Can SEO Make You Rich in 2023? Here’s the Truth

Yes, SEO can make you rich if you know what you’re doing.

In fact:

SEO helped me drop all debt and build my net worth beyond what I thought was possible.

Net worth

I’m not saying this to brag.

But instead:

I want to show you the opportunity to learn or use this powerful marketing tool (SEO).

In this guide, I’ll show you 3 ways you can use SEO to become “rich” and “wealthy.”

But first:

What Does It Mean to Be Rich?

According to Schwab, Americans believe you need a personal net worth of $1.9 million to be wealthy.

average net worth

But the reality is much different.

According to CNBC, the median net worth of a retiree in the US is $266,400.

household net worth usa

That means most people are not achieving what they believe is “rich.”

You might think I’m crazy, but SEO can fix this.

More on this in a second.

Now let’s switch gears and talk about what it means to be rich.


It’s much more than money.

Create Your Definition of Wealth

Stop looking at other people to determine what you want for yourself.

“Stop measuring yourself against “their” standards. You are not “Them” and can never measure up. Neither can “they” measure up to yours – nor should they. Once you see this simple, rather self-evident truth, accept it and believe it, your inferior feelings will vanish.” – Psycho-Cybernetics, Page 58

This is your life. You make the rules.

Yes, there are many factors outside of our control.

circle of influence

But no one can determine what you want out of life except for you.

And let me attack the elephant in the room:

Is it wrong to want to be rich?

The short answer is no.

Money is neither good nor bad. It has no emotion, no ability to make decisions, and no ability to hurt another person.

shakespear good or bad quote

Money is good or evil because of how people use it or what they turn into because of it.


You are not a bad person if you want to be wealthy.

No matter what anyone tries to say:

More money makes life easier.

I’ve been poor – questioning whether I should keep my $11/mo Netflix subscription.

And I’m well beyond what people think is “wealthy” now.

Trust me:

Having enough money to not think about bills or basic expenses (food, gas, etc.) is absolute freedom.

Now don’t get this twisted:

Money doesn’t solve all problems. It alone won’t bring you happiness.

But it eliminates many of life’s worries.

Don’t Fall for the Biggest Wealth Building Mistake

I’m still early in my wealth-building journey, but I learned a powerful lesson early on:

If you think all rich people are “evil,” you can’t be rich yourself.

It creates incongruent thinking.

You can’t simultaneously think wealthy people are “evil” and build wealth yourself.


It’s incongruent thinking, which leads to incongruent behavior.

By the way, this is all happening on the subconscious level. So you are sabotaging your future by thinking this way.

subconscious thinking

And to be clear:

I’m not defending billionaires, and I’m not saying you should adore them.

But envy is the thief of joy, learning, and success.

envy quote

The second point is the most important:


You close your mind to learning when you envy or hate another person (you don’t even know).

That means you’ve already lost the game before you even stepped on the field.

How you think and perceive the world is just as vital to building wealth as the x’s and o’s.


I used to be jealous of other people’s success when I didn’t know any better.

At the time, I didn’t realize this was a problem.

It wasn’t until I read my first book out of college (Psycho-Cybernetics summary) that I discovered how I viewed the world was wrong.

Tony Robbins quote state of mind

Most people live in this broken reality, and the numbers prove it.

My goal is to help you change that through SEO.

But here’s the deal:

Earning lots of money won’t be enough to create long-term wealth.

The Key to Long-Term Wealth Building

Did you know that Warren Buffett had a net worth of $1 million at age 30?

Warren buffett wealth age 30

This is a significant accomplishment on its own, but here’s the crazy part:

Almost all of Buffett’s $73 billion net worth accumulated after age 66.

Warren buffett wealth age 66

Insane, right?

Well, this is possible through two mechanisms:

Time + compound interest.

compound interest example

Now here’s the deal:

You achieve real wealth when your income from investments exceeds your earned income.

That’s why earning alone isn’t enough to be wealthy.

In fact:

There are countless stories of big earners who have lost it all, like Michael Jackson, Nicolas Cage, and many others.

Nicolas Cage bankrupt

The reality is simple:

Earning and investing are two different skill sets.

Most people are good at spending.

78% of full-time workers said they live paycheck to paycheck. – CNBC

But only a tiny minority of people have the discipline to save and invest.

I won’t get deep into investing here, but here are a few things I’ve learned:

Disclaimer: I’m not a financial professional. This is for educational purposes only.

1. Make it automatic

Successful investing is about managing the poor qualities of human behavior.

Step #1: Don’t trust yourself to invest.

It needs to be automatic.

Think of your investing budget as a tax.

We all complain about taxes, but guess what? You pay them.

So decide how much to invest every month and then make it automatic.

As a result, you’ll be using “dollar-cost averaging,” which also helps eliminate emotional decisions.

dollar cost averaging

A few studies have compared dollar-cost averaging vs. timing the market perfectly vs. lump-sum investing.

Lump-sum investing outperformed the others because time in the market beats timing the market.

Lump sum investing vs dollar cost averaging

However, from an emotional perspective, lump-sum investing can be nerve-wracking.

That’s why dollar-cost averaging is best for most people.

The other big reason dollar-cost averaging is so powerful is that you eliminate the tendency to “time the market.”

2. Make it a low effort

My brother-in-law is a CFA and spends his entire day researching investment opportunities.

Do you have the time to do that?

It’s a full-time job analyzing companies and market conditions.

And guess what?

