How To Make Money With SEO In 2021

Seven Proven Ways To Earn Money From SEO

A blank piece of paper might turn into your best idea
A blank piece of paper might turn into your best idea

Let us face it — 2020 has been a weird year!. The COVID 19 outbreak has changed the world as we know it.

Suddenly entire countries were under lockdown, the borders closed, everybody stopped traveling, airplanes were grounded, and no one stayed in hotels.

Bars and restaurants needed to shut down, and many people had to wear a facemask if they went out to do the necessary shopping.

A new reality started — many of us faced a new reality with Zoom, Skype, and team meetings. We even have to tutor our kids that were sent home from school as well.

The Covid 10 Pandemic might bring you some new ideas
The Covid 10 Pandemic might bring you some new ideas

For me working with SEO, it was interesting to see how online activities increased — people started to shop more online.

Different keywords from hair trimmers to groceries were searched millions of times on Google.

Even governments worldwide have been busy making plans to save the economy and jobs; millions worldwide have felt the impact.

Many people have lost their jobs, and others have been looking for other streams of income during the pandemic.

Perhaps you have considered trying something new? maybe a new income stream, perhaps a new sideline adventure, or a new job?

Perhaps the time is now — to learn something about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

If you are with me so far, I will try to give you an overview of how to make money with SEO.

Before we start the journey, here is a quick guide to SEO

What is SEO, and why should I consider learning it?

Good question! First of all, you are probably already very familiar with Google and use Google and a daily basis when you are searching the web for information.

You have probably noticed the ads on top of a Google search (Google ads — Paid placements). Below the ads, you find the organic search results.

The organic results are the ones you can improve with SEO. If you have a website and know how to do SEO, you can earn a position at the top of Google.

A top position for a keyword phrase in Google means free targeted traffic to your website — and you don’t need to pay for Adwords (Google ads).

According to a recent global survey by BrightEdge, organic search was responsible for 40 percent of revenue for e-commerce sites . (

That is the simplified explanation, but I think you get the picture.

If you can rank for a keyword with a decent search volume, and you can send your target audience to a relevant offer on your website, you can make money.

If you don’t live in an English speaking country, it doesn’t matter — SEO is not only in English, and you can do SEO in your own country in your language as well.

It all starts with keyword research.

Before you start to select a product or service to sell, you need to find out which keywords you need to target.

A good SEO strategy starts with keyword research
A good SEO strategy starts with keyword research

It would be best if you had keywords with clear buyers’ intent and enough search volume. If you look at the keywords, ask yourself:

  • What pain points do they have?
  • What solutions would they be searching for?
  • What words would they use?

Consider building a persona, and craft your content to meet that personas’ needs. Here is a good article on how to prepare a persona:

If you are just getting started with SEO, here is an article about keyword research on a shoestring budget

Write, and SEO Optimize your content (On-Page SEO)

Once you have decided a keyword to target, the next step is to write some high-quality SEO optimized content for your target audience.

Google needs to be able to read and understand your content. You have to do just as good — and, hopefully, do an even better job than your competitors.

It might sound overwhelming, but don’t worry — my partner in crime, Fabian Pott, made a great guide about on-page optimization.

The secret sauce: Link building

Once you have created and optimized an excellent article that targets the keyword phrase, you are trying to rank in Google.

Sadly, unless you have a trustworthy website with many authority links, it is not a “build it, and they would come” scenario.

It would be best to convince Google that your piece of content is the best match for the search term you are trying to rank.

External links (backlinks) are essential. If you can gain links from authority websites, it is a strong indicator for Google that your content is highly relevant for the search term.

If a website has a high authority, a link from such a website can have a significant impact on your rankings in Google.

Quality wins over quantity when it comes to link building in 2020.

Ahrefs has a free tool that measures website authority from 0–100.

We have an article about how to do link building in 2020 here.

Enough — Show me the money!

Sure, you made it this far, so now it is time to show you how to make extra money with SEO. So here is a list of areas where you can make money once you get the hang of it.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is often where most people begin once they start learning SEO. It is easy to get started — you could even start with a free WordPress or Blogger blog.

You don’t even need a domain name!

Once you have set up your blog, done your keyword research, and crafted some great content, it is time to monetize it.


Many bloggers start their adventure by signing up for Google Adsense. It is a brilliant program, where Google can insert relevant ads into your content.

If the users click on the ads, you are making money by sending traffic to the advertiser’s offers.

The Adsense system can scan your optimized content and show relevant ads for potential customers.


Amazon is the biggest online sales platform on the Internet. If you sign up for Amazon’s affiliate program, you get access to millions of products.

