Are you looking for the best ways how to make money with SEO regardless of whether you are an SEO professional or NOT?
In this article, I am going to show you the best ways how to make money with SEO by doing SEO or just using SEO as a marketing channel to make money.
You will learn what SEO monetization techniques work in 2023 whether you are a blogger, SEO professional, business owner, or just somebody who wants to make money with SEO.
Way #1: Affiliate Marketing
Currently, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money with SEO thanks to the low start-up cost, you don’t need to have inventory or provide customer service, it has high earning potential, and it can be done by anyone with a passion for almost anything.
In fact, Detailed.com has done Affiliate research on the state of affiliate keywords in SERPs and found out that large media organizations such as Dotdash Meredith, Hearst, and Future are earning hundreds of millions of dollars from affiliate marketing.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to be a large brand to succeed with affiliate marketing. As shown by this graph, even domains with Domain Rating below 50 can compete and earn their fair share with affiliate marketing.
And you can find plenty of individuals who succeeded and make a full-time living and much more than they could imagine with affiliate marketing and SEO. For such cases I recommend you to check out the YouTube Channels Niche Pursuits and Doug Cunnington for inspiration.
For example, Adam Enfroy was making over $80K/month from affiliate marketing and perhaps now he is earning even more.
So, how can you make money with SEO and affiliate marketing?
In order to make money with SEO affiliate marketing you need to follow a few essential steps, here is a general outline.
- Niche Selection: The first step to making money with affiliate marketing is to choose a niche or topic that you’re passionate about and that has a market demand. This will help you create content that resonates with your audience and allows you to promote relevant products that they’re interested in.
- Choose Affiliate Programs: Once you have chosen your niche, you’ll need to research and choose affiliate programs that offer relevant products or services. Look for programs that offer competitive commission rates and provide marketing materials to help you promote their products.
- Website Creation: After you have selected your niche and affiliate programs, you’ll need to create a website or blog. Your website will be the platform where you can publish your content and promote affiliate products to your audience.
- Keyword Research: Keyword research is the process of identifying the search terms that people use to find information related to your niche. By understanding the search intent behind these keywords, you can create content that targets those searches and helps you rank higher in search engine results.
- Content Creation: Creating high-quality SEO content is crucial for attracting visitors to your website and building trust with your audience. Your content should provide value to your readers and be relevant to your niche.
- Commercial Keywords: These are search terms that indicate that the searcher is looking to make a purchase. By including commercial keywords in your content, you can attract visitors who are more likely to buy the products that you’re promoting.
- Link Building: This is the process of acquiring backlinks to your website from other authoritative websites. By building high-quality backlinks such as contextual backlinks and niche-relevant backlinks, you can improve your website’s authority and visibility in search engine results.
- Build Email List: Building an email list is an effective way to stay in touch with your audience and promote affiliate products over time. By offering something of value in exchange for people’s email addresses, such as a free ebook or a discount code, you can grow your email list and increase your chances of making sales.
- Implement SEO Best Practices: Finally, it’s important to implement best practices for SEO, such as optimizing your website’s structure, using relevant meta tags, and creating a mobile-friendly website. By following these best practices, you can improve your website’s visibility in search engine results and attract more visitors to your site. (Also, check out B2B SEO best practices).
Of course, there is more to each step. So, I recommend you check out my links which will help you with each step.
Also, to learn more, I recommend you check my SEO resources to understand how to increase your ranking, and organic traffic and drive higher website traffic:
- Blog SEO: Best Tips & Practices to Get You Started
- Semantic SEO: Ultimate Guide
- SEO Strategy: How to Start with SEO
- B2B Blogging: Best Practices, Tips and Tricks
- Most Important SEO Techniques to Drive Traffic & Leads
Way #2: Selling Backlinks
Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors used by Google and other search engines to rank your website.
In fact, it has been said that content and backlinks are the two most important Google ranking factors.
Therefore, backlinks are a valuable commodity on the internet, but not all backlinks are created equal. Some backlinks come from low-quality or spammy websites.
It has been reported that the average current price for better quality backlinks is in the $500-$1,000 range depending on the website authority, topical quality, etc.
With all that being said, I must say that selling backlinks as a way of making money with SEO is generally considered a black hat SEO and not a white hat SEO technique, and it can be risky and potentially harmful to both the website selling the links and the websites buying them.
And search engines like Google are consistently upgrading their algorithm to detect and penalize manipulative link building practices, including buying backlinks and selling backlinks. Websites that engage in such practices risk being penalized or even banned from search engine results altogether.
