Monetizing “WordPress content” like a blog, a podcast, or a YouTube channel is tricky business.
Results are rarely immediate for most creators, with the Google SERP odds being stacked against you. If you want to fast track it: You will find more opportunity producing largely searched for content like how-to tutorials or topics on design and development. It’s just a numbers game, really.
Reporting on the plumbing of WordPress the software, the crossover of Automattic/.org, and the community might be a longer burn. Few brands do it successfully like Post Status (privately owned) and WP Tavern (owned by Audrey Capital).
I earn roughly $15-20k a year through my side-hustle of WordPress content creation. It only took about 8 years to get here.
If you want to learn more about it how I approach my content efforts, why I give 20% to Big Orange Heart, and what big opportunities you can tackle — better than me! — give today’s episode a listen.
Welcome back to the Matt report podcast, mattreport.com – mattreport.com/subscribe. Join that mailing list. Leave us a five star review on iTunes. Everyone says it. Everyone says it. I say it every other podcast or says it’s a, it’s a form of validation. That people are listening to the show. People are happy with the show.
I have a stretch goal of 200 reviews on iTunes. I’d love to get there. I’m at 130 right now. If you have a moment, jump on over to iTunes you have in your iPhone. Did you get the brand new iPhone? Is it your you’re already listening to this on your iPhone 12 who an Android user. I’ve never even logged in to my Google dashboard to see how many reviews I got over there.
Probably zero. Well, wherever reviews are found. Go ahead and leave us a review there really appreciate it. That makes me feel good. I feel like I’m getting something done that they have some value here. We’re going to talk about that today. We’re gonna talk about why monetize content, how much money I make as a content creator, hopefully.
Yeah. To set the stage for you. Maybe you’re making way more money than I am creating content. Maybe you’re not making a nickel yet, but you want to get into it. So I give you my perspective on this crazy WordPress space, making money specifically in the WordPress space, and then sort of how I’m trying to broaden the horizons.
Hey, you want to listen to our sponsors today? Cause we’re going to talk all about sponsors today. There are no official sponsors, like there’s nobody paying me today except for my own plugin, easy support videos. Easy support videos. If you just Google that. My God, I hope that the first result will be easy support videos in the WordPress plugin directory.
We have a new version coming out. early November. Maybe if you’re looking for ways to embed video support for your customers or for people you’ve built WordPress websites for your organization, your internal company. Easy support videos allows you to embed a video in the admin. We give you a little own admin action.
You can embed a whole library of videos for helpful support tutorials. A little note that goes along with each video, don’t forget how to register users. Don’t forget how to write this awesome blog post. Don’t forget how to use this Beaver builder template. You take your video from any OEM bed source, you drop it right into the admin of WordPress, and it’s just for your users.
You can do things like member roll access and things like that. To see who can modify videos, who can’t, who can see the videos who can’t. We have a new version coming. Like I said, it’s going to do some fun things. It’s going to get a little bit faster. It’s going to get a little bit more efficient. You’re able to serve up some videos in other areas of WordPress.
When you’re logged into WordPress, check it out. Easy support videos, easy support videos. All right. Okay. So how much money do I make creating content in the WordPress space? And again, I’m putting this out there. One, because I’ve gotten into sponsorships recently. I just generally want to talk about my approach to it, to want, to help educate others who are thinking about creating content in the space, or maybe you’re making a ton of money in this space, creating content.
And you want to say, Hey Matt, you’re doing it all wrong. Here’s how you can make more. Hey, I’m all ears. So I make anywhere between 15 to $20,000 a year through monetizing content through being a content creator. And that’s both on the podcast side and YouTube side. So 15 to 20 K a year. This is a, this is a side hustle for me, right?
This is a side gig. This is a complimentary to of course my, my full time job over at Castillo’s.
And, you know, one of the other reasons why I’m bringing this up is, you know, I read a blog post recently. I don’t want to get into the minutia of the, of the premise of that blog post, but they, you know, they use the word, uh, sort of set their sights on, on podcasters at large, in the WordPress space, uh, being somewhat problematic and, um, That they shouldn’t be funded or they shouldn’t, you know, we should turn our sites away from the typical WordPress podcast or, uh, because we shouldn’t be helping them fund these things.
