Can I Monetize My Free WordPress Blog? 100% yes…

can i monetize my wordpress site

WordPress is an amazing free blogging platform that rewards you with readers as you write great content. And if you write REALLY well, you can experience a tremendous amount of traffic. But can you monetize that traffic and earn a side or full-time income?

Can I Monetize My Free WordPress Blog? You can monetize your free WordPress site through affiliate linking, sponsored posts, and newsletter/email offers. If you’ve paid for your own hosting and custom domain name, you can also monetize through display ad networks, website products, optimized affiliate offerings, offered services, memberships, and site flipping.

Owning a free WordPress blog is a fantastic way to make a healthy side income. Many bloggers start with a hobby blog, eventually make a side-income, and then scale up to a full-time income. Before you assume you can do this with a free WordPress site, let’s walk through the proper way successful bloggers are making great money with WordPress.

Can I Monetize My Free WordPress Blog?

Absolutely. WordPress is a great platform to build money making websites. There are a number of ways to monetize a free WordPress site.

But first, let’s get technical on the definition of “free”:

Is WordPress really free?

Yes and no.

Let’s start with the YES portion. There is a 100% free version of WordPress, but there is more to know. The reason WordPress is so popular is because they’ve provided a completely free blogging platform like or You can upload your content (words and images) and build a readership base with great content.

And again, it’s completely free! provides the following perks on their completely free account:

  • 3GB of Storage
  • Statistics
  • Page Builder
  • Unlimited blog space
  • Free hosting
  • Own your content
  • Built in social sharing
  • SEO optimized
  • Embed maps and YouTube videos

The downside of the totally free blogging platform is that you don’t have much control over your site design. Nor will you have a custom domain name for free ( will always be at the end of your URL).

Also, your completely free WordPress site will contain ads, you’ll have limited space for images, videos, and graphics, and limited plugin/upload abilities.

It’s the price to pay for 100% free content management. We think it’s totally fair. And, we think it’s probably a better option than both and It’s far easier to scale up a free WordPress site later on than it is with Blogger or Medium.

WordPress Scaling-Up: This means that you’ll be able to keep all your content and move to your own hosting, custom domain, and a better theme or web builder without disrupting your website.

The free account is great for people who want to get a site up quickly and make sure that blogging is right for them. You don’t want to spend three months building a site only to find out you hate blogging. WordPress is a wonderful testing ground.

You can always transfer out of the site later on if you find the blogging life fits you well.

seems legit martin freeman GIF

Okay, let’s talk about the NO portion and why it’s not always technically free.

The beauty of WordPress is in its flexibility. WordPress can be used as a standalone content management system for websites that want to host their own domain and content.

WordPress itself will be completely free, but you’ll have to pay for everything else—which is a good thing.

Take this website for example. is hosted with GreenGeeks (storage), using an AstraPro theme (design), on a NameCheap domain (domain name), and multiple 3rd party plugins.

In this example, WordPress is the platform that allows all of these things to come together. I use WordPress to build my webpages, type these blogs, access stored images on my server, deliver web pages to Google, and operate the entire website front to back.

All of these things cost money, but WordPress doesn’t cost me a dime. I’m happy to pay for these other website components because I want to scale my site for future flexibility.

So is WordPress free? Nearly always Yes. Can you add on things? Yes. Do those things often cost money? Yes.

As you can see, there is a completely free version and a free + add-ons version. The completely free version is great for beginners or casual bloggers. You don’t have to worry about hosting or messing with site plugins and management.

On the other hand, you can still use free WordPress and add-on what your willing to pay for. By using WordPress as a content management system only, I decide to buy what’s essential.

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s talk about monetization…

Monetizing a website (completely free)

A is great when you first start out with zero budget. However, monetizing your site isn’t as easy. There are only a few ways you can monetize your site.

