How to Make Money Online & Quit Your Job in 30 Free Lessons Written by Janet Smith... Inspired by SEO Legend, Grizzly Brears.
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[This] is the Ultimate 9 to 5 Alternative that Anyone Can Do

[This] is the Ultimate 9 to 5 Alternative that Anyone Can Do

I am so glad you found your way to this blog post where I discuss the ultimate 9 to 5 alternative. In fact, this entire blog is about that very topic – broken down step-by-step FOR FREE. Many times over, I explain to you how to make money online and quit your crappy corporate job. And best of all, I don’t leave out any of the details even though all my lessons are free.

On this blog, there will be 30 free lessons to help guide you and hold your hand throughout the process of quitting your 9 to 5 and replacing that income (or even exceeding it!) with strategic niche blogs. Niche blogs are the ultimate 9 to 5 alternative!

This particular post happens to be Lesson 7 and it will cover how to do keyword research for YouTube.

These lessons are cumulative, so if this is your first time visiting my blog, it will make the most sense to start at Lesson 1 and work your way back to here and beyond.

Lesson 1 and all other subsequent lessons can be found by clicking here.


youtube 9 to 5 alternative

Is YouTube a 9 to 5 Alternative In and Of Itself?

Yes, it can be if you make the right decision from the start. Do you want to only create video content or both video and written content? Both strategies work, but you have to stick with the one you choose.

In my world, there are 2 reasons you might leverage YouTube for making money online.

We’ll discuss both scenarios here so you can make an informed decision about what to do and how to approach and navigate YouTube. Most peoples’ minds go all over the place and they end up getting nothing accomplished when YouTube is introduced into the mix. Relax… and let’s figure out if it’s even worth your time.

YouTube-Only Content

Scenario #1 is if you plan to just create video content on your YouTube channel and your main goal will be getting subscribers. In this scenario, you probably don’t care much about written content.

My blog focuses on written content, so if you are more interested in building an engaging YouTube channel and don’t want to write anything, I recommend you head over to Miles Beckler’s YouTube channel.

Miles gives out top-notch Internet Marketing advice for free, so I feel comfortable recommending him. His advice is a little different than mine because he tends to focus more on videos and Facebook advertising. He’s awesome, though.


blogging plus youtube - 9 to 5 alternative

Blog Posts & YouTube Content

Scenario #2 is if you plan to create written content on your blog. Please, only write on a URL you own! Don’t write on platforms you don’t own like Medium, Tumblr, Facebook, etc.

Scenario #2 integrates a few YouTube videos to support your larger, more popular, visual, or complex blog post topics. This hybrid approach can be just what your blog needs to make it grow just a little bit faster.

Your main goal here in scenario #2 would be to drive YouTube traffic back to the blog posts – not necessarily to gain subscribers. I am planning to write an entire lesson on what to include in your supplemental YouTube videos in the future.

For those seeking out scenario #2 (which is probably most of you who follow this blog), YouTube is not a necessity and merely serves as a sort of fertilizer. If you choose not to publish YouTube videos, a well-researched and consistently written-on blog will still be a successful 9 to 5 alternative – it just might take a little bit longer sans YouTube.


video content - 9 to 5 alternative

Quick Fact: Video Content is Hot

Regardless of which way you decide to use YouTube, the truth is that people are consuming video content more than ever. In fact, most people prefer to watch a video as opposed to reading a blog post or article about the exact same thing.

Are people too busy or are they just lazy? I don’t know. Probably both, if I had to guess. I’d add distracted to the mix as well. We could sit here all day and speculate, but that’s a waste of time! It doesn’t matter why they prefer video content. What matters is that they do prefer it.

Here’s some 2018 data from Renderforest for you (the most recent I could find), in case you still have some doubts about how peoples’ preference of video content over written content is rising:

  • 1/3 of Internet users (1 billion + people!!!) are YouTube users.
  • 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day.
  • Videos generate 1200% more shares on social media than text and images combined.
  • 78% get more traffic to their website after creating videos.
  • The types of videos vary from funny and cute to tutorials, tips, or promotions.

should i upload videos to youtube - 9 to 5 alternative

Are YouTube Videos Right for You? Are YouTube Videos a 9 to 5 Alternative?

