Money makes the world go around. Even if you are building a WordPress website just for fun, you will eventually think about making some money from it. This is the way everything in the world works - after investing some amount of efforts you deserve an equal reward. Sufficient traffic is a key to gaining money from the website and there are lots of bloggers who's sites have such a huge audience (and therefore - revenue), that they can not only travel all over the world but also live in destination points with great comfort. You don't have to be a genius or have some special talent – anyone could make his website profitable if he knows how.
However, I have to warn you: all the tips I’m going to give you will work only if you have time to fill your site with fresh information and communicate with visitors. The blog is a kind of communication platform, it has to be updated regularly and constantly because only dead blogs never change. Who would be interested to come to your website on and on if there's nothing new to read? If you are ready to create content on a regular basis and attract big traffic to your blog - only than monetization methods will be efficient. It's a pity, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch, my friend, you will have to pay for it all the time.
Now, when you are warned and ready to work – let’s go through a few ways you can make your website bring you some money.
This is the simplest way to monetize your site. You have plenty of space to put advertisement banners and you can sell that space to interested advertisers. The more traffic your website has, the more interested marketers will be, and the more money you will gain. That's one of the reasons I told you previously that traffic is the key to your success.
In general, there are three types of ads you can put on your site:
When a user clicks on the advertisement banner that you placed somewhere on the page, you gain a fixed amount of money. That’s why this type is called Pay-Per-Click. It is the most profitable way of advertising (if you can make your visitors click on ads, of course). To get a nice profit from this kind of advertising, you have to keep a perfect balance between encouraging users to pay attention to ads and not scaring them off with a huge number of annoying banners. Don't put more than three big banners on one page - it will look messy. It will also be wise to choose products that will be relevant to your blog's theme for advertising. For example, if you have a beauty blog, the banners of cosmetics brands will look organic on it.
This is a perfect type of advertising for websites that have really intensive traffic. When a banner is shown to different visitors for a thousand times - you get a fixed payment. Pay-Per-Mille or pay per thousand impressions doesn’t demand from you or your audience any additional actions (yep, they don't have to click on it). It is natural that you would like more visitors on your blog, so you will be doing your best to increase the traffic one way or another. This type of advertising is great but it definitely doesn't fit for beginners. However, combining it with PPS could bring some amazing results.
If to imagine your website is a “flat”, then advertisements will be the residents of that flat. The advertiser pays you a fixed fee that doesn’t depend on views or clicks. Of course, it is smaller than PPC or PPM rates, but you will get your money no matter the circumstances. This type of advertising is probably the best for beginners that don't have that much traffic but the disadvantage is that you have almost no control over the banners shown on the "rented" space. Use it wisely and try to mix it with other ways of monetization.
Useful advertising tools
I’m sure you’ve already chosen a type of ad that fits you perfectly, but how do you place them on your site? And where to find those advertisers? This part could confuse a beginner, but keep calm and carry on. It is much easier to organize the advertising process on your website than you think.
There are specialized services that will do everything for you. If you created your website on WordPress.com, it has a WordAds service, available for paid clients. You only have to register, and a program will define how much will you gain according to a traffic rate and find advertisers who would like to cooperate with you. It makes your blog monetization much easier and definitely more pleasant.
Those who don’t have a WordPress.com blog could use any other advertising service like AdSense or AdPlugg plugin. They work just like WordAds and help you to gain income via selling advertising space. With it, you can choose the place where the banner will be shown, its shape and type of products it advertises. All the control will be in your hands - you can freely block the advertisements you don't like or consider to be unfitting to your blog's content.
“Do not overdo” - this is the most important rule you have to remember if it comes to advertising. Websites overloaded with banners look cheap and not very attractive. There is a vast amount of advertising and by now users are already fed up with it. They do their best to avoid annoying banners and will leave your website immediately if there are too much of them. Try to avoid extremes and strive to stay in balance - it is the right way to success.
This monetization strategy comes out of the power of influencer marketing. If you managed to gather a vast audience and obtain followers respect - they will rely on your opinion. Lots of them will buy brands that you recommended because they believe you won’t give them bad advice. According to the statistics, 70% of teenagers consider YouTube influencers are more trustworthy than "traditional" celebrities. Almost all internet users rely on other people reviews and advice when making a buying decision. If you have a sufficient audience - marketers will offer you cooperation. You can get money or products in exchange for unobtrusive advertising in the blog posts. There's no need to wait until a marketer finds you - contact the brands you really like for yourself. If they like your blog they will gladly work with you and everyone will have profit.
Another type of sponsored posts is when an advertiser asks you to place an article, written by another author about some product to your blog. You decide to allow or block it. Depending on the quality of post it could either add some diversity to your website or disappoint your followers, making them leave you, so be careful. Read the text, pay attention to the mistakes and writing style and try to evaluate the article from your reader's position. Every detail could be important so don't rush and take your time.
If you decided to make a profit on sponsored articles pay attention to these pieces of advice:
- Be transparent. Your readers will be less frustrated if you warn them that some of the posts are sponsored. If promoting some product post will appear suddenly – the user will feel deceived.
