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9 Ways to Make Money with WordPress

Updated on May 9, 2020

17 Min Read
Make money with WordPress

Creating your website is one thing, and making money is another, totally different aspect. Here’s what you need to know about  how to make money with a WordPress powered website.

Self-hosted WordPress websites have been around for about 16 years.

WordPress has been popular among bloggers, freelancers, merchants because of its potential as a good source of profit. This is why WordPress powers 26% of websites on the web, as of November last year. This Content Management System also provides profitable opportunities as people search for WordPress about 2.7 million times every month.

WordPress Overview

So here’s the big question. You’ve finished creating your website on WordPress and now wish to monetize it to make the big bucks. You’ve been asking yourself the following questions.

  • How do I make money with WordPress?
  • How to make money blogging?
  • What niche should I be targeting?
  • What source and blog monetization method should I focus on?
  • What is the best way to make money blogging through my website?
  • What audience do I need to be selling to?

There are a lot of ways that can help you in monetizing a blog, I will focus on nine popular ways of making money with WordPress by creating your own website.

Join An Affiliate Program and Start Blogging for Money

When talking about how to make money with WordPress, a 37-year-old Affiliate marketer; Jason Stone made $7 million in affiliate marketing revenue in a single year. Similarly, Awin, a global affiliate network made over $700 million in 2018.

This gives reason to earn as an affiliate through a number of ways. Joining an affiliate program helps connect with other affiliates that aim to earn using similar strategies.

Why Opt for Affiliate Marketing?

Make money with affiliate marketing

You’re probably wondering how does one earn through affiliate marketing? The answer is staying consistent and having patience… that’s the key to success!

Your Role as an Affiliate Marketer

You’ll need to partner up with companies and then recommend their products and services to an audience that follows you online. It’s similar to marketing through word of mouth, however, this is on a digital landscape. Every time someone buys a product through the link you have posted, the company will pay you a commission on the purchase.

You must know how to gain popularity. There are many YouTubers, forums, and discussion groups that can help you connect with other affiliates out there.

Like a lot of affiliate marketing programs, Cloudways affiliate program is a good place to boost your earnings. Once you sign up and get started, the first part of working as an affiliate is becoming familiar with the platform. An explanation of this is in the knowledge base section. This program can help you make passive income consistently for a long time.

In case you need any help you can visit the affiliate FAQ’s page or send an email at [email protected]

Monetizing a Blog by Selling E-books to Your Audience

Ebooks can help in blogging for money and monetizing your writing skills. This is one of the breakthroughs that technology brings home. As a writer, you’d initially have to go through a publishing house, a printing press and finally a distribution center to get your book out there for readers to buy.

That all has changed now, as you no longer need to go through the entire chain, and just run the same process through a computer.

Collection of books

If you’re considering making money with WordPress, creating ebooks and selling them it’s low in capital and cost in terms of storage space, printing cost, and delivery fee. Thus, creating and selling an ebook is already measurable and convenient.

So, you’re probably wondering how to make money blogging by creating and selling your ebook?

The steps required to create an ebook and making money on WordPress are quite straightforward, however, additions to these steps depend on the complexity of the ebook’s subject. For instance, if you’re writing about general health tips for an average 30-year-old, it could be simple and straightforward. The content of your ebook will most likely contain a nutrition table, listicle of food to snack on during the day, types of exercise and examples of people that are adopting this lifestyle.

Planning an ebook

However, if you’re going into a more sophisticated subject matter, like ‘Know when to sell your stocks’, the subject matter will require more explanation. The complications here are adding more people to the content creation and editing process to make the content more easily understandable.

Usually, the writer runs the ebook chapters through an editor to be able to get a third-person perspective. A graphic designer is then added to the process to add appropriate diagrams, charts and visual aid where necessary. Finally, the ebook’s draft goes through an overall review from a subject matter expert to ensure that the writer covers all parameters of the subject.

Knowing how to create an ebook is one thing, but knowing how to sell one is an important part. Ebooks don’t necessarily need to have a direct price tag for readers to buy. However, here’s how to monetize a blog through ebooks and start making money with WordPress.

