Today, anyone can take create internet-based streams of side income. It has never been easier to create an online business. We are going to explore the options and steps to use WordPress to create a bootstrapped money maker.
When we say “bootstrapped,” we mean creating a business without a large investment or external help. There are many free and inexpensive options to get started. You don’t need outside investors. You don’t need to hire a large staff to begin. Address those challenges later, as you run into that nice problem of becoming so successful that you must scale up.
Blogging with WordPress
Being a professional blogger wasn’t as viable a business plan a decade ago. Today, many people make a portion or their entire living running blogs. WordPress is the most popular and ubiquitous blogging platform today.
WordPress is a Content Management System or CMS. A CMS is a package of web software that provides tools to easily create and publish posts. Contributors don’t have to write the actual website code. According to w3techs.com, of all sites built using a CMS, WordPress powers 60% of them. Of the 10 million biggest websites, 25% of them are built with WordPress. If you aren’t 100% certain how your business is going to work, you want to start with an option that has a wide range of possible options.
Once you set up a WordPress site, it is not much harder than pasting the text into the page and hitting “publish.” Due to its popularity, there are many free and low-cost solutions that can be added to your site to do different business functions. Support is available almost everywhere. You can Google for an answer yourself. It also isn’t hard to find a freelancer to help you work out a technical snag that is holding you back. A quick search on Fiverr or Craigslist can usually connect you with someone with the necessary skills.
Ways to Make Money with WordPress
Sometimes one just wants to share knowledge and be heard. WordPress can do that very simply. However, the possibility of actually making money, even significant money, is the main focus of this article. Making money online is not easy, but the opportunity is there. First, decide what kind of business you want to build. Then proceed with the confidence that you can adjust along the way.
One of the gentlest, least “salesy” ways to make money is to attract a large audience. You can then offer access to this crowd and people will pay you for the opportunity. Once you can show that many people visit your site on a daily basis, and describe what interests them, you can monetize your site. Other business will pay you to place ads on your page or add paid content in the form of posts that feature their products or services. As long as you don’t turn off your audience with inappropriate content, and keep offering value, this can be a very profitable path.
Select a topic that you know well and is narrow enough that you avoid getting lost in the competition. Balancing your niche between too narrow and too broad is tricky. This is an art and the inspiration for a popular web marketing quote: “The riches are in the niches.”
If you put an opt-in form on your site, you can begin to collect email addresses. You can boost growth by offering a valuable piece of free content, called a content upgrade or a lead magnet, in exchange for the visitor’s email address. These can include free exclusive reports, checklists, special videos, mp3 audio downloads, or whatever appeals to your audience. You can produce them at relatively low cost. You need only invest the time and effort it takes to produce them.
Once you build an email list, you can send valuable notes to your audience on a regular basis. You can also use social media, but their rules can change frequently, creating a setback. With email at the core, you own that list and a change in algorithm won’t wreck your plans.
Once you have a list and a trusted relationship with your followers, you can divide your income by the size of the list and get a fairly reliable value per subscriber. By concentrating on that statistic and making it go up and down by increasing your number of blasts and adding subscribers, you can realize the second of our popular web marketing quotes: “The money is in the list.”
One step above content upgrades and members of an email list is the opportunity to sell membership in an exclusive community. If your valuable product can fit into regular installments, like a weekly report, a premium membership format may appeal to your visitors.
If you don’t have confidence in your ability to produce a satisfying flow of information, you can offer the group itself as the value. You can create enormous value by bringing great minds together and moderating the conversation.
Creating digital products and selling them to your audience is one of the most common ways to make money. The pattern resembles normal retail, but with little overhead or delivery costs.
The last two categories of making money using WordPress are shared with caution. These each have a disadvantage, that the above options do not. However, these are the most natural ideas most people have when they dream of starting a business.
If you perform a professional service you may want to use a WordPress site to gain more customers. You also act as a resource of information for them, a valuable extension of an existing service-based business. However, you trade your time for money. Plumbers, dentists, and web developers are common examples of people who get paid for the time that they spend on the specific task. The earlier examples scale better because they are not limited to the amount of time that an individual has.
Selling physical products, like custom T-shirts and knitted crafts is definitely a way people have made money online. The challenge is that there is either a lot of time involved in making the products, or high startup costs. Packaging, shipping, and returns also factor into costs. With outsourcing and on-demand services, a lot of this can be scaled.
If you already work in one of these physical or time-bound businesses, you can certainly expand your existing business to include the other automated and digital options. This will help you expand and grow without increasing the burden of a growing audience on yourself.