How to Monetize a WordPress Website – An In-Depth Guide
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, and it’s not particularly difficult to understand why. The software is free, it’s extremely flexible, and it offers a lot of functionality and customization.
With WordPress, you can easily set up a blog or a website, launch a marketing campaign, and collect revenue when visitors click a monetized link or make a purchase (such as when they sign up for a service or subscribe to a newsletter).
In this article, you’ll discover how to monetize a WordPress website — from the very first step (finding a profitable niche), all the way through to generating revenue and scaling your business.
Step one: Find your niche and establish your blog
The first step in monetizing a website is to find your niche, establish your blog, and choose an affiliate program (if you’re looking for affiliate marketing and making money from online marketing, read our full guide here).
The key to establishing a successful blog is to identify a profitable niche. To do this, you need to think about your target audience and the specific needs of your ideal buyer. If you’re not sure who your target audience is, you can use free tools like Google Analytics to track website visitors and establish buyer personas. (If you’re looking to establish a blog for financial freedom, review our top-rated blogs or start a blog for lawyers or agents.)
Once you have your target audience established, it’s time to choose an affiliate program in which to invest (and for what products). Choosing the right affiliate program (and which products to promote) is an important decision. To make this decision, you need to consider your goals and the performance of previous affiliate promotions.
The benefits of having a money-making blog
A blog that generates income has several advantages over a regular website. Above all, you have the ability to test new products and choose your payout (if you sell affiliate products). You can also build trust and authority by regularly posting industry-specific articles (such as how to articles for lawyers). Finally, having a successful blog can increase your digital footprint and put you in the position to receive more leads and make more sales.
However, establishing a blog is just the beginning. To make money, you need to grow, evolve, and improve your blog (just like any successful business).
Step two: Create content that will stay popular
Writing compelling content that will stay popular is the key to establishing a successful blog. To understand why, look at the SEO (search engine optimization) of some of the most famous blogs on the planet. (If you want to learn more, check out our SEO guide or read How to SEO Blogger).
SEO is all about creating compelling content that will attract, inspire, and convert readers into customers — and then, keeping them coming back for more. When you write content that is concise, well-structured, and engaging, you will naturally increase your chances of ranking highly in search engines.
Step three: Distribute your content throughout the web
Once you have your blog set up, it’s time to distribute your content throughout the web. The best way to do this is with small, bite-sized pieces of content called ‘blogger posts’.
As a rule of thumb, you should aim to have at least one post published every two weeks. Regularly publishing content will help establish your blog as a trusted source of information in your industry and allow you to grow a following quickly.
Make money with affiliate marketing
One of the best ways to make money online is with affiliate marketing. (If you’re new to this, read our guide to affiliate marketing or skip to step four.)
With affiliate marketing, you’ll be in the position of an ‘affiliate marketer’ — someone who promotes products (mostly affiliate products) and earns a commission for bringing in sales. When a visitor clicks a monetized link or makes a purchase on a site that you’ve promoted, you’ll earn a commission.
The best part about affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to have a massive following or lots of experience to get started. You only need to have a blog with some content (to build credibility), a merchant account (to accept payments online), and a few good products to promote (which are proven to convert traffic into paying customers).
Step four: Monetizing a WordPress blog through affiliate marketing
Once you have an audience, it’s time to start making money from your blog. The first step is to choose a product or service that you’ll promote and a suitable affiliate program in which to do so. You’ll then need to track your affiliate sales (and earn a commission on each sale) to finally settle on an amount to divide by two (to calculate your earnings).
If you want to get started with affiliate marketing, visit our affiliate marketing tool or download a good affiliate tracking plugin from the App store.
You’ll also need to consider how you’ll promote your products. For best results, you should look to promote products that are relevant to your niche. (For example, if you’re promoting a product related to food, you might want to look into healthy eating blog posts or recipes.)
After you have your affiliate program set up and started generating revenue, it’s time to evolve your blog and start making more money (see our blog income reports).