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. It is entirely fair that after investing effort into building a website, that you would like to make money. Some website owners have attracted sufficient traffic to their sites and make enough money to live on. It is not any super-hard quest – anyone could make his website profitable if to know 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. You can’t make a site and then just do nothing, sitting and waiting for money to flow to you. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, my friend.
Now, when you are warned and ready to work – let’s go through a few ways you can make your website bring some money to your pocket.
This is the simplest way to monetize your site. You have plenty of space to place banners so that you can sell to interested advertisers. The more traffic your website has, the more interested in buying someplace for ads marketers will be, and the more money you will gain.
There are three types of ads you can put on your site.
When a user clicks on the advertisement that you placed somewhere on the page, you gain some 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.
This is a perfect type of websites that have intensive traffic. You get paid when an ad will be shown to a thousand people. Pay-Per-Mille or pay per thousand impressions doesn’t demand from you any additional actions. Every website owner wants more visitors to his creation, and when you place a PPM ad on a few pages, you start getting money for doing the necessary work.
Your website is a “flat” and advertisements are 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.
I’m sure you’ve already chosen a type of ad that fits you perfectly, but how do you place them on your site? Where to find those advertisers? 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. 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.
“Do not overdo” direct ad displaying. Websites overloaded with banners look cheap and not very attractive. There is a vast amount of advertising on the internet and trying to avoid it users will leave your website and lower the traffic. You also should pay attention to the context of the ad - it would be strange to display women shampoo on the car service website. Try to avoid extremes and strive to stay in balance.
This monetization strategy comes out of the power of influencer marketing. You managed to gather a vast audience, and your followers respect you and rely on your opinion. Lots of them will buy brands that you recommended because they believe you won’t give them bad advice. Marketers will offer you cooperation – unobtrusive advertising for money or products.
Another situation 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.
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.
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 but 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 effective. The best way to encourage the reader to follow the affiliate link and make a purchase is to put ads in the text. Users will be more likely interested in checking your recommendation made in the post than clicking on the ad.
This one works more like a real shop. You have some content, but you give it to users only after they pay you. It could be either a content locker or a membership, but the essence is the same: frankly saying, you sell your content to visitors of your website.
If you use 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. Membership programs are a little different. All the content is locked and opens only to members that bought a subscription. After paying to unlock the locker, you get a single article you were reading before, and paying for the membership you buy access to all the website materials.
This way of monetization is often used in online learning platforms and is very 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 start lots of interesting projects. 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.
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 website 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.
All these methods can be used separately or in many types of 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.