Make money blogging on WordPress (A guide)

earn from wordpress

WordPress is one of the best platforms to broadcast your writing skills, provide resources and services to your users, and of course, MAKE MONEY!

WordPress powers about 35% of the websites around the globe. This Content Management System has millions of users because of the total customization it provides. And apparently, making money from it is easier than you could possibly imagine.

Making money online is a common thing now, at least in 2020 with different blogging platforms and video-making sites like YouTube.

Boiling down the whole process, all you have to do is to put content on your website, grow an audience, and monetize it.

After you start a website, there’s a lot more you can do to it. Right from setting it up for providing different services to enabling ads and making money, everything is possible.

In this post, I would be mentioning some of the best (and easiest ways) to make money from WordPress.

Before we begin, let’s state the obvious – These aren’t any ‘get rich quick’ schemes that I am sharing. This is an extensive guide to earn money from WordPress the way it’s meant to, legitimately. 

I would be explaining more as we go further as to how important of role credibility and authenticity play in the money-making process on WordPress or any other platform for a fact.

Earn Money from WordPress: Monetize Your Blog

Displaying ads on your site is one of the best and most common methods to make money on WordPress. Site owners partner up with programs and start displaying ads from their agencies.

There are different ways to monetize your blog. Some of the most common methods are:

AdSense

This ad service from Google itself is the most common method to make money from your WordPress blog. 

You can find these ads on almost every other site and the fact that it’s widely used makes it more interesting.

adsense ads on the guardian

google ads on the guardian

 

Google ads are popular to earn money over other sorts of monetization techniques. Why?

It is the perfect option for you if you are a beginner and want to make money quickly without having to worry about targeting different kinds of audiences.

Google pays out based on Cost-per-click (CPC). This means that when a reader clicks on the ad and goes to the advertiser’s website, a certain portion of the money is given to you. 

Now, this may vary depending on the country you are in or the CPC of a particular keyword. 

When you are accepted into Google Adsense, you are handed out the script that you can display in your site, and that’s literally it. Your readers would be provided with personalized ad suggestions which makes these ads more clickable.

Even though Adsense doesn’t pay much as compared to other means of income, it still is the easiest option for bloggers to make money quickly. 

Takeaway

When applying for an AdSense account, your website is heavily scrutinized and almost every aspect is considered. This includes the amount of content you have written so far, the sources of traffic you have, the design and responsiveness of your website, and so on. I mean there’s a whole bunch of policies you have to adhere to when applying for AdSense.

However, one thing I found is that if you handle your website’s On-Page SEO well, write out-of-the-box quality content and ensure you have a responsive website, you might find yourself enrolled for the program much easier.

The thing I loved about AdSense is the ‘Auto Ads’ feature.

adsense auto ads

This feature is something you can’t find in other ad platforms. With the Auto Ads feature, the ads are automatically adjusted to the layout of your site. This could be seen even better in responsive WordPress sites. 

Go ahead and experiment with different kinds of ads. AdSense is a great platform to try new things out with your ads.

 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is a very well known method of earning online from different kinds of platforms.

Commonly, affiliate marketing involves you to share a particular product or service from a different business altogether. You can sign up with networks, add affiliate products/links to your videos, content, or any content distribution network, and start earning money.

Here’s a common example of an affiliate link:

affiliate links between a post

Literally, even a beginner who has just launched a site can become an affiliate and start making money. But there’s a catch!

Affiliate marketing takes time and needs patience. 

While advertising is a common approach for less audience, affiliate marketing needs you to build credibility before you can start sharing links with your audience.

As you sign up for a program, you are giving a link with a tracking ID. It becomes your responsibility as a content creator to push that link towards your audience.

Notice how I said ‘audience’?

Bloggers and content creators fail left and right at affiliate marketing. 

When you promote a product or service on your newly made site, there’s barely a chance that a reader is going to purchase it, or even click on it as a matter of fact. For the user, the product you are promoting is as new as your site itself.

If you start off with affiliate marketing even when they don’t have recurring readers, you are not likely to receive any commissions as nobody is clicking on those links or buying those products.

Takeaway

When starting affiliate marketing, go off slow. When I said it’s a process that takes time, I meant it!

