5 Easy Ways to Squeeze Extra Earnings Out of Your WordPress Site

make more money from your site 1) Use a Notification Bar

I’m sure you’ve noticed the red bar floating at the top of this blog. ;) I created it using the Foobar plugin (affiliate).

If you’re not a fan of pop-ups or floating advertisements, a notification bar is a more subtle/less intrusive way of highlighting something you want to call attention to.

With the Holidays approaching, many sites are running special offers, discounts, etc.  This is a fabulous way to promote them.

Do you have your own product?  This time of year can be slow for many niches. Boost sales by discounting your products and utilize plugins like this to promote them.

What I like about Foobar is you can rotate multiple advertisements and it’s highly customizable.  In fact, I was a tad bit overwhelmed by all the settings at first.

The plugin also creates an option on the Edit Post/Page screen that allows you to show different links on different pages.

I just started using this last week, so I’m looking forward to experimenting with different ways to use it.

The Hello Bar (no affiliation) seems to be the preferred plugin for bloggers, and there’s even a free version (unlike Foobar).  However, Hello Bar’s free version has a 25-click maximum.

The paid version for Hello Bar starts at $5/month — which is quite economical for established sites, but maybe not so much for newer/less-trafficked sites.

I chose Foobar because it has everything I needed and I prefer a one-time charge over a monthly fee.

You can watch a demo below…

2) Promote The Theme You’re Using

This tactic probably works best on blogs about blogging/design/Internet marketing, but nevertheless, it’s never a bad strategy to tell your readers what theme you’re using — even if it’s a subtle mention in your footer.

Satisfy the curiosity of those readers who may admire your theme design.  You’ll be surprised how these links can convert — especially if you have an awesome design.

Recently I added an ad for The Genesis Lifestyle theme (affiliate) at the bottom of this blog inside my footer widget. That link is now one of my highest converting links for the Genesis theme.

Not to mention, Genesis has a pretty generous affiliate program and their products convert incredibly well due to their sleek-looking sales pages.

If someone purchases their entire suite of themes, you’ll earn a whopping $122 just like that as shown below from a recent sale on 12/1/2012.

Genesis Affiliate Earnings

What’s interesting is I don’t even promote the bundled theme package — I only promote The Genesis Lifestyle Theme or the main Genesis homepage.

So you have to give credit to a merchant who does a great job of upselling their other products.  Gotta love that!

Plus, it definitely helps when you use the product you’re promoting.  I don’t think I’d sell as many of their themes if I didn’t.

For the first time ever this product is now my #1 earner for this blog.  The banner helps call more attention to the link, and no doubt the video link aids with conversions too.

3) Refresh Your Older Posts and Pages

Now more than ever, Google is all about fresh content.  I did a complete re-write of an old post because it was outdated.  The older version of the page was ranking #7 on the first page of Google for the targeted keyword.

After the content update, the page jumped to position #3.  Coincidence?  Maybe. Who really knows exactly what Google’s algorithm is up to these days?  But it never hurts to refresh your content.

Yes, you may earn a boost with regards to SEO, but it’s always beneficial to update older pages. You may find ways to work in new or better-performing affiliate links.

I know I keep going back to Genesis, but this old post on WooThemes and Thesis is actually converting for the Genesis theme just because of the text update at the top.

It pays (literally) to go back and make those updates!

Tools for Website Promotion and Design 4) Display Your Toolbox

If done right, a tools/resources page can really rev up your earnings.

Why?  Because it’s easier to convert with affiliate marketing when you actually use the products.

Also, many of your readers are naturally curious about what tools/services you use for your site or niche anyway.

Tip 1: Mix up your links and recommend both free and paid resources. It’s tempting to load up the page with nothing but affiliate links, but we all know there are some fabulous free resources out there as well.

Plus, it looks suspicious when every single recommendation is tied to an affiliate link.

Tip 2: Organize your resources into categories to make the page easier to scan/browse.

Tip 3: Show demonstrations of the products you recommend via video.  As you can see, I reference several of my videos on my resource page.

We all know that videos convert, and if you’re a YouTube partner, those added views can pad your earnings as well.