Earn at your own pace.

Refer customers and set up your passive income stream

Lead Generation: Many people pay to generate leads and potential clients. Therefore, asking people for an email addresses to contact them is a good way to let them download the ebook in question.

Free Marketing and Exposure: Instead of pushing your marketing in areas where there is already a fierce competition, using an ebook is an easy work around to promoting products and services. Additionally, bloggers, influencers and customers find it easier to talk about an ebook, which is why the ebook has more chances of becoming viral.

Sell Products in the Ebook: Assuming a reader has invested time in reading the ebook you’ve created. This reflects that your ebook instills interest and the reader is most likely will buy a product or service through your ebook. Which is why most ebooks and landing pages of these books have author’s recommendations of other ebooks.

steps to create a successful ebook

When creating an ebook, just remember these few basic steps. (I’ve mentioned some free online resources too

1. When planning to make money with WordPress by creating the content of your ebook, start with creating a table of contents for easier planning.

This is where you have to plan out your content flow. You must have understood the intent of your audience, hence your ebook needs to address the elephant in the room at the core of the ebook. It’s equally important to keep the reader interested in the topic, so breaking down what you’re going to be addressing is often helpful.

2. Format your ebook (Add headings, subheadings, graphics, and footnotes using online-free image sources)

Look at other templates of ebooks to understand what flow and standard rules you need to apply to your ebook. If it’s a general topic, you can keep the tone simple and casual. Similarly, if the topic is technical and you’re expecting your readers to have prior knowledge, there’s almost always going to be a premise for the build-up to from.

This is also the point where you’re going to be adding graphics and examples you’ve seen. Since you’re the writer here and the central idea is going through you. To add graphics, you have the option of looking up online free graphics sources or hire freelance graphics designers to make visuals according to a brief you provide.

3. Proofread and edit your ebook (Use online software like Grammarly, or send the ebook to a freelance editor for a thorough review)

Creating your ebook is one thing, but ensuring the readability of your ebook is at a standard level is another. The worst possible mistake you can overlook is putting your readers through a series of cringe-worthy mistakes because you didn’t review and proofread your work. Not only are the conversions going to go down, but your name will also go down in reputation and frequent readers will be less likely to even consider reading your work.

4. Create an attractive cover for your e book

There are many ways you can create an attractive cover for your ebook. If the type of design you’re looking for is simple, it makes sense to use some free online sources. The other option you have is getting a visual artist to understand the tone and content of your book to help readers visualize the book and create a cover for the book. This is useful for writers that have trouble expressing their ideas visually.

5. Upload your ebook to your website and monetize your blog by adding a payment gateway

Now your downloadable/purchasable ebook is ready for the readers, you’ll have to place it strategically on your WordPress website to make money through this. Try keeping the payment process minimal, security tight, and familiar with the customers as this is where they’re the most skeptic.

6. Customize your website’s landing page to increase downloads/conversions

This is where themes and pre-built landing pages come in handy. Conversion tracking ends here as this is the last checkpoint where your website’s visitors either hit that download button or leave your website.

7. Measure downloads consistently and track your website traffic to improve conversion rates.

Tracking the conversions and how your website traffic flows is the key to improving the effectiveness of your ebook’s objective. Using, Google Analytics and Facebook Insights for instance. You can find more resources in our free online source listicle.

Make Money with WordPress by Creating and Selling Online Courses

Another popular way of making money with WordPress website is to create and sell courses online. The question is why would you want to sell a course online when you’ve got the option of selling ebooks?

The answer is in the way online courses interact with the audience. While an ebook may contain enough references, pictograms, and examples, it still doesn’t satisfy all the readers. Even though it caters to core readers, it unintentionally eludes people that want to gain information through visual, audio or direct interaction.
How to create online courses

Online courses are more interactive and are a matter of preference for most people who wish to learn skills. Creating courses can make the learning experience more enjoyable and can provide more insights about customers. Hence, this helps tag customers and their susceptibility to buy certain products.

So how do you create an online course?

