In this post, I’ll show you how to make money with a WordPress blog. Once you learn these strategies, the whole process is pretty straight-forward.
Whether you want the freedom that comes with full-time blogging, or simply earn extra from your hobby, the best platform is always WordPress.org.
Powering over a quarter of the internet, it’s no wonder that WordPress.org is on every influential blogger’s top recommended tools.
However, going from creating a good-looking blog with great content to monetizing it.. can be a bit confusing, to say the least.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be.
How To Make Money With A WordPress Blog:
We’ll tackle how to make money from a blog through 6 simple lessons from the basics to
Lesson 1. Ways to monetize your blog, yes, it’s possible
For starters, it’s easy to assume that there isn’t much you can do with a blog.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Much like owning a house, you can either rent it, build a business on it, or sell it. Of course, whether your house is in the middle of a big city or on a remote countryside will vastly determine its’ value.
In blogging, it all comes down to traffic. As long as you have targeted traffic, you’ll profit. And here are the most popular ways to make money from your WordPress blog:
- Affiliate marketing: You can promote other’s products or services in exchange for a commission. For digital products, affiliates typically earn a 50% commission and sometimes even more.
- Product sales: Sell your own products (eBooks, webinars, apps etc.).
- Advertising: If you have decent traffic, you can sell ad space or sign up for Google AdSense.
- Market your own services: You can also leverage your blog to build a personal brand, and then use it to land consulting or freelance jobs.
The possibilities are endless. And the best bloggers know this to maximize their profit, it’s ideal to gradually branch out to multiple income streams.
That said, the same doesn’t apply for starters, which brings us to our second lesson.
Lesson 2. Focus is key
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. – Bruce Lee
Imagine building your brand on social media while learning SEO to rank for targeted keywords on Google.
Yes, you’ll be spreading yourself too thin.
It’s great to diversify your monetization methods, however most bloggers still start and maintain a healthy main income stream. For Patt Flynn it’s affiliate marketing, for Jon Morrow it’s selling his own product and service, for The Huffington Post it’s advertising.
To be a successful blogger, you need to get strategic. Determine:
- Your goals – Whether you want to sell ad spaces, your own or affiliate products. The way you monetize your WordPress blog will vastly determine your end goal.
- Who your audience will be – Who are you writing for?
- Write helpful content – What kind of problem are you solving for them?
- Start a writing calendar – To be a great blogger, you need to be consistent.
Alright, but how do we figure all that out? What’s the most effective method to monetize for starters anyway?
Below I’ll share with you a way that’s, surprisingly not mentioned neither on ProBlogger nor SmartBlogger, or even by Rand Fishkin. It’s the easiest method since you don’t need to build an audience, or long-term trust to start earning a decent income.
(It’s the same way Edy Chandra used to earn almost $100 in his first 4 months of blogging.)
Lesson 3. Start with Affiliate Marketing:
Affiliate marketing is the smartest strategy. – Jon Morrow
Pat Flynn, one of the most successful affiliate marketer said it best, “the beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to invest the time and effort to create a product to sell.”
Affiliate marketing is a good way to start for several reasons:
- It’s faster. Unlike selling ad space, affiliate marketing doesn’t require a huge amount of traffic to earn a decent income.
- Easy to start and maintain. You don’t need to invest big dollars on creating your own products, and most affiliate programs are easy to sign up for.
- A good way to build an audience. By starting with promoting others products or services, you will be able to build up a driven crowd who are ready to buy from you once you launch your own products.
Okay, this is great and all. But how do you get people on your blog, and buy from your referral link.?
Are you going to attract random traffic and pray that they are in a shopping mood?
The short answer is no, that would be a waste of time. The key to affiliate marketing is to only attract the folks who are willing to buy and are already looking for what you sell.
This brings us to lesson 4.
Lesson 4. Most Effective Way to Make Money with Your Blog:
Here’s the thing, most bloggers would advise you to go the long haul of creating useful content and building readerships or building email lists then convert your readers to sales.
While every blogger needs an audience, there is yet another strategy to attract targeted traffic that’s willing to buy from you almost immediately, the ones that you don’t need to go the extra mile to convert.
So what’s the secret?
Rank on search engines for profitable and long-tail keywords.
For starters, long-tail keywords is a fancy way to refer to phrases that people type into search engines (like Google or Bing) that are 3 words or more. “How to be funny in class” is a long-tail keyword, for example.
As you may have guessed, over 70% of searches performed by search engines are for long-tails. That’s 2.45 billion searches per day!
Ranking for long-tail keywords is much easier since the vast majority of them are low in competition (meaning not that many other websites are targeting these keywords.
