Buildd an SEO blog in just 2 years that makes $120K revenue per year from your home!

Solo entrepreneurship is a great way to make some passive income on the side. Let's learn how to buildd a simple SEO blog and monetize it to $120K revenue!

21st December 2022
6 min read

Buildd your own dreams or someone else will hire you to buildd theirs — Farrah Gray

There are numerous reasons to start your own business.

  1. earn a little side income
  2. buildd your passion project
  3. get rich someday
  4. or create your dream job!

But, for an outsider, the process of buildd-ing a business can be intimidating.

Now, what if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way? You can make a good living working at home, running a small business, and creating what you love as a solo entrepreneur or solopreneur.

But, what are some lucrative solopreneur businesses that you can start today? Well, this guide touches on one such business of earning through an SEO blog online. So, let’s dive in!

Earn money writing online!

If you can write and have a laptop and an internet connection, one of the best ways to earn money is via an online blog.

There is a method to the madness of building a monetizable SEO blog. But, what is that method?

Well, building a blog will require you to work on several different components. So, let’s list them one by one:

  1. Find a niche topic to write on
  2. Buildd a website and design your blog template
  3. Leverage more than one monetization channel
  4. Focus on SEO
  5. Constantly track metrics and improve & update your blogs!

Now, let’s dive into each of these sections to understand them better!

Getting started — first find your Niche

The most important thing when it comes to starting a business is to actually start somewhere!

And, with blogs, you must start by finding a niche topic to write about.

Your blog's success very much depends on a search engine, a.k.a Google’s good opinion. And, Google is partial to niche “experts”. That means any blog that covers the entire length and breadth of a niche and seasonally pumps out high-quality, unique content w.r.t to that niche is considered an authority on the topic.

Now, getting the authority tag takes a long time, but when you reach there, Google rewards you by ranking your website’s pages at the top of search results.

But, what exactly qualifies as a niche? Well, a niche is simply a narrow topic area that you can cover. Some niches obviously are broader than others. Here are a few examples of possible niches you can target

  1. Electronic Products — you can test them out, write reviews, write about new launches
  2. Marketing — you can choose a subdomain here, for example writing about content marketing or social media marketing
  3. Health — write general blogs on health, food, exercise
  4. Productivity — write about frameworks, tools, case studies, etc
  5. Tech or Crypto — you cover the latest tech news

Now, there is not one niche that is super profitable. But, it's important you consider your interests before you choose your niche.

Driving results to your blog is a long process, so you must enjoy the journey. If you write about what you love, the journey will be that much easier!

How to create your own blog easily and affordably?

Now, one important suggestion — if your goal is to make money, it's best to publish your work on a website, instead of writing on platforms like Medium, Hashnode, etc.

There are multiple ways to build an SEO & blog-friendly website.

  1. If you know how to code you can buildd a website from scratch.
  2. Another easy way is to use tools like WordPress and Wi, to buildd a CMS.
  3. The easiest and cheapest way to buildd a blog is via a NoCode tool. Webflow’s CMS is perfectly suited for this purpose. We have written about how you can buildd a programmatic website using NoCode and a $50/mo tech stack here.

Now, you also have to choose a good domain name.

  1. If you are looking to buildd a personal brand and expand your business from a simple blog in the future, you can choose a more generic domain name or your name as the domain.
  2. But, the domain name also plays a role in your ability to rank. So, choosing a name that closely aligns with your niche will definitely help. Example: marketingexamples.com, healthline.com, etc

Apart from this, all you have to do is select a clean blog template, create the website and start publishing.

How to earn money via your blog?

Now that you have the website live, it's time to think about your monetization channels! Let’s quickly list them:

  1. Ad Revenue — You can grow your website to good traffic and then run ads on your pages. You can use tools like Google Ads, Ezoic, and Mediavine for this.
  2. Affiliate marketing — You can make affiliate revenue by linking to products of other brands in your blogs. For example, if your blog is about laptops, you can link to Amazon’s affiliate links and you’ll be paid for every click.
  3. Offering products — You can use your blog to promote your own products be they physical or digital
  4. Subscription — You can use a subscription model as media companies do. Users who subscribe will only get to read your content.
  5. Coaching — You can create courses on the same niche as your blog and sell those courses to your blog visitors
  6. Sponsorships — You can find sponsors in your domain and run ads for their products on your pages

You can obviously choose more than one way to monetize your blog traffic. But, each way requires a certain amount of effort.

Start SEO optimizing!

Now, that you have all the basic stuff figured out, you can get working on SEO optimizing your blog pages. There are essentially 4 areas you have to work on:

A) Keyword Research

Keyword research is probably the single most important part of writing a blog, that does not require writing.

