monetize-a-wordpress-blog

26 Ideas on How to Monetize a WordPress Blog

 

You might ask before you tell me how to monetize my blog, tell me how you monetize yours!  I’ve been testing several monetizations strategies since 2015 when I started blogging.

For instance, in the past, I used the blog to sell my info products (ebooks and online courses).

In the years the strategy has changed. As of the time of this writing I don’t monetize my blog directly. Yet I use it for personal branding and to build up a consultancy business.

In fact, as of now, I believe those are the best-suited strategies for a simple reason.

My traffic is still low yet very qualified. In fact, I do around 5,000-6,000 visits per month and mostly from founders or marketing and sales professionals.

Would this blog start to gain traction the monetization strategy might change toward other monetization strategies, like affiliate marketing?

What about you? How can you make money with your WordPress blog?

1. Affiliate Marketing

For instance, Patt Flynn made $51,877.40 of affiliate earnings in September 2017. It is worth exploring the list of affiliations that smartpassiveincome.com shows on its reports to see what kind of affiliate links might work for you too:

Amazon.com (Book/Equipment Referrals)
AWeber (email marketing)
Bluehost (web hosting)
ConvertKit (email marketing)
Fizzle (online learning)

2. Infoproducts

Info products are also a great way to monetize as they allow you to get 100% cut of the revenues you make. Imagine you’ve produced an ebook or online course that sells anywhere from $20 up to $399.

 

A few dozens of customers are enough to make you the passive income you need to do what you like and live a good life. Of course, easily said than done.

3. Email marketing 

When I speak to some of my clients they often ask, is email marketing still a valid way to make money?

The question comes from the fact that we all hear stories of AI and machine learning and tend to think that email marketing is too old school as a monetization strategy.

In reality, this is wrong! In fact, there are companies like AppSumo and digital marketers, like Tim Ferris and many others that still make a consistent amount of money through a large email list.

4. Google AdSense

I’ve never suggested AdSense as a valid monetization strategy unless you have such a large website that this strategy becomes profitable. In fact, if you have a small blog, Google AdSense won’t pay the bills.

Also, I honestly don’t like my users see banners all over the pages of my site when instead I can keep my content clean and more focused on user experience rather than make a few dollars with – at times – spammy banners.

5. Consulting

This is a viable alternative for anyone, from small to large WordPress websites. In fact, this is a strategy I’m testing as of the time of this writing. Of course, if you offer consultancy, this needs to be in line with the editorial strategy of your blog.

If you’re a food blogger, you can’t sell yourself as a business consultant, but rather as a food consultant. The only limitation of this strategy is that if your blog grows fast, then you won’t be able to get all the projects that come in.

However, if you wish to build a consultancy boutique and hire other people to help you out this might scale. If instead, you wish to keep a solo business this strategy will work only as long as you’re able to work on the projects that come in through the blog.

6. Branded stories

Many see sponsored content, not as a viable way to monetize a blog. I don’t think this is the case. In fact, if you offer value to your users, you can still offer content that is relevant, and that makes you money.

Let’s say a company pays you to talk about their startup. If what the startup does is truly interesting; if you have an honest interest and you know your audience would like that story, then this might be a great way to monetize.

Branded stories if your blog has qualified traffic can make you good money for minimum work.

7. Paid reviews

Like branded stories, the people from your audience are looking for tools and services that can help them grow their online business.

You can get paid by companies that offer those tools or services to post a paid review. Once again, this model works – I believe – only if you’re honest with yourself and your audience.

In short, I’d ask the following questions: do I use this service to grow my business? Do I find it valuable? Would my audience find it valuable too? If you answer yes to those questions then why not do it.

But don’t accept just the first person that knocks your door. I’ve been receiving several offers in the past year to do paid reviews but I didn’t do it because I either wasn’t using their tool, service or I didn’t think that would have been valuable to my audience.

8. Banner Ads

It’s tough to make money in an era where people developed a high degree banner blindness. However, if you have a large website, with consistent traffic this also might be a viable option.

9. Sponsored Blog Posts

Just like branded stories or paid reviews, sponsored blog posts might work well as a monetization strategy.

Of course, you have to make clear what represents a sponsored content, and I believe you must do it only if you find relevant the sponsored content.

Otherwise, you risk undermining the trust your audience has for you. Plus, if you don’t believe in something this will be clear from your writing.

In short, lack of belief in the product/service = bad writing = no conversion.

10. Members Only Content

If you have a small audience that follows you with determination why not make some part of your content only accessible to members?

11. Paid Business Directory

If you have a directory website that has gained substantial traffic, you can have areas of the site which are paid. Take for instance the listing of the 100 most popular business blogs.

