Having a WordPress blog is a good thing. Knowing how to monetize a WordPress blog is an even better thing. You don’t have to monetize a blog for it to be successful and potentially lucrative, but it helps. You’ve got plenty of options available to you that will help you begin to earn some money right away, so let’s get started so you can find the right monetization option today.

1. Google Advertising

The easiest way to get a WordPress blog monetized in just a couple minutes is through the Google advertising program. Of course you must have an active Google advertising account in order for this option to work. Get your account setup if need be and then you’ll be ready to install a plugin that will make the monetization effortless.

What the Google advertising plugins do is connect your dashboard directly to your WordPress blog. There are literally thousands of options available for you to do this, but not all of them operate as they should. Here are the best options that are available to you right now.

Google Dashboard Plugin.
This connects the WordPress blog directly to an individual’s advertising dashboard through Google. This allows for earnings insights, traffic levels, and all of the other needed information to maximize an advertising campaign in one simple location instead of needing two browser tabs open.

SZ Google For WordPress.
This plugin makes it very easy to integrate all of Google’s products into the WordPress blog. This includes social networking through Google Plus in addition to monetization. Analytics, maps, and even Google translate are all options as well.

Boggle Woggle.
This plugin allows users to paste in the advertising code directly into the blog so that specific campaigns can be quickly included. There is more customization on where each advertising unit will be placed on the blog as well.

2. Sell Advertising

Although this may be the simplest way to monetize a WordPress blog, it isn’t necessarily the easiest method. Blog owners are able to sell different types of space on their blog in return for flat compensation. Text links and articles often perform as better advertising than banner advertising. A blog owner could write product reviews for a company, for example, in exchange for a payment per article.

The key to selling advertising for a WordPress blog is to have enough traffic to justify the expense for a business while staying within the niche industry. Most initial sales are going to be low, often under $30 per advertising contract, but it’s a place to start.

3. Sell Your Own Services

The most lucrative option to monetize your WordPress blog is to sell your own items. You can create virtually anything and sell it online. Writers sell their skills to create articles. Photographers sell their skills for graphic design, portrait sessions, and other opportunities. The question is this: what is it that you could sell someone without being very blatant about what you’re trying to do?

There’s an art to selling items online. Blog readers want to receive the most value possible for the lowest cost possible. If you are charging for your information access and another blog offers it for free, where do you think your blog readers are eventually going to go? Think about your passions and then create something that you’re already a natural expert on.

From there, you’ll need to market your services outside of your blog. After all, the best product in the world won’t get sold unless at least 1 person knows about it. Consider writing guest posts on other WordPress blogs, create a social media page for others to follow, and don’t forget to use a double opt-in procedure for all of your email marketing efforts to avoid complaints about your site spamming people as this reduces your online reputation.

4. Online Memberships

This option to monetize a WordPress blog is a bit tricky to pull off successfully. There are three things that must come together perfectly in order for it to work.

1. You must have specific expertise in some area that only you have.
2. It must appeal to the mass market in addition to your niche market.
3. The price must be low enough to create a positive value ratio, yet high enough that your WordPress blog makes some money.

You’ll also need an online payment processor to take payments so that instant access to subscription materials can be had. The best option for this is Paypal at first, but a processing account through your local financial institution is also possible.

The online memberships also typically create a definable business for most jurisdictions. This means you’ll need to request a business license, potentially have general liability insurance, and run a business account register so that profit/loss is easier to track – even if you’re a sole proprietor. If there’s a high potential for profit, then this monetization effort is worth a try. If there is not, then the other options might be a better first effort.

5. Affiliation

Most WordPress bloggers opt for affiliation as a way to monetize their blog right away. It’s a pretty simple process to get started. Just choose a website to represent, create content around the products of that website, and then keep publishing new content. Every time a customer clicks on a link, purchases a product, or completes a defined task, then you get paid.

There are three highly used affiliate programs that many bloggers use when they first get started.

1. ClickBank
2. LinkShare
3. Amazon

Although these programs can provide benefits, the key to making real money is finding a niche that isn’t well represented online yet. That niche must be valuable in some way in order to be profitable. There might not be many cattle trough affiliate websites around, right? But it’s a product that has a limited market, which means profits are limited.

Monetizing your blog in this way will mean finding a fair affiliate marketing program from a business that has a good reputation that isn’t well represented by other bloggers. While you’re searching for this program, consider the long-established Amazon affiliate program because physical and digital products can be represented from all over the site.

Many affiliate programs have minimum payment thresholds that must be met before money will be released. Some programs have a minimum payment of $100, which means it could be some time before you receive your first paycheck. Look for programs in the $10-$25 range so you get the cash you’ve earned more often.

6. Get Some Tips

In the new internet arena of WordPress blogging, many visitors are willing to tip blog owners when a solid post that they found valuable came around. The tips aren’t often much, but a few tips every day adds up to a pretty hefty sum over the course of a month. The Bitcoin donate button makes this process really easy and it doesn’t require a third party processor or an exchange for the donation to happen.

If you prefer digital currency in easier-to-spend formats, then consider having a Paypal account with merchant services enabled. Part of those services include a donation button that can be copied and pasted over to the site. Then readers can use their credit card, debit card, or the balance in their Paypal account to make a donation. Post the $1 link because it’s the one most often utilized.

The disadvantage of this income method is that you can’t really control who donates or how much you’ll be able to make on any given day. There will be days when no money comes in whatsoever. That’s why this monetization option is often better as a complimentary option instead of a primary revenue generator.

7. Sell Your Blog

Essentially a WordPress blog is just like any other business, even if you aren’t actually considered a business. Selling the blog because of the domain associated with it or the reputation you’ve been able to create can be very lucrative. A blog can sell for up to 20x its monthly income, so if you can manage to pull in $1,000 per month, it might sell to a buyer for $20,000. Repeat that 4-5x over the course of a year and you’re making just as much as people working the 9-5 grind trying to pay off their student loans.

The benefit here is that you get one lump sum of cash that can be used for other investments. The disadvantage here is that the site is no longer yours, which means you won’t be getting any more income from it. You also won’t generally have any control or rights over the content that has already been posted.

Knowing how to monetize your WordPress blog can help you turn a hobby into a lucrative business venture. Consider these options today, use the ones that make the most sense, and you’ll begin to build an online financial empire.

Brandon Gaille is one of the nation's top experts on blogging. He built the monthly traffic to his marketing blog,, to over a million visitors in 15 months. He also runs an online course & podcast called "The Blog Millionaire."