Yes, you can really make money with WordPress. Oh boy, can you make a lot of money with even a very basic WordPress websites. Though I own about 30 different websites, the majority of my income comes from just a select few of these sites.
There are several ways to make money with a WordPress site, but again, the vast majority of my income comes from one method. I’ll show you a few that I know, then discuss my real money maker at the bottom. If I’ve made money with a method, I’ll let you know. If I haven’t, but endorse the method, I’ll let you know that too.
5 Ways To Profit With WordPress
This is probably the most famous, most popular, and one of my least favorite methods of monetizing a site.
The gist of what you do is create a website about any topic you want. You need to get traffic to this site, so it’s smart to do a bit of research and find a popular topic to write about. Choosing a topic is another story, but let’s assume you have one.
Once you have traffic coming to the site, you just paste some code into a few places, and each time someone visits your site (having found it in search engines), Google serves up some ads based on that persons search history.
The nice part is that ads are tailored to the person and you don’t have to do any work. The bad part is that you get paid pennies per click, and are basically allowing other people to advertise on your website. This is especially bad if you have mixed monetization methods and are advertising some products. It essentially means you are allowing your competitors to leech off of your good rankings.
The hard part of monetizing WordPress using Adsense is getting traffic. Everything else is very basic, and requires a one time setup for your ads. Your job moving forward is just to create more content and get more traffic.
People love this method because it requires no though process other than getting traffic. I hate it because you have a work your butt off to get that traffic and there’s very little payoff compared to other methods.
I have made some money using Adsense, but no longer use it on my sites.
#2. Building a List
This is one of the most famous methods of earning money online, and it can be quite lucrative if done right. Most of my sites do not have a list, but One More Cup of Coffee does. I earned well over 6 figures in my first 2 years of online marketing without ever creating a list, so if anyone ever tells you that it’s the “only” way to make money, they don’t know what they’r talking about.
Building a list is essentially collecting email addresses of people that are interested in the topic of your website. There are different ways to do this, some I recommend, some not. How to build a list is outside the scope of this article, but in general, the idea is to direct traffic from your website to a signup form of some sort.
There are different ways to incentivize people to sign up. Once they do, you generally follow up with a sequence of emails, some of which contain promotional material for products you think are relevant to this audience.
The reason that so many people recommend this method of earning money is that you can actually make several sales from one person if you send good offers and provide supplemental material that encourage people to keep opening your emails!
But don’t jump in just yet! This is an extremely difficult method of making money. Not only do you need to build traffic to your site, but you also need to get that traffic to your signup page. Once on your signup page, you need them to opt into your list. Once on your list, you need them to open your emails and eventually buy something.
This is known as a “funnel”, and if your funnel isn’t set up properly, you can have a website with lots of traffic, but no sales.
For my funnel sequence, I like to drive traffic to my WordPress blog posts, then from posts to a central page where I have my opt in form.
#3 Ecommerce Site
This is another one that most newbies are familiar with, and how many people envision online business to be. If you’ve ever seen an Etsy shop, or a Shopify shop, then that’s what it looks like. There’s a “store front” with pictures of products, and people can shop like they shop on Amazon or other boutique websites.
However, the catch is that most people with sites like this have their own products! This means you need inventory. You also need a secure website where people can safely use credit cards, and you’ll need to handle other customer service responsibilities that go along with owning a virtual store.
If you do have real products you want to sell, WordPress websites can be used for this. There are plugins that can almost instantly turn your normal blog into an ecommerce store front, complete with a shopping cart, checkout page, and other goodies that make integrating pictures and descriptions very easy.
If you don’t have your own products you want to sell, the I don’t recommend doing the ecommerce thing.
#4 Sell A Digital Information Product
If you are an expert, or at least know a lot about one topic, you can sell that information online. There are a variety of ways to sell it in ebook form. Ebooks themselves are ultra simple to create.
You can make a PDF download and sell it through Clickbank, or make a Kindle book, and sell it through Amazon. Those will be your largest channels to sell through, and have the most tools available to make it easy for a newbie to get started.
A WordPress site is a great way to promote your book. You can get free traffic from search engines to find people that are interested in the topic of your ebook. If you write a book called “Top 50 professional recipes for mixed drinks”, then writing a number of blog posts on bartending or alcoholic drinks could drive targeted traffic to your site, and possibly result in sales of your book.
Similarly, you could use the build a list method from above to drive traffic to your email opt in form, then pitch your book as part of your email sequence.
I haven’t created my own product, and don’t plan to. Too much work for me!
#5 Affiliate Marketing
Oh man, this is the real money maker. If you ask me, this method of making money with WordPress is superior to all others. I am of course biased because this is what I learned, and is currently how I earn my income.
Personally, I think it’s the most newbie friendly. It’s the easiest to understand, the cheapest to get started in, requires the least amount of work, and produces the greatest results.
- no complicated sales funnels
- no fees for autoresponders
- no stocking inventory
- no dealing with customer service
- get paid dollars instead of pennies
Your entire business basically costs you $11 per year to run (the cost of a domain), and everything else is just getting traffic to your site. It sometimes takes some tweaking of your placement of links to optimize sales, but that can be learned along the way with experimentation.
I don’t want to give you the impression that making money with affiliate marketing is easy or fast…it’s just easier and faster than other business models in my opinion.
How To Get Started Building Your First WordPress Affiliate Site
If you want to learn how to build simple WordPress website and earn money through affiliate advertising, you can start your training today.
The online training center where I learned to build my very first affiliate website is currently offering free accounts. You get 10 free beginner lessons, 2 free websites, and you can use the community forum for support, including 1-on-1 contact with me.
You read that right – I will be available if you need help with the training. That’s just how I roll. Where else can you get free support from a full time online marketer?
If you know a place, let me know in the comments below because I’ve never heard of it!