How to Make Money as an SEO Specialist: 7 Ways to Stay Profitable

Do you want to make money as an SEO specialist but don’t know what to do? Then this post will show you how you can make money as an SEO expert.

There are many ways through which you can make money online, such as blogging and website design. The majority of the online money-making strategies will not work if you don’t have extensive skills in SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

SEO helps in ensuring a consistent flow of traffic to your online business. Google has different algorithms, and you need to understand them to prevent getting lost in thoughts. SEO plays a key role in ensuring that your website ranks at the top in organic search results.

Keep reading to discover the different ways you can make money as an SEO specialist.

In this section, I will shed light on each of the ideas above. I will also dive deeper by highlighting the pros and cons of each of the ideas. After reading this post, you should be able to pick one or two ideas that you will run with.

1. Consulting

The first step SEO specialists take before they build an agency is to consult. It is a relationship with a client where you will share your SEO skills while you get paid a specified hourly rate.

The hourly rate you charge will be determined by the following factors:

  • Your reputation in your niche
  • Your experience and the results you’ve generated
  • The needs of the client and the scope of the project

To have a successful SEO consulting business, you need to focus on a niche. This is the best way to portray yourself as an expert in your field. Here are some SEO experts and their niches:

Even if you have other things you do, you can generate additional income for yourself by offering consulting services for agencies. You can get clients from your website and YouTube channel.

Pros

  • You can earn upfront from client retainers.
  • Consulting allows you to command the hourly rate that you are worth.
  • You have flexible hours.
  • There is low overhead since you don’t have to worry about offices or employees.

Cons

  • Client acquisition may be a challenge since you can work on a limited number of projects per time (at most 2).
  • As time goes on, you will discover that it is not scalable.

2. Build an SEO Agency

Another way to make money as an SEO specialist is by building an SEO agency. However, I need to let you know that agency life is not meant for everyone.

But if you have successfully built an SEO consulting practice, you can scale it into an agency.

More so, agency business is profitable. Small and big businesses are investing heavily in SEO.

Pros

  • You can earn upfront from client retainers.
  • There is a high potential of selling the agency.
  • There is room for revenue growth.
  • The SEO agency is a growing industry with numerous opportunities to generate leads.

Cons

  • The SEO agency is associated with long hours in a stressful work environment.
  • The margins are not as great as they are portrayed.
  • It is challenging to deal with clients.
  • You will need staff since it is a people-based business.

3. White Label Your SEO Services

‘White label’ refers to a situation whereby you offer services under the brand of another agency.

For instance, a content writing agency may be interested in offering SEO services but lacks the required skills. In this case, they could outsource the SEO services to an SEO specialist while they still maintain their relationship with the client.

If you want to build a successful white label partnership, you should draw clear lines right from the outset. Both parties should have answers to the following questions:

  • Who will handle project management?
  • Which partner will be in charge of client communications?
  • Who will handle reporting?

Most of these relationships hit the rock since they fail to pay attention to little things like the questions above.

Pros

  • You don’t need to talk to clients in most white-label relationships.
  • You don’t need to bother about getting clients. A single agency can provide you with hundreds of accounts to work on. This makes it easier to generate business.

Cons

  • White labels are associated with lower-cost retainers since the other agency has margins that they need to maintain.
  • You will get no credit for the results the client gets. In other words, you are not building a brand but income.

SEE: Make Money with Digital Marketing

4. Hosting Seminars

SEO is information-driven. If you can portray yourself as an expert, people will be willing to pay for it. Although you may be knowledgeable in SEO, recruiting people to attend your seminar may be challenging.

In this case, you can take advantage of the network of people that have been following you. If you’re just starting, it will be difficult. You can get a group of local experts together and host a paid Meetup.

As you keep building your credibility, you can stand on your own and host people regularly.

Pros

  • Seminars have great margins. The only costs are location and the money spent on acquiring attendees.
  • Once you have developed a curriculum, you can keep using it over and over.

Cons

  • It is not easy to get people to pay for an expensive seminar.
  • There are lots of work involved in building a curriculum.

5. Develop and Sell SEO Software

You can use this idea only if you have advanced SEO skills.

Lots of SEO agency owners eventually own software businesses. In this case, the earning potential is higher and you don’t need to deal with clients.

Some of the leading SEO software in the market was developed by agency owners that were looking for ways to improve the services they offer. SEO specialists develop the best tools since they understand the needs of the market.

To build a successful SEO software, focus on solving problems that you are struggling with in your SEO business.

