How to Monetize a WordPress Website (Ideas and Steps)

Do you have a new or existing WordPress site that you want to turn into a business? Consider how to monetize a WordPress website, from passive to active ideas.

How to Monetize a WordPress Website | Hannah Haefele

In this post, I go over the different monetization options and how to make your first $1. Keep reading to learn more.

But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.

Add Affiliate Links

One of my favorite options for how to monetize a WordPress website is to use affiliate links. Affiliate marketing allows you to promote products you use and love and get a commission whenever you generate a sale.

You can use affiliate links in your blog posts and on your standard web pages. Whether you write a product review, a roundup, or a tutorial, you can link to relevant products.

As your website gains traffic, you can start to get more consistent commissions. Some of the most successful blogs make a lot of money from affiliate links.

I’d recommend only promoting products you have experience with. That way, you won’t risk promoting a sketchy product and losing the trust of your audience.

Apply to an Ad Network

Another great way to make money on WordPress is to use display ads. If you use the free version of, you can’t use ads, so you’ll want to pay for a host, like SiteGround.

Once you set up the ads, you can focus on publishing good content and getting website traffic. You can then make a bit of money from every ad impression and click.

Google AdSense is a good option if your website is a bit smaller. They don’t have a minimum traffic requirement, but you will need to already have some unique articles on your website.

Other ad networks to look into include Ezoic, Mediavine, and AdThrive. You can always start with AdSense and move to a different ad network later on.

Use a Donation Button

You can also monetize a WordPress website with a donation button. PayPal lets you create a button that you can add to any blog post, page, or the sidebar of your site.

Another option is to create an account on Buy Me a Coffee. You can add a link to your account on your website and encourage people to donate if they want to support you.

Compared to other options, donations can be hard to get, especially consistently. However, if you have people asking you how they can support you, you can give this method a try.

Plus, it’s free to set up, so you could spend a few minutes to make nothing or potentially a few extra bucks here and there.

Work With Brand Sponsors

As you start to get more traffic and build an audience, you can pitch your blog to sponsors. This is where you partner with a brand or company to write a blog post.

The brand will pay you a flat rate, and you’ll mention the post is sponsored by the brand. Some partnerships may require more text about the brand, while others might only involve a single sentence.

You can also use these sponsorships to set up affiliate partnerships to increase your earning potential. And as you get more traffic, you can raise your sponsorship rates.

Just make sure you disclose the fact that the blog post is sponsored. I’d also recommend not making every blog post sponsored because that can drive readers away.

Sell Physical Products

Another method for how to monetize a WordPress website is to sell physical products, like clothing or technology. You can sell things that you make yourself, such as crochet projects.

If you want to sell things that others make, you’ll need to source those products. Then, you’ll need to install a plugin like WooCommerce where you list all of your products for sale.

Of course, when you make a sale, you’ll have to package the item and take it to the post office. So this isn’t the best option if you’re short on time, but it can be lucrative.

You can then use your blog posts to promote specific products or your overall shop.

Offer Digital Products

A similar path you can pursue is selling digital downloads or products, from eBooks to courses to printable worksheets. You can use a plugin like Easy Digital Downloads to host these files on your website.

Link to a specific product in your blog posts, or create a shop page where you list all of your products. But unlike physical products, you don’t ever have to ship anything.

Once you create and upload a digital product, you just have to market it to get sales.

If you don’t want to host the products on your website, you can use a program like Teachable. It’s great for courses, and they recently set up the ability for you to sell downloads.

Get Freelance Clients

Most of the other ways to monetize your website on WordPress involve some upfront work. It can take months or even years before you turn a profit.

However, finding freelance clients can help you make money much sooner. You can offer services related to the niche of your WordPress website, from graphic design to music lessons.

As with many of the other monetization options, you can use your website to promote your new service. Then, you may be able to get your first client relatively soon.

Create a Membership

After you build an audience, you can set up a subscription or membership site. This is where you offer exclusive content to people who pay a monthly or annual subscription fee.

Unfortunately, this option requires upkeep with new content each month so that people continue paying. It’s also not the best if you’re just launching your site.

However, it can be more lucrative than offering a service to individual clients. You can help more people and offer the help at a more affordable price.

How to Monetize a WordPress Website

Once you have an idea of how you want to monetize your site, you need to take steps to put that plan in action. Here’s what you need to do so that you can start making money from your website.

Start Adding Content

For better or worse, most of the monetization methods require you to have some content already on your blog. I’d recommend adding at least 20 or 30 blog posts, especially if you’re interested in using display ads.

You can set up a content creation schedule. That way, you won’t go too long between adding new blog posts, and you can get a decent amount of content published quickly.

Even if you don’t need existing content to start a monetization strategy, the content will help promote your income stream. So get some blog post ideas and start writing them as soon as you can.

Consider Your Niche

Another thing to keep in mind is whether a monetization method works for your niche. For example, most ad networks don’t accept websites that share adult content.

Or you may have a niche that doesn’t have a lot of related products with affiliate programs. Knowing your niche can help you narrow down your options for how to monetize a WordPress website.

Then, you can choose one or two strategies that offer you the best profit potential. You can add more later, but starting with the best one or two income streams will make it easier to start making money.

Think About Your Schedule

I’m currently a freelance writer and do that type of work full-time, so I have time to offer that sort of service. But if you have a day job or some other business, you may want to start with more “passive” income sources.

Those include things like ads, affiliate links, and digital products. Meanwhile, services, physical products, and membership sites involve more ongoing work.

If you don’t have a ton of time to work on your website, stick with passive sources for now. They won’t make a profit as fast, but they can pay off in the longrun.

Promote Your Website

No matter how you monetize your WordPress blog, you need traffic to actually start making money. Sure, you can use SEO, and that can help you get a lot of page views over time.

However, it’s not a very effective short-term strategy. If you want to make money sooner, you’ll need to get your website in front of people in your ideal audience.

You can promote your blog on social media to get your first few visitors. That way, you’ll have a better chance of earning your first affiliate commission or getting a few clients.

Can a WordPress Website Be Monetized?

You can monetize most WordPress websites, especially self-hosted websites. If you use to host your site, you can monetize your content but only if you have a paid plan.

How Many Views Do You Need to Make Money on WordPress?

To make money with a WordPress site, you need some traffic, but there’s no one threshold. For example, you could make money from freelance services with only a handful of views.

On the other hand, you’ll need hundreds of thousands of views to make a good amount from display ads.

What Is the Easiest Way to Monetize a Website?

Display ads are the easiest option since they don’t require extra work after you set them up. However, you can’t expect to make a lot of money from ads until you get a ton of page views.

On the other hand, freelance services can help you make more money with less traffic. But you’ll need to invest a lot of time to make that happen.

Final Thoughts

Choosing how to monetize a WordPress website is a big decision, but it can make or break your business. Be sure to consider your options and what you have to do to make money.

If you’re interested in using affiliate marketing, enroll in Affiliate Marketing Superstars.

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