With the increasing amount of online content, grabbing people’s attention has become tougher. When you do manage to capture someone’s attention, it’s now more valuable than ever before.
If you have expertise in SEO and content marketing, and you know how to draw in an audience by driving traffic from Google and other search engines, there are multiple ways to earn money online.
While many people are familiar with selling SEO services as a way to make money online, it’s not the sole option.
In this article, we’ll explore various online money-making methods related to SEO. Let’s get started!
How to Make Money with SEO: 10 Best Ways
1. Become a SEO Specialist
Many established companies are on the lookout for full-time SEO specialists who can help boost their online presence. With the introduction of AI, the SEO landscape is evolving, and those who can harness AI for automating SEO tasks will be in high demand.
The good news is, there are plenty of opportunities for both remote and in-person SEO jobs across various industries. This means you can enjoy a stable income while having the flexibility to travel and work as an SEO professional.
Moreover, you don’t necessarily need to start with extensive SEO knowledge. You can learn and grow on the job, and even create your own websites to generate additional income streams.
When it comes to specialization within SEO, you have various options to explore, such as link building, content writing, or technical SEO. You can easily find these job listings on platforms like Indeed or LinkedIn, offering a wide array of SEO roles to choose from.
While the average SEO salary stands at around $56,000 according to Glassdoor, experienced senior SEO managers can command a healthy six-figure income. So, pursuing a career in SEO can lead to both financial stability and exciting growth opportunities.
2. Take SEO Writing Gigs
When I got tired of my day job, I discovered a way to make money with SEO on Upwork.
If you’re not familiar with Upwork, it’s a platform where businesses hire freelancers for all sorts of tasks, from digital marketing to development and virtual assistance. You can find a wide range of job opportunities there.
As a freelancer, all you really need are two things: your time and a strong desire to succeed.
Your Upwork profile is crucial to your success, so take the time to set it up properly.
If you’re just starting in your SEO career and don’t have a project portfolio yet, Upwork can be an excellent platform to connect with clients and build long-lasting, successful partnerships.
Believe it or not, even without ratings and testimonials, I was able to charge $25 to $35 per hour on Upwork!
My approach was to reach out to several clients and provide more in my proposal than just listing the services I could offer. This strategy helped me stand out and win jobs.
3. Offer SEO Consulting Services
Many businesses are eager to hire SEO professionals to boost their online visibility. They want to understand their competition and rank for keywords that potential customers use in their searches. Whether it’s a local flower shop or a tech company selling software, ranking well on Google for terms like “best flower delivery in Austin, TX” or “best data management solutions” is immensely valuable.
You can choose to work independently as a solo SEO consultant or freelancer, handling the work yourself, or you can build an agency and hire others to execute your SEO strategies.
Some of the services you can offer include SEO audits, link building, content marketing, on-page optimization, and technical SEO. If you’re just starting your SEO career, begin with one service and gradually add more as you gain confidence and expertise.
Specializing in a particular industry, such as SaaS, local businesses, or ecommerce, can be a smart move. Businesses are often willing to pay more for specialists in their specific field. You can also extend your SEO services to platforms like podcasts, YouTube, and Amazon, as ranking high on these platforms is equally valuable.
For those who establish agencies, success hinges on creating repeatable systems and processes. These systems should make it easy for any employee to achieve consistent results for all clients.
The cost of SEO services varies widely. Some companies pay their SEO agencies over $30,000 per month, while others might pay a consultant a few thousand dollars monthly for their SEO expertise. Your pricing depends on the return on investment (ROI) you can deliver. For instance, driving 20 customers worth $40 each per month for a florist will yield less income compared to bringing in 10 new customers worth $2,000 each for an enterprise tech company. Your level of expertise and skill will also influence your pricing.
4. Offer Productized SEO Services
If you’d like to work with clients but prefer shorter-term commitments, consider offering productized SEO services.
Here’s how it works: Instead of entering into long-term SEO contracts, you provide clients with specific SEO packages. They receive a set of SEO strategies and data, and it’s up to them to execute the plan.
Here are some examples of productized SEO services:
An SEO audit is a critical part of optimizing a website. If you’re looking to offer it as a productized service, here are your tasks:
- Check for any manual actions.
- Analyze the website’s organic traffic.
- Address any issues related to HTTPS.
- Make sure there is only one version of the website accessible.
- Confirm that search engines can index the site.
- Ensure the site is mobile-friendly.
- Evaluate page speed and Core Web Vitals.
