What is it like to make money as a Blogger on WordPress.com? (Advise on how to succeed on WordPress)

Can you??

That’s the question I get asked most frequently. The answer is yes.. but no? Let me break that down for you.

I started my journey on WordPress in the 11th grade. It’s been a whopping 6 years since then and it has been a wonderful experience so far. I am not the kind of person who tries to discourage anyone from pursuing anything. But having done this for so long, and having put my heart and soul into this, I have to be honest with you about the reality of this world.

I have been blogging for around 6 years now and a year ago I monetised my site. I almost have 5000 followers now. (Huge thanks to you all for that :)) I use the personal plan for hosting on WordPress. I monetise my site with WordAds. And I have made around 20 dollars in revenue so far. Yup. I know that’s not the number you expected. Neither did I. But, that’s how this thing works. You barely make a dollar for every 1000 views you get on your site.

So, how do you make those views increase? Well by writing better content. Content that people care about. I did not start this blog giving out advise on how to blog or write. I am a writer, an artiste, or I’d like to think so. I love poetry and writing of that kind. That used to be all I wrote. And yes, those posts got me a lot of compliments and made me feel really good. And I continued to write only that for a very long time. Back then WordPress used to let us repost our old posts. That was basically a way of republishing the same post over and over and making your post appear on the top of the feed in the WordPress Reader for the tags you’ve posted in. This was a common practise and it helped my content reach a lot of readers who enjoyed it. But unfortunately, WordPress has now made that impossible. And that is fair, I guess, in a way. While some people like me, merely republished a few times to get our content read, there were others who constantly spammed their content making the WordPress Reader unusable. And so, WordPress disabled this feature.

There are two kinds of ways you can get readers for your blog on WordPress.com. That is, either through other users like you on WordPress who find your post through the WordPress Reader and people who find your website through Google search results. It is a lot harder to get readers of the second kind. But I had no other choice. Since the WordPress Reader didn’t let me republish for views anymore, I started to analyse how I could get my site to show up on google’s search results. That’s when I started to write about things other people would care about like travel blogs, blogging advise and so on. These are things I had some knowledge about which other people would care to read. Publishing articles like this along with my regular dose of poetry helped me get recognised on the internet as well as write what I wanted.

If you have noticed, or been a regular reader of my blog, you would have seen that I have not posted as much lately. I kind of gave up. I put so much work into this. Writing almost every day at one point trying to get my views up. But it didn’t happen. Well, it didn’t happen as fast as I wanted it to. That’s the most important lesson I want to teach you about Blogging. You need a LOT of patience. That is something I lack in. I got very depressed about not “making it” and that affected my desire to write. I stopped checking my earnings, I deleted the WordPress app from my phone and moved on to other things.

Well why am I back then? you might ask. As much as I lack in patience, I am also not a giver-upper. I don’t like regrets. Maybe I won’t make that much money doing this, but I still love writing. Thats why I started to do this. Failure is no reason to give up if you’ve got a passion for something. I know I could have spared you this sob story of mine, but I am putting this out there because I want you to understand that this is the mentality you need to succeed as a Blogger. You need to keep trying no matter what. There’s a chance you might suck, but there is also a chance that you’re the next best blogger out there and giving up to early could be such a waste. Even the biggest blog on the face of the internet right now, had to start with nothing. It takes years to get some views and that is absolutely normal.

If you are serious about blogging, or writing or whatever it is that brought you here, I would suggest that you keep going. Write what you love. If what you love to write is also something that people care about reading, then great! If not, apart from writing what you want, think about what you know which could help others and write about that too from time to time.

If you are looking to blog on WordPress and monetising your site, here is the link to my post with information on all the plans offered by WordPress. It is worth the read to find the right plan for you – Free, Personal, Premium or Business? – Choosing the right WordPress Plan

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your blogging endeavours. Please leave a comment if you have any questions, or if you want me to write an article with any other information on blogging.

-The Obsessive Writer.

Advertisements

Free, Personal, Premium or Business? – Choosing the right WordPress Plan

A lot of people have been commenting lately asking for advice on which plan they should choose. I recently upgraded to the Personal plan and so I have some insight to offer which is why I decided to make a post out of it. I hope it answers all of your questions.

Whether you’re just starting off on WordPress for a creative platform, or an online journal or a business there is indeed a perfect plan for each of you which was tailored to your needs.

Who should go for the Free Plan?

If you’re not already on WordPress, or if you’re simply here to experiment and understand how WordPress works. The Free plan is the one for you. You get a decent subdomain which looks like this,

“Yourblogname.wordpress.com”

It’s good enough for anyone at the beginning. And as free things tend to be, it doesn’t come with many privileges. Since it is free, WordPress runs Ads on your site and you can’t remove them or get paid for them. You have a bunch of free themes to choose from, you get 3GB of space to upload media, you get to personalize your site to a certain extent as much as the theme allows, you get Jetpack which shows you your everyday stats and that’s about it. If this is all you’re looking for and you don’t mind the Ads on your site then the Free Plan is your best bet.

Who should go for the Personal Plan?

If you’re interested in this plan, and end up buying it, you’ll probably have a nice little smile on your face because you got the best of both worlds. It’s the cheapest bargain you can get for all of these amazing features.

