Since I’ve been in online business I’ve been using a system called WordPress to manage and optimize my blog. Today there are over 74.6 million sites that depend on WordPress and if you are looking for a side hustle that is in huge demand you’ve just found it.
I recently had the chance to meet up with Ryan Cote of WpAmplify and learn a little about his side hustle helping people manage WordPress sites. The interesting thing is Ryan only does this on the side of his full-time job running a family own digital marketing business.
In this interview, I ask Ryan what inspired him to start this business, what kind of tools he uses, what kind of task he does for his clients, to the different pitfalls you can expect with a business like this. So if this a business you are interested in starting check out the interview below.
Q1: What Inspired You To Start A WordPress Optimization Business?
Back in 2010 I started a small business search engine optimization (SEO) service that I called Website Booster Shot. Over time, I started getting more and more clients that were on WordPress.
I also had several niche affiliate websites that were on WordPress as was the Website Booster Shot site itself. So I just started getting really comfortable with WordPress and, in 2013, I decided to pivot to WPamplify and only focus on small business WordPress SEO.
Another benefit of the pivot is that with all the Google changes in regards to Penguin and Panda, I was doing blogging for most of my clients. And WordPress makes it painfully easy to maintain and add a blog to your existing website because it is essentially a blogging platform.
Q2: What Are Some Of The Basic Tasks You Help Clients With And How Much Should People Just Getting Started Consider Charging?
Right now my main tasks involve around:
- WordPress optimization i.e. optimizing load speed, SEO plugins, content and meta data
- Monthly link building to increase search engine rankings.
- Monthly support to clients that need it and this includes backups, malware scans, plugin/version updates and quick fixes as needed.
As far as how much to charge, there a lot of variables to consider. What are your costs? I have link building costs because I have someone that does this for me that’s been working with me for years. I contract out the support too. I even have someone that helps me with specific parts of the initial optimization. I basically have a team of very skilled professionals and my job is to support my clients and find news ones.
On average I charge $500 per month, but with this type of business, you could easily charge less or more depending on the full scope of what you’re providing the client. Just take action because you’ll likely refine your pricing as you get into a groove with your business. One thing I also recommend is pricing your service based on the value and ROI you provide your clients, not how many hours you work.
Q3: As Someone Who Would Be Just Getting Started With WordPress SEO Optimization How Would You Go About Finding Your First Clients?
Finding clients requires consistent effort. Yes, you will get clients from referrals, but you shouldn’t depend on that as your sole source of new business. Strategies you should consider include:
- Paid advertising on Google and Facebook
- Optimize your own website for more organic traffic
- Build up a presence on social media
- Do cold, but targeted outreach
- Browse for opportunities on Craigslist
One strategy, however, that I think is awesome is developing strategic partnership. This single tactic has generated thousands of dollars in revenue for me. You basically find people that have complementary but not competing services and the idea is they refer their clients to you for a commission. So you get new clients and they get passive, recurring revenue.
Q4: What Are The Top 3 Tools You Use To Get The Job Done?
I use Podio to manage my link builder and we love it. It organizes and tracks what she’s doing for every client and she also uploads links reports to Podio so I’m in the loop with everything.
I use Ace of Sales to manage my client’s contact information and communicate with them when I need to email them their link reports and blog posts…it’s my CRM and I can also use it to send direct mail.
Lastly, I find ManageWP to be a huge time saver. It lets you manage all your client’s WordPress websites from one dashboard.
As your business grows, the right tools will make you more efficient and effective so don’t be afraid to invest in some.
Q 5: What Are The Top 3 Pitfalls People Should Avoid When Starting A Side Hustle Like This?
I would say the top 3 pitfalls are:
- Expecting instant results – building a business takes time and a lot of effort. I like to make daily progress on my business because the compound effect is awesome. But don’t go into your business with the mindset that things are going to be quick and easy.
- Not setting up systems – you’re only one person and you can only handle so much. You should get your hands dirty in the beginning so you know what you’re doing, but eventually you’ll need systems. If you try to do everything yourself, you’ll be both miserable and severely capped at how much business you can handle.
- Not prospecting for new business every day – getting new clients is a grind. Don’t get comfortable when you’re in a growth spurt. Get into the habit of always looking for new clients even if it’s just sending out some emails to good prospects. Being a sidepreneur has its up’s and down’s and you can minimize these swings by being proactive in your new business efforts.
Q6: What Is One Specific Piece Of Advice You Would Give To Those Just Getting Started With A WordPress Optimization Business?
You’ll hear this advice a lot, but there’s a reason for that — Just Get Started! It’s never the perfect time to start. And truthfully, you’re always going to be tweaking and fine-tuning your business so you might as well just jump in and start building your side business. You won’t really know how to tweak, fine-tune or improve your business without taking on clients and doing the actual work. So believe in yourself and just take action.
For additional advice, I run a blog for sidepreneurs called Sidepreneurial that talks about starting, maintaining and growing a side business based on the experience and knowledge I’ve built up since 2010 running my own side hustle.
Now that you’ve had the chance to learn a little bit more about what Ryan does I would like to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Have you ever thought about starting a WordPress SEO management business? Share your thoughts and comments below.