And while in recent years Google has been slowly moving away from backlinks as a ranking factor, with the raise of AI content, backlinks are to be expected to become even more valuable as currently, it’s much easier to manipulate the algorithm with content than with links.
With that all being said, how can you make money with SEO selling backlinks?
In order to be able to sell backlinks from your site, your website must meet certain criteria:
- Website authority: In order to sell backlinks, your website needs to have a certain level of authority in your industry or niche. The higher the website authority the more you can charge. To measure your website authority, you can use SEO tools such as SE Ranking. Your aim should be at least 40-50 Domain Trust.
- Organic Traffic: A good indication of a website’s health status is organic traffic. SEOs are using that to determine if the website is trustworthy as there are many websites with high website authority and 0 organic traffic. Your goal should be at least 500-1,000 according to an SEO tool such as SE Ranking.
- Location of Traffic: For most businesses, the traffic location plays a vital role, because that’s where the customers are, and a specific country or region may be more valuable to buyers looking to target that market. You can check that using the SEO tool as well.
- Balanced Anchor Text: Many SEOs will also check the anchor text ratio of your website as websites with over-optimized anchor texts are more like to be penalized and take other websites with them. Therefore, you want to make sure you have a healthy-looking anchor text ratio. Again, you can use SE Ranking to check your anchor text ratio.
With that being said, if you meet all these criteria, the outreach process is easy as in most cases, link builders and SEOs will find you themselves and you just need to negotiate your price!
Also, in order to increase your website authority and organic traffic, you need to do link building as link building benefits are enormous. So, to get you started here are some of my link building strategies:
- Link Insertion Ultimate Guide
- Resource Link Building: Complete Guide You Need
- Guest Posting: Become Guest Blogger in 6 Easy Steps
- HARO Link Building: Don’t Use Agencies – DIY – Easy & Better
- Best 11 Strategies to Build High-Quality Backlinks for Website
- Best 10 Strategies to Get Edu Backlinks for Your Website
- 11 Best Ways to Get Gov Backlinks for Your Website that Actually Works
Way #3: Selling Sponsored Posts
Selling sponsored blog posts is a popular way for website owners and bloggers to generate revenue and it can also have some SEO benefits.
Companies are happy to pay website owners to promote their products or services and, in most cases, you can choose a company or product you love to use, and you are happy to promote it to your audience.
For example, if you look at some of the blog income reports from bloggers, you can see that sponsored posts can be a really profitable way to earn more with SEO.
Such the WholeKitchenSink earned almost $6,000 in a month just from sponsored posts.
The Bewitchin’ Kitchen had made almost $3,000 from sponsored posts.
Or Middle Class Dad had earned $17,517 from sponsored posts in three months.
And I could carry on, but you got the point, and you can Google it yourself.
However, you should be transparent and relevant with sponsored posts to maintain readers’ trust and website credibility. Selling too many sponsored posts can hurt search engine rankings if they are viewed as spammy or low-quality content.
With that, here are a few ways to make money with sponsored posts:
- Create Advertise Page: This page should detail your website’s advertising and sponsored post opportunities. Make sure to include information about your website’s audience and traffic to help potential sponsors understand the value of partnering with your website.
- Create Profiles on Influencer Networks: Influencer networks are online marketplaces that connect influencers with brands looking to sponsor content. By creating a profile on these networks, you can increase your visibility to potential sponsors and potentially secure more sponsored post opportunities.
- Reach Out to Marketing Agencies: Marketing agencies often work with brands to create and execute sponsored post campaigns. By reaching out to these agencies and pitching your website as a potential partner, you can increase your chances of securing sponsored post opportunities.
- Reach Out to Affiliate Merchants: Affiliate merchants may be interested in sponsoring content on your website if they have a product or service that is relevant to your audience. By reaching out to these merchants and offering sponsored post opportunities, you can potentially generate more revenue for your website.
Overall, if you like blogging and have a passion for anything, selling sponsored posts is an excellent way to make money from blogging and SEO.
I recommend you check out my blogging guides to learn more:
- How to Start Blogging for Business: Ultimate Guide
- Is B2B Blogging Good for Business?
- B2B Blogging: Best Practices, Tips and Tricks 
- B2B Blog Strategy: 9 Step Process Generate Success for Your Company
Way #4: Adding Ad Banners
One of the easiest ways to start earning money with SEO almost instantly is by adding advertising banners on your website. Of course, this is if you already have at least some organic traffic.
At first, if you have smaller website traffic you can start with Google AdSense as they generally accept anyone who meets their advertising policies, but the RPM (revenue per thousands of impressions), as well as the cost per click, is usually very low.
