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How To Monetize Your Blog Using Free WordPress Plugins

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Last Updated on October 26, 2020 by Yovana

You may have just started a new blog or thinking about doing so. If your goal with your blog is to make money you will need to know how to monetize your blog. I currently only use ads and affiliate marketing to monetize my blog but it is still fairly new. (Update May 2018: I have since added sponsored posts as another stream of blogging income). I have implemented affiliate links and ads into my blog easily and seamlessly using plugins. These plugins have helped me make more than $1000 per month blogging. I think that is pretty darn good for just starting out and only using ads and affiliate marketing as my only income points at this time.

And now coming near the end of my 2nd month of blogging, I have made a little over $150 dollars from ads and affiliate links alone! (Update 12/13/2018: I have been blogging for a year and a half and now make over $2,000/month.)

I want to make something clear: ads and affiliate marketing are not the only ways to make money with your blog. However, I feel like just starting out these are effective ways to get the ball rolling.

If you have not yet started a blog and want to, or are having trouble with where to start, check out How To Create A Self Hosted WordPress Blog If you sign up for Bluehost with my link you get a free domain, free site builders, free 1-click WordPress install, 24/7 support and all for only $2.95 a month!

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If you just started your blog but don’t have much of an audience to reach:

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If you need to boost your blog:

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The easiest way to start monetizing your blog passively is through ads and affiliate links, where you don’t really get into any of the dirty work yet. Plugins are great for setting and forgetting. If you are not familiar with affiliate links, I suggest you sign up for AWIN or ShareASale where you can search for advertisers, ask to join their program, and grab their links to include on your site/blog.

Various laptops in an office as in the background with the wording "Monetize Your Blog With FREE WordPress Plugins! How to monetize your blog."

Here are the best FREE WordPress plugins to easily monetize your blog.

Work smarter not harder with free plugins.


I use Shareaholic on my site and throughout my blog. Shareaholic is great for boosting your blog through easy sharing but also offers options to monetize through placing ads underneath your content. Once I found out about this plugin, I could not resist. I have had it installed for about 3 weeks and already made $7 dollars from it. Keep in mind I do not have the highest blog traffic like others who have been blogging for years and have built a following. So I am not complaining about that $7 profit, it actually surprised me! You can download and install the plugin and it will direct you for where to go to sign up for Shareaholic, and you are set to go.

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I tested out Infolinks for a couple days. I liked how I randomly made at least 30 cents every day for the ads to just be there. However, the ads and links for infolinks are hard to control. You can pick what you enable on your blog through the plugin or through the infolinks site itself but I still was getting ads in places I did NOT want them. So I decided to forget about this one if it were to ruin the user’s experience. I say try it out and see if it works for you, even if it didn’t for me. You might earn a little extra with this one. You have to sign up for Infolinks through their site, install the plugin, then just input the API on the plugin (provided to you from the Infolinks site) and plug and play from there. Be weary with this one…it can tend to be ‘spammy’ and dangerous. You’ve been warned!


Viglink is an outbound traffic monetization service for publishers, forums, and bloggers. They special in in-text advertising and marketing. When Viglink sees URLs that haven’t been linked, they will link them for you. You can opt for them to override links that are already affiliated, however, I have not tried that feature out. I keep all my originally affiliated links with the original program. Anyhow, all you have to do is go to Viglink’s site and sign up. Afterward, download and install the plugin and enter your Viglink API (provided to you by the Viglink site). And they do the rest FOR you :).

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If you want control over your ad’s placement, style and experience, I highly recommend AdRotate. With AdRotate you can easily place advertising banners pretty much anywhere on your site while managing almost everything from the easy to use dashboard. No fussing with your theme’s code if you don’t want to.
Create your own adverts with basic HTML/Javascript code or use adverts from your favorite Ad Server such as DFP, AdSense, Chitika, Doubleclick, JuiceAds and many similar services. All you have to do is download and install the plugin and you are ready to go.

Seamless Donations

You can ask for donations on your blog from your users that found the information helpful.  Enables you to quickly set up donations via PayPal including repeat contributions. Comes with tracking, thank you emails and additional features.I have yet to have the guts to enable this one because I am weary about asking for donations…this is not a charity but I love all the help I can get.


If you are not the most tech savvy of people or you just like to stay organized, this plugin might be worth checking out. ThirstyAffiliates offers a way to manage your affiliate links in one place and assists with inserting them into your content. It also provides link shortening, cloaking and many more features. Collect, collate and store your affiliate links for use in your posts and pages. No sign up required, just download and install the plugin.

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Amazon Link Engine

This plugin will make Amazon affiliate links international so that they work in every local Amazon store. This way if you have site visitors from more than one country, you will still get credit if they use your local Amazon affiliate link. You must download, install, and sign up for the plugin to work. You download and install the plugin here, sign up here, and then enter your API and watch magic happen.

Pretty Link

Pretty link makes your affiliate links not look all long, nasty, and random. They make them look pretty and apart of your site. For example, they would convert this link structure into this . This way your users trust what they are clicking and overall makes your site more trustworthy. I recently installed pretty links and even though it has been time-consuming to implement with all of the affiliate links I plan on using and fixing my old posts affiliate links (still a work in progress), I already love this plugin!

Check out Pretty link pro where you get even more options, so you can get the most out of your affiliate links!

