Questions

How can I make a small, profitable business on Wordpress?

I'm unemployed and want to start a B to B service I can start from home and someday grow where I can hire some help. When I think of my skills I've built quite a few Wordpress Woocommerce sites for myself and friends. I've done everything from register the name to create everything and the site comes out pretty nice. Not award-winning but I'd be proud to make them for others and the feedback has been good. When I talk to my techie friends about starting a Wordpress business they are *all* negative on it because there is so much competition who, they say, will do it at a lower rate. They tell me to pick a different direction, even like HTML/ CSS front end development will have lots more opportunities. However I would have to go to school and train to do it. Not to mention everyone expecting Javascript/Jquery which I dont have yet. My goal is a small service that is low stress to me (low stress is important to me). I would be happy charging $25/hr to start and work my way up to $45-55/hr. Do you think a Wordpress consulting business could support this or do you think that the competition is too high and I should look at a different skill I can offer, like learning Html5/css3? Maybe if I focused on just Wordpress Ecommerce would be better? I'm worried to build a business only to find 3 years from now that competition is brutal and Im struggling to survive. I want to build something where people are coming to me for help and i can make those mid-range rates easily. Thanks for any feedback.

8answers

It sounds like you have plenty of skills to get started now. There's no need to keep re-training in different areas when you have experience to get started today.

My suggestion would be to pick a niche and try and become the go-to guy in that particular niche.

Let's say, for example, you are interested in men's fashion. You have experience in creating Wordpress ecommerce sites. You could call up maybe 10-15 of the local businesses in that niche in your local city/state and offer to make their website and get them in on a set-up fee and then a monthly maintenance retainer.

This approach would be lower stress (because it's something you're interested in) and also because you could create a methodical framework that you could apply to other businesses in that niche.

That's just one idea.

Second idea - create a course on WooCommerce development and put it on Udemy (or Coursera etc). Note down 10 of the biggest obstacles you've had to overcome when building sites for friends and family and then note down 10 of the most important considerations people should consider before people get started. Now you've got 20 video lessons for your course. Charge for the course on Udemy or use it as a marketing tool to get more b2b development work.

Idea 3: Go make money on freelancer.com, peopleperhour etc. Perhaps you've tried this already? Skills like yours are in demand on those platforms.

Idea 4: Take the things I noted in the second idea above, and turn it into a handbook. Sell that book via Amazon.

Idea 5: Go on Tweetdeck. Create a column that searches for people who are using keywords like "Wordpress woocommerce issue" "Wordpress woocommerce help" "WordPress woocommerce problem". Give them your clairty.fm link and tell them you'd be happy to have 5 minute discussion to see if you could help them resolve their problem.

Idea 6: Find 10 major theme development companies. Sign up to their help or support forums. Do a similar thing to what's noted above on Twitter and offer to have a quick call via clarity.fm to see if you could help.

Idea 7: Go down the route of finding existing Wordpress/Woocommerce blogs. Write posts for them about specific WooCommerce issues, problem solving or project management tips. Do this with the aim of improving your inbound consulting gigs.

Idea 8: Do the exact opposite of whatever those friends are telling you.

Idea 9: With your skills you could easily start a dropshipping company. I won't go into all the details here but just start looking at sites like Clickbank or Product Hunt to get a feel for something you're interested in. Build your site and start dropshipping products. https://www.woothemes.com/2015/06/dropshipping-beginners-guide/

Wordpress consulting alone, yeah it's probably quite competitive, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of opportunities for revenue. I think you will be even more motivated, successful and less stressed if you pick a niche industry, product or service to focus on.

Enjoy it!


Answered 6 years ago

Sounds like you have been building all the expertise that you need.

I'm not a web developer, but I do have experience as a coach for entrepreneurs in the UNC Kenan-Flagler Entrepreneurship Program.

Sounds like you've given some thought to your offering - which is great. But I really think you should focus on your market first and here's why - what you think the market may want and what they actually want may be different.

First, I recommend that you don't even think about the competition. Your offering will be unique - just because it's you. You may be just what the market's looking for...

I agree with another answer about niching down so I think focusing on Wordpress Woocommerce would be just fine...or a really good place to start.

Here are some of my recommendations to help you get your creative juices flowing.

Strategy 1:
Make a list of 100 (or more) people that you know. Reach out to them and ask if they need help or know anyone that may need help with their Wordpress sites or other sites. Offer your services and ask them to introduce you to others.
You might even reach out with a specific question - like what's the biggest thing that you struggle with as an online merchant - or something like that?

Strategy 2:
Grow an email list - Make a list of 100 (or more) people and ask if they would be interested in joining your email list - and that you plan to send them a weekly newsletter about Wordpress Woocommerce or some other topic of your choice - you'll probably be surprised how many people are interested. This list becomes people excited about buying your products and services. Once you get your first 100 subscribers then start asking them questions, like what are their biggest pain points related to your topic? Once you know what their real struggles are - then you KNOW what product or service can help solve that problem. Then go build that product or service and sell it to your anxious buyers.