- Be interesting. A useful post that has a little promotion, in the end, will be more effective and less annoying than an entirely advertising article. Continue to give your followers what they were used to – entertaining or educational texts.
- Preserve your reputation. Your followers believe you, so tell the truth. If you haven’t used a product, you now promote – write about it.
Word "affiliate" means an object that is attached to some larger body. The affiliate link is a picture or words that take the user to the website that sells something. However, that link is different from an ordinary one because it "remembers" what website did the user came from. Unlike direct advertising, you won’t get paid if your website visitors will see or click on the affiliate ad. Instead, you will get some percentage from every sale made from your affiliate link. This way of monetization requires more efforts because you have to encourage the user to buy something after moving to the seller website but it also generates more revenue.
Affiliate links could be placed on the same positions as ads, on the top, to the left, and to the right from the text, but these locations are not very effective. The best way to encourage the reader to follow the affiliate link and make a purchase is to put it in the text. Users will be more likely interested in checking your recommendation made in the post than clicking on the ad. However, combining in-text and separate affiliate links could bring more profit than using only one type of them. There are a lot of companies who support affiliate programs, you only have to choose the fitting to your niche one. For example, Amazon offers a nice affiliate program to a wide range of users. TemplateMonster also has it, so if your blog is connected with software you should take a look at the advantages.
This one works more like a real shop. You have some content, but you give it to users only after they pay you. You could use either a content locker or a membership strategy, but the essence is the same: frankly saying, you sell your content to visitors of your website.
If you use a gateway or content locker, you show readers some part of it and then ask for a payment to see the rest. At the end of the introductory piece is a banner with a call to action, asking visitors to "pay" - hit the "like" button, share the article to their social media or subscribe for the news. Don't think that engagement is less profitable than money - clicks, shares, and subscriptions expand your audience and help you to reach new people. There are lots of plugins that could help you to lock the content, such as this free Content Locker plugin.
Membership programs are a little different. All the content is locked and opens only to members that subscribe to your website (sometimes that subscription could even be paid). You can choose to show some parts of the text to unsubscribed users or not, but if you are not sure I would recommend you do. It will be easier to have the visitors subscribe if they already evaluated the quality of content. Some templates have a membership option built-in from the beginning but if your website doesn't have it - use a plugin like WP-Members Membership.
This way of monetization is often used in online learning platforms and is sometimes hard to maintain. You need to have fascinating and useful content or a vast tribe of devoted fans to get sufficient revenue this way. But if you work hard, steady income is guaranteed.
Did you think only nonprofit organizations can gather donations? Crowdsourcing is also a form of donation, and titans like Kickstarter have already helped lots of interesting projects to start. As a website owner, you can ask your followers to support you with a little payment. Creative people like writers, comics creators or singers use Patreon to gather donations from pleased or interested users. You can do it too; there are special plugins to receive donations like Give or Charitable. You can also give visitors your PayPal account and ask for support.
However, just like it is for the locked content - you have to create really vivid and breathtaking content to be additionally supported with money. This monetization strategy is definitely not for the beginner bloggers. I would recommend you to avoid asking for donation until you have at least a thousand fans, otherwise, it will be more like begging. Users don't like when someone asks for money without showing he is really worth it.
Services and products
Some websites are made to sell services or stuff, but in that case, you won't be needing this article. If you are reading this – your website is not an online store. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t sell something. An experienced musician can give private lessons and sell them via his blog about music. A beauty blogger could sell cosmetics of a particular brand. If you are famous, you can even produce cups with your design or hoodies with your photo (who knows, maybe you are a real celebrity). There are lots of plugins that could add a store to your WordPress website (for example, a WooCommerce plugin). You can also just create a page on your blog and present your service or product there, without any extensions help.
However, you must understand, that selling something needs time, attention and accuracy. You will need to spend your time, providing services or get some space to store products. If that is OK for you – this method of monetization will bring you a nice profit.
The best template for a blog
You won't be able to gain a really sufficient profit from a website that doesn't look good. The fact you are a great writer or painter doesn't mean you know the specifics of website creation. To avoid problems and build a magnificent blog you need a professionally designed template. There are hundreds of nice themes on the market, but I would like to recommend you the 24.Storycle. It is the best multipurpose template for bloggers on TemplateMonster. It doesn't matter what niche do you want to fill - this theme has 15 different skins that will fit for any type of blog. Its high-quality design was created with all the latest trends in mind, so your website is guaranteed to be fancy and eye-catching.
24.Storycle is 100% compatible with Elementor Page Builder that transforms website customization into a child's play. You just drag the elements you like and drop it to the page without using the WordPress administrative dashboard. The template package includes a set of Jet plugins created especially for Elementor - they expand the number of available options. It also includes built-in WooCommerce plugins, so you won't need to download and install it in case of creating a little online shop.
All these methods can be used separately or in various combinations. To understand what is best for your website, perform tests and analyze results. Only you can define the best strategy for your specific case, so concentrate, make tests, keep calm and go make money. Good luck with becoming rich!
I hope these tips were useful to you. Have you tried any of those methods of monetization? Maybe you have some experience-based comments about them? Or maybe you tried some strategies not listed above? Please, share your opinion, comments, and recommendations in the comment section below - they will help me to improve the article and help the other readers even more!