- Find and fix broken pages.
- Examine any problems with the sitemap.
- Optimize the basic on-page elements.
- Identify any content that may be declining in performance.
- Discover gaps in the website’s content.
- Address any other technical issues that might affect SEO.
Many freelancers have earned good income by offering keyword research as a productized service on freelance platforms.
To get started and succeed with keyword research as a service, it’s crucial to understand what website owners are looking for. Most of them want to discover the best keywords to target. You can fulfill this need by identifying low-competition keywords.
Using tools like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, you can easily find 20 low-competition keywords and charge a competitive fee for your service.
Links remain a crucial factor in Google rankings. If you can help clients get these links through outreach or by creating content that naturally attracts them, it’s a valuable skill.
While link building isn’t the easiest service to package, here’s a possible approach:
Create a service like “I will secure 10 guest post placements for your website at $1,000.”
With an estimated 20% success rate, you’ll need to pitch around 50 sites for this to work, which is achievable.
Unlike traditional SEO services, these projects may only take a week or two to complete, making them a shorter commitment for both you and the client.
5. Build an Affiliate Website
If you have a website with an audience, you can team up with other businesses looking to sell their products or services to your audience.
Here’s how it works: These businesses provide you with a special link. Whenever someone from your website clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission.
This business model is called affiliate marketing, and it’s a straightforward way to earn money by promoting products and services to your audience. You don’t have to worry about handling customer support or fulfillment. Think of it like influencer marketing, but your income is based on commissions, and you don’t necessarily need a personal brand tied to the website.
Wirecutter is a famous example of an affiliate website. Essentially, affiliate websites generate organic traffic and then make money by creating pages optimized for keywords like “best (product)” and showcasing their affiliate products.
Getting SEO right is crucial for ranking your review articles and making money through affiliate marketing.
Here’s a typical approach when starting a new blog: Make a list of low-competition, long-tail keywords in your niche. Then, create review articles targeting these keywords. As your blog grows, you can target more competitive keywords.
There are numerous affiliate marketing programs available for various niches, covering a wide range of products and services. Some bloggers begin with the Amazon Associates program, but note that the commission rates there are relatively low.
On the plus side, if a customer uses your affiliate link to access Amazon and adds multiple items to their cart, you earn a commission on everything they purchase. This can be surprisingly lucrative depending on what they buy.
Other popular affiliate platforms include Awin, Commission Junction (CJ), Partnerize, and Impact Affiliates.
The potential earnings of an affiliate website depend on factors like your chosen niche, the quantity of content you produce, and the value of your audience. For instance, an audience interested in auto insurance is generally more valuable than one focused on baking.
6. Sponsored Content
As your blog gains traction and attracts more visitors, you’ll notice its growing influence.
Other businesses will start seeing your blog as a valuable platform for promoting themselves. For instance, some might be willing to pay you for publishing sponsored content on your blog.
Sponsored content can take different forms. Sometimes, the sponsor will write a blog post showcasing their product or service and compensate you for hosting it (remember to clearly label it as ‘sponsored content’).
Other companies may offer you a monthly fee to feature prominently in one of your roundup reviews or as the recommended ‘best product.’
Here’s the icing on the cake: In addition to the sponsored payment, you’ll also continue earning regular affiliate commissions.
Many brands are keen to pay for guest posts if you allow them to include a link to their website. This is because backlinks are valuable for improving domain authority, making it a win-win for both you and the brands.
7. Rank and Rent Pages
Some business owners are in a hurry to get leads and don’t want to wait for their websites to climb the search rankings. This is where you can step in and profit.
Here’s how it works: You create a website that ranks well for a keyword that a business is eager to target. In exchange for the high ranking, that business pays you to rent your website, which generates leads for them.
For instance, let’s say you have a website that ranks first for “best hair salons in Manhattan, NY.” A local hair salon in Manhattan might be willing to pay you to use your website to get leads.
Most rank and rent websites generate a few thousand dollars in monthly income. Your profit depends on the niche you choose (the value of the leads) and how well your website ranks.
However, keep in mind that if your website’s ranking drops, your business can suffer. Achieving high rankings often requires a significant upfront investment in SEO efforts.
Learn more: Rank & Rent Lead Generation
8. Grow and Flip Websites
SEO can be a long-term effort, and it might take years for a website to rank well for its desired keywords. That’s why some businesses prefer to buy existing websites that already have good content, backlinks, and a decent amount of visitors.