And look, that’s a discussion for another time, but the idea is this is not at least from my perspective, not this media giant.
right. I did not get rich quick quote, unquote, being a WordPress podcaster.
I mean, I got to this point because I started a podcast eight years ago. I thought I wanted to grow my WordPress agency through a podcast. It worked,
you know, when we talk about making money in the word press or in podcasting, there is an opportunity to sell your services, to build up your profile, to connect with people. There’s hundreds of thousands of dollars tied to that, which I’m not accounting for here. Cause, you know, it’s very hard to measure that metric, but yes, people who have listened to this podcast have hired me to do jobs back in the day or referred my agency back in the day, I use my podcast as a sales tool back in the day, to, to filter into services clients.
It’s a, it’s a strategy that you know, that you might take, but if you’re looking to specifically monetize podcasts and content, that’s what this discussion is about. And I brought that up because it just made me think like, wow, I don’t know how many podcasts are quote, unquote funded. Like they’re this big media empire with a, with a, with a thing that they’re trying to accomplish.
Right. I mean, uh, we have, uh, doc pops show, uh, which I was on. He’s paid, he’s a WP engine employee. He runs torque mag. Right? They do media. So I think they do a podcast. They definitely do a Google live stream. I was on there a couple of weeks ago, WP Tavern, which is owned by, uh, Audrey capital, AKA Matt Mullenweg, uh, before Jeff left, which feels like just yesterday, but maybe it’s a couple of years now.
I don’t remember at least a year. I can’t, I don’t really know the timeframe he did a podcast. I guess you could consider those two funded. When you talk about, you know, companies that are behind them with millions and millions of dollars in the bank. Uh, WPM U dev, I think still has a podcast. I should have done my notes here first, but let me just WPM you dev podcast.
Hello WP yet. It doesn’t look like it was, or the last episode was put out in 2019. Tell you, I was jealous of that show is highly produced. They had some good, some good folks running it, but you know, WPM, you dev million. Yeah. I mean, at least a company with a few million bucks in the bank, I’d assume funded podcast perhaps.
I don’t know many WordPress podcasters that start out and say, I’m going to get rich from this. I think if, well, if you’re a podcast WordPress podcast or listening to this chances are like myself, you kind of just fell into this. Like maybe you just started, you’re only six episodes in. You like, this is awesome.
Maybe like me, you’re a 600 episodes and you’re like, this is work, right. There’s at one point at the height of WordPress podcasters, which might have been three years ago. I want to say we were up to like 20 WordPress podcasts. I mean, if you Google top WordPress podcasts, somebody out there let’s do it right now.
This is the kind of high, high quality content people come to the show for top WordPress podcast. Uh, I’m not on any of these lists female. So first result I’m logged in. I’m not doing this in incognito. I’m not doing this the SEO way. I’m first on this list though. It’s kind of funny. Um, I’m first in the Google result, uh, theme I’ll T the best seven, the seven best WordPress podcasts.
Oh, that’s plugins 20 best WordPress podcast to listen to WP Explorer. The 24 best WordPress podcasts to help 10 X your business WP buffs, maybe be Astro 20 plus best WordPress podcasts to listen to. All right. So at the height, there were at least 20 podcasts. I don’t know if they’re all still going. It’s a hard job.
You know what I mean? If you’re like me, you kind of just fell into this. You didn’t, I didn’t plan to be a podcaster for eight years talking about WordPress, doing my damnedest to get out of it, trying to broaden that, broaden the horizons, which I’ve talked about forever, trying to get out of this WordPress space and, and grow an audience.
Why? Well, look, when we talk about the funding of this podcast, let’s, let’s do the back of the napkin math. Sorta jumping around my notes here. So I charge here’s how I structure sponsorships of the Matt report podcast. As of late, I used to do it in seasons. I used to sell entire seasons and sponsor and make a lot more money.
Um, well, not a lot more, a little bit more, but here’s how I structure podcast sponsorship today. It’s a hundred dollars per ad read. Times two. So every episode earns me $200 in ad revenue. Now I’m not good at math, but if I attempt to get four episodes out in a month, it’s 800 bucks a year, a month, which comes out to $9,600 a year.
