Hi everyone. Lauren from L Bee and the Money Tree taking over for Michelle. Since I know everyone can have mixed feelings about “the substitute teacher” coming in for the day I thought we’d discuss everyone’s favorite topic: developing a side hustle.
I’m not a “professional” blogger. In fact, Moneytree was the first self-hosted blog and website I’d ever done/built and it’s taken a lot of trial and error to tweak and get it to where it is now. I do make a modest side income from the blog, but not enough for me to quit my day job and sit at home in my yoga pants all day.
Being a blogger has vastly improved my life: it helped me get the job I have now as a content and social media manager for a software company, and helped me sharpen a skill set I now utilize as my primary source of income. By combining what I do on my blog and what I do at my job, I’ve been able to string together a pretty baller portfolio of digital copy, a nice resume, and lots of applicable experience. Those assets in turn have morphed into a “freelance writer and SEO specialist” side hustle.
Unless you work with online content/marketing you may not know what SEO is; in brief it stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s a process of super-charging your content so search engines can find it easier. There are a lot of factors that go into it, but the main trick is to write the copy so that it doesn’t sound like a robot or alien from Mars put a few sentences together and slapped it on a website. Poor copy means people take you less seriously, which is where I come in.
I work primarily in three ways:
- Clients can send me copy they’ve already written and I fix it up and optimize it for them.
- They give me keywords they want content for and I write 5-600 words specifically for each keyword.
- I do research on what keywords would work best for them and their business (I work mostly with small business owners and start-ups).
If I have to do research, write the content, and do the optimization I make around $50 an hour. $35 just for SEO copy or optimizing what they’ve already written. I don’t make thousands of dollars doing this, but it can be quite lucrative.
If you are looking to build a side hustle for yourself in SEO (or in any industry really) I would recommend leveraging your networks, as that is how I get most of my clients. A really great friend of mine is a graphic designer and any time one of her client’s needs SEO/Copy she sends them my way. Friends help friends! I also never pass up an opportunity to help a blogger (free of charge, of course!) because you never know what opportunities fellow readers and authors can bring you.
You could also check job boards such as Craigslist, as a lot of people want SEO as just a one-time thing rather than hiring a contract or PT employment situation. I do know that as a blogger having a link to a complete body of work really pulls people in, so if you are thinking about a side hustle as an SEO specialist or freelance writer, I’d recommend starting a blog first to hone your skills and get people’s attention.
This is just a basic overview of what I do as a side hustle. The internet is abound with resources if you are wanting to learn more about blogging or SEO. Of course, I am nowhere near the epic level Michelle makes with her side income, but I’m happy being the master of my own destiny and being able to take on more work if there ever is a need.
Everyone should blog, it’s amazing. Don’t do it to make money. Never do that, because you’ll fail, but whoever said a little income on the side was a bad thing?