There are two factors I can think of that can affect whether or not YouTube videos are right for you:

  • The type of visitors your blog attracts.
  • Your content creating preference.

Let’s dive into these two factors, shall we?


Who is Your Target Visitor?

The first question to ask yourself is this: Who is your target visitor? Are they likely to be a Millennial, Generation X’er or Baby Boomer? Or are they even younger – Generation Z? The answer to this question will be one of the deciding factors as to how much (if any) video content you need to create.

If you’re not completely sure who your target visitor is, don’t worry too much. To be honest, most people watch some form of video content now – even Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation. If you’re on the fence, look at it this way: It can never hurt to at least have a few YouTube videos to support your written niche blog.

Generation Z

If you’re certain that your target audience is Generation Z, you’ll probably want to shoot for all video content and no written content. In general, those people do not seem to want to read… at all… I have a 15-year-old son, so I would know…

In the case of Gen Z, you’d want to dedicate all your time to growing a YouTube channel in this case. Unless you create “dank memes” and have a blog where teeny boppers can look them up and share them across the bowels of social media, they are not going to read anything extra outside of school. [If you’ve read Lesson 6 about how to get backlinks you will remember that I despise Facebook, Twitter, etc for the purposes of building a viable 9 to 5 alternative.]

Millennials and Generation X

If you’re targeting Millennials, you can definitely do some written content (especially for the more complex topics, such as the tutorials I cover on this blog, for example.) However, it’s a good idea to mix in at least a few YouTube Videos (even if they just mimic your blog posts) because Millennials love video content. The same strategy works with Generation X, actually.

Baby Boomers

If you’re targeting Baby Boomers (bird watching or fly fishing, for example) – videos can be helpful, but people of that age are willing to read blog posts in order to learn something.

From my experience, if you have good pictures to illustrate your points, it will be fine and they will refer back to your blog multiple times. Baby Boomers make for a great target audience, in my humble opinion. I try to go for niches that BB’s are interested in. This lesson is about how to do keyword research for YouTube, so I’ll leave it at that for now.


The Type of Content You Prefer Will Be Your Best 9 to 5 Alternative

As I’ve mentioned in Lesson 2, you must remain true to yourself. I’m going to repeat myself a little bit here, though.

How do you best express yourself? Are you a writer or do you fare better with the spoken word? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Writing blog posts and creating YouTube videos can both (individually or symbiotically) allow you to quit your 9 to 5 job.

Personally, I am a terrible speaker and try to avoid creating YouTube videos or podcasts. This make money online niche that I’m taking a stab at with this blog would work beautifully on YouTube, but I feel I just don’t have the personality for it. Or as the Irish would say – I don’t have the gift of gab.

I’m sure I could get better at speaking with practice, but I’m such an introvert that I prefer to just type out these blog posts. If anything, this blog can be proof that people still read blog posts and that the written word is not dead.

Writing gives me better command of my words and helps make sure that I properly transfer all my niche blog knowledge along to you without forgetting any details. If I forget something, I just go back and edit the blog post.

What about you? You know yourself better than anyone else, so it should be immediately obvious to you whether you are a writer or a speaker. Whatever you are, go with it! Don’t try to be someone you aren’t.


avoid youtube - 9 to 5 alternative

What If You Want to Avoid YouTube Altogether?

That’s fine! If you’re creating written content for a niche blog like I’m doing for this one, all hope is not lost when it comes to YouTube. If you don’t want to deal with YouTube at all, you don’t have to. Written blog posts are still the OG 9 to 5 alternative when it comes to Internet Marketing. Just be sure to choose an evergreen topic that you have enough knowledge in to go in-depth, but we’ve already gone over that in Lesson 2 about how to choose a niche for your blog.

Most niches aren’t going to fail because you don’t have a YouTube channel to go with the blog. The main reason a niche could fail is because it wasn’t researched well enough to begin with. In other words, it was either too competitive or not popular enough to generate sufficient traffic for premium ads (typically >30k pageviews per month.)

