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5 Free Plugins To Help You Monetize Your WordPress Site Without Pissing Off Your Visitors

Monetizing a site is something I have gotten a little crazy about over the last year. For a while I would just throw AdSense up or whatever was easy and never went back to test.

However there is a huge opportunity to take the traffic you are already getting and increase conversions to make a lot more!

In this post I will show you…

  • The super simple formula for making money from a website
  • The 5 FREE plugins I use to maximize the money I make from my websites
    • Showing exactly how I use them and how effective they are for me!
  • 2 final income earning tips you can make more money from your site with 

The Formula For Making Money Is Always The Same…

No matter what form of monetization you are doing the formula for making money from a website is always the same. You take the amount of traffic you get, multiply it by the income you earn from the average visitor, subtract your costs for running the site and there you have it.

website-income-formula

Website Income Formula

This is obviously a very simplified example but the point is to make more money with a website you can increase the traffic or increase the revenue from each visitor. The complexity gets added in with the fact that aggresive attempts to increase your revenue per visitor results in a worse user experience and ultimately less traffic.

The Income and Traffic Sweet Spot

Another super simplified concept I like to think about when making money from a website is to balance alienating/pissing off an audience while at the same time increasing income per visitor.

Finding the right balance between user experience and monetization is important.

Traffic-Monetization-Sweet-Spot

The Traffic and Conversion Sweet Spot!

The graph above can be boiled down to…

Offer the user a valuable/informative/enjoyable experience and present them offers that they would find additional value in and that you can earn income from!

 

5 FREE Plugins That Will Make You More Money and Not Piss Off Your Audience!

This list has the 5 plugins I use to monetize my website.

 

Quick AdSense

Download Quick Adsense (Free Plugin)

There is no easier way to manage in content ads then this plugin. Although its name has AdSense in the name you can use it for anything or a combination of offers as I have done with my student loan site.

The image below shows that I had both an AdSense block along with a CPA offer and the CPA offer outperformed AdSense. This was from my month 2 income report.

Quick Adsense

Quick Adsense Allows Insertion of Both AdSense or CPA Offers

Download Quick Adsense (Free Plugin)

Pretty Link Lite

Download Pretty Link Lite(free) or Pretty Link Pro – Aff Link

Having multiple monetization strategies on your site is great but if you are like me I have ended up not having a clue what offer was making me money and didn’t find out about broken affiliate links until weeks or months later.

  • Benefit 1 – Easily change out affiliate program and update links when affiliate offers inevitably change
  • Benefit 2 – Know which visitors are clicking on which links and on what pages by combining with Google Analytics

PrettyLinkLite solves these problems. By combining PrettyLinkLite with WordPress SEO by Yoast as I show here you will know exactly which visitors are clicking on which affiliate links.

Download Pretty Link Lite(free) or Pretty Link Pro – Aff Link

 

CTR Widget

CTR Widget (free)

This is self-serving one but it is a plugin I developed for internal use which has been doing incredibly well! This same strategy resulted in Neil Patel of QuickSprout.com getting 218% more clicks.

Neil-Patel-QuickSprout-CTR-Widget

218% Increase in Clicks is Possible

 

This strategy and the plugin has performing very well for me as well.

The way I like to use it is present a CPA offer in the scroll box. Another favorite method is what Neil Patel does and places a scrolling ad which leads to an opt in page.

 

PMSL-CTR-Widget

Example of CTR Widget from my Student Loan case study site

This was the first plugin I had created and uou can read the 10 steps I followed to get this plugin created for $150 here.

Download CTR Widget (free)

 

Viper Bar

Download Viper Bar (free)

Viper Bar created by Glen from ViperChill.com adds a banner along the top of your site that can scroll down as the reader moves down the page. The plugin can piss me off and I am sure others when it looks bad on the site and is linking directly to an affiliate link.

However, when the Viper Bar matches the colors of the site and is linking to a page on the site I find it a useful aid to my user experience.

The way I like to use Viper Bar is to…

  • Design it to match my sites look
  • Link to one of my most profitable pages
Viper-Bar-Example

1.37% of Visitors Click on the Bar Resulting in approx. 10% More Money Earned!

By using this approach I believe I am providing a good user experience and ultimately driving more traffic to a more profitable page then they are currently on.

There is another probably more popular option called Hello Bar which I use but I prefer the 100% free version of Viper Bar over the limited free version of Hello Bar. So since this is a free plugin list I included the ViperBar.

