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How to Start Working as a Google Ads Freelancer in 2024

A career in Google Ads is distinct from other career paths due to its strategic importance in marketing, the need for continuous learning, the blend of creative and analytical skills required, and the direct impact on business outcomes.

It offers a unique blend of challenges and rewards, making it an attractive career path for those interested in digital marketing.

As it is with any other career path, working as a Google Ads freelancer can be difficult at the beginning, but quite rewarding at a later stage.

Let’s get right into it!

Understanding Google Ads

At its core, Google Ads is a powerful tool that can catapult businesses into the spotlight on the world’s largest search engine. But what does it really entail?

Think of Google Ads as a multifaceted platform where advertisers bid to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, or videos to web users.

It’s like having a virtual megaphone, but instead of shouting aimlessly, you’re strategically placing your message in front of people who are already searching for related products or services.

Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, which means advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked. It’s not just about getting eyes on the ad; it’s about getting the right eyes.

This is where the magic of Google Ads comes in – targeting. You can target ads based on everything from keywords and location to demographics and the time of day, ensuring that your message reaches the most relevant audience.

Understanding Google Ads is like learning a new language, one that’s spoken by nearly every business seeking online success. It’s a blend of art and science – the art of crafting compelling messages and the science of data-driven decision-making.

As a freelancer, your role will be to master this language, enabling businesses to communicate effectively with their potential customers.

Essential Skills for a Google Ads Freelancer

Embarking on a journey as a Google Ads freelancer is akin to gearing up for a thrilling adventure.

It’s not just about having a knack for marketing; it’s about arming yourself with a specific set of skills that make you not just competent, but exceptional in what you do.

Let’s dive into these skills, each a vital cog in the machinery of a successful Google Ads freelancer.

1. In-Depth Familiarity with the Google Ads Platform

First and foremost, you need to know the Google Ads platform like the back of your hand. This isn’t just about understanding what each button does; it’s about comprehending the nuances of the platform. You should be adept at navigating through the various campaign types, understanding bidding strategies, and customizing ad formats. It’s like being a pilot; you need to know every control and instrument to fly the plane successfully.

2. Crafting Compelling Ad Copy

Words are your secret weapon. The ability to write ad copy that not only captures attention but also motivates action is crucial. This involves a blend of creativity and strategic thinking. You’re not just a writer; you’re a wordsmith crafting messages that resonate with the target audience, compelling them to click through. Each word counts, each sentence a step closer to conversion.

3. Understanding of Ecommerce and Digital Marketing Practices

Google Ads doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s part of the broader digital marketing landscape, closely intertwined with ecommerce. You need a solid understanding of online shopping behaviors, digital marketing trends, and how Google Ads fits into the larger picture. This knowledge helps in creating campaigns that are not just clicks but also conversions.

4. Knowledge of Customer Acquisition Journey

A successful Google Ads freelancer knows that customer acquisition is a journey, not a one-time event. You need to understand the different stages of this journey, from awareness to consideration to decision. Your campaigns should be tailored to meet potential customers at each stage, guiding them gently towards making a purchase or taking the desired action.

5. Proficiency in Data Analysis

Google Ads is a data-driven platform. The ability to analyze and interpret data is what separates a good freelancer from a great one. You should be comfortable with numbers, able to glean insights from campaign metrics, and use this information to optimize campaigns. It’s about being both a detective and a strategist, uncovering clues in the data and using them to refine your approach.

6. Having an Eye for Design

While words are important, visuals can’t be ignored. In a world where digital content is consumed at lightning speed, your ads need to stand out visually. This doesn’t mean you need to be the next Da Vinci, but a good eye for design and the ability to create or select engaging visuals is key. Whether it’s choosing the right images for display ads or formatting content for video ads, your design sensibility will play a significant role.

In essence, being a Google Ads freelancer is about being a jack-of-all-trades in the digital marketing world. You’re part strategist, part creative genius, part analyst, and part tech whiz.

It’s a role that’s as challenging as it is rewarding, requiring a constant hunger for learning and adaptation. But for those who are up for the challenge, the rewards are not just in the form of financial gains but also in the satisfaction of driving real business growth.

So, gear up, future Google Ads maestro, your journey to mastery and success is just beginning!

Getting Certified

Stepping into the realm of Google Ads freelancing without certification is like showing up to a knight’s duel armed with just a wooden spoon.

Sure, you might have the skills, but where’s your armor? Your shield?

Certification in Google Ads isn’t just a piece of paper; it’s your badge of honor, your proof of expertise.

Especially when you’re starting out and your portfolio is as thin as a reed, this certification is your solid ground, your testament that you’re up-to-date with the latest strategies and tools in the ever-evolving world of Google Ads.

Why Certification Matters

Certification does more than just embellish your resume; it speaks volumes about your commitment and proficiency. It tells potential clients, “Hey, I’m not just another self-proclaimed expert, I’ve got the credentials to prove it.”

In an industry where staying current is not just good, but essential, being certified means you’re in sync with the latest Google Ads features and best practices.

