9 Ways to Monetize Your Web Design Portfolio Site

When you originally set out to create a web design portfolio site for your business, it was most likely with the intent to use those work samples to impress prospective clients and generate more revenue. But a WordPress website is a powerful, revenue-generating tool in and of itself. You’ve invested a lot of time in creating it, so don’t let it go to waste.

Your main source of revenue right now likely comes from the development projects you work on. As a web design professional, that may present some challenges if your services aren’t priced as high as they should be, if clients are late in making a payment, or if a project runs too long. Rather than rely solely on that project-to-project income (whenever it does come in), why not monetize your portfolio website and start generating passive revenue from it?  

Let’s explore some ways you can turn your portfolio website into a money-making machine behind the scenes.

1. In-Text Ad Revenue

There are two types of ads you could place on your website that will help you start generating revenue right away. Google AdSense may be the easiest of the two options, though it’ll garner you less money in the long run.

It works simply enough: sign up with Google, choose the settings that make the most sense in terms of ad content, sources, and type, and then add the JavaScript code to your site. Google then inserts text, image, and even video ads within and around your content. You choose where they go and on which pages of your site. When visitors click on those ads, you make money.

2. Sell Ad Space

The other way to use ads for revenue generation is by creating and then selling actual ad space. This gives you more control over the process, including deciding who the advertisers are, which ad content can run, and where it gets placed. You also get to determine the revenue you make from it.

Because you have more control over everything, this means you can place more targeted and relevant ads for your audience. So, if you’re a WordPress developer, you could have ads from WordPress marketers, WordPress support services companies, and so on.

3. Design Stock Content

If you happen to be skilled in graphic design or photography, you may want to consider designing a number of add-ons to sell on your site. Stock photography, iconography, and typography would demonstrate your artistic eye and also give visitors another reason to invest in your services as a web professional.

4. Develop a WordPress Theme

WordPress themes are always a great option for products to sell. Again, this would not only demonstrate your keen eye for design and web trends, but it would make you an invaluable asset. Not only could you work as a designer for your clients, but you could upsell them on your WordPress theme assets.

This will be one of the more labor-intensive methods for monetizing your website—since you’ll not only need to create a theme, but a demo site for it as well. But it’s an investment worth making if you have the time to put into it upfront, so you can reap the rewards of passive income on it later.

5.  Develop a WordPress Plugin

If your interests lie more with coding and providing solutions for web development, try your hand at building a WordPress plugin. Again, it’ll require a sizeable investment of time to build, QA, and launch, but it’s a fantastic way to generate income and to upsell current customers.

6. Affiliate Programs

With this option, you can either start an affiliate program or join one.

Starting an affiliate program will help you establish a network around your business—something every business owner could benefit from. By offering affiliates a chance to refer traffic to your website, you’ll pay them a small commission every time you land a sale from the referral.

On the other hand, you could join an affiliate program. Start by checking with your business partners or even your hosting company.

7. Create Memberships

If you have a large stockpile of valuable content (like ebooks, video tutorials, etc.) or WordPress tools that visitors would love access to, consider creating special members-only access to your site. Your portfolio and information about your services could be available to the public; but everything else would require a paid membership to gain access to those value-adds.

This is a great way to generate not just additional revenue, but recurring revenue. You’ll just need to be good about managing the memberships and continually creating content or tools that make the membership worthwhile.

8. Host a Podcast

Do you enjoy public speaking minus the “public” part of it? If you have unique insights into web design, development, WordPress, or something of particular interest to your niche audience, a podcast may be for you.

Unlike most of the other options on this list, this one will require a regular investment of your time, but it’s a good one to make if you enjoy speaking about your work. Podcasts will also help establish you as an authority in the community and give you another way to make additional revenue from your site.

9. Teach Online Courses

If educating is your “thing” but you don’t want to go the podcast route, you could offer online courses through your website. You’ve already got a portfolio that serves as proof of your knowledge and skill in web design, so it’s simply a matter of creating a new services page to advertise your courses. And, of course, finding a tool that will enable you to professionally provide those courses to paying students.

Monetize Your Web Design Portfolio Site and Start Making More Money Today

Once your portfolio website is up and running, you can start monetizing it at any point—no matter if your business is brand new or it’s been around for years. The suggestions above cover a wide range of options and skill sets for web design professionals. See which ones you can make work for you and start generating some passive revenue today.

Brenda Barron is a writer from southern California specializing in business and technology. Read more about what she’s up to on her site Digital Inkwell. More articles by Brenda Stokes Barron
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