Back in the days, when WordPress was introduced to the tech world some people speculated about the ability of an open-source script despite being all-free. Turned out that it not only revolutionized the writing experience but with time it emerged as a robust website developing software.
Not only this, but WordPress also generated numerous revenue streams for its users, and a whole new ecosystem of products and services evolved around it. As we speak, WordPress is 17 years old and during all these years it has helped several households to put food on their table. Not only this, but I also have experienced people taking an entire 360-degree career shift to become a part of the WordPress community.
My today’s article is primarily aimed at two types of audiences:
- Newbies in the WordPress ecosystem that look forward to kick-start a productive and progressive career.
- Existing users willing to generate money from multiple revenue streams (duh everybody likes earning extra money :))
In this piece, I’ll be helping you explore all the possible gateways through which you can earn money with WordPress. So without further ado, let’s get started!
1 Monetizing through your blog
For your business to have an online presence it’s always recommended to start a website. Not sure how to get started with your WordPress website? Check out this article → How to Start a WordPress Blog in 2020 – Simple Guide for Beginners (7 Easy Steps)
After setting up a blog, you can make money via affiliate marketing, advertisements, sponsored reviews, etc. If you have good content and more traffic on your blog then making money is not at all a strenuous task.
1.1 Affiliate Marketing
By mentioning a product/service in your blog’s content with the help of links is useful in making money. When someone clicks that link and buys the product/service you get a referral commission. Most marketplaces and service providers offer affiliate programs. A few of my personal favorites with affiliate programs in the community are offered by Kinsta, Elegant Themes, Siteground, and Envato.
After choosing your product to promote, you can also use WordPress plugins like Affiliate Royale and Pretty Links to manage the links. Generating money through affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money through WordPress. All you have to need is an engaging blog with focused and targeted content.
This is the most practiced technique of making money through WordPress. You display advertisements on your website for third-party products and earn money through clicks. And why only third-party products? You can advertise your products as well.
In fact, you keep a lite version of your product as free and advertise its paid version on its official website. However, the amount earned through ad clicks can vary significantly from time to time, and sometimes it is not more than $1 for each click. So, I do not call it a trusted mode of earning. If you want to do it sideways, then it’s fine.
The easiest way of displaying ads is by using Google Adsense as you only need to copy and paste a few lines of code in your site where you want to display these ads. One important thing is not to bombard your website with too many ads. Generally, people abandon those sites where ads pop up every few seconds. So, you might end up losing money instead of earning.
1.3 Paid sponsorships
You can also add a sponsor page to your website through which you can seek help from companies and individuals to support your work. This applies really well to those people you invest a good deal of time in building open-source software with WordPress.
Other than that, this sponsor page can help you earn paid reviews for third-party businesses. WordPress companies lookout for engaging blogs where they can get their product featured. You can tap on this opportunity by offering them a hands-on product review and in return end up earning a decent chunk of money.
For the sake of profile building, you can even write these reviews for free and once you get established you can monetize this service of yours. On average, you can earn between $100 to $250 by writing these paid reviews.
Apart from this, you can always reach out to companies yourself pitching an idea about writing for them and helping them spread the word through social media.
1.4 Public Speaking, Podcasts, and Personal Branding
If you are a good orator, then there’s an exciting niche in the WordPress ecosystem that revolves around public speaking and podcasts. You can either be a host for a conference and podcast or you can participate in such existing engagements. This is one big step in profile building and personal branding.
WordPress is all-famous for its community-based events and these are generally backed by big names of the industry. Getting sponsorships helps you not only to meet the event expenditures but also to get good public speakers on board. You’ll be in a capacity to pay the speaker honorarium which is a huge motivation. Even if the event is unpaid, you end up making a good name for yourself which might translate into a potential job opportunity.
2 Content Creation & Freelance Writing
WordPress was built to cater to the niche of content writing. It turned out to be a nightmare for several other blogging platforms including the Blogger by Google. It opened an all-new arena in the field of content writing through WordPress.com and encouraged even the unconventional writers to frequently blog.
