14 Ways To Make Money From A WordPress Blog
There are millions of blogs out there on the web and yet a majority of blogs out there won’t make anything like a part-time income, let alone a full time income.
The number of blogs in existence is growing year-on-year… But every year, millions of blogs will also be abandoned – left to gradually disappear off the face of the internet.
In fact, according to a post on bloggingthing.com, (45-mindblowing statistics on blogging) 81% of bloggers never even make $100 from their blog! Which is a pretty sad statistic. Don’t let that be you!
It’s worth taking that statistic with a pinch of salt though; because it’s derived from a survey conducted in 2012 – a survey of 1000 bloggers. Without a doubt, that statistic is now incorrect.
I imagine a lot more bloggers do make something from their blog now, because there is so much more information readily available. But no similar survey has since been conducted, to my knowledge, (get in touch if you do know that information!)
You also have to consider that, out of all the people that start a blog – a majority aren’t really all that committed to it anyway.
I first started a few blogs WAY back when blogging wasn’t even a thing yet and every time, I just got bored and gave up.
This was before I had any idea of the potential to make money from a blog though. I sometimes think back and wonder – what if I had just stuck with it all the way back then!
But even if you have the knowledge that you could make money from your blog; there is a lot of dedication, motivation and self-discipline that has to go into continuously working on your blog, overcoming obstacles, self-doubt and various bumps in the road.
Sometimes the belief that your blog COULD potentially make money, just isn’t enough for most people to continue. Plus there is very often a technical barrier, or a knowledge barrier of some sort, that stops people.
Maybe we don’t know how to set up WordPress and it just prevents us from starting at all. Maybe the concept of SEO is just too scary and we don’t even look into it. Maybe the thought of potentially reaching thousands of people just freaks us out.
There are lots of aspects that can be overwhelming, (especially with so much conflicting info on the web). Additionally, many people also don’t want to invest in courses or programs, because they’re just unsure they will be worth it.
With all these potential hurdles, it’s no wonder that many people fail to make money.
So, today I’m going to looking into legit ways you can make money with a WordPress Website or Blog. Perhaps it will inspire you to finally get that WordPress blog set up.
If you already have a WordPress blog… maybe there are some other ways you could make money from it, that you just hadn’t considered.
So, Why WordPress?
I ONLY use WordPress for all my websites and here is why…
- When I first started I had no technical knowledge and WordPress is SO simple to install and set up.
- You are also able to customize it in so many ways through hundreds of potential plugins and themes. There are so many paid and free themes available, which you can install with a few clicks.
- A majority of hosting platforms will have WordPress as an option and there should be straight forward installation instructions.
- If you need support, finding it is easy and there are so many online tutorials regarding WordPress and if you want to customize your theme personally, you will easily find help and tutorials on that as well. WordPress beginner is an excellent resource to anyone starting out.
Did I mention it’s easy? A small child could set up their own word press site, it’s that user-friendly.
While you can start out with a free theme, I strongly recommend you do purchase a premium theme and do not wait forever like I did.
They are look so much more professional, so many more features and more ability to add your own personal touches, there are more updates and you can access far more support.
In addition, you can often find ways of customizing your premium themes online via places like YouTube – especially if you’re using a popular theme.
I personally use the Genesis framework for all my websites, check out 3 simple-to-use Genesis themes here.
Lastly, while you can start with a free word press theme, I highly recommend you have a domain that you own – pretty quickly, if not from the beginning.
Ultimately, you want to have complete control and ownership of your own website and its contents.
Without further ado now, let’s get on with this list!
1. Affiliate Marketing:
Affiliate marketing is one of the most well known ways to make money from a blog or website.
You sign up to an affiliate program and are then able to promote products and services related to that program, by inserting special affiliate tracking links into your content.
When a person clicks on your link to another website and makes a purchase, you will earn a commission. The amount that you earn can vary to the extreme and will depend on the affiliate program, always check their T&Cs;.
Some related affiliate marketing posts that can help:
- What is affiliate marketing about.
- 4 Affiliate networks that use.
- How to make your first affiliate sale.
- Affiliate marketing pros vs cons.
- How long does it take to make money affiliate marketing.
Some affiliate programs even have easy-to-use plugins that turn all your regular links into affiliate links for you! That means, you simply have to use regular links in your post and the plugin will transform your links.
I input all my own affiliate links for this website manually, but on another site I have use a lot of affiliate programs on the AWIN affiliate network and they have a convert-a-link plugin that makes things so much easier.
