The WordPress Affiliate Program [Full Review]
In this post, I dive into the WordPress affiliate program- both .org and .com affiliate opportunities.
While WordPress.com is popular for its free plan, there are paid options as well:
- Personal: $4/month billed yearly
- Premium: $8/month billed yearly
- Business: $25/month billed yearly
Before examining the WordPress.org affiliate program, it's important to clarify the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org and the people who use them.
Difference Between .com and .org WordPress
The primary difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is the hosting provider.
With WordPress.org, you're hosting your website. WordPress.org enables you to use WordPress as a free CMS you can download and then install on your own web server.
WordPress.com manages hosting for you- you won't have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server.
Another big difference between the two WordPress options, from the context of affiliate marketing, is mindset.
The downside of using WordPress.com, especially on its free and lower payment plans, is that WordPress will be running ads on your content. This means that .com users, generally, aren't in the 'make money online niche' if they're willing to sacrifice ad revenue.
So, on average, the WordPress.com user is more of an online-marketing 'innocent'. (Granted, there are big brands who use WordPress.com as a blogging platform.)
Which means there's less opportunity, on average, to earn affiliate commissions from them because they probably joined the .com version as a cheap or free way to promote informational content. Therefore, they're not looking to spend money.
It's something to keep in mind. I'm not saying you can't make any money promoting .com, but it's important to recognize the distinction between .org and .com when it comes to affiliate marketing.
The WordPress Affiliate Program Video Review
I shot a companion video reviewing the WordPress affiliate program. Check it out and leave a Like if you enjoy it!
Hi, guys, Ryan from NicheFacts here and today I’m going to take a look at the WordPress affiliate program.
There is a link in the description, so if you just want to jump over and read the post on my website, you can do that below, but basically with the WordPress affiliate program, there are two options: you’ve got the org and you’ve got the .com.
So with the dot-com you’re, basically promoting the different payment plans that come with having a website hosted on WordPress, The primary difference between .org and .com is that the .org is using WordPress as a free CMS and then you’re paying for your own hosting but with the .com you signup and it’s being hosted on there end and then they make the money back by running ads on your content.
Essentially, if you’re trying to be a dot-com affiliate, you are basically trying to get people to pay for the different premium options that come with these different plans here. There’s always this free plan for life.
You know, which is what people know about. Actually I didn’t even really know too much about the dot-com payment plans that you can get into. So you can see, there’s you know, there’s increases of storage capacity. You could remove the ads at this level with Premium actually got your ads over here as well. So, basically a you know: you’re able to actually monetize the site only on on this, which I assume means you can run display ads about your content.
So, on the dot-org side of things, you know it’s it’s a little bit different on that side of things. You can promote WordPress’s WooCommerce affiliate program or you can promote the Jetpack affiliate program and both of these are 20 % of first-year sales for each client.
So with WooCommerce, that is the e-commerce plugin, that’s sort of a do-it-all option if you want to convert a WordPress site into an e-commerce site so that getting people to sign up for that and then, of course, there’s a range of payment options that are bundled into it.
Jetpack gets a lot of criticism, but it’s essentially a suite of site enhancement tools. So I listed out this is what you get a like: the the highest level top two, your plan. You could check it out all the different different options that that you’d get with jetpack.
So this is what you’d be trying to promote if you want to use jet WordPress’s own products to promote, but of course, if you’re in the dot-org space that basically means you’re in the make money online niche. So if you have this just traffic, you know there’s a ton of third third-party wordpress.org affiliate options. So, just thinking very broadly here, like if you’re, if you have any of this sort of traffic, which is what my site here is, I mean it’s how to treat a website stuff like that.
It’s you know, keyword, research tools, there’s SEO tools. I listed out a bunch of plugins and have affiliate programs – there’s Sucuri security, which is the you know, the antivirus site security program, monsterinsights, WP rocket, WP Rich Snippets, etc.
You could actually look at my post on best SEO affiliate programs, so if you’re in the make money online, website tutorial type of niche space, this would be relevant to you as well, because these are you know, a list of all the different make money online stuff.
