Killer SEO Combo: Passion, Time, Money

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”

~Vincent T. Lombardi

Building a successful web property that wins in the search engines takes a combination of passion, time, and money.

You may have no budget, but lots of time and passion. You can succeed in gaining non-paid traffic without a huge marketing budget. But no passion? No time? Good luck.

Passion is always first, and I believe the biggest key to SEO success. Then Time, and then Money.

If you have all three, wow, that’s a combo that can lead to a killer web property even in competitive niches.

Let’s take a look in depth at why these 3 keys matter.

Key #1 – Passion

There are a few key kinds of passion in developing web properties:

  1. Passion to succeed financially.
  2. Topical passion (ie a love for surfing when developing a surfing website).

Both can be enough to satisfy the Passion element of the three keys, but of financial and topical, I’ve found passion to succeed financially the most powerful. Loving a niche is a powerful skill set, but loving a niche and needing to pay the bills from their web property is a combination that few webmasters possess.

  • Passion keeps you going when you’re getting 3 visits a day, one of those from your Mom.
  • Passion makes you write 5 killer articles on a Friday night when your peers are out on the town.
  • Passion gives you the desire to learn Google Website Optimizer when most webmasters just settle for a “Click Here” link
  • Bob Brisco, CEO of Internet Brands (which buys dozens of websites from successful webmasters each year for often 7 figures) says it best: Passion Wins. And it does. Passion shows through in every aspect of a website.

A Passionate Webmaster…

Key #2 – Time

Building successful web properties that fire on all cylinders takes a ton of time. From analyzing traffic patterns and keywords to just updating or tweaking page titles, its a huge time suck to do it well.

There are tools and tricks of course to be more effective as an SEO, but if you’re managing lots of web properties or even one large property, you can literally spend 24 hours a day improving a website.

One great thing about building successful web properties is that you can always be improving something that will add value to the site. A new piece of killer pillar content. A new widget to attract links. Split testing headlines. You can always build a better site….which is why Time is so important.

Key #3 – Money

Money? Really Scott? Yep.

  • Money can buy a killer freelance reporter to write for you.
  • Money can buy a fantastic design or UX person to improve conversions.
  • Money can buy red-bulls at 3am to give you more Time.
  • Money can buy those skills that you lack.

Very few webmasters are good at everything SEO related.

I can’t code on the backend. I can’t slice up a photoshop design into HTML/CSS. I can’t do

But, with Money you can hire people to do all the things you suck at. And lets be honest, we all suck at some things.

The 2 key combinations that work

Even if you don’t have all three keys, combinations of two can work.

Passion & Time

If you have Passion and Time, but no money you can still succeed.

You can spend hours networking, writing great content, and building links. All that requires is your time but no actual cash. And your Passion will keep you going when times are rough (and they will be).

Passion & Money

If you have Passion and Money, but no time, you can succeed. In fact, if you can only have two of the elements, these two work well.

With Money you can hire great people and contractors to do the Time element that SEO success requires. Lets face it, alot of link building and content creation is mind-numbing and monotonous and if you can hire great people to do that work, awesome.

Money & Time

With just Money and Time. This combo is the most challenging, but I still believe even with no Passion but time and money you can succeed.

It’s often suggested to build sites around your passions, which is great. Except sometimes you have to build web properties that you are not passionate about (but maybe pay the bills!).

Money can buy expert contributors who ARE passionate, and with Time you can deal with all the contractors/employees who are passionate about the site. Time also allows you to analyze traffic patterns and make informed decisions SEO-wise, and those decisions often cross niches.

The killer SEO combo

Money. Passion. And Time. The killer combo.

With a healthy budget, time to spend analyzing keywords, traffic, and improving conversion rates, and a passion to succeed in your niche, you can build and sustain web properties that will pay rewards for years.

What say you?

Which pillars do you rock? Do you have all three? Just one? Two? What else is a pillar to webmastery?

Scott is the founder of, a new SEO Dashboard

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