For many WordPress bloggers, the goal is to make a living using their website. Let’s be honest, just writing great content is not going to pay the bills or get you away from the office and give you the freedom you desire.
That’s why so many people seek out ways to monetize their WordPress blogs.
Today I will explore some different ways you can you use your WordPress blog to make some additional (and sometimes very substantial) income.
For blogs of all sizes, Google AdSense is a great way to make extra income by displaying targeted Google ads on your website.
This free program will pay you for every click your website’s visitors make on each ad you display. This easy Pay-Per-Click (PPC) model is designed to show relevant and popular ads on your site that will hopefully attract your visitors.
Because this system is designed to only pay you when people click on the ads, it is worth noting that your income will vary from month to month. Statistically, only a small amount of people will click on the ads you display, so in order to earn a significant amount of money you will have to have a highly trafficked website. That is not to say you cannot earn a decent amount, however, and since it is free, this is often a popular choice for many bloggers.
Another way to display ads on your WordPress blog is to sell advertisement areas directly to the advertisers themselves as opposed to using an ad network such as Google AdSense and getting assigned relevant ads to display.
With this option, you usually charge a fixed fee or charge per impression of the ad (CPM). You will also have complete control over which types of ads you display on your website so that you can make sure they are relevant to your audience and are appropriate for all visitors.
A popular advertising marketplace such as BuySellAds can be very helpful for connecting you with advertisers and filling your empty ad areas, but be aware that using a service like this will cost you in the form of a commission for them. It is often suggested you try selling ad space on your blog directly with the advertisers to make the most income you can.
Many online shops and service providers offer affiliate programs to blog owners that pay commissions when sales are made by site visitors.
Though often the purchases made are fewer than say the clicks made on banners ads you have displayed, the payout is usually larger and more than compensates. The great thing about affiliate marketing is that you are in control of what products and services you will recommend to your audience. You can write a product review or a how-to blog post, offer a coupon deal on a hot new item, or even just make simple suggestions to your readers in the form of text or banner ads.
Sponsored Posts/Product Reviews
If you have a WordPress blog that gets a lot of traffic you can get paid in two very distinct ways: sponsored posts and product reviews.
Not sure what those are? Check out an in-depth look at what I found to be true about sponsored posts. In a hurry? Here is the quick version: sponsored posts are when an advertiser pays you, the website owner, to publish a post related to their product on your highly trafficked website.
Unfortunately, unless you have a strict filtering process for sponsored posts, many turn out to be nothing more than poorly written advertisements. This can hurt your website’s rankings and ultimately turn away some of your readers who are not interested in that type of content. However, if done properly, sponsored posts do have the potential to make you a significant amount of money.
Somewhat related to sponsored posts are paid product reviews. The key difference is that you get to pick and choose how products and services are presented on your site since you are the one doing the writing. You can add elements of honesty, cater directly to your audience, and make money all at the same time.
One way to really up your monthly cash flow is to offer premium content to your loyal readers for a price. By running a membership site you can give exclusive access to things such as special training, downloads, and deals on products or services you provide.
A great plugin to help you set up your membership section is the Paid Memberships Pro WordPress plugin. At its most basic level this plugin is free and lets you set up unlimited membership levels restricting access to members-only content. It integrates with popular payment gateways and works with any WordPress theme you have.
If you really want to start making some serious dough using your WordPress blog, try setting up an e-commerce shop to sell products or services. As a serious blogger, your readers have come to know and trust you. They will be more likely to purchase from you since that trust and authority has been built over time.
Using one of the most popular (and free!) WordPress plugins for setting up shop on your website, WooCommerce, you will be well on your way to selling books, software, coaching plans, t-shirts, training courses, and more!
A creative way to take your teaching courses one step further, and potentially make more money in the meantime, is to offer your readers live workshops.
This is a great way for you to interact with your readers one-on-one, answer questions, and build an even stronger relationship with your customers. People tend to pay a lot more for these types of courses as opposed to simple online tutorials because they often get more out of the one-on-one interaction.
If you cannot do a live workshop you might even consider pre-recording a workshop and uploading it to your site for readers to purchase. This type of premium content is great for increasing your bottom line and is appealing to your readers.
Once you have a highly established website with lots of daily traffic, you might be able to offer a job board related to your niche for readers to check out and for people to submit job postings on for an established fee. One of the best examples of this is ProBlogger.
Though there are tons of job boards out there, if you have a strong enough audience, and a well-established niche website, there is always room for one more opportunity for people to post openings because there are plenty of people out there looking for jobs all of the time.
Though not a direct way to make money using your website, solid email marketing is one of the top ways to monetize your WordPress blog.
Having a large email list opens up many opportunities for you to make money. You can instantly deliver news of products, services, special deals, and more directly to each of your readers that are clearly interested in what you have to offer since they are subscribers of yours.
This one-on-one relationship does wonders for your branding, is a great way to spread the word about your website, and invites people to visit your site regularly so that they:
- Click on an ad you have displayed on your website
- Pay you to advertise their product on your website
- Purchase a product that was reviewed on your website
- Sign up for a membership on your website
- Buy a product from your website
- Attend a live workshop via your website
- Post a job opening for their company on your website
Are you noticing a trend? Email marketing is a powerful way of increasing your income via other means by driving traffic back to your website. It really is one of the most important things you can do as far as monetizing your WordPress blog is concerned.
Making money is often the focus for many blog owners. The truth is, there are many ways you can go about monetizing your WordPress blog. Try using a couple of the methods I mentioned above and see what you can make for yourself. Any money is better than no money and the more you build your website into a successful, highly trafficked one that people look forward to visiting, the more steady income you can earn.
What have you done to monetize your WordPress blog? Have I left out a method you tried that worked well for you? I would love to hear all about in the comments below!