If you want to make money from your WordPress site, or you have the intention of making a website to generate an income, the collection of free and premium plugins on this list can help you with your goals.
While using one of these great membership plugins for WordPress is a way to earn money from your site and its content, the list of plugins below covers the wide range of other options available to WordPress users.
Pretty Link (FREE / $37+)
This plugin makes it very easy to shrink, prettify, track, and manage outbound links on your WordPress site. If you find yourself inserting the same affiliate links to your favourite products or services into your content on a regular basis, then this plugin is a real time saver.
The shortened links that this link management plugin for WordPress creates also look a lot prettier and less suspicious than the sprawling links often generated by affiliate programmes such as Amazon Associates and others. This should help increase the click through rate from your readers, while also making the links easier to share.
There is a good selection of WordPress plugins for insetting Amazon affiliate links and products into your posts and pages. However, this one is a good free option for those who want to simply display products in their posts and pages with an affiliate link which will earn commission if a reader goes on to buy that product.
With WpZon you get three options for displaying the products on your site. When it comes to choosing the products to display, you can enter their ID number, search by keyword, or select a category. If displaying multiple items, the products can be sorted by a range of criteria, including price, or customer reviews.
The plugin supports the different regional versions of Amazon, and displaying the products is as easy as inserting a shortcode into your post or page.
If you want to go one step further than just displaying products from Amazon on your site, the Prosociate Amazon affiliate store builder plugin could be just the tool you are looking for.
With this plugin installed you can quickly build a fully functioning online store with WordPress, listing products available from Amazon. Visitors can add multiple items to their cart on your site. Then, when they go to checkout, they are sent to Amazon to complete the transaction, earning you a nice commission on the total cart value.
The plugin can be used with any WordPress theme and it makes use of the number one eCommerce plugin, WooCommerce, for adding the shopping cart functionality to your site.
OIO Publisher ($47)
OIO Publisher is a WordPress-compatible advertisement manager that allows you to sell and manage the advertising space on your website.
Once you've designated the areas or zones where you would like to sell advertising space, the plugin offers a self-service feature for letting your advertisers signup to display their adverts directly from your site. There is no middle man to pay commissions to as OIO Publisher lets you control the whole process.
The website includes a marketplace where you can list your website in order to make it more visible to potential advertisers.
WP125 is a popular free plugin for those that just want to display some image-based adverts in the sidebar of their WordPress site.
Through the settings of this ad management plugin for WordPress, you can choose either a one or two column layout for displaying the adverts. You can select the order of the adverts or let the plugin select them randomly.
WP125 will track the number of clicks each advert receives. This makes it great for finding the most popular offers with your readers, as well as giving advertisers useful feedback when selling space on your site. Ads can be set to auto-expire after a set number of days and you can display a ‘your ad here’ message if there are any empty slots.
WP125 is a simple but effective plugin for displaying adverts in the sidebar of your WordPress site.
Quick AdSense (FREE)
Displaying adverts from the Google AdSense network might just be one of the easiest ways to monetize a website. No matter what the topic of your website, there is a good chance this ad network will have relevant and related adverts to display to your readers. Each time a reader clicks on an advert, you earn money.
However, inserting the adverts into your posts and pages manually can be time consuming. Thankfully this free, popular, and well-liked plugin makes doing just that very easy. There are lots of options for determining how the adverts are displayed, so you can ensure the amount of ads on show doesn’t crowd out your content.
Unlike some other free AdSense plugins, this one will never replace your adverts with those of the developer, making Quick AdSense a great choice.
Article Sponsorship ($12)
This low cost plugin could see you easily recoup the costs of adding this feature to your site in no time at all. Once installed, the Article Sponsorship plugin makes it very easy for the visitors to your site to become sponsors.
The plugin adds a ‘become a sponsor’ button to your site which then allows potential sponsors to complete a form, send a payment using PayPal or the other supported gateways, and then become an sponsor. There is also a version of this plugin for offering Website Sponsorship opportunities to your readers.
Sponsorship can be set to last for a limited period, and those who take you up on your offer get to upload an image and provide a link back to their website. Overall, article sponsorship is a great way to monetize your WordPress website.
Ninja Affiliate ($37 / 14-Day Trial for $1)
This plugin automatically inserts affiliate links, or other links of your choice, into your content. Each time you use a particular word in a post or page, the Ninja Affiliate plugin will convert that word, or set of words, into a link.
This means that every time you mention a product in a post, you can instruct the plugin to turn that product name into a link to that product. This link can include your commission earning affiliate tag, in order to make it easier for your visitors to find that product, and for you to generate an income from your blog.
If you aren't going down the affiliate route, you could simply use this plugin to automatically insert links to other pages on your site. For example each time you use the keyword ‘hire me’, it could be converted into a link to your services page.
Through the settings you can determine how many links to add to a post, whether to cloak the links or not, and also get tracking stats on the number of clicks each link receives.
eXopin Blogging For Money (FREE)
This WordPress monetization plugin allows you to sell the blog posts that you’ve published on your site, directly to anyone who wants to buy them.
eXopin gives you the option of adding a ‘buy now’ button to the blog posts you wish to sell. The plugin collects the payment and automatically transfers the content from your blog to the buyer’s site. The plugin also connects your site to the eXopin marketplace so that those on the lookout for new content can easily find what you have to offer.
If you want to earn money from your writing and content creation skills, then this is a novel approach to selling your copy online.
PayPal Donations (FREE)
Last but not least, if you don’t fancy promoting other people’s goods or services on your website, and you haven’t got a product of your own to market, then asking for a donation could be a viable option.
If your content offers real value to your readers, which in turn helps them to make money or save time, then it’s not unreasonable to ask for a donation in return.
The free PayPal Donations plugin integrates with this popular payment gateway and gives you a few good options for displaying the donation button, either in your content, or on the sidebar of your blog.
So there you have it, a selection of plugins which can all be used to help you make money from your WordPress site.
Whether you want to display adverts from a network, sell your own advertising space, or promote affiliate offers, there is a WordPress monetization plugin just for you.
How are you planning to monetize your WordPress site and which plugin will you use?