With time, this outreach didn’t restrict to only WordPress.com, the community established an entire content writing industry around it. And believe me, it is very rewarding.
Writing content requires three things:
- The writing skill
- A decent computer/laptop
- A good internet connection
If you are good at writing despite being non-technical, then the stage is set for you. Content writing in WordPress is the most convenient yet skillful way of earning money. You write for blogs and websites and get paid. You’ll find “Write for us” or similar page featured on a website where you can apply to be a full, part-time, or even a freelance writer.
The process is pretty straightforward. At most times, you do not have to go through long interview procedures. All that is required is an article’s pitch, some links to your work, and your portfolio. However, for beginners, it might be tough since they have not accomplished any writing gigs in the past but do not worry.
Invest a month or two in writing on your personal blog or at platforms like Medium. Try getting yourself recognized as an established author and then reach out to these websites. Other than blogs and websites, you can go through the job listings for Content Writing projects on the company’s Careers page. For freelance activities, Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are the related platforms that you should check.
3 Become A Developer
If you’re a maestro at code then you can earn money by becoming a WordPress developer. This will require more technical skills, but it’s not too hard to get started. You can always develop a new plugin, theme, or even customize it, etc.
3.1 WordPress Plugin Development
You ensure a smooth running of a WordPress website you need the right set of plugins. Despite the huge free WordPress plugin directory, the market is ever ready to welcome paid plugins. Over the years plugin developers, initially got started with a free product, and when it outgrows introduced a paid version of it. That paved way for a full-fledged plugin development company.
Take the example of Easy Digital Downloads (EDD). It started off a free plugin but later, its developer established a decent company out of a single product. This is one possible approach to start a career with paid plugin development.
But, before launching a new plugin you need to do market research to study how viable the product is going to be. Check out the competitors and explore whether you are capable to complete them or not. You also need to focus on ways of promoting and selling the plugin. This will help you to create constant cash flow.
3.2 WordPress Theme Development
Just like plugins, the themes ecosystem has a consolidated significance in the WordPress space. They serve as a potential chance to earn money. The business model for theme development is no less different from plugin development. I have seen developers building an entire theme shop out of a single WordPress theme.
Good examples to quote here are Elegant Themes, MyThemeShop, ThemeIsle, etc. Today, these companies not only develop WordPress themes but offer adjacent services as well as plugin suites, security, management toolkits, hosting, etc.
Moreover, if you’re a pro in writing code then you can provide your services for customizing themes and get paid for it. Many developers are making a good amount of money by offering website, theme, and/or plugin customization services on WordPress job sites. There are a lot of users who can install a theme but are unable to change it according to their needs. That’s where the role of customizing websites come in. You can custom page layouts, post types, create logos, etc. and earn a living.
Apart from this, you can also provide design services to clients. If you have a creative mind, then crafting awe-inspiring web designs is your go-to task. And why only web design? Like development, design trends have significantly improved over the years.
People have component-based design toolkits that go hand-in-hand with site development. Mockups, templates, banners, widgets, buttons, and whatnot. Just name any WordPress site component and you’ll find a great solution for it.
4 Going Digital
Another great mode of making money with WordPress is to create a digital product and sell it. Since online trends are rising exponentially, everything pursues to grasp an online presence. Here are a few digital product ideas which you can create and get started.
4.1 Online teaching
The internet has made this world globally connected and everything is just a few clicks away. So are the teaching trends that have changed and people prefer learning through online courses than enrolling in some in-house program. Online teaching has several benefits that are not only attached to ease and convenience. Instead, it has brought versatility as well. Today, you get to enjoy courses by instructors from all around the globe without going places.
If you are good at WordPress related skills be it design, development, content, or marketing no one is restricting you to hold the mic and start recording lectures. Several WordPress instructors are earning their living through online teaching either independently or taking help from third-party platforms like Udemy, Lynda, Lamda School, etc.