Creating an online course is a bit more dynamic than creating an ebook. Here, you’ll have to understand the sweet spot of the topic you wish to elaborate on and narrow it down to a specific audience seek just that.

steps to creating an online course

That’s the winning formula!

Very often, people struggle to find the starting point of creating an online course. Hence it makes sense to start with talking to people that this course design caters to. Asking these questions helps pinpoint the areas that need highlighting and elaboration.

The next part of creating an online course is highlighting the transformation the audience will go through. There’s nothing more compelling than telling someone interested in what they will be able to achieve after learning outcomes from a course.

To do this, you’ll have to start pre-selling the course to see if there’s any demand for it.

Now you’re probably thinking, ‘How do I sell my online course before creating it?”

You’ll have to start by talking to people about the skills they want they want to learn in a proposed topic that you will be creating a course on. This will highlight that there’s an actual demand for the proposed online course and its likelihood of generating revenue.

This is a good time to look up other Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) as they are good examples of what people expect from an online course. Furthermore, it also helps understand how they wish to interact with the course.

free online courses by MOOC

Before monetizing the blog and launching the course, there’s a high chance that people interested in the course will stay tuned to your website and purchase the online course!

Before launching the online course, it makes sense to launch a pilot test before the real deal. This will ensure that people are willing to sign up for the course and its price is not a hindrance. For instance, setting up webinars with other influencers to give them the spotlight for a portion of the price tag of the online course.

rules of writing an ebook

Now the research about the creation of the online course is out of the way, it’s time to get into creating the course content. Keep it simple, concise and educational. The less fluff, the better! Revisit the research findings during the pre-launch and stick to what people want to learn in that course. Lastly, keep it entertaining.

Generate Revenue with Sponsored Posts/Reviews

revenue through sponsored posts

Building up your website’s domain authority (DA) opens up opportunities to earn. The website is essentially a rented space to place ads and make brands and companies more visible. This is how a lot of people are blogging for money.

Make Money with WordPress through Sponsored Posts

A sponsored post is a review, special offers summary, announcements, listed reviews, videos, and info-graphics. Brands, companies, and business owners provide these to a website owner to publish on his or her website.

Essentially, the brand will either write the guest post or have the website owner’s resources write it for them. The price for guest posting depends directly on the website’s domain authority. Hence, the higher the website’s ranking in domain authority the higher the price of publishing sponsored posts.

sponsored posts

Here’s how you can improve blog monetization through sponsored posts and generate higher earnings.

Creating a new website will need time as it’s new to the competition ground of advertisement spaces. But keeping a steady pace will eventually lead up to the big win. Since the website is relatively new, it’s domain authority will be lower. But seeking this opportunity, brands and companies can likely use the new website space to advertise for a lower price.

A good starting point for a blogger is getting into creating these sponsored posts. Understanding the working of these posts will help in familiarizing the methods of popularizing brands and ultimately making them trend.

Once you’ve started writing guest posts for companies, brands, and business you already know the inner workings of advertising on websites open to guest posts. This will be a good time to create and monetize your own blog to start selling that space for sponsored posts too.

To do this, the freelance writer will have to buy WordPress hosting and create your webpage. This webpage will be your portfolio in addition to the blog topic the writer is good at writing. An advertising page needs to be set up for brands to know that this website is open for sponsored posts.

freelance writer

The blog helps in building domain authority and building traffic. Posting regularly is essential to building this space and ultimately increase the price of advertising on the website. The important part here is to learn ways of monetizing the advertisement space on the website.

As the frequency of sponsored posts increase, blog monetization needs to be efficient and automated. For instance, using Google’s AdSense is one of the most popular ways to monetize.

Signing up is quick and upon completion of signing up, Google provides a code that the website owner adds to their website’s code. The rest of the operation is mostly automated, including payments. Here’s how the website’s owner makes money with WordPress through the advertising space.

To sell space on a self-owned website there are plenty of avenues to explore. Some of them are more automated, which is why they are popular. For instance, Google AdSense.