For beginners, I recommend signing up with the Amazon affiliate program, because it’s such an easy-to-use platform and they’re such a hugely well known company; that people trust it and do not have any trust issues with regard to purchasing from them.
Sending people to websites or products that they aren’t already familiar with is a lot harder and you’ll need to build a relationship with people first and build trust before they’re likely to buy anything from you.
One way you can build trust over time, is through building an email list.
2. Displaying Ads On Your Website:
A popular way to make money from your website, is from setting up display ads. Such as, Google Adsense.
This is where Ads are placed on your site and you will get a commission every time someone clicks on one of your ads.
Google adsense now also has made it far simpler, by adding an automated ad feature. You used to have to input all the ads yourself, using HTML code they provided.
This made it a pretty tiresome task, especially if you had to go over potentially hundreds of old posts.
Setting up Google auto ads is pretty simple to do and you can get info on how to set up automatic ads here.
Unfortunately, some definite tweaking needs to be done. I decided to add it to one of my sites and on a fairly short post, (around 1000 words) they placed SIX ADS!
To me, this is just too much and looked really unpleasant to anyone trying to read. It just looked confusing and all the Ads appeared to be identical.
To make matters worse, I noticed a steady decline in my affiliate commissions while I had this set up. I decided that it just wasn’t worth it for the amount I was making and took them down.
In any case – many people will claim that adsense is a good way to make money if you’re just starting out. I completely disagree with this statement, (unless you’re happy earning a few cents a week).
You need TRAFFIC and lots of it to make any decent money from Google Adsense. Affiliate marketing is a far better way to make money for beginners, because you don’t need tonnes of traffic to make your first sale.
I must have only had 30 visits per day or less when I made my first sale on my first website.
You won’t make much from that either initially, but at least it’s more than Google Adsense.
Other Ad Networks:
While Google adsense may be one of the most well known, it isn’t the only Ad network available and some of them pay far more too.
The networks that pay more also require you to have more traffic too though.
Monumetric – minimum 10k page views a month. You need to pay a $99 set up fee is you have less than 80,000 page views per month, after this it’s free. The fee also includes membership to their build a blog network training.
Mediavine – Requires a minimum of 25k sessions per month, (not to be confused with page views).
3. Sponsored Posts/Reviews:
Another common way that people make money from their websites is by writing sponsored posts.
Once you have traffic, you may sometimes get companies contact you directly and offer to pay you to write a review of their product or service.
But if you want to get more opportunities like this, you are going to need to do some hustling of your own. Depending on your niche, you may also get the product to trial out so that you can write your review.
This is when another perk of blogging comes in, as you can get some cool freebies.
Before you go down that road, it’s a good idea to put together a document outlining everything you have to offer. For example…
- Your traffic info.
- How many people on your email list.
- Audience demographics, (what percentage of your audience is USA, or UK, for example).
- Anything else you can think of that will help you stand out from the crowd!
You can then approach companies to discuss the details of your sponsored post. You will need to make sure you disclose whenever a post is sponsored, by mentioning that you have been compensated at the top of the post.
If your anything like me and hate the idea of self-promotion and reaching out to companies, then you could struggle with this aspect at first.
But you have to remember that the worst thing that could happen is, they say no. You’re going to be rejected sometimes and that’s OK! Dust yourself off and approach someone else.
There are some websites that can help you connect to paid sponsorship deals:
This may not seem an obvious option, but YouTube can be a great way to drive traffic to your WordPress site and can be an income stream all on its own.
YouTube is far less competitive than regular blogging, because far less people are willing to put videos up and many people just don’t want to be on camera, (or even have their voice recorded).
But if you can overcome that, YouTube is definitely worth using as an additional tool to drive traffic & make money.
YouTube is now treated much like a search engine these days and people search YouTube in the same way they search on Google.
If you can target these search terms and get your video on the first page of the results, you could potentially be bringing in thousands of more visitors to your site.
5. Sell Ebooks On Your Website:
Ebooks are a great digital product to first sell on your website as they’re much easier to produce than something like an entire course and it can be set up pretty easily.
Furthermore, you could also sell your Ebook on other platforms, such as Amazon. You’re allowed to add links in your Ebooks on Amazon, (not affiliate links) so linking directly to your website is completely fine and additional way you can drive new traffic to your blog.
You can easily sell an Ebook on your site by downloading a plugin such as; Easy digital downloads.
6. Sell Your Website, On Flippa:
Some people aren’t aware just how much their website could be worth.
You could make 24 x the monthly revenue, or even more in some cases. So, if your website is making $500 consistently every month, you may be able to sell it for $12,000+
If you manage to crank out websites that are profitable, you could really make a healthy income from it and many people do just that.
