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After that contract ended I decided to pursue affiliate work on my own sites better instead of any new SEO work. However, the client from the contract called today. They are laying off the internal person who was going to implement the SEO plan, and want to know if I would be interested in doing the rest of the SEO work on a consulting basis over the next year or so. I am interested, but want some advice on what to charge.
The type of work left to do would be ODP and other directory submissions; creating static, content rich, product pages; running the Webtrends reports; checking rankings; redesigning the home page; coordinating changes with the design firm for the parent company's web site; etc. Java knowledge is required as the core application is a fairly complicated set of Java programs.
I already have a number of DMOZ listings and top ten web pages in the major search engines for the types of keywords that match the products the client sells, plus a background in programming that includes Java training, so I have some fairly unique qualifications for the project. Plus, when I did the first part of the contract I helped them to remove the spam code from the previous SEO firm and made a few other tweaks, which got their two main sites bumped from PR0 to PR6s in Google. So I think I have a good track record with them to start off with.
My questions are:
If it works out, what would be a reasonable rate for me to charge for this project? Should I charge by the hour or flat rate? (I did the first part by the hour and thought that worked out well, but I'm open to other suggestions.
What would be the going rate they would be charged if they hired someone else to do this type of work?
Sure as eggs you'll spend twice the time you anticipate just chasing them up for material.
Do you need to quote up front or could you invoice regularly, eg fortnightly? That way you can just bill as you go. Obviously this works better with clients you have a relationship with - which it sounds like you do.
As you're invoicing regularly they'll also be able to keep track of how much they're spending.