You’ll have to target a different set of keywords depending on your monetization channels:

  1. High-volume keywords that get a huge amount of traffic are perfect to generate a good amount of ad revenue.
  2. High-intention, high-conversion keywords are great to plugin your subscription, product or course page.
  3. Product-related tool keywords like “10 productivity tools” are perfect to generate affiliate revenue.

You need to target a set of different keywords so you can generate revenue from all pieces of content.

B) On-page SEO

Next, while writing content you have to work on on-page SEO by

  1. Infusing your target keywords on all elements of your blog.
  2. Adding images wherever possible
  3. Making the article overall readable and engaging

C) Technical SEO

Working on technical SEO will help search engines index and crawl your pages more easily. You’ll have to focus on the following:

  1. Improve page speed
  2. Make sure your pages are crawlable
  3. Create and submit an XML sitemap
  4. Avoid duplicate content
  5. Remove dead links
  6. Make sure your site is SSL or HTTPS secure

D) Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO mostly involves link-building outreach. You’ll have to focus on both internal links and external links.

  1. Internal links → Create a structure to add internal links for all pages on the blog. This will spread your site’s authority throughout all pages, so well-ranked pages will help poorly performing pages rank
  2. External links → Get organic links or perform outreach activities to get relevant links to your pages on a reputed website

Track Metrics

Finally, once you have made such an effort to create a blog, it's important you track the following metrics:

  1. Organic Impression
  2. Organic Clicks
  3. Conversion rate
  4. Average Position for a keyword
  5. Revenue

You can use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to get the most accurate data with respect to organic traffic.

You can track your revenue based on the tools you use to plugin ads or generate affiliate revenue on your website!

Tracking metrics will help you recognize what is working and what’s not. With weekly tracking, you can adjust your strategies to see what works best for your goals.

Let’s get into a few numbers!

Now, enough theory, let’s see how you can generate

⇒ $120,000 per year
⇒ Or, $10,000 per month via your SEO blog

Here we can consider a couple of revenue streams. Let’s say their revenue split looks like this:

  1. Ad revenue ⇒ 70% ⇒ $7,000 per month
  2. Affiliate revenue ⇒ 20% ⇒ $2,000 per month
  3. Subscription ⇒ 10% ⇒ $1,000 per month

A) Ad revenue

  1. Suppose the average RPM or revenue per 1000 pageviews is $25. Now, this highly depends on what keywords you are ranking for and your ad management platform as well.
  2. Since, $7,000 per month is generated through ad revenue, you’ll need: Pageviews per month = (7,000 x 1000) x 25 = 280,000

B) Affiliate revenue

  1. Let’s say you make ~$7 for every successful conversion on your affiliate. This number is taken from our own experience. A successful conversion is when the user clicks on the link, orders and then the product is shipped.
  2. To make $2,000 per month, you’ll need: Successful conversions per month = ($2,000/$7) = ~286

C) Subscription

  1. Assuming you make $20/month, when a user subscribes to your product.
  2. This means to make $1,000 through subscription revenue you’ll need: Subscribers per month = 1000/20 = 50

So, to achieve these numbers, how much effort will you have to put in? Let’s quickly calculate that:

We know we need:

  1. Successful affiliate conversions = ~286
  2. If we consider a conversion rate to be = 5%
  3. So, 5% of the total clicks, end up with the product being shipped. Then we need, affiliate link clicks to be ⇒ 5720/month

A) Ad revenue ⇒ Suppose, on average 1 blog gets 1000 page views in a month. So, we need to write 280 blogs on high-volume keywords to achieve 280,000 pageviews per month.

B) Affiliate revenue ⇒ Suppose on average, 1 product-related piece has 20 affiliate links. Each piece gets 100 clicks per month. So, you’ll need ⇒ 5720/100 ⇒ ~57 such pages ⇒ Let’s round it up and say we need 60 such pages.

C) Subscription ⇒ You only need 5 high conversion pages to bring 10 subscribers each to achieve your 50 subscribers per month mark.

You’ll obviously have to internally link these pages to flow the traffic from high-volume pages to the high conversion and product pages.

In total, we need to create ⇒ 280+60+10 ⇒ 350 blog pages

If on average it takes 6 hours to create a page. Time spent ⇒ 350 x 6 = 2100 hrs

If you dedicate 20 hrs per week (part-time effort) to your SEO blog, it’ll take = 2100/20 = 105 weeks = ~26 months = ~ 2 years

Closing thoughts

So, 2.5 years of part-time effort on your SEO blog can make you $120,000 per year!

If you were to outsource the writing work for a certain cost, you can reduce the effort further.

But, as you can see, this is an incredible passive income channel. All you have to do is create a plan and execute, execute, execute!