This mistake has happened to me before multiple times, and it’s all a part of being a beginner. The only two things you can do to fix it are 1.) try to attack the niche from another angle to narrow it down (if too competitive) or get more general (if it’s too specialized), or 2.) pick a different niche and try again.

Don’t get too emotionally attached to any one particular niche blog until you’re certain it is working out. Doing so will halt your progress and stop you from moving forward with other niches.

This is the reason why after you get your initial 30 blog posts up for your first blog that you should immediately dive into a second niche blog with its initial 30 blog posts. I would even start up a third blog as soon as possible after the second one is up and running. Then a fourth… and so on.

You have to do something while the first blog is “aging” for 8 months or so, right? Don’t sit idle!

FYI most of my successful niche blogs do not have accompanying YouTube channels. A lot of them are how-to guides or in-depth advice about various specific issues people have, so people do actually read my blog posts. Maybe they’re Baby Boomers, maybe not. Regardless, they do perform Google searches and they do click through to my blog posts to read them.

wordpress blogs - 9 to 5 alternative

The more blogs you build, the more you will intuitively know that sweet spot. I consider the sweet spot to be niches that are popular enough to generate 250k+ pageviews per month, but not too competitive that the “big guys” keep you off page 1 for your keywords. Does that make sense?

In the beginning, probably about 50% of my blogs became viable 9 to 5 alternatives, but now I’d say about 90% or so do – because I have intuition and better, more efficient writing skills due to non-stop deliberate practice.

This means that I have screwed up a lot. I’m not afraid to admit it! Sometimes, it has felt like I’ve been flinging mud on the wall and hoping someday, something would stick! The mud that has stuck on the wall is what I’m teaching you in this blog. That “mud” is your ticket out of your crappy job. Are you with me?

building blog is like flinging mud on wall- 9 to 5 alternative

One of my most favorite books, Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin drives this point home. Success, or what appears as “talent” isn’t what it seems – it isn’t glamorous or innate. It’s just a ton of persistent, hard work.

That’s what my Rat Race alternative niche blog system is, as well. It’s blood, sweat, tears, and persistent blog post publishing. And I’m telling you this cold, hard truth for free. I’m not charging you $1999 or wasting your time with B.S. webinars like others do.


how to do keyword research for youtube - 9 to 5 alternative

How to Do Keyword Research for YouTube

Now that I’ve rattled on and on about if YouTube is for you or not, and about which YouTube strategy you should embrace, let’s dive into a few specifics.

First, just let me say that all of the techniques I explained to you in Lesson 3 about how to do keyword research apply here as well. If you haven’t read Lesson 3 in detail, stop reading this lesson and go back to #3. You will need to read Lesson 3 in detail and probably take some notes.

The basic truth is that proper keyword research really is the best tool and best way to make money online with a niche blog – and it’s definitely the most promising way to eventually quit your job. You won’t be quitting your job tomorrow (at least I would not recommend it!), but with careful selection of a niche you are passionate and knowledgeable about coupled with steady, persistent implementation of keyword research and blog post publishing, you are certain to ditch your 9 to 5 within 24 months. That’s what happened for me, anyway.

So what else can I add about YouTube keyword research that’s different than the regular blog post keyword research I taught you about in Lesson 3? There are a few things.


Take Stock of Keywords That Have YouTube Videos as the Top Google Results

Some keywords are more suitable for YouTube videos than others, and Google can help guide you if you’re not sure. Just Google the keywords you selected from Lesson 3 again. Do any of them have videos as the top results? Look carefully. Sometimes there are a couple of articles or blog posts at the top, then a section more toward the middle of the page simply called ‘Videos’. See the example below:

keyword research for youtube - google video results

The keyword “no equipment leg workout for women” is very visual, so it makes sense that videos would be in the top results. Which brings me to my next point…


Use the Common Sense Approach to YouTube Keyword Research

If the keywords or topics you’re interested in writing (that also don’t appear too competitive based on what you learned in Lesson 3) would be better explained in video format, then they would make great YouTube keywords. Intuition is incredibly valuable in keyword research. If it makes sense, write it and/or make a YouTube video covering it!