If my multiplication tables are correct. So $9,600 a year, which is nearly half of what I make. In my 15 to $20,000 a year, uh, revenue for creating content 9,600 bucks is what I make on this podcast. Now I shave 20% of that
to give to charity, shave it right off the top 20%. I give that to a big orange heart. I think that. What they do as an organization is very important to freelancers. I mean, to humans at large, but specifically to freelancers who they, who they help in the WordPress space developer space, right? Building a business is tough.
Being a freelance freelance, right at the same time is even more difficult. You’re doing this stuff alone quite often, especially now in the covert world. It’s very difficult to get out there and meet with other people. So they help with that. And I’ve known a few people in the WordPress space, uh, who are sadly not with us anymore because they’ve had those struggles or part of it was a part of the struggle.
So this is why I do it. There’s no special relationship. No one asked me, I like Dan. Maybe I know some of the trustees, Corey Miller, but I don’t, uh, there’s there’s no, you know, no one asked me to do it. I’m doing it because. That’s what I want to do with this podcast. This podcast is not a moneymaking machine.
As you just heard. $9,600 is not allow me to quit my job as a full time [email protected] So I do it. Number one, because I love it. I love podcasting. I love the WordPress software. I love the work, the idea of WordPress. I love the people in this community. That is what charges me to do this. And the sponsorship stuff is one.
So I can give to the community. Would that 20% for ad reads, by the way, my merchandise store stored up Matt report.com stored on that report.com where you can buy a hat or a tee shirt. I give a hundred percent of the profits of that to a big orange heart. So if you buy a tee shirt, you buy a hat that all those profits are going there.
They’re not going to me. That’s a nice way to support the brand. I’d love to see you on a live stream wearing a hat or a tee shirt or something like that, but just know that a hundred percent of that goes to a big orange. I’m just giving it away. Now it’s not a lot of money, you know, I think I did a holiday push last year or right around Thanksgiving last year we did, um, 1200 bucks or something like that, which was awesome.
I’m gonna try to do it again. What I’m getting at here is this space. Isn’t huge. Like if you. No pun intended, take a jet pack, ride 50 miles above the earth and you look down and you say, Hey earth, how many of you actually care about WordPress? How many of you care to listen about WordPress on a podcast?
Think about that. How many actually care about WordPress? The listen to a podcast, a few thousand of you. I know because I run a podcast about WordPress. This is not a huge space.
Now I have podcasting friends who might be listening to this show who charge a lot more money for ads. And that’s awesome. At one point I did as well. I checked the way I structure the podcast sponsorship, the a hundred dollars times two. And by the way, so how I do this as in sort of a lottery fashion. I know I could make more money, but I don’t want to, it comes with a whole bunch of other overhead.
Plus what it does is allows a, an advertiser to come in and buy up all the spots. And you’re just hearing the same advertisers over and over again, which anyone with some business acumen would say, Matt, yeah, that’s what you should do. I know I don’t want to. So I do it in the lottery fashion where I open up eight spots.
Which is four episodes, which is a month. And I say, Hey, every month at a random date, quite literally, because I’m doing a million things in life that I not just ate. I don’t say every Monday, I can’t. My schedule is different all the time. Three kids, my wife works like this is the, this is the dirty inside baseball of this quote unquote business.
So at random time I shall open up eight spots to sell. These sponsorship spots at a hundred bucks a piece so that somebody else gets a chance to get in front of my audience. And I feel like the hundred dollar Mark is enough, uh, is a low enough price for somebody to say, okay, I’m not breaking the bank.
And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t sponsor some of my colleagues podcasts at more money. It’s certainly worth the value that they deliver. I’m just what I’m doing is saying, look, I’m trying to make this available to everyone and I can, I can move the needle for a big orange heart, and I can reinvest this back into my hard costs.
So this whole like earning revenue, it allows me, once you get into podcasting, you need to have these goals set head of you. To keep going. It’s fun at first. It’s awesome. At first you’re meeting all these new people, but before you know it you’ve met everyone. Right. And then you hear the complaints on Twitter of, Oh, it’s the same old person talking about the same old thing on their podcast marathon.