Not all long-tail keywords are promising though, we need to focus on the search intent.
To put it simply, let’s say someone is searching for a specific headphone’s review like the “Bose QuietComfort 20i review”, are they looking to buy something?
Yes, no one searches for a specific and long product name like that unless they are gathering information before making a purchase decision. In the online marketing world, we call this the customer purchase life-cycle.
Todd has a great post on how to find the best keywords for your website and rank for it. It’s a must read if you are interested in long-tail keyword research.
Now that you know the most efficient way to make money from your blog, you’re probably asking “where do I start?”
Great question. 😀
In the next lesson, I’ll show you the resource that helped Todd, me and many others start our online businesses.
Lesson 5. Learn from the Best, Don’t be Afraid to Invest:
People who invest in their success tend to succeed more than those who don’t. – Jeff Goins
A huge mistake I see new WordPress bloggers make is to search for quick fixes.
By “quick fixes”, I mean get rich quick schemes and if it’s fee, that’s even better.
Well, you wouldn’t want to learn martial arts by yourself or from a bad teacher, would you?
The same goes with blogging. When I asked my admirer David from Raptitude.com for his ultimate advice to new bloggers, his answer was dead-on:
Take a blogging course of some kind, one you have to pay for.
A decent course will save you hundreds of hours and will give you an edge on everyone who’s afraid to spring for quality instruction. Best money I ever spent. – David Cain
Personally, I owe a lot of my achievement to Wealthy Affiliate, an awesome affiliate marketing course and community.
If not thanks to the on-going support and guidance from the founders and community,
I wouldn’t be able to go as far as monetizing my WordPress blog, or had the chance to talk to the top dogs in the blogging industry like Neil Patel, Mike Stelzner and Larry Kim…
… Or get featured on authoritative sites like The Huffington Post, The Daily Egg and ProBlogger.
Some Other Opinions..
I’ve also asked some of my friends at Wealthy Affiliate about how the course helped them make money online. Here’s what one student told me:
What helped me most at Wealthy Affiliate was the ability to talk to successful affiliate marketers whenever I wanted to.
I was hanging out with people that had the same goal as I did, make money online. If you want to be broke, hang out with broke people.
I wanted to make money and I wanted to make it my way. All the training you need is at Wealthy Affiliate but it takes more than just training to succeed.
You have to know why you want to make money online. What’s the prize at the end of the road? If that prize is larger than what it takes to get there, you will succeed.
The training at Wealthy Affiliate is first rate. The cost is very reasonable also. The bottom line though is all about you.
How Hard are You Willing to Work for It?
When the confusion, frustration and boredom sets in what are you going to do? Wealthy Affiliate has the ability to teach you but… Do you have the ability to stay with it until you succeed? I think you do.
Look at what Jack from BareNakedScam.com has to say about Wealthy Affiliate..
Honestly, given the high cost of living in Singapore, I would’ve not been able to support my family if it wasn’t for Wealthy Affiliate.
My wife just gave birth to my little boy and little do you know that my little boy has burned a big hole in my pocket (not that I’m complaining, and don’t get me wrong, I love my son very much).
Without the help of Wealthy Affiliate, I would have borrowed money to fund my child’s birth. You see, it is really hard to save money in Singapore.
Most importantly, Wealthy Affiliate has given me a set of skills that allows me to make money online at my own terms. Even if I am starting from zero today, I could build my company from the ground up.
Like Anh and thousands of Wealthy Affiliate members, we all have gotten help from Wealthy Affiliate, and we became successful, and it just proves one thing, the knowledge imparted to us as WA members truly works.
People who fail in this business are those who gave up easily. Persistence is the key to success.
Wealthy Affiliate has changed my life, and I hope it can change yours!
If you are a serious blogger, I strongly recommend you join Wealthy Affiliate, there is a free membership and you can upgrade to premium for only $19 the first month.
Lesson 6. Try, Try and Try Again!
Our last lesson is self-explanatory.
It’s easy to get pumped after cracking the code behind monetizing your blog, and think “hey, I can make a fortune in a month!”.
However, not all of us see the same results. Click Here to see what results to expect in terms of time and income needed to make money online.
While some took 4 – 5 months to earn a decent income, it took others, like myself a year to make a couple of dollars, and Jon Morrow 5 years (and 4 blogs) of earning nothing until he founded SmartBlogger.com and now makes a hundred thousand per month!
The harsh truth is that 81% of bloggers never make $100 from blogging.
I’ve just laid down for you one of the best ways to make money from your blog, however it’s much easier said than done. Blogging requires a huge amount of patience and dedication.
