How to Make Money with WordPress: The Ultimate Guide [Guide]

This is the ultimate guide on how to make money with WordPress.  Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been making a living with WordPress for over a decade, this guide is for you!

We all want to make more money and, thanks to the internet, there are now more ways to make money online than ever before.  In this guide, we’ll cover how to make money with WordPress.

WordPress powers over 1/3 of websites on the internet!  So, if you know how to use WordPress (or are interested in learning) you’re already halfway there.  Let’s get started!

Here’s an overview of what we’ll cover:

How Can You Make Money with WordPress?

The great thing is that there are thousands of ways to make money with WordPress.  The hardest thing for you will be deciding which one(s).  But this is also an advantage because it makes it easy to add supplemental income streams or pivot to a new one if you need to.

So, how do you get started?  First you need to decide how you’re going to use WordPress to make money.  Here are some examples:

  • Are you a writer that can write blog posts and articles?
  • Are you a developer that can build WordPress plugins or themes?
  • Are you a marketer that can sell products?
  • Are you a WordPress generalist that can put together websites with existing plugins and themes?
  • Are you a designer that can design websites or graphics for websites?
  • Are you a photography that can take pictures for sites?

The easiest way to get started is by leveraging a skill you already have.  If you don’t have a skill then you need to build one.  You want to grow and leverage a skill because that’s where the real money is.  The better (or rarer) the skill or asset, the more valuable it is.

Once you have a skill you have the option to create an asset that other people value.  With the asset, you could sell access to it or monetize traffic that it creates.  For example:

  • If you’re a writer you could create a resource site on a certain topic or a useful/entertaining blog to monetize the traffic.
  • If you’re a developer you could create a plugin or theme to sell.
  • If you’re a photographer you could create a niche collection of premium images to sell.
  • If you’re a designer you could create high-quality logos for companies.
  • If you’re a marketer you could create a WordPress site to sell products and generate income via affiliate commissions.

These are all options, but they require you to have a skill or to create an asset.  It takes time to build skills and create assets, but it’s worth it because it sets you apart and gives you something valuable to generate income for years to come.

If you believe you already have a marketable skill and want to find work (either full-time or part-time), then check out our WordPress and Remote job listings page with a curated list of hundreds of job sites.

But I Don’t Have Time, I Need Money Now!

Ok…well, there are ways to make money faster.  For example, you could find quick tasks on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, but that doesn’t pay much.  Why?  Because people are a commodity and it’s largely unskilled, undifferentiated labor.  To make more you need to set yourself apart with an asset or a skill.

Here’s a better example of how this works: think about Uber drivers.  By having a car and driving record that meets the minimum standard, Uber drivers get instant access to work that pays more on average than Mechanical Turk (described above).  This goes further for Uber drivers with luxury cars, accessibility, are bilingual and more.  Skills and assets = more money.

Building skills and assets takes time, but you can often accelerate this with money.  For example, you could hire someone to help you, buy an existing business, buy a course or buy better tools.

When just starting out it’s usually better to spend as little money as possible while you’re experimenting since you don’t let know what you’ll want to do–you need the freedom to experiment and minimizing your investment helps.

General Career Advice

Before we dive in, if you’re here looking for full-time work (e.g. not just a side job or hobby) remember to think long-term.  Think about what you want for career, not just a job.  Jobs are temporary and those with jobs are easy to replace.  You want a career where you’re learning, growing, your work is valued and you’re compensated accordingly.

There are 4 keys to finding well-paying work that maximizes your chance of success and building wealth:

  1. Find work that you’re good at (or willing to become good at) and willing to invest in continuously improving.
  2. Find work that the world values (so you get paid well for it).  Being great at something doesn’t matter much if nobody is willing to pay you well for it.
  3. Find work that you could enjoy doing because you’ll have to put in a lot of hours to get good.  Don’t confuse this with finding your passion–passion tends to come naturally after you get good.  For a book on this, check out So Good They Can’t Ignore You.
  4. Find work that doesn’t require luck or getting picked (e.g. pop singer, NBA, etc.).  You want something where you’re in control and don’t have to rely on chance or being discovered.

Another way to frame this is to “find the hard work that you’re willing to do.” Here’s an excerpt from the article:

I realize that “Find your passion” makes for a more compelling motivational poster than “What hard problems do you enjoy working on?” (and even that’s a lot better than “What kind of pain are you willing to endure?”), but it might give some people a more realistic way to approach finding their life’s work.

