written by guest blogger Michael Collins
Blogging is a pretty simple activity: you just write and, hopefully, you’ll get read. But how can you turn being read into being paid? Various strategies exist, from affiliate marketing (Amazon.com and iTunes both have affiliate programs that are relatively easy to implement) to pay-per-click advertising (such as the contextual links of Google’s Adsense), and there are even a few sites springing up that will help you to make money from vlogging (Revver is an example).
Some people think that affiliate programs and advertising are just not for them, though, and many readers may feel turned off by a site that’s pushing a multitude of products at an audience. These people want to find a way to monetize their blog without resorting to “corporate sponsorship,” as it were. But how can they accomplish this? Well, one approach that many have found effective is the solicitation of donations using a Paypal account. Readers can use this link to support their favorite bloggers, without feeling as though they’re helping a company that they might not like. The donation button approach isn’t right for all bloggers, though. Here’s how to make sure that you’ll be able to get the most out of one.
Do you have a large audience? If people are just checking out your site after finding it through a Google search, they aren’t likely to fork over their hard-earned cash to just anybody. Like fans of a TV series, you need to encourage readers to come back everyday, just to see what’s happening. If you don’t have a “fan-base,” donations won’t be forthcoming.
What do you offer readers? A blog about your day-to-day existence may seem interesting to you (and maybe your mother), but the philosophy behind money and trade has been traditionally “value for value.” If you aren’t giving your readers useful information (like gardening tips, financial advice, or legal help), they’ll be less inclined to feel that you deserve a little extra change for your efforts.
How many readers you got? If you’re not logging at least 1000 unique visitors per day, don’t bother with a donation button. Only a very small percentage of users will ever give out “free” money, so you’ll want to maximize how many people that percentage includes.
A final tip to remember is to avoid begging: don’t draw attention to your donation link regularly, as you may come across as greedy; especially if that link has Adsense ads for neighbors. If you’re put off by persistent advertising (re: SPAM), how do you think your readers are going to feel?
Remember, a donation link is not a guaranteed path to free money: there’s no such thing as “money for nothing.” A Paypal account and a blog will not result in hundreds of dollars in extra income unless you already deserve it.