Here are some blogs with well-done resource pages:

FreelanceSwitch.com – (I love how this page is setup.)
John Paul Aguiar’s The Money Dummy Blog (I like how JP divided the page up.)
Corbet Barr’s ThinkTraffic.net (Notice the cleanliness of his landing page.)
Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Cafe (The equally-sized graphics add a nice touch.)

And if you want to drum up some extra attention to your page, create an eye-catching image like this…

My Favorite Blog Tools

5) Use an Affiliate Plugin

This is one of the easiest ways to monetize your WordPress content in seconds — especially if you use a plugin that automatically converts keywords to links in your posts and pages.

Now, I splurged on the Max Blog Press Ninja plugin (affiliate), but you don’t have to.  There are more economical and free varieties like Thirsty Affiliates (starts at $39), Pretty Link (free and paid versions), etc.

However, many of the free plugins don’t automatically convert the keywords in your content, so be sure to check on that.

While redirect plugins are amazingly convenient, just remember that if you have a technical issue and/or have to uninstall them, you’ll lose all your links.  This is one of the reasons I try to use these kinds of plugins very sparingly.

I hope this post offered up some tips and strategies you can implement on your own site!

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Comments

  1. says

    Awesome tips maybe you are a mind reader. I have been searching for a good way to install the persistent header on my sites. I didn’t want to use a pay per click plugin like the one that I have seen on other blogs this looks like the option for me.

    Pop up ads are like when you walk in the department store and the clerks spray you with perfume before you even know what’s happening. You’re like, WHY?

    I know people say it works but I have always felt like there has to be a better way.

    • says

      Yes, the Foobar plugin is great. I can’t wait to play around with it more. I’m the same way with pop ups. I know they work, but I can’t make myself use them.

  2. says

    Came here to read and grab it to share and got a nice surprise when I saw you mention my resource page :)

    Thank U for that Lisa.

    It’s nice to see that even thou we all have different designs and layout, they all work. Just keep it clean and explain what your sharing and that’s all that really matters.

    Also my fav tip you shared here was, refreshing old content. I have had the same results as you you when I updated content, so def not a coincidence :)

    On top of that, I have noticed when I share older posts again thru social sites and they get new shares my ranks go up as well.

    Great tips and again TY for including me.. ohh and I like the new design.. I’m a fan of grey :)

  3. says

    Hi Lisa, this is the first time I saw the Foobar plugin in action and I had no idea it was so affordable! I should give it a try. Question – is the holiday special price for your niche website book offered for sales from affiliates also?

    It just dawned on me that your move from WooThemes to Genesis didn’t take much time. I really like the idea of updating the old posts with the new affiliate link. Not just for the sales aspect, but it also brings attention to the fact that you switched themes. I bet some people still think you’re using Thesis because many people started using it based on your recommendation (myself included).

    I really need to spruce up my Resource Page and I love the examples you gave – especially John’s and Ana’s. Your idea for using the tool box image is super smart because it’s so eye-catching.

    Thanks for all the great advice Lisa! I will work on these tips tonight.

    • says

      I LOVE that plugin, Ileane. It’s so customizable. I think I’m going to test out rotating multiple offers too. I also noticed that when your site is viewed from a mobile device, the text scrolls left and right slightly.

      Yes, the offer is also good for affiliates. So if you promote the book through your normal CB link, you can also promote the special. :)

      Yes, the Genesis Theme converts waaaay better than Thesis used too and it’s probably because it’s more economical.

      Good luck on your resources page and thanks for sharing and coming by!

  4. says

    Lisa, I’ve spent the last few weeks updating posts (over 400 so far) on my Spanish-language training blog, and the traffic has increased markedly. What I don’t understand, though, is that most of the new traffic is not going to those updates. Rather, it seems that my activity, in general, is generating the traffic, but I have no clue why that might be the case. Thanks for the tips!

    • says

      Hey Doug, So you’re saying the traffic has increased, but not to those pages you updated? Yeah, I’ve experienced that too. It seems that freshness may not necessarily and always help the page you updated but give a boost to the site in general. So the pages that were already ranking well will rank better.

