There are over 150 million blogs on the internet today. Many of those use WordPress as their content management system (CMS).
Anyone can create a blog. It’s not that hard. But building a profitable blog takes a lot of work and perseverance. And a crucial part of that involves figuring out how best to monetize your WordPress blog.
One of the most common and puzzling questions beginning bloggers have is “how do I monetize my WordPress blog?” The answer to this question varies. While there’s not necessarily a single correct answer, we have parsed out a few of the best ways to monetize your WordPress blog here.
Details About the Best Ways to Monetize Your WordPress Blog
Opinions differ widely when it comes to the best ways to monetize your WordPress blog.
The best decision has a lot to do with how experienced a blogger you are, what your niche is, and you who your audience is. This review assumes that you don’t have a lot of experience in monetizing your WordPress blog (If you did, you probably wouldn’t be reading this).
There are many ways to monetize your WordPress blog. When you really hit the big time, you might find additional ways of monetizing your WordPress blog that go beyond these more traditional methods.
Those just starting out will likely find methods like affiliate marketing and WordPress advertising plugins to be the most effective. On the other hand, those who have more experience and an established audience may prefer using Google AdSense and sponsored blog posts in addition to the other two methods.
WordPress Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to monetize your WordPress blog. Affiliate marketing involves placing advertisements for another company’s product or services on your site. When someone makes a purchase after clicking on the affiliate link on your WordPress blog (usually within 30 – 60 days), you receive a commission on that sale.
WordPress Affiliate Marketing is beneficial for both customers, companies, and bloggers. Customers (your readers) can find products that are relevant to their needs while they are reading your content, which must also be relevant to the products offered by your affiliate partners.
The companies that sell those products get free advertising until someone makes a purchase, at which point they pay you a commission based on the sale. Bloggers, of course, benefit from receiving the commission.
The key to being successful in affiliate marketing is having great content. What does great content look like? There are many factors to consider, but here are a few of the most important ones when it comes to WordPress affiliate marketing:
- Blog posts must be well written and formatted properly. Do your research and provide high-quality links that readers will find useful. Make sure your content is structured well for the average internet user – shorter paragraphs and sentences, fewer big words, and lots of images. Embedding social media posts or YouTube videos can also help to make your content more engaging.
- Your content must be relevant to the affiliate marketing product you’re trying to sell. If your blog is about gardening, you won’t have much success selling electronics. In this respect, Amazon affiliate marketing for WordPress is great in that their ads are programmed to show products that are relevant to the content on your page. An algorithm (computer program) scans your content and selects products based on the words it contains (it’s scary accurate, too!)
- Keep in mind search engine optimization (SEO). There are entire books written on the subject of SEO. There are also many WordPress plugins dedicated to helping bloggers with the SEO aspects of their content. The most basic element involves using keywords that your readers might be searching for.
Perhaps the most important aspect of monetizing your WordPress blog, in general, is selecting a specific niche. Pick a topic and stick to it. All the content you publish should be related to your niche in some way. Pull people in and make sure they have a good reason to stick around. Having a niche to keep yourself grounded in is the most fundamental factor in accomplishing this.
WordPress affiliate marketing involves learning to cater the affiliate product to your niche. You must learn about the products someone interested in your niche might be most interested in.
What would they be most interested in buying after searching for the information on your site? What do you know about the kind of person who would have conducted such a search in the first place? Based on this information, you can begin to determine what kind of products you should include in your affiliate marketing.
Google AdSense for WordPress
Google AdSense in WordPress is perhaps the simplest way to monetize your WordPress Blog. It simply involves placing an ad banner on your site. To do this, all you have to do is copy the HTML code provided by Google AdSense and paste it into a widget on your WordPress blog. You get paid according to how many clicks your ad banner generates.
This method of monetizing your WordPress blog requires you to first create a Google AdSense account. In your account, follow the instructions to create an ad and generate the HTML code. This is the code you will copy and paste into a “custom HTML” widget on your WordPress blog.
In your account, you will be provided with numbers and line graphs showing how well your ads are doing both individually and collectively. At first, you will only be collecting pennies. Google AdSense requires quite a bit of traffic coming to your blog in order to be profitable.