Pros

  • SEO software has high revenue potential. You can build an SEO software business that can grow into millions of dollars within a few years.

Cons

  • It is expensive to build an SEO software business. The costs can quickly run out of control.
  • You need constantly refine and update the software.
  • You will need to hire a partner that can code if you don’t have coding skills. Even after outsourcing the development of the software, you will still need someone that can help you manage the developers.

6. Blogging

Another way to make money as an SEO specialist is by building a blog that attracts lots of traffic. Most (if not all) of the forms of monetizing a blog require advertising. Advertising is a great way to earn from websites with high traffic.

You can monetize your blog through the following ways:

  • Custom banner ads
  • Google Display Network banners
  • Email blast, social post, and other forms of advertising packages
  • Sponsored content

To successfully monetize your blog, you need to focus on a niche with high traffic and low competition. These types of niches can be found where websites are not spending money on SEO assistance. Some of the niches include:

  • Sneaker or streetwear culture
  • Cannabis
  • Drones
  • Vintage clothing

SEE: Strategies for Creating a Website for Your Blogging Business

Pros

  • You can build a blog and run it from anywhere you are in the world, provided you have access to the internet.

Cons

  • It involves a lot of work. You will need to put in lots of work before you start making money.

7. Affiliate Marketing

As an SEO specialist, you can build different affiliate websites and make lots of money from them. If you want to make money with affiliate marketing, then you can become an Amazon affiliate. Here’s why:

The largest inventory of products in the world is on Amazon.

Lots of people go to Amazon to buy. If you can find a way to bring these people to your website and track them with your cookie, you will earn from other items they buy.

To earn from affiliate marketing, you can review different products through in-depth, long posts. Since you are an SEO specialist, you should be able to rank these posts in organic search.

You can drive people to Amazon (via ‘Buy Now’ buttons hyperlinked with your unique link) to buy the items.

This model is effective since you’re providing value through the reviews. For instance, when a consumer wants to buy an ergonomic chair and you have a review about an ergonomic chair on your site, there’s a good chance that the consumer will click on your link and purchase the chair.

In affiliate marketing, you are paid for promoting products that you believe in. The content you wrote a long time ago can keep generating new income for you.

Pros

  • Affiliate marketing is the best form of passive income. You don’t need any inventory or vendors. All you need to do is to focus on driving targeted traffic to your website.

Cons

  • The payouts are usually low (about 3% per sale). Thus, you need to have lots of traffic if you want to make a lot of money.
  • Since there is no margin for paid traffic, your website needs to operate on organic traffic.
  • An algorithm update could destroy your earnings if you rely solely on organic traffic.

SEE: Best Paying Affiliate Programs

How Much Can You Make as an SEO Expert?

If you’ve portrayed yourself as an expert in the SEO industry, you can easily get about 14 to 16 clients per month. This number is massive since you can earn about $400 to $500 per client.

Why You Should Earn with SEO?

SEO-related jobs are one of the top-paying jobs which require less experience and training. You are good to go if you are determined and also understand the responsibilities of an SEO specialist.

Also, it is straightforward to make money as an SEO specialist. You can follow the ideas shared above and can also partner with other SEO experts.

FAQs

Is SEO a profitable business?

Yes, SEO is a profitable business. Although it is competitive, you can also be unique through clear and consistent communication. One of the reasons why SEO is profitable is because SEO strategies are long-term marketing initiatives.

Can you learn SEO on your own?

Yes, you can learn how to carry out SEO on your own. You don’t need to be an SEO expert to understand how SEO works. If you don’t know anything about SEO, don’t worry.

Although there is a lot to learn about SEO, you can gain the right skills within 6 months if you use the right approach. The most effective means of learning SEO on your own is to sign up for a good SEO course.

Is SEO a good career?

Yes, SEO is a good career since it allows you to have access to numerous opportunities. You can get clients, work in-house, and also create and grow websites. The search engines, i.e. Google, YouTube, and Amazon, have also created a huge market potential for SEO specialists.

Conclusion

I have revealed some of the proven ways to make money as an SEO specialist.

With so many ideas, which one do you stick to? I will suggest that you keep networking with other SEO specialists and pay attention to new opportunities. One good thing about these opportunities is that you can also combine your SEO expertise with your interests.

Irrespective of the option you choose, ensure it is something you are interested in. Your business will thrive when you have a genuine interest in it.

If you love teaching, you can consider organizing seminars. However, if you are interested in something that can be scaled without bothering about any inventory, then you can go for affiliate marketing.

To learn more about how you can make money with affiliate marketing, check out this article. Thanks for reading.