I always hear from people asking me about monetizing their WordPress site or blog. Some are totally stumped, while others have tons of ideas but don’t know where to start. Here are a few quick tips to help you think through your monetization strategies.
Tips for Monetizing Your WordPress Site
1. Balance the Free
Look at your site and evaluate what you are now offering for free. If you are blogging, likely you are already giving some of your knowledge away. You will need to think deeply about how you can differentiate what you plan on selling vs. what you have been giving away. There is a lot of gray area here so you must watch that you don’t lose your current followers while attracting new followers who will see the value of what you are selling.
2. Make it Easy to Purchase
Someone should be able to find what they need on your site with the fewest click-throughs possible. And the process for payment should be just as seamless. Don’t make them jump through hoops or require more information than needed. As you probably know, cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges of online sellers.
3. End-of-Post Sales
A lot of WordPress themes out there have an end-of-post widget area. Page builders let you easily set this up. Or you can look at the numerous, free plugins on the WordPress repository.
You can also do this using an ad plugin that lets you control what posts your ads will show up on through specific categories. We have a post here where you can see the overview of the ad plugin we use here on our site: How to Create and Manage Your Ads with the Advanced Ads Pro Plugin for WordPress.
One thing to remember is that you will need to test your ad placements. Depending on your site, your content, and what you advertise can determine if an ad is actionable there or just a distraction.
4. Avoid the Clutter
Sidebars on your site can be wonderful things. Or they can be a mess of confusion. Ad after ad after ad. Unending sales pitches. Cluttered to the point where no one can focus.
Be careful of the widgets you use and make sure they enhance your readers’ experience versus distracting them with unnecessary shiny objects. Consider custom sidebars that let you choose which widgets show on what pages.
There is a module in Jetpack called Widget Visibility that allows you to do this and if you are looking for more control, I suggest you check out our post: How to Create Custom Sidebars on Your WordPress Site That Complements Your Content.
For example, currently we do not had sidebars on single posts because what we want the reader to see is within the post, including links or calls-to-action. It’s much easier to get someone to click through when it’s appropriate to the content, and, again, not one big distraction.
5. Be Authentic
I know, you hear this all the time and yes, it’s an overused term. But when selling, this is so important, especially if you are a smaller brand or an individual selling services. People want to know who the heck they are spending their money with.
I cannot tell you how many times I have landed on a new site and clicked on the about page only to find some generic paragraph that says something like, We are a group of talented individuals that want help you increase, blah, blah, blah. I want to know more about you, the person behind the brand. You don’t have to tell me all the details of your life, but let me know who you are.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to monetizing your site. There are a lot of options out there and a lot more that we will be covering in future podcasts, as well as elaborating on these tips even more.