If you want to succeed, accept failures and run the marathon.
Try, try and try again.
Conclusion on Earning with a WordPress Blog:
You don’t need to be a genius to make money from your WordPress blog. However like everything worth having in life, you’ll need to dedicate your time and energy to it.
Learn from the best, be patient and keep moving forward.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment. I’ll try my best to reply!
The above article was written by the Anh Nguyen from BloggingThing.com, got any other ideas on how to make money with a WordPress Blog, let us know.
Now you know how to make money with a WordPress Blog, the next step is to take action and make it happen.
Really great post. I’ve been building my blog with WordPress too, but this is really an inspiring post.
To see so many people having success with their WP blogs in an inspiration to me.
Think I’m going to get hooked up with training place Wealthy Affiliate.
Great to hear Tim, every internet marketer or website owner should get hooked up to Wealthy Affiliate.
Just spend an hour or two in the training sessions each day and you’ll make dramatic results with your online business.
I always read the blog posts, which shares the real experience with proof of earnings. I spent a nice time on this post and I strongly believe WordPress is the best platform for blogging (only custom domains) and one can earn several ways with a single blog.
But, you need a good amount of knowledge on any chosen niche and the skills to promote the blog properly to get the maximum organic traffic from google.
Thanks Todd for sharing your knowledge with your blog readers.
Thanks for your feedback and you are right. It takes a certain amount of dedication to make anything worthwhile. Especially an online business that makes passive income on a daily basis.
I am so glad i took the time to read this. Experience comes with time and it seems that you are very dedicated and have a love of educating and helping others. Well done on that. I am new to affiliate marketing and its a bit daunting at the moment but i will keep at it and i am prepared to put the hours in. I hope i can post an inspirational journey in a year from now. All the best, Kerry
Awesome feedback Kerry, thanks. Stay true to your passion, your niche, and then just put the effort into consistently and you will see results.
It’s a bit daunting for anyone, but that’s what makes it great to have the Community Support to keep pushing on. You’ll make it!
This is a great guide and I’m really interested the affiliate marketing approach.
I like the idea of selling other people’s products without having to create my own (at this point in time anyway).
I do have a question though, is it really possible to make a full time income with the affiliate model?
I know it’s not going to happen overnight and will require a lot of work as with any business, but can it be done?
Thanks in advance
Absolutely Lee, look at some of the name dropping in this post. Pat Flynn is the biggest making between $70,000 to over $100,000 per month.
You just have to stay consistent to this project like going to college. Put in that daily effort and the momentum will grow like a snowball heading down the mountain.
I make full time income and this site has only 157 posts and 9 pages. But all are targeted and I make 99% of my income by affiliate marketing.
I’d always go with Affiliate Marketing for long term success unless you’re truly inspired to launch or build your own products, but you should have a decent amount of money that you’re willing to lose if you go that route.
Thanks for this great post Todd, it’s really good to get this information from someone who really knows how this business works.
Whenever I hear it said that good money can be earned quickly online, I run a mile.
Being a premium member at Wealthy affiliate has given me a very realistic expectation when it comes to making money from your WordPress blog. I am 3 months into building my site, and I have posted almost everyday. I haven’t earned a dollar yet, but this doesn’t unduly worry me because I know that this is how it goes. I’m confident that by continuing to implement what I have learned at Wealthy Affiliate, the rewards will eventually follow.
Yes you will make it Ray. You’ve got the right mindset and attitude to make it work. My first sale was on month 4, now it’s everyday and all the time. Stick with it and keep working hard. I had my doubts at times but I just kept at it and focused on helping people within my niche.
Go for it and never look back.
Anh Nguyen says
Loving your positive attitude! It’s true that in the make money online niche, there are a lot of unrealistic hypes. Fortunately, there are places like Wealthy Affiliate out there that really shows you the way.
I made my first sale within 6 months… that was largely because I wasn’t following the courses though. If you focus on ranking for low-competitive keywords, then I believe you may see sales coming in much quicker. 🙂
Bob Davison says
Tremendous advice on World Press and different ways to grow you online business! It’s refreshing to hear others overcoming frustration in the early stages of their online journey. Educational and motivational…
Thanks Bob, much appreciated feedback. I think this post is inspirational with the amount of examples of people achieving success with blogs and niche based affiliate sites.
Anh Nguyen says
Aww, thanks Bob for the kind words. It surely was and still quite frustrating at times but if it’s your dream to live on your own terms, it’s worth it at the end of the day!
