In this day and age, everyone (and his grandma) wants to harness the Internet’s potential for his money making ideas. The problem is, “everyone” needs a lot of help. Herein lies your chance. One of the most sought-after, yet least understood internet business strategies is search engine optimization (SEO). If you’re reading this article, you doubtless know that this refers to methods web masters use to raise a site’s ranking in the search results (SERPs), and thereby increase site traffic and (hopefully) sales. One way to do this is through “link building.”
With just the basic knowledge of SEO, and the keen interest to learn more, you can earn yourself a nice steady income by helping others with their link building efforts. The real bonus though, is that the valuable insights you gain can put you on a path to a very profitable career in blogging in the future. Just take a look at the popular blogs of my favorite SEO experts – Alex Whalley and Ana Hoffman!
What Would You Do?
You would be responsible for helping web masters, small businesspeople, internet entrepreneurs, writers, organizations- anyone who wants to see their money making ideas on the first one or two pages of Google- increase their page rank by building and maintaining quality backlinks. There are plenty of ways to achieve this, including:
- Posting quality content articles to article directories, such as ezine, eHow, etc.
- Adding links to social bookmarking sites such as IMAutomator.com
- Commenting on niche-related blogs and in relevant forums
- Using RSS aggregators like BlogExpress.com
- Submitting news releases
- Soliciting backlinks for your client from other niche authorities
- Using social media to your client’s advantage
For more details, check out our link building guide to get some momentum started.
Your client may also need your help in other areas, such as keyword research, website design, and content writing. Investing in a good keyword research tool like Market Samurai or establishing relationships with trustworthy freelance writers (like Danica Sorber, who helps me with this site), can go a long way to dramatically increase your chances of engaging clients with different needs. And remember, all of the SEO “tricks” in the book will avail nothing if the website or business itself is a poor one.
What Do You Need to Do It?
First, of course, you must have a good computer system and a fast Internet connection. A laptop, in particular, will allow you to make “house calls,” especially if you cater to local businesses. You should be an entrepreneur yourself, with a passion for promoting others’ money making ideas. Finally, you’ll need a customer service mentality, and the desire to make yourself available to your clients at all hours, many of whom need some hand-holding, and who do not quite understand what you’re doing.
You need to understand what you’re doing however! There are many pitfalls in the SEO field, mainly due to the fact that, as soon as someone discovers a good way to attract the “Google spiders” and other crawlers, unscrupulous “entrepreneurs” abuse them to their limits, the end result being that legitimate business who implement them are penalized. You’ll need to keep abreast of new SEO developments and “misdemeanors,” to increase your client’s profitability while at the same time keeping him from being penalized or de-indexed altogether.
What Will They Pay You? And Who are “They,” Anyway?
You’ll be able to sell your services to practically anyone who owns, manages, or creates a website which they use to market their business. You can start with local groups, or advertise in niches you find interesting, such as authors’ groups, affiliate marketers, small business owners, and many others. If you want to try SEO, but the concept is new to you, practice your strategies with your own websites, or offer to work for friends, relatives, or colleagues for free, or in exchange for a testimonial. Promote your new business through:
- Your own blog or podcast. When you can get your site to rank, it is a great testimonial that you know what you are doing
- Forums such as digitalpoint and warriorforum
- A newsletter (possibly with SEO hints sent to site visitors on a regular basis, via autoresponder, to establish your authority)
- A quality printed packet, which you can send to local area businesses, or use for consultation with prospective local clients looking to establish online presence
- News releases and articles with local media
- Working with community organizations or with area continuing education programs
- eBooks and eCourses (again, to establish your authority and attract new clients)
SEO businesses can be very profitable, sometimes charging clients hundreds of dollars per service. Because link building won’t help a poorly constructed website, or one lacking quality content, consider offering packages, which you price according to the amount of work offered. To make sure your prices reflect the current market, search online or, better yet (as many websites don’t feature prices directly), call or e-mail others in the business, or research pricing on online forums. Remember, don’t lowball your services in hopes of gaining more business by undercutting the competition; this strategy rarely works, and can even backfire. You can, however, offer a low introductory rate, for your first few customers only. As your experience and success grow, you may wish to consider offering your best link-building techniques to customers via a downloadable e-book, available for purchase on your website. Most importantly, offer excellent service that gets the results your clients are looking for–and do it by using only the whitehat SEO methods. By doing so, you’ll build an excellent reputation and attract clients by the most coveted advertising mode: word of mouth reputation.
The Internet is full of ways to pursue your money making ideas. By establishing a link-building business, you’ll help others achieve their dreams, while realizing your own.