You know things like that, so I just wanted to make that distinction so quickly to go over it again. The dot-com is you’re, promoting people buying these plans and then with the dot-org. You can do the jet pack or WooCommerce, which is you, know, WordPress its own stuff, but then outside of that.
Just because, if you’re doing org or if you have site traffic related to making money online it really opens up the floodgates because there’s all sorts of stuff that you can you can promote so next I just wanted to go over some of the keyword, research that I did so.
Basically, I ran wordpress.com through age reps. Just to see you know what they rank for, and this helps give content ideas. So you know if you’re, trying to make money from this program, you’re going to need to qualify traffic so the best way to get a sense of the content.
You should be creating that can get traffic is by looking at what does the website itself rank for? So you can see you could scroll through this and just an easy way to do. It is kind of look at the difficulty score or the age rest difficulty score. You can even filter this so like, for instance, news.com people or generally they’re trying to find like a free way to start a website.
That’s the general thrust of it. Those are the kind of keywords I’d want. I’d want to basically interrupt them before they’ve made a decision on starting a website.
So the .com is a lot more restrictive, so there’s a real difference in mentality in terms of the two different affiliate programs, though it should be said that I’ve seen a lot of really big websites running their blog on the .com version.
But that said you know, I would look at the keyword, research here and just kind of see what you can with sort of content. You can create that you know, interrupts them or it you know, informs them at the beginning of their search. So that’s one way. I would think of doing and then also basically, if you’re looking at the dot-com affiliate program, you don’t want to figure out.
How can I incentivize people that are maybe on a free plan to upgrade their plan, so I would look through that would lend itself to creating tutorials so like something like you see with a paid plan here, it gives you the option of monetizing the site. You could create a huge content series like how do you monetize a dot-com site? How do you improve conversion rates on your wordpress.com site?
So all of that I mean you can’t do that unless you’re paying for a premium. So, if a person, if your visitor or viewer on YouTube, for example, is currently on a personal plan or a free plan, you would be creating content. That says, you know: here’s how you monetize your side, here’s how you accept payments stuff like that and then oh well. You need to upgrade so you click here to upgrade something like that. So that’s why I would think about creating content. You have to be kind of strategic if you’re promoting this, because a lot of these people are just looking for something free.
So that’s that’s one word of caution I have about the .com side of things. And you can see this table is pretty dynamic. You could actually download the whole CSV at the bottom. You can see it’s pretty cool, you can click through free WordPress, free WordPress, free website, but these are actually really competitive terms.
This just gives you an idea of the sort of content you should be creating and you can see like there’s some really good opportunities here. If you just compare the volume and the difficulty just get out of this, so I would just I would do something like that like this is a really quick way.
So you have to be strategic. You know, I’d be creating content around these. These terms, whether it’s YouTube or you know a website, creating content and just trying to rank and then strategically inserting wordpress.com affiliate links into the content. Mood fiends, I mean there’s a lot of interesting options here. If you want to promote calm, then I also ran org through it. It’S a similar kind of exercise. You’re going to want to just be creating content around these terms.
Getting people onto your email list figuring out, you know what is it within the dot-org world that you want to promote? Is it jetpack? Is it Luke onerous? Is it one of the third-party plugins that have affiliate programs that you can promote and then, like I’ve said repeatedly, you know that once you’re in the dot-org world that you’re, basically in the make money online niche, which means you know, there’s just an infinite amount of Different tools and tricks because the dot-org people they’re very different than the dot-com people. You know the dot-org people they’re paying for hosting. You know it’s it’s a more of an ambitious mindset like with the dot-com it’s it’s kind of the web 2.0 world.
Where you know people had, you know, blogger accounts and Tumblr accounts and that’s how I kind of visualize the dot-com. That’s the sort of people that they’re just trying to get a website online and it’s free – and it’s just kind of you know an informal space to do national content. With the caveat that, like I said before, there are a lot of big sites that run on the.com that I’ve seen so further down the post. I walk you through some more promotional strategies and I kind of touched on most of these before and also with the the wordpress.com with the different plan levels. There’S you know it’s the same. You know it gives you the option of like a lot more. A lot. More resources so, for instance, you’re gonna attend live courses or SEO tools that come with a higher payment plan, and that’s just more stuff like I would you know, leverage content around like theme reviews would be a really good idea.