Hey Todd, you’ve written a very informative article. For someone who is just entering into the world of affiliate marketing, I can use all of the advice I can get. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Wealthy Affiliate, I think I may give them a go. It’s free to join, right? What do I get as a free member?
Also, I couldn’t find a link properly for Wealthy Affiliate. Maybe you have one on your side bar? On the mobile version, all side bar links appear at the very bottom of the page, so may I suggest adding one or two links throughout your blog?
Other than that, great article, keep up the good work!
Thanks Joshy for the feedback, this happens when people use mobile devices. If you click at the top or the menu that says SERVICES, you’ll go right to WA’s training program using my affiliate link.
I do most of my linking to reviews to give the user a better understanding of what WA offers. For a full view of the Wealthy Affiliate’s Membership details, click this link to see the comparison chart of the Free and Premium Memberships.
Anh Nguyen says
As a free member of Wealthy Affiliate, you can get access to their level one course. The best part though, is that for the first 7 days, you will be able to use the platform just like a Premium member.
Then again, I’d just go out and say that it’s hard to build a business with the free membership. You’ll need the community and the kind of commitment that the Premium membership offers.
Ant Man says
Amazing post Todd,
This is both informative and inspirational. I have a wordpress site of my own and this was a great read. Your success stories at the beginning motivate me to work harder on my site and shrink the time it will take until I start profiting. I’ve picked one of the big 3 niches so I have a lot of work ahead but this post has helped keep me working hard.
Awesome Ant, happy to help and thanks for the positive feedback. Go for it, work hard and forget the money for now. It may suck to hear this, but you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank once you’ve got your site set up and bringing in the traffic and daily funds.
I worked my ass off on this site for the first year and made little money, like $375 bucks the first year, now I make that in a day. It varies everyday, sometimes it’s only $95/day, other days it’s over $600, but you see the results and it’s on autopilot at this time.
Go for it brother and make it happen, you’ll be so happy you did. At least I am. Don’t listen to nah sayer’s, they don’t have a clue. The internet runs 24/7 and once you get ranking, your site stays open 24/7 and the cash rolls in. You can do it. For those that need help, here you go!!!!!!!!
Anh Nguyen says
I am glad that you are motivated by the post. 😀 It takes some time for your site to take off, but as Todd said, it’s well worth the effort if you are willing to stick to it for they long run.
Matt's Mom says
I started my wordpress blog in January of this year. I have started to make sales as well. Right now I am basically only dabbling with affiliate marketing, soon to break into youtube videos. It is well worth the effort, and you can make a ton of money. … but it does take effort and time and it is not overnight! P.S. I love Wealthy Affiliate!
How cool Matt’s mom, love the feedback. If you haven’t checked out the WA webinar on how to rank and make money on YouTube, you should check it out.
WA is like I’ve always said, an all inclusive online education for those that want to make big dollars online.
Anh Nguyen says
Well said! YouTube is a good channel to build an audience and make money since it’s preferred by Google. I wish you all the best with your blog!
Really great advice on using WordPress to earn a living online, very cool.
I really love the detailing you have with every thing you say and the amount of facts that you have behind every statement you make, I really love this site man and not only is this site informative but even inspirational!
I never felt you could make any money with a word press blog, well this does change everything I think now!
Awe Shrey, you’re way to kind. Thanks for the kind feedback and happy to inspire and help. WordPress is such a great platform to build any kind of online business. Blogs, eCommerce, whatever.
If you’re just getting started online, get hooked up with my top online business training center Wealthy Affiliate. They’ve been helping folks like us for over a decade. Truly an amazing educational and business opportunity.
Best of luck as you begin you’re online journey. You might want to read this post on how long the process takes as well.
Treat this like college and you’ll do great.
Anh Nguyen says
Aww, thanks for the kind words Shrey. With the amount of misinformation on the internet it can be hard to imagine making money from blogging, but it’s possible as long as you are willing to put in the effort (and follow Todd’s instructions above).
All the best,
I learned a lot from your article How to Make Money with a WordPress Blog. You are so right about keep trying. Some people seem to score right away, but for most of us, it takes time.
I’d like to encourage people who want to make money with a blog to commit to being a student of the Internet. The absolute best place to learn is Wealthy Affiliate.
Absolutely Gary, you are 100% correct. Wealthy Affiliate is a remarkable online business training center. I think you can even take their training’s and apply them to any online business. Local websites and eCommerce sites would particularly benefit from the training WA provides.
Thanks for your feedback on the post as well as your personal experience with working with WA.
Anh Nguyen says
Gary, being a student of the internet is what will help you succeed with it. 😛 And it’s definitively important for starters to realise that commitment is key to building any kind of businesses, online or not.