I just saw an SEOMoz survey question asking what tools respondents had paid to use in 2010. Whilst I was happy to see that over 300 of the respondents said that they had paid to use Majestic SEO’s link intelligence tools, I was REALLY surprised to see that 59.7% of respondents said that they had not paid for any tools at all to help them with their SEO. (That was 5297 respondents.)
Now that really surprised me. My team at Receptional certainly has an SEOMoz Pro membership and of course we use Majestic SEO heavily and lots more third party tools. we are also lucky enough to be able to build a few seo tools of our own. So I wonder how many respondents can end up paying nothing for their tools?
If you want to be able to make a living at this… a full time living… then you really need to decide on some paid services to help to keep you ahead of (or at least up to speed with) others in your vertical. Collecting the best data and writing the best tools is not a “free” activity. If the devloper is any good, he or she needs to earn a living. Sure, a few try to survive on google Adsense but that really isn’t a viable mainstream income in the SEOTool market. I am fairly confident that most of the 5297 respondents that were not paying for tools are predominantly weekend internet marketers. As a friend said in the pub last night – they are looking for their “5 to 9″ income stream.
Compared to other professions – like the law or accountancy – the oerheads for SEOs and Internet marketers are extremely low. But no overheads at all? That won’t work.