If you’re interested in learning more about the basics of earning money (especially earning money online), then I highly recommend reading our article on how to make money online working from home.  The goal of the article is to equip you with the right mindset to be more successful.

With that context, let’s dive in to all of the ways you can earn more money with WordPress.

The Ultimate List of Ways to Make Money with WordPress

Hopefully, all of that context above helps you think about how to approach this.  When going through the list of ways, keep these key criteria in mind:

  1. What existing skills do you have or what are you most interested in learning?
  2. What do you enjoy enough to stick with long-term?

Now, onto the comprehensive list of ways to make money (or make more money) with WordPress!

Blogging & Writing

Blogging is one of the most popular money making strategies in WordPress and it’s easy to get started: all it takes is a knack for writing and WordPress Hosting.  But building a successful blog takes consistent, hard work.

One of the most popular ways to make money blogging is with affiliate marketing.  Affiliate marketing seems like one of the oldest ways to make money on the internet, yet it’s still incredibly popular and can immensely profitable!  Affiliate marketing is great (especially for bloggers) because it’s an easy way to get started and learn how to sell since it doesn’t require a product–you sell others’ products.

The articles below will show you hot to find success in making money blogging with affiliate marketing and other blog monetization methods like ads and more!

Freelancers & Agencies (Client Work)

In terms of opportunities to make money with WordPress, freelancing is among the best and by far the most versatile.  You can get started with gig sites, take a consultative path, start at an agency before striking it on your own, or focus on a particular niche and client type.

Competition is high, but so are the number of opportunities.  I’d wager the opportunities are still growing faster than the competition.  Use the resources below to win better projects and charge higher rates.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the Recurring Revenue Products & Services section below as a way to add recurring income to your business!

Plugins & Themes

With over 50,000 plugins, the WordPress plugin business is huge.  No matter how many plugins there are, there always seems to be room for new, better plugins that solve new or existing problems better.

With major changes in WordPress like Gutenberg, there will certainly be room for thousands more new plugins.  Will yours be one of them?

The theme business has also been changing since the glory days of WordPress theme shops.  The is due to a number of factors from high competition to changing expectations, theme builders and more.  Gutenberg is changing theme building yet again.

Though the nature of theme building is changing, the desire for an attractive site is still strong and competition is lower than it used to be.with Gutenberg shifting the paradigm.  

Check out the resources below to increase the chances of success for your WordPress plugin or theme business.

Generate Recurring Revenue

Recurring revenue services like WordPress maintenance have gained popularity in recent years.  It can be very lucrative due to the recurring nature of the business–especially when combined with freelancing and agency services.

Maintenance services as well as products and productized services are highly flexible.  They’re a great addition to any business model to add diversified, recurring income.  See the articles below for how to make money with recurring revenue products and services.

Selling Products & Services

As Ecommerce continues to grow, selling products and services online with WordPress is becoming an even bigger opportunity. Plugins like Easy Digital Downloads focus on selling digital goods while WooCommerce can help you sell anything from physical goods to digital goods, memberships and subscriptions.

Whether you’re selling your own products or helping a client, these articles can help you make the most of the opportunity. Topics range from beginners just getting started to helping existing online stores grow sales.

Memberships & Online Courses

Memberships as a business are quite broad, including everything from specialty content you create (audio, writing, photography, recipes, etc.) you create to organizational memberships (clubs, professional organizations, training, etc.).

Regardless of the membership type, WordPress membership sites are a great way to make money because they stretch far beyond the WordPress ecosystem–there’s no limit.  Online courses are a similarly effective monetization strategy.

With memberships and Online courses you get to leverage the full power of the WordPress ecosystem without being restricted to it: the best of both worlds.  Use the resources below to build the membership or online course business as great as your ambitions!

More Ways to Make Money with WordPress

Though we’ve discussed the most popular ways to make money with WordPress above, there are dozens more, for example Customer Support, working as a Virtual Assistant, Design work (user experience, graphic design, web design, etc.) and dozens more.

If you’re still looking for that perfect way to make money with WordPress that utilizes your skills, you love doing and get well-compensated for then continue browsing then browse the articles below.  You deserve to find the perfect career and you eventually will!

Find WordPress & Remote Jobs

Last but not least, we’ve also compiled a curated list of hundreds of job listing websites, newsletters and aggregators for WordPress and Remote (non-WordPress jobs).

The Remote jobs include everything from development to design, support roles and more.  Browse all WordPress & Remote job sites here.

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