Strategy 3:
I agree with one of the other answers that you probably have opportunities right in your own backyard. I recommend contacting your local Chamber of Commerce and joining it. It's usually pretty inexpensive. They have regular networking events - plus you'll get access to all the members in the area and those are your potential clients. And you can become the expert in your locale for this service...you'll be THE GUY that everyone goes to for their e-commerce sites. You'll probably get a lot of satisfaction if you are able to help local businesses (like brick and mortar) to find a way to get a new revenue stream by building or improving their online presence.

These recommended strategies aren't mutually exclusive so mix and match as you see fit.

If you want to talk through your questions further - don't hesitate to reach out for a phone call.

Good luck!


Answered 6 years ago

generate leads for other peoples products or services.
www.yviral.com $50 theme and hosting. $50 month on ad spend. we generate leads for these services and outsource the work to our preferred white label partners.
They do the work and we get our cut.

Customer acquisition cost is $4 and our average ROI is 30% of the project.


Answered 6 years ago

Tough question. Everyone and their brother can claim to be a WordPress developer, so the competition is indeed brutal. You aren't going to be able to compete on price, so what can you bring to the table that thousands of overseas/freelance developers can't? Are you a graphic designer? Do you manage projects well? Are you a good people person? Are you passionate about the work? Do you have a large network of contacts who may be able to refer business to you? Do you know SEO? You really need to find something that would make you stand out from the crowd or offer some advantage that others don't have.

There are lots of sites like upwork.com and freelancer.com where you can bid on projects, but again, you are going up against guys who charge $5/hr so that is going to be tough.

Getting yourself on Google for search terms like 'wordpress developer' will also be nearly impossible, so you are really going to have to rely on referrals and networking. You'd be surprised by how much work you can get from doing a great job on just one web site. I started from scratch with my business, and one job for a well-known company has led to hundreds of projects. So really you are going to have to make your work speak for itself - building something that is just 'ok' won't do it - you need to really kick ass!

As far as WooCommerce goes, you need to have a firm grasp of all of the nuances of e-commerce if you are going to go down that road. Do you fully understand PCI compliance? Payment Gateways? Shipping logistics? SSL certificates? Tax laws? SEO? Providing front-end development is a WHOLE different ballgame than providing an e-commerce site for a client. Be sure that you know exactly what you are doing if you are going to offer that as a service. If your client's site gets hacked due to your negligence and credit card data is stolen, you are in a world of trouble. And since WordPress is the most hacked platform on the planet, this is a very real concern. Installing WordPress and WooCommerce on a cheap GoDaddy hosting plan and calling it a day just isn't going to cut it.

So find your niche, build high-quality sites, make the client happy and stay on top of the latest trends/tech and you can have a shot of making it in this business. Will it be easy? Definitely not, but certainly worth a try if is something you are passionate about. If you are just looking to make a few bucks because you don't have any other options, this probably isn't the right path for you.


Answered 6 years ago

This is right up my alley. Work with wordpress domainers all the time. Hit me up and I can give you some recommendations.


Answered 6 years ago

Long story short first: I'm not a developer, yet I've built a Wordpress development digital agency that now has 5 full-time freelance developers and repeat clients from 9+ countries.

Some of my thoughts:
There are people that can set up Wordpress, install a theme and couple of plugins and sell that as a service. Such a service has a very small value though, high competition hence very limited yield.

There are people that can not only set up Wordpress, install a theme and couple of plugins, but also make tweaks to the theme. This requires front-end coding skills, which can easily be learned for free by taking some awesome courses, example: codeacademy. Demand for front-end developers in Wordpress area is huge and even though there is a large competition, there is a large demand, so yields are pretty good.

Next level is Wordpress back-end development, this requires knowledge of PHP, SQL and JS/Jquery. The value you can provide with such knowledge is the ability to custom code plugins or custom fields, integrate site with 3rd party APIs etc... Being able to provide this service makes pretty much anyone "always busy" with clients in pipeline.

My agency provides all three types of service I mentioned, yet I am not a developer myself. How did I do this? I hired developers and found clients. My value in the package is the ability to sell value to a client, translate client requirements into an effective project plan and effectively use agile project methodology in working together with the developers to deliver the project and make the client come back with more projects.

If you're interested in learning more about what tools, methodologies I used to build my agency, hit me up.


