Nº1 Blog as a profitable business on the Internet
Perhaps, a blog is the most basic way to create an online business with WordPress. And I’m not saying it’s easy, but on many occasions, those of us who have a blog have been able to consider monetizing it and turning it into a profitable business that gives us the viability to continue investing time in creating content to share our knowledge.
When we open a blog it is usually to write about a topic that we like and in which we have something to contribute. Generally, what makes us different is our point of view or way of doing things, since almost all topics are already present on the Internet. But it is not a question of reinventing the wheel but of contributing value with our experience and point of view.
On other occasions, what we want is to position our personal brand in a specific market. Writing in a blog will help us to do this by giving us visibility and authority. Or maybe we started without any intention and the fact of controlling a specific topic and writing about it has made us a reference in that subject without looking for it.
Either way, all this can have an impact on selling more services or getting more customers in general. And even as a resume to get a job. But we are not talking in this content about how to create a brand, position ourselves in a market, get leads, or how to sell your products or services. These are all ways of digitizing our business itself.
As we said at the beginning we are going to focus on pure and hard digital business. That is, businesses that exist on the Internet independently of offline. Next, we will see different examples of how to make money with a blog.
- Turning a Blog into a profitable Internet business by selling Infoproducts
I am not going to go into too much detail here because there are thousands of articles on the Internet on this subject. But basically it means that if you control a particular subject you can package that knowledge to sell it as a product, such as a course, an ebook, a webinar…
An online business focused on creating infoproducts, means that first you have to create the product to sell it to your blog’s target audience. And this is not easy or fast. And it’s certainly not the coveted passive income everyone is talking about.
You’ll have to work hard on the content and probably update it from time to time as well as support your customers.
With WordPress, plugins, and integrations with other systems, it’s easy to manage a platform to sell your knowledge. Without going into details, to sell any digital product through a page made with WordPress we could use different plugins but I highlight and recommend EDD (Easy Digital Downloads).
Easy Digital Downloads is a Fremium plugin (but with the free version you have plenty) with which you can create downloadable products in a super easy way. The plugin is intended for all kinds of downloadable material, but it is not only suitable for that. You could even use it just to charge for a service even if the service was done offline.
The main feature of this plugin is basically that it is not suitable for physical products because there is simply no section to send the goods. Let’s say it’s exclusively for intangible products and services. And since we have mentioned it, I leave you some resources if you want to create an ebook.
- Affiliate links to turn a blog into a profitable online business
An easier way to start generating online income with your blog is through affiliate links. But for a blog to become a profitable business on the Internet thanks to affiliate link revenue we’re going to need something very important. A large audience.
Here’s how it works.
There are websites and other platforms that have integrated a system by which, when you recommend in your blog one of their products or services by putting a link to those products or services, the clicks that receive those links are tracked for a certain time (depends on each affiliate program but can go from days to months). If in that time the referred user (i.e. the one who clicked on your affiliate link) makes a purchase on that platform (even if it’s not the product you linked), you will earn a commission from that sale.
So it’s all about bringing a lot of traffic to your blog and placing the affiliate links in the places where they can receive the most clicks.
Most commonly, you use this monetization system along with other ways to make money from your blog. But if your blog receives good and constant traffic it can become an important extra in the total online income.
If you want to mess around a bit, you could start by joining the Amazon affiliate program and try to position some content where you link to some product with its affiliate link.
To manage the affiliate links of these platforms within your blog, I could recommend the Easy Affiliate Links or Pretty Links plugins that help you create more friendly urls and also give you statistics on the activity of your affiliate links.
And if you want to create your own affiliate system so that you have a “team of salespeople” who recommend your products or services in exchange for a commission, you could use the very complete AffiliateWP premium plugin.
- Insert advertisements in your blog to get a profitable business on the Internet
Another way to make money with a blog is through ads. These can be ads and banners that you put on your website manually after reaching an agreement with the advertiser. Or, better yet, they can be ads that automatically insert third-party platforms into your blog if you are targeted to their program.
