How to Make Money With SEO (10 Legit Ways)

Woman making money as an SEO

Dear Dreamer,

Are you looking for legitimate ways to make extra money? I was in your exact shoes 10 years ago and have found some amazing side hustles and income streams along the way. My goal is to help you find the best opportunities that fit your lifestyle.

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I’ve been doing SEO for more than six years and learned quickly that it is a lucrative trade. Online companies want to hire professionals who know how to help them reach their target audience organically.

Which would you be more likely to click: a random ad or an article on Google that you searched for manually? I’m willing to bet you’d choose the latter. I know this because that’s what I would do.

Ads almost always want something from us right now and aren’t always accurate to what we are searching for. However, articles tend to have more answers for us based on the words we typed into the search engine and provide information for us to continue on in our lives.

The reason a particular article came up in your search was that someone did an excellent job incorporating the right keywords into that article and Google flagged it as something relevant to your search. This is exactly what companies are trying to do; they want to catch their target audience’s attention with relevant articles.

There are two ways to make money with SEO; one is to become an actual SEO and offer services and the other is to start an online business and reap the benefits of well-written SEO articles or webpages. SEOs are in high demand, especially in the age of electronics and internet surfing.

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What is an SEO and Who Can Become One?

An SEO is a Search Engine Optimizer. This person is someone who performs keyword research on a variety of topics and optimizes content to make sure it answers the targeted audiences’ questions.

For example, an article on “how to change a tire” will have several variations of that keyword phrase scattered throughout the article: first time changing a tire, how to change a tire for beginners, how to change a tire on a car, how do you change a tire for dummies, etc.

But more importantly, the content will answer the questions that real people are asking when typing those questions or phrases. A well-optimized piece will naturally include keywords and answers.

The SEO is tasked with finding top keyword searches on a specific topic so that an article can be optimized to the fullest and ranked on Google. The ultimate objective is to rank on the first page of Google’s search results because that’s where the majority of searchers click through to learn more.

If you have the patience to learn how to do search engine optimization, then it’s possible to become an SEO. There is a learning curve and some trial and error, but the overall benefits of being one can outweigh the challenges in the beginning.

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How Much Can an SEO Make?

It really is difficult to nail down an exact salary for an experienced SEO. According to Glassdoor, SEOs make between $31,000 and $71,000 annually with a national average of nearly $47,000 per year. It is a wide range because there is a difference in pay based on the line of work you get into and the amount of experience you bring to the table.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research involves knowing your audience and what they are searching for. Each industry’s audience will search for different things. So, to make money as an SEO, you must know how to do this research.

Keyword research means you are following trends of what people are looking for, testing the keywords out to see what other variations come up, and anticipating what your audience might be typing in that search bar in the near future. Without knowing what your audience is searching for, you cannot know what to write about or what to market.

Keywords can be the difference in revenue for a company. Check out my eBook called Get Your Keywords Together to learn keyword research so that you can be a successful money-making SEO.

Is SEO a Good Career?

The answer depends on you. Are you willing to put in the time to research and understand your audience? If you are, then SEO is a good career. If you’re not dedicated to doing this, then SEO is not for you.

Consider how the world operates now, most of which is done electronically. Like many others, I would guess that you encounter SEO daily without even knowing it. That’s the beauty of this job; you can make an impact and change the way people see things.

Related: How to Become a Copyeditor With No Experience

10 Ways to Make Money as an SEO

Woman making money as an SEO

If you’re ready to learn how to make money with SEO services or by starting your own business, here are 10 ways you can do so. Start now and find the best method for you.

1. Start a Blog

A blog is a website dedicated to updating readers frequently on a specific topic. Blogs are dedicated to any number of topics, but usually there is one topic or niche that a blog focuses on. This draws in the audience because they expect to read and learn about that particular topic. If you have a passion for something, then you can create a blog around that.

The key to a successful blog is knowing how to maximize SEO, then you can start making money. When readers find your blog post about a topic on Google, they are drawn to your site because of your keyword research and ability to naturally weave those phrases into your content.

Once on your site, you can sell them any number of products or use affiliate marketing to have them purchase through your unique tracking links. There are many ways to make money online with a blog, but you won’t get there if you are missing SEO.

Brand new blogs can take some time to generate traffic with SEO. The age of the website is a factor in Google algorithms. However, this shouldn’t mean that you give up. If you are consistent with publishing posts and dedicated to optimizing your content, your blog can become popular over time.

2. Start a Niche Site

A niche site is similar to a blog. It is a site dedicated to very specific, smaller segments of a larger market. These sites are usually less personal than blogs as well and focus on producing helpful information about the topic.