Answered 6 years ago

For better or worse, revenue does not fall magically in your lap after building a solid website. More clicks and visits do not automatically translate into more money. Then again, if you use WordPress (WP), you can reap opulent rewards. After all, WP represents a highly versatile platform with a plethora of tools to design, manage, and monetize a site. It is the most popular content management system (CMS) that powers a slew of websites and is hailed for its directory that contains whooping 29000 plugins. As open-source software, WP allows third-party developers to access its code, which means that new plugins are constantly being added to an already immense pool. Here are few ways to customize and fine-tune the operational capabilities of the website and turn it in a huge source of profit:
1. Selling products: One of the common monetization strategies revolves around turning your WP site into a digital storefront. Nowadays, WP is widely used as backend software to build large stores from the ground up. It is also ideal for those who seek to make baby steps in e-commerce business and gradually scale as they go. There are many tools to assemble a profitable business that sells digital products or physical goods. Namely, if you mean to launch fully-fledged e-commerce operation, you need to use plugins such as Product Directory Plugin for WP. It allows entrepreneurs to easily create listings as well as key page elements like video explanations, images, and product descriptions. You also cannot go wrong with WooCommerce, the king of shopping cart plugins. It is a no-brainer for most entrepreneurs as it is easy to use, has a strong support of a devout community, and comes bundled with versatile options and features.
2. A sound payment system: To pave the way for real profit, it is of the utmost importance to determine how customers will make purchases. The good news is that the scope of choice is not as overwhelming as it can get with other monetization options. There are two basic systems: direct and micropayment. The first, direct approach is used by most e-commerce stores as a default option. It supports, usually via specialized plugins, direct payments, and related gateways, such as PayPal, credit card, alternative methods, etc. On the other hand, micropayments involve virtual currencies that are used by visitors to carry out on-site transactions. They differ from site to site, although it is standard to have a virtual wallet that can be filled using real currencies. Note that micropayments come with a host of other befits. They are widely used to filter user interaction, foster community engagement, maintain a point system, and facilitate purchasing. Again, it pays off to use plugins such as Micropayment Platform Plugin to successfully set up the payment framework.
3. Affiliate marketing: One of the staple monetization strategies of today is affiliate marketing. In a nutshell, you promote other people’s offerings via your WP site via a post that contains an affiliate link. Whenever your visitors click on that link and end up buying the product, you earn a commission. You get to choose which products you want to feature, so it should always be something that resonates with your target audience. Try to keep up the pace because this strategy is spreading across industry sectors. For instance, it was in the limelight of the ICE VOX in London, an event that kicked off ICE Totally Gaming. A special series of conferences serves as an educational, knowledge-sharing platform for the gaming industry, e-sports, blockchain, data science, etc. This is one of the indications that affiliate marketing is only going to get bigger and encompass mobile apps and gaming platforms. These two pose the next big frontier for those seeking to capture an immense amount of traffic and bolster revenue streams through affiliate programs.
4. Advertising: Next, we come to hosted ads on a WP site, an approach that should always be considered a feasible course of action. Pay-per-click advertising is considered the easiest form of monetization for most blogs and websites. As the name suggests, you sell your space to include ads (by placing ad code on the website) and then earn money whenever someone clicks on them. Webmasters that attract a high volume of traffic across multiple sites tend to opt for external ad networks run by Google, Facebook, and other giants. AdSense is a PPC company that easily attracts the most clients and connects them with people willing to host their ads. There are also some nice alternatives, so weigh your options carefully. To make the most bang for your buck, realize that one of the main challenges comes in the form of tracking and evaluating the campaigns. Fortunately, you are not without instruments to pull it off. There are many quality plugins that let you manage and rotate banners, take advantage of the advanced statistics, handle ads on popular networks, and do campaign grouping.
5. Memberships and subscriptions: Filling your website with quality content is a good place to start and a nice way to entice visitors. But it takes more than that to tap into profit. One of the viable tactics is to integrate subscription and membership services with the content. There should be enough people willing to pay for high-quality articles and educational materials. You can also capitalize on trends such as the meteoric rise of educational video content. Use a dedicated plugin to create video lessons on a niche subject: share your valuable insights and expertise with others and draw them into your subscription system. Speaking of which, an integral part of this monetization method is to formulate a subscription service that is tailored to your audience. A Pay Per Post Plugin is one of the tools that enable you to do just that. Basically, it restricts all users from viewing certain pages and posts, setting multiple pricing plans as a requirement for access.
6. Sponsored Posts: To the utmost joy of many bloggers and webmasters, WP allows users to accept sponsored posts. There are a few ways in which this monetization tactic plays out. Firstly, you can get paid for writing about a certain product or service. Secondly, you may write a post in exchange for a freebie. Finally, it is not uncommon for other content creators to write something and pay you to publish it. One thing to note is that your WP site must offer more than just sponsored content. It is borderline impossible to cultivate long-term trust and loyalty of the audience that way. At the same time, remember that all sponsored posts must adhere to WP Terms of Service. Of course, if you really mean to attract sponsored content, you also need to put together a website that does not look amateurish. Premium WP themes can boost the visual appeal, but also the functionality of the website. So, use tried and tested tricks to make your website look professional and you will boost your chances of hitting it big.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath


Answered a year ago

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