Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I don’t use myself or truly love!
I must say I’m rather proud of my latest steady income stream, which brought in $573 in April. It’s not the number that I’m proud of, but how I’m doing it- by setting up and hosting WordPress blogs for friends. In the eyes of my friends I’ve become the smart techie, even though secretly I know I’m anything but.
Literally anyone with a computer and ability to set up WordPress (or willingness to pick that up) can duplicate what I’m doing to make a nice side income every month. I’ll show you exactly how I do it below.
Why Does This Work?
This method works because everyone these days want a blog, but many don’t have the slightest idea how to go about it. Most of us know friends or relatives that fall into this group. These people- your friends- are your best potential customers, as they know and trust you. With a service that your friends need and you can provide, it’s an easy sell.
How Much Can I Make?
Let’s talk numbers here- so how much can you make? Here is my revenue breakdown for setting up and hosting my friends’ blogs:
I charge $100 to set up the blog. “Wait, isn’t that a lot?” Actually, when I tell my friends what’s included, most of them wanted to pay me more! It’s an incredibly easy sell. More on this later.
I charge $8/mon to host each site for them.
In total I made around $600 doing this in April. Lets see the math.
For the month of April, I set up 5 friends’ blogs, which comes to $500. Then there’s the $40/mon ($8×5) recurring hosting revenue, which adds up to a handsome $540.
I’m not done yet. In March I set up 4 blogs, which netted me, besides $400, a recurring revenue of $32/mon. This pushes my April income to around $600, due to the recurring revenue from March. This is what’s most exciting to me, the recurring, passive income that builds up.
March Total Revenue = $432
April Total Revenue = $572
What You’ll Need
As long as you’ve set up WordPress in the past, or are willing to spend an afternoon learning how to, all you need to start making some money from this method are the following two things:
- A reliable web host that can host multiple domains on one account: This is the key part to generating your monthly passive revenue from your friends.You want to sign up with a host where you pay a lowly monthly fee, but can set up as many sites on it as you wish.
- Access to lots of premium WordPress themes: Herein lies the magic sauce that will not only justify your $100 fee for setting up WordPress, but actually make it irresistible to your friends. Offer them not just WordPress set up, but their choice of a premium WordPress theme from a huge collection so they get the blog of their dreams, all without you or them paying for it.
Let me explain how I implement each step:
1) Sign Up for a web host that supports multiple domains
The host I use for this is Bluehost, specifically their Shared Plus plan:
This is the cheapest plan at $5.95 that lets me host an unlimited number of sites on one account. Now, there’s no such thing as truly unlimited- they will start to hassle you if you’re using too much resources. For hosting my friends sites that are mostly receiving very little traffic, it’s the perfect plan, however. Bluehost is very reliable from my experience and has good customer support.
Remember, keep things lean to increase your recurring revenue.
2) Access to lots of Premium WordPress Themes
A car salesman once told me- “it’s not the model of the car that closes a sale, it’s the addons I throw in for free.” Instead of just offering WordPress setup with a cheap free theme, I give each friend a choice of premium WordPress themes they can pick from, so they get really excited before I’ve even delivered the site. The clincher? I tell them they don’t have to pay extra for it. When my friends see that the cost of the theme they picked alone is $59, they almost feel bad for only paying me $100 total!
How do I offer a collection of premium themes without eating that cost myself (and cutting into my $100 profit)? I turn to my secret weapon- WordPress Theme Clubs. These are studios that offer their entire collection of premium themes for use on unlimited domains, for a one time payment.
There are a handful of great WordPress Clubs:
- Elegant Themes ($89): Access to 88 premium themes, a visual theme builder, and 3 premium plugins.
- Telsa Themes ($59): Access to 68 themes of various categories (ecommerce, photography, travel etc).
- MyThemeShop ($87 for one month access): Access to 93 gorgeous premium themes and 16 plugins.
The one I use is Elegant Themes. I pay $89, which lets me use all of their themes on unlimited sites. It also comes with a visual theme builder, which a lot of my friends absolutely love. I also recently signed up for MyThemeShop as well to provide even more tantalizing options for my potential clients.
What About Domain Registration?
The chances are your friends are not familiar with finding and registering a domain by themselves either. I offer to do all of this for them as part of the set up fee. There is potential money to be made in this process as well. You could register the name using a cheap registrar (I use Namecheap) and manage the domain for them for a small monthly fee, though for me it’s not worth the hassle. Also, I want my offer to be as enticing as possible to the new comer.
The Winning Proposition
So here’s the winning proposition I use on my friends (and acquaintances) that want a blog, and so far it’s working incredibly well.
For close friends that you actually see in person, just tell them about your new venture helping people set up their WordPress blogs. They already trust you won’t just take their money and run, so a little coaxing on top is all you need.
The real growth area for this method however lies in your acquaintances, such as all those people on your facebook you politely refer to as “friends”. These people may not know you well, but there’s a lot of them. Plus there is already some trust that exists between you.
For the later group, I find a pleasant email, phone call, or announcement tuning them in on your new endeavor really works wonders.
Message I use to turn people I know into clients
Here is the exact message I posted on my facebook timeline last month, which netted me 4 clients!
Sorry if I haven’t kept in touch with some of you lately, been really busy. Just wanted to let everyone know I’m now helping people set up WordPress blogs with their own domain as part of my new venture! I can do any kind of WordPress blog, like a travel blog, photography, portfolio, for your wedding etc I’ll take care of all the technical set up. Here’s what I’m offering:
- Help you find and register a domain name
- Sign up and set up hosting for you
- Set up WordPress on your hosting account
- Install a premium WordPress theme from Elegant Themes that you pick (usually costs around $59) at no extra cost to you. They have premium themes for every type of site you may want.
- Install a visual theme builder and editor if you like so you can customize the look of your site on your own down the road. [only available with Elegant Themes]
The total cost for all of this is $100, plus $8 a month for hosting. You pay for the domain registration yourself so you have full control over it (usually around $10 a year).
If you’re interested (or know a friend that may be), please pm me so we can discuss this online or in person. Thank you for supporting my new business!
Post this on your timeline once or twice a month. You can also experiment with individually pm people you feel are good candidates.
As I’ve mentioned, emailing acquaintances and even the occasional phone call has also worked for me.
Keeping the momentum going
Once you have a few friends as clients under the belt, the next step is to leverage those people to help you find even more friends to market to! Offer each friend $20 for each person they refer to your service. I’ve used this powerful method to get a few of my recent clients.
But wait, I don’t know how to set up WordPress!
If that’s you, then obviously you need to learn the ropes first. With Bluehost every account comes with “1-click WordPress” install, though you still need to learn how to install themes and plugins from the WordPress dashboard. There are lots of tutorials on this, beginning with this one. Once you’ve gotten the basics down, try to anticipate what type of help your friends may need from you after you hand over their blog, and learn those skills as well.
Pro Tip: Hire someone from Fiver when you get stuck with a particular WordPress set up. The site has come to my rescue more than a few times for WordPress related issues. You’d be amazed at the amount of expertise at your fingertips if you’re willing to pay just a little for help.
I hope you’re as excited as I am about this income generating method. Setting up a WordPress site isn’t hard, but to a lot of people they might as well become a rocket scientist first. This is where you can help people and make money to boot. Let me know in the comments below what you think or have any questions!
-George of BestofBudgets.com