How to make money with SEO? (10 Best Ways)

Who said learning SEO is only about getting your website to rank higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)?

Once you master Search Engine Optimization skills, it can be an incredible way to make money online.  

Let us get one thing cleared though, monetizing your SEO business is not a get rich quick kind of deal but is an excellent way to start making money off your SEO skills.

Plus, if you use your SEO skills to create, rank, and monetize websites, there is no limitation on how much money you can make.

I will teach you how to make money from SEO in this article, the learning path you can pursue, and ten different ways to make money from SEO.

Why is SEO a Perfect Way to Make Money Online?

Making money online is entirely a game of traffic.

While there are a lot of techniques to make money online, such as developing an eCommerce website, creating a popular blog, selling affiliate goods and services, selling online courses, and more, none of them will bring you any real money without your website drowning in traffic.

Optimizing your website for search engines is one of the most prominent ways of driving quality traffic to your website. It is the fundamental ability that will help unlock the door to your online success.

Knowing how SEO operates and how to draw and implement an SEO strategy can make you extremely useful for businesses and any personal websites you launch.

How to become an SEO Expert?

SEO isn’t that hard to understand. All that it takes to master the different SEO principles and practices is to set aside the time required.

The best thing about SEO is that you can begin to sell your SEO services for money while you are training to become an SEO Expert.

A well thought SEO strategy will help almost any online business. You could incorporate SEO to make the organization more robust while increasing sales, even though you have a traffic source that works well. 

In the beginning, the learning might seem daunting because there are too many fresh concepts to master. However, things will get easier after you pass this initial step and start executing it.

To learn SEO, here’s a quick brief for the direction you should follow:

  1. Understand the intricate working of search engines and how it indexes content. 
  2. Study the basic principles and ideas for search engine marketing.
  3. Know what the search engines are looking for quality content that searchers love.
  4. Develop a strategy to optimize content.
  5. Learn about the significant offsite SEO parameters and how to achieve these metrics.
  6. Pick SEO tools that will help you make data-driven and informed decisions.
  7. Put all you have learned to use on blogs and other projects.

Once you get along the path laid out for your above, you could start using the below methods to make money out of your SEO skills and experience.

10 Best Ways to Make Money With SEO

  1. Get a Job at Marketing Agency
  2. Start SEO Freelancing with your job
  3. Start a blog and make money via ads or affiliate marketing 
  4. Start your eCommerce business
  5. Start dropshipping and sell other people’s product
  6. Start SEO Consulting
  7. Provide SEO Services to businesses
  8. Create SEO Course and Sell it
  9. Sell SEO writing services
  10. Sell Services on Fiverr

Get a Job at Marketing Agency

Many people who enter the world of SEO have big dreams that don’t usually involve working for an agency.

However, an agency job is a great way to have a steady income while enhancing your SEO capabilities.

Plus, you will learn and discover things at an agency that you would never even imagine on your own. For instance, you’ll work on far bigger projects when you work for an agency than you will as an individual freelancer.

This will help you understand how large-scale projects are carried out from start to finish while collaborating with enterprise-level clients. E.g., you can learn stuff such as technical SEO with large client ventures, dig deeper into website analysis, and even pitching and presentations.

Pros of working at an agency

When you work for an agency, you will be able to use the tools of an existing business and its customers by using and learning from modern resources.

Plus, you will get a consistent wage, which might not happen when you start freelancing.

Cons of working at an agency

The only possible negatives are the long hours of working for an agency and the typically stressful environment, and working for someone else may not be what you’re looking for.

How much money are you capable of making?

The amount of money you will make at an agency will depend on your previous experience and skills. The average salary varies from $40k to $100k a year.

Start SEO Freelancing with your job

Starting your agency is not easy. It is a lot of investment in terms of time, effort, and money. However, you can think about becoming an SEO or digital freelancer as a side hustle mode.

If you have identified a specific aspect of SEO that you love, then you can offer your services for this particular skill.

For starters, maybe you’ve noticed that you enjoy fixing technical SEO issues.