For more comprehensive control of ad placement and more detailed tracking of ad performance, you can use a WordPress advertising plugin that supports Google AdSense.
WordPress Advertising Plugins
For WordPress bloggers who host many different ads on their site from a variety of advertisers, WordPress advertising plugins can come in handy. WordPress advertising plugins offer a variety of management and customization options for the advertisements you host on your WordPress blog.
For example, some of these plugins let you conduct A/B split test runs. An A/B test run cycles between two different ads – ad “A” and ad “B” – and tracks their performance. Over time, you will learn which ad brings in more revenue. This is valuable information that can be one of the best ways to monetize your WordPress blog.
There are WordPress advertising plugins for both of the monetization methods previously mentioned as well.
Sponsored Blog Posts
Sponsored blog posts are a great way to monetize your WordPress blog. Doing a sponsored post means that someone pays you to write about their product or service and provide a link back to their site. It’s similar to affiliate marketing but in a much more direct way.
Rather than writing content and having ads that are related to it, a sponsored blog post gets specific and points readers directly to a site where they can make a purchase. This often comes in the form of a product review or detailed post describing the need that a certain product fulfills and why it fulfills that need well.
However, this works better for well-established blogs. The reason is that you won’t have a lot of offers for sponsored blog posts until you have a sizable audience. And gaining a large audience takes considerable time – often at least one year, if you’re lucky and work hard enough. Although it’s still feasible to use sponsored blog posts as a way to monetize your WordPress blog even if your blog is not hugely famous yet.
If you can prove that you have a following that is engaged with you, you may still be able to get some sponsored blog posts even if your readership is still relatively small. For example, a blog with 1 million monthly readers may not have the same opportunities for sponsored posts than a blog with 5,000 readers who are all actively engaging with the blog and making purchases because of its content.
You can do sponsored blog posts one of two ways: either you reach out to the company or they reach out to you. Obviously, not many credible companies will reach out to you until your blog has a community built up around it. But you can still reach out to companies that have products relevant to your niche.
This should be enough information to help you better understand what to look for when making a decision about how to best monetize your WordPress blog.
In our view, WordPress affiliate marketing is the most effective way to monetize your WordPress blog, assuming you are just starting out. Keep in mind that there is no universal solution to monetizing your WordPress blog, however.
Sponsored blog posts are good options for better-known bloggers. But even then, they won’t always provide the same steady revenue stream possible that affiliate marketing makes possible. Sponsored posts might be best used in conjunction with Google AdSense or affiliate marketing programs.
Best Ways to Monetize Your WordPress Blog Summarized
All in all, these are some of the best ways to monetize your WordPress blog. Out of all the possible monetization methods for a WordPress blog, these four will be the most beneficial for most bloggers.
WordPress affiliate marketing is generally the easiest way to create a revenue stream with your WordPress blog. There are a number of plugins for this, yet plugins are not always necessary. Using affiliate marketing programs provided by companies like Amazon and eBay is a common method.
Google AdSense for WordPress is probably the single most common way that people aim to monetize their WordPress blogs. It’s also the simplest. All you do is place an ad banner in a widget on your site and wait for clicks. Because the rate-per-click is so low, this is better suited to bloggers who have a lot of traffic.
WordPress advertising plugins exist for both affiliate marketing and Google AdSense. As mentioned, you don’t have to use plugins for those methods. But WordPress advertising plugins exist for countless other methods as well.
Sponsored blog posts work well for bloggers who already have an audience. The greater your audience, the higher a price people will generally be willing to pay for you to sponsor their posts. They will want you to include a link back to their site so readers can purchase one of their products or a product from one of their affiliates.
These are the 4 best ways to monetize your WordPress blog. For bloggers who are just starting out, WordPress affiliate marketing and WordPress advertising plugins are probably the best ways to go. Once you have a sizable, dedicated audience within your niche, you can focus more on Google AdSense for WordPress along with sponsored blog posts. Of course, you can continue using the other methods as well.
The 4 best ways to monetize your WordPress blog will be most effective when used together. No single method can be said to be superior to the others in all cases. It depends on the situation. But out of the myriad ways possible to monetize your WordPress blog, it will be hard to go wrong beginning with one of these four.