Revenue Generation using WordPress

February 9, 2021
Posted in
February 9, 2021 Jason Hulott

15 different ways to generate revenue from your WordPress website

There are considerable ways to generate revenue online.  I see lots of people with multiple income streams, but some are separate sites or services, and this need not be the case. While l applaud those efforts, multiple sites and solutions mean multiple marketing campaigns and efforts to drive traffic.  Yet there are a huge number of ways to use WordPress to add multiple streams of revenue to your website.

Some of these plugins highlighted are premium paid for plugins, and yes, some are affiliate links.  Now I not suggesting you should add all of these options at once.  Pick one or two extra options and build those out.  Get them bedded in and working and then maybe expand out.

Having multiple revenue options gives your audience more opportunities to buy from you and earn more per visitor and then revisit – bringing in even more traffic.

If you are using the build to sell web strategy, having multiple revenue options will make your site much more appealing to future buyers.

These options are in no particular order so let’s dive in…

Ads

Adverts are the easiest thing to add to WordPress. They are a simple way to monetize existing traffic on either the whole website or on specific pages using an ad manager plugin. You can simply manage your advertising placement. You can use a full solution to allow companies to book ads and pay for them with their credit card in advance of publication, making it a hands-free operation.

I would suggest if you’re going to use this route to have some facility in place for sanity-checking the ads that are going on to the website to make sure that they align with the brand. The other thing you can use an ad platform for is to run Google AdSense where you can just cut and paste the code. Or you can use affiliate banners, but we come on to affiliate offers and promos shortly.

Sponsorships 

I’ve separated out sponsorships because sponsorships could mean, not only ads, but they could mean that there is some kind of site takeover or some quirky way of adding a sponsorship to your website or section of your website or a guide, or a podcast that you’re running on the website could be sponsored by a company. And there are a couple of plugins that you can use. One of the ones that we recommend is simple sponsorships as it is a straightforward and simple plugin to use

Affiliate Offers

As everybody knows, I’m a big advocate of affiliate offers. There are several specific plugins that you can use, but ones I recommend are thirsty affiliates or pretty links. The benefit of a plugin like this is that it will allow you to manage your affiliate offers and links easily.

It will also show you in one place, the amount of traffic you’re driving to your affiliate links. And it will also give you the ability to backfill any of your content automatically using keyword replacement.

So what that means is if, for example, you wanted to use the hyperlink, or a keyword, such as blue widgets and the hyperlink back to one of your affiliate deals, you can actually have the system go back through all your content, and replace the word blue widgets, with blue widgets, and a link to your chosen affiliate programme so it can do a lot of work for you.

And if you have content. And a lot of content on your website that hasn’t got affiliate links in already. This can be a very, very quick win. To drive revenue because some of these pages may really be ranking.  I have seen these plugins drive sales the same day it is installed.

Digital Products

Most people selling digital products tend to use a third-party platform like Kajabi, Thinkific, or Teachable to do that to run it.    But I want to start telling people that they should be bringing this all in-house under one platform because it makes much more sense to be in control of your business and your revenue streams.

We have also seen issues around price hikes and functionality restrictions with some of thee services.

If you have them on your WordPress website, you are in control. There are a few plugins that you can use here the one that we recommend is EDD – Easy Digital Downloads and that will allow you to sell audio files PDFs, books, whatever you like.

Courses

Following on from digital products, courses are the next big thing that we want to cover, and WordPress is fantastic because it provides you with several LMS solutions – Learning Management Systems. The two we recommend, one is specifically made for learning, and that’s called LearnDash. And the second one is MemberPress. MemberPress will allow you to cover many things that we’ll come on to in the course this article, but it will also allow you to run a course.

Now that course can be video-based, audio-based or even text-based so you could actually just have course modules that are downloadable PDFs. But all this then would happen in your web environment, and you haven’t got to take people off anywhere else and have separate platforms running  – This is something that I think is a good idea.

