Creating a business around WordPress has never been easier, and getting a new business (or new line of business) started can be remarkably straightforward, if you know how!
The Genesis community provides a lot of reasons to smile, but a particular favorite of mine is when people tell me that we helped them not just add revenue, but create a whole new business from scratch.
You don’t have to be a designer or a programmer, though obviously that helps. Being a semi-experienced user of WordPress can be sufficient to get started, especially with the amazing, easy-to-use plugins, tools, and themes out there today.
1. Recommend Products You Love
One of the main ways people get started making money—not just using WordPress but because of WordPress— is by being an affiliate of the products they like and trust.
You can follow this model too! Simply write about things you find interesting and beneficial and send traffic to the appropriate websites and sales pages using the link provided by the affiliate program.
Stay on the Good Side
Avoid recommending things that you are not 100% sure you can stand behind because your reputation is very easily burned by suggesting your audience buys something that turns out to be no good.
Many countries have laws that state you must disclose these kinds of affiliate relationships (and it’s an ethical best-practice anyway) so regardless, let your audience know that you might get a small commission, but the recommendation is 100% legitimate and not influenced by that.
Finding More Affiliate Deals
Some companies run their own affiliate program in-house. Simply look for their affiliate program, which is usually in a company’s website footer, or search on Google for the company name and “affiliate program.”
Others will use a third-party tool such as Share-A-Sale. The latter make it even easier to find new programs to support because those services list the companies and products that they work with.
Growing with Affiliates
Becoming an affiliate is a quick and easy technique to add to your business. It won’t add much if anything to your daily workload, and it can grow as you write more about the topics you’ve selected. Add a resource page to your site, or even add links into your email auto-responder follow up sequence to generate affiliate traffic (and more revenue for your business).
Adding an affiliate stream of income is especially beneficial for anyone who already has an audience, of course.
But what if you don’t have an audience and are really starting from zero?
2. Build and Improve WordPress Websites for Money
You can start a website building and renovation business with only the basic experience and without an audience, if you are willing to knock on doors (virtual or otherwise) and call in favors from your network for opportunities.
Heck, once people find out you have this knowledge you will probably get asked to do this as a favor!
- Build your own website, use that as your case study.
- Talk to existing business owners in your area or network and find someone, anyone willing to give you a chance.
- Clone your website or build a client a website from scratch, adding their logo, content, and brand colors.
- Even if you don’t get directly paid for the work at this stage, you possibly can still earn from affiliate commissions for the hosting, the themes, and the plugins used.
- Get testimonials and referrals to bring in more work.
Growing Your Builder Business
Once you have a baseline of income,testimonials, and case studies, and you’ve started to build a positive reputation, things get easier.
As you build up your network and client base,you can do less outbound sales and even start to bringyour prices up!
It doesn’t end at creating new sites for clients. People with WordPress websites have all kinds of additional needs over time, including migrating sites from one host to another, clearing off damage caused by hacks, as well as installing new themes and plugins.
In fact, one of the main ways I used to attract new customers was through people paying me for critiques,i.e, they would pay me to tell them what was wrong with their website and how to improve it!
3. Recurring Income
You don’t have to stop with one-off projects. If you work it right, your clients will become loyal, long-term customers.
Once a business has a website, they might be interested in your monthly maintenance plans, social media management services, content creation, SEO, analytics reporting …
At WP Engine, we have a tool called Flywheel Growth Suite that makes adding services and especially recurring revenue, much easier.
In fact, theFlywheel Growth Suite team have created an amazing ebook that goes through this in detail:
Breaking out of the “project-to-project” mindset and building a steady stream of monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is the key to success for any freelancer or agency owner—Growth Suite makes that magic happen. In this guide, we’ll explain how Growth Suite combines client and site management, billing software, and managed WordPress hosting to provide you with an all-in-one solution for your growing business.
The ebook includes:
- Tips for growing your agency or freelance business
- An introduction to Growth Suite’s powerful feature set
- Ways you can use Growth Suite to zero-in on MRR
- Real-world use cases of Growth Suite success
With WordPress rapidly approaching half of the world wide web, and with so many helpful tools available, there has never been a better time to earn some income in the WordPress space.
If you have an itch to start a business, or if your existing business could do with a revenue boost, I hope these three ideas help you succeed!