For instance, the Internet’s saturated with WordPress theme reviews, but on the.com side of things, this is usually .org themes. I’ve seen most of the themed stuff, but again that’s a place where they’re gonna have to upgrade a lot of times to enable different theme uploads. So that’s another another space that you could play and that’s really it. You know it’s: it’s. A internet marketing SEO make money online type of space, so it’s very competitive, but WordPress is really the most popular CMS on the market.
So, if you’re looking to promote it, you know you, like, I said before. You really need to be cognizant of the differences in mindset between the dot-com and org people and really have some clarity about the sort of content you’re creating and the sort of the mindset that your user is in. You know what is the best option for them. Personally, I don’t see, I would never recommend that someone used it calm for the most part. Unless you know like say it was a family member of s. You know just trying to get an informal website online. You know, as have like you know, fun a fun interest.
They don’t need to pay for hosting they’re fine, letting WordPress run ads and their content, but where the real money is is in the dot-org, because that’s that’s where the really serious players are. Are you know trying to make money online?
Essentially, so if this interested you I’m doing a lot of beads affiliate program reviews, I just go to the homepage and scroll down past. Perhaps you can see the affiliate program review section, so I’m doing WordPress like I just did. I reviewed the Dell affiliate program, Adidas, Nike, Uber, Home Depot, so there’s ton of good stuff here. Basically, I just walk you through the different commission structures of the different programs. How to join a sign up and just basic promotional strategy is how I would think about promoting it. So if you liked the video just leave a like subscribe and head over to the website, you can get a full range of different different content. If you’re trying to make money online, you know I really outline a lot of different options.
Getting Started With Niche SitesUse the strategies on this page in conjunction with my niche site process. Here it is in a nutshell:
- AuthorityHacker's Authority Site System (my review): a complete, step-by-step system to start growing your own highly profitable affiliate & authority niche site.
- A cloud-based on-page optimization tool: Surfer SEO makes your on-page SEO easier, faster, and more effective than ever using data-driven, real-time signals to rank in search engines.
- A reliable and fast hosting solution like SiteGround (my review)
- A brandable domain name from GoDaddy (my guide)
- A premium theme- I use GeneratePress but there are some cool niche themes on ThemeForest
- SEO Friendly Article Writing ($8-$12 / 1,000 words) from HireWriters (read: my HireWriters review)
- Powerful Backlinks from Authority.Builders (read: my Authority.Builders review)
- An automated social media drip campaign from MissingLettr
- An auto-responder to build your email list– ConvertKit is what I'm using (read: my ConvertKit review)
- Finally- you can always refer to my free step-by-step niche selection guide and all of my free niche reports for inspiration
WordPress.org's Affiliate Options
According to their affiliate page, if you're looking to promote WordPress.org, you have two options:
- The Jetpack WordPress plugin: (20% of first year sales for each client)
- WooCommerce: the WordPress eCommerce solution (20% of first year sales for each client)
The WooCommerce Affiliate Program
WooCoommerce is the WordPress plugin that converts your site into an eCommerce shop- it comes with lots of freemium functionalities so you can start selling online.
If you have a make money online site, this do-it-all eCommerce plugin could be an earner.
The JetPack Affiliate Program
Jetpack gets a lot of flak. It's basically a suite of site-enhancement tools.
- Provides access to over 100 free WordPress themes
- Provides access to over 200 premium WordPress themes
- Enables unlimited image CDN (Photon)
- Enables unlimited video CDN
- Lets you do Lazy Loading of images
- Provides real-time automatic site backups
- Unlimited archive scanning
- Protects against brute force site attacks
- Does downtime monitoring
- Performs automatic spam filtering & malware scanning
- Will do Automatic security fixes
- Provides website statistics
- Automates and schedules social media posting
- Provides SEO preview tools
- Google Analytics integration
- Provides on-call email support and a concierge setup service
- Lets you accept PayPal payments
- Enhanced site-wide search (powered by Elasticsearch)
Third Party WordPress.org Affiliate Options
But that's just WordPress' own products- there are a ton of third-party WordPress plugins and services you can promote, as well.
