Some niches saturated with bloggers; the WordPress/blogging niche is one of them.
Finding success in a niche like this isn’t easy, so even moderate success can be impressive.
My guest today, Devesh Sharma, is a full-time blogger who built a popular WordPress blog, WPKube. It gets around 50,000 visits per month and earns a four-figure monthly sum.
In this interview, Devesh discusses how he monetizes his blog and shares his favorite WordPress plugins.
Devesh, you’ve built a great resource at WPKube, so I’m excited to talk wth you today. How did you become an enthusiast of WordPress? What led to the creation of WPKube?
WPKube is still quite new compared to other major players in the WordPress industry. I am a full-time blogger from India, and I have been working online since 2009.
A blogger advised me to focus on the MMO (make money online) niche. I followed his advice and created a multi-author blog. It was an instant success, in terms of traffic and engagement, but the site didn’t make any real money. Later, I sold it for a four-figure sum.
WordPress was a subject I frequently blogged about. I was spending a lot of time modifying the design and doing freelance work. So it was a natural progression to launch a site dedicated to all things WordPress.
For the first few months, I didn’t give much attention to the site, but once I realized its potential I did everything I could to make it a success. The main reason I was able to take WPKube to where it is today is I didn’t have any job or offline business to fall back on. I either had to make it successful or I was done.
What do you consider to be your greatest success so far?
I don’t consider money in general to be evidence of success, because after spending four years in the blogging industry, I have concluded that you can easily make hundreds of dollars if you have the right resources, but generating passive income is hard.
It takes months and sometimes even years to create a business that generates money without you giving any direct effort. That’s what I have been trying to achieve, and in that regard I think I have done a pretty good job.
My greatest success is my blog. I never thought WPKube would become an authority in the WordPress niche, let alone earn me a solid income.
The “WordPress blog” niche is super competitive. What have you done to stand out?
WPKube has been in the market for a long time, and in the beginning I mostly focused on publishing news-based posts. That generated quite a lot of traffic.
Now I am focusing more on in-depth and opinion-based posts because those types of articles not only generate more traffic in the long run, but also help people understand WordPress better.
Why do you think news-based posts helped generate traffic early on? Was it that the posts were getting you a lot of organic, long-tail traffic, or were you posting unique news that wasn’t already featured elsewhere?
A few years ago, there were not as many sites as there are now. None of them were specifically reporting news, so I started doing occasional news posts along with the reviews and theme roundups.
As soon as I hit the publish button, I would email the individuals mentioned in the post so I could generate some additional social shares.
After a while, I started ranking for long-tail traffic, and that’s when I changed the direction of the site to focus more on in-depth articles and tutorials.
What have you found to be the best ways to monetize a blog? What has been the most lucrative for WPKube?
I have tried different monetization methods, including affiliate marketing, providing premium services, selling ads, AdSense, etc.
I am currently monetizing the blog via ad sales and affiliate promotions. However, ad sales generate only a small chunk of WPKube’s income. I think that in order to make good money via ads, you need to have at least 100,000 visitors per month.
Affiliate marketing has worked well for me because I try to produce in-depth reviews of products and services that I have experience with. Each of the reviews goes after some kind of testing.
For example, a lot of people were struggling with choosing a WordPress theme for their site. This was when there were not as many theme shops as there are now. At that time, Elegant Themes wasn’t that popular, but it was a great choice for novice users. So I wrote a detailed review and it ended up generating more than $5,000 in commissions.
What are a few WordPress plugins that you think most blogs could benefit from — perhaps ones that we may not be as familiar with?
- Toolset Types: This plugin is for those who want to add custom post types on your site without having to deal with the technical side of things. It is the most complete and most reliable plugin for managing custom post types, custom taxonomy, and custom fields. It’s perfect for adding custom post types, but keep in mind that it only adds the functionality, so if you want to customize the look of your custom post types, you will have to do so manually.
- Relevanssi: The default search system in WordPress is not that good, and you can easily fix that by installing this plugin. It replaces the default search with a partial-match search that sorts results by relevance.
You should also check out my group interview post on the best WordPress plugins.
Aside from plugins, what are your other favorite WordPress resources online?
I’m biased, but my favorite site is WPKube. You’ll find in-depth reviews of many WordPress theme and hosting companies.