It’s about credibility and trust. When clients are sifting through a sea of freelancers, your certification is the lighthouse guiding them to safe harbor – you.

Where to Get Certified

Now, where do you acquire this golden ticket? The answer lies with Google Skillshop. This is the sanctum sanctorum for all things Google Ads.

Google Skillshop offers comprehensive online training courses, culminating in the Google Ads certification exams.

These courses cover everything from the basics of setting up campaigns to advanced strategies for maximizing ROI.

The Certification Process

Embarking on the certification journey is like enrolling in a masterclass. You’ll dive into modules that cover various aspects of Google Ads, such as Search, Display, Video, Shopping Ads, and more. Each module is a mix of theory and practical exercises, designed to give you a 360-degree understanding of the platform.

Once you’ve soaked in all the knowledge, it’s exam time. The exams are rigorous, but fear not. They’re open book, meaning you can refer to your notes and the training material. But don’t let that lull you into complacency – these exams test your understanding, not just your memory.

Passing these exams is your rite of passage. It’s the moment you transform from a Google Ads enthusiast to a certified professional. And the best part? It’s free. Yes, you heard that right.

Google doesn’t charge a dime for these exams, making this one of the most accessible yet valuable certifications you can add to your arsenal.

Maintaining Your Certification

Remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Your certification isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ deal.

Google requires you to renew your certification annually. This ensures that you stay on top of the latest Google Ads updates and strategies. It’s a continuous journey of learning and growth.

Google Ads Certification Expiration

Getting certified in Google Ads is your first major milestone as a freelancer. It’s not just about passing an exam; it’s about setting a foundation of trust and expertise. It’s your proof of value, but also a test for yourself to see if you’re ready to take the next step in your Google Ads journey.

Gaining Practical Experience

Alright, so you’ve got your certification in the bag – a shiny badge in your arsenal.

But let’s face it, the real world of Google Ads freelancing is like a wild ocean, and your certification is just your boat.

To navigate these waters, you need something more – practical experience. This is where you learn to sail against the wind, maneuver through storms, and reach the shores of success.

Let’s dive into how you can gain this invaluable experience.

1. Start with Your Own Projects

The best way to learn is by doing, and what better way to start than with your own projects?

Create a mock company or use your own freelance business as a case study.

Set up a Google Ads account and start experimenting.

Try different ad formats, play around with keywords, test various bidding strategies – make mistakes and learn from them.

This hands-on experience is gold; it’s your playground where you can try, fail, and try again without the pressure of real client expectations.

2. Offer Your Services to Non-Profits or Small Businesses

Once you’re comfortable with the basics, reach out to non-profits or small local businesses.

Many of these organizations have limited budgets and would welcome free or low-cost Google Ads assistance. This is a win-win.

You get to work on real campaigns, and they get the benefit of your growing expertise.

It’s not just about adding lines to your resume; it’s about making a real impact while honing your skills.

3. Freelance Platforms and Small Gigs

Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, etc. are great places to find small Google Ads gigs. Start with short-term projects or tasks that don’t require extensive experience.

These platforms are competitive, so initially, it might be about offering your services at a lower rate to get your foot in the door.

But don’t undervalue yourself too much – remember, even as a beginner, your skills are valuable.

Google Ads Expert price on upwork

4. Learn from Each Campaign

Every campaign, big or small, successful or not, is a learning opportunity. Analyze what worked and what didn’t.

Did the click-through rate soar with a particular ad copy? Did a certain keyword outperform others?

This analysis is crucial. It helps you understand the nuances of Google Ads and teaches you how to adapt and optimize future campaigns.

5. Stay Updated and Keep Learning

The digital marketing world is ever-evolving, and so is Google Ads. Stay updated with the latest trends, updates, and best practices.

Follow industry blogs, join online forums, and participate in webinars. The learning never stops.

Each piece of new knowledge is a tool in your toolkit, making you more equipped to handle diverse projects.

✏️ Find out what the latest Google Ads trends are.

6. Network with Other Google Ads Professionals

Networking is key. Connect with other Google Ads professionals. Exchange tips, share experiences, and discuss challenges.

These connections can be a source of support, learning, and sometimes, referrals. Remember, in the freelance world, your network is your net worth.

Building a Portfolio

Imagine your portfolio as a treasure chest, each piece of work a glittering gem showcasing your prowess in the Google Ads realm.

Building a portfolio is not just about collecting past work; it’s about strategically presenting your skills and successes to mesmerize potential clients.

Let’s unlock the secrets to creating a portfolio that stands out.

1. Showcase a Variety of Projects

Diversity is key. Include a range of projects that demonstrate your versatility – from small local campaigns to larger, more complex ones.

Did you increase a small business’s online traffic? Did you boost the conversion rate for an e-commerce site?

These stories are your golden tickets. They show potential clients that no matter their size or industry, you have the chops to handle their Google Ads needs.

2. Use Data and Results

In the world of Google Ads, numbers speak louder than words. Your portfolio should be a testament to your ability to drive results.

Use metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and ROI to paint a picture of your successes.