The most famous and widespread advertising program on the Internet is Google Adsense. I leave you here linked a complete Guide of Google Adsense that Claudio Inacio wrote for this web in May.
Nº2 – Niche page as a profitable business on the Internet
A niche site consists of an ultra-focused blog in a specific market niche that seeks to capture an audience that is also very specific and that arranges its content in a very optimized way for monetization.
They are usually small in size but very well positioned in search engines. And they tend to focus on audiences with the highest possible purchase intent.
They use any form of monetization of the ones we have seen above and others to maximize the options to make money on the Internet. But they do not offer any products or services of their own.
Thus, the most common niche pages that become profitable online businesses are those based on affiliate links and ads through Google Adsense.
WordPress is perfect for managing content, for inserting ads and we have also seen some plugins for managing affiliate links. So you have a relatively easy way to start earning money online.
Nº 3- Online store as a profitable Internet business
Most of the online stores made today (2019) are developed in WordPress with the amazing free plugin Woocommerce. If WordPress is free and so is Woocommerce, you can understand that it is not difficult to get one of the most profitable businesses on the Internet if we set up an online store. But… is it really that easy?
It turns out that the combination of WordPress + Woocommerce has overtaken the rest of the competitors (Magento, Prestashop, Shopify…) precisely because of its ease of use as the main reason. In addition, it is that giving it a professional and attractive touch is also easier than ever due to the large number of woocommerce templates that already come ready to host an appetizing online store, as you can see in that linked content.
However, if you want to create a dropshipping type of online store, we recommend that you choose a good Shopify template to create your ecommerce quickly and professionally.
But, just as setting up an online store is now very simple, just because it’s within everyone’s reach doesn’t mean you’ll always get a profitable business if you set one up. It will be imperative that you have a good online marketing strategy if you want your store to go from being in a desert to the main street of a big city.
By the above simile I mean that publishing an ecommerce and waiting for customers to come to it without doing anything else is a losing thought. You will need to implement a lot of techniques to attract your target audience and increase the sales of your online store. I leave you here an article that gives us 50 actions to increase the sales of your online store.
And don’t forget, as in all other cases, you will need legal advice to do things right.
Nº4 – How to create a Marketplace with WordPress and have a profitable business on the Internet without selling your own products
A marketplace is an online store where there are several sellers. Moreover, anyone could register as a seller and sell their products there in exchange for a percentage of the sale that would go to the platform itself.
An example, to understand us, would be Amazon. But others like Ebay or Envato come to mind. All of them are marketplaces where, besides selling their own products, there are different sellers, each one with his own sales profile.
And all of them are a good example of profitable business on the Internet. Now you will see that creating a marketplace with WordPress is simple and you don’t need much investment.
- But… What do I need to set up a marketplace?
Basically a marketplace is an online store, so we will need the Wocommerce plugin we talked about above. And also we will have to install one of their premium extensions called Product Vendors valued at about 80 euros.
After configuring the extension we will have an online store where we can register stores and administrators of those stores. Or we will simply configure it so that they can register themselves.
If you prefer to directly test your business idea with a ready-made template, here are a few that might work well for creating a marketplace with WordPress.
Since the products will be managed by others, both for sale and for shipment, we won’t have to make any investment in stock. So basically it will be a matter of getting as much traffic as possible to the platform to charge the maximum commission for the sales. I leave you this article by Alex where you can see 27 tricks to increase traffic on your website or blog.
Nº5 – Member-ship site or club as a profitable Internet business
It’s time for member-ship sites. Many professionals are opting for this model to create profitable businesses on the Internet. The main reason is the recurring income.
A member-ship site is nothing more than a club of members who pay an amount every few years to belong to it. Thus, the owner of one of these clubs, receives with recurrence the payment of each of the members. And in return, the members of the site receive benefits that the rest of the non-member users do not receive.