  5. says

    Its always a good thing to update old posts especially with the ever changing algorithms. I definitely have to implement a few of these strategies for my own blog. Thanks!

  6. says

    hey Lisa, just to clarify, when you update your posts you don’t republish them correct? I know many bloggers who recycle old posts simply by republishing.

    this impacts the URL/permalink which they don’t understand, but they do this for “freshness” and reader engagement – the comment totals grow a ridiculous amount over time.

    these bloggers are doing very well financially, but the business model is not passive by any means. their financial success for the most part is dependent on frequency and amount of publishing (frequently an ad based business), unlike a seed post you and I may publish which serves as a potential income stream long down the road.

    thoughts?

    • says

      No, no. Good question. I just do content updates to make them more relevant and accurate. For example, when I updated that post mentioned, it drew attention to Genesis – the theme I use now. So when I check my ShareaSale reports I often see that post as a referring link. I never republish.

  7. says

    There’s the Hello Bar and the Foobar, the other one I know of is the Viper Bar, which I recently switched to on my website. Haven’t checked my stats yet, but the advantages of the Viper Bar are that it enables you to include an opt-in form in the bar itself, and there’s no click limit or sign-up cost. As far as I know the only cost is for added features. The only real disadvantage is that it doesn’t play nicely with the inertia scrolling feature on Apple OS’s.

  8. says

    Lisa, I love this post. I have a lot of reader participation on one of my niche sites. Several of the regulars have mentioned books in the comment areas of my WordPress blog. I usually take the time to create hyperlinks out of the book titles that point to my Amazon Associates account. I think I’ll create resources page of the books that the readers have recommended and then send out an email blast to my subscriber list.

    • says

      Now that’s a great idea! And if you use an autoresponder, you can actually setup an auto message right after they subscribe that links to that page! Create a more automated stream of traffic to that page. *cha ching* ;)

  9. says

    I’ve just started a blog on blogspot.com and about to buy a custom domain from Google itself for $10,

    After reading the article, My question is
    Should I buy Hosting & switch to WordPress?

    • says

      Hi David

      I think WordPress is a far better platform than Blogger. Blogger doesn’t have plugins that will allow you to improve the functionality and features the way WordPress does. I switched from Blogger to WP in 2007 — best decision ever.

      • says

        Hi Lisa,
        I am also jugling with the idea of switching from blogger to WordPress. I do have some issues with blogger and I have come across the same opinion as yours many times over… What refrains me is how simple or complicated is it to do the switch in terms of time consuming or starting over in building your audience, etc… ?

        • says

          Hi Turenne

          It’s really not hard. You would “export” your Blogger posts and comments and when you install WordPress you just import the posts from the tools menu of WordPress. Now the tricky part is making sure you redirect your pages so you don’t lose any search engine traffic you may already have. There are probably tons of articles on that if you search via Google.

  10. says

    I definitely love the idea of mixing free and affiliate links all over the post. Aside from that I think being transparent with your readers will make your campaign more effective. People love honest people and by doing this you are increasing their trust with you and if you make them happy they’ll sure purchase via your affiliate link.

  11. Tim Hague says

    Hi Lisa,
    Thank you for sharing so much with your readers. Can’t wait to hear how it converts for you. Can the color of the bar be changed or is it always red?
    Best regards,
    Tim

    • says

      Hi Tim

      Not only can you change the color, but you can change the height, border color, shadow and even the style of the “close” symbol. The customization panel is amazing.

  12. says

    I’m also a big fan of Foobar, it’s a great plugin. I really like how it allows to show me different links on different pages. Thanks for the article, Lisa it’s great as always.

  13. says

    This post is amazing. I have been wanting and trying to earn money through my site even before but its kinda hard. I am really aware that you need to spend time and effort for you to become successful in this field. However, I really find it difficult. This post that you made is very useful for us owners of sites. I hope that you continue writing helpful articles like this. KUDOS!

  14. says

    I totally agree with you on the point of updating older posts.Even though I haven’t yet had many posts,my intention is to always look back at the old posts and add what I think I left out in the original post.Thanks for the post.Cheers!!

