People build WordPress sites for a variety of reasons.
Some do it purely for the joy of blogging, while others are in it for the potential profits that a WordPress website can bring.
If you’re part of the latter, then congratulations — you’re in for a challenge!
The truth is, getting a WordPress website up and running is a far easier task. You can rely on themes to get a working site up and running, widgets to integrate third-party services, and truckloads of free online learning resources to improve your WordPress game.
Monetization, however, requires you to reach out of your comfort zone. You need to work on your marketing skills, do extensive research, and acquire the resiliency needed to push through uncertainties and learn from mistakes.
You can also maximize your success by cutting the guesswork and focusing on strategies that are proven to get results. And that, my friend, is what this post is all about.
Without further ado, here are four of the best monetization techniques that every WordPress user must know:
1. Offer a Membership
You don’t need years of WordPress experience to know that content is the building block of a profitable website.
It’s the first thing your visitors will look for if they’re still undecided on whether or not they should trust your brand.
At this point, let’s assume that you already have a wealth of high-quality content on your WordPress site’s blog section. After all, none of the monetization strategies in existence will produce substantial results if you don’t have this basic commodity.
Once you have established your authority as an information provider, you should be in a position to offer a private members area where paid users can access exclusive, premium content.
This tactic makes perfect sense for certain niches, like weight loss, bodybuilding, and marketing. The usual setup is a monthly subscription that includes unlimited access to all premium resources.
Here is an example from the Blog Marketing Academy — a marketing website that also sells cloud-based tools on the side.
To set up the membership section on your WordPress site, the first thing you’ll need is a plugin like Ultimate Member, which is available for free from the official plugin repository.
Once installed and activated, the plugin allows you manage your members, design opt-in forms, as well as add extensions straight from the WordPress dashboard.
Below are a handful of tips that will help make your membership site a success:
- Use visual content to maximize the value of your content in the eyes of your subscribers. Infographics, for example, is a great way to present boring statistics in a more engaging way.
- Personalize your writing style to establish familiarity and increase the entertainment factor of your premium content. Don’t be afraid to use colloquial language to increase the sense of authenticity.
- Invest in videos with your face front and center to further boost your brand’s trustworthiness. This leads us to the next monetization strategy that WordPress users can capitalize.
2. Sell an Online Course
If you are particularly passionate about your niche and would like to level up your role as an information provider, then selling an online course through your WordPress website could be the monetization strategy for you.
Intimidated? Don’t be, just think of an online course as another form of premium content you offer your paid subscribers — only more elaborate, structured, and focused on teaching your audience something relevant.
There are also dozens of plugins you can use to prepare your online courses on WordPress. Simply search for “online course” on the plugin library and select the one that you think fits your brand.
Remember that online courses must be loaded with actionable tips and examples to augment the learning experience of your subscribers. You should also throw in a couple of downloadable content, like eBooks, cheat sheets, or toolkits that are packed with useful resources.
To help you find topics to cover in your online course, below are a few content research tips you can consider:
- Look for questions on Q&A sites like Quora to find content gaps in your niche that you can fill.
- Use a content research tool like BuzzSumo or Google Trends to look for popular content ideas you can expound.
- Perform keyword research with Ubersuggest to narrow down broad search terms into long-tail keyword suggestions.
Whatever you do, don’t provide something that your subscribers can already obtain for free somewhere else. If it’s a question on Quora that’s already answered, skip it unless you’re positive you can expound it.
Lastly, consider leveraging a Content Delivery Network or CDN to improve your website’s performance, especially for members who are from other countries.
A CDN works by utilizing a network of proxy servers, which share the load of delivering cached website data to nearby users. This effectively reduces latency, which is the delay in data transfer that’s commonly experienced due to the considerable distance between a user and a web host’s server.
3. Display Advertising
The next monetization strategy can be applied to just about any WordPress that gets a steady stream of traffic.
By displaying ads on your website, you can continuously earn passive income without having to spend time or money on premium content or actual products.
There are two types of campaign models that can help you earn with your WordPress website: cost per click (CPC) and cost per mille (CPM).
CPC advertising works by compensating website owners for every click that an advertiser receives. CPM advertising, on the other hand, compensates website owners for every 1,000 views that the ad gets.
Clearly, CPC rewards well-structured websites that present ads that are relevant in their niche, whereas CPM is more ideal for those that get a huge stream of monthly traffic.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Finally, a list of website monetization strategies isn’t complete without affiliate marketing.
Put simply, it’s the practice of selling another company’s products in exchange for commissions on every sale. An affiliate link will then used to track where the visitor originated upon completing the sale on the vendor’s checkout page.
The main advantage of affiliate marketing is that you get to pick the products you’ll promote on your website. This is incredibly advantageous if you already have a solid grasp on the demographics of your audience.
To look for affiliate products you can advertise, here are some of the biggest active affiliate networks and the types of products they support:
- Clickbank (digital information products)
- Amazon Associates (consumer goods)
- eBay Partner Network (consumer goods)
- Avangate (SaaS and digital solutions)
A reliable strategy when selling affiliate products is to write product reviews, which will also give you an excuse to promote multiple products on one page.
WebHostingSecretRevealed.net or WHSR provides some of the best examples of this on their website:
WordPress monetization may not be easy, but so is everything else in the online marketing landscape.
With the low-cost strategies above, it’s only a matter of time before you can sit back, relax, and watch the cash roll in. But until then, remember to be resilient and patient — don’t cut corners and treat every strategy with the care and dedication it deserves. Good luck!