5 Beginner-Friendly Ways to Make Money from SEO

Getting into search engine optimization, or SEO, isn’t just a job for most marketers. It’s an art form. It’s all about balance and finesse. Every year, Google creates new rules we need to follow which makes our jobs more of a challenge.

On top of that, you need to make clients happy. Digital marketing agencies are everywhere and if you mess up, the client will take their money elsewhere.

However, being an SEO is still a solid career path. According to Salary, the average wage for an SEO specialist is around $70,000 a year. Not too shabby. If you want to find out how to make money on your own terms, keep reading. We’ve got the skinny.

1. Start a Personal Blog

Most people start a personal blog as a hobby. It’s a fun way to journal about your life and hopefully build an audience that enjoys reading your content.

For some folks, a personal blog turns from a hobby into a full-time job. Michelle over at Making Sense of Cents now makes over $100,000 a month from her personal website. Do you think she accomplished this without a generous helping of SEO in her life?

Blog owners like Michelle dip their toes into the pool and get a feel for website ownership. But once they get that first taste of passive income, it can quickly become an addiction.

So how do people do it? The first step is to build an attractive website. Second, start generating content. Third, you build a tribe that loves to read it and then leverage that audience for money.

It’s that simple. But it’s never easy. Over the years, most of these website owners understand the 80-20 principle. They spend 20% of their time building a website and generating content, and then 80% of their time promoting it.

Promotion includes SEO and while you don’t have to master it, you need to become a jack of all trades. You’ll need to have a decent amount of knowledge of both on-page and off-page SEO tactics to be successful.

2. Build Niche Websites

Beginner niche website owners make their money through affiliate sales and ad revenue.

What is a niche website?

It’s a website that is used to promote products and/or services. Whenever someone clicks on one of your affiliate links, you are paid a commission if the customer buys something you promote.

This method of making money with SEO is a little different than starting a personal blog. The real key to success here is to keep trying. The vast majority of people who get into this don’t do well with their first venture and give up forever.

You only have to be right one time. Then it becomes a matter of rinse and repeat.

Niche websites heavily rely on traffic. This can be organic or come from social media sites or even a YouTube channel. Ideally, you want it all. It’s a greed-driven industry.

How do you use SEO to get this traffic?

The first thing you want to do is become a master of keyword research. You can have a mediocre skill level with almost every other type of SEO, with this one exception.

If you’re just starting out, learn everything you can about using the right keywords to get traffic to your website. Try out every tool, free and premium. It’s going to be your bread and butter.

The next step is to find the best affiliate programs for beginners. Scroll through everything they offer and find products or services that speak to you. Use your new keyword tools to discover low-hanging fruit that should be easy to rank.

Next, buy some products, learn everything you can, and start cranking out the content based on said items or services. Once you have several pieces of content on your website, look into an ad network, build out your social media profiles, and start promoting your work.

3. Start Drop Servicing

You’ve probably heard of dropshipping. Well, drop servicing is absolutely nothing like that.

Drop servicing is a form of arbitrage. You build out an agency and then part out the work to independent contractors who are willing to work for cheaper than you’re charging your clients.

This may seem shady but most digital agencies do this on some level. There is no way, with a few exceptions of large corporate agencies, that a single team can do everything for every client.

There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. And as most of us know, it’s super important to hit our deadlines when it comes to deliverables.

If you’re looking for beginner-friendly ways to make money from SEO, this is a solid choice. You literally don’t need to know anything at all. All you need to do is be able to talk the talk and hire people to walk the walk.

Who should try this out? People who have owned their own business and know how to delegate work will be just fine. If you’re a complete newbie and you know nothing about SEO or running a business, you’ll be better off starting with a personal blog or niche website to learn some skills.

4. Become a Freelance Writer

“I’m not a marketer. I’m a writer.” You can find this phrase coming out of the mouth of most writers. Practically all of them.

There is a reason for this. Writers spend most of their time in their own minds. They don’t always see the bigger picture. They write something and then turn it in and just do that over and over without really thinking about how vital they are to the entire process.

Writers are marketers. Content is the backbone of every website that exists. If websites don’t have content, then what are they going to promote? What are they going to tweet about? What’s the point of making pins?

Most new writers start with content mills, which is a pretty smart strategy. Here they learn to write for on-page SEO, which is one of the greatest skills a writer can have. Subject experts are awesome, but if they can’t write worth a crap then search engines will never rank it.

A quality generalist writer with a basic knowledge of on-page SEO will serve you well and they’re much easier to train than a subject expert.

Even if you don’t want to be a writer, you should still learn and understand the skills required to deliver a wonderful piece of content that brings in traffic and drives sales or promotes affiliate links well.

5. Start Building Links

Link building is not easy. That’s the bad news. The good news is that professional link builders only need to be good at link building.

So why include it in a post about beginner-friendly ways to make money with SEO?

Because the fundamentals of link building are easy enough to understand. It’s the followthrough that’s difficult. It’s going out there and getting nasty in the trenches that turns most marketers off.

“You mean I have to go out there and email all these people? I don’t want to do that!”
“I’m so not doing that on my computer!”
“Why can’t we just pay someone to do this? All I want to do is master PPC.”

And there are at least a dozen other excuses as to why people don’t like building links. Unfortunately, the fact is you need them. Desperately. Never in the history of SEO has a marketer said “We have too many quality links.”

That’s not a thing. And if you ever have a boss that does say that, quit your job immediately.

Given that no one wants to build their own links and yet links are so vital to SEO, becoming a link builder can be lucrative. So how can you get started?

Link builders have to be highly skilled in the craft of outreach. This is when you talk to people who own websites about guest posting or other, sometimes more clever ways, of getting a link for your client on to their website.

The more authoritative and trustworthy a website is in the eyes of Google, the more value a link back to your client’s content is going to have. Once you obtain the right tools to know who to reach out to, you can work on building relationships with webmasters.

Who should give this a try? Extroverts. People who like people and having conversations. A little charm goes a long way in this business. Introverts should stick to anything else on this list. Leave link building to the extroverted go-getters.

5 Beginner-Friendly Ways to Make Money from SEO – Wrapping It Up

SEO has a way to make money for everyone. If you like remote work, you can do it. If you want to work for a large corporate agency, you can do that too.

Introvert? That’s fine. Extrovert? Well, come on in, friend.

If you work hard, you can be successful as an SEO without a degree and with zero experience. However, you have to be willing to put in the work and you can’t shy away from challenges.

About the author

Gael Breton