Get started with some affiliate networks to use the plugins with:

Here are some free blogging resources that have helped me on my blogging journey. Maybe they can help you too?

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49 thoughts on “How To Monetize Your Blog Using Free WordPress Plugins”

  1. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article!
    It’s the little changes that will make the most significant changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this great information! I’m also at the very beginning of my blogging path. I’m glad I’ve found your article)

  3. I have a blog and have made a little money using ads. I would like to boost earnings because like you, I want to have a fulfilling life on my own terms. I’m going to look into adding Shareholic and Affiliate Marketing. Thanks for the post!

  4. Howdy! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  5. Too bad you can’t have more control over Infolinks, that sounded like something I would have wanted to try. I have Shareaholic, but haven’t enabled the monetization feature. Maybe I should give it a spin. I might have to try out Vigilinks…and Pretty Links.

  6. I’m forever jealous of people on wordpress who can use these brilliant plugins that make their lives just so much easier! I refuse to give up on blogger just because I think that blogs can be run on any platform and am kinda trying to prove the point but man, WORDPRESS haha! x

  7. These sound like some great plug ins! I’ve been blogging for around 7 months now and am still quite clueless about monetising my blog but this was a helpful post.

  8. Wow there’s a lot of plugins out there that you can use. I don’t have ads on my website and even though I’m losing out on money I prefer the look of my blog that way x

  9. Ooh I use infolinks on my blog and I did not realize they were that much of a problem. I think I need to uninstall it and go for some of the others you have listed. Thanks for all the tips!

  10. I have to say I have not made money from the WordPress plugins I use so it is nice to see plugins that can actually make you money . I might try Auto Affiliate x

  11. I have never heard of most of these, so I am excited to check them out! I have not really do anything with ads yet mostly because I want control over egere they are placed. These plugins make me excited that I can have that control!

  12. Thank you so much for compiling this list! The amount of plugins and options to monetize can be extremely overwhelming.
    xoxo, Sarah

  13. I’ve heard of infolinks but the haven’t seen great reviews for them. I”ll definitely look into the others though. I’ve been blogging for a while now, but never thought to monetize until recently so I’m exploring all my options. I’m just very careful about not sacrificing the integrity of the blog for a few bucks.

  14. I hated having a free site while I saved up enough to get 3 years of self-hosted. Now that I finally am self-hosted I am setting up what I can to monetize. I really just want to earn enough to keep buying 3 years at a time, plus invest in graphics. Easy to do. Not a high goal. These tips will help. I just got added to Google Adsense, have Amazon and have to get Awin reset up. I also do some affiliate work for depositphotos and a couple others.

  15. Hey, you can also try text link ads by placing them on your site’s content or sidebar, they’re none obtrusive, and there’s too a plugin for that and pays pretty well.

    1. What is the name of the plugin? I would love to try it out. That is what my blog is about after all, haha, I try all these tools and share with you all what might work and what might not work. 🙂

  16. Thanks for the suggestions, I had not heard of some of them. I definitely do NOT recommend infolinks though. Any blog that uses them, I click away right away. I HATE them.

    1. Haha yes, infolinks was the worst for me as I mentioned the risks in this post. They got out of control so I had to boot ’em.

  17. I have been reading your articles but I have never commented, it is really good to see you writing about micro niche sites.

    Thank you for the article. It is helpful.

    1. It is enough to make a couple bucks..I JUST broke 5K for page views yesterday (overall for the past month) and managed to make 20 bucks last month. That was mostly from shareaholic,, amazon associates, ebay partnership, and AWIN.

      1. I find adsense quite good even with low page views. On 400 views daily 4$, last month 40$ this month 4days 20$.

        Keep posting i love reading your stuff and want to see your wp development . I`m beginner at wp, plugins and stuff.

    1. Thank you so much, Christina! Sign up for the mailing list and you will get an awesome freebie master list of TONS of free tools, checklists, courses and stock photos offered from other popular bloggers :).

  18. I understand your desire to monetise, but my ad-blocker is showing 36 ads on this page and my third-party cookie tracker is showing 34. This meant that your page took over 15 seconds to *fully* load ALL of those trackers. It really is important for your privacy policy to be clear about which cookies you’re using, by adding a bunch of third-party wordpress plugins, you’re losing complete control of your business and giving users a very poor experience.

    To Google, a page with this many affiliate tracking codes will be seen as spam. I’m not trying to be negative but you could get penalised by Google and this site will not receive organic traffic in the long-term. It’s a shame to waste your effort and hard work to make $7 in a month, when the potential is much higher. Good luck to you!

    1. Thank you for that feedback it is VERY MUCH appreciated. I am still also new to all of this atleast with the ads…I amnot new to wordpress as I have wordpress develpment in my background. I think those excess ads your blocker is seeing is from infolinks which I am still working on removing from my blog and outlined all the risks from infolinks in this post. Thanks 🙂

    2. I have since finally finished removing infolinks completely. It was too hard to control for me. But could work for others if they need ads and can’t get approved for adsense. I am not in ANY WAY telling people to go and install all of these at once…just the ones that appeal to them. Since a lot of these do the exact same thing why would you want to install them all? I tested them all and found which ones work for me and which ones didn’t. With the help of my readers like you :).

    1. I am not sure. I have a wordpress hosted through godaddy. I am not sure about the free non hosted by a hosting provider. If they offer plugins they should be the same plugins as I assume… try it out.

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