- The Sucuri Affiliate Program (Join)
- The MonsterInsights Affiliate Program (Join)
- The WPRocket Affiliate Program (Join)
- The WP Rich Snippets Affiliate Program (Join)
- The Thirsty Affiliate Affiliate Program (Join)
- The Infinite WP Affiliate Program (Join)
This is a pretty big field- the above affiliate programs are for WordPress plugins, but more broadly, for WordPress.org, you can promote WordPress themes, hosting providers, WordPress technical support services, and expand out into general internet marketing tools (like autoresponders, keyword research tools, etc.).
To put it in context, if you have a WordPress blog tutorial or a make money online site, and you wanted to promote WordPress, you could:
- push people to install WordPress.com and hope they signup for a premium plan
- promote WordPress.org's WooCommerce and Jetpack plugins
- lastly promote general internet marketing affiliate and promote general internet marketing tools.
Read More Of My Niche Reports
WordPress Affiliate Earnings Potential
WordPress Keyword Research
Below I've extracted 1,000 of the best-performing keywords for WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
Scroll through the tables (you can also download them by clicking the Download CSV in the bottom right corner), or enter a filtering keyword, and use the keyword terms for content inspiration.
I'll discuss some promotional strategies below the tables if you want to push traffic to the two WordPress referral programs.
WordPress.com Keyword Research
WordPress.org Keyword Research
How To Promote
The WordPress.com affiliate program sits, broadly, within the make money online/internet marketing niche.
It's absurdly competitive.
If I were approaching it, I'd try finding low-competition terms I could rank for in Google Search and on YouTube, create content for SEO traffic purposes, and then capture emails and market the content and affiliate links to my list.
One problem I foresee, if you're trying to promote signups to WordPress.com, you need to capture the user at the beginning of their online journey. Terms and concepts like "how to start a blog" (you can filter the tables above with the keyword "blog") are ideal but are insanely saturated spaces (just look at the CPCs for terms like that in the table).
As a workaround, I would think about producing content related to some of the Premium features of the WordPress.com plans.
For example, with the Premium Plan, you're eligible to monetize your site. You could produce a range of tutorials for monetizing WordPress.com websites. The goal would be to convert existing WordPress.com members to paid or higher-paid plans and then reap commissions.
Looking at the most expensive WordPress.com plan, they offer several distinct, premium capabilities:
- Attend live courses
- SEO Tools
- Install Plugins
- Upload themes
- Google Analytics Integration
- Remove WordPress.com Branding
Think about how you could promote these benefits- you could join WordPress.com yourself and review WordPress' live courses, analyze their SEO Tools, demonstrate how Google Analytics works with WordPress.com, how to upload themes and theme review content.
Obviously, the WordPress.org side of things is completely different and opens up a range of affiliate opportunities somewhat beyond the scope of this current post.
I have published a list of the best SEO affiliate programs and my list of internet marketing tools showcases a range of affiliate opportunities more suitable to the WordPress.org user who's likely a somewhat savvier and more ambitious online marketer than a WordPress.com user.
I suppose the stereotype would be that a WordPress.com user is like a rich man's Tumblr blogger- someone uninterested in making money online. They might just want a free space to publish informational content.
That said there are massive organizations that use WordPress.com as a blogging option- I'm just speaking in broad generalities here.
The .org user has more ambitions- particularly since third-party plugin and theme development is massively more robust than .com.
If you're in the SEO, internet marketing, or make money online niche, WordPress is a viable affiliate option.
While a saturated and competitive space, I outlined some creative ways you can drive traffic to either the .org or .com affiliate networks.
Probably the smartest way to go about doing it is capturing emails. While you may never rank for some of the premium terms in the niche, if you can acquire traffic for less-competitive terms, your email marketing could capture revenue on the back-end.