Work on building an audience, a reader base that loves to click on your links.

After you have a sizable community that you can call your reader base, it’s a great time to start affiliate marketing. You can sign up with different networks that are looking for affiliates and promote credible, legitimate products that your audience is going to love to purchase. 

If you want a happy customer from your sale, you are going to provide such products that are relevant to your site, relevant to what they are looking for.

Also, since you are posting affiliate links, you might want to disclose it to your audience as well. This doesn’t come from me personally. Instead, it comes from the  Federal Trade Commission (FTC) directly. 

 

Sell Sponsored Posts

If your ad placement isn’t right or you use way too many ads on your website, obviously it’s going to lead to negative user experience. Readers get frustrated when ads or pushed to their faces or interrupt their reading.

OR, a lot of readers could use ad blockers that could cause a potential effect on your earnings.

In both of these scenarios, ads might not be the right option.

Here comes the new plan into the picture – sponsored posts.

When you build enough credibility and have a good number of readers, companies are definitely going to approach you in order to promote their products or site.

Now when we talk about sponsored posts, keep a note of this – The more readers your blog has, the more sponsors are going to pay you.

When you have a huge audience, you are likely to reach a vast majority of people from a single post. This is a significant factor when it comes to payments because you don’t want to jeopardize your hard work for low costs. This means, when you have enough users of your site, a single sponsored post is going to earn you a lot more than any ad networks or whatsoever.

For getting sponsors, I always suggest you keep a page designated for sponsors in your WordPress blog. On that page, you can mention how your site has done in the past year, show detailed stats of how many readers you have, your social numbers and testimonials. This helps a sponsor understand if he’s investing his money at the right place or not. And if he likes the first experience, he’s likely to come back.

However, there are two key elements that I recommend you take care of:

  • Don’t sell a lot of sponsored posts, because the more you do it, the more your site is going to become about promoting other brands rather than focusing on your own brand-building. Your readers are not very likely to be interested in such posts if it becomes frequent.
  • When selling sponsored posts, you also have to determine the disclosure of sponsored posts in your area. By the FTC’s Endorsement Guidelines, a lot of sponsored posts now already mention that a particular post is sponsored. Confirm if the same laws apply in your areas as well.

 

Earn money from WordPress: Sell Services

Ads and affiliate marketing are just a part of your website. There is a lot more you can do and offer on your sites for earning money and actually be dependent on these sources. Let’s see what they are.

 

Have a Paid Membership website

While I have mostly seen news sites and magazines do it, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a paid membership website.

Websites like the Wall Street Journal have a paid membership where you pay money every month to read their articles. This is common in a lot of sites and magazines.

paid membership on wsj

When going for a paid membership, you actually have to work a lot before you actually make this decision.

Having a membership site is actually beneficial as your members pay you every month.

If you are done with placing ads or want to have a steady (and a growing) reader base, a paid membership is always one of the best ideas.

However, for starting paid membership, you actually need a LOT of time and patience. 

When you aim at paid memberships, you actually need to have such an audience who is going to willingly partake in your subscriptions. 

Unless you have a lot of people working with you that create enough content to make readers come back to your site, paid membership could be hard to maintain.

And if you can’t commit to that, you can rely on discussion forms and charge membership fees there.

If the content on your website is mediocre and offers very less value, there’s no point in keeping a paid membership. 

The hardest part? Giving them a reason to pay!

As you decide to start a paid membership on your site, you also need to provide certain services to your audience that you promised them while they were subscribing to you.

Paid memberships are actually a good resort if you want to dedicate yourself to content creation or video making and be paid by the members who subscribe to you. 

However, take note of the fact that your readers aren’t going to be subscribed forever. They are going to stop the subscription at some point in time.

Try diversifying your content and focus on making what you love rather than changing your style of content creation every now and then. If your content is worthwhile, members and subscriptions are going to pour in sooner or later.

Sell Digital Products

The best part of owning a website is that you can diversify it with time. This includes changing your content style, featuring new creators, and selling products that you made yourself.

Almost every WordPress user that manages to make it big starts selling a product or service on his/her site. And to be honest, it’s one of the best strategies to make some extra money from your website.

