The online world is saturated with WordPress blogs, and understandably so. Setting up a blog is a fantastic way to express yourself, start conversations with like-minded people, and build up your reputation in a way that can be helpful for your career prospects. And, WordPress is the obvious choice for almost any type of website. It’s the most popular CMS for good reason.
Most of these blogs don’t really do anything with the traffic they receive. Their creators just use them as creative outlets and aren’t overly concerned with how many people read them — but in many cases this is a waste. When you run a blog and build up a substantial following, you can use it somehow: and the most practical way is to turn your blog into a revenue stream.
This is particularly useful in the midst of 2020, a year that’s seen a lot of people struggle financially due to the various effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post, we’re going to set out three ways in which you can monetize your WordPress blog. Let’s get started.
Turn it into an ecommerce store
If you really want to maximize the revenue you get from your blog, then you’ll need to convert it into an ecommerce store: this will allow you to sell products alongside your blog posts, which is much more effective than having a separate store website. This is actually fairly easy to do: you just need a suitable ecommerce plugin (WooCommerce is usually the industry standard but there are many others).
You don’t even need original products due to the ubiquity of dropshipping, by far the easiest form of online retail. Your effort is almost entirely front-loaded: once you’ve installed a suitable dropshipping plugin, chosen decent suppliers, tacked on your profit margin and tweaked the product descriptions, you can essentially sit back and contribute nothing to the retail process.
Provide various ways to donate
If there’s nothing in particular that you want to sell and you don’t want to sully your blog posts in any way, then you can do down the mild route of asking for donations. Here are some viable donation plugins. If your readers appreciate your content then they’ll probably be willing to contribute, but you’ll need to be transparent about what you intend to do with the money.
Supposing you have a plan to upgrade your computer so you can blog more comfortably, make it clear around your donation links. You can even set a target with indicated progress so people can see how close you are to your goal. And if you just want some extra spending money, be honest about it: they’ll be more likely to donate if you come across as frank.
Add affiliate links to your content
The idea behind affiliate links is very simple: companies that want to get more people paying for their products and/or services can give content creators custom links to their sales pages. When one of those links leads to a sale, the content creator responsible for driving that sale gets a small commission. It isn’t much, but it adds up — and it doesn’t really cost them anything.
The only negatives are that it takes a little time to add affiliate links and — more seriously — filling blog posts with ill-fitting affiliate links is an effective way to alienate readers, leading them to conclude (quite rightfully) that you’ve “sold out” (sacrificed your creative integrity for money). But you don’t need to worry about this if you ensure that all your affiliate links are justified: mention products where they’re actually worth mentioning, only deploy affiliate links if you genuinely believe in the quality of the products, and don’t try to conceal what you’re doing.
If your WordPress blog is doing really well, then why not take advantage of that success by monetizing it? Even if it only brings in a small amount of additional income, it’ll help with the running costs, and it’s possible that it’ll bring in much more than that.
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