In addition, membership-sites can be content, community, product or service.
- Membership-site content to create a profitable business on the network
For example, we could create a member-ship site of content in which we would publish a daily recipe and a video preparing that recipe. The associates, every day could follow the video step by step and prepare that recipe perfectly. And since in member-ship content sites the ratio of free content / premium content is very important, you could leave the recipe in text as free content, and the video step by step as paid content.
An example of a successful member-ship site that has become a profitable business on the Internet is for example Netflix, where you pay monthly for access to the videos. In this case, there is no free content, but there is economic muscle to attract the audience through other channels. Another interesting case is the Diet Doctor.
- Create a profitable business on the Internet with a community membership-site
An example of a member-ship community site might be a WordPress help forum where paying members would have the right to ask questions and see any answers to their questions or not. Perhaps non-paying users could simply view the questions and answers for certain topics or levels to get an idea of whether or not they are interested in becoming a member based on the quality of that content. There are many ways to approach this, but the value will always be in the community.
- Membership-site services as a profitable online business
A member-ship service site that can quickly become a profitable Internet business would be a WordPress support club where members, in exchange for their monthly fee, could receive maintenance of their websites. Logically, here we are exchanging money for services and that is less scalable. So you’ll have to fine-tune the fee prices to make it work for you.
- Product membership-site, another interesting way to get a profitable business on the internet
And an example of a member-ship product site, where of course you would already need a stock, could be for example a wine club. Where members could receive a monthly box with an interesting selection of wines.
To create a member-ship site with WordPress we’ll need a plugin to restrict the content and another plugin to make the recurring charges.
- Tools to create a membership-site
Except for the product, we can use full plugins such as Paid Member Ship Pro (free) or combination of plugins such as Easy Digital Downloads and its subscription fee extension (valued at about 200 ?)
And for a member-ship site of products, we could use Woocommerce + the Subcriptions extension + the Memberships extension. All for a total of about 350 euros.
There are other solutions, but I have left you the most reliable and used ones.
As for the marketing strategy, I would put more weight on content marketing because this way a more qualified and ready to convert audience will arrive. I leave you 30 very good examples about content marketing and 20 tips for your content marketing according to 3 experts.
Nº6 – Online Academy
Creating an online academy with WordPress can be a very profitable business on the Internet because the raw material is knowledge. Knowledge that you or any of your partners (and maybe your employees if you had to hire) have. You just have to organize all the information well, deliver it properly, and keep track of your students.
There are different plugins and many options to create online academies with WordPress that cover all those needs.
Nº7 – Directory
If you know a sector well and have contacts, perhaps you could think about creating a directory with WordPress. It’s going to take a lot of work and it’s not easy to monetize. But if you persist and incorporate more and more content it will end up being interesting for advertisers and can become a profitable business on the Internet.
If you did not know, a directory is simply a search engine for profiles (whether companies, professionals … etc). The profiles that people can find would be your customers who would pay to be in your listing. There could also be different plans if you want your profile to stand out from others for example.
There are many templates to create a directory in WordPress. Take a look at them and you know… if you know a sector well, cheer up!
Nº8 – Vertical Social Network
Unlike generalist social networks (like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube…) a Vertical Social Network is a niche network. That is, all members or users of the network have something in common. An interest, a hobby, a trade, a hobby…
And this, on the one hand makes them more minority but at the same time they are so focused that it has a lot of value for their users.
An example of a vertical social network would be Badoo. In this vertical social network, all users are interested in finding friendships, relationships, or whatever may arise.
Thus, these niche networks can become profitable businesses on the Internet because we can offer very specific services to our users. At the same time, we can provide sponsorships and promotions to brands and companies with a very specific audience. Whatever the business model of each vertical social network, it will almost certainly be based on this feature and the power of audience segmentation.
To create a vertical social network with WordPress we could do it with the free BuddyPress plugin for example. There are also themes or premium templates designed to host vertical social networks.