You can make a review blog, compare products, or set up an entire shop with Amazons products. Every time someone purchases by following one of your affiliate links, you make a commission.

Lead generation (Local SEO)

If you know how to rank websites or learn about local SEO, you might consider lead generation.

It is about ranking properties in Google and sells the lead or a phone call.

Imagine if you can rank a landing page for “Emergency plumber” in your city.

Then you could put on a phone number and route the phone number to a local plumber that needs leads.

You might even rent out the entire landing page and brand it for the plumber.

It is not unusual that these kinds of deals can pull in $500–2000 per month depending on the number of leads you can provide

YouTube SEO

Like social media, YouTube has become extremely popular, and yes, you can do SEO with YouTube.

It is possible to SEO optimize YouTube videos
It is possible to SEO optimize YouTube videos

You have probably seen videos ranking on Google, and you can do that as well.

There are different ways of monetizing a YouTube channel. If you have enough subscribers and views, you can enroll in the YouTube partner program.

If you are a partner, YouTube will show ads on your videos, earning a commission.

Some SEO’s use a strategy where they would rank a video for a specific keyword, and then they would have a call to action and add a link in the video description.

This strategy can be used for review type of videos. You review a product or a piece of software, and then you tell people where they can buy the product by clicking your link.

SEO Copywriter

Once you master how to research and write SEO optimized articles, you can earn money by writing for others.

Quality SEO content is always in high demand. Customers who know the importance of well researched and optimized content is more than willing to pay a premium price.

It can be everything from product information to blog posts.

A 1000–1500 word article can pay as much as $2–300!

If you start as a freelancer, you can start by offering your service on Upwork or Iwriter.

Like every other business, you need to earn your reputation, so don’t expect catching a fortune over night. It would be best if you achieved your reputation as a good freelance SEO content writer.

According to the survey of US Bureau of Labor Statistics, freelance content writing industry will grow by 6%, till the year of 2020. [Source: (

SEO Freelancer

Once you start learning some skills, you might try your luck as a freelancer.

Small business owners are always in the market for professional help, and you might consider looking for freelancer jobs on Upwork.

Perhaps you might even come up with an idea for a little gig you can sell over and over on Fiverr.

Before, all gigs on Fiverr was $5 only, but now it has turned into a marketplace with services with different price ranges.

You can also browse different Facebook groups, Linkedin, or other social media platforms for potential customers asking for help.

A piece of good advice is not to spam social platforms like Linkedin and Facebook with your services. Provide guidance and let people reach out to you instead.

Forums can also be a perfect match between your services and potential customers.

Get a job at an agency.

If you have learned the necessary skills regarding SEO, you might like to learn a bit more.

Many people have started their SEO career at an agency, perhaps they began with SEO content writing, and then they moved on.

It is the right way of learning different aspects as technical SEO, copywriting, link building, and how to deal with clients.

SEO Manager

Once you are experienced within SEO, you might decide to work for a big company and help facilitate the entire Search Engine optimization process.

In a big company, you would experience working with many different people to reach online marketing goals.

In a big company, they usually have front and backend developers, UX and web designers, and people working with analytics and tracking.

SEO is an integrated part of their search engine marketing strategy. There is usually a big focus on conversion rates.

The goal is to drive more relevant organic traffic and deliver better results. Analytics skills are usually in high demand.

According to Indeed , an SEO specialist can make anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 annually. (

SEO coaching

Granted, learning SEO might seem like a daunting task for many people.

Once you have been working with SEO for many years yourself, you might consider offering SEO coaching for clients.

I have been doing SEO coaching for several years, but I limit my time to only a few clients.

I like to be able to work directly with a client to understand the business and help to build the foundation and the strategy.

SEO courses

You have probably stumbled over several blog posts about SEO.

Sometimes you might even read a blog post and think, “I could have explained that better.”

If that is the case or you have discovered an exciting angle regarding SEO, why not take it to the next step and create an online course?

Several instructors have created a course — you can do the same.

Once you have created your course, you can publish it and make revenue on Udemy. Udemy is a fast-growing platform of freelance instructors teaching everything from using Excel to “How to build a rocket.”

Udemy is fascinating, but careful not to get shiny object syndrome! :-)

Final thoughts

If you made it this far, congratulations! Hopefully, this blog post made you more curious :-)

You now have a few ideas on how to make money with SEO.

If you are more curious, please feel free and download my free Ebook “SEO in 2020 — The Top 10 SEO Trends in 2020 And Beyond.”

My SEO journey started as a hobby that turned into a living. I love testing and tweaking, and coaching. Someone is going to rank one on Google, so why not you?

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