1. Freelance Writing (aka Content Creation)
Starting off easy – if you have a device to type on and internet connection you can create content for other websites. There are millions of websites and they all need fresh content.
While this list is full of ways you can make money with WordPress, content creation extends to pretty much every niche. Just visit your favorite online blogs. Many have contributor application pages where you can submit your articles and get paid for them. So not only will you get some awesome backlinks from top ranking sites, but you can get paid for your hard work.
You can also find WordPress content writing jobs on job board sites. A couple worth checking out include Upwork and ProBlogger Jobs – both of which have tons of writing jobs available as of this very moment.
Before applying it might be a good idea to have an online portfolio setup to show off your previous work. Specifically you should be sure to include a short bio, active social profiles and links to recently published posts (or if you’re just starting create a few posts on your own blog that you can use as examples). This way potential employers can have a look at your writing style as well as exposure your articles get across blogs and social media.
2. Create & Monetize a Blog
In the online world, it is always recommended to start a website for your business. So, what are you waiting for? Launch your own WordPress blog and start making money!
Not sure how to get started with your WordPress website? Checkout our easy guide for how to start a blog where we walk you through all the steps of building a website. Key steps are choosing a domain & hosting, installing WordPress, choosing a theme, installing plugins and adding posts & pages.
Having a blog is a great way to generate passive income. You can make money using affiliate marketing, selling ads, sponsored reviews, etc from your blog. This requires no additional effort from you – it’s simply a way to take full advantage of the content and traffic you already have.
Most marketplaces and service providers offer affiliate programs. Some of our personal favorites that are easy to work with include Themeforest, Shareasale, CJ Affiliate and Creative Market. Just signup for a FREE account and add links to you posts where it feels natural.
To sell ads you can offer your own ad packages or work through a company like BuySellAds. Or signup for a Google Adsense account and insert your code to let Google’s network handle the ads while you get a nice little check each month.
You can also offer sponsored posts on your blog. Add a page or contact form to your website so brands can get in touch to pay you for reviews, guides, list style posts or something else. Just be sure to stipulate in your sponsored post agreement that all opinions will be honest, and make sure you add a disclaimer to the final published post that it was sponsored.
You can also leverage your website to promote other money generating activities (which we cover below) such as courses, products or premium services.
3. WordPress Courses
Fairly confident in your abilities? Create a course! There are millions of people using the internet to learn new skills. All you need to do is create (and monetize) courses to help them. Teach people how to garden, share cooking tips, or even share your own guide on how to start a blog. Once you have your subject matter narrowed down, there are a couple options to actually create and monetize your online course.
The first is to use your website simply as a marketing platform with your courses hosted on a third party elearning site. Popular options include sites like Udemy where you can upload your courses and set your own prices, or Lynda where your course is a part of a general membership. Both offer easy ways to get started quickly. Just be aware that with these platforms you don’t keep the full amount paid for your course (Udemy takes a 3-50% cut of your course price, while Lynda pays out based on your views per month).
The second option is to go all in and use WordPress to build your website and host your courses. This way you manage your courses, set your prices and reap all the benefits. And lucky for you – there are a number of plugins that makes creating courses with WordPress easy. Just use our guide to create an online course with WordPress to learn more. Or you can use a membership plugin to create a paid, members only section of your website with exclusive content. This can include courses, blog posts, videos, downloadable tools or assets – really anything you want to offer.
4. eCommerce & Dropshipping
In addition to knowledge you can also share downloadable or tangible goods with your readers. It takes a bit of effort to get started, but WordPress is a fantastic platform to build an e-commerce website.
Why e-commerce? Now more than ever people are shopping online. And with WordPress you simply need to install a plugin like WooCommerce to build an online store. Compared to other e-commerce options, WooCommerce is completely free and offers many helpful features you can use to setup your store.
In addition to a regular storefront for your own goods, WordPress can also be used to build a dropshipping store. In this case you sell goods directly to customers but a third party ships them out (similar to how Amazon often handles shipping for smaller sellers using their platform). Whether you use WooCommerce or Shopify, this method typically involves using a plugin or using settings to ensure shipping info is sent to the supplier directly. If this sounds like the right business plan for you there are a number of plugins you can use to create a dropshipping business with WordPress.