I have seen a lot of website owners and fellow bloggers sell something that they made themselves. This includes the sale of audiobooks, advertising space, plugins, themes, templates, and a lot more.

Harsh Agrawal, the founder of Shoutmeloud sells his Affiliate Marketing guide on his site and has also pushed it for sale on Amazon.

Neil Patel, one of the top marketers of our time created UberSuggest, one of the best tools for bloggers and website owners to grow exponentially.

These are just a few of many examples of what you can do on your site. 

When you are going out there to sell, make sure it’s authentic, it comes from you and that it actually helps the people who purchase it. Don’t put out products just for the sake of it.

 

Start Consultation

Consultation is another pretty common source of earning for most of the website owners. 

A lot of website owners and bloggers who gain expertise in their field with time start their own consultation business.

These consultation businesses are a great idea when you want to educate others about the same knowledge you have. Rather than selling products, you are selling advice and suggestions to the ones who need it while earning from it at the same time.

You are going to find consultants in almost every niche. And whenever you are looking for consultants, ensure that their services are credible by checking the feedback from previous users.

You don’t have a big professional website to start your consulting business. You can just design your homepage in such a way that it lets people know what you do.

Or, you can even dedicate a single page of your blog to it and that’s it!

Talking about the fees of the consulting, you can decide that on your own. Depending on the time involved and how many customers you have in the pipeline, you can decide your own costs. Though I suggest that you keep the prices reasonable and at least have a basic package that an average customer could afford.

 

Sell WordPress Themes

Yes, you can even sell your own WordPress themes, but you need to have one before you start selling one.

What I mean is that the basic templates or themes that you could download or purchase from the internet, you can’t sell them because they don’t belong to you. 

However, if you are paying a developer (or doing it on your own) to design a customized theme for your website, chances are you can put it for sale as well.

Let me explain a bit.

When a website reaches a certain stage of fame that it needs customized elements that most of the themes can’t provide, it can start developing a theme of its own with all the required elements needed and eliminating the ones that aren’t needed.

Such websites are heavily customized and offer a better user experience over common-themed websites because only the necessary elements are available.

And suppose, you developed a theme of your own. Now, you have the ability to sell it as well. That’s right! After designing a specific theme, you own its rights. That means you can do whatever you want with it, even sell it.

Neil Patel has his own design. And so do a lot of other websites.

 

Start e-commerce

E-commerce is one of the best options for you if you want to make some serious money from your websites. As hectic as it is, it sure is a bulletproof method to earn money online.

If you have your own products and want to sell them on your own website, then you can start an e-commerce business on your own site. And yes, you can do it on WordPress as well. The WooCommerce plugin for WordPress allows you to develop an online store within no time. 

However, as easy as it sounds, there’s a whole lot of dedication and commitment involved when it comes to selling products online.

Not only do you have to ship out products yourself, but you also need to ensure the following elements are taken proper care of:

  • A secure payment gateway (like RazorPay).
  • Accepting different payment methods.
  • Having a customer support helpline.
  • Keeping a customer helpline available 24 x 7.
  • Restocking products as soon as products are sold.

 

For having an effective e-commerce website and abundant sales, try providing discounts at certain events of the year. Try to provide additional discounts to recurring customers and slash prices on coupon codes. This always helps in selling more products.

 

Earn money from WordPress: Personal Services

Since WordPress is a diverse platform, you can also sell personal services and products that revolve around your website and your content specifically.

Let me tell you more about them.

 

Offer Freelance Services

When you own a website and have appealing content, you are automatically suggesting to your readers, competitors, and even businesses that you have a good hold in the niche your website is directed to and that you know a lot more.

This interests the parties that are aligned with the same niche and you could get an invite to offer your services to them.

When you start writing FOR them as well, you get a particular amount of money (that you agreed upon). This is called freelancing and is one of the most common methods to earn money online.

Freelancing is the best option because there are no investments or hidden costs involved. You just have to provide your services and collect the cost. That’s it.

It is one of the best methods to earn some extra money or even help any fellow bloggers out with their content.