You could ask those business blogs if they wish to pay a monthly fee to have an honest review of their blog.

Once again, this model works if you take the time to do proper research and you add value to your audience. Creating a listing only won’t add any value neither for the business listed nor for your audience.

12. Become a Coach

If you often write about self-growth and leadership, then you might be the right person to candidate yourself as a coach. Many people need a person that keeps them accountable.

Be it the creation of a blog, a diet or just professional growth, if you’re good at setting up objectives and keep people accountable, then becoming a coach might be a good monetization strategy.

Of course, do it because you’re passionate about helping others. Otherwise, this will reflect in your service, and you will not last long.

13. Accept Donations

Yes, that’s right. You only need a PayPal donation button to become a millionaire! As you might imagine, I’ve been cynic here.

However, adding the donation button won’t cost you any work, and it still gives people the option to thank you for what you do with a small donation. Why not try this out?

14. Charge For ‘Premium’ Content

Let’s say you’ve written a five thousand words tutorial on how to build an SEO strategy from scratch. Rather than make it accessible entirely, you could offer a sneak preview and ask your audience to pay to have the whole tutorial.

If you’ve spent time doing your research, people might pay for it.

15. Sell Your Blog

Well, if you got bored to write about the same topic, yet your blog is successful. Why not sell it? Some people make a living just by flipping websites.

16. Build your SaaS

If you’re building an online business, chances are you don’t want to set up a complicated business, that requires much work and responsibility.

That applies to a SaaS (Software as a Service). While this can be very profitable. It also requires a lot of work regarding development and support of your customer base.

If you’re trying to have more freedom, this might not be for you.

17. Speaking Gigs

Many like to influence other people’s lives through speaking. If you’re one of them then why not start asking to get paid for a speaking gig?

The first time you might get only the reimbursement of the expenses, the second time a bit more than that.

The third, you’ll have a business.

18. Create & Sell Your Product

This is by far one of the most profitable monetization strategies. However, this is might also be the hardest to achieve.

In fact, building your product means investing thousands of dollars in developing it.

Thus, it only makes sense if you have enough people willing to pay for it. One way to understand whether that is viable is to check whether people would be willing to finance your project? How?

With crowdfunding, for instance.

19. Write Tutorials & Guides

You don’t have to be a world-class expert to write a tutorial or a guide to a topic. Let’s say you’ve matured a competence that makes you in the top percentile of people in that industry you can sell your competence through tutorials and guides!

20. Live Workshops

People like live workshops. So if you’re recognized locally why not bring your audience off-line for a live workshop? This is a great monetization strategy to connect for real with your audience while making money

21. Find Sponsors For An Event

If you’ve been blogging for a while and you have a loyal, local audience. Why not host your event? Finding sponsors that can help you organize it might be easier than you think!

22. Generate ‘leads’ for other companies

For companies that sell certain services (think real estate, insurance or car dealerships) a lead might be worth also thousand of the dollar.

If you write about topics that are in the right context for those services why not help them find new leads, while you get a fixed rate for each lead you find for them?

23. Create a job board

Do you write about professional growth or how to freelance? Why not have your job board? Headhunters and companies offer great rewards for finding valid candidates to fill their vacancies.

24. Advertise pages

If you have a few, very popular pages. You can make those available to third parties to sell their services. The agreement will be on that specific page. In this way, you can experiment and offer a good ROI to the business that will use that page to have more leads.

25. Host paid webinars

Let’s say you’ve attended a webinar from another blogger that helped you get better at writing. You paid for that webinar.

Why not ask that person to host his webinar on your blog? He’ll get new customers, and you’ll get a cut of the revenues. In the end, your audience will also learn something new

26. Writing Gigs

your blog is your professional portfolio. If people like what you write, why not have a CTA to offer a writing gig? If you don’t have a full-time job, this might be a great freelancing opportunity!

Key takeaway

Finding the most effective way to monetize your blog isn’t easy. In fact, I think is the most difficult part of the journey of becoming a professional blogger.

On the one hand, you want to find a monetization strategy that is in line with your values, that is sustainable and that makes sense to your audience.

You need to have multiple sources monetizations, as some might work in certain circumstances, not in others.

For instance, affiliate marketing works if done on tools. At the end of it, your most important asset is your audience trust.

Affiliate marketing works if you suggest tools that you really use to grow your business.

At the same time when those tools still produce good affiliate earnings, but you don’t believe in them anymore, you need to have the courage to cut them off from your monetization strategy.

Other monetization strategies, like consulting and services, while might make you gain new professional opportunities, they are not scalable as there is so much time you can offer to provide those services.

Thus, if you only provide those services you might be losing business opportunities.

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Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Creator of FourWeekMBA.com | Head of Business Development at WordLift.io | International MBA

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