Selling Ad Space on the Website

selling ad space on websites

Making money with WordPress is easy, on a blog through the traffic that’s on the website. Advertisers will find the webpage to be an ideal spot to place ads considering their marketing budget. The additional work is to manage the details of selling the ad and collecting payments.
However, the best part here is the flexibility to change the monetization strategy at any time.

Nothing is perfect. There’s always the flip side of the coin. Ads tend to hinder the user experience and user interface. Taking that into account, higher traffic means the website is a sweet spot for ads, which will clutter the user experience. This is one of the main reasons traffic starts to decrease as people like a clean crisp interface without being constantly bombarded with ads.

Google’s AdSense

There are many advantages to opt for Google’s AdSense. Not only is it easy to sign up and implement, but the entire process is also automates advertising space management. The website owner can designate ad spaces on his or her website through Google AdSense to advertise and handle ad placement.

Opting for this method of monetizing a blog has its drawbacks too. It helps in automating the ad space takes away control from the website owner and at some point stand out from the overall website’s theme. Secondly, the website owner will have to share the revenue with Google, which can turn out to be a deal-breaker.

Promoting Affiliate/Self-Owned Products and Services

Promoting affiliate products as a blogger has proven to bore great advantages. It’s easy to set up, as the blogger needs to sign up with the brand’s affiliate program and start promoting the product/service through the link they have provided.

Since affiliate marketing has been around for a while, it’s existence is in almost any niche. Furthermore, there’s also the opportunity to promote a self-owned product/service on the website. This acts as a pilot test to see how the audience reacts to the product with feedback.

blogging

Promoting affiliate products has three main advantages over all other avenues of making money with WordPress. First and foremost, there’s no requirement of monetary investment to start earning as an affiliate. While promoting a brand’s products, there are no commitments to handle customer reviews and customer service responsibilities. To promote an affiliate product, there’s no such need to have a big audience as it already has a target audience to serve.

On the flip side of earning money through this method, there’s no control in closing a sale. Therefore, the earnings depend directly on the closing of sales. When selling affiliate products there’s a lack of control due to interdependencies and the website owner is building a customer list for the brand and not themselves.

However, in the case of promoting self-owned products and services, there can be confusion in drawing the line when deciding what content to sell and use. Furthermore, there’s going to be more competition amongst bloggers who tend to post the same content for free. The biggest challenge is that there’s no guarantee in sales or profits as it’s the website owner’s product.

Blog Monetizing through Premium Membership

A good blog monetization method helps in generating high and recurring income is creating a blog that sells high quality and premium content. The blog visitors who have restricted access, i.e. the paid members can see the entire content.

premium blogs

To set up a blog on the website that has restricted access, it’s important to know the real value of that content. For instance, many websites have market research stats, stock trading insights, and even high-resolution comic books that are behind the VIP access screen. Members that pay a premium, gain access to this information and can use this to gain benefit in their respective fields.

The problem here is setting up this kind of a blog and maintaining it’s exclusivity. Another challenge is to convince visitors to pay the premium and gain access to the complete library. If the convincing is good then it’s a sure-shot long haul to generating high and recurring income.

Blogging for Money by Selling Physical Products to Your Audience

Selling physical products through the website can be very lucrative. Creating and making money with a WordPress powered website using templates from the free online sources list, can be easy to set up. The good thing about selling physical products is the trust customers place on the platform as soon as they receive their desired product.

Say, for instance, a small business owner sells party cakes and confectionery items has decided to set up a website. Adding high-quality images of the cakes is not only attractive to potential customers, but it also makes the product closer to reality.

With the help of certain Woocommerce features (all within WordPress), it is easy to manage the setup. Before long, the business owner can start scaling these orders so long as there’s no compromise on the timely delivery and quality of the product.

To increase visibility, there is always the option of sharing the party cake images on social media. Integrating an affiliate marketing system to the promotion of the product can boost sales by many folds.

blogging for money

After setting up the WordPress website, there are many avenues of marketing that were previously not available. Most importantly, one can integrate a sales funnel with the help of analytical & advertising systems. These systems can also help to see the user’s journey from landing on the website to completing a valuable action or bouncing off. Using data from these analytics helps to understand users that come to the page with the intent of purchasing the product. The only other limitation here is not being able to meet the demand of the product, in terms of orders.