Later once your website traffic grows you can join premium ad networks such as Mediavine (Requires a minimum of 50,000 monthly sessions) or AdThrive (Requires a minimum of 100,000 monthly pageviews).
Both of these ad management platforms offer excellent earnings from banner advertising as their RPM and CPC are almost 5-7x bigger compared to AdSense or other similar alternatives.
So how can you make money with SEO by adding advertisement banners on your website?
It’s easy, just register for some of these ad networks and they will guide you on how to add their ads to your website.
Once you get approved, you start earning almost immediately.
Way #5: Selling Private Banner Advertisement
Similar to the fourth way of making money with SEO, you will need to add banner advertisements on your website. However, in this case, these banners will be directly purchased from brands.
While, adding banner ads on your website via ad networks is secure, consistent, and easy to do, it will never give you the best RPM or the higher revenue potential because of the middle person (ad network) is taking their fair share.
So, to avoid this, you can directly communicate with brands to promote them on your website with private banner advertisements. By doing so, you can negotiate directly with the brand and set your own pricing for the ad space, allowing you to potentially earn a higher RPM and revenue.
In some cases, I saw up to $100 RPM, but on average you can negotiate $50 RPM.
For example, you can see on my website, that the first 3-4 ads on the right and left sidebar are ads from an ad network and the very last, sticky ad is a private banner advertisement.
This allowed me to get consistent earnings from the ad network and have the best and most prominent ad place reserved for brands that want to reach my audience.
However, to sell private banner advertisements, you will need to have a website with a significant amount of traffic and a niche audience that is attractive to potential advertisers.
It’s important that you are having focused niche that allows you to drive a relevant target audience to brands, as the more spread out your website’s content is, the less attractive it will be to potential advertisers.
Way #6: Selling Educational Materials
The online education market is growing year by year and the online education market volume is projected to be US$238.40bn by 2027 with an annual growth rate of almost 10%. (Source)
Selling educational materials such as courses and eBooks is an excellent way to make more money with SEO as it allows you to create another stream of income from your website traffic with a low initial investment and it’s easy to scale unlike from physical inventory.
Additionally, educational materials often have a higher profit margin, and selling educational materials can help you establish yourself and your brand as an authority with credibility in a particular field or niche.
And many bloggers, SEOs, and webmasters enjoyed the highest earning from selling educational materials such as eBooks and courses.
For example, Backlinko made millions from his SEO course before he sold Backlinko to SEMRush.
Similar success saw Adam Enfroy who earned a whopping almost US$200K in a single month just from a course.
Tim Denning made 5 figures in 7 months from selling a short eBook.
Or Authority Hackers which used to be a marketing agency changed their business model and started selling courses, again earning millions of dollars.
And there are countless examples of entrepreneurs, business owners, bloggers, website owners, and common folks earning something on the side, all the way to replacing full-time jobs with selling educational materials and SEO is one of their main growth channels.
So how does SEO tied to selling educational materials?
SEO is one of the best ways to sell online educational materials as it allows you to drive a relevant audience by creating content relevant to a certain niche.
This will help you drive people with interest in the topic you are offering educational materials for and increase the chances of them purchasing your products.
With SEO best practices, SEO techniques, and proper SEO strategy, you will rank higher in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) for relevant SEO keywords and bring a wider audience that is already interested in the topics you cover.
Moreover, SEO can also help build your brand and reputation. By consistently producing high-quality, informative content and targeting informational keywords you can establish yourself as an expert in your industry and build trust with your audience. This can lead to more conversions, getting recommended by other websites, and repeat business.
Way #7: Provide Consulting Services
Another great way to make money with SEO is by selling consulting/training services on whatever you are discussing on your blog.
By consistently writing about the same topic within your niche, you can build extensive knowledge and experience in that particular area. This expertise can then be leveraged to offer consulting services, which can be an effective way to monetize your knowledge and experience.
And even if you provided all the knowledge you have on your website, in most cases, people don’t want to learn to fix their problems. Instead, they want to be spoon-fed the information needed to solve their problems, that’s why consulting and training services are so popular.
Consulting services can include a range of offerings such as one-on-one coaching, group training, audits, and strategy sessions and the best thing about it is that it can be done across all industries from gardening, DYI, cars & transportation to technology, science, and everything in between.
And again, to be effective with this monetization strategy, you will need to have at least some amount of consistent organic traffic so that you can start generating leads from your website and SEO.
