In a world where ubiquitous technology seems to be synonymous with multi-billion dollar companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and many more – WordPress is unique in that while completely dominating the web in terms of CMS and blogging platform marketshare its philosophy has been to enable its USERS to succeed rather than ruthlessly monetizing every facet of their product. This approach is not only responsible for their massive marketshare but it’s also at the heart of an entire WordPress ecosystem of businesses and services that have flourished as a result of the growth and maturity of WordPress as a platform. Which brings us to the main topic of this post – how you can become a part of that ecosystem and begin making money with WordPress today.
A while ago a fellow WordPress blogger and entrepreneur Oliver Dale wrote a post called 9 Ways You Can Make Money with WordPress Today on his site WPLift. I’m a big fan of the work Oli does over there and with his other WordPress websites/services. His article inspired me to write this post with my own take on what is largely the same list with a few changes and the addition of number 10 (content production) which I see as an extremely underestimated source of revenue within the WordPress ecosystem. So even if you’re a seasoned pro when it comes to WordPress, it’s good to be reminded of other areas of business within the WordPress ecosystem you may not have thought of in a while. And if you’re brand new to WordPress I hope this post opens your eyes to the incredible opportunities this amazing, free, open-source product makes available to anyone who is interested.
10 Ways to Make Money With WordPress Today
1. Sell Themes
Whether you create the themes yourself or simply offer a marketplace for themes to be sold, selling WordPress themes is a big business. Some of the top examples are Elegant Themes, ThemeForest, and Mojo-Themes. But just how profitable of a business could this potentially be? Well, I think the easiest example – while not necessarily the most profitable – is Elegant Themes because of their business model. It’s $39 per year and you get access to all of their themes/plugins as well as support. As stated on their front page they have 143,507 customers. That’s roughly $5.5 million in subscriptions per year! So yeah, nothing to sneeze at.
2. Sell Plugins
Similarly, the premium WordPress plugin marketplace is extremely strong. Sites like CodeCanyon do well by dealing in extremely high volume, but even single plugin authors are able to do very well for themselves.
3. Custom Design Work
If you’re a web designer WordPress is a dream come true. You can use WordPress as a CMS, a premium theme or framework as a starting point, and then spend the majority of your time concentrating on what you do best – the design. And with so many great plugins out there you should be able to easily and affordably meet your clients functionality needs as well.
4. Custom Development Work
Services like CodeMyConcept.com are doing a really good job of providing a great service for designers and the client’s of designers who need custom designs coded for WordPress and other platforms. So if you’re a developer without a lot of design chops that’s fine. So far you’ve got at least two ways of putting that to work for you on WordPress – custom development work as well as plugins.
With the rise of WordPress VIP and the continued growth of the WordPress platform in general the need for “WordPress Ninjas” and experts is only going to increase.
Whether you choose to train others on how to set up and use WordPress in person or have a tutorial site dedicated to the topic, this is a much needed service. Some examples of websites who do this very well are PootlePress, WP101, WPBeginner, and
7. Software as a Service (SAAS)
Services like Zuppler are a great example of the growing market for SAAS companies within the WordPress ecosystem. Their service provides an easy to use and fully supported online food ordering system for restaurants using WordPress. As more and more types of businesses make their needs known I expect to see a lot of companies like Zuppler pop up and meet those needs.
8. Content Websites
On the web content is king. This is old news. What’s not old news is that it is becoming more and more apparent over the last few years that those who know content best are choosing WordPress as their platform of choice. If you can create a site on WordPress full of great content then there are hundreds if not thousands of tools to help you monetize the traffic you’re getting.
9. Membership Websites
Membership websites are becoming quite popular. With the abundance of membership plugins available both premium and free, this option is quite attractive to site owners looking to monetize. You can add a membership section to an existing site or launch a new site. Either way, if you provide something of value with a reasonable price point you can build up a respectable revenue stream.
10. Content Production
With the number of successfully monetized blogs and websites on WordPress growing every day there is a market emerging for content producers for hire. I know, because this is what I do for a living. I write about WordPress for websites who specialize in WordPress! Granted, I write for a number of other sites as well but the point is this: every single website I blog for is a profitable WordPress site that is in need of quality content, a service I happily provide. And you can too!
Obviously, there are quite a few ways to jump into the WordPress ecosystem and make a big splash. Whether you’re just looking to make a little income on the side or launch a major enterprise it’s all possible on WordPress. So how about it, are you making money with WordPress? And if so, how much per month? And if anything in this post caught your interest as something you’d like to know more about, just let us know in the comments below and we can follow up with a more detailed post.