You could collaborate and sell this particular service with an organization or webmaster or use gig work sites such as Upwork and bid for technical SEO jobs only.

You can even become full-time SEO freelancer once you are successful in side hustle. It has it’s own benefits and downsides.

Pros of becoming a freelancer

The great thing about freelancing is that it can just be a side hustle for you, kind of like part-time employment. You can pick up part-time SEO projects when you have the time. 

Cons of becoming a freelancer

The most apparent con will be the lack of continuous employment. Another drawback will be that most of your projects will be short-termed, which means that you might never work on a task from beginning to end.

How much money are you capable of making?

Your costs, as a freelancer, rely on your experience. Prices may be per project or hour, typically ranging from $20-$100 per hour.

Start a blog and make money via ads or affiliate marketing

If you indeed are an SEO expert and can build a blog that gets a lot of traffic, there are a few ways for you to monetize that traffic.

Out of those, ads and affiliate marketing are some of the most straightforward blog monetization techniques.

It can take a very long time for you to build up that level of popularity and gain that much traffic to monetize on it, even if you are an SEO expert.

It would be best to find a market niche that attracts a high amount of traffic but does not have intense competition levels to achieve recognition as a blogger.

You would be able to discover niches that possess these two characteristics with strong SEO experience.

One of the most passive models to make money online is to monetize a blog via ads because you get paid for the amount of traffic your blog receives or clicks on your website’s ads. Google Adsense, Personalized Banner Ads, and Sponsored Content are some of the most common types of paid ads.

At the same time, one of the most common forms of earning money online is affiliate marketing.

Even though the competition is tough for actually profiting in affiliate marketing, you have a higher chance of success as someone with real SEO skills.

Via affiliate marketing, you endorse high-quality products in exchange for a fee anytime someone wishes to purchase through your affiliate link.

Adding blogs about product reviews and top product lists are the most common form of affiliate content. 

Pros of monetizing a blog via paid ads and affiliate marketing

Monetizing a blog with ads and affiliate marketing is the most genuine form of passive SEO revenue. All you have to do is concentrate on increasing your organic traffic.

You do not have to deal with any hassles with inventory, vendors, and more. Additionally, you don’t need to invest in any office architecture; you can smoothly run your blog from anywhere in the world with just a steady internet connection. 

Cons of monetizing a blog via ads and affiliate marketing

There are equal cons to ads and affiliate marketing as there are pros. For starters, it’s a lot of work for not a lot of money. Plus, you have to put a lot of effort into organic traffic because other strategies have no margin. Most importantly, any significant change in the search engine algorithms can seriously hamper your entire business model.   

How much money are you capable of making?

The income you can make depends on various factors, such as the amount of traffic you receive and the revenue per 1,000 visitors you generate.

Examples of sites receiving more than $40k a month from ad sales alone are available, but it will take you a significant amount of time to get to this amount.

Affiliate marketing has a large spectrum of sales potential, and there are reports of affiliate fees making millions of dollars on forums and even single bloggers earning over $100k.

Start your eCommerce business

Setting up your eCommerce store is one of the best ways to make money online.

Using your new-found SEO skills, you quickly drive traffic to your eCommerce site and sell physical objects or digital assets such as eBooks, online courses, stock photographs, music, etc.

Conduct keyword research to find what your audience is looking for the most. For instance, if you see a keyword such as “trekking shoes” with a high volume and low competition, this could help validate that the product is in demand.

Pros of creating an eCommerce store

eCommerce business is booming, with eCommerce spending comprising 21.3% of total retail sales in 2020. And it is not just a great way to make money online but can be turned into a legit business with a high ceiling business model.

Cons of creating an eCommerce store

Acquiring products, dealing with manufacturers and vendors, shipping products, etc., takes time and is too much of a hassle. This requires hard work and commitment. eCommerce stores can not be a side hustle.

How much money are you capable of making?

When managing an eCommerce store, there’s no cap on how much you can gain. For example, Amazon.com bought the largest e-commerce platform in the Arab world- Souq.com $580 million in March 2017. 