Overall, offering consulting services can be a lucrative way to make money with SEO if you have the knowledge and expertise to help others achieve their goals. It also allows you to leverage your existing blog audience and build a reputation as an expert in your field.
To learn more about this, check out my article on SEO lead generation, SEO funnels, and SEO sales as these articles will help you increase website lead generation.
Way #8: Rank & Rent Website
If you are an SEO professional, then the next great way to make money with SEO is to use the rank & rent method.
Rank and rent is a website strategy that involves building websites for specific types of local businesses, such as doctors (plastics, dentists), plumbers, painters, car rental services, and more. The objective is to rank the website in the local area to generate leads, calls, and form submissions, which can then be rented out or sold to businesses.
By focusing on a niche audience, ranking, and rent websites can help businesses connect with their target customers and generate more leads, ultimately leading to increased revenue and growth.
This strategy allows you to apply your SEO skills without the need of dealing with clients, provide services, or do customer service, yet earn money from what you do best and that is a lead generation and generating website traffic.
Additionally, this method allows you to start websites and target local areas anywhere in the world giving you the option to find easy competition and start making money with SEO as early as a few weeks. (Check you my local SEO for doctors and SEO for construction)
So how do you start with a rank & rent strategy? Here is a quick overview of the strategy:
- Pick a niche: It’s important that you choose local services with a higher cost per lead such as doctors, lawyers, home renovation, financial services, etc. so you can charge good money while the business owners have a good price for the leads as well.
- Pick a location: You want to find smaller areas or cities where the competition is not as high to ensure you can rank with low effort and investment. Usually, cities or areas with a 50k-250k population are a great target. Choosing highly competitive areas such as New York will cost you a bomb before you start generating leads.
- Analyze your competitors: Once you find some easy-to-rank location, you must do the SEO competitor analysis to ensure you can outrank them, see what keywords they are ranking for, etc. so you can prepare your SEO strategy.
- Research local keywords: After your competitor analysis you want to do local keyword research, to prepare your SEO content strategy plan.
- Build website: Once you understand the market and the competition and you are sure, you can easily compete, you can start investing in building a website such as buying a domain, hosting, and doing all the setups.
- Create the content on a website: Start creating content for the local areas so your website can start ranking there.
- Setup Google Business Profile: After that, you will need to set up your GBP so you can start appearing in Google Maps. Learn more about Why is my Business not showing up on Google.
- Do Off-Page SEO: Off-Page SEO is important to boost your authority with link building, directories, business listings, etc. so Google has more information about your website.
- Rent Your Website/Sale Leads: After this, you should be generating leads from your website and start pitching to local business owners about your lead generation website.
Remember, you will need to use a call-tracking solution to make sure you track all your leads.
Way #9: Create Merchandise
Another great and super easy with to make money with SEO is to create merchandise on your website for your followers and reoccurring users.
By offering branded merchandise, such as T-shirts, mugs, or other items, you can monetize your website traffic while also increasing brand awareness and engagement.
Even if you are having smaller, but steady and reoccurring website traffic with some loyal users, providing merchandise can be an excellent way to supplement your income and expand your online presence.
Nowadays, it’s easy to find manufacturing or merchandise providers that help you create your own, custom merch, set up a little eCommerce shop, and start offering it on your website.
Yes, you will need to invest in design, manufacturing, and shipping, but it can provide a steady stream of revenue over time.
For example, the Raw Garden has created its own socks, cap, voltage, battery, small case, lanyard, t-shirts, and more.
Or another example is the KYD and its own merchandise.
And as I said, starting your own merchandise is relatively easy as you can use platforms such as Bonfire, or Shopify that will help you create a merch store.
Or if you are using WordPress, then you can use the WooCommerce plugin and create your own merchandise. There are a ton of WooCommerce templates, that make it easy and quick to create your own beautiful store.
Then you will need to find print on demand partner or manufacturer that will help produce your merch and once you’re happy with the product quality, you are ready to rock!
Way #10: Start Dropshipping/Service
Dropshipping is a popular business model where you as a seller don’t keep the products you sell in stock. Instead, once you receive an order you will purchase the products from a third party that ships them directly to the customer. This allows you to avoid the cost and hassle of keeping inventory and handling shipping.
Dropshipping is an effective way to make money with SEO as it allows you to leverage your organic traffic to drive sales while minimizing the overhead cost of managing inventory.
It also allows you to test different products to find the most profitable ones for your website without making a large upfront investment in inventory.
However, it’s important to note that Dropshipping is a competitive space, and success requires a combination of effective SEO strategies, high-quality products, and excellent customer service.
