Anyone who knows anything about SEO recognizes it’s one of the most lucrative skills you can have in today’s world.
Competent SEOs make more money than most highly paid professionals.
Because little else in this world can generate as much leverage. Some effort, patience and knowledge can yield MASSIVE results.
I benefit nicely from the spoils of SEO.
Which begs the question. Am I an SEO or a publisher?
In the past I’ve chosen not to refer to myself as an SEO.
But I’m having second thoughts about that.
I think in a round-about way I am an SEO.
After all, my number one traffic source for a handful of websites is search traffic.
In total I get over 1 million monthly search visitors.
When people inquire how I build up my sites (assuming their eyes don’t glaze over when I tell them I’m a digital media publisher), it’s impossible not to mention SEO or Google search.
So I guess I’m an SEO.
But I’ve taken the “easy SEO path”.
There’s the easy way and the hard way when it comes to SEO.
The easy way is the publisher path.
The only hard part about it is the patience needed.
The rest of it is pretty easy.
Research easy-to-rank keywords.
Write a great article.
Link to and from related articles on your site.
Rinse and repeat.
The hard way is doing SEO for websites you don’t own.
SEOs who work for clients work very hard.
They’re what I conjure up in my mind when I read and hear the term “SEOs”.
They perform all kinds of complex technical analyses that sometimes involve thousands or tens of thousands of URLs.
Count me out already.
In fact, beyond that and I guess publishing content and/or building links, I’m not sure what it is they all do.
But I do know it’s a lot of hands-on heavy lifting.
And that’s just one client.
Most have many clients.
Agencies have hundreds of clients.
I realize agency owners probably don’t do much other than yuck it up with clients but it’s still a lot to manage.
So why do some people who know SEO opt for the hard way?
The answer is simple. You’ve no doubt already figured it out.
More precisely… patience isn’t necessary to get paid.
The easy way requires lots of patience. SEO takes time. A frustrating amount of time.
SEOs who do client work get paid up front.
They don’t need to wait to get paid.
It’s the clients who have to wait for results. Forthright SEOs explain that. It’s an investment that pays off down the road.
They’re not lying. It’s the truth. SEO does take time AND is a good investment.
Businesses that don’t invest in SEO are missing out.
What about doing both types of SEO until the easy way pays off?
Put differently, why don’t SEOs who provide SEO services do SEO to rank their own sites?
I’ve often wondered this.
I get doing SEO for clients to get cash flow coming in fast.
What I don’t get is if you have one of the most valuable skills in the world, why not use it to truly cash in with your own web properties?
Serve clients for immediate cash while deploying mad SEO skills on the side building up an 8 or 9-figure web property.
As stated, I’m reluctant to refer to myself as an SEO.
I certainly don’t know nor do any of the technical SEO stuff.
And yet I get some SEO traffic.
I can only imagine all the traffic I could get if I geeked out over spreadsheets and really tweaked out content and sites for rankings.
Having competent SEO skills is like having a super power in the Google age.
But it’s still hard work.
It’s akin to being a rock star lawyer. They make tubs of cash but they work really hard for it. Brilliance alone won’t win the big cases. It’s brilliance and hard work.
You only have to read one of the novels in the Jake Brigance series by John Grisham to understand that.
Are you a publisher that follows SEO best practices or an SEO that bothers with content solely for the purposes of ranking?
I like to think that I’m a publisher, but lines get blurred.
Put another way, if I were told I would rank #1 but I had to take out the best 300 words from an article, would I remove those 300 words?
I think I would.
A purist publisher would not change the article.
Which means I guess I’m as much SEO as publisher.
Publishers would say I’m not a publisher.
SEOs would say I’m not an SEO.
I guess I’m neither and both.
Let’s call it a pragmatic publisher.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.