A blog is an incredible tool for building communities, sharing information and even earning an online income. However, there is a lot of misconception and over complication when it comes to making money with a blog. This article aims to share a clear understanding of the various ways you can begin earning an online income using your WordPress blog, but at the same time each of these methods may or may not work for your site or brand. It’s up to you to chose the best option that works for what you building. Method 1: Sell your own Products The best option to earn the most money with a WordPress blog is to develop and sell your own products whether they are physical, information or freelance services. A blog is the perfect platform for business because it allows you to build a steady stream of visitors which are also potential customers. Affiliate products, Adsense and direct advertising are pointing your valuable visitors to other businesses but offering your own product keeps people on your blog and creates interest around what you have to offer; there is no ‘leakage’. Consider creating an eBook, video series or audio course around the type of information you talk about on your WordPress blog. Setup a sales page on your blog where people can learn about your products and complete a purchase. Offer support for your products through email, social media connections, Skype and other forms of communications; treat your online products just like any other business.

My thought: This is the first and best option for anyone using their WordPress site as their business and if you haven’t developed a product to sell, go now do it….or be sure to sign up for my newsletter, grab my free Top 100 Plugin report and keep and eye out for my upcoming Product Launch Program in the fall.

Method 2: Amazon Associates Amazon is the largest eCommerce website on the Internet at this time; there are millions of products offered but more importantly, they offer an affiliate program which means you can earn a commission for each product sold through their website. Upon signing up for Amazon Associates, you will have access to a toolbar where you can grab an affiliate link to individual pages and products. On your blog, write blog posts around products you use in real life and link to them with your Amazon affiliate link. You will earn a commission if a person clicks through your link and buys any product on Amazon.

My Thought: I often recommend that my clients sign up for an account, it’s a great way to build some small additional income by recommending books and other products that you have read or used.

Method 3: Affiliate Marketing Affiliate marketing is another option that is very lucrative for people wanting to earn money with their WordPress blog. Affiliate marketing, like Amazon Associates, is nothing more than selling other people’s products in exchange for a commission. Two of the largest affiliate marketing marketplaces are Clickbank and Commission Junction; these websites have thousands of products in nearly every type of niche. Once you’ve found a product worth promoting on your blog, snag the affiliate link to the product and integrate it onto your blog by writing fresh blog posts around the product or going back through existing content to find keywords where you may link over to the product.

My Thought: First if you are thinking of promoting a product on your site I always recommend you purchase the product you are promoting so you can give an honest review and recommendation. Many people use affiliate marketing as a way to make additional income. I personally use it, my recommend section of my site are all affiliate links. I always tell folks to ONLY recommend products you love and have used otherwise you’ll likely come off as not authentic.

Method 4: Direct Advertising The ads which you see on blogs, around the web, are generally bought by interested parties and advertisers; your blog can have these, as well. Direct advertising is loosely based around the amount of traffic and engagement you have with your audience. However, the key to earning high income with direct advertising is to build a wildly successful WordPress blog. Once you have traffic, you have the power position to demand higher prices for advertising on your website. The best locations to offer are “above the fold” which is the point that appears on-screen before a website visitor needs to scroll down for additional content; areas like the top sidebar are perfect spots to sell direct advertising. To get started, seek out potential advertisers by contacting companies you see advertising on relevant blogs on your niche. Likewise, create an ‘advertising’ page on your WordPress blog, with a contact form, to allow people to directly contact you and learn more about advertising options. Close the deal on your advertising and you’ll be earning money with your blog!

My Thought: I haven’t yet used this option, but I could see it be an option at some point on my other project (Become a Techie VA), but this site not so much. Again, think about your brand, what you are offering and if it’s a fit.

Method 5: Google Adsense Google Adsense displays relevant ads, through their platform, on your blog after installation. Adsense is passive which means that you do not need to do any other work than to install the Adsense code and wait. You will earn a percentage of the revenue from every person that clicks on an Adsense ad on your WordPress blog. To increase your Adsense earnings, ramp up your blog traffic by creating new, interesting blog posts. Change the font size, color and type to blend with your existing design. Experiment with the placement of your Google Adsense ads throughout your website. Adsense earnings are based around how much competitors pay for keywords; writing content around these keywords will give you a higher chance for these ads to be displayed and earn you higher payments.

My Thought: I don’t always recommend this for my clients, but depending of your niche or site it might make sense to use this as an income generator. Always think about your branding and how your site will be seen by those who stop by. I don’t recommend this as an option for anyone that is using their WordPress site as business blog and you are using it to advertise your services. In my opinion this cheapens your site and there is the danger of the loss of credibility.

The potential to earn money with a WordPress blog is truly endless. The methods detailed in this article are just the tip of the “monetization iceberg”; there are dozens of ways to earn an online income with a WordPress blog especially when you realize you can combine each of these methods.