Business SEO

How to make money from SEO in 2023

Updated on May 30th, 2023

Best ideas on how to make money with SEO by blending traditional & unorthodox techniques for success.

How do I make money from SEO as a beginner or pro you ask? 

Many like you want the answer to that too. In the dynamic world of digital marketing, finding the best ways to make money doing SEO has become a necessity. 

As an SEO expert with over 10 years of experience, I’ve taken my SEO and content agency to six-figure yearly revenues for several years. 

In this article, I’ll share my insight and first-hand experience with making money from SEO using both traditional and unorthodox techniques in 2023 and beyond, and will also recommend some digital marketing and SEO tools that will be helpful for the monetization.

Here are traditional techniques for making money from SEO

How to earn money from search engine optimization: Calculator & notepad on top of dollar notes.

1. Offer SEO services/consulting

One of the most common ways to make money doing SEO is by offering your expertise to clients. 

This can include on-page optimization, off-page optimization, technical SEO audits, keyword research, and consulting. 

To succeed in offering search engine optimization services or consulting, you need a deep understanding of search engine algorithms, have a knack for identifying both high and low-traffic keywords with high search intent, and the ability to craft engaging content that appeals to both search engines and searchers.

Tips on how to make it work:

You do need to have some sales and deal-closing skills. So mastering that will help you get higher ticket clients. 

You can find clients by creating SEO related services pages on your website and ranking them. 

Or you can go to both small and big industry conferences in the industry you want clients from.

Going to continued education conferences for lawyers, doctors, home service providers, etc, was one of my best ways to find clients fast. Just know that you have to pay to be a vendor but it is worth it because the closing rate is high if you approach people and invite them to your vendor display table.

2. Get paid SEO money with content creation

 High-quality content is the backbone of any successful SEO strategy. As an SEO content creator, you can offer your services to businesses looking to improve their online visibility, create engaging blog posts, landing pages, product descriptions, etc. 

By focusing on quality and relevance, you’ll drive organic traffic and help businesses grow thus generating income for yourself and them.

Use Longtail Pro or SemRush to find keywords and search intents to target.

3. Traditional affiliate marketing 

Traditional affiliate program

This is one of the best ways of making money from search engine optimization. 

If you have a website or blog, you can earn money through affiliate marketing by promoting products or services related to your niche or another niche. 

Optimize your site for high-converting keywords, and use your SEO skills to attract organic traffic. 

When visitors click on your affiliate links and make a purchase, you’ll earn a commission. 

Some of these products and services like WP Engine, SemRush, etc, can pay you more than $200 per sign-up from your links.

You can join affiliate networks like Impact Radius, Shareasale, CJ Affiliate, etc, to find companies to promote.

Unorthodox techniques for earning profit from search engine optimization

1. SEO training courses and workshops

Capitalize on your expertise by creating and selling online SEO courses or conducting in-person workshops for anyone or companies looking to learn about SEO.

Teach people the fundamentals of SEO, advanced techniques, or how to make money with SEO through a structured curriculum.

Tools that help with this: Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi, Zoom.

2. Micro-niche sites

Instead of focusing on broad niches, I will consider creating micro-niche sites that target a very specific audience. 

These sites are easier to rank for long-tail keywords and can generate significant income through advertising, sponsored content, or affiliate marketing. 

With lower competition, you’ll have a better chance of ranking highly on search engines and attracting highly-targeted traffic.

To build, manage, and monetize your micro-niche site off SEO effectively, it’s crucial to use both traditional and unorthodox tools and resources.


  • Essential resources like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Long Tail Pro help you find profitable long-tail keywords.
  • Reliable web hosting providers like Bluehost, Hostinger, or WP Engine are critical for ensuring your site’s performance and security which directly impacts your SEO efforts.
  • Enhance the design and functionality of your site with SEO-friendly themes and plugins from StudioPress, Elegant Themes, or Thrive Themes to help you make money online.
  • Watch your content creation process transform and boost your chances of making money from SEO by using AI-driven content creation resources like, ChatGPT, WriterZen.
  • Stand out from the competition by using niche-finding tools like NicheScraper or NicheHacks. These tools help identify profitable niches with less competition.