If you want to self-host your courses, you can use LearnDash, it is the best WordPress LMS Plugin and is used by Fortune 500 Companies.
4.2 Writing eBooks
If you think you might not do well with recording online lectures, then writing ebooks will do your job. Once again, writing a WordPress related ebook and then selling it is not a bad option. I call it a more refined form of content writing.
If you have been blogging for quite some time then you can create an eBook including your blog posts. That’s a decent start.
Just like people find ease at learning online, they feel the same when it comes to purchasing things. Ecommerce refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet. The WordPress community is blessed to have an incredible eCommerce solution that fixes the hassle of setting up an online store.
I am talking about the WooCommerce plugin. It again started off as a free plugin but today it offers a complete eCommerce solution that includes themes and hosting. Getting started with WooCommerce is pretty easy. Even if you come from a completely non-technical background and you are interested in selling online this plugin helps you achieve your goal in a jiffy.
Dropshipping is a way of creating an online store on your website without handling the inventory or ship items yourself. WordPress can also be used to build a dropshipping store. In this case, you sell goods directly to customers but a third party ships them out and you don’t have to worry about the shipment. You can use the WooCommerce plugin to create a dropshipping store. Using plugins or settings ensures that the shipping info is sent to the supplier directly.
People have set up their entire businesses using e-commerce or dropshipping and are earning very well. This option of earning money with WordPress doesn’t require hard technical skills and pays off very well too.
5 Paid Membership Websites
Having your audience pay to access certain content or areas of your site is another way of making money by using WordPress. You can create a restricted only content on your website and let only members have access to it. For this option to work out you need a loyal audience who are willing to pay for the membership and are interested in your work.
You can easily create a membership site using an intuitive plugin called MemberPress. It is the most beginner user-friendly membership plugin out there. MemberPress will help you build astounding WordPress membership sites, accept credit cards securely, sell online courses, control who sees your content, and sell digital downloads all without any difficulty.
Membership sites can be a long time investment since you must create premium content for your paying members without long hiatuses. But they can be very lucrative because they generate constant revenue.
6 Website Maintenance
There is a huge opportunity for generating income with maintenance services. Many website owners don’t want to deal with the day-to-day tasks of running a website. They simply want a way for people to find them on the web. And this is where the role of hiring someone to maintain a website comes in.
If you already have a website for yourself and are looking after WordPress updates, security monitoring, theme and plugin updates, hosting management, CDN setup, etc. then maintaining someone else’s website and getting paid for it is not a bad idea. Using site management plugins like InfiniteWP and ManageWP will make your life easier. With the help of plugins, you can provide a comprehensive maintenance service to your clients without having to monitor each site individually and earn tons of money for it.
7 Providing SEO Services
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of building up a website. If a website has good SEO then it will rank well and attract more traffic and ultimately more money. If you’re good at content optimization, increasing site speed and SEO, many website owners will hire you for this. The knowledge and skills you use for building your own website can help someone else too and in return can generate an income for you as well.
WordPress is secure, but vulnerabilities are always there. Especially if you are an enterprise client then securing your online assets becomes even more critical. If you are a web security expert and can help businesses protect themselves then you should definitely tap on this niche.
Currently, there are many security providing solutions other than plugins. Where plugins help you achieve a basic security tightening, these companies help you on an extended level. Sucuri and SiteLock are good examples to quote. These companies are serving their WordPress clients for quite some time and can serve as a nice inspiration.
In this world of the internet, it’s all about leaving those conventional ways of money-making and adopting the new online world. And WordPress has helped people in doing so. Whether you are an expert developer or not, there is an opportunity for everyone who is interested in making money with WordPress. If you can use any of the above-mentioned suggestions and know-how to sell yourself or your product, you will have plenty of chances to make really good money using WordPress.
With all the parameters mentioned above, you can easily earn money with WordPress. So, there you have it. I hope that you’ll find this article super helpful in choosing your way. For any queries or feedback don’t hesitate to use the comments section below.