Making money online has become an achievable endeavor thanks to the WordPress platform. Before WordPress, you'd have to deal with the technical challenge of setting up a blog and spend a lot of money to keep things running smoothly.
Today, not only has WordPress reduced the cost of getting started significantly, but also made it easier for you to make money managing a blog. In this article, I'll show how you can make money managing one or more WordPress blog(s) and the various ways to go about it.
A Word Of Caution
Making money online in any form has been exploited by so-called 'gurus' who promise quick money and overnight results. All these scams will make you lose money and are really not worth it. This is not what this article is about.
You will need to put in work and give it time before you see any money. This doesn't mean you won't make any money. It just takes time. At the end of the day you'll find it very rewarding. Now, let's proceed.
Google Adsense is by far the easiest way to monetize your WordPress blog. All you have to do is create an account and you'll get a snippet of code to add to the header of your website.
Many WordPress themes come with pre-set sections to add code from external services and this would be an ideal place for you to put the code. Once you put this code, you'll need to create ad units, which are essentially the different sizes of ads you'd like to place on your website.
Google Adsense is great for WordPress blogs that have a decent amount of traffic. Your compensation is directly related to the amount of traffic coming to your site so the more the traffic, the more money you'll earn.
There are fewer requirements so almost anyone with a blog can get started but if you have little traffic you won't receive much money.
Google Adsense may not be the best way to monetize your blog if you get a huge amount of traffic. The payouts tend to be lower than other ad networks.
Many bloggers also resent the idea of their audience being diverted to other sites when they click on a Google ad.
Depending on your audience, you may be turning off some of your visitors especially if you're displaying too many ads on pages. I'd recommend starting small and add ads sparingly across pages of your WordPress blog so you don't offend visitors.
Affiliate marketing is where you get paid for referring a user to a business and they purchase a product or service. Affiliate marketing companies will give you a special URL that is connected to your account such that if someone on your blog clicks and goes to another website and they purchase something then a portion of that purchase is paid to you.
Affiliate marketing, as opposed to Google Adsense pays you only if a purchase is made and the purchase originated from your blog through the special link that you were given.
A great example of affiliate marketing is the blog The Minimalists. Joshua and Ryan have ran their WordPress blog hosted by Bluehost and so naturally they joined the Bluehost Affiliate Program. This has been a part of their blog monetization and fits their clean and minimal-design blog.
Affiliate marketing opportunities are provided by general websites like amazon.com as well as niche sites. On average niche sites tend to pay better because you're sending them very target traffic but can be hard to accepted to participate in affiliate opportunities with them.
Affiliate marketing works well for niche sites that don't have a lot of traffic because the payout per sale is much higher compared to payments from Google Adsense which requires volume. You also get to choose which products to promote and this can help you build trust with your audience.
Here are a few places to look for affiliate marketing opportunities:
Your WordPress blog can be more than just a blog. You can easily set up e-commerce capabilities on your blog and by doing that you'll open another huge monetization channel. The number of bloggers who have written books or put together a course continues to increase with each passing day.
Many of these bloggers use their blogs as the primary online shop for all these goods, whether digital or physical. A good example of this is the blog Nerd Fitness which offers weight loss tips for techies and nerds. They monetize their blog by offering courses right on their blog.
WordPress makes it a breeze to add a shopping cart and connect multiple payment options in a short time. The best part is that you get to control the whole shopping experience for your audience and build a strong brand in the process. You don't need to get permission to set up your own shop on your blog.
The part that makes this monetization channel a challenge is coming up with what to sell. You want to be very careful so as not ruin the trust you've built with your audience.
At the same time, you don't have to sell your own products. You can buy something in bulk or partner up with a company to sell their products. Having direct partnership with a company will guarantee you more money than if you were to become an affiliate marketer for that same product.
Sponsored Content & Reviews
Thanks to the popularity of YouTube and Instagram we have another great monetization channel and that is sponsored content and review articles. There are a huge number of companies of all size that are looking to bypass traditional media and reach their audience through social media.
To do this, they reach out to bloggers who have the audience they need. This means that you can be paid to write a sponsored article or review a new product or service.
This monetization channel has legal ramifications that you need to consider for your area.
In the US, the FCC has set Endorsement rules about disclosing information regarding paid reviews and sponsored content and you need to be aware of this. Outside of the legal obligations it's always good to be upfront with your audience about these types of content so your audience can make an informed decision.
I've shared the top ways you can make money managing a WordPress blog. My hope is that you'll give this information a try. I'd love to hear how things turn out for you. If you've done something that has worked for you, please share in the comments below.