You know, it used to be called WordCamp track. Uh, I think is what people call their right. And it’s just the same people talking and working, but everybody complains about it. They want to see more people. I, I totally get it.
But, you know, like I said, this is a small audience and you chop down my audience even more by saying, I am, I’m really only talking to people who are building businesses, using WordPress. So if you’re running a business, let’s say you’re running an eCommerce store and you just happen to use what WooCommerce would love or WordPress would love to talk to you.
If you’re building a custom plugin, SAS service or a theme, you know, or you’re running an agency and you’ve got some unique angle on it. We’d love to talk to you. This isn’t just WordPress out large, right? I’m not covering community happenings. People who just simply use WordPress. I mean, you’d have to have a pretty unique story here to, to come on the show.
I’m not going to get into the, the pitches that I get. I’ve I’ve ranted about this before on the pitches. I get people just like, Hey, just put me on your show. I use WordPress. You should just put me on your show. That’s not gonna happen. I, I gotta have, I gotta have some story here. I’m got to have some angle.
I care about my audience.
So it’s a very small, uh, Segment of population of the world that care about this stuff. So I structure it this way, lottery style. I don’t want everyone locked in. I like the ability to rotate it and I haven’t run up against a wall. And I know I’m lucky, extremely lucky that I have sold all of these sponsorship spots within an hour of me tweeting.
I literally put out one tweet and in one hour, $800 of revenue comes in. It took me eight years of podcasting to get to this point. And I’m framing that for you. If you’re looking to make money with podcasting or WordPress content, that’s how I do it. And there’s people that make even more money than me in the WordPress space with just their podcast.
So I’m just trying to frame it up for you. So maybe you can hit that target. Uh, let’s talk about YouTube content.
I have a love, hate relationship with YouTube been doing it. I’ve been doing it since, uh, I started my agency, you know, 10 ish years ago. More than that, I think at this point, I mean, we’re, I remember recording videos. Uh, we had an icon camera. My father’s a pro photographer. When we were running the agency together, he had an icon camera again, this is years and years ago when this camera was one of the first cameras to be able to record 10 80.
And I don’t even think we could record at 10 80 because the SD cards were too small for us to get any length of the show out. So we did seven 20, I think, but these files were massive. We’re talking about massive files back then were gigabytes in size when hard drive space. Wasn’t that big when processors editing video was slow as all hell.
So I started back then and I continue to do it. I have a YouTube channel called youtube.com/plugin Tut, where I do WordPress tutorials and plugins. And I’ve told this story over and over again, when I was, you know, knee deep in, in between jobs, you know, when I was sort of getting out of the agency space and before I started at Pagely, I was all in, on creating content and I was burning myself out.
I was doing the podcast, I was doing YouTube. I was doing all kinds of stuff and YouTube really burned me out. Cause I was just pounding away at making videos. And I just, I hated it. Hated doing it. Wasn’t interesting to me.
And you like, if you’re sitting back listening to this, you’re saying where’s the biggest opportunity? Is it the podcast? Is it YouTube is a blogging and affiliates. Well, it’s everything really, but if you can only do one, YouTube is massive right now. Go ahead. I have a tiny audience. It’s 12,000 people on my YouTube channel that subscribed to me.
And half of my revenue comes from YouTube. So if I look at, uh, the ad sense, there is 43 to depends on how many views I’m getting that month is between like three 50 to four 50, $350, $450 a month in YouTube ads, depending on what my view count is. And then you sprinkle in some affiliate links that I put on those videos, which primarily come from a page builders and formed plugins.
I don’t do anything in the hosting space. But I make a few hundred bucks. If I’m lucky on an affiliate link per month element or Beaver builder generate press Astra. These are products that I like. I use. I trust them. I know the whole Astro things, a little, little wonky, but I do trust all of these, these affiliate links that I put out there and I don’t push it.
I mean, if you’re looking to optimize, so let’s take a step back. That YouTube revenue is roughly, you know, that six grand a year in ads, maybe another two to $3,000 in, in affiliate links. If I’m lucky throughout the year. So that’s, that’s the other big component of that, you know, anywhere between 15 to $20,000 a year, it fluctuates because affiliate links, ad revenue.