  15. says

    I really like the floating notification bar. It seems much less obtrusive to me that something popping up in your face. I didn’t even notice it until you pointed it out and I think that is how subtle most ads should be.

    • says

      Same here, Jameson. That’s why I prefer this over pop ups. I know the stats prove they work, but they are just too intrusive for my taste.

  16. says

    Oooooo I love the Foobar! 8) Also ive been procrastinating with my Toolbox page I gota get on that one too.

    I’m a huge fan of list building so I would add that in to increase profits and traffic back to your blog :)

  17. says

    Fantastic post, Lisa. Thanks for letting us in on Foobar. I was wondering what it was called. I’ve been seeing it literally on just about every blog I’ve visited. Now I know where to get it! Great points about the toolbox page too. I’ll be revamping my page soon and I’ll def be taking your suggestion into consideration :)

    Ti

  18. says

    hi, you are always written some new thing and i really like to read your writing. i tel you a secrete that is by reading your post i have been know some extra information which i do not know before reading this site. that is really a good work.
    I am looking for some extra earning but i do not understand how can i do that. but by reading this post i am easily understand that. it is very easy to apply and after some days i have been starting my earning.

  19. says

    Lisa,

    These are terrific tips! Sometimes it’s the small tweaks that make a site bring in more revenue! Thanks for the mention of Foobar — I’ve been looking for a tool like this!

    I appreciate the wonderful post full of tips!

    All the best,
    -Alex

  20. says

    What’s up Lisa.

    Happy 12-12-12

    Talk about how to make more money with your blog the persistent header bar you have is pretty cool and it does a good job putting your special offer front and center.

    Is that feature part of the Genesis framework?

    I’m looking for something that looks good and isn’t annoying like a pop up or clunky like custom code can be, thanks.

  21. says

    Thanks for the FooBar tip Lisa! I was using hellobar before but that 25 clicks per month was definitely a drag…After watching the video – there’s just so much more you can do with foobar!

  22. says

    Excellent tips Lisa :) I was considering using Hello Bar, but have been put off by the monthly fee. Never heard of Foobar before so will need to check it out… thank you for introducing it to me ;)

  23. says

    For Amazon I prefer azon, I have used hello bar and I think even pro blogger uses the same, as you said probloggers dont need to care about all that stuff and yes i always update my content…

  24. says

    Well just as I thought I had every monetization method applied, I stumbled upon your blog post. Really nice one, I must say. There are some ideas here, that I would never thought by myself. Thanks again

  25. says

    Thanks for sharing this, I was earning quite good from genesis sales, I was using generate theme after some customization that theme looks awesome and everyone ask me which theme you are using..
    I made lots of sales from genesis affiliate.

  26. says

    Hi Lisa
    Thanks for the tips. I like the footbar looks like a great idea, because it is simple and not moving around on your blog, but just stays there in the top. I guess it will also work in the bottom of a blog? After all it is called footbar ;-) I also like to update my post once in a while. They can often be outdated and just a little update can make them a lot more informative and as you said. Google love fresh content.

  27. says

    Interesting article. I did just start using the hello bar. It also tells you how many clicks it gets as well. I also feel it decorates the site as well. Great post.

  28. says

    I just had to pass this along. Since I installed the Foobar plugin on my site I’ve made 2 affiliate sales using it.

    I don’t have Lisa’s traffic (especially with the December traffic slow down) but the cool part is I can’t wait to see how the Foobar plugin works once the traffic returns in January.

  29. says

    hey lisa, i want make money from web but i dont have background in internet marketing. i hope i can learn here, thanks you lisa.
    one exsperience make money with smaato acount. and it’s very dificull.

  30. says

    Thanks Lisa,

    You just save me a few dollars every month, I was using Hellobar I had no Idea about Foobar any way thanks again I was more then happy to grab it from your link.

    Willie

    P.S

    I have to get back into reading your post I’m missing out.

  31. says

    Im already using #2. My site uses responsive themes from elegant themes. Plus i’ve added the host name as well as domain registrar name. Happy to know that other people are also using the same technique.
    It really works!!!

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