There are more than 152 million blogs on the Internet, according to a November 2013 post in the online WordPress blogging magazine WP Virtuoso, and a new blog is created somewhere in the world every half-second. That adds up to a whole lot of blogs, but not every blog is a moneymaker for its owner. Blogging probably won’t make you obscenely rich, but it can earn you a decent income if you’re willing to work at it. However, some platforms are better for monetization than others, and of the numerous blogging platforms available, WordPress is arguably the best one for those who wish to reach a large audience and are serious about monetizing their blogs.
WordPress provides numerous monetization options, as well as flexibility and outstanding support. And its self-hosting version, WordPress.org, offers a range of plugins that can help make monetization even easier.
Before we go any further we should note that WordPress offers a free blogging platform – WordPress.com – but it doesn’t currently have plugin capabilities, and the options for customizing templates and other features of your blog are more limited. (In addition, you don’t technically own your free WordPress blog; WordPress does. That’s also true of those free Blogger blogs.) For maximum flexibility and customization capabilities, many bloggers choose WordPress.org with a paid hosting service. See this article for information about the differences between WordPress’s .com and .org incarnations.
No matter which WordPress you choose, you can make money with your blog, thanks to its monetization-friendly features. Here are five ways that WordPress can help your blog earn money for you.
1. Wordads and Google Adsense
The bad news is that you can’t use Google Adsense on a WordPress.com (freebie) blog, though you can use it on your WordPress.org blog. The good news is that you can use WordPress’ version of Google Adsense, Wordads on WordPress.com. Here is the current lineup of Wordads-supported themes.
For information on how to add Google Adsense to your WordPress.org site, see http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/how-to-add-google-adsense-to-your-wordpress-site/
2. Affiliate marketing
Although certain users over the years have abused affiliate marketing, it’s still a perfectly legitimate way to monetize your blog, as long as you follow the rules (make sure you’re current on the FTC regulations and other applicable guidelines). Many people are quite successful at affiliate marketing. If you’re not sure of yourself and just want to get your feet wet, one suggestion is to start with any products or tools for which you have paid to build your blog (e.g., paid SEO, premium WordPress themes, social media management tools, e-books or other resources you’ve used to help you develop your blog). Do a Google search for the product or service, plus “affiliate” or “affiliate program,” to see if they have one you can join. If you are already promoting several affiliate products, you can sync them with your content by using WordPress’s Widget Logic plugin. For more information about that, see Widget Logic on WordPress Plugins.
WordPress.org (not .com) has great eCommerce capabilities, which comes in quite handy if the primary purpose of your blog is to help you sell your products or services. WordPress supports a host of plugins to aid in eCommerce. One caveat: due to its popularity, WordPress has become a magnet for hackers in recent years, so make sure you have all of your security bases covered. For suggestions on how to do this see securing your store article.
4. Monetization of social media icons
You’ve heard the term “sharing is caring.” Whether that’s literally true or not, people love to share on social media, so most blogs today have social sharing icons. Sharing is not only good for search engine optimization, it can be a monetization tool as well. WordPress.org offers a plugin called Share4Bucks that is not only a monetization tool but also an advanced sharing toolbar, allowing users to easily share their content on the most popular social media sites.
At some point soon, this plugin will give you the ability not only to easily share links but also to automatically publish entire blog posts on your Facebook fan page. For information about many more plugin options, see make money plugins or monetization tag.
5. Great general support
WordPress offers comprehensive support and help as you grow your blog (or other WordPress site). They offer extensive documentation on all aspects of WordPress blogging and site building, and WordPress’s popularity has earned it a huge community of fellow users who can offer help and advice on numerous support forums.
This isn’t to suggest that other popular platforms such as Blogger (Google’s free blogging platform) cannot be effectively monetized. The truth is that if you know what you’re doing you can make money on just about any blogging platform. All things considered, however, WordPress is often the best choice for bloggers who are serious about monetizing their blogs.