If you work as a search marketer for a business, you’ve likely spent several years honing your craft. You’ve become familiar with how Google works, the best practices to make a site rank higher in search engines, and general online marketing tactics that can make any brand more visible. Most of your hours are already spent trying to advance the business, but if you have a few to spare, you may be able to use your talents to establish a secondary stream of income.
Why, exactly, are multiple income streams beneficial, and what types of gigs and side projects are best for a seasoned SEO?
Why Multiple Streams of Income Are Beneficial
There several important ways multiple streams of income can benefit you as a search marketer:
- Total income. According to Glassdoor, the average salary of an SEO manageris $62,621 per year, which certainly isn’t bad, but if you’re ambitious or you’re living in a high-cost area, you may want a way to make more. Establishing a secondary stream of income will increase the total amount of money you make; even if it costs you extra time, it’s often worth it.
- Income diversity. Maintaining multiple streams of income is a way of diversifying your portfolio. Because each stream of income will have strengths and weaknesses, and may fluctuate in different ways, different sources can balance each other out.
- A backup plan. We all hope search engine optimization has a long and bright future ahead of it as an industry, but what happens if the business you work for encounters economic hardship? What happens if you lose your job, or feel the need to leave sooner than expected? Your secondary income stream serves as a great backup plan, keeping you stable or serving as an alternate career route.
So what are some good ways a search marketer can make some extra money on the side?
The natural fit is to create a blog of your own, based on whatever topic interests you (or wherever you have some personal expertise). You’re familiar with all the tenets of SEO already, and even if you’re not a content writer primarily, you probably have better-than-average writing skills. Put that experience to good use on a personal blog, and you should have no trouble building an audience. Once you have a few thousand visitors every month, you’ll be able tomonetize the blog. You can do this in a few different ways, such as by allowing advertising, inviting sponsored posts, or embedding affiliate links.
Real Estate Investing
There are many different types of investment you can pursue, but one of the most valuable for search marketersis real estate investing. Depending on your goals and interests, you can try to find cheap properties to “flip” for a near-immediate profit, or acquire rental properties to generate cash flow regularly. The latter is a better option for people inexperienced in real estate investing. One of the most important factors for success in real estate is being able to market your property and fill vacancy—which is where your SEO and marketing skills will come in handy.
Online Learning and Education
You already know a lot about SEO and online marketing, so why not share that knowledge? Develop an online training program, or some other formal education system, and you could generate a stream of passive income for yourself indefinitely. The big caveat here is that online marketing education is already a crowded market, so you’ll need some way to differentiate yourself.
Similarly, you could offer your own expertise as a freelance consultant. For an hourly rate (or a monthly retainer), you could help companies and individuals understand how SEO works—and/or how their existing strategies are going wrong. This can be potentially lucrative, but you’ll need some reliable way to prove your experience and value to prospective clients.
These are just a handful of options available to you as a search engine marketer; the possibilities are practically limitless. Since you have knowledge of website development, online marketing, and search engine functionality, you can apply your skills to almost any industry or any niche—you just need to invest the time to do it.
One word of caution: make sure you understand the legal agreement you hold with your employer. If you’vesigned a non-compete agreement or a similar type of paperwork, you may not be able to work for another client—and in some cases, you may be limited in how you practice SEO on your own time. That said, most search marketers will have plenty of flexibility and time to establish a secondary stream of income for themselves.