If we take a closer look at how you can make money using a website, we get the following things:
1. Selling your own products/items
2. Selling unique services
3. Affiliate marketing
Although there are many other ways that one can make money using websites, when it comes down to it, those little ideas can be generalized in these four categories.
So let’s take a closer look at how a WordPress site can help you make money in each category.
Selling Your Own Products/Items
Back in the day, it was all about selling physical products. Nowadays, with the advancements in technology, you can sell a lot of digital products and even access to unique content.
This is one of the most basic and popular things to sell. You can sell anything from sports equipment and books to baby strollers and heavy duty equipment. If you want to sell psychical products using WordPress, you need an e-commerce plug-in to give you a shopping cart feature for your website. For instance, you may use plug-ins like MarketPress from WPMU DEV (the great thing about this plug-in is that it lets you sell digital products as well).
As stated earlier, digital products are now becoming more and more popular thanks to the growth of the online mobile marketing industry. You can sell stuff like e-books, audios files, videos, images, documents, etc. If you don’t want to use third party services to handle your downloads, then you might want to pick up a helpful digital download plug-in such as the Easy Digital Downloads, which does everything you need to do on your site.
Access To Content
This is basically selling access to membership sites, webinars, news, information, etc. This WordPress membership plug-in will help you get started in this type of business.
Affiliate marketing, simply put, is selling someone else’s product and getting a commission for it. This is one of the most popular and difficult methods of making money online. Of course, some websites have private affiliate programs while other people end up using larger websites like Amazon, ShareASale, ClickBank, etc.
There are many plugins that can help you with affiliate marketing. Most of the time, it is solid content and simple linking that affiliate marketers like to use.
Of course, there is one notable tool that any affiliate marketer should have and that is the redirection plug-in like Simple URLs and Pretty Link Lite.
How do these plug-ins work exactly? If you have a messy link that is something like this:
The plug-ins make it look like this:
This will attract more potential customers, especially the ones who mouse over the links first before clicking anything. But the even greater thing about these plug-ins is that you can track how many people click on your link. This simply means you get the information and data you need to customize your links to improve and tweak it. You don’t have to do guess work now.
Selling a service can include a lot of things like selling SEO services and article writing or rewriting, to selling cleaning and pet sitting services. However, you have to take note that various niches need their own different approach when they are marketed. But the most important thing to remember is to make sure that getting in contact with your customer is your top priority.
I was shocked when I learned that WordPress apparently doesn’t have a built-in contact form. Luckily, there are tons of plug-ins that can help you with this. One good and popular plug-in is the Contact Form 7 plug-in.
You can even install a chat plug-in like the Quick Chat plug-in if you want to take things more personal to your customers. If you want to integrate your Skype to your website, you can use the Skype Online Status plug-in which lets your customers contact you in a click of a button.
You can also use the Multisite feature, which is available on WordPress, if you want to sell services in other areas. This feature simply lets your customers sign up for free to place ads on their sites, or you can even offer them premium services and charge them for it.
There are also other options you can choose from that are classified under the “services” category, such as running classified ads or directories. In this case, you can use both plug-ins and themes to help you get started. You could also choose to open up free to the public and then run advertising. You can even charge for a premium service and also charge users per listing. Keep in mind that you can do both at the same time.
Last but not least is advertising. This category comes in many forms, namely:
• CPC – Cost Per Click (e.g. Google Adsense)
• CPM – Cost Per Thousand Impressions (M indicates 1000 in the Roman Numeral)
• Time Based Ads – These are ads that stay up for a defined and agreed upon time
• Sponsor Ads – Examples of these are paid reviews or just sponsorship of content
• Text Link – basically selling links in your content
Most internet marketers see advertising as real estate since location is one of the key aspects of this category. For example, if you are using Google Adsense, you want those ads on the front page so people will see them and have the potential to click on them. Another good example is selling banner ads directly.
This all makes sense right? It’s not that easy though. This is because you can’t completely rely on search engines like Google since you don’t want to flood half of your website with ads just so people can see them. If you want to do that, you can, but you’ll lose a lot of search traffic in doing so.
The reason why this happens is that Google uses page layout algorithms, which simply means that Google sees your site just as a spam and it wouldn’t want to send its users to websites that are classified as spam. What you want to do is to make your website provide content that is both relevant and easy to find.
This is where advertising plug-ins come in. They have a lot of nifty features such as inserting ads in the middle of content. Plus, these plug-ins can even show or hide specific ads to specific users, or even randomize it, and so much more.
Here are a few notable plug-ins that you should check out if you’re looking to use Ads as your source of revenue:
AdRotate – enables you to show random banners; can even use Google Adsense as well; can get stats, email notification and many more.
WP-Insert – enables you to insert ads in many ways, such as after the content, in the middle of the content, before the content and even at the side of your content.
Google Adsense Plug-in – allows you to control and customize your Google Adsense right from your blog/website. You can change the size, type, color, position, etc.
Word of Advice: remember that there are various types of plug-ins that can immensely help your website, thus, it is important to take into consideration how your website should get its revenue. With that in mind, you can optimize your website the way you want it thanks to the various plug-ins at your disposal.