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10 Best Ways to Monetize WordPress (Earn Passive Income with Your Website!)

Read Time: 9 mins

Monetizing your website is a great way to earn passive income on the side. You can do it on top of the services you already provide. Or, you can start a side-hustle to supplement the income from your main job. 

There are many ways to monetize your site. What’s even better, you can get started without having to learn how to code or hiring someone to do it for you. Thanks to a platform like WordPress, it’s easier than ever to start making money online. 

monetize your wordpress websitemonetize your wordpress websitemonetize your wordpress website

In this post, we’ll explain when is the right time to monetize your WordPress website and show you ten ways to do it. 

When is the Right Time to Monetize Your WordPress Website?

If you’re thinking about earning passive income, you might be wondering when is the right time to monetize your WordPress website. The truth is that there is no right or wrong answer. 

You can certainly monetize your website from day one but you probably won’t get a lot of sales in the beginning. The main reason for this is that you need an audience who will buy from you. That’s why it’s important to focus on growing your website traffic as well as your email list. 

Keep in mind that you don’t need a huge audience. But a good milestone to aim for is 1000 monthly visitors and 1000 email subscribers. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that monetizing your website is all about numbers and math. For example, if you want to make $10000 from your WordPress website, there are several ways to hit that goal: 

  • You could sell a $1000 course to 10 people
  • Sell a $25 eBook to 400 people
  • Offer a $2000 service to 5 people

Once you know how many sales you need, you can work out how many people you need to bring in regularly while keeping the average conversion rates in mind. 

Top 10 Ways To Monetize WordPress Website

Now that you know when is the right time to monetize your site, let’s talk about different methods to do so. 

1. Sell Digital Products

The first idea we have for you is to sell digital products. This can include templates, workbooks, scripts, masterclasses, digital illustration and artwork, and more. The beauty of digital products is that you only have to create them once. However, you can sell them multiple times. Another benefit of digital products is that you don’t have to worry about shipping costs or storage fees. 

To start selling digital products, you’ll need an eCommerce plugin like Easy Digital Downloads which was designed with digital product sellers in mind. You’ll also need a theme that supports Easy Digital Downloads. 

For example, the Olam theme is a great example of a theme that you can use to create a digital marketplace. You can use this theme to sell your own digital products and you can also use it to create a multi-vendor marketplace. The theme offers three different product layouts, it’s fully responsive and offers an extensive theme options panel. 

Olam themeOlam themeOlam theme

With a multi-vendor marketplace, you allow others to sell their products on your site. In return, you get a portion of their sales. 

2. Sell Physical Products

If you don’t want to create digital products, you can sell physical products. A plugin like WooCommerce and a WooCommerce theme is the fastest way to get started. 

The Juliette theme is a gorgeous, minimal theme designed with WooCommerce stores in mind. It offers 11 homepage designs and you can use it to create any type of store. The theme works with popular page builder plugins so you can easily create your website using a drag and drop interface. In addition to that, it’s easy to customize and optimize for SEO.

Juliette WordPress themeJuliette WordPress themeJuliette WordPress theme

As far as products, if you have handmade products to sell, this can be a great way to earn money for your creations. 

Alternatively, you can start a dropshipping website. A dropshipping business model relies on selling other people’s products for a marked up price. You can find these products on marketplaces like AliExpress

You can also start a print-on-demand company and sell your designs on t-shirts, hoodies, and more. Companies like Printful make it easy to add your designs to different types of products and sell them from your own website. You don’t have to worry about fulfilment, shipping or storage fess as everything is taken care of by the printing company. 

3. Create A Directory Website 

If you’re knowledgeable about any particular topic, you could create a directory website. Sometimes, people just need a list of resources or people they can turn to when they need help. 

Or, they want an easily accessible list of places to see or things to do in a particular area. Directory websites are perfect for that. 

With this business model, you’ll initially have to build the list yourself and focus on driving traffic to it. Then, you can reach out to businesses in your area (or in your online niche) and ask them if they want to be included. They’d have to pay a fee to get their information listed and you can even create different pricing tiers for regular or prime spots. 

You can use a theme like Listify to launch your directory website as quickly as possible. The theme offers several different demos and has a very clean and minimal design. You can charge users to claim a listing that’s already on the website or to create a listing in your directory. You can also allow other visitors to leave reviews to make your directory a useful resource for your community. 

Listify WordPress themeListify WordPress themeListify WordPress theme

4. Build A Membership Website

Another way to monetize your WordPress website is to build a membership site. Your members pay a monthly, quarterly or annual fee to be able to access exclusive content on your site. This can include exclusive blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, or even training videos. 