Niche sites can make money through affiliate marketing, ads, selling digital products like ebooks and courses, and more. Generate traffic to a niche site through keyword research and you’ll quickly see how to make money with SEO writing.

3. Start a Dropshipping Business

Start your very own dropshipping business with Amazon FBA. As a dropshipping business, you can solve problems with products. Think of the variety of products Amazon has on its site; everything from A to Z. These products have become even more convenient to get to the customer’s front door, meaning their problems are being solved quicker.

Whatever products you choose to sell, you must be able to write descriptions that explain how the products can solve your target audience’s needs. This includes maximizing SEO in those product descriptions to draw in more traffic, which then leads to increased sales.

4. Become a Keyword Planner

Another way to make money with SEO is to start your own business as a keyword planner. Clients pay planners for performing keyword research in their niche. The planner hands over the keywords to the client and the client can then use those keywords for their own purposes. This cuts out the time the client has to spend doing the research themselves, making it a valuable service to offer.

Get the keywords right for your client by educating yourself on the best practices. The more you know before offering this service, the more you will attract the right clients for your service.

5. Become an SEO Writer

Make money with SEO writing by becoming a freelance writer who performs keyword research for your client and plans the article content around that research. SEO writers spend more time understanding their client’s target audience and conducting the research, allowing them to charge more for this service.

6. Become an SEO Consultant

Start out small and work your way up to becoming a reputable consultant who can charge up to $200 per hour for sharing SEO strategies with clients.

Debbie Gartner, a successful blogger known as The Flooring Girl, makes over $20,000 per month through her SEO strategies. She has coached over 100 bloggers on SEO but became so busy that she created courses and ebooks to help more people with SEO.

Learn Debbie’s SEO strategies and offer to consult others through SEO.

7. Become a Backlink Builder

Backlinks are links to your website that are shared on other websites, blogs, etc. A backlink is like a vote on Google for your website, which tells Google that you have valuable information on your site.

To build the best backlinks, an SEO generates optimized links for your website pages and posts. Instead of just using vague text like “click here,” the anchor text of the links tell Google what the content is about.

8. Become an SEO Proofreader/Editor

Use your SEO skills to manually proofread and edit content for others. This gives the content a personal touch as well as implementing SEO strategies before it gets published. You can choose to charge per hour or project.

Learn how to become a proofreader and get paid to help others improve their content.

9. Become an SEO Virtual Assistant

If you are someone who enjoys working with SEO, offer different packages to clients and work with them as a virtual assistant. There can be a variety of ways you can serve them, one of which includes working directly on each client’s live website to continually optimize. Every package can be tailored to each client’s needs so you can charge based on what you will help them with.

10. Create Digital Products on SEO

Digital products are hot items to sell as they are easy to create, and they give the customers immediate satisfaction by having the product in hand instantly. Use this tactic to create digital products related to SEO such as guides, ebooks, paid membership groups, etc. This could generate passive income.

The trick with digital products is that you have to build a reputation for yourself before people trust you enough to buy your products. They want proof that you know what you’re talking about and that their money will be spent well. Prove your skills by offering services and building a portfolio or by starting a blog/niche site that actually ranks on Google.

Related: Stupid Simple SEO: Is It Legit?

The Questions SEO’s Who Want to Make Money Are Asking

Many questions are asked around the topic of how to make money using SEO. Here are a few popular questions answered.

Can SEO make you rich?

It depends on what you consider “rich” but there are bloggers who earn $50,000+ per month implementing SEO. This can be implemented in any number of ways. However, consider if you offer a service, you are bound by your time. If you start a business, income can become more passive over time.

The way you choose to make money with SEO will determine how much money you will actually bring home and how much of your time you will spend to reach your goal.

How long does it take to make money from SEO?

Simply put, if you offer a service, you can start making money overnight. Unfortunately, if you start a business, it can take six months to a year to see the money flow.

Does SEO have a future?

Some content creators will say that search engines are becoming “pay to play.” While this is true, implementing SEO still works and is more important than ever.

Organic searches are still happening and it’s important to continue to focus on your SEO to have a fighting chance. SEO has grown in recent years, but that just means there is more to learn and plenty of strategies to implement.

Related: How to Become a Content Creator

SEO is a Lucrative Trade That Almost Anyone Can Learn

Almost anyone can find their own way to make money as an SEO. If you can find the method that works for you and pursue that avenue with focus, there is no stopping you from making this a successful venture.

Get your feet wet with SEO by playing around on Google and searching for things interesting to you. Notice what other keywords pop up in the predictive text in that search bar. This will give you an indication of what people are currently searching for.

You’ve heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” This couldn’t be more true for SEO. Your success hangs on pleasing your audience with information and/or products that they are searching for on the internet. If you have that drive to provide for them, you are well on your way to a successful SEO career.

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