It’s also important to carefully evaluate your suppliers and ensure that they can provide reliable and timely shipping to your customers.
Way #11: Create eCommerce
And the last way I want to mention how to make money with SEO is to create your own eCommerce store.
Online shopping is rapidly growing, and consumers are more comfortable making online purchases even from smaller eCommerce stores.
This can be a great opportunity for you if are already an established website, with higher website traffic and the niche you are targeting has products to sell.
With SEO, you can drive organic traffic to your eCommerce site and SEO can be a relatively inexpensive marketing channel to get customers to your online store.
Of course, starting with eCommerce comes with its own challenges. Therefore, this option is definitely not for everyone.
Final Advice on How to Make Money with SEO
If you want to make money with SEO, there are generally two types of ways that you will need to follow:
- Building audience: If you want to earn money with SEO, without doing SEO work as a freelancer, consultant, etc. then you will need to build your audience with SEO. The larger audience you build, the more you can earn with affiliate marketing, banner advertisement, selling backlinks, partnerships, and with many more ways that will open to you as you grow.
- Mastering the SEO skill: And the second type to make money with SEO is by actually doing SEO and providing SEO services such as consulting or rank and rent.
Therefore, it is up to you which one of these types of ways of making money with SEO suit you the most. The first one does not require you to have high skills and knowledge in SEO, even thou, it’s preferred, whereas the second type you will need to master the SEO before you will be able to provide SEO services.
With that being said, SEO is a growing industry and there are countless more ways to earn money with SEO, and with technologies like AI and SEO tools, it is becoming even easier to do so.
So, good luck with your journey!
FAQs to Make Money with SEO
Yes, SEO is a highly profitable skill in today’s digital world. As businesses continue to invest in online marketing to expand their reach, the demand for SEO professionals has grown significantly. With the right skill set and experience, an SEO expert can help businesses increase their online visibility, attract more qualified leads, and ultimately drive more revenue.
The average salary for an SEO specialist in the US is around $60,000 per year, but more experienced professionals can earn six-figure salaries or more. So, mastering SEO can be a valuable investment in your career.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing websites to improve their visibility and ranking in search engine results pages. By optimizing on-page elements, such as content and meta tags, and off-page elements, such as backlinks and social media signals, SEO can help businesses attract more qualified traffic and leads to their website.
To earn from SEO, you can work as an in-house SEO specialist for a company or work as a freelance SEO consultant. As an in-house SEO specialist, you’ll be responsible for improving the company’s website visibility in search engine results pages. As a freelance SEO consultant, you can offer your services to clients, helping them improve their online visibility and drive more traffic to their websites. You can also earn revenue through affiliate marketing or by offering SEO courses and tutorials online.
Yes, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be a highly rewarding and promising career. As more businesses shift their focus to digital marketing, the demand for SEO professionals has increased significantly. With the right skills and experience, you can work as an in-house SEO specialist, a freelance consultant, or even start your own SEO agency.
SEO is a dynamic and constantly evolving field, which means that there are always new techniques to learn and apply. This can make for a challenging but exciting career that allows you to help businesses improve their online presence, drive traffic to their website, and increase their revenue. The earning potential for SEO professionals can be quite lucrative, with the average salary in the US being around $60,000 per year.
The earning potential for SEO professionals can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of work they do. According to Payscale, the average salary for an SEO specialist in the US is around $60,000 per year, but more experienced professionals can earn six-figure salaries or more.
As a freelance SEO consultant, you can charge an hourly rate, project-based fee, or retainer fee, with rates typically ranging from $50 to $250 per hour, depending on your experience and reputation. The amount you earn from SEO can also be influenced by the demand for your services, which can vary based on market trends and changes in search engine algorithms.
SEO can be a profitable career, but it’s unlikely to make you “rich” overnight. It takes time, effort, and experience to build a successful SEO career, whether you work as an in-house SEO specialist or a freelance consultant.
That being said, with the right skills and experience, you can earn a comfortable living as an SEO professional. The earning potential can also increase as you build your reputation and client base.
However, it’s important to remember that success in SEO requires staying up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques, as well as being adaptable to changes in search engine algorithms.
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This article was created by Eduard Dziak and may contain affiliate links. The following were used to optimize the article for the best user and search engine experience include:
- SE Ranking for keyword research and on-page SEO optimization
- Surfer SEO for SEO-friendly content creation for users and search engines.
- Jasper AI for grammar correction and information enhancement.
The article is based on the author’s own experience and knowledge, drawn from both their own work and that of their clients, to provide the latest, proven methods.