5. Blog Setup Service
Are you a beginner or a part time blogger who doesn’t have much development experience even though you want to make money using WordPress? If yes, a blog set up service is the perfect option for you. Even beginners can offer this type of service! But how?
Many people want to use WordPress in their blogs, but they just don’t technical knowledge to actually get started. So they opt for blog setup service. Your task as a blog setup service provider will be to install WordPress, upload a WordPress theme, add the recommended plugins, etc.
To get clients you can start with a simple blog setup service page on your website. To attract leads or dedicated traffic to that page add banners for your service on your own site, try reaching out to other blogs to guest post, leave comments on forums with a link to your site, get on social media, and invest in paid advertising if you’re able. If you’re targeting a smaller or local audience (such as “blog setup service for gardeners” or “blog setup service in Savannah Georgia”) it’s often much more affordable than you’d think. If people are interested in your offer, they’ll contact you.
When you create your service page consider adding multiple price points with increasing levels of service. For example, you could have a basic blog setup service for $100 which includes installing WordPress, uploading a theme and adding the theme’s demo content. Then you can offer SEO plugin setup as a $20 upsell, or as a part of a premium setup service bundled with a few other features (like breadcrumbs, homepage setup, etc).
Alternatively you can provide you blog setup services for free, but you’ll have to rely on affiliate links within your services page. For instance, you could offer free blog setup with the purchase of Bluehost hosting when a customer uses your specific affiliate link. Bluehost offers competitively priced hosting plans that new bloggers can afford, as well as generous affiliate commissions upwards of $65 for every successful sign up. Similarly, you can then suggest themes, plugins, security services and other affiliate products to users when they sign up through your service page. Just remember to only recommend products you have tested and are good.
6. Website Maintenance
We mentioned blog setup, but there is a huge opportunity to generate ongoing income with maintenance services. Many website owners don’t want to deal with the day-to-day tasks of running a website – they simply want a way for people to find them on the web. And this is where you come in. Maintenance can entail WordPress updates, security monitoring, theme and plugin updates, hosting management, CDN setup, etc. Pretty much anything you’re already doing for your own website you can get paid a monthly fee to do for others.
It’s important to note that if you go this route you’ll want to use a site management plugin to make your life easier. A few of the top options are:
These plugins all allow you to manage core, theme and plugin updates as well as monitor SEO, site speed, comments and even backups all from one single dashboard. This way you can provide a comprehensive maintenance service to your clients without having to monitor each site individually.
7. SEO & Marketing Services
If you’ve spent time learning how to optimize your own site you can certainly put those skills to work. SEO is a huge part of building up a website, and it can be very overwhelming for some people. Which is why SEO services typically fetch premium prices. Whether you assist with content optimization, link building, site speed or other site aspects SEO it’s certainly an area many website owners are will to pay for.
Marketing services go hand in hand along with SEO. Managing ads is time consuming, since it requires creating graphics, researching keywords, bidding strategy, placement and more. Plus a good marketing campaign includes multiple formats – Google ads, newsletters, social media, etc. Armed with the knowledge and connections you’ve already built for your own website you can certainly lend clients a helping hand. In most cases marketing services include a based fee plus a percentage based on traffic or increase in conversions.
8. Security Consulting & Solutions
For those confident in their security abilities, and specifically coding skills, security consulting can be extremely lucrative. Security is of the utmost importance to every site owner. Some areas you might consider include:
- Security Audit: There are premium auditing software services available, but you can also perform this by hand. Whichever route you choose just be sure to cover key aspects of security such as default WordPress settings, passwords, user role access, file permissions, updates, security plugin settings, backup settings (via plugin or hosting), server configuration, SSL certificate etc.
- General Security Hardening: This could be as simple as offering a professional setup service for up a trusted security plugin such as iThemes Security Pro, Wordfence or All in One WP Security & Firewall.
- SSL Setup: SSL is complicated, so why not help website owners correctly create and install their SSL certificate.
- Malware Removal: If you know WordPress files like the back of your hand then Malware removal is right up your alley. If you choose to remove suspect code yourself manually or with the aid of a plugin this is certainly something you could add to your overall security services.
Of course there are other aspects to WordPress security but these are great places to start if web security is your passion.
