Most people have a WordPress website for at least one of these reasons:
- To share a worthy cause or venture with others
- To blog about their own ideas and/or experiences
- To make money online
You might be wondering: is WordPress a good platform to monetize a website? Provided that you have a self-hosted WordPress website (as opposed to a free account with wordpress.com), the answer is absolutely!
You can monetize your self-hosted WordPress website in a number of ways such as offering your own product/service, affiliate marketing (offering other people’s products/services), display ad networks, and sponsored posts.
Out of all the different ways to monetize your WordPress Website, here are the top 3:
- Sell Your Own Service
- Sell Your Own Digital Product
- Affiliate Marketing
Sell Your Own Service
One of the many ways to make money online is to sell your services. Having a website is essential if you want to promote a service such as writing, designing, dog walking, etc. Your website can serve as your 24/7 sales & marketing rep that lets your visitors know what you do, how you can help, how they can hire you, and so on.
One of the beauties of a WordPress website is that it’s possible to create a fantastic, professional-looking site without touching any code (you can get a more detailed overview of the WordPress website creation process here). When it comes to putting your website content together, many people have had success following Don Miller’s StoryBrand framework (you can read my review of Don Miller and his framework here).
You’ll also need the right tools in place for running any kind of service business. When it comes to collecting payment, we recommend Stripe, PayPal, Square, or Authorize.net. If you plan on sending proposals and/or contracts, we really like Indy. Do you plan on having clients schedule a time to meet in person or online via Zoom? Calendly is one of the most straightforward and user-friendly scheduling platforms.
Sell Your Own Digital Product
Do you wish to sell your work digitally online? You can monetize your content and make it available to your visitors via a secure, members-only area of your website.
Digital products can take on any of these forms:
- Premium audio content (such as your own music)
- Premium video content (such as a webinar replay)
When it comes to packaging your premium content as a digital product and offering it online, you need a way of collecting payment as well as restricting access so that only paying customers can access it. For collecting payment, you’ll typically rely on Stripe or PayPal. In regard to restricting access to paid content, here are five plugins that can help get the job done:
Whether you decide to create and sell an ebook, course, or membership, keep in mind that your customers aren’t paying for mere information. They are paying for a result, and it’s your job to help them go from where they are now to where they want to be (enjoying the result that your premium content offers).
If you don’t have a product or service to offer, affiliate marketing is another way you can monetize your website. Affiliate marketing is a popular tactic to generate significant online revenue selling other people’s products/services. Many people like this method because they don’t have to spend any time or energy coming up with their own products/services.
The most common affiliate networks are Clickbank, Commission Junction, and Amazon. Each one has its own application process for joining and becoming an affiliate. After you officially join, then you’ll be given your affiliate links to share with others.
Here are a few pro tips when going the affiliate marketing route:
We have now addressed the question “can we monetize WordPress websites?” Out of all the possible ways of making money online, we highly recommend sticking with your own service, your own digital product, and/or affiliate marketing. As time goes on and you start making sales, be sure to set up tracking mechanisms, calculate your conversion rates, and then use this data to maximize revenue from your website.
No matter which route you take, you’ll want to get in the habit of building an email list. People may not buy right away when they visit your website, but after they join your list, you can keep in touch with them and encourage them to buy when the time is right for them.
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