WordPress can give you a nearly unlimited online market for selling just about any product or service. Many bloggers use a combination of revenue models to make money, including advertisements, affiliate marketing and promoting their own products for sale. Since WordPress is easy to use, requires little maintenance and can accommodate different methods of revenue, you can spend more time creating content to attract more people rather than on maintaining your website.
Advertisements can be a major source of revenue for a WordPress site. Ads work in two basic models. Pay-per-click or CPC, pays you each time someone clicks on an ad. The second model, called pay-per-impression, pays you for each time the ad is displayed on your site. Since you usually get paid only for each 1,000 impressions, this is usually abbreviated as CPM -- M being the Roman numeral for 1,000 -- rather than CPI. There are many services offering online advertising (see links in Resources.) Once your blog gets a lot of traffic, you may find companies begin asking you to advertise on your site.
Selling Products and Services
Your own blog can be great place to sell your own products or services, particularly if you write about related subjects. For example, if you buy and sell old record albums and your blog is about music history, your articles may generate enough interest that people may want copies of the albums you have. From dog walkers to keynote speakers, many people use a blog as a form of advertising their own business. Writing authoritatively about a subject is a good way to show potential clients your expertise while giving them a chance to know you better.
Selling for Others
If you don't have anything of your own to sell, you can always sell other people's products and services by becoming an affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketing works much the same as CPC advertising, except that you don't get paid unless someone actually buys the product you're advertising. When they do, you get paid a commission. Services like Commission Junction can hook you up with thousands of businesses, or you can sign up directly with companies like Dell and Amazon.
Selling Your Blog Posts
As your blog becomes more and more successful, you may decide there is a market for selling your blog posts themselves. There are a few ways to do this. The first involves gathering your best articles together and compiling them into an e-book. If you have a self-hosted WordPress website, another way is to create a members-only section containing premium content, such as additional posts or videos, and charge people a fee to gain access. A third option with a successful self-hosted WordPress site is to sell your domain name. You can then start a new blog with a new domain name and when it begins gaining traffic, you can consider selling that one as well.