What’s amazing is, if your content is educational, you can always repurpose it for different mediums. For example, you can convert your articles into YouTube videos and generate revenue from there.

The possibilities are basically endless!

So, when are you starting your solopreneur journey? 😉

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This startup did programmatic SEO with NoCode on $50/mo stack!

Breweriesnearby.com is a programmatic SEO website built by Ian Ruta.

Ian is really passionate about breweries.

So, considering the high SEO potential of brewery keywords, he decided to buildd a directory for craft breweries using NoCode tools.

Programmatic SEO is a way to create 1000s of pages based on an underlying database.

Here are the different parts of Breweriesnearby that together make a programmatic SEO website:
a) Content
b) SEO potential
c) Database
d) Automated Pages

But, why go the NoCode way?

Problem:
- Generating SEO traffic is NOT straightforward
- It requires rapid experimentation
- Time and cost of hiring a dev team made the project risky ➝ in-front cost
- Plus there was bound to be recurring dev cost ➝ multiple iterations

Solution:
- With NoCode, Ian built the MVP and version 1 at fraction of the cost and time
- The project was built with less complexity - as there was no need to communicate and align with a team.
- Plus he could experiment and iterate quickly based on user feedback

NoCode Tech Stack

1. Webflow ⇒ pages are automatically created from Webflow's CMS data and templates. It has in-built technical SEO capabilities and provides design flexibility
2. Airtable ⇒ is the main database that stores all the content we discussed earlier.
3. Whalesync ⇒ syncs data from Airtable to Webflow's CMS. This is a faster more user-friendly syncing alternative to Zapier.

4. Jetboost ⇒ NoCode Webflow tool that adds features like search, pagination, and filtering to your website.
5. Octoparse ⇒ Octoparse is a free scraper tool that gathers data from brewery directories and structures them into spreadsheets that are pasted into the Airtable database.
6. SEMRush ⇒ SEO tool that helps identify low-competition, high-volume long-tail keywords surrounding breweries.

Final impact

A) Cost
- Webflow + Airtable + WhaleSync + Octoparse + SEMRush ⇒ $50/month
- Opposed to the $3k for a dev team

B) Time
- MVP ➝ 1 week
- Version 1 ➝ 3 more weeks

C) Metrics
- 30,000 organic impressions
- 1000 organic clicks
- 1000 pages live
The site was launched in July 2022, so their numbers are steadily increasing.

But, regardless, you cannot discount the fact that Ian was able to buildd a complex product affordably in just one month with NoCode.

💡 Lessons:

1) Learn NoCode by doing
2) When stuck, visit online NoCode communities
3) Learn the scope and limitations of the tools you use before you start building

4) It’s important to still maintain lean principles as well, even if NoCode is already a lean approach.
5) And, as and when you buildd the product, try to validate as much of it as possible at different stages before committing too much of your time.

A marketer scales his startup to $50k MRR on a $500 NoCode stack!

Erman Küplü worked as a digital marketer for 15+ years created Analyzify, a data analytics tool for Shopify apps.

The platform essentially connects you with 3rd party tools and simplifies the process of data collecting, tracking and reporting — a valuable offering, especially for e-commerce store owners.

Version 1 of Analyzify was completely built on Ruby on Rails. But, Erman could only code a little in PHP & HTML.

He wanted to make many front-end, UI/UX improvements. But, for changing a simple feature or altering a line of code, he'd have to call up the developer.

That's when he came across a post about building Shopify apps using a NoCode tool called Bubble. With Bubble, we could easily edit their Shopify app through a simple graphic interface.

That was a game changer and they quickly went on improving the product and adding cool backend workflows!

Analyzify's NoCode Tech Stack

1. Bubble ⇒ manages all frontend and 90% of their workflow
2. Tallyforms ⇒ created customer-facing forms for different support requests
3. Contentful ⇒ is their headless CMS. Manages their in-app content, website content, FAQs and much more.

4. Coda ⇒ is their internal database. Most of their data is sent from Bubble to Coda
5. Zapier ⇒ integrates all their apps
6. Zendesk ⇒ they use Zendesk's support ticketing system to attend to customer support requests.

Well, Analyzify immediately took off!

1. Version 2 was built only in 5 months using Bubble with less than part-time effort.
2. In just 1.5 years, Analyzify went from ZERO to 1500+ clients. And they expanded to 3 more products.

3. They passed an MRR of $50K+ and their team grew to 20+ people!
4. As for their cost — their entire tech stack only costs them $500 per month.

But, eventually, Erman shifted from a NoCode to LowCode solution. Reasons:

a. To add custom server-side logic
b. To handle data from multiple apps in a single place