Remote business ideas… using WordPress? I know… the mention of “Wordpress” in some tech circles may be met with a derisive sneer… I mean, we’re rapidly approaching the platform’s 20 year anniversary, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still an incredibly powerful tool for the modern solopreneur.
With a seemingly endless library of functionality-extending plugins, hacky-customization options, and a global community of enthusiasts, WordPress is still perhaps the BEST platform on which to build a digital empire.
Sure, there may be a bit more of a learning curve than with more flashy platforms like Wix or Squarespace, but thinking long-term, Wordprss will allow your business much more flexibility to scale… while providing full ownership of your data and without a pesky monthly subscription.
So, in honor of WordPress, here are 5 awesome (and potentially lucrative) businesses that your can start with the O.G. of casual web development.
1. Build a Freelance or Consulting Website with WordPress
If you’re particularly skilled in one area or another and want to convert that knowledge into revenue, then freelancing may be the perfect path for you. Of course, you’ll need a rock solid digital presence on which to build your brand.
WordPress offers the agility to get something up and running fast. And if design isn’t your specialty, there are literally thousands of themes on marketplaces like Envato that will provide you with a look and feel to rival the best of them.
Generally speaking, you’ll be able to find a quality theme anywhere in the range of $30 to $100 (usually the high-priced ones include a larger number of variations). Alternatively, plugins like Elementor or Divi provide you with not only an extensive library of pre-designed templates, but also the flexibility of a drag-and-drop builder to easily make design and copy changes to your site.
Both the themes themselves and the WordPress plugin repository will have plenty of modules, such as portfolio galleries or video embeds, for you to display your work in the most impressive way possible.
You can also easily install contact forms, lead magnets, and blogs to drive traffic and ultimately find high-paying clients. Getting started is easy, and in no time, you can have a website that looks as good as the service you’re set on offering.
2. Build an Ecommerce Store with WordPress and WooCommerce
If you haven’t heard of it, WooCommerce is very similar to Shopify, but it’s built for the WordPress platform. Basically, it’s a plugin that extends ecommerce functionality to your existing site. The plugin itself is free, and within a few clicks, you’ll be able to transform your site into an online store, complete with product uploads, payment processing, checkout flows, and more.
Now, I’ll be honest right from the get-go… WooCommerce isn’t nearly as fluid as Shopify from a user experience standpoint. You’ll need a foundational understanding of the WordPress platform itself, and the WooCommerce functionality just isn’t as intuitive, but on the upside, you won’t be paying the hefty monthly subscription that’s associated with Shopfy and there’s MUCH more room for customizations down the line.
To be clear, Shopify is not “un-customizable”… but extensions of the theme of the aesthetic require an understanding of their proprietary coding language, “Liquid”.
If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and dive into the world of WooCommerce, the possibilities are virtually endless. And as with any other type of WordPress site, there are hundreds of well-designed themes with which to build out your storefront.
For any feature extensions that you’re needing (subscriptions, digital downloads, alternate payment gateways, etc.) there are plenty of plugins to help make your unique vision into a reality.
3. Build a Multi-Vendor Marketplace Like Amazon or Ebay
That’s right, with the addition of one simple WordPress plugin, you can transform your WooCommerce store into a multi-vendor marketplace like Amazon or Ebay. Now, you might be asking yourself what the benefit is of starting an online marketplace.
The answer is simple: inventory is not your responsibility.
Nope. Instead, you invite vendors to join and sell on your marketplace while sitting back and collecting a transaction fee on every purchase. Talk about passive incomes.
All you need to do is set up the marketplace itself, handle top-level administrative tasks, and push initial traffic to entice vendor’s to join and take advantage of the free eyeballs on their merchandise.
Of course, simply creating a carbon copy of Amazon on WordPress is a fool’s errand. Instead, you’ll want to find a specific niche with an active community of both buyers and sellers.
For example, you could create a marketplace for handmade pet apparel, or for specialty ingredients from a certain region. The possibilities are endless… just make sure you’re not trying to conquer everything from “A” to “Z”.
Once you have an idea of what industry you’re going to tackle with your marketplace, setting it up is as simple as can be with the Dokan plugin by WeDevs. Within a few clicks, your site will have the functionality for vendors to sign up, upload products, track their orders, and monitor their storefront via an individualized dashboard.
You can easily choose the transaction percentage that you’d like to collect, and you’ll have control over every aspect of your storefront, including which vendors join and which products they upload.
So, if you’ve got a mind for marketing and sights on an untapped niche in the ecommerce industry, then the Dokan marketplace may just be the right choice for you.
4. Build a Blog or Media Site with WordPress
I know it’s a little meta to suggest starting a blog via a blog post, but if you’ve got a talent for writing, as well as a solid niche to laser in on, then a blog is a viable business that you can start with minimal upfront capital.
WordPress’ origins are based in blogging and content management, so the dashboard and interface are perfect for managing this type of website. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a pre-designed theme that doesn’t include a stylish blog format.
After securing your hosting and getting your website up, you’ll want to have a litany of content to publish right off the bat so that your audience has a variety of content to choose from when they first visit. Also, make sure that your content is compelling, easy to scan through, and that it’s easy for your audience to share on their social media accounts.
There’s a great deal of “hustle” involved with growing your traffic; you’ll have to network with other bloggers, be active on social media, participate in forums across the web, optimize for SEO, build backlinks, and most importantly, write what your audience wants to read.
But once you get sizable traffic coming through, you can sign up for Google AdSense, wherein Google will deliver ads tailored to your audience and you collect an easy, passive income based on the number of impressions your blog gets.
If you’re more eager to start monetizing your blog, you can also visit Click Junction and see which opportunities are available for new publications. If you’re unfamiliar with how affiliate marketing works, you promote products and services on your blog via unique URLs… and when customers visit those URLs and make a purchase within a certain number of days, you’ll receive a percentage of that sale.
Building a blog is by no means a quick path to revenue, but if you’re patient and persistent, you easily find yourself with a stable side-income within 3-6 months. So, what are you waiting for, start writing!
5. Build a Subscription/Membership Platform
My last recommendation for a WordPress-based business is a membership or subscription site. If you have an idea for virtual or real-world benefits that you can offer to people on a monthly, recurring basis, then this may be an easy business for you to start.
Some examples include a website for virtual cooking classes, in which members sign up and pay the subscription in exchange for access to the monthly video tutorials.
Or maybe you start an Association–an organization bringing people together based on mutual commonality for a number of benefits. You can offer discounts of products, healthcare benefits, helpful content, networking events, and more.
You’d have to do some initial business development work beforehand in order to accrue enough benefits to serve as added value for your target demographic, but once you have that set up, you could have an easy passive income stemming from member dues and strategic partnerships.
Similarly to the multi-vendor marketplace, there are a number of plugins (free and paid) which will immediately grant your site functionally for membership portals, as well as automated subscriptions.
Ready to dive into WordPress?
Hopefully this post has sparked some inspiration for you to build your own WordPress-based business. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments, and if you’re already running a business with WordPress, be sure to paste a link below for everyone to see.