Some people also buy word press sites that are under performing. They tweak the websites so that they start bringing in money and then sell them on.
So, perhaps you can see great potential in a site making only $20 a month. You buy it and bring that income up to $500 a month and sell it for a massive profit.
One commonly used website well known for buying and selling websites is FLIPPA.
7. Selling Physical Products:
You could start an E-commerce business and thankfully, it’s never been easier to get started.
However, with physical products, you will have to put in a lot of the work yourself – such as the customer service, buying and holding inventory and shipping the products.
That’s why I personally prefer the more hands off approach that comes with affiliate marketing, or selling digital products.
That being said, an alternative to both is drop shipping.
It’s possible for you to be able to sell physical products, but have a third party do the handling and shipping. This means you won’t even need to hold any of the stock yourself and it takes away a lot of the hassle of traditional direct selling.
Woo Commerce also has a drop shipping add-on that you can checkout here.
8. Sell A Course Online:
Once you’ve established a bit of a fan base, you may consider creating an online course.
While an ebook may be a simple thing to put together, you can charge much more for a course and therefore, there is more profit potential.
9. Sell Services Online:
You can have a “hire me,” page where potential employers can get in touch.
This might be writing services, graphic design work, social media management, word press set up/design/customization, SEO services, coaching….
Whatever your expertise is, there is no doubt some service that you could potentially offer.
You don’t just have to rely on people coming to you though. If you have a website in a certain niche and skills to offer other sites or companies, then you can contact them directly.
Another great thing about having a website is that you can quickly provide people evidence of your skill set, just by sharing your URL.
10. Create Your Own Digital Products:
This is going to be a tricky option if you have zero experience, but there are courses online that can help you create your own digital products.
You can then sell them directly on your site, or on external sites such as Clickbank or JVZoo…(which have the added benefit of having plenty of affiliates seeking out products to promote).
Your website can serve as a platform to promote your digital product too. If you write targeted articles related to your digital product, you can then link to your sales page within your posts.
You can also build a relevant email list, filled with people that would be interested in purchasing your product and similar products like it in the future!
11. Sell Ad Space:
We already talked about having Ads on your website. But this way you actually connect directly with companies who may want to have a designated spot on your site to advertise.
How much you could earn from this will depend on various factors – such as how much traffic you have, the demographics of your visitors and simply how much a company is prepared to spend.
However, some websites will be making thousands of dollars a month selling Ad space on their sites.
You could check out buysellads.com if you’re interested in doing this.
12. Email Marketing:
I’ve already touched on building an email list. But for some websites, their email list equates to a majority of their online income!
To get the most sign ups, you will want to offer some sort of incentive for people to join. It could be an ebook, a mini course, a blueprint… something that your readers will benefit from.
Once you have an email, you use an email autoresponder to send a series of emails to your reader and build a relationship.
13. Help Local Businesses
Some people make a great living online from helping local business build their online presence. Take a look around your local town at the businesses and try to look them up.
So many don’t even have their own website. Plenty of them may do, but have no about SEO and how they can be found in the search engines.
You could offer your services as far as both creating and managing their website online.
Alternatively, you could offer to create blog posts for them, that are related to their particular field and rank those posts highly in the search engines, so that their business is found.
Of course, in addition to potentially creating websites, you will want one yourself that you can show clients.
This should demonstrate how you can rank posts highly in Google and how you can create a decent looking website. It would be good if you could show some proof of how much traffic you’re generating and how you could help them attract customers.
14. Ask For Donations
Some websites simply have a little donation button on their site. They may say something like, “add to my beer fund.” Or, “buy me a coffee?”
I always wondered if these pleas for cash actually worked?
According Ramsay, of Blog Tyrant, they have worked quite well for some bloggers. But only in certain circumstances and the buttons are so overused now that their effectiveness in generally poor.
Surely most people just blank out these things, or are even annoyed by their mere presence in some cases?
My advice would be… That it’s far better to provide something of value if you want to get something in return. Not just ask for freebies.
There could be exceptions though. Perhaps you really need donations towards something important in your life. If people can relate to that then you may have a stronger chance of making some donations.
Whatever your motivation – a popular plugin for this is the PayPal donation plugin.
Now, it’s your turn!
I’ve really only scratched the surface here, as there are just so many ways that having your own website can help to make you money in the long term.
The most important part, is getting started at all!
If you’re feeling nervous about it, I felt the same way before I created my first site.
If you’d like a bit of guidance, this is where I got started and I highly recommend it.
All the best.