Don’t worry about the search volume numbers because most of the time they’re dead wrong. I can’t tell you how many keywords I’ve targeted that supposedly have 0 searches on average per month, but I get loads of traffic for them! The opposite has often been true as well: Sometimes I’ll create content for a keyword that supposedly gets 5,000 searches per month – and then when I start ranking on page 1 for the keyword, I get maybe less than 100 clicks and 1,000 impressions per month!

If I’m #1 or #2 and the keyword actually gets 5,000 searches per month, I realize I wouldn’t get all the clicks, but I’d get a good chunk of them, right? The volume projections you see with the Keywords Everywhere plugin are often misleading and untrue. Same goes for the search volume projections you see in the Google Keyword Planner. Don’t take the reported search volume as gospel – even when it’s Google reporting those numbers.

Google is where all those expensive, money-wasting keyword tools get their numbers from, by the way!

I’ll repeat here what I said in Lesson 3 in case you missed it: Don’t waste your money on any paid keyword research tools!


choose visual topics for youtube to make money online - 9 to 5 alternative

Try to Choose YouTube Keywords That Are More Visual in Nature

I already recommended doing Google searches for all your potential keywords again to see how many have videos on the first page, but also do some brainstorming on your own.

And definitely, do some poking around YouTube to see what others in your niche are doing.

Don’t copy others, but you can cover similar topics and have your own take on it. Don’t just parrot what others say in your own words because that’s boring and really, what’s the point?

Sometimes, it can even be to your benefit to have an opposing viewpoint, even if that means your opinion is untraditional. Untraditional can be a great traffic booster – especially if your untraditional viewpoint is genuine.


best keywords for youtube - 9 to 5 alternative

What Types of Keywords Tend to Perform Well On YouTube?

YouTube is a visual place, as I’ve mentioned about 100 times already.

From my experience, how-to, tutorials, and DIY keywords as well as before & after and numbered lists (top 10, 20 best, etc.) make great evergreen YouTube content. If you’re already writing this type of content for blog posts – even better. Just jot down some notes based on what you wrote in the blog post, and touch upon those points in a brief (10 minutes or less) YouTube video.

It doesn’t need to be professional and can be recorded using your smartphone. Let your passion and knowledge be apparent in the video and it will go a long way with your viewers.


Use the Keywords Everywhere Plugin & Other Keyword Methods from Within YouTube

Even though those the monthly search volume isn’t usually accurate as I explained in one of the previous sections, you can still use the Keywords Everywhere plugin. What’s cool about it is that you’re not just limited to Google. Whenever you do searches from within YouTube, Amazon, eBay, etc., autosuggestions for related keywords show up along with the monthly search volume next to each keyword.

Keep in mind that the fact that a keyword pops up as an autosuggestion is a more valuable insight than the monthly volume that appears next to it. Just the mere fact that it shows up as an autosuggestion at all is a strong indicator that people are searching for that keyword.

In other words, many of those obviously popular keywords (based on common sense and niche knowledge) have 0’s next to them, but obviously, people are searching for them! If those keywords aren’t too competitive, use them!!! Don’t be afraid of those zeros – especially if you’re passionate about the topic. Your enthusiasm and passion will shine through and could quite possibly attract significant traffic.

After all, you can’t possibly make any less than the $0 you’re currently making from your blog and/or YouTube channel, right? All it takes is one successful blog post or YouTube video to push you over the hump and cause the hockey stick (sudden) growth that I see in every single one of my blogs. 🙂

Another thing I want to mention is that the keywords that pop up directly within YouTube can be different than those you would see in Google search. That’s because Google and YouTube are two different search engines even though they are both owned by Google. Therefore, it’s worth taking the extra step to do the ABC Method and my other tricks from Lesson 3 in YouTube as well as in Google.


youtube keyword placement - 9 to 5 alternative

Use Proper Keyword Placement in YouTube Titles, Descriptions & Spoken in the Video Itself

The key to gaining traction in YouTube is a little bit different than in Google although your videos can and certainly will show up in Google search results, too.