And in case you are finding it hard to find clients to offer freelance services, you can try offering your services on some of the best micro job sites.

I have made a whole guide over the best micro jobs sites, in case you want to check that out as well.

 

Sell eBooks

eBooks are one of the best examples of digital products. And one of the best ways to earn money from your blog.

Almost every website has an eBook of its own that’s curated for its audience in such a way that it actually provides value to them.

If you have been blogging for a while, you can make your very own eBook and sell it to your readers.

When it comes to making an effective eBook, I recommend you consider the following things:

  • Provide such information and content that isn’t available on your website. 
  • Don’t make it a combination of different blog posts from your website that the readers could have accessed for free.
  • Collect viable information from sources that you can put as references and mention where you collected that information from.
  • Curate it in such a way that a reader gets almost all the information about that particular topic. Provide as much information as possible.
  • Write it in such a way that it stays evergreen for a long time and could be informative for everybody, even the people who don’t know about your blog.
  • Have it reviewed by professionals for any suggestions or errors that you could possibly avoid.

 

Sell Merch

Who said only YouTubers could have merch? If you have a good reader base who loves your content, you could also try your hands at merch. It is one of the best solutions to earn money while providing something of value to your readers.

Merch is a long-term income option. If nothing is working for you, merch will!

It is a great way of your readers supporting the creator while getting something in return as well.

When it comes to selling website merchandise, different people have different opinions about it.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

However, merch is a tricky business. Before you start selling it on your own, try partnering up with a merch selling website. Let them handle the payments and delivery. You just worry about receiving orders and making outstanding merch.

When making merch, you can go with two options:

  • Either put your website logo or a particular phrase over the merch you are selling. It makes it distinct and perfect for the readers who want to show support to your brand.
  • Or, you can hire a graphic designer (or do it yourself if you can) to design a particular art/graphics/images that you have in mind for your merch. 

Out of the two options that I mentioned, the second option always pays you well. 

Why?

Even if you pay extra money to make a custom graphic or art on your merch, people who don’t even know about your brand are going to want to try it. 

If you do it right, sell original artworks and come up with different designs every now and then, you can officially make one of the best merch stores there is. And sooner or later, you can also take the matter in your own hands and create your own merch store rather than signing up with already-existing merch stores. 

This means extra income, both from your content and your merch store – killing two birds with one stone.

 

Accept Donations

Let me tell you this – Donations work, sometimes!

If you are resorting to donations, you need to have a loyal fan base that knows your content thoroughly and won’t mind returning back every now and the.

For the sake of accepting donations, you have to provide something more valuable to your readers. It’s like if you provide such kind of information on your blog that no other blogger could ever do, you have a chance of getting donations.

But then again, donations depend on the generosity of the readers. If they are pleased with what you offer, they are going to pay you for your content.

For accepting donations, you can sign up for a Patreon Account and let your readers know about it as well. Or, you can just create a PayPal button, include it on your site and accept donations for your content. 

When asking for donations, always keep it at the end of your blog/page. If you put it on the top, usually no reader is going to pay a donation without even going through the content. And by the time they reach towards the end of the page, they might as well have forgotten about the donation.

So, try to place the donation request carefully.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

How do bloggers get paid?

There are a lot of ways you can monetize your blog. However, some of the common methods are Affiliate Marketing, running ads from Google AdSense, or sponsored posts.

How much money can you make from a blog?

There’s no definite amount to how much money you can make from a blog. However, when you have a good number of readers to your blog and you use the right monetization methods, you can easily make a thousand dollars (and even more) every month.

Can you make money blogging in 2020?

With the right methods and the best monetization techniques, you can be financially dependent on your blog forever. This means you can make money blogging every year you want.

What is the best method for me to earn from my blog?

It totally depends on what drives you. If you have a specific niche, say healthcare, maybe affiliate marketing would be a better option. Or if you have a news site with regular updates, maybe paid memberships or Google AdSense would be the right option.

 

OVER TO YOU

I hope you found this post helpful to know some additional methods of earning money from WordPress. 

In case you know of any more methods of earning from WordPress or any other such platform, tell me in the comments and let our readers know about the same.

And if you like this post, come hang out with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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