These buyers typically have plans to either sell their products on these websites or redirect the acquired site’s visitors to boost their existing websites’ authority and traffic.
To succeed in growing and selling a website, it’s crucial to establish a strong foundation for future growth and monetization. Here are a few tips to prepare your website for selling:
- Choose a memorable domain name.
- Select a niche with potential for expansion.
- Use ethical growth strategies to show consistent progress.
When you’re ready to sell your website, you can use online marketplaces like Quiet Light Brokerage, Flippa, or FEInternational to list and find a buyer for your website.
If you want to see examples of website flipping, check out Flippa. There, you can explore websites for sale and review various metrics like asking price, traffic, backlinks, and niches. This can help you estimate the potential selling price of a website based on its authority and organic search traffic.
However, keep in mind that building initial website traffic can be costly and time-consuming. Moreover, there’s no guarantee that someone will buy your website, so it involves some risks.
9. Create a Dropshipping Website
Selling physical products is a great way to make money from your website’s visitors. But if you’d rather not deal with the complexities of making and shipping products, consider dropshipping.
Dropshipping is an e-commerce model where you partner with a manufacturer who handles product logistics. Your role is to market and sell their products on your website.
The advantage of dropshipping is that you don’t have to worry about handling product fulfillment. You can even create a dropshipping business through Amazon, utilizing Amazon SEO to rank and sell products. However, some SEO experts prefer building and ranking their own stores on Google because Amazon can duplicate your products.
SEO for an e-commerce website mainly involves optimizing product pages and website structure. This makes it appealing to those with technical SEO skills. But keep in mind that it may take time to see a return on investment (ROI). You’ll need to build your website and attract traffic before turning a profit. Additionally, if your product rankings drop and you can’t drive traffic to your product pages, your business could face challenges. So, while dropshipping has potential, it also has its fair share of hurdles.
10. SEO Training
Once you’ve gathered a few years of SEO experience, you might consider sharing your knowledge and helping others learn the valuable skills you’ve acquired.
Take, for example, the success story of Authority Hacker, which built a six-figure income doing just that.
You can do it too by creating high-quality SEO courses for in-person or online coaching. You can sell these courses and training materials through various platforms such as your website, Gumroad, Udemy, Teachable, and more.
To start selling your course, begin by choosing a format. Here are some examples of different formats to consider:
- Offer free video lessons on YouTube and earn money through ads.
- Provide a structured course on a paid platform like Udemy or Teachable.
- Create templates or guides for specific tasks and sell them on Gumroad. For instance, you could offer a guide on optimizing site speed for WordPress.
- Establish an expert online community and charge a monthly subscription fee.
If you enjoy teaching or have a passion for sharing your SEO knowledge, this can be a fantastic way for you to generate income.
SEO can be quite profitable, but it’s essential to understand that success doesn’t happen overnight. It requires dedication, hard work, and perseverance to make significant money.
It’s important to note that the top earners in SEO aren’t necessarily the most technically skilled experts. What makes them stand out is their ability to turn their skills into money-making opportunities.
The best way to become a skilled SEO professional is through practice. Consider setting up your own WordPress website and start creating content to rank for different keywords.
While you might not see immediate financial results, this hands-on approach is the quickest way to improve your SEO skills. As you become a more skilled SEO practitioner, you’ll find various ways to make money with your expertise, whether by offering services to clients or building passive income through affiliate sites.
Is SEO a profitable way to make money?
Absolutely! SEO is a great way to make money. When your website ranks high on Google, you open the door to various money-making opportunities.
With a solid flow of visitors, you can earn through display ads, affiliate programs, referral partnerships, or by selling digital or physical products.
You can also make a decent income offering SEO services as a consultant or coach, or by working in-house as part of a marketing team.
Of course, you can also explore other ways to make money online.
Is learning SEO difficult?
Learning SEO isn’t tough if you approach it right. However, since there are many components to it, it’s crucial to start with the right learning materials.
The most effective way to learn SEO is by creating and optimizing your own website.
You’ll need to grasp how to make a website technically sound for Google, create high-quality user-friendly content, and build valuable backlinks.
Can I learn SEO without coding skills?
Absolutely! You can easily learn SEO without needing coding skills. Creating valuable content and acquiring backlinks don’t require coding expertise.
While having some knowledge of HTML or CSS can be helpful, it’s by no means essential. If you ever need coding assistance, you can easily hire a developer from platforms like Upwork.