But remember, it’s not just about flaunting numbers; it’s about telling the story behind them – how your strategic thinking and expertise turned those numbers around.

3. Include Testimonials

There’s nothing quite like a glowing review to bolster your credibility. Include testimonials from past clients or employers.

Let their words vouch for your skills, work ethic, and ability to deliver results.

Good feedback speaks volumes about your great work.

4. Keep It Updated

Your portfolio is a living document. Regularly update it with your latest and greatest work.

As you grow in your career, so should your portfolio. It should evolve to reflect not just your past achievements but also your current capabilities and direction.

Finding Freelance Google Ads Work

Now, let’s talk about diving into the freelance ocean and reeling in those Google Ads gigs. It’s about being in the right place, with the right bait, at the right time.

1. Start with Freelance Platforms

Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are great starting points. They’re like bustling marketplaces, brimming with opportunities.

Create a profile that stands out – highlight your certification and experience, and showcase your portfolio.

Write a compelling bio that not only details your skills but also reflects your personality. Remember, clients are not just looking for skills; they’re looking for people they can connect with.

2. Leverage Your Network

Your network is a goldmine. Reach out to former colleagues, classmates, or even friends and family. Let them know about your freelance venture.

Word of mouth is a powerful tool in the freelance world. Sometimes, a recommendation from a mutual connection can open doors that were otherwise hidden.

3. Use Social Media and Online Forums

Platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit, and even specific Google Ads forums can be fertile ground for finding work. Join discussions, share insights, and make your presence known.

The more you engage, the more you’re noticed. And in the freelance world, visibility is everything.

4. Direct Outreach

Don’t be afraid to reach out directly to businesses you’re interested in working with. Craft personalized pitches explaining how your Google Ads expertise can benefit them.

This proactive approach shows initiative and can often lead to opportunities that aren’t advertised.

5. Be Persistent but Patient

The freelance journey is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to build a reputation and a steady stream of work.

Be persistent in your efforts, but also be patient. Every no brings you closer to a yes.

Managing Your Freelance Business

Welcome to the captain’s deck of your own freelance ship. Managing your freelance business in Google Ads is more than just about being good at ads; it’s about steering your business with savvy and foresight.

Let’s navigate these waters with some key strategies.

1. Set Up the Essentials

First things first, lay down the foundation. This means setting up a legal structure for your business, like a sole proprietorship or an LLC, depending on what suits your situation best.

Get your finances in order – think about opening a separate business account, setting up an invoicing system, and keeping track of expenses.

It’s like setting up the sails and rudder of your ship – essential for smooth sailing.

2. Time Management is Key

As a freelancer, time is your most valuable asset. Master the art of time management. Allocate specific hours for client work, learning, and business development.

Use tools like Google Calendar or Trello to keep track of deadlines and deliverables.

Remember, in the world of freelancing, missing deadlines is like sailing into a storm; avoid it at all costs.

3. Communicate Like a Pro

Clear, consistent communication is your beacon. Keep your clients in the loop with regular updates, be transparent about your progress, and don’t shy away from discussing challenges.

Use tools like email, Zoom, or Slack to stay connected. Think of it as maintaining your radar – always on, always scanning.

4. Scale Your Business

As you grow, think about scaling. This could mean expanding your services, hiring subcontractors, or even automating parts of your work.

Scaling is like catching the wind in your sails – it propels you forward, faster and further.

Pros and Cons of Working as a Google Ads Freelancer

Pros and Cons of Working as a Google Ads Freelancer


  1. Flexibility and Autonomy: As a freelancer, you have the freedom to choose your clients, set your schedule, and work from anywhere.
  2. Diverse Opportunities: Google Ads expertise is in high demand across various industries, offering a wide range of projects.
  3. Potential for High Earnings: With experience and a strong portfolio, you can command lucrative rates.
  4. Direct Impact: Your work directly contributes to clients’ business growth, offering a tangible sense of accomplishment.


  1. Continuous Learning Curve: The digital marketing landscape, especially Google Ads, is constantly changing, requiring ongoing education and adaptation.
  2. Income Variability: Freelancing can come with fluctuating income and lacks the stability of a regular paycheck.
  3. Self-Marketing: Success heavily relies on your ability to market your skills and build a client base.
  4. Work-Life Balance: Managing your own business requires juggling multiple roles, which can be challenging to balance with your personal life.


And there you have it, a map to navigate the thrilling seas of Google Ads freelancing.

Keep in mind that the world of Google Ads is ever-changing, like the sea. Stay curious, stay adaptable, and keep learning.

Your journey as a Google Ads freelancer is not just about reaching a destination; it’s about the discoveries, the challenges, and the growth along the way.

If you liked this guide, check out our 13 Google Ads Tips for 2024 to stay ahead of your competition.

Michael Schroder

Michael Schroder

Michael Schroder is a Google Ads and SaaS marketing consultant. He has been managing $200k-$300k monthly ad spend and has worked with 200+ SaaS companies. The thing that makes him unique is his data-led approach and his focus on SaaS businesses.