Are you looking for additional ways to earn money with your WordPress site that are not “get-rich-quickly” schemes ? WordPress is the most popular CMS and the biggest publishing stage with more than 30% of the entire internet running on the platform.
So, even if you still don’t own a business, you can still earn money through blogging with WordPress. There’s virtually an unlimited number of ideas that you can implement to increase your revenue on your WordPress site. In this article, we’ll share some of the most ingenious ways that you can use your beloved CMS to obtain a bigger profit from it.
1. Monetize Your Blog
Advertising is one of the best ways to monetize your WordPress blog. Earning money through your blog is achievable, and here are some of the best approaches to achieving it:
Affiliate (Referral) Marketing
You can recommend a product/service to your readers and make use of tracking links, and obtain a referral fee every time someone purchases directly from your link.
Think about what your prospects are interested in and the products that they would want to use. After that, you can do some research if an affiliate program for the specific product exists. One of the most convenient and the most accepted ways to get started with an affiliate program is Amazon. For more info, read the support documentation that includes precise directions for adding Amazon Affiliate links to your WordPress content.
Nevertheless, when you decide which product/service you’re going to promote in your blog, you’ll need tools that will help you manage your affiliate links, such as:
- ThirstyAffiliates: ThirstyAffiliates is a WordPress affiliate link management plugin that allows you to to add, manage, and easily insert affiliate links into your post and pages.
- AdSanity: AdSanity works by allowing you to create ads as custom post types, and displays them on your site using a widget or shortcode.
- OptinMonster: OptinMonster is a powerful drag & drop builder which allows you to create visually stunning optin forms that are optimized for the highest conversion rates.
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics helps you make decisions that are based on data. You can use the data to justify spending more on your advertising, discover where you should be advertising, and even determine what types of content you need to be putting out there.
- Google Webmaster Tools: The information from GWT helps you understand how paid text ads and organic search results work together to help you reach the people searching online.
Another good way to monetize your WordPress blog is by using Google AdSense. It is an advertising network run by Google, which allows you to boost your revenue by showing text, images, videos, and other types of interactive content.
Running Google AdSense on your website is easy, considering the fact that Google supervises the relationships with the ad buyers. They collect the payments, take their management fee, and send you the rest.
Google AdSense allows you to run PPC (Pay-per-click), which means that you’ll earn money when a user clicks on one of the ads, and advertisers will be only charged when someone clicks the ad as well.
All things considered, this is a good way to earn passive income. If you want to learn how to set it up properly on your WordPress site, see this video from WpBeginner:
Selling Ads Through Plugins
You can also use a plugin to sell ad space on your WordPress website. The difference between this and AdSense is that you get to negotiate the price of the ad, and you collect all the money. It is a simple way to place ads on your site without having to deal with shortcodes and widgets.
We recommend the following ad management plugins for your site:
Sponsored Blog Posts
A good alternative way to monetize your blog is through sponsored blog posts. WordPress sponsored posts are any type of content that promotes a specific product or service.
Having this type of content on your blog often results in some sort of reimbursement for you or your company. Take into account that WordPress does not allow sites where there’s too much sponsored content. Additionally, a sponsored post cannot include any type of content that violates the Terms of Service.
A good example of a WordPress website that uses advertising as an additional revenue method is Variety Magazine. They have a niche movie audience, and place their movie/series ads carefully in the sidebar of the site.
2. Develop a Paid Membership Site
If you’re not into advertising and PPC, there are a whole lot of different ways to earn money with your WordPress site, including the development of a paid membership service.
You may have lots of devoted readers and customers that enjoy your content, some of whom may pay to learn more. If you continuously create premium content that these users can subscribe to and read, a membership site can be an extremely lucrative move for you.
A good example of a paid membership website built with WordPress is SkillCrush, where you can learn valuable coding and design skills with 3-month or one lifetime payment.
3. Build a Directory Website
A directory website is an collection of links that are split into topics, categories, and interest fields. These websites can cover a specific or a wide variety of niches, and, they can be an excellent source of income. Here are some ways to monetize a directory website:
- Paid Listings: Charging for submitting businesses to your directory is a good way to monetize a directory. You can present several pricing plans, and each of those plans should have its own perks.
- Featured Listings: Paid listings can be extended by providing businesses with a special place on your website that draws more attention from the audience.
- Membership Payments: Instead of charging businesses only for the listing, you can suggest to them an annual or monthly fee to place all of their listings on your website.
- Advertisements: In your offer, you can also include ad space, banners, text, and video ads on your website.
There’s virtually no limit when it comes to web directory ideas. Here are a few types of web directories that you can build with WordPress:
- Website Directories: This is a directory consisting of various types of blogs, academic/educational websites, etc.
- Business Directories: With this directory, you can focus on a specific, or multiple industries locally, or globally.
- Coupon Directories: These directories are popular among consumers because they often include store discount coupons, daily deals, and price comparisons.
- Dealerships: If you have a car dealership, it’s a good idea to create a directory of your entire vehicle inventory so your potential buyers can easily find their new car.
- Job Boards: You can develop a job board for your local area, country, for global purposes, or for a specific industry.
Regardless of the type of web directory that you build, there are some important aspects that you need to pay attention to:
Focus on quality instead of quantity. Your listing will be far more visited if you include nothing but the top businesses in the specific niche. Take into account that people visit directories to find something of quality.