With the Personal plan you get an increased 6GB of storage space, you get your own domain name which looks like,

“Yourblogname.com”

It removes the ugly .wordpress.com subdomain from your website address. You officially own your site and are in control of everything that happens on it. Starting with the Ads. You can choose to disable Ads altogether or you can apply to the WordAds program and once you reach a certain amount of views per month they’ll accept your application and pay you for the Ads they host on your site based on your views. This is an amazing way to make a few bucks off of doing something you love – blogging.

If you’re a small business, you don’t necessarily need WooCommerce. (it is a feature that deals with payment and shipping of your products) You can probably just display your products and leave a PayPal link on your site to allow your customers to pay through that and ship your products on your own. But keep in mind this is only for a small scale business that’s only starting out. Think of this as a way of testing the waters before you really jump in with the sales.

The Personal plan doesn’t allow you to upload videos but you can always upload your videos on Youtube and link to them on your site. It looks just as good.

The Personal plan allows you to change the font, background colour, and other features of your theme which are not available on the Free theme. You will no longer feel boxed into the generic WordPress theme and be able to distinguish your site from others in a notable way.

The plan also comes with a live chat support with WordPress. My experience with the Happiness Engineers at WordPress Customer Service has always been a very positive one. Even as I was typing in this article, I needed their help. I was researching about the discount on each plan and I accidentally purchased two domains. It was a purchase of over 100 dollars and I panicked as it was a Sunday and I thought no one would be able to help, but they instantly showed up and responded to my emails and refunded my accidental purchase. In the past they have also helped me to set up WordAds, figure out how to use and customise themes and so on. The Happiness Engineers are a great value added service you get by upgrading to the Personal Plan. The live chat makes it seem as if you have professional help right there within the confines of your home.

To sum up, the Personal plan is for anyone like me. A hobbyist who is passionate about writing, who would like their own domain and be able to advertise and get paid for it. The customer support is also very handy. If you go on the Internet and do a small search you’ll find that everyone recommends self-hosting on WordPress.Org instead of going for any of these plans. But a major drawback with that is you lose your connection to the WordPress reader which is a great source of views. It’s an excellent community to be a part of and you lose that if you self-host.

Who should go for the Premium Plan?

The first and foremost thing is, you can start advertising instantly. It comes with all the features of the Personal plan and more. As I mentioned earlier, you can indeed advertise with the Personal plan, but you have to wait a while before you get accepted. You need to be getting at least a few thousand views a month to get accepted into the WordAds program. But with the Premium Plan you get accepted instantly.

The Personal plan is my favourite but the Premium plan is the most popular amongst users. It is also relatively cheap. And a good bargain for the features it offers.

The Premium plan allows you to upload videos and other media upto 13 Gb. That’s pretty good.

The most notable feature of the Premium plan is that you get a little more customisation. On the Free and Personal plans you can only do with your site what your theme allows you to do. With the Premium plan you can directly edit the CSS code of your site and make it extremely unique. You will no longer be tied to the limitations of your theme.

You may have seen several themes on WordPress and wanted to use it, but alas! only to find out that you had to pay for it. When you purchase the Premium plan you get access to ALL of those paid themes and they are absolutely free. Now you might start to understand why the Premium theme is the most popular of them all. Each of those themes cost over 50 U.S dollars or more. And there are hundreds of such paid themes which you get for free with the Premium plan.

So the Premium plan is for anyone who wants to use WordPress for professional reasons. You get to customise your site, get access to all the Premium themes for free, advertise instantly and upload videos directly on to your site. It’s a good bargain for this price especially because of the discount that is available right now.

Who should go for the Business plan?

As the name suggest it is mainly targeted at businesses. I mentioned earlier that a small business could do without this plan by simply leaving a link to their PayPal account. But when you’ve come to a stage where you get at least a 100 customers a week, it’s going to get complicated to do everything manually. Also you don’t see professional sites like Amazon leaving PayPal links and manually sending a human being to ask each customer for their shipping address. Automation makes things simpler.

The Business Plan comes with WooCommerce which allows easy shipping and payment for all your products. You have a live customer support team that will assist you with all your needs right from setting it all up to maintenance issues.

Google Analytics and SEO tools are of great use to any blogger. SEO – Search Engine Optimisation is essentially a technique to get your site indexed better on search engine results. The more your content shows up whenever a relevant search is made, the more views you get. You can also improve your site’s ranking which will display it above all the other sites that have results for the same search. To explain in simpler terms, people are more likely to search for something using a particular set of keywords. Only if your post has those keywords it’ll show up in the search results related to that topic. With SEO tools you are always advised to use better keywords in your content. It recommends keywords related to your topic based on their popularity. You get all this with the Business plan.

The best way to customise your site is through Plug-In’s. They’re essentially apps for your site. And WordPress has tonnes of them to satisfy your every need. Only the Business Plan lets you install Plug-In’s. Even if you’re not a business and you’re just a blog you will one day need to install Plug-In’s for some service or the other. When the time comes and you have established your blog you should upgrade to the Business Plan to get all the benefits WordPress has to offer.

The Business Plan comes with unlimited storage, unlimited access to all Premium and Business themes. You can also remove the WordPress branding from your site and truly make it your own.

I hope this post was useful. 🙂

Please drop a comment below if you have any more questions!

– The Obsessive Writer.