We’re well into the new year which means it’s time to make good on your resolutions to do well for yourself and your business. If you’ve built your site from the ground up, have a good flow of traffic, and are now looking for WordPress monetization strategies, you’re in the right place.
There is more; as we delve into different WordPress monetization strategies we’ll uncover a treasure trove of tips you can use to boost engagement on your site. As such, you can think of this post as a two-pronged approach to WordPress monetization.
The first tip being it is important to use methods that align with your target audience. How else do you make the most of your WordPress monetization strategies?
Another quick note: we focus on self-hosted WordPress blogs (WordPress.org) and not free WordPress.com blogs, as the latter ships with some limitations as far as monetization goes.
If you’re a bit curious, wildly successful blogs include the likes of HuffPost (est. $14,000,000/month), Moz (est. $4,250,000/month) and TechCrunch (est. $2,500,000/month) among others. And yes, that’s in American dollars.
With the preliminaries out of the way, let’s show you how to make money with WordPress in 48 hours. To make money from your WordPress site, here are a couple of strategies to point you in the right direction.
To make money from your WordPress site, here are a couple of strategies to point you in the right direction.
Since the days of yore, the advertisement sector has always been a big earner. According to a report by emarketer.com, advertisers all over the world spend more than $220 billion per year on digital ads.
That’s a huge chunk of change, don’t you agree? If you have good traffic, you can rack up the dollars in no time. But how do you start?
Self-Managed vs. Ad Networks
For starters, there are two advertisement options available to you. You can choose ad networks such as Google AdSense for WordPress. This is just one of many – Bing has their own ad network, as does Facebook, Yahoo and Amazon. For an extensive list just search “ad networks” on Google to see what’s available.
Alternatively, you can host your own advertisements. You choose the ads, fees, how and where to display each ad among other things. To sell self-managed ads it’s typically easiest to use on the the reputable ad management plugins available for WordPress or to go through a third party service such as BuySellAds to manage available ad spots.
That said, the main difference between ad networks and self-managed ads is the higher level of control you enjoy with the latter. In other words, ad networks usually show your reader adverts that are most relevant to their recent browsing history. If the user was looking at jewelry prior to coming to your site, they’ll most likely see an ad related to jewelry, even if your site is all about automobiles. You have zero control regarding the adverts the ad network shows on your site.
Things are a bit different with self-managed ads, you sell adverts that are in tune with your target audience. So, instead of showing jewelry ads, you show ads for vehicle spare parts, engine oil and so on.
Each advertising option has different pricing models. A majority of ad networks usually offer the CPC (cost per click) model, which means you’re paid for all the clicks you generate. You can make between $0.02 and $15 bucks per click depending on the niche.
With a high volume of traffic, you can make quite a killing with ad networks, keeping in mind they offer other ad models. Self-managed ads usually attract higher ad rate, since you’re essentially selling ad space to interested businesses at a flat monthly fee.
The advertising topic is an extensive read, but as it’s one of the most lucrative WordPress monetization strategies it’s worth your time to dig in.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is much like advertising; you earn for sending the merchant an interested prospect. Instead of getting paid for clicks and impressions, you receive a commission for all of your hard work.
While affiliate marketing sounds like mumbo-jumbo to the perfect beginner, it is easy to comprehend. According to Neil Patel, affiliate marketing is “…the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”
Sounds quite basic, this affiliate marketing business, don’t you think? Plus you can recommend any product under the sun. In essence, you’re just a promoter, which means you can engage in any promotion strategy that comes to mind… just keep it legal.
In other words, affiliate marketing is a versatile animal in terms of payment models and your level of involvement. What does that even mean?
Affiliate Marketing Payment Models
We are privy to three main payment models, but feel free to chip in if you know of any other models.
- PPC (Pay Per Click) Affiliate Marketing – The company pays you a commission for all the clicks you generate, whether the prospects make a purchase or just browse and leave.
- PPL (Pay Per Lead) Affiliate Marketing – In this scenario, you earn a commission whenever the prospect you refer completes any desired action e.g., subscribe, sign up for a free trial, create an account and so on. Examples of websites offering this kind of affiliate marketing include ShareASale and Cj Affiliate among others.
- PPS (Pay Per Sale) Affiliate Marketing – The traditional form of affiliate marketing, you only earn a commission if the prospect you refer makes a purchase. This is the most popular model of affiliate marketing and usually results in better returns than PPC and PPL affiliate marketing – holding other factors constant. Examples include Amazon Associates, Envato Marketplace, and most independent online theme/plugin stores.
Levels of Involvement in Affiliate Marketing
Now that you know you can make money via clicks, leads and sales, let’s look at three more types of affiliate marketing in terms of involvement.
