You provide good information on your blog, right? Can you get paid for that?
Perhaps. I’ve seen a few blogs with a donate button, also called “tip jar” or “buy me a cup of coffee.” Copywriter Michel Fortin is one example.
Paypal Donate Button for a Nonprofit: Example
I’m a hiking guide writer and avid hiker, and I’m on the board of directors of the nonprofit Mount Shasta Trail Association. (And by default I’m the web guy.) You’ll see we ask for donations in the sidebar of every page. We just installed it, so I don’t have any good numbers to share with you, but hopefully we’ll get some extra dough in our account.
Note that we used the actual Paypal donate button.
How to do it. In your Paypal business account (not personal), select the donate button and follow the directions from there.
Asking for Tips on a For-Profit Site: Example
Check out the sidebar in my Northern California Hiking Trails blog — look for the guy staring at a steaming mug of hot coffee (same as above). I just installed this, so no data yet.
How to do it. In your Paypal business account, select the Donate button. I strongly advise you to choose your own graphic. (You give Paypal the URL of the image.) I’ve read elsewhere that Paypal doesn’t like it when businesses use “donate” because they don’t want people thinking you are actually a nonprofit when you’re not.
When and How to Ask for Tips on Your Site
1. You need to have a decent amount of traffic.
2. You need to provide a lot of good content so you are worthy of the tip.
3. You are likely selling infomation products on your site, either your own or affiliate products. One more button with a link distracts visitors from your other links.
4. The tip button can make you look cheap or desperate.Think about the image you want readers to have of you and whether or not the tip button complements that, or at least doesn’t detract.
I only ask for contributions on my hiking blog. I have nearly 300 posts there with a lot of quality content, and outside of people buying one or both of my hiking books, they don’t have an easy way to repay me.
I won’t be doing it on this blog or my blog devoted to freelancing for college textbook publishers and my e-book Writing College Textbook Supplements.
What do you think of asking for contributions on websites? When is it appropriate? When not? Have you done it, and with what results?