How to Make Money With WordPress (Passive & Active)

WordPress is the largest, most widely used CMS and blogging platform there, and it’s not even close. There are an estimated 64 million WordPress sites live on the web, which accounts for approximately 40% of websites on the internet. So it comes as no surprise that millions of people make either a side income, or a full-time living either directly or indirectly from WordPress. In this article I’m going to discuss how to make money with WordPress, and also how I make 5 figures/month with WordPress.

First, let’s split the ways to make money with WordPress into a few main categories.

Ways to make money with WordPress

It’s simple, either you do work for someone else or you do work for yourself.

1. Client work

If you are skilled with WordPress in any number of ways, you can pick up clients through freelancing. You don’t have to be a full-blown developer, if you merely know your way around the dashboard and can do minor edits to content you can find work. There are website owners that don’t want to go near the backend of a WordPress website and will gladly pay for someone else to do it.

Common client work might be:

  • Creating websites for small businesses
  • Updating old websites
  • Replatforming
  • E-commerce work
  • SEO
  • Speed optimizations
  • Consulting
  • Hosting and maintenance plans
  • Plugin or theme development
  • Content writing

2. Agency/employer

You could land a job in a marketing agency that churns out sites for clients, or as an in-house website creator/webmaster. This is what I fell into after freelancing for several years. The deadlines are probably less hectic but you won’t get as much experience.

A large marketing agency will often have several WordPress position in house, from content creator to plugin developer. If you look to in-house marketing departments in medium sized companies you may end up as the jack of all trades web person.

3. Work for yourself

Even though with freelancing you are sort of your own boss, you still have to deal with clients. What if you could remove nagging clients from the picture entirely? That’s actually what I ended up doing, and I’ll talk more about it below.

First though, here are some examples of how you can remove clients and be your own boss. You may still have customers with some of these methods, but not all of them.

  • E-commerce / dropshipping
  • Sell digital products (e-books, online courses)
  • Paid membership site
  • Monetize your traffic (no customers, no clients, can be very passive)

How I make money with WordPress

When it comes to how I make money with WordPress, it’s simple to explain an overview but it’s difficult to execute.

I’m my only client

First, I’m my only client. All websites I build now are owned by my LLC. I treat them as assets, because they are. They start out worthless, but as the process continues they begin to have value. How many sites I have at any given time is up to me. Right now I have about 15 total, but only about 5 generating significant income. By significant I guess I mean more than about $500/month.

So there’s that. I make WordPress websites for myself.

I use SEO to generate organic traffic to blog posts

These websites that I build are built around specific categories of interest, niches. Each niche is carefully chosen after I’ve done research. Once the niche is chosen then it’s time to proceed with building a simple website.

On this simple WordPress blog I’ll eventually have hundreds of SEO posts that will bring in hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. I just glossed over a lot right there, but that’s the basic idea.

I monetize with display ads and affiliate links

Once I have this traffic coming in, the site should already be producing an income stream. I monetize from the very beginning, meaning I have been adding affiliate links and have already had display ads turned on. The main drawback to making money with WordPress in this way is the waiting early on.

It can take many months in order to start getting organic traffic to your blog. If you any mistakes that were bad enough, you may never see any decent traffic. If you can find your groove, the income can be very passive. You can earn money from a blog post that you wrote for years to come.

You are essentially building a passive income stream that can generate a daily income like this, regardless of if you clocked in that day.

If you stick with it, learn from your wins and losses, and are relentless in your ability to publish content, then you can make a nice living.


As I mentioned, there are many ways to make money with the WordPress platform. I started out doing client work, then moved onto working in a marketing department, then fell into blogging for a living. I like where I’ve landed and think it’s a great, sustainable way to earn money for my family well into the future. It doesn’t hurt that I now work from home and I’m making way more money than my old job could ever have paid me.

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