This post looks at ways that myself and others have used their digital marketing knowledge and experience to make some additional income. The methods below won’t result in you being able to quit your job, and they won’t make you a life-changing amount of money, but they could certainly help you earn some extra money each month and might even help pay for a holiday or a few nights out.
Earn commission from your blog
There are a huge amount of digital marketers that put out amazing content and expect nothing in return. However, if you enjoy sharing your experience with the community, there is no harm in trying to monetise your blog posts.
I was in the process of writing an article when I stumbled upon Matthew Woodward’s blog, and I noticed that he has earned affiliate cash from some of the SEO/PPC tools that I was writing about so I thought I would give it a go.
The article I was writing at the time was about how to reverse engineer your competitor’s search engine marketing strategy. If you are interested in having a look the blog post can be found here. So far I’ve earned £1288.33($1987.64); it only took me a few hours to write and a couple of hours to promote it.
I was planning on writing the blog and the fact that it got some great exposure was excellent, so the cash was really a bonus.
If you decide to write for the digital marketing community, make sure you create some genuinely good content and don’t just write to sell a product off the back of it. Digital marketers can smell this a mile away, and it will just mean that your post won’t get any traction and will possibly be a huge waste of time.
Do the right kind of freelance work
Another benefit of having a personal blog is that if your content starts getting a decent amount of exposure, it can result in freelance opportunities. However, I’ve realised that because my day job is often fairly demanding, and sometimes involves travelling, it can be quite challenging to do certain types of freelance work.
The type of work I tend to avoid is ongoing SEO as modern SEO is less predictable, requires more meetings/consultancy and is generally much more consuming than it was in the past.
Below are the types of freelance projects that I would recommend if you also have a full-time position.
- SEO Audits – One-off SEO audits and keyword research can be a great way to supplement your income. They can be done in your spare time and don’t require an ongoing time investment.
- PPC – Pay-per-click advertising is far more predictable than SEO and a lot of the work is top-heavy, meaning that you can do it during evenings or weekends. Although PPC campaigns need to be monitored on an ongoing basis, most of the time, if they have been set up correctly they won’t need your constant attention. It’s also a lot easier to report the success of PPC campaigns and usually requires less client interaction compared to SEO.
- Content Placements* – If you work in digital marketing, especially SEO, you have probably built up a list of contacts that you have used in the past to publish content. The value of high-quality backlinks has increased massively since the rise of Penguin, and a lot of other SEO marketers in the industry will likely be happy to pay you to help them get their content published on an authoritative website.
*Google doesn’t like it if you sell links that are intended to manipulate search engine rankings
Sell Your Content
What you have learned while working in digital marketing is probably of massive value to others in the industry, and there are people who might be willing to pay to learn from you.
Personally I’ve never tried this method, but a great example is Paddy Moogan’s Link Building Book.
Paddy is a well-known digital marketer that previously worked at Distilled, but is now the co-founder of a new business called Aira. He has put his years of experience into an eBook, which was extremely well-received when it was released. At $37 it is obviously excellent value for money, so I expect that he sold quite a few copies!
Product review/price comparison site
Ok, so I wanted to leave this method until the end as it’s probably the easiest way to get up and running and gain some experience in affiliate marketing, but if you are not careful, it could potentially be construed as spammy. The example that I’m going to use here relates to the Amazon Associates program, but there are obviously loads of other affiliate schemes out there.
The Amazon Associates program allows you to earn commission on sales that are made as a result of traffic that you send to the Amazon website.
One of the easiest ways is to create a site about that reviews products that you already own or have a lot of knowledge about. However, there are sites that make money by simply rewording and republishing other people’s reviews which I don’t encourage doing.
There is plenty of material on the internet on how to create these kinds of sites, and some people even sell courses on them, but below is brief overview on how you can get started.
- Look for products on Amazon that have a fair amount of reviews and low competition on Google. Check on Google Keyword Planner to see if there is a demand for the product
- Create a simple site (I used WordPress in the past) and publish detailed reviews about the product, some people basically rewrite the reviews that have already been left on Amazon but this obviously isn’t advisable, it’s best if you can write your own review or get some unique genuine reviews written by someone else
- Include a clear call to action with an affiliate link back to Amazon
Occasionally you rank for branded review related keywords without any link building at all if there isn’t a lot of competition on Google.
I know there are people that make a decent amount of money out of Amazon review sites, but I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket with something like this.
I used to create review websites for testing purposes and made a few quid in the process but you probably won’t earn a massive amount unless you put a lot of time and effort into the process. However, it’s definitely something that you can do to earn a small amount of additional income.
If you currently work in digital marketing and don’t have your own blog, then creating one would be a great starting point. Putting a little bit of effort into personal blogging has resulted in job offers, freelance offers, and of course affiliate income. It may even boost your authority within the digital marketing industry so that packaging your content in the form of an eBook like Paddy did could become another viable way to make some passive income.
If you are already writing great content that is attracting visitors, then try to monetise your blog by dropping in a few relevant affiliate links here and there.
If you managed to create your own personal blog, then you should have a lot of the skills required to create other affiliate websites that you can start experimenting with.
Thanks for reading!