WordPress for Entrepreneurs: See how this open source framework can help you build a lucrative, sustainable business in 2018

by Anil Parmar

Image credit: Marina Prokic

Learn from real-world examples and start creating your dream future immediately! Spoiler alert: Creating and sustaining a business is tough but with the right amount of hard work and smart work, you can ace it. And, WordPress can surely help make things easier for you. Let’s get started.

Kat Christofer is a known name at Automattic. She loves to travel the world and help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams like she did when she started back in 2007. It wasn’t an easy journey.

Living on as low as $25/week (available for food), working as an editor from her apartment with no means for basic needs like hot water, Kat pulled herself out of poverty with the help of WordPress. Yes, you heard it right!

Technology has the power to change lives, indeed.

Here is her talk on — How WordPress Made My Dreams Come True (she delivered this at WordCamp, Kathmandu 2017)

We hope this talk inspires many more people to become entrepreneurs and make their lives better because miracles do happen 🙂

And, this is precisely why we wanted to write this post to show people what WordPress can do for you. All you need is passion, hard work, and perseverance.

Why WordPress?

When it comes to building a website, a blog or a content management system, WordPress is the word that comes up in our minds.

WordPress, now, powers about 60% of the cms-based websites on the internet and its overall share is almost close to 30%. (Source: w3techs.com )

Coupled with its ever-growing community, WordPress offers a ton of themes and plugins to help you get started with an internet-based business without actually spending huge amounts of money.

WordPress is not only the most popular CMS, it is also the fastest-growing system: Every 74 seconds a site within the top 10 million starts using WordPress. Compare this with Shopify, the second-fastest growing CMS, which is gaining a new site every 22 minutes. — W3Techs’ Matthias Gelbmann says

The best part — it’s user friendly and supports 50+ languages (with more being added frequently).

So, if you are a financial consultant and wanting to start your own business wherein you give video-based lessons on financial management, WordPress can help you kick-start a membership-based website/blog. An awesome, home-based business allowing you to be your own boss.

Different types of WordPress based online businesses you can build


  1. Digital Downloads Store

Digital downloadable products include e-books, audio files, video-based content, software, games etc.

If you are a writer, you can share your stories or non-fiction content (that helps people give advice on different aspects ranging from finances to relationships), you can start selling your books right away with WordPress.

Also, if you are a creative person and enjoys selling something like T-shirt designs, you can sell that as a digital download product.

All you will need is a website, a theme and a plugin like Easy Digital Downloads to get started.

Here’s an example –

Another great example is of Grutbrushes.com and Newlyn.com

If you are a digital artist, you can create your own styles of icons, brushes for photoshops, illustrations, typography, fonts, 3d art etc and sell them as digital downloads.

  1. Subscription based website

$2000 turned into the yummiest subscription based snack business on the internet for Eli Zauner and Monique Bernstein. Though, Universal Yums had its fair share of ups and downs, it turned out to be a huge success.

Universal Yums delivers snacks from a different country as a monthly service.

Read about their success in detail here –

  1. Membership sites

When you work as an independent theater performer, you have to face a lot of hurdles. Things were no different for Jill Bourque.

Empty seats can be a big problem when it comes to live performances and events. According to Jill, theaters lose money on empty seats. So, she was determined to find a solution.

She looked up to Netflix as a business model. For one monthly fee, you have access to different type of content. When it comes to RushTix, users have access to tickets for different kinds of events for one fee. The best part, organizers who want to sell off tickets at last minute can partner with RushTix and get seats filled.

Chris Lema, a world — renowned WP Expert, explains the difference between memberships and subscriptions model very nicely in his post here –

  1. WooCommerce based online stores

WooCommerce powers almost a third of online stores and has been downloaded over 36 million times. If you are a newbie to the world of eCommerce, this WP-based plugin can be a great starting point for you. Most importantly, its free.

So, if you are completely bootstrapped or even don’t have much funds available and just want to test the idea, WooCommerce should be good to go with. And, its flexible too.

No matter, what you wish to sell, WooCommerce offers everything an internet entrepreneur needs in the early stages. Even as you scale, WooCommerce can be customized to meet your growing needs. Also, there are various extensions available (free and paid) to inject extra functionalities into your online store.

  1. Minimum Viable Products/Custom Web Apps/SaaS Products

Sometimes, we actually feel WordPress offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs despite of its shortcomings. People have actually started taking WordPress more than as a content management system.

It’s a platform, on which you can actually build a product and solve specific business problems. Noel Tuck has built Happy Tables on top of WordPress and his SaaS product is actually helping restaurants in London make better data-driven decisions.

We have written more about in our post here –

  1. Online learning

Do you love teaching? Feel like a corporate job isn’t meant for you? Looking out for ways to quit that job and start something on your own from the comfort of your home?

Well, WordPress and WooCommerce combined can help you start your own online academy like Udemy wherein you can start selling your expertise.

You don’t need a team to kick-start your dream venture. WordPress and you can be an awesome combination.

Color Duels and LPC Online are some great insipirations. Built with WooCommerce completely!

  1. Podcasts

Are you good at interviewing people or sharing your own experiences/stories relating to anything under the sun, we think podcasts are a good way to have a small business on the side.

Most importantly, its about your passion to share your stories or experiences or learnings. You can earn through advertisements and sponsorships. Depending on how much audience you attract, you can earn decent money based on affiliation partnerships.

For instance, productpeople.tv is run by Justin Jackson. He covers topics like marketing, management, building products etc. His episodes get sponsorships from companies like Shopify, Sprint.ly and KnowAds.

And, Mixergy does not need much introduction. Andrew Warner interviews entrepreneurs and provides information that’s pure gold. Although, its more kind of a membership platform but you can listen to the podcasts for free as well.

So as an enterpreneur, you can always combine one or two business models to suit your needs.

Here is an awesome piece that actually shows how to start a podcast with WordPress.

Becoming a social entrepreneur with WordPress

Sometimes, one gets emotionally, spiritually and morally bankrupt and finds oneself in a crisis of conscience (as put by Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity Water).

You suddenly realize you want to make this world a better place and have an idea. And, are not sure how to start off. WordPress has been a lot more than just a tool or a cms in recent times. It has been a catalyst for change for people across the world — not only those who kick-start social enterprises but also the people who benefit.

Using WooCommerce, a lot of daring individuals are trying to solve problems and help communities globally to make this world a bit better day by day.

Osanabar.com is an excellent inspiration for wannabe social entrepreneurs.

The Concept of Paywall — Why does it matter?

Let’s say, you run a very popular blog and now want to monetize for the kind of content you offer. You might think of using the concept of paywall. Biggies like New York Times have already been using paywall asking readers to pay for accessing content after they have passed a certain limit.

There are various plugins available to integrate this concept into your site and you will have to strategize properly for it to work for your business.

Additional reading for paywall —

Did we miss out on something? Please share your thoughts and opinions in comments below. Or, if you WordPress has been the game-changer for your life, we will be more than happy to know your story. Let us all learn from your experiences.

P.S. — If you have an online-business idea and don’t know how to go about it, feel free to get in touch with Anil for a free, obligation-free consultation on WordPress. He will be happy to help you! WordPress changed his life and he can change yours too. Write to him at anil@glorywebs.com