Download Viper Bar (free)

Welcome Gate

Download Welcome Gate (free) or Lead Pages (aff Link)

This is probably my current favorite monetization strategy! The lead gen product from Lead Pages is the best conversion tool I have used.

Welcome Gate creates a page that the visitor sees first when they come to the site that asks for the opt in.

Using WelcomeGate on my AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com site has really helped grow my list!

Generating around 10 email opt ins from the welcome gate plus many more from on page squeeze page like my free software download squeeze page (55% conversion!).

 

Aweber Opt Ins from WelcomeGate

Traffic to Welcome Gate

Traffic to Welcome Gate

Resulting in a conversion rate of new visitors of 9.3%

Although this isn’t ground breaking conversions it does result in a really steady list growth.

If you are wanting to step it up then I can’t recommend LeadPages enough, it makes the creation of high converting squeeze pages easy!

Plus it provides the opportunity to create split tests and provides the analysis I had to do manually above right in its dashboard.

With WelcomeGate I have been generating 9% conversions however, with LeadPages on other pages I have been able to generate a 50+% conversion…

50% Conversion with LeadPages

50% Conversion with LeadPages

If you are serious about monetizing through your email list then I definitely recommend checking out welcome gate to start with and then upgrading to LeadPages once you see the results!

Download Welcome Gate (free) or Lead Pages (aff Link)

 

2 Fast Monetization Tips

First – Present an offer of value that is compliments your site. An example is on my student loan site about paying off student loans/reducing your monthly payments I link to a student loan consolidation offer.  The more directly relevant your CPA offer is to your audience the higher your conversions will be. Another example of this is on my ultimate expired domain post I show how to find expired domains, what to do with them when you have them and then link to the hosting account I like to use (aff link).

Second – I have seen few affiliate links within posts on a few sites recently, specifically a site I just purchased(more on that later). Linking to relevant affiliate/CPA offers from within a post provides a great opportunity to direct people to value added offers. If you are looking to do more of this I recommend going into your analytics and identify your most popular pages and then manually adding links to those most popular pages.

 

Do you have any plugins you see great monetization results with? Please leave them in the comments below!

About the Author Jon Haver

I am a 31 year old husband, father of 2, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours. I am not a GURU but just a regular guy who is grinding out 12+hr days to build a life for my family on terms.
Jon Haver, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

28 comments
Kristy says September 2, 2013

Great tips, I have been guilty of just putting AdSense on my site and not trying to improve it. Based on these tips I will definitely try some different strategies.

Reply
    Jon Haver says September 2, 2013

    Thanks Kristy, I was guilty of not testing for a long time as well. It can really make a big difference though!

    Reply
Danielle says September 2, 2013

On my niche site (not the one listed above) I’ve just recently started to gain top spots (1-3) in google for a 6 or 7 keywords with approximately 10k exact searches. I’m finding out first hand if you’re not providing really quality content your bounce rate is going to be gross and your Visitor position will be fine but your Income Per Visitor will be negligible.

That said, looking forward to trying a few of these plugins Glenn’s plugins are always dynamite. Really informative read, booked marked to put it into use.

Reply
    Jon Haver says September 2, 2013

    Hi Danielle, your top spot will be jeopardized if you don’t end up providing a better user experience. As your bounce rate stays high Google can measure this and sees that them returning your site didn’t meet the searchers needs. Try getting them to be more sticky on the site with a video near the top which might increase the time on site. Just a thought.

    Reply
      Mary @TheFlyingCouponer says September 2, 2013

      Love the video idea… I will try that!

      Reply
      Danielle says September 2, 2013

      Hey Jon,

      Thanks for the advice. A video isn’t a bad idea, it’s something I’d have to consider very carefully as it would require a fair amount of work and the site I’m referring to has really become more of a test site. I made some critical first time mistake – I really overestimated how hard it would be to rank for keyword terms and as such I focused in on smaller, less competitive terms. I also didn’t have a plan to monetize it after it started to get traffic from google. If you build it, they may come but the money doesn’t magically appear afterwards :). And as I mentioned above, the content is pretty lousy and my bounce rate reflects that.

      Reply
        Jon Haver says September 3, 2013

        Hi Danielle, it doesn’t have to be your video. It could be another video from YouTube that provides value about your given topic. If the content on the page doesn’t provide any value though it may be tough to improve your bounce rate. The pursuit of traffic in a non-monetizable niche is definitely a mistake I have been guilty of…cost of learning!

