How to Monetize Your WordPress Blog

Making money isn't easy – offline or online. In fact, maybe it is a tad more difficult online. On the other hand, the costs involved in getting online revenue are fewer thus making it attractive. Well, at least the day-to-day costs. The hidden costs however are sustained efforts over weeks or even months and lots of patience.

Making money isn’t easy – offline or online. In fact, maybe it is a tad more difficult online. On the other hand, the costs involved in getting online revenue are fewer thus making it attractive. Well, at least the day-to-day costs. The hidden costs however are sustained efforts over weeks or even months and lots of patience.

Having said that, there are a few things you could do and a lot of help around. The first step is to optimize your website for the highest traffic you could possibly get. This primarily involves search engine optimization for the keywords that apply to your website and getting the word out on social media. Of course, there are other techniques.

Only once you have a sizable traffic can you take advantage of the ad space on your site’s estate. There are multiple ways to do that. The most widely used one’s are pay-per-click advertising slots of which Google Adsense is the single most source of revenue especially for small to medium sized blogs/sites. Let us address them the last. Let us first take a look at the alternatives to “Ad network” route of making money.

Affiliate Links

These are companies like Amazon that offer their inventory to be sold on your site. The mode of accessibility is the same as ad networks – through ad space on your site. But the revenue is not a certain fixed amount per click. Instead it is a percentage of the sale value after actual sale is made.

So, while the revenue earning event – click vs actual sale – might be fewer; the total amount will be larger because of the higher value you earn per event.  Most affiliate partnership programs will allow you to cater to your site’s niche getting irrelevant advertising out of the way. The setup is also almost always really easy.

Direct Advertisements

As your blog/site grows in popularity you will find yourself being approached by related websites/agencies to advertise their products on your site for a fixed amount per week or per month. This has the distinct advantage of having a fixed stream of revenue. However, you might find it difficult to have the slots always filled up.

You could use the other two methods as alternates when you are out of advertisers. This also involves the additional effort of handwriting your advertisement code and coordination of payments, etc. Not to mention, not always will you be approached, there are times when you will have to do the approaching and this takes an ask on your time too.

Search and Captcha Boxes

The two methods mentioned above along with using ad networks that have a pay-per-click revenue model – all use advertisement spots on your site be it links to words on your text, banners or pop-ups. Search and captcha boxes offer themselves for additional advertising. These are inevitable sections of your site and they are used quite often – search on your site and the comments section that might have an autobot filter to avoid spam comments called captcha.

Google adsense also offers search box advertisement and there are other companies that offer advertising on the captcha box rather than just random letter generation.

Newsletters, YouTube

There are other spaces in which your blog/site exists and you can make money from those spaces too. The newsletter/periodical bulletin you send to your e-mail subscribers is one rich source of reader’s undivided attention. This can earn revenue by putting in very little additional effort. Another similar avenue is videos hosted on YouTube. Again you can include relevant ads.

Memberships

Once you have made your place in the market, you can charge visitors for availing your content. This is specifically true for only content based sites where there is no actual physical product. However, you have to factor in the possibility that you might lose some readership because of the levy.

Consultations, Conferences, Books, Other Writing Assignments

If you have established yourself as a domain expert you will see a lot of what we call “by-product” revenue come your way. These would be in the form of consulting deals or invites from conferences to speak on your area of interest. Other writing assignments in the form of writing sponsored posts on others’ sites come through too. Book deals or e-books aren’t unheard of either. In fact, e-books have become really easy with self-publishing at the tip of your fingers.

Ad Networks or Pay-per-click Advertising

Lets come back to the first step you will most likely take towards making money of your website. While we can generalise and say that there are Ad networks and various pay-per-click options, the truth is you are going to, in all likelihood, end up using Google Adsense. Especially for banners and text link ads. Of course, you have to be wary of ad blockers and realise that some of the more experienced web users might not even see your ads. But, that is now a part of the game.

While setting up ads through Google Adsense is no rocket science, the process could get overwhelming very soon. Fortunately, you have a lot of help around. Sites like WPeka Club offer apps, plugins, themes that make setting up ads and a lot more a breeze. They have different plans at varying prices for you to pick from. The monthly, quarterly and yearly memberships come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Here is a sample of what they have on offer in terms of optimizing your site for Google Adsense.
WPAdcenter in fact, includes affiliate marketing and chitika too along with Google Adsense. The banners can be placed anywhere on the site and you have additional features like being able to notify advertiser when 80% of the campaign is over.
HeatMap Theme Pro offers WordPress themes along with adsense. Basically, the themes offered are ready with optimized ad placements. You can pick the one which suits your niche the best.
CTR Theme (Adsense), too in a similar vein, has themes specifically made to suit Adsense the best. It includes features like random ad placement in an attempt to fight an experienced web-user’s blind eye.

You do have a lot of ammunition to play around with and make the most bang out of the buck. But, be wary. Do not go overboard. You don’t want your reader to be turned off by too many ads, never to return again. Bring in the balance by having the recommended number of ads, just place them in the right places. Tinker around with the help you have at your hands in the form of Adsense optimized plugins.

Alyona Galea
Alyona Galea
Alyona is a WordPress enthusiast, focused on sharing interesting things she comes across during her work with this great CMS. She loves exploring new destinations and maintains a travel blog at www.alyonatravels.com

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4 Responses

  1. Captcha boxes? as a way of monetizing a wordpress blog. That is something new to me and deserves some additional reading and research how to do it.

  2. Hi Pooja,
    Great post, thanks for sharing all the methods.
    You mentioned that once you have a sizable traffic can you take advantage of ads. What is the optimal amount of traffic after which you should start thinking about the ads ? Is it differ from industry to industry?

  3. Hii,

    I’ve found the best way to make money blogging is to do sponsored posts, and selling a product like an eBook on your own blog.

    I have not done much affiliate marketing on my own blog but did on retail sites I once had and it did work pretty well there.

    Thanks for your tips – I may play around with a few of them and have a great day.

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