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!
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.