My journey to successfully freelancing in SEO

During this blog series, we talk to accomplished digital marketing professionals from a variety of backgrounds about their career journeys with the aim of inspiring jobs seekers, aspiring freelancers and the trailblazing entrepreneurs amongst you!

I spoke to Natalie Arney, a Freelance SEO Consultant based in Brighton. She has spoken at various conferences such as BrightonSEO and ReadingSEO and has been a guest on various podcasts such as The SlumberingSlothCast! Nat is not only passionate about all things SEO, she also spent a few years teaching ICT and business studies! 

Now to the interview, we asked these questions to find out more about Nat’s journey into successfully freelancing in SEO, so you can be inspired in your own career. After reading, make sure to follow Nat on Twitter as she’s always sharing her knowledge and behind the scenes campaign insights! Over to you, Nat!

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

I’m trying to remember! Hm. I think I wanted to be a nurse if I remember correctly. Either that or a farmer because I was interested in animals – until I found out what happens to animals on farms and was put off that rather quickly!

What was your very first job? 

My very first job was working at my Dad’s pizza shop when I was about 13. It was the only pizza takeaway in the small town I grew up in and so it got super busy. I saved up my first couple of months wages to buy a new TV and VCR; I was very proud!

How did you first discover digital marketing / your specific industry sector? 

I first discovered Digital Marketing when I was doing my Marketing degree. Back then, it was very different – it was on the web 1.0 times – and there wasn’t specific digital marketing, but there was an option to take eCommerce as an elective during the degree.

Share a mistake you made or an event you regret from your career: 

Something I think I could have done sooner is get involved in the more community side of SEO.

Jumping in a time machine, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self? 

I don’t think I’d give myself advice really, just make sure that 18 year old me knows that she’s still around in the 2020s; she’d be blown away.

What industry skills do you wish you’d learned sooner and why? 

I think being able to communicate things in the best way to stakeholders and other people you’re working with – particularly with regards to working with developers and other agencies working on the same client (since doing it for customers and potential customers – that’s part of our job – but stakeholders and developers is another story) It took a good few years working in Digital Marketing to get to the point where I was working with these people, and when I did (like many, many others) I found it difficult to do. I know it’s an industry-wide issue because if it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be so many talks and articles on how to do it!

Who are you inspired by in the digital marketing industry? 

Oh gosh, where do I begin?! There are so many brilliant people in the industry, especially with regards to helping others out, but there are also heaps of others working really hard and doing great SEO behind the scenes.

If you were to publish an autobiography in 20 years time, what would it be titled?

She’s Still Here – Sorry (hopefully I would still be there when it’s published)

What’s the one thing you want to be remembered for from your career, and why?

Showing grit and compassion

What subjects were you best at in school?

English, Food Tech and languages!

Huge thanks to Nat for sharing your story with us! I’m sure like me, our readers will be inspired by your story as an SEO freelancer!   Keep an eye out for more of the MOAM series as I regularly publish new editions from inspiring digital marketing experts.

Could your career story encourage others to further their digital marketing careers? Or do you know someone whose story needs to be told? Get in touch with me on Alternatively, if you’re looking to explore your options in digital marketing, visit our job board and contact page.