Another example of this is creating a platform to connect shop owners and customers online. Some of the big example here are Ikea, eBay, and Amazon. They function as the online platform to scale sales orders and can also work as a stand-alone platform connecting buyers and sellers.

You can transform your WordPress website into an ecommerce store with WooCommerce. Setting up the WordPress Woocommerce powered website is easy and quick.

Develop Themes and Plugins

It’s possible to make money with WordPress by developing themes on WordPress with the help of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Theme marketplace like ThemeForest is a great place to upload custom themes. Many people also customize existing themes and sell these themes as a service. The latter doesn’t require any coding experience or skills.

Earn at your own pace.

Refer customers and set up your passive income stream

To get more creative, designers can pick any GPL licensed themes from WordPress.org, modify it, rebrand it and sell as their own. There’s also an extensive guide explaining the process of creating a WordPress theme.
Sell Digital Products
Selling digital products is another lucrative venture for people who want to make money with WordPress online by creating their WordPress website(s). There are many advantages of pursuing this venture, three of them namely being scalability, lack of logistical complications and low upfront costs.

Theme & plug-in development

When it comes to selling digital products online, there’s always the option of selling audio files, sample short films, designs, and subject expertise ideas. Another popular example of digital selling products online is apps.

The methodology is the same as selling ebooks, online courses, WordPress design templates, and just about anything under the sun that is in popular demand. Many people also sell console gaming mods by designing avatars of popular celebrities and fan fiction.

Start Video/Audio Podcasts

Many people prefer listening to podcasts during their work or on their way to work. As of August 2019, there are about 700,000 podcasts with at least 29 million episodes available online.

More than half of the population of South Korea listens to podcasts. Additionally, more than a quarter of the population of Spain also listens to podcasts. Since podcasts are a trending topic, it’s a lucrative avenue to set up and generate earnings.

Podcasting

Another reason to create podcast streams on your WordPress website is to stand out in the industry. Blogging for money has been around for a while, chances are that the topic you want to write about is already published on another blog that has more domain authority.This is where starting a podcast can be fruitful.

You require the following equipment to begin;

  • A microphone
  • High-Quality Headphones
  • Audio editing software and a website to upload these podcast episodes on.
  • A video calling software for interviews

As you create more videos, you’ll start building your audience. Embedding the video on your website will help direct traffic to the designated page on the website. Furthermore, monetizing a blog podcasts as similar to generating money through ebooks, online courses, and physical products.

The user can have the opportunity to download the podcast and access it directly from his or her smartphone, laptop or tablet. A more popular option is to place these recordings on the cloud and provide paid members access for a monthly fee.

WordPress Maintenance Services

After acquiring adequate experience of working with WordPress, many people tend to provide their services online to help other website owners manage WordPress applications. These services have a price tag depending on the level of expert knowledge of the managing developer.

So, there’s always an avenue of building up expertise in a specific subject and providing services to help resolve WordPress centric problems. Some help occurs remotely, while in other cases there’s the requirement of providing controlled access of the application panel. Businesses, like WP Buffs, are providing professional WordPress maintenance services and this is a profitable niche to target in order to start making money with WordPress.

Another example is of Sentree – a WordPress Support and Maintenance Agency. The founder of Sentree, Carl Nasal when he saw an increase in demand for WordPress maintenance service he immediately started his business around it managed to grow his businesses because of good demand. Also, on top of WordPress services he also decided to resell hosting to his agency’s clients by using Cloudways.

Sentree WordPress Maintenance Services

Hope you enjoyed our article! If you’d like to add another idea about making money with WordPress, feel free to connect with us via the comments section below!

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Abdullah Asim

Abdullah is a Digital Marketing Executive at Cloudways. He is passionate about digital marketing and managing affiliate partnerships in the digital space. Marketeer at heart, he loves to discuss Video Games, movies and shows. His favorite TV show: ‘Friends’.

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