3. Use pay-per-call to earn passive SEO income

Pay per call income from SEO

Pay-per-call affiliate marketing was my first way of generating income from SEO through affiliate marketing.

So what is it and how does it work?

It is a performance-based marketing model that allows you to earn commissions for driving phone calls to businesses.

 By leveraging your SEO skills, you can optimize your site or landing pages for call-based keywords and generate targeted traffic.

This method can be especially profitable in service-based industries like home repairs, healthcare, or legal services.

You can join networks like Aragon Affiliate Network to find calls to promote.

Very important

If you want to maximize your income when making money from SEO using this type of method, I highly suggest that you sign-up with your own call tracking company like Callrail to track and record the calls that you send.

The pay-per-call companies track calls but you don’t have access to the recording.

By having access to the recording through platforms like Callrail, you will know when calls should be paid to you. I had this situation happen to me many times where they say a call is not qualified for payout but after listing to the call it shows it should, so I ended up getting paid.

4. Rank and rent websites

Create websites targeting specific local keywords and industries, then optimize them to rank high on search engine results pages.

Once the site is generating traffic and leads, you can lease it to a local business, which can benefit from the additional exposure and customers. 

This model allows you to generate passive income while helping businesses grow their online presence.

Utilize tools like Long Tail Pro to find low-competitive search terms to target. And Brightlocal to help with local SEO listing (citation building), management, and tracking.

I have made lots of money with this model. At one point I had different clients paying me $3k to $5k a month each renting my ranked websites.

The beauty of this is that you own it and if a client stops paying or the relationship ends you can rent it to another business the next day. 

To make this work you also need to have good sales skills too as you have to approach, and convince people to set a meeting with you, and then close.

5. Expired domain flipping

Search for expired domains with a strong backlink profile and high domain authority. 

Purchase these domains at Godaddy Auctions or, optimize them with new content, and either sell them for a profit or use them to create a private blog network (PBN) to boost your own or your clients’ SEO efforts.

I do suggest being cautious when using PBNs, as they can be risky if not managed properly and you overdo it.

6. SEO themed merchandise

Another unorthodox and innovative idea you can implement to make money from SEO is to create and sell SEO-themed merchandise. This can be funny, especially, if you are the creative type.

You can use platforms like Vistaprint to create mugs, stickers, T-shirts, etc, with SEO slogans and sell them on Amazon, Etsy, and Redbubble to monetize.

This monetization approach can help you build a better brand for your agency or company.

7. Voice search optimization

Voice search optimization

How can you get paid to do voice optimization? 

Well, as voice search gains popularity, optimizing content for voice queries is increasingly important. 

Capitalize on this trend by offering voice search optimization services to businesses, helping them rank higher for voice-based searches.

Note, you can use AnswerThePublic or Long Tail Pro to find a list of questions and keywords suitable for voice search optimization.

8. SEO-focused web applications

You can use software like CodePen or ChatGPT to help you create web applications that are search engine-focused.

This is how some SEO professionals monetize their SEO skills. They use this idea to build tools that analyze search engine ranking performance, link-building helpers, content optimization, and many more.

Definitely one of the best innovative ways of making money with SEO.

9. Condider YouTube channel and podcasts

Another way to monetize your SEO expertise is by establishing a YouTube channel or podcast to discuss SEO topics and share unique tips, tricks, and techniques.

You can monetize your channel by allowing ads, offering sponsored content, or promoting your SEO services.

Tools: Adobe Premiere Pro, Audacity, Canva, Libsyn.

Start monetizing your SEO skills already!

By incorporating the unorthodox techniques alongside the traditional SEO methods mentioned above, you can develop innovative strategies that stand out in the competitive digital landscape. 

Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and tools, and you’ll be well on your way to making money from SEO as a beginner or pro.

You can really make a lot of money with SEO.

Cheers and best of luck on your journey. If you have questions message me.

About the Author

Emmanuel Okeke

A Los Angeles resident who loves to write awesome guides on SEO, WordPress speed/security, content strategies, business and personal finance, digital and growth hack tools, legal stuff, etc, that are helpful to businesses, solopreneurs, bloggers, and consumers.

What I write about is based on tests, extensive research, and 11+ years of experience as a former Senior digital & content marketing consultant with a division of Thomson Reuters and running a successful digital marketing agency…[Read full bio]