Members Only Sales

Another option for your existing customer base is to have an area of the site where you can offer the member-only sales. Remember new sales is a plugin that works with WooCommerce and allows you to create discounts or create member-specific sale items to help build some loyalty to help build some benefit of them being a member of your community. So there’s a plugin called WooCommerce Members Only. It is a paid plugin, but it is something that you may want to consider.  Might be useful to run at strategic points of the year to help drive more sales

Directory Listings

Now directory listings have been around since the dawn of time. And one thing that we do see at the moment is a need for hand-curated quality niche directories.  A relevant niche directory can attract traffic on its own, has SEO value and provides a number of revenue opportunities. Now there is a paid plugin called Business Directory pro that we’ve used for clients. This is an excellent way of adding a directory to your business with multiple categories and options.

The beauty of this is that you can create a free directory of relevant products and services and companies, and then offer them the ability to upgrade their listing to a premium listing. This is then paid for, and the benefit for them would be then it could be more brandable, it could give them more functionality like the ability to add a URL or phone number or contact details. So directory listings can be a great one.

Being meta AF, you could even run you Ad platform above on the directory too, to further boost your revenue options.

Guest Posts / Sponsored Posts 

Now this one is a bit controversial for a lot of people because they get spammed with hundreds upon hundreds of guest post requests from all kinds of SEOs all over the place. And most people sit on social media and complain about this quite a lot.

So, I get that.

But what this could be is this could be an ability for you to automate part of that process whereby you direct people to a page or a plugin on your website that allows you to take payment for a guest post. This would probably cut down 99% of the rubbish you get through and enable you to monetize that part of your website quickly and easily.

If somebody did want a guest post, and it was relevant to your audience, you could have a facility like WP forms (Here is a link to an article on WP Forms that shows you how to do it )automate. So they could submit articles and pay you for them before you publish. Again, this is taking away a lot of administration and automating a process that could be another way of adding revenue to your website which you’re probably missing out on at the moment.

Merchandise

This was shared with me in a content marketing group chat and hat tip to Vic because this is her idea really more than mine, but I’ve looked into it since we’ve spoken and it looks like a very good one. If you have a community or a group and have an interesting, quirky little brand, why not sell merchandise and T-shirts mugs hats, pens, journals, and all that kind of stuff.

Now, you can use a third-party service like Redbubble or CafePress. But I was introduced to Printful and using WooCommerce to embed that within your own web environment. So you do not have to send people off your website, and they can buy through you. That’s actually a good thing. Merchandise could give you the ability to create a little bit of extra income and get your brand out there and get some more brand awareness, which could drive more traffic and then more sales and it just on and on it goes.

Subscriptions – Paid Premium Content

So we see lots of newspapers and digital portals having a paid subscription model. And this could be something that you can use to your advantage if you have a base level of free content and then you could offer a subscription where people could upgrade to a better not better.

A more detailed or comprehensive view of the articles you’re writing so you could have, you know, the top five tips, could be free, but then they can subscribe and pay to get the top 10. And so these kinds of things can be sat within a membership subscription.

There are a couple of subscription services that use WordPress, but this could also be run with MemberPress. We talked about MemberPress before when we looked at courses so MemberPress can do a couple of things for you, so that might be an option if you wanted to sell upgraded access to web content.

Paid Newsletter

So paid newsletters sit slightly outside the subscription paid premium content model. This would be content delivered via purely via email, and wouldn’t necessarily be available on the site. There’s a couple of ways of doing this, and you can still do this through WordPress.

Using a plugin called newsletter glue, a free plugin, they also have a premium upgrade. And that will allow you to create newsletters from inside WordPress, and then deliver them via your ESP your email service provider. So, it connects at the moment, so I think.

  • MailChimp
  • Mailerlite
  • Active Campaign and a few others.

So that could be a way of doing that. The other one that I found was a plugin called attributes that have a new WordPress newsletter plugin. The other beauty of having paid newsletters is that you’ve got an added facility to generate even more content and more revenue from inside the newsletter to theoretically be offering classified ads, so little small snippets that people can pay for.

You can run your normal ads that we talked about at the top of this piece of content. And then you also can sell sponsorships within just a newsletter. And this can still all be handled from within the WordPress environment, so you haven’t got to use a third party to do this.

