So you have a WordPress website, and you want it to pay its way.
There are several ways your site can make money, If you are selling products or services this is pretty straight forward, but there are other ways to consider such as partner programmes and even advertising revenue which can help keep your site paying its way.
Selling your products and services through your website may be the most obvious way to monetise your site, Having an online shop may be the reason you have a website in the first place. WordPress makes this ridiculously easy to do; there are some very powerful shop plug-ins available that give you features such as variable products, allowing customers to set parameters, useful if you are offering products in different sizes or colours or if you make products to order. The ability to offer discount coupons customers can redeem in your shop. Other commonly found features include: automatic stock control, shipping costs and tax calculators and capacity to handle a plethora of different payment options.
The most common shop plug-in is called Woocommerce, It’s popular because it’s both powerful and easy to learn. Not only that it’s free. There are heaps of extra plug-ins available for it, and it will integrate seamlessly with many other plug-ins such as the e-learning plug-in Sensei.
Even if you don’t sell physical or downloadable products, shop software can still be a useful way for customers to order services; as a payment gateway to a members area or to offer gift vouchers or as a way to take payments in instalments.
Another popular way to help with a the cash flow is a partner or affiliate scheme. Put simply, if someone follows an affiliate link from your site to another partner site and they buy a product or service from that site you earn a percentage of the sale. Conversely, your partners can receive a percentage of sales made on your site. The benefit to you, in this case, is that your site is advertised elsewhere. You need to negotiate separately with each partner, and the best candidates are businesses you know, or you already do business with. Of course, they also need to have an affiliate scheme if you want to benefit. As with most things on WordPress the process is made easy with dedicated plug-ins, so no specialist knowledge required.
If you randomly sign up to other site affiliate schemes, this falls under the next way to monetise your site, Advertising.
Advertising can be done in a small way using other affiliate schemes or other sites using yours. If your site is lucky enough to have regular traffic you can advertise directly for a fee, the more traffic you have, the more you can earn. If your site has high levels of traffic, businesses may directly approach you to place a banner advert on your site. Advertising can be handled in two ways either fixed on a page over a set period or by impressions. These are rotating adverts the advertiser pays for the number of times the ad appears to users on the site.
Finally, if you are a blogger or regular content producer you can always consider subscriptions. This can be handled with shop plug-ins and promoted with an affiliate scheme or you can use a specialist third party such as Patreon.
More to come soon, if you are interested in the hows and whats of WordPress, and you would like to know about anything leave a comment, and I will address it in future blogs.