A web directory should have lots of data and information, and this is why the functionality of your search filters should be on point, so visitors can find what they’re looking for in a flash.
It’s always a good idea to include a proper submission form so any business that is interested in being listed in your directory can apply for it directly. This reduces your workload, and it’s an excellent idea if you don’t want to give WordPress admin access to everyone.
WordPress provides you with several options for developing a web directory, including specific themes and plugins. However, using a special directory theme will limit you to the options of that theme. This is why it’s a good idea to start with tools and plugins, such as Business Directory and Gravity Forms.
An example of a directory website built with WordPress is CollegeChoice! In essence, it’s an easy way for parents and future students to pick the right college where they can continue their education.
4. Offer Digital Products
One of the cleverest ways to earn money with your WordPress website is to sell digital goods. Why is that?
Well, in contrast with selling physical products, when you sell digital ones, there’s no inventory or product shipping expenses involved. All you have to do is develop your digital products in the form of software, ebook, audio file, theme, a plugin, and so on.
A popular method for selling digital products on a WordPress is to use the Easy Digital Downloads Plugin.
It is an eCommerce plugin that is niched out for digital product sales. The plugin is really simple to use. You just need to create your digital products, add your payment details, and just like with WooCommerce, you can use all of the extensions that the plugin provides, such as:
- Software Licensing: This is a comprehensive solution that can help you sell software license keys.
- Recurring Payments: With this extension, you can allow store owners to sell recurring subscriptions for their digital products.
- Frontend Submissions: This extension can turn your store into a fully-equipped multi-vendor marketplace.
- Commissions: This extension enables store owners to easily track earnings and user commissions when the sale is made.
- Free Downloads: With this extension, free products can be purchased much more easily by bypassing the standard checkout process.
- Zapier: This presents a powerful way to integrate your EDD store with services such as Dropbox, Google Docs, Mailchimp, etc.
- Reviews: The extension provides fast way for customers to leave reviews and feedback on the products they have purchased.
- Recommended Products: With this extension, you can increase revenue by showing customers recommendations on additional products to purchase based on real sales data.
- Content Restriction: This extension allows you to forbid access to page content that is intended for paying customers.
Easy Digital Downloads also has an excellent and engaged community, with a variety of support sources available:
- A support forum
- Detailed documentation
- A free basic support package, and $129 per year priority support package.
A good example of WordPress website that sells digital products with the power of the EDD plugin Grainzilla, a company that sells gorgeous stock videos.
5. Launch an eCommerce Business
Unquestionably, WordPress is a sturdy groundwork for starting an eCommerce business, however, as a CMS alone, it won’t function properly as an online store unless but you add the required functionalities. Luckily, there’s also a plugin for that called WooCommerce.
The plugin has more than a million active installs, and with that, it effectively covers more than a third of the entire eCommerce marketplace.
WooCommerce has an abundance of features, and together with its own plugin system, it is a highly customizable tool which provides you with total control of your online store. It offers product variations, different payment gateways, and shipping options. Additionally, WooCommerce is developer-friendly and integrates well with the WordPress core.
A creative way to use WooCommerce is to open a Dropshipping business, where you won’t have to handle product inventory and the shipping process. You just need to create your store, manage your website, and provide customer service for the buyers. The dropshipping service will handle the product order and the shipping, and you’ll act only as a mediator for the deal.
To learn how to easily launch a WooCommerce store in 5 steps, read our guide here.
Additionally, you can extend the functionalities on your WooCommerce business with a plethora of useful plugins, among which:
- YITH WooCommerce Wishlist: With YITH WooCommerce Wishlist you can include a link in each product page, for the purpose of adding products on a wishlist page.
- WooCommerce Multilingual: With this plugin, you can run a completely multilingual e-commerce site using WooCommerce and WPML.
- WooCommerce Products Slider: This is a beautiful carousel slider that you can use to present your WooCommerce product.
- WooCommerce Customizer: With this plugin, you’ll get a page where you can customize and save settings them without needing to write any code or modify templates.
- WooCommerce EU VAT Compliance: This WooCommerce plugin helps you to get your WooCommerce site EU VAT compliant.
- Order Delivery Date for WooCommerce: The plugin enhances your customer service by delivering orders on the customer’s specific date.
- WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips: An WooCommerce extension that adds a PDF invoice automatically to the order confirmation emails.
- YITH WooCommerce Compare: An extension that allows the users to compare some products of your shop.
- YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search: The plugin generates a simple search box that shows instant search results and suggests products from your WooCommerce store that match the user’s individual search criteria.
- MailChimp for WooCommerce: With this WooCommerce integration, you can send targeted campaigns, follow up with customers, recommend products, recover abandoned carts, and measure the ROI of your campaigns.
- WooCommerce Checkout Field Editor: Checkout Field Editor for WooCommerce plugin provides an easy way to customise (add, edit, delete and change display order) your fields displayed on WooCommerce checkout page.
- WooCommerce Gift Cards: With YITH WooCommerce Gift Cards you can provide gift cards for any amount to your customers.
Here’s just a glimpse of what a WordPress eCommerce site powered by WooCommerce looks like:
Wrapping It Up
As you can see, the world of WordPress is generous towards its user base, and with the business possibilities that it offers. We hope that we’ve been more than helpful in the process of figuring out how to earn more money with your WordPress website. Take a closer look at each of our suggestions above, and you’ll see that there are even more ideas that you can take from each of the monetization methods above.