#4 – Is Passive Income Possible with SEO?

Posted on Aug 14, 2018

#4 – Is Passive Income Possible with SEO?

I don’t think there’s a single person who wouldn’t want passive income. In fact, that’s one of the biggest reasons why people get into SEO. For well over a decade, Internet Marketers have been selling the idea that you can generate passive income by learning how to do SEO.

But the question is:

Is it actually possible? That’s what this episode of The SEO Life podcast is all about. Let’s jump in.

The first thing I need to establish is that SEO can be a passive channel for growing a business.

But what determines whether or not your business generates passive income is completely dependent on the monetization model.

I’m not going to hammer you with the fact that SEO is one of the best ways to grow a business. You already know that. What I want to focus on is how you can use SEO to generate passive income.

First, I need to cover what business models will NOT generate passive income.

Non-Passive Model #1 – Service Business

The first is service-based businesses. It’s extremely hard to have a passive service-based businesses. So whether you’re offering SEO services or plumbing services, it’s still going to require human capital to complete the tasks. You can build out systems, but you still need people to operate the business and get the desired results. Then you have to actually manage your team members.

And lastly, service-based businesses have to sell and deal with customer service. All of these moving parts make it challenging for a service-based business to be passive.

Non-Passive Model #2 – Personal Brands

The second type of business that is NOT passive is one that revolves around your personal brand. For example, the success of Gotch SEO is largely dependent on my personal brand. Sure, I have team members and systems for making things more efficient, but at the end of the day, people are only going to care about Gotch SEO if I’m consistently putting out value and continually try to establish myself as an SEO expert.

Now the way I generate income for my company (Gotch SEO) is passive because I sell an information product, Gotch SEO Academy. Anyone can go through my funnel and sign-up for the course. This doesn’t require me to sell each person 1-by-1. It’s passive in that respect.

But the part that isn’t passive is maintaining and building my personal brand. In short, I’m the engine that pushes this business forward. This means that Gotch SEO is NOT a passive income business model.


The idea that you should be building your personal brand is incredibly valuable because it can lead to so many opportunities. But that doesn’t mean that all of your business ventures should revolve around it.

That’s why last month I launched a new business that isn’t dependent on my personal brand and I plan to launch a few more. I’ll update you with the progress of these businesses on my blog.

But at the end of the day, all you need to do is look at the most successful companies in the world. They aren’t personal brands. Sure, there are some anomalies such as Kylie Jenner, but even her brand is completely dependent on her. Anyway, I won’t get too deep into this topic, but building a business or website around your personal brand isn’t a passive solution.

So, then what is a passive income model you can use?

The Best Passive Income Option

I believe the most passive income model you can take advantage of if you understand how to do SEO is to create niche websites and then to monetize those niche websites through affiliate offers, ads, collaborations, and e-com or information products in some cases.

I would say that affiliate and ad-driven businesses are the most passive because you completely eliminate one of the most time-intensive and complicated parts of a business which is selling. Sure, you need to pre-sell affiliate offers, but that’s much easier than having to build out sales funnels, write copy, create sales videos, etc.

But at the end of the day, every business including affiliate businesses are going to require a massive amount of planning, work, and time. The beauty of SEO is that once it’s rolling, you will continue to get traffic even if you aren’t actively working on the site.

Why Chasing Passive Income Doesn’t Make Sense

But all I know is that for me personally, I don’t think I would ever stop trying to create new revenue sources or working to grow something. Even if I have passive income rolling in. I mean seriously, life is pointless if you’re aren’t challenging yourself and continually try to grow.

My business is a position where I can go on vacation whenever I want and do what I want on a daily basis, but I still don’t do that. I still work like I’m broke.

Trying to grow businesses is fun for me. Sure the income is cool, but I genuinely love the process.

And the reason why I’m saying this is because I think you’ll end feeling the same way. Once you achieve the goal of “passive income,” you won’t be satisfied. You won’t just sit back and not doing anything anymore. I can predict this because if you put in the work and create a passive income asset, then you’re not someone who just sits back and lets life come to them.

You’re someone who takes action and someone who is willing to take on risk. That behavior isn’t going to change once you get passive income. Trust me!

But either way, there are some business models that are more desirable than others. I personally love building niche websites because I like having control. Some people like service-based businesses. That’s cool too. You just have to figure out what works for you and most importantly, what makes you the happiest.

So, that’s all for this episode. I’m going to be diving deeper into developing niche websites in later blog posts and videos because I believe it’s the best way for people to monetize their SEO skills. With that said, thank you so much for listening and talk soon!