Start dropshipping and sell other people’s products

If it seems like too much hassle to operate an eCommerce platform, then you can try your hand at dropshipping.

It is a legit retail business wherein you get orders from your customers on your site but don’t keep or ship any actual inventory.

Instead, the manufacturer (or producer) sends the order directly to the customer after a purchase is made on your website.

Finding an ethical and reliable manufacturer you can count on to deliver high-quality products on time is the secret to a profitable dropshipping business.

Without it, your website’s credibility and reputation will be ruined.

Pros of Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping is the laid-back cousin of eCommerce, where you don’t have to manage any inventory, deal with vendors or provide on-time shipping.

And unlike eCommerce, it is relatively easier to enter a drop shipping business than a competition heavy eCommerce business. 

Cons of Dropshipping Business

Because you are not doing the hard work with dropshipping, your margins are pretty low (10-15 %). Additionally, you get into business with an untrustworthy person; it will be your reputation to take a hit if the vendor cannot deliver high-quality products in time. 

How much money are you capable of making?

Similar to eCommerce, dropshipping doesn’t have an upper limit for making a profit. The more SEO you perfect, the more traffic comes to your site, the more people buy, the more you will earn. 

Start SEO Consulting

Usually, consulting is the step that most SEO professionals take before starting their agency.

Consulting is a comfortable partnership between a business and SEO consultant to offer your SEO expertise and skills in return for a predetermined charge.

The trick to a profitable SEO consultancy is to find and concentrate on a niche that will promote you as an expert in the field.

Pros of becoming an SEO Consultant

There are many benefits of becoming an SEO Consulting including the fact that it is a comfortable income source.

It gives freedom to demand a price that you believe you are worth with flexible working hours.

Additionally, it is a low overhead job, and you don’t need to worry about having and maintaining an office, employees, etc.  

Cons of becoming an SEO Consultant

The apparent drawback to becoming an SEO consultant is that it is not scalable, and there is an upper limit for you to trade your time and skill for money.

Additionally, as you can only work on one or two projects at a time, you will not be able to onboard more clients. 

How much money are you capable of making?

Several factors decide your consultation rate, including your reputation in the SEO market based on your previous track record.

The amount of experience you have also determines how much businesses will pay to consult with you. Most importantly, your rates will be dependent on your client’s requirements and the scale of your project.  

Provide SEO Services to Businesses 

Gaining traction to their business site for getting new customers is the goal of almost all businesses.

However, increasing organic traffic is not an easy task, and for that, companies rely on SEO experts with SEO agencies. 

Providing SEO services to a business or starting your SEO agency is the step ahead of providing SEO consulting and freelancing services.

Starting an SEO agency is going in full-fledged, you will have to dedicate a lot of time and effort into getting clients, building your team, setting up an office while offering end-to-end SEO services to business.

On the other hand, the SEO market is booming with a large profit margin for you.   

Pros of providing SEO as a Service to Businesses

Unlike freelancing, this offers you a consistent payment from companies keeping you on a retainer. You get the freedom, fulfillment, and experience of becoming an entrepreneur. Plus, the revenue ceiling is relatively high in running an SEO agency. 

Cons of providing SEO as a Service to Businesses

Because there are many people to please, running an SEO agency is not everybody’s cup of tea. Just managing different clients can take up a lot of time and can sometimes be very stressful.

If not planned correctly, other factors such as staff payment and office costs can take a big chunk of your profit margins.

Not just SEO, while running an agency, you will also need to learn about recruiting, team management and more. 

How much money are you capable of making?

There is no real capping to how much money you can make. The amount of money you make as an SEO agency will depend on the number of clients you have, your team size and office costs. 

Create SEO Course and Sell It

You can box your experience and market it as a course once you have gained enough SEO knowledge and have gotten some concrete results.

Bear in mind that the Internet is overflowing with low-quality courses, so if you are going to build a program, you would want to make sure it’s something original and filled with exclusive content.