It all depends. Uh, the podcast much more static, a hundred, a hundred bucks, a spot times, two 9,600 bucks a year, guaranteed. But YouTube has massive opportunity. I mean, I see these people grow from, you know, One day they’re at 4,000 subscribers. The next day, they’re at 70,000 subscribers and I sit back, I’m like, God, why can’t I do that?
It’s because they’re, you know, they’re much more consistent at it than I am. And maybe they’re better. That’s a thing too. They could be better than me. A hundred percent, you know, a hundred percent. I don’t deny it. So if you’re looking for opportunity, YouTube is massive for that. It’s a perfect search platform for teaching people, how to do something.
It’s why, you know, I gave up on my channel and I didn’t even log into my YouTube account for a year. And the subscriber count tripled without me even number one, looking at the dashboard, number two, uploading something.
So you can make money there. And those, those guys and gals that are in that, you know, 50, 60, 70,000 subscriber count a hundred thousand, 200,000 subscriber count. I mean, just think of the ad revenue alone. They’re probably making a couple grand a month and just the Google ads, nevermind all the affiliate deals.
And if you, how do you do it? Will mimic some of them mimic the good ones
mimics the good ones. I’ve had them. If you go to youtube.com/plug and touch, I got the last few interviews I’ve had
and look at how people, you know, structure their offerings. You know, it’s not always about pushing affiliate links all the time. It gets daunting when it’s just that, you know, my friends, Dave Foye and Paul Charlton from WP tuts.
They do a great job, too. Fantastic educators first and foremost. And they have great personalities. That’s why they do better than me. That’s why they do better than me. So that’s the bulk of it. That’s where most of the revenue comes from podcasts and, uh, and the YouTube channel.
And this is more of like a bonus piece, but I have user feedback, videos, user feedback, videos.com. And this is like a productized service. So oftentimes people will say, Hey, can I get on your podcast? Hey, can I get, can you review my plugin for a youtube.com/plugin Tut? What are the costs? You know, what do you charge for me to be on your podcast?
What do you charge for me to do plugin Tut? I don’t have a hard cost you can sponsor. Um, but if you’re just looking for. You know, number one, you’re not going to pay to get on the podcast or to get on the YouTube channel. Maybe the YouTube channel will have a future sponsored content because I think that’s a thing that I can expand into, but oftentimes I’ll tell people, look, if you just want my feedback, like, Hey, sorry, you can’t buy your way into this, but you can pay me $159 and I’ll review your plugin or a theme for you.
And give you some unfiltered feedback on it. If you go to user feedback, videos.com, a site that I have sadly, um, haven’t really update visual, updated visually in quite some time. But I do plan to, and that, you know, accounts for maybe 500 bucks, a thousand bucks for the year happens every so often somebody wants some advice.
I have some repeat customers that come back.
It’s just a quick way to get some, you know, a video feedback of your product or service. And that’s like the third thing that I count towards this content thing, cause it sort of sits by as a, as a standby option for those who are looking to do business with me.
So that’s what I have 15 to 20 grand a year creating content in the WordPress space. And I’m looking to expand that, uh, at least expand the reach, get out of the WordPress space, move into other territories. And I’m bringing this all up one because soap box moment. I saw this whole like darn those funded podcasts as if we’re some media giant.
Certainly not me. Maybe there’s others out there too. I wanted to just to give you the inside look. Of how I approach this stuff, why I do it, how I’m trying to give back to the community, my approach, to all that stuff, my thought process, as scary as it is. And you look, if you’re looking for opportunity, you want to reverse engineer what I’m doing.
100% do what I do. Copy it, do it better. Do it more often, have an opinion. Get out there, get your voice heard. Well, if you’re looking to start a podcast, you can go to castles.com. That’s where I work. Now, email me, Matt at dot com. But Hey, if you’re a content creator out there and you just want to shoot the breeze, you can always tweet at me at Matt Madeiras on Twitter at Maryport whichever one, or if you want to keep something sort of more offline, you don’t want other people to see [email protected]
Let me know what you’re thinking. Let me know if you like this episode tweet at me. All right. The next episodes coming up. Uh, it’s going to be with my good friend, Brian castle process kits in all things, bootstrap, web, and other podcasts. All right, we’ll see you in the next episode.show less