Print may not be dead; it just went the way of Polaroid photos and vinyl records — that is, the preference for the medium has more to do with its hipster-throwback appeal nowadays rather than as something that’s mass-produced.
At this point, it’s easy to see how the website overtook print as the primary medium for publishing — it doesn’t cost paper, it can be “circulated” easily, and anyone using the internet can find it. In today’s always-connected times, what’s cutting-edge twenty years ago have become conventional properties.
We’ve established how websites can disseminate information, so let’s get to the next best thing: how can one earn money from websites?
Before we list down the ways, we’ll reiterate that the stuff we’ve written are with WordPress websites in mind, and not just for arbitrary reasons: of the millions of websites available online, a staggering 33% of those are WordPress sites.[Know more about why we’ve fallen in love with WordPress here.]
If you’re a business owner who’s still on the fence about investing on a website, we hope our short guide should show why you should jump over that quick!
Without further ado, here are the most common ways you can monetize your WordPress website for your business:
Oh yes, we are!
Since websites have overtaken newspapers and magazines at this point, it should also follow that this has been the most common form of monetization available to websites ever since the first generation of commercial websites went live.
Unfortunately, this is also a highly competitive field, so there’s no one proven way to earning through ads on your website.
Unlike on print media where ad spaces are sold at a premium, ad rates for websites are usually sold at a cost-per-thousand impression (or commonly referred to as CPM), a metric used for gauging the number of people who have seen an advertisement.
Here’s a good idea of how advertising on the internet evolved. (Via Search Engine People Blog’s flickr page.)
Ironically, this is a method that works more like how ads were run on print back then: because it gives recognition to a brand or business. If your website operates on a niche and has high website traffic, you could go this route. While you’re at it, try signing up for a Google AdSense account since this widens your chance of passively earning from ads.
If you’re looking to earn more, you can also sign up as an “affiliate” for a brand or product. Through this, you could have a direct hand on which product or service to advertise in your website, and every sale made through the link nets you a commission.
However, since content filtering applications like AdBlock are becoming more commonplace in web browsers, you might want to try running a native advertising campaign instead; that is, you simply incorporate a product like it’s a part of your website’s content.
This is one good example of a sponsored content from US-based publication, The Atlantic.
The most common method for native advertising is running a sponsored post — be it an article, video, or even a mix of the two! Many publishing outlets, in fact, are supporting their operations through this method.
With the various plugins that WordPress boasts (Another reason why the platform is so cool!), it can be really easy to customize how you want your ads to appear on your website.
What if you have actual products to sell, though? Well then, the good news is that the possibilities for earning from your website shoot up, and it’s all thanks to the wonderful world of online shopping!
If you’re a business owner still hesitating on opening a website for your shop, then we let the following figures speak for itself: $ 2.3 trillion. Yes, not billion; it’s trillion.
That is the latest number published by market research firm Statisa on global retail sales made through ecommerce for 2017. By 2021, it is forecasted that the amount will reach almost 5 trillion. Even if you can sniff a 0.001% percentage of that, you’ll still be making a killing!
Of course, WordPress has been at the forefront of the current ecommerce boom even before the rest of the world got caught up that ecommerce is just as viable as “real world” shopping. And, again, it wouldn’t have even been possible if there was no passionate community developing paid and free plugins that web managers can use to improve their respective websites.
So with that said, let’s simply narrow this item down to what is perhaps the most popular ecommerce plugin today you can find in WordPress: WooCommerce.
A screenshot of one of the early versions of the WooCommerce app (via flickr by Avangate WooCommerce Product Page)
WooCommerce, like many WordPress plugins, is free. Even without knowing that, the tool has been so popular because of the myriads of solutions it provides for business owners who want more control over how they present and sell their products.
The tool’s real power comes in its comprehensive inventory management system, which is completely customizable and, dare we say, easy to use. There’s also built-in support for popular payment options, and the fact that it can even calculate shipping and taxes is icing on the cake.
So, even if what you have right now is a free WordPress blog, the fact that you can always convert it to an ecommerce platform using WooCommerce (or just about any plugin you fancy, really) should tell you everything you know about why so many people still prefer to use WordPress despite the availability of other ecommerce platforms on the market.
Here’s a little secret that anyone running a website knows deep down already: a website is the closest thing we have to an online brochure. However, simply thinking that it’s just “there” for people to passively look on is underestimating what your website can do for your business.
Your website is already online. So, why not do the extra work and think up of ideas on how you can use it to attract more prospective clients? For instance, You can offer FREE stuff on your website. Some of the more popular examples are free ebooks, free consultation, free quotes, huge discount coupons, etc.
Of course, all that effort should be exchanged with something of value; in this case, asking for people’s email addresses is often considered a fair trade-off.
In turn, those addresses can serve as a database of potential customers from which to further your marketing efforts by emailing them product updates, promos, and whatever else you can think of until you can persuade them to buy from you; in other words, it’s classic email marketing.
People have different intentions on why they want to have their own website. Business owners, however, know that it all boils down to sales. The suggestions we outlined above simply shows that websites can be more than just a digitized online brochure and can actually be your business’ marketing arm that operates 24/7.