In YouTube, you aren’t writing a blog post that you work your 9 to 5 alternative types of keywords into (see what I did there?), and your descriptions can’t be keyword-stuffed because they can only be 5,000 characters max. Instead, the goal is to create interesting, easily digestible content that is relevant to the keywords people are looking up.

Also, much of the time, your traffic will come from the recommended videos that pop up on the right side of the screen if you’re on a laptop or desktop computer, or below the video if you’re on the mobile version of YouTube.

Therefore, often, people will NOT have ever looked up your exact keyword to find you like they do when performing a Google search. Your video will simply pop up because it’s related to a topic they have looked up or are known to have an interest in. This means you have a little more creative freedom with your YouTube titles than you do with blog post titles.

Also, if people start liking your videos and offer up a frenzy of comments (and by some miracle start subscribing to your channel), your videos will start showing up as recommended for more people.

With that said, here are some pointers for keyword placement in YouTube videos:

  • The keyword should be in video title (toward the beginning, if possible).
  • Don’t be clickbaity with your titles, but try to accomplish one of the following: pique their curiosity, stir up an emotion, or offer a benefit. In Lesson 5 I offered up some tips for how to write and format blog posts, which also includes how to write headlines (aka titles). The same strategy that works for blog posts also works for YouTube video titles. Human nature is the same across the board.
  • Titles should be limited to 70 characters or less (even though up to 100 are allowed) so they won’t be truncated in search results.
  • The target keyword only needs to be mentioned once in the description, and descriptions don’t need to be the entire allotted 5,000 characters. Just keep it simple and concise. Always include a link back to your related blog post at the beginning of the description if your YouTube channel serves as a companion for your blog.
  • Only target 1 keyword per YouTube video. Stay focused.
  • Using your keywords as tags (separated by commas) is a useless endeavor just like it is in WordPress. Don’t worry about doing it.
  • Speak your keyword out loud at the beginning of your video (within the first 10 seconds if at all possible!) and then naturally throughout the course of the video, but don’t overdo it. Just mention it every once in a while and don’t forget to mention it again toward the end. I recommend using synonyms throughout the video and not the exact keyword each time. For example, my keyword for this blog post is 9 to 5 alternative, but I could also say “other options besides a traditional job” to get the same point across. Make the keyword placement as natural as humanly possible – this is very important.
  • Don’t repeat your keyword word-for-word in your thumbnail image. Use a synonym or some related phrase or title. Mainly just use the thumbnail image to get attention so people will want to click. Again, don’t be clickbaity, but have fun with it and use an image that pops.
  • Surf around YouTube for a few minutes and look at what other YouTube channels in your niche are doing for thumbnails, titles, and descriptions. Do not copy them, of course, but maybe their content will spark a novel idea. It will also give you an idea for what “the norm” is on YouTube so that your content doesn’t come across as sub-par.

Now that this post is coming up on 4,000 words, I think I’ll stop here. You are now 4,000 words closer to quitting your job and finding that 9 to 5 alternative at last!

Before I go, just one more thing: I think I already mentioned this, but I do plan to write a whole lesson devoted to exactly what to include in your YouTube videos, how to produce them, etc. It will be a lot more detailed than this lesson has been. This lesson was meant to simply be about how to do keyword research for YouTube, but obviously, I threw in some extras like I always do.


Stay tuned for Lesson 8 where we’ll discuss how to promote your blog and how I escaped the 9 to 5. As always, my way of promoting is very minimal and, yes, free! You should know by now that I have nothing to sell you and want you to spend as little money as possible to get your little blog empire up and running. 😉

See you in Lesson 8!

Janet Smith

My name is Janet Smith and I'm the author of the 2009 bestselling SEO ebook Nomad's Guide to Make Money Online. I'm also a former student of SEO legend, Grizzly Brears and have spent time training with John Limbocker from SEO Dominators. A lot has changed in the make money online world since 2009. Because I know many people who need help escaping their crappy jobs, I've decided to emerge from the shadows and share my up-to-date knowledge here for free. Don't ask me why. Just follow the directions in my free blog posts. This blog is a labor of love! There will be no $1999 useless, shiny objects here. I HAVE NOTHING TO SELL YOU because I make money online using the same techniques taught in this blog.

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