You can use a plugin like Ultimate Membership Pro to create a membership site and protect the content you don’t want all your visitors to access. The plugin allows you to create multi-level membership tiers for which you can charge an ongoing fee. You can also create a free tier to give potential members a taste of what’s included.

Ultimate Membership Pro pluginUltimate Membership Pro pluginUltimate Membership Pro plugin

5. Sell Advertising Space

Placing ads on your site is an easy way to monetize your site. The downside of ad networks is that you’re not fully in control over the ads that display. Plus, the payouts are low and you need a lot of traffic before you see any results. 

Why not sell your own advertising space instead? Doing this allows you to control exactly which ads are displayed on your site. Not to mention, you can command your own prices. Thanks to a plugin like Ads Pro, you can manage, sell and display your advertising space with ease. The plugin also makes it easy to view detailed statistics about each ad slot sold. The configuration options allow you to fine-tune which ads display when. 

Ads Pro pluginAds Pro pluginAds Pro plugin

6. Promote Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing is a relatively easy way to earn passive income. You don’t even have to create a product. In fact, you’ll be promoting other people’s products in exchange for a percentage of the sale. 

You can get started by signing up for affiliate programs of tools and services that you already use. You can also find plenty of programs to promote through sites like Shareasale. 

Once you’ve signed up for affiliate programs, the best way to promote them is to create valuable content around them. You can also use a plugin like ThirstyAffiliates to help you manage your affiliate links. This plugin allows you to keep track of your affiliate links performance as well as automatically link keywords with the proper affiliate link, and more. 

Thirsty AffiliatesThirsty AffiliatesThirsty Affiliates

7. Sell Courses

Do you have a knack for making even the most complicated things easy to understand? If you answered yes, you could make money by selling courses online. The online learning industry is booming — it grew by 900% since 2000 and it shows no signs of stopping. 

In other words, if you are knowledgeable about a topic, you can create a course on it and sell it to your audience. 

Alternatively, you could create an online course website where other people sell their courses and you collect a part of the sales. 

To start selling courses, you’ll need an LMS plugin. LMS stands for Learning Management System. Ultimate Learning Pro plugin is the perfect example of a powerful LMS plugin for WordPress. It makes it easy to create and sell courses online. The plugin allows you to have multiple instructors, reward your students, drip lessons on a timed schedule, and more. 

Online Learning Pro pluginOnline Learning Pro pluginOnline Learning Pro plugin

8. Sell eBooks

If you’ve ever wanted to write a book but though you needed a publisher, think again. You can write an eBook and sell it through your own website. This is a great way to monetize your knowledge if you don’t want to or don’t have time to create a course. It’s also a good way to exercise your creativity and become a published author. 

There are plenty of WordPress themes geared for authors and writers. Pair a theme like Auteur with WooCommerce and you can easily start selling books from your website. This theme has an elegant design and offers 4 beautiful demos that you can import with a single click. The theme is fully responsive and comes with a page builder plugin that makes it easy to create your own page layouts. 

Auteur WordPress themeAuteur WordPress themeAuteur WordPress theme

9. Write Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts work similarly to independent reviews. You create a blog post centered around a particular topic and then you introduce a company, a tool or another type of resource that’s related to the topic. 

For example, a company that offers a time-tracking tool could approach you to write a sponsored post for them. You could create a post about time management for remote workers and mention the company towards the end of the post. 

Keep in mind that you’ll need a decent amount of traffic and an engaged audience for this to work. However, once you establish yourself as an expert in your chosen niche, you can command decent rates for the sponsored posts. 

10. Start A Podcast

Lastly, you can start a podcast and monetize your WordPress website in a couple of ways: 

  • You can make your podcast an exclusive content and charge for each episode or podcast season
  • You can make money through sponsorships which work similarly to ads. 

You can use a theme like Livecast to build a WordPress website that’s optimized for hosting podcast episodes. The theme comes with plenty of features geared for podcasting websites. This includes a powerful audio player and the ability to embed content from Apple Podcasts and other podcasting platforms. 

Livecast WordPress themeLivecast WordPress themeLivecast WordPress theme

Monetize Your Website And Earn Passive Income

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to monetize your website and earn passive income. What’s even better, there are countless WordPress themes and plugins that make it easy to monetize your website. 

To get started, decide how you want to earn passive income and then visit Envato Elements or Envato Market to find the right theme or the right plugin for your needs. 

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