  1. Affiliate linking: You can earn revenue by writing website content and including outbound product links. The most popular way to do this is by signing up for Amazon Affiliates. When you become an Amazon Affiliate, you earn a commission (1%-10%) depending on the category (see below-Amazon Commission Chart). You will be given your own link for products you want to recommend. Each product will have its own link and when someone clicks on that link in your website, they’ll be taken to Amazon. This would be an example.
  2. Sponsored posts: If your blog generates good traffic for a targeted niche, companies will pay you write about their product or they will provide the content for you to post. This is a sponsored post. WordPress does not allow sites to have predominately sponsored content. Most of the content on your site should be your own non-sponsored content. You are permitted to have some sponsored content sprinkled in.
  3. Newsletter to product: You can collect emails through the block feature. Once you collect emails, you can monetize outside of WordPress anyway you’d like. For example, if you are selling digital products, you could have a Shopify store that you funnel your newsletter audience too. Or, you can sell digital products through ClickBank or Sharesale.
Amazon Commission Chart

Monetizing a WordPress site (mostly free)

For sites where you purchase your own hosting and domain and only use WordPress as a CMS, the sky is the limit. You can do everything we talked about above and some.

Let’s talk about all the additional ways you can monetize a WordPress site when you control the hosting and domain.

  • Display Ads: With a lot of traffic, you can earn a lot of money. Display Ad companies like Google Adsense, Mediavine, AdThrive, and Ezoic will pay you to place company ads on your website. You’ll see anywhere from .50 cents per 1000 page views to $50 per 1000 page views. Your revenue will depend on how many visitors you get, what type of visitors you get, and how well your site keeps them interested (page views and duration). We have an in depth guide detailing how much you can expect to make with ads. Let’s just say with enough traffic, you can make serious revenue from your site.
  • Products: The benefit of hosting your own WordPress site is you can control the flow of products. You can sell Ebooks, courses, and products. The sky is the limit. While ads can make you a lot of money, having your won product(s) can predictably scale your business. To make good money with ads, you need A LOT of traffic. Products however only require a small base of dedicated audience traffic. It’s amazing what you can do with 1000 raving fans.
  • Services: If you have a serviceable skill, you can offer this on your site. WordPress supports tons of plugins to help you book clients and accept payment. Writers, attorneys, digital marketers, graphic designers, and high-end coaches are just a few groups of people making a great living from offering digital services to their clients.
  • Membership: Starting a membership site through WordPress is incredibly easy and lucrative. With helpful management plugins like MemberPress, LearnDash, and Teachable, anyone can start a membership site. Most membership sites on WordPress provide a value to their members and in return are are compensated on a subscription basis. Whether you are offering a 12-week class or an exclusive VIP archive of content, membership sites are a great way to monetize WordPress.
  • Website Flipping: WordPress sites that have good, consistent traffic are worth a lot of money. Whether or not you are monetizing that traffic, someone else will be willing to pay you for your site. Websites like or will help to broker your site and find a buyer. Websites can sell anywhere form a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the niche, content, and traffic.

Can I put Adsense on free my WordPress blog?

Unfortunately you cannot put Google Adsense on your free blog. To become eligible for ad networks such as Google, Facebook, or AOL, you will need to upgrade to a paid account for access to WordAds.

WordAds is WordPress’s ad management software which enables you to place ads on your blog.

To become eligible for WordAds, you’ll be required to upgrade your account to Premium, Business, or eCommerce. You will also be required to have a custom mapped domain for eligibility.

Once you’re accepted to WordAds, your application will be sent to advertisers for review. Each month, you’ll be paid via PayPal.

Who is eligible for WordAds?

  • Premium, Business, or eCommerce account holders
  • Monthly pageviews traffic in the thousands
  • Website must pass WordAds review
  • Website must be family-safe

How much can I expect to make with WordAds?

WordAds doesn’t pay very well. And that is being really kind. They don’t publish their adveritising rates because it “fluctuates”. That’s fine, all display ad networks do. But, search around on Google and you’ll find that people are getting industry low return.