If it’s accompanied by measurable benefits that you’ve been able to achieve for yourself or your customers, it will give you an additional edge. 

You may also create a course that explores a smaller segment of the SEO industry.

So, you could create a course that takes a deep into a particular feature of SEO, such as technical SEO, mobile SEO, or link building, instead of designing an all-inclusive SEO course.

Pros of selling online SEO training courses

SEO courses can be incredibly profitable because the SEO program has to be produced once, and you can market it repeatedly. 

Pros of selling online SEO training courses

Because the effort you put into creating an SEO course is a one-time exercise and can be sold repeatedly for a long time, your profit margin is incredibly high. It works as a truly passive income. 

Cons of selling online SEO training courses

The obvious con of selling SEO courses online is that it will take you a lot of time and hard work to create a unique course from which people will get real value.

Also, because the SEO industry is quite saturated, it will take even longer to build that excellent reputation that people will want to buy your SEO course.

What are you capable of making?

There is a broad difference in the amount you can earn from online classes. Some SEO experts with online courses earn more than $100k a year, but the amount you can make relies heavily on the demographic you are focusing on and the course’s quality.

Sell SEO writing services

If the query is how to make money with SEO and internet marketing, one of the quickest ways is to look for SEO writing jobs through SEO and content marketing agencies.

Another way is to personally contact larger corporations (or a mix of the two).

However, the problem with promoting yourself as an SEO writer is that you will not be able to market yourself as an SEO subject matter expert efficiently. 

A problem that you are likely to face is that SEO content that seems deliberately written for search engines does not bode well with the continually improving Google Algorithms.

We have more and more cynicism against content that is built to hoodwink the system because of this.

The trick is to either identify yourself as a niche writer who has specialized in SEO or as an SEO writer who writes to build the target audience’s user experience. 

Pros of offering SEO writing services

The constant high demand for writing services can work in your favor. Another benefit of offering SEO writing services is that you can work from anywhere in the world. 

Cons of offering SEO writing services

Suppose you are seriously considering becoming an SEO content writer. In that case, you should know that it is not a very money-making area of SEO and is a lot of effort even if you are a natural writer. 

How much money are you capable of making?

SEO copywriting rates vary based on your expertise, your writing area, and the kind of writing you offer. Typically, SEO copywriters make something between $15 to $1500 per project.

Sell Services on Fiverr

Microservices such as link building, keyword research, on-page SEO, etc., can be considered a subset of SEO.

Online Marketing agencies are grossly understaffed and always overworked, which leads to them looking for reputable contractors to assist with the pressure.

You can build yourself a very profitable mini business to establish a system to offer a micro SEO service on a larger scale. 

You can monetize your microservices in various ways, such as reaching out to agencies via cold emails, promoting your services on gig work sites such as Fiverr, and freelance platforms such as Upwork.

Out of these, Fiverr is the most underestimated website to make money with SEO.

The secret is to establish yourself as a verifiable specialist. I suggest making a comprehensive blog post or video about your unique process and promoting it extensively on email and social media.

Pros of selling microservices

You can quickly establish a name for yourself if you can do good work that brings results. Plus, providing a microservice requires much less effort as compared to end-to-end SEO. Additionally, as I established earlier, countless organizations and agencies are always looking for these services.

Cons of selling microservices

The only real con of selling SEO microservices is that the selling opportunity is not as significant as opposed to providing SEO services directly to clients. 

How much money are you capable of making?

The gigs you sell on Fiverr usually start at $5 (hence the name Fiverr); however, you can really start earning by providing upgrades and higher-level deals.

A few freelancers receive about $2000 to $3000 a month by offering gigs on microservice sites. 

Final Thoughts

Options Options everywhere, where do you start?

While it is a dilemma to choose one technique, my advice is to keep networking and be ready for potential possibilities.

The brilliance of all of these techniques is that your SEO experience can be merged with other interests such as public speaking, teaching, writing, or niche markets to pave the path for newer opportunities for yourself.

When you have a strong passion for what you’re doing, your online SEO business will really prosper.

Share your earning experience in the comment below.

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