        Reply
          Danielle says September 3, 2013

          Hey Jon,

          Well thanks for the video idea, I’ve since reached out to a few small manufacturers and suppliers in my niche. We’re in the midst of working out affiliate terms allowing me to use one of their videos for promotional reasons which might help to stick some users.

          Reply
Michael says September 2, 2013

Thanks for the recommended plugins, some of them I did not heard and definitely use on my Amazon sites. Thanks Jon!

Reply
    Jon Haver says September 2, 2013

    I know there are some other plugins out there that make embedding amazon code super easy but I have never really had a need for those. Let me know if you use any specifically for Amazon links.

    Reply
      Michael says September 12, 2013

      Yeap, something like wpzonbuilder especially built for amazon sites. Just insert your affiliate code and you are done! Make things easy..

      Reply
Youssef says September 2, 2013

Perfect timing , Jon. I will be using most of the tools listed here for a new auth site.
I’m sure niches user behavior may not be the same across, but its all here to implement and test.

Reply
    Jon Haver says September 2, 2013

    Hi Youssef, yes exactly there is not ONE best set up…its all about taking an initial crack at it and then iterating as you find out more about your visitors – what works and what doesn’t

    Reply
John Shea says September 2, 2013

Thanks Jon, I picked up Welcome Gate since it’s free. Might consider it for my interview show, Mixergy uses something similar.

Reply
    Jon Haver says September 2, 2013

    I am sure it could work, especially if you have a solid opt in incentive. On a Mixergy interview Clay Collins said Welcome Gate was based on the mixergy welcome gate.

    Reply
Ryan Cote says September 2, 2013

Great post Jon. I just downloaded your CTR widget plugin and I’m going to test it on one of my niche sites. I also like your tip about looking at posts that are bringing in traffic and inserting contextual affiliate links.

Reply
    Jon Haver says September 3, 2013

    Let me know your thoughts on the CTR widget. There are other plugins out there now that do the same thing if you struggle with it.

    The reviewing your top pages to improve conversions is something that is almost always overlooked and can make an immediate improvement on the site.

    Reply
      Ryan Cote says September 3, 2013

      I got the CTR Widget setup with no problem and so far it’s working great.

      Reply
        Jon Haver says September 4, 2013

        Great to hear!

        Reply
Mary @TheFlyingCouponer says September 2, 2013

Welcome Gate? Really interesting…I might squeeze a page too. Lol! Free is good! Thanks Jon
! xo

Reply
    Jon Haver says September 3, 2013

    Welcome gate seems to do the trick of getting someones attention on a single goal while not having to be to obnoxious with a popup or something similar.

    Reply
pete says September 3, 2013

Hi All,

Hi Jon, and All,
I am new in online marketing/business and I am actually searching for low competition keywords in the field I have education and knowledge in order to build some niche websites businesses, however, to my great surprise, all the keywords the systems (google keyword tool and google planner) give me are high competitive keywords and just a very few are medium competion keywords. I read that low competition keywords are better since they can help you position better on the google first ten, and help you get good free traffic… So what could you advise me to do?
Furthermore, is it riskier to build a website with already high competitive keywords?

Thanks in advance for your advice

Pete

Reply
    Jon Haver says September 4, 2013

    Hi Pete, there is a difference between the search competition and advertiser competition. The “competition” that the google keyword tool displays is the advertiser competition. I recommmend checking out some of the tutorial Spencer Haws has about finding low competition keywords – http://www.nichepursuits.com/ I have a tutorial talking about how I find low competition keywords in a competitive niche here – http://authoritywebsiteincome.com/keyword-research-competitive-niche/

    Hope this helps!

    Reply
Sri Kumar says September 5, 2013

Very useful plugin , I never heard of all These free plugins
Except pretty link , thanks for sharing .

Reply
    Jon Haver says September 7, 2013

    No problem Sri. If you weren’t using any of these were there others that you were using?

    Reply
Dmitriy @ dimco says September 24, 2013

Nice list. I love the CTR widget. I also like the SoreThumb plugin it’s a paid plugin, but it really makes your links or whatever you want your visitors to pay attention to stand out in a BIG way!!!

Reply
George says January 9, 2014

Great post. I’m glad i found it. I also use Quick Adsense myself and find it very useful and convenient. I also downloaded other plugins you recommend and plan to use them. Thanks again.

Reply
    Jon Haver says January 12, 2014

    Great, glad you liked the post!

    Reply
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