by Nick Valle, founder of Restoration Rocket
Every year, millions of people around the world look for ways to increase their monthly income. This mentality has given some of the fastest growing companies in the world the workforce they need to perform a service. Think Uber, Instacart, or Grub Hub. These companies rely on a workforce that is generally looking for opportunities to make extra money.
For those who are entrepreneurial, just working for someone else is not enough. These people want to build something for themselves. They want the opportunity to grow their income at their own pace. You don’t want to be limited to making an extra $ 15 an hour for a company like Uber. You are looking for financial freedom.
Why people start a sideline
Financial freedom is the main reason people start looking into a sideline. Below that, people are driven by their individual circumstances. No two people are alike. Each person’s particular circumstances are differentiated based on their background and current situation. Common reasons why people take a sideline job are:
- Recently laid off, in need of a stopgap
- Having to pay off debts
- Save for a purchase
- Tired of the instability of a timetable
- I want to develop a skill set
- Want to diversify income streams
Background noise in the digital age
Often times, the first step in finding a side business is a simple Google search for “how to make money online”.
Why is that?
Earning money online offers flexibility that no other income generating medium offers. The barrier to entry is nothing more than an internet connection. Overhead is practically nothing. The start time is almost immediate. The only thing standing in the way is knowledge. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Because of this, millions of people turn to the internet for the answer. You’re looking for 2 specific things.
- Ways They Can Make Money Online
- How to do what suits you best
Unfortunately, the results for the first query are overwhelming. A sea of lists of ideas after ideas. These lists make sure to mention things like:
- Start an online course
- Become a trainer
- Flip domains
- Search engine optimization
- Website creation
- Place ads
- Fill out surveys
The possibilities are endless. Thanks to the growth of search engines, search engine optimization (SEO) has become a popular online sideline. However, if someone needs money right away, SEO is probably not the right choice. Let’s discuss why that is.
Avoid SEO as a sideline when you need money now
Unfortunately, many bad actors raise SEO as the key to getting rich quick. Often times, these people are just trying to promote their own courses or products. Here are some real reasons SEO isn’t the right choice when you need money fast.
SEO lacks structured education.
SEO is more art than science. Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms. This article by Moz points out that thousands of algorithm changes are made every year. Every website is unique. From the structure of the website itself to the competitiveness of the industry, no two websites are alike. Due to the large number of variables, there is no “right” way to do SEO. The industry is thriving in testing and learning. Implement a change and see what works.
There is no set path to success. Because of this, you won’t find any accredited SEO courses. No formal training. People can only teach theory and best practices. If you need to start making money right away, you need to know exactly what to do. You don’t have time to test and study. This leads us to point 2.
SEO takes time.
No matter what SEO tactic is implemented, it still takes time. First, a website needs to be analyzed for opportunities. A careful examination of things from the html code to the number of backlinks. This analysis takes time and is necessary. Neglecting to analyze before implementing changes is like having a car repair shop changing parts on a car without diagnosing it. Second, the changes must be implemented by yourself. This requires a developer to go to the website and make adjustments.
After all that, everyone is waiting for the search engines. The search engines need to index these changes. Sometimes it happens in a few days, sometimes it takes weeks. Then the results are checked. Have the changes been positive? Did you move the website up the ranking? Is there more to be done?
SEO is a game that never ends. The cycle of researching, implementing and reviewing happens over and over again. SEMrush reports that SEO should show results within 6 to 12 months. If you are just starting out and need money now, you can’t wait 6 to 12 months to find out if your tactic is working or not.
SEO is a difficult service to sell.
For the reasons mentioned above, SEO is an extremely difficult service for businesses. The instant gratification mentality of today’s world certainly applies to business as well. Owners and executives prefer instant results. They want to know that their marketing strategy includes specific and measurable tactics. In search engine optimization, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to measure the ROI of a particular change.
Instead, the owners rely on your experience and case studies. You want to see testimonials from previous customers. Again you see the problem. If you’re just getting started with your online sideline, you don’t have case studies. You have no experience. They don’t have any certificates. Without these things, all you can do is promise to do your best. For most business owners, this is not enough to close the deal.
The Best Side Hustles Online When You Need Money Now
The aim of this article is not to stop you from the idea of making money online. Rather, the aim is to give honest advice. If you need an online sideline that you can make money off of right away, stay away from SEO. Instead, focus on some of these ideas.
Place Facebook or Google ads.
It is very easy to run these ads. Every publisher has the same options when creating an ad. What you see is what you get Success is measured immediately. Once you start serving an ad, you will get data that shows how the ad is performing.
The entry barrier is zero. You don’t need any experience or training. Often times, you simply share your personal feedback. Swagbucks is a great place to start if you want to get started right away.
If you have a knack for writing this may be for you. Many website owners and businesses are constantly looking for content. You don’t have to spend hundreds of hours learning to blog post on a topic. Freelance marketplaces are perfect for getting these type of jobs, especially if you have experience in a specific niche.
Very similar to the copywriting proposal. Don’t limit yourself to one language. Being fluent in a language outside of your country’s main language is a great opportunity to write and proofread in ways that others cannot.
Answer questions as an expert.
Several online sites allow people to ask questions in the hope that they will be answered by an expert in the field. PrestoExperts is a good example. If you are already an expert in a particular trade or niche, this is perfect for your online sideline. You are using something you already have expertise. No need to practice, study, or study. You have already invested this time.
Take it from an expert
If you are still in doubt and believe that SEO is the right choice for you now, consider this one. Before starting my SEO agency Restoration Rocket, I was a freelance SEO for over 5 years. My path was similar to many others in the field. I started working for friends and family. My very first SEO appearance was working with a friend who owned a local cake bakery. That took more than 6 months.
After seeing success, I went to freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Guru. In the beginning it was extremely difficult to land customers. Again, I had no reviews, testimonials, and reputation on these websites. I’ve spent more time applying for jobs than working on them. When I got a job it was way less than I wanted it to be. However, to get the job, I took a discount. The jobs were small projects. Nothing that changes life. It took more than a year to establish a reputation enough to get regular jobs.
All the while I have invested time in learning. I would consume whatever information I could get my hands on. Blogs, YouTube videos, Udemy courses, whatever you call them. I knew I had to learn to be successful. This learning took time. I’ve created my own websites to put into practice the things I’ve learned. Without a lot of customers, I didn’t have a sandbox to play with. With SEO, I knew I had to test myself and see what worked.
How did I learn to build websites? Blogs, YouTube Videos, and Udemy Courses. Just like I learned SEO.
I don’t share my story to brag about my achievements. I share to illustrate the point. SEO is a long game and time is money. I decided to invest my time training myself for the long game. However, each study hour is an hour in which no money is made. Each practice lesson is a no-money hour. Don’t believe the hype from those looking to sell you an SEO course. Instead, I encourage you to invest in a copywriting course or a Facebook ad course. The processing time is fast and the entry barrier is low.
Don’t give up on your desire to make money online. The internet is the best place in the world for a sideline. Anyone can. If you need money now, take action. Choose a hustle and bustle that allows you to get results quickly. Save each project. Collect testimonials. Once the snowball starts rolling, there is no stopping it. Financial freedom through an online sideline is closer than you might think.
Nick Valle is a digital marketing professional with a strong focus on search engine optimization. His experience ranges from working with corporate-level companies to local mom and pop businesses. He is the founder of Restoration Rocket, an SEO agency focused on the restoration industry.