As Pat Flynn explains, we have three levels of affiliate marketing involvement namely:
- Unattached – In this type of affiliate marketing, you have absolutely no presence or authority in the niche. You just create affiliate links to products via social media or any other platform. But since we are monetizing your WordPress site, you can use this type of affiliate marketing to complement your earnings.
- Related – Here, you have some presence online and are promoting products related to your niche, but the affiliate links are for products that you don’t actually use. For example, if you have a blog that covers WordPress, you could promote themes, hosting and plugins, without trying out each product first.
- Involved – You only promote products that you use and believe in. You swear by the products and recommend them as part of the “dream” or the process you’re outlining on your blog.
Concerning affiliate WordPress monetization strategies at your disposal, you can use coupons, deals, product reviews, text links, banner links, product aggregation, email newsletters, and offline methods among others.
3. Monetize WordPress with Memberships
Let’s say you have built an engaged audience thanks to the great content you’ve been offering for free. You can add paid memberships to a section of your site where you offer courses and any other form of premium content.
Many website owners capitalize on paid membership to create a recurring source of passive income. And all you have to do is create some high-quality content and hide it behind a paywall. With a huge collection of WordPress membership plugins at your disposal, you can start right this minute.
If you have a product, you can release it under a membership program, in the sense that the user needs an active (and preferably recurring) membership to use the product. Instead of selling the product, you can sell memberships instead.
We have seen WordPress entrepreneurs convert their already existing readers into paying members with little effort. Good examples of websites making a killing with memberships include Elegant Themes, Moz and more (though it’s important to note these sites are often employing multiple WordPress monetization strategies).
4. Sell Products or Services
One of the most popular WordPress monetization strategies is selling stuff online. In fact, if no one sold anything, we would have no advertisers, membership sites and affiliate programs to cash on.
If running advertisements, promoting somebody else’s products or hosting a membership site isn’t your cup of tea, you can try build an online store with WordPress to promote a service or product to your audience.
There is no shortage of products to sell, plus you can always sell specialized skills via a hire page. For instance, you could offer design or blogging services like yours truly. You could consult and sell any service your readers need. If you don’t have a ready product, consider reselling a product or service via your WordPress site.
If you’d like to go full-blown e-commerce, you can set up an online store easily using a plugin such as WooCommerce. An online store helps you to sell both digital and physical goods, meaning you can use e-commerce to boost your stone-and-mortar store. Better still, you can use affiliate marketing to boost your sales.
If you decide to build an e-commerce website, make it unique and target a niche. There is strict competition out there in just about any market, so focus on what you’re best at or most interested in.
5. Sponsored Posts/Reviews
As a blogger, you can make a quick buck from sponsored posts or reviews. If you have earned authority and are popular in your niche, businesses will start approaching you to write favorable reviews about their products.
As a beginner, it will prove fruitful to approach the companies with good proposals. Just ensure you review products and services that are relevant to your target audience. Reviewing products just for the money will tarnish the authority you worked so hard to earn.
Additionally, don’t make your site all about sponsored posts when the businesses start calling. Keep publishing the content that earned you traffic and authority. An occasional sponsored post works great, but overdoing it is not a long-term strategy.
According to BobWP, “…others may want to sponsor a post that just mentions their product in the context of some news in their industry—or simply pay for a banner ad or mention at the end of the post.”
As such, there are many opportunities to explore with sponsored posts especially if you can secure monthly/yearly arrangements with the companies. Just don’t be biased in your reviews as this is detrimental to your integrity.
6. More WordPress Monetization Strategies
There are many other ways of monetizing your WordPress site, but since covering all of them would need an eBook (perhaps you could create one and sell it?), here are a couple of honorable mentions:
- Donations – You can make money via your WordPress site by asking your readers to donate. This strategy works like magic, which is why most non-profit and NGOs thrive on donations. Just ask your readers.
- Dropship – When starting your own online store you don’t necessarily need your own goods to promote. Dropshipping for WordPress allows you to make money on products you don’t own or have in inventory. You place the product on your site and collect the payment from the buyer. Then, you buy at a cheaper rate from the supplier who ships the product directly to the buyer.
- Create a job board – If you’re content producer catering to bloggers, you can create a job board. Do you cater to WordPress designers and developers? You can create a job board for them. Work with nonprofits that needs to be connected with businesses for donations? You can design a board for that too. Here are a couple of popular WordPress-related job boards for inspiration to get your ideas flowing.
These WordPress monetization strategies will help you to make money on your WordPress site in no time. However, keep in mind everything worth having in life takes hard work. As we all know success is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. So continue to work on building your website and your brand by creating quality content, focusing on SEO and continuing to optimize your site for your readers.
Today, we just offered you the 1% inspiration you need. Are you up for the challenge? Do you think you have what it takes to provide that 99% of perspiration?
Do you know of other WordPress monetization strategies we didn’t mention? If so, let us know in the comment section below, so we can add it to this post and credit you by mentioning your name. Cheers and good luck making the moolah this year!