Most investment companies fail to beat the market (S&P 500).

S&P vs Fund Managers

Yes, people with ivy league degrees who spend their entire careers in the field still struggle to beat the S&P 500.

andy cornell the office

So what’s my point?

99% of people should avoid picking stocks or being a day trader, especially if they’re business owners.

Business owners are juggling 25 different plates on any given day. The last thing you need to do is juggle one more.

business owners wearing too many hats

That’s why your investment strategy (as a business owner) should be low maintenance.

I won’t make any recommendations about what to invest in, but I recommend researching Vanguard index funds.

Most of my portfolio is in VOO (S&P 500) and VTI (a blend of large, mid, and small-cap US companies).

VTI 10-year performance

I dollar cost average every month into these funds, and I’ve generated 14.6% annual returns since 2014.

14 percent return

3. Be greedy when others are fearful, fearful when others are greedy

This concept is from Warren Buffet, but Nathan Rothschild said something similar before him:

blood in the streets quote

The truth is that most people struggle with the emotional side of investing.

They get scared when the market falls, sells, and freeze up.

But conversely, they get excited when the market is climbing and think it will go in that direction forever.

emotional investing

Dollar-cost averaging eliminates these emotional tendencies.

But there’s one hack I’ve used to combat it even further.

I make it a point to invest more in red days.

So I have some cash on the sidelines to take advantage of these days.

Now here’s the weird part:

I’m not doing it to make outsized returns (although I don’t mind that outcome).

I’m doing it to master my emotions.

I won’t sell based on emotions if I can get into the habit of investing when everyone else is fearful.

I’ve only been investing since 2014, so I haven’t been through many cycles.

However, I got my first test in 2020 when the market tanked, and I saw my portfolio cut in half.

emotional investing

But instead of panicking, I kept buying. And I didn’t sell a single thing.

It was only possible because I’ve trained myself to buy when everyone else is fearful.

Now the part you’ve been waiting for:

3 Ways SEO Can Make You Rich in 2023

There are countless ways to earn income online with SEO, but these work the best:

1. Provide SEO Services or Consulting

There is no better way to grow your income than by offering SEO services to businesses.

The reason it’s powerful is that you get paid upfront to deliver services. That means you’re earning cash, which you can then reinvest into other revenue streams.

The other cool part is that each client is like a separate revenue stream.

And here’s a pretty crazy fact:

According to the IRS, most millionaires have at least seven income streams.

Think of each client as an income stream.

How much can you expect to earn from offering SEO services?

Well, I can only share my own experience.

In my first full year of running my SEO business (2014), I brought in $200,000 in revenue and $104,265 in net profit.

Here’s my tax return:


But, at the time, I was only charging $500 – $1,000/mo for SEO services.

Now I charge a minimum of $5,000/mo and work with a smaller pool of clients.

As your experience and portfolio of results grow, so should your retainers.

By the way:

If you want to start, systemize, and scale an SEO business, then check out Gotch SEO Academy. That’s what I help people do.

2. Grow Your Own Business

I know, a no-brainer here, but you should use SEO to grow your business.

In fact:

Most of my SEO clients come from organic search either on Google or YouTube. There is no better marketing channel (I’m a little biased) than SEO because of one reason:


Unlike social media, you know what someone is searching for, and you can deliver the right content based on the intent of that search.

Instead of you interrupting people, they’re coming to you.

It’s then your job to prove that you’re the best option to help solve their biggest problems.

3. Affiliate Marketing

You can earn passive income through affiliate marketing, but there’s one thing that holds most people back:

A lack of capital.

That’s why I always recommend starting with client SEO and using the cash flow to reinvest.

You need capital to invest in content, backlinks (how to get backlinks), design, etc.

Without it, you’ll be doing all the work without making money because it takes time.

That means you’ll be pulling out of your pocket to fund your affiliate marketing operations. You can avoid this by using capital from client campaigns.

Plus, having more capital will accelerate your results tenfold.

So back to the original question:

Can SEO Make You Rich in 2023?

Yes, SEO can make you rich if you earn, save, and invest.

But at the end of the day:

Wealth is more than money.

You need to define what it means to be wealthy.

My definition of wealth is simple:

1. Skills

If you lost everything, could you rebuild it?

I’m confident that I could because I’ve spent every waking second since 2013 building skills.

The more valuable you are in the marketplace, the more you will earn and the more security you will have.

Security doesn’t come from money. It comes from the ability to generate income.

2. Freedom

Can you do what you want, when you want? If the answer is yes, you have freedom.

I can book a vacation, decide not to work, or fire a client at any point.

I’m in the driver’s seat and decide what I want to do.

That’s freedom.

And it’s only possible when you build wealth and evergreen skills.

3. Serenity

I lived in a constant state of uncertainty and fear when I had no money.

Those days are behind me because money isn’t a problem anymore.

The headaches and worry are gone.

This isn’t to say life is easy. But those worries are gone because of more income, wealth, and skill development.

Now to you:

What’s your definition of wealth? What does it mean to be “rich” in your life?

Please share in the comments.

– Gotch

P.S. If you want to build wealth using SEO, consider applying for Gotch SEO Academy.

Photo of author

Nathan Gotch

Nathan Gotch is an SEO professional with over 10 years of experience. He's the founder of the #1 SEO training program in the world, Gotch SEO Academy. And the author of The SEO Entrepreneur. Nathan's SEO expertise is featured on Semrush, Ahrefs, and Search Engine Journal.