If you have significant traffic to your website and self-dignity, you’ll immediately stop using WordAds. There are reports of people using WordAds with thens of thousands of pageviews making pennies. Contrast this with high end display ad networks that will pay $10-$25 per 1000 pageviews.

You’d be far better off going with a high quality display ad network (more on that later).

Do I have control where WordAds are placed?

You will have minimum control over where ads are placed on your free site. Under My sites, you can navigate to Earn and then Settings. From here, you can control how many ads are running on one page and where the ads appear.

You will not have control over which advertisers are running on your page, however the advertisers will most likely be relevant to your niche audience. You generally won’t see ads for mens basketball shoes being shown to gardening-blogger audiences.

That’s about the extent of your control. To gain control back, you’ll need to stop WordAds, move to a custom domain and custom hosting, and then sign up to a larger display ad network with more flexibility.

Let’s talk about those networks…

Do WordPress blogs make REAL money?

Absolutely. In fact, there are thousands of people right now who are making 5, 6, and 7 figures from their WordPress websites. There are many ways to monetize your blog as we discussed above.

Passive monetization strategies on WordPress blogs:

Display ads: Display ads from partners like Google Adsense, Mediavine, AdThrive, and Ezoic are completely passive way to earn money from your WordPress site. As your site grows, you’ll be eligible for better and better ad networks. The following networks will continually pay better as you increase your eligibility with great pageviews.

Ad NetworkRequirement
Google Adsense-Any website with traffic
-Completely original and unique content
-Terms and Conditions compliant
-Non-offensive content
-Simple site navigation
Ezoic-10,000 pageviews per month
-High quality website
-Partner good standing (ex:Google Adsense)
-Completely original and unique content
-Terms and Conditions compliant
-Non-offensive content
Mediavine-25,000 pageviews per month
-High quality website
-Partner good standing (ex:Google Adsense)
-Completely original and unique content
-Terms and Conditions compliant
-Non-offensive content
AdThrive-100,000 monthly pageviews
-Majority of traffic is US based
-Partner good standing (ex:Google Adsense)
-Completely original and unique content
-Terms and Conditions compliant
-Non-offensive content

The benefit of using display ads on your website is that you can make money without a ton of daily management. You aren’t fulfilling any product deliveries or dealing with customers. In fact, the more traffic you have, the better display ads network you’ll have access to, and the more money you will make per 1000 pageviews.

How much can I make with display ads?

On the low end, people make as little as .01 cents per 1000 pageviews when their audience is in tier 3 countries. These countries are often located in impoverished regions with little access to purchasing power.

On the high end, you can make more than $25 per 1000 pageviews if your audience is in a Tier 1 country (U.S., Australia, Canada, England, etc). Higher-end revenues are generally reserved for higher-end buyers. For example, a website about buying cheap yarn would make less per 1000 pageviews than a website targeted to high-end fitness treadmill buyers.

As you can see, the revenue opportunity is completely dependent on niche and traffic. If you are able to build your website high-end niche website to 100,000 pageviews and are approved for an upper echelon ad network like AdThrive, you can expect to make +$2500/month.

Related Questions

How can I make money with WordPress without display advertising? We get it, display adverting can make a site clunky and slow. Product affiliation is a great opportunity for WordPress bloggers to eliminate the downsides of display ads. The most popular route is through Amazon Affiliates as we discussed above. For example, an upper-echelon beauty website would be able to achieve up to 10% affiliate fee when someone clicks on their link, goes to Amazon, and buys a product.

This route is completely possible and achievable. And the best part is your site can maintain its integrity. A simple link is an elegant way to maintain a great reader experience while increase site revenue. You also have the opportunity to combine both affiliate networks

Is WordPress still free? WordPress has been free for a long time and continues to offer a completely free platform. The WordPress content management system (CMS) is always free, even when you choose your own domain and hosting. WordPress makes it’s money from WordAds (ads on free blogs), premium plugin revenue, and marketing place revenue (themes/services).

Scroll to Top