I run my own sites or work with partners. I try to turn a "once off" client into a long term relationship - its works better for both.

Tor




msg:793009
 1:19 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Get a percentage of sales from the client and make their site your own. As far as I'm concerned there is no their sites / my sites issue any more. imho

That`s exactly the way we have done it for a couple of clients. It takes some arguing/discussing before they understand the upside in involving SEM-people like myself to run their site, but eventually they understand that it`s a win-situation for both parties.

lorax




msg:793010
 2:57 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty much in the same boat as Andreas. I design and build functional websites. I do optimized the sites I build with an eye toward SEO but I'm not as particular as some members of this Board - no offense intended. I use my own websites as the test bed for new technologies and ideas - including what I think I've learned about SEO. If they work there, then I bring them to my clients.

web_india




msg:793011
 4:09 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mike,

Your suggestion is really appreciated but would it work in all cases? As far as I understand they should work perfectly for e-commerce sites selling products. But do you think it would work for services too?

andreasfriedrich,
>>I just build sites that are useful to the user
So you are satisfied with working on your sites. Hope the money is good too :)

Mike_Mackin




msg:793012
 4:17 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

>do you think it would work for services too?

Some service YES [web hosting as an example]

Consulting services would require a great degree of trust on your part. You would have to know the person/persons very well.

web_india




msg:793013
 4:28 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

jaski :
>> And it is indeed a very good idea.
I agree too.

>>I have done what Mike_Mackin said
So how was the experience, jaski? No need to bother for working on clients sites, now?

>> hassles have prevented me so far from running my own shop.
True. I wish things were simpler :)

web_india




msg:793014
 4:29 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

cornwall,
>> As with all things on the web, it depends on what business sector you are in.

I realize this but if I start working on my own site, I think it would be more of an affiliate site or maybe if I can get in touch with some good merchant to sell on their behalf.

wackybrit,
>> I imagine getting commissions from the US/UK etc is good for Indians, since the money goes a lot further in India?

You are correct wackybrit. The dollars turn out to be good money in Indian currency.

web_india




msg:793015
 4:34 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)


Consulting services would require a great degree of trust on your part. You would have to know the person/persons very well.

But some consulting services do require a good deal of face-to-face interaction and though I can get the visitors and the leads, it might not be possible for me to learn the finer details of their consulting business.

jaski




msg:793016
 4:40 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>So how was the experience, jaski? No need to bother for working on clients sites, now?

Not exactly that. Its more like - Instead of getting a site maintenance fee from the client I get a commission on sales. Its quite a bit more than what I would get as maintenance fee. Of course I have to maintain the site as well since I am the developer and SEO both for that.

web_india




msg:793017
 4:48 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Smiley
>> I try to turn a "once off" client into a long term relationship - its works better for both.

Do you try to turn existing contracts into partnership opportunities or attract them with separate contracts for partnerships?

DrCool




msg:793018
 5:05 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have done both and have to say building my "own" sites has been much better for me. I started out doing SEO for clients and eventually moved on to what Mackin is describing. Some of my customers wanted to get a bit more creative in what we did for them so we moved to an arrangement where I either got paid for every visitor I sent them or I got a percentage of the sales.

Then one of these customers decided to go a different direction. Fortunatly we had written in the contract that we owned the sites and traffic that we were sending them so we moved that over to an affiliate program and have been building affiliate sites ever since. I enjoy this much better than having to deal with clients and having to explain everything I do to them. There is much less pressure and much more money (in many cases) working on your own sites as opposed to clients.

If I do take on any clients now I can charge them much more and do a much better job than before and I don't feel bad turning down a client that I think would be difficult to work with. It seems like option 4 is what I am describing but if I had to do it all over again I would start with option 1 and maybe dabble a bit in 3.

Alby




msg:793019
 11:22 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Some service YES [web hosting as an example]

Consulting services would require a great degree of trust on your part. You would have to know the person/persons very well.

Mike, I am interested in how you monitor the honesty in this type of set-up, even if it is an e-commerce site. Ok if it is an affiliate program or you send the traffic from your own site, but if you optimise the client's site and then take a cut on the increased sales, how do you know that they are honest?

web_india




msg:793020
 2:18 pm on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I enjoy this much better than having to deal with clients and having to explain everything I do to them.

This is one of the reasons I want to work on my own sites. This way I do not have to clarify why I did this or that to someone who doesn't understand it in spite of my explaining all the details.

lorax




msg:793021
 2:34 pm on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Alby asks a very good question. For those of you who do take a cut on the profits/sales, how do you know you're getting your share? Do you let your partner handle the fees or do you? Do you have tools in place that monitor sales/traffic so you know what you should be getting?

Mike_Mackin




msg:793022
 3:23 pm on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

They can use an internal affiliate tracking program on their ads as well as the SEO stuff. Cost is about $125 to $250 per month.

Smiley




msg:793023
 4:35 pm on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Do you try to turn existing contracts into partnership opportunities or attract them with separate contracts for partnerships?

Depends on how the existing relationship is working, as long as you and your client are happy then why change it? You can always add something onto it.

But additionally there is always another niche to try. I have found that as long as the client get business through the web they are not so worried how it arrives (providing its ethical). Sometimes commission deals work best but other times the client see the worth of the site and would prefer to pay a set fee for traffic, referrals or enquiries.

The service industry is harder to crack, you normally have to take the risk on behalf of the client but once its working a partner worth having will know the value of your work and pay you well. You have to have a degree of trust, a good partner will not be dishonest (on purpose) and risk losing the business. I personally don’t try, and worry, about tracking everything; I use that time to work on something else.

Also depends on where you are based. If you’re unable to meet your clients and build rapport then perhaps your own sites are best.

Smiley

lorax




msg:793024
 5:16 pm on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Also depends on where you are based. If you’re unable to meet your clients and build rapport then perhaps your own sites are best.

Personally, I'd just as soon move back out to farm country and not have to do so much face-to-face so the concept of SEO/part ownership is enticing!

jaski




msg:793025
 6:10 pm on Jan 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

For those of you who do take a cut on the profits/sales, how do you know you're getting your share? Do you let your partner handle the fees or do you? Do you have tools in place that monitor sales/traffic so you know what you should be getting?

Every sale is meticulously recorded in database when the online payment takes place for the purchase. Offline sales (phone,fax,post) are completely his .. I knew I could never track those so the terms of contract were negotiated assuming that.

web_india




msg:793026
 8:47 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone for their inputs and suggestions. It is appreciated.

I should now start on my own site and hopefully, I'll be able to make it good enough to make money for myself :)

MrSpeed




msg:793027
 9:34 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello,
I found this thread interesting because it touches on some ideas I have been having lately.

I was thinking about approaching sites that sell a product and instead of offering SEO services I would like to set up an affiliate program where I take a percentage of the sales. I could then use any method I wanted to use to send them traffic. They won't need to know or care if it's PPC or SEO. As long as they make sales we're both happy.

My thoughts were to use a third party to monitor the sales. Is this possible? Could something like ibill be used?

Maybe as Mike suggested it may be wise to install an affiliate tracking proogram on their sites.

Is it common for some of the more common cart systems to have affiliate capabilities?

Regards,
Rich

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