There is a plugin called WP adverts, which we link to below, which allows you to run classified ads from with inside your newsletter, so we’re going quite meta now in terms of being able to offer revenue options from your traffic.

Paid Group / Membership

So, having a niche is a great way to run a membership or group around a particular topic as we know. But that could be a paid group. And that doesn’t have to be within the Facebook environment. I see lots of people setting up Facebook groups because it’s quick and easy. But we’re also seeing lots of people setting up these groups complaining that they’re not getting the reach or the interactivity.

So this is something you can do with WordPress, again using our trusty MemberPress plugin. You can create a paid membership area, and allow people the same kind of interaction that you would get from social media.

But what you’ll find is you should have theoretically much more engagement and reach because people are actually going to see what’s going on. There’s also WishList Member.

Referral Program

Referral programmes here differ from affiliate programmes, and here’s why.

Referral programmes are used to get existing customers to refer you. An affiliate programme could be used by anyone registered to promote you – Therefore, an affiliate doesn’t have to be a customer.

I digress…

Your referral programme is basically offering your visitors the ability to get discounts for referring other people into your world, and having them pay for whatever facility that they’re promoting be that a membership, a course or products, or a consultancy sale.

There are a couple of ways to do that one. You could use a WooCommerce coupon plugin that can provide your referees with discounts off products and then offer that discount out to the person being referred. So it’s a win-win. That would help you generate some more revenue and get more eyeballs on your content and traffic.

The other way to do that would be to use affiliate WP, an affiliate marketing plugin, but you can run that as a referral scheme to reward people with cold hard cash. If you wanted to do that for sales, it’s another way to generate revenue from your traffic.

Wholesaling

If you are an e-commerce provider (This won’t really work if you are a service provider out of the box – but I have an idea here), you have the ability within WordPress to create wholesale accounts. There are several plugins that we found recently that will allow you to create a reseller or wholesale section, using the same database on WordPress. This means you can give your wholesale partners their own login and they can buy at wholesale rates.

Through you, so wholesaling could be a way of enhancing your region, enhancing your ability to generate sales, not looked at this in terms of a service business. Still, it will work if you’re running any kind of e-commerce store.

White labelling

The out of the box thought for wholesale accounts for service providers  – if you have set up your product and services for sale as WooCommerce products – you could offer a wholesale facility – We do this at Speedie with our partners – but we do it manually.  We provide them with a discounted or wholesale rate in effect, and then they can add margin they want for their customers.   On reflection – this is the same as a wholesale account option discussed above.  So as a service provider, you can run wholesale accounts and call it a Whitelabel service.  This would be a suitable reframe.

These plugins will do the job for that:

Loyalty Programme

And finally, I wanted to share loyalty programmes.

Loyalty programmes are a great way to get repeat sales and a great way to generate goodwill within your customer base. We tend to find with loyalty schemes we reward customers when they generate repeat sales or upsells or cross-sells or down sells. A couple of plugins that you can use to do this are coupon-based.

What that would mean is that you can offer your customers discounts off their future purchases when they buy. They can then redeem those coupons when they like so would work like a nectar card or boots points scheme, but it will allow you to generate additional revenue from your existing customer base. So that could be something to consider.

One complaint we see with loyalty card schemes is people aren’t reminded to redeem points.  So one thing to do is make sure you are sending people periodic reminders to redeem points  – it drives more sales…

Summary

Now I’m hoping there are a few ideas here where you can deploy in your business right now. Now I wouldn’t suggest you use all of these all at once. And I certainly wouldn’t suggest you try and do more than three or four of these at one go. I would suggest that you pick the ones that resonate with you that give you the ability to do what you need within your business if you’re a sale.

If you’re running a service business there’ll be a few in here that will work if you’re an e-commerce business there’ll be a few in here that will work better and quicker because of the way that you’ve set up your business, but hopefully, this has given you some ideas. If you need help with any of these, or if any of these need further thoughts, I’m more than happy to help.

Jason Hulott

Jason is a 20 year veteran of affiliate and digital marketing. Currently runs Speedie Consultants Limited, a Digital agency for finance and insurance companies. This has included running affiliate programmes and promoting affiliate offers for the last 20 years.
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