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Generating revenue – donations

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday June 7, 2007 )

Some bloggers and content writers generate revenue by requesting donations – you’ve probably seen donate buttons kicking around on some content sites. It’s something I’ve never tried, but the concept interested me so I decided to do a little research on it. Success is all in the implementation it seems

One of the more novel approaches is the “Buy me a beer” plugin for WordPress by BlogClout. It wasn’t so much the novelty of plugin itself that made me stop and think, but something that was mentioned on this BlogClout page; the “Power of Specific Phrasing“.

If you’ve ever donated to a charity online, especially the more corporate ones; you’ve probably noticed that instead of just having a blank field for donation amounts, they’ll have “suggested” donation levels. At times they’ll be set quite high – $25 as a minimum for example. Why? To make you feel like a cheapskate if you donate less :). From some other quick research I’ve done on this topic, it appears to be very effective for charities.

I’m not suggesting that you should set a minimum donation on your blog or content site of $100, but the idea behind specific phrasing is also to help alleviate indecision in the donor. The person no longer asks themselves “hmm.. how much should I donate?.. oh, it’s all too hard”. They’ll know straight away that $2, $5 or $10 etc. is “acceptable”, but with option to donate more if the person wishes to. If they donate more, then they get the warm and fuzzy feeling of being extraordinarily generous

I don’t intend on implementing donate buttons on Taming the as I generate revenue via other means, but if you slave away at generating valuable content for your readers, perhaps it’s worthwhile considering. Be brave, you deserve to be rewarded for your efforts :).

If you don’t have a WordPress blog, donation buttons and links are easy to generate if you have a PayPal account and you can make it a “Buy me a whatever” spiel.

Like the beer angle, perhaps make it humorous rather than a begging exercise, be sure to give the donation a purpose and don’t try for too high a figure as the suggested base donation level.


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