9. WordPress Plugin Development
If you have used WordPress, you must be aware of one thing – you can’t run your blog without using at least a few plugins, right? Everyone uses plugins to add extra features that help run a WordPress blog successfully. There are thousands of plugins available in WordPress – some are absolutely free, others offer paid upgrades and the remaining are premium.
If you find a solution to a problem and create a plugin for it (that your audience might be interested in buying), there’s absolutely nothing that can stop you from making income from it. Analyze a few existing plugins (preferably in a similar niche) that are making decent money. See if they are using a premium (paid plugin) or freemium (free plugin with paid upgrade). Are they utilizing WordPress.org, a marketplace or relying on their own website for promotion? You might also want to check the comments/reviews as well to get an idea of what support might be like for you. Then figure out how you can do the same to create a constant cash flow!
If you are thinking to make money by selling WordPress plugins, make sure to create them by focusing on a specific need. One of the best examples in this category is the Elementor page builder. This mega page building plugin is focused on making creating custom page layouts easy, and has grown to be used by over 4 million WordPress sites. Plus the plugin developer monetized their creation by releasing a premium Elementor Pro with more advanced features.
You can sell your WordPress plugins at CodeCanyon. You may also sell it from your own blog, or by creating a separate site for it. You can also make money by working on custom plugin projects.
10. WordPress Theme Development
Are you a web designer or developer? Yes? Then you can make money by developing WordPress Themes. You don’t have to be a top class designer or coder to design a great looking WordPress theme – but you should definitely know what you are designing for your targeted audience. At the end of the day, you should know who you are designing your theme for or else you will end up finding zero audience for your theme.
There are so many companies which are designing fantastic themes for WordPress sites to make passive income streams. For instance, people like Brain Clark founded StudioPress (and laters sold it to WP Engine which now includes all of the StudioPress themes for FREE with their hosting plans) and our own AJ Clarke created WPExplorer Themes (including our #1 Total WordPress Theme) to build quality and appealing themes for WordPress websites. They have been doing great over years now just by hiring few designers and selling appealing themes.
If you are just starting out when it comes to creating WordPress themes, and not confident enough to go it alone, you can form a team. Or you can join a venture that is already in the business of making themes for others. This way you won’t have as difficult of a time making money while completing your work.
You may want to sell your WordPress themes at Template Monster, Themeforest, Creative Market, or you can sell them from your own website. Just like plugins, you may also work on custom WordPress theme projects for clients to make some extra dollars.
11. Theme Customization
Are you an advanced developer with some extra time on your hands? Try offering customization services. Many developers are making decent side incomes offering website, theme and/or plugin customization services on WordPress job sites.
In any case, there are many WordPress users who can install a theme (or maybe their hosting provider offered this along with the setup of their WordPress install) but they don’t have the technical ability to make changes. For example:
- Custom page layouts
- Custom post types
- Logo/branding creation
- Social media integration
- Newsletter setup
- eCommerce store setup
- Plugin configuration
This is just a super small example of course, since there are so many aspects to WordPress. You can offer up your services at a set price per task, or make your time available at a variable per hour rate.
12. WordPress Design Services
One of the last ways we want to talk about to make money online using WordPress is to offer comprehensive design services. It can be done easily only if you are good at WordPress – creating custom designs for clients, and building a full website from the ground up. Developers working directly with clients on custom sites charge in the thousands for their work. So while this option might require more knowledge and effort it is very much so worthwhile. And you can essentially bundle a few of the other monetization methods mentioned on this list to create your overall service package (custom theme, blog setup, security setup, ongoing maintenance, etc).
Websites like Codeable, Upwork and Toptal are great places to advertise your availability for clients work. You can also offer your services through your own website if you want to skip the middle man. Make sure you have a great portfolio if you are thinking of making a passive income stream by using this method. Specifically, remember to ask clients to give feedback if they are satisfied with your work or to share a review of your services that you can post on your site or share on social media. This can really boost your online sales, as testimonials from top bloggers is great social proof.
You don’t have to be a WordPress genius to make a living. If you can do any of the above and know how to sell yourself or your product you will have plenty of chances to make really good money using WordPress. Also, figure out what your targeted audience truly wants; this way you will be on the right track.