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The WordPress universe is comprehensive and generous in its offerings. The free WordPress open source software makes creating websites easy, fast, and efficient. Individuals can choose from thousands of themes and plugins to develop unique sites. Secondly, WordPress yields many ways to make money, which we’ll explore in this post. Ways to earn money fall into two main categories, that is, content monetization and products & services.
Monetize your WordPress Blog
A common way to make money with a blog is with ads. Many bloggers, including myself, sign up for Google AdSense. Other ad networks exist, but Google AdSense is easy to implement and excellent for new and experienced bloggers. After you create your first ad unit, Google will produce ad code to copy and paste into your site. The ad code is the HTML that is placed on any page by the publisher who owns the site, allowing ads to show on that page in a specific format. Manually adding code to each page can be time-consuming, which is why I recommend WP Quads to manage your ads. I like WP Quads, but other free AdSense plugins are available. Your ad revenue will depend on the number of ad views and clicks you get.
Sell Premium Content
The information on my blog is free, but some bloggers charge to access exclusive content. For example, a subscription fee to access monthly webinars or a private Facebook group. There are several paid and free WordPress membership plugins to support these activities. Also, you can use Patreon to monetize your content.
Create Content About WordPress
On my blog and YouTube channel, I discuss WordPress, and my WordPress videos have done relatively well. For example, my video on the best image gallery plugin has attracted over 20,000 views. (Not bad considering YouTube is primarily an entertainment medium, not informational or educational.) Several bloggers and YouTubers cover WordPress exclusively and discuss tips, tricks, and how-tos. Like monetizing a blog with ads, many YouTubers earn ad revenue through Google AdSense.
Promote WordPress Products and Services
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing activity. An affiliate promotes a product/service online and receives compensation for achieving a specific objective or action. A merchant or advertiser specifies the goal, which is usually a valid sale. For example, I use, recommend, and promote Thrive Themes, a premium suite of WordPress plugins. When someone clicks on my affiliate link and purchases it, I’ll earn a 35 percent sales commission. Many bloggers and YouTubers do affiliate marketing in combination with running ads to make money.
When I self-published WordPress Plugins in 2015, my primary goal was to direct readers to my website. My book continues to drive traffic, and I receive passive income in the form of royalties each time it sells. There is a sizeable audience for books about WordPress, website development, and search engine optimization (SEO). You might be interested in giving self-publishing a try, but keep in mind that generic WordPress content won’t be a hit with readers.
Sell Online Courses
There are many videos and tutorials about WordPress on YouTube, but for viewers who want more structure and guidance, online courses fill the gap. You can sell classes on e-learning marketplaces or independently with an app. Alternatively, you can give free access to your course(s) to build your email list and drive traffic from the marketplace to your site.
Monetize a WordPress-Themed Facebook group
I previously managed a Facebook group of 40,000+ members and monetized it in several ways. For example, I generated income from affiliate marketing and sponsored/private ads. With a WordPress Facebook group, you could generate leads and promote products and services. Alternatively, you could seek the moderator duties of an established WordPress group in exchange for promotional activities.
Products & Services
Sell Premium Themes
Hundreds of excellent free WordPress themes are available, but sometimes it’s hard to get what you need. For example, a search for free author and book themes revealed decent paid results only. Successful theme developers excel in coding, creativity, and marketing. You can sell themes on marketplaces like MOJO Marketplace and Themeforest and from your site. Also, you can develop themes for WordPress.com‘s marketplace.
Sell Premium Plugins
Like themes, tens of thousands of fantastic free plugins are available. However, website owners occasionally need premium plugins to improve security, data management, list building, marketing, e-commerce, and so on. Similarly, you can sell plugins through marketplaces and your site. People are happy to pay for premium plugins that outperform free alternatives. For instance, I use a couple of premium plugins, Bloom and Thrive Themes, for list building and marketing.
Build an Online Store
While a lot of online entrepreneurs are familiar with Shopify, WordPress offers a robust e-commerce solution with WooCommerce. WooCommerce states, “WooCommerce is now the most popular eCommerce platform on the web, so you can rest assured you’re in good company.” If you have a flair for online retail, consider how you can leverage WooCommerce, Amazon FBA, and Alibaba to build a six-figure e-commerce business.
Develop Websites for Clients
Pardon me, but I stumble upon hundreds of shitty sites each year and meet plenty of business owners who don’t have websites (some use Facebook Pages instead). A website is an essential and valuable marketing and sales tool. WordPress has a lot of competition from other website providers, builders, and content management systems (CMS), but building websites with its software is an excellent path to take. You can develop websites and improve existing sites for others. Additionally, you can manage client sites for recurring monthly income. Success in this activity is less about site development skills and more about marketing and sales savvy to get clients.
Sell Fiverr Gigs
Fiverr is one of the largest freelancer marketplaces, and I’ve been using it for years. What many people don’t know is that Fiverr has many WordPress gigs starting at five dollars. For example, freelancers will create membership sites, increase website speed, fix theme and plugin errors, implement SEO, migrate/transfer sites, remove malware, and so on. Depending on your area of expertise, you too can offer WordPress gigs.
Sell Freelance Services
If Fiverr, Upwork, and other freelancer marketplaces aren’t your thing, you can sell services independently. You can offer WordPress website development, management, social media management/marketing, and blog writing services to website and business owners.
Sell Consulting Services
Positioning yourself as a WordPress consultant is a notch above that of a freelancer. As a consultant, you will play a pivotal role to help clients achieve their goals. In contrast, many freelancers aim to complete one-off tasks and assignments. You could become an expert or consultant for WooCommerce (WooExpert), SEO, data integrity, optimization, performance, or security, for example.
Resell Hosting Services
To build a successful web hosting company from scratch would be challenging given how many big names saturate the marketplace, for example, SiteGround, HostGator, and Bluehost. Nevertheless, you can build a hosting business with software provided by WHMCS. Alternatively, if you operate a WordPress or website agency, you could sell hosting to your clients as a reseller. HostGator and SiteGround offer excellent reseller programs that come with many bells and whistles like 24/7 support, billing software, volume discounts, and exclusive deals.
Training people to use WordPress in-person or online and in real-time differs from passive income activities like selling books and online courses. For instance, you might sign up business owners to teach them WordPress through seminars, workshops, and webinars. That would also be an efficient way to generate leads to sell products and services.
Get a Job
Tech and WordPress related jobs are plentiful. Managed WordPress hosting companies are hiring. Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, is hiring. WordPress.org, WPHired, and LinkedIn list jobs too. Tech jobs pay well, and many positions start at $60,000 annually.
You can add a donation plugin to your website with a fun or enticing statement like, “Donate to keep me and my site alive.” Don’t expect donations to produce a full-time income, but rather a few dollars to buy coffee once or twice a month. Alternatively, you can use Patreon to collect payments.