Would you donate to a blog??

In my Blogging for Business Booklet – I list a few ideas of how to make money via your blog.   We spend so much time blogging there has to be some financial gain and not just in the form of upselling and free PR.

would you donate to a blog

Here are a few of my suggestions :-

  • Selling products – if you already sell via Esty or Folksy these platforms both have widgets you can add to your blog sidebars.  E-books – either using 3rd party apps like e-junkie or Clickbank or even just a buy now paypal button. (If you choose the digital download route check out how and if you would be affected by #EUVAT effective from 1st January 2015)
  • Advertising – I sell advertising space on my blog and this is a relatively easy way to make extra money.  Sell slots for £x per year or per month. The adverts are hyperlinked to the website advertised.
  • Sponsored posts – normally from big businesses via a PR company.  Make sure you mark the post sponsored and have a disclosure policy so your readers know you were paid for this content, prices can range from £50-£100 per post also be aware of google guidelines regarding nofollow and follow links.

(For more ideas on making money via your blog do check out my Blogging for Business Booklet currently £1 including postage)

There are loads of suggestions for passive income out there and quite recently there was a post on Enterprise Nation – 10 ways to make money from your website, suggesting a ‘donate‘ button.



I’m not totally sure how I feel about this suggestion. I wonder if it’s the word donate and what connotations that holds, as if one is asking for charity. But if the button appears on a blog which provides FREE advice, information and resources I *guess* its not out of the question.  Plus you’re not saying it costs you £10 to read my blog you’re asking for a donation whatever you feel as a reader is appropriate. I’d probably be chuffed with a £1 donation … however isn’t a blog suppose to be a free resource so the readers buy either your book, services or products?

I’d also read a thread on Mumsclub’s Facebook page which echoed what I thought … was a bit of an odd concept. So in cases like these I ask Daddy Moo, who as per usual surprises me with a whole site with an awesome example of why we shoulddonate‘.  (Although I’m not sure why he was reading this site 😉 )  Scooby’s Workshop is a fitness and body building website.  He has a whole page dedicated to his ‘donate‘ button and he raises some key issues of which are detailed below :-

I’ve been working nearly a decade on my fitness outreach to show people that they can build amazing physiques without buying anything other than a cheap, used set of dumbbells! With my free youtube workout videos, free scoobysworkshop fitness website, and free AskScooby Forum, its within everyone’s reach, regardless of economic ability to build an amazing and healthy physique.

I AM scoobysworkshop, there are no employees, and no corporate sponsors. I have a crack team of volunteers doing the moderating and admin on the AskScooby Forum but other than that I do everything myself. Over the last 7 years I have put over 3,800 hours into making this free website and fitness videos. Its not just my time that I have donated to promote back-to-basics fitness here, its lots of money I have put into this as well. My fitness outreach is a lot more expensive than you might imagine, although the web hosting costs me several thousand a year, that is dirt-cheap compared to the cost of liability insurance, award t-shirts, and video production costs. I have two real jobs to pay my bills but I cant afford to run scoobysworkshop without help of generous donors like you. If you can, please consider helping support scoobysworkshop so I can continue to help others! If you cant afford to donate, there are still three ways you can help me out:

*Copied from Scooby’s website*

Scooby puts across a compelling argument I’m even half tempted to donate to him myself!!

So the question is donate or not donate? Would you donate to a blog?
Would you as a reader ‘donate‘ to a blog after reading it?
Or would you as a blogger put a ‘donate‘ button on your site?

*contains an affiliate link*

9 Comments

  1. October 4, 2012 / 1:02 pm

    I think the donate buttons are a good idea. I often see them asking to donate a coffee… which is fair enough if they are giving some thing back to the community. Like people that provide free templates for CMS, or free downloads, a forum etc. keep thinking I should add one to my blog, just havent got around to it… So thanks for the reminder!

  2. October 4, 2012 / 1:49 pm

    As a blogger, I have donated to other bloggers using these buttons, but mostly in charitable circumstances. Or maybe, if a download is made available for free – and it’s GOOD, I will consider donating the price of a Starbucks or so.

    However, donate buttons on business blogs generally frustrate me. Personally, I expect a biz blog to be good, have good quality content and if the owner chooses, give away a certain amount of knowledge/content for free. Whether that is in copy, downloads or whatever. It’s all part of the marketing plan that ultimately confirms to the reader that the ‘paid for’ content within the blog is of good enough quality and is worthy of a membership / subscription or purchase.

    On biz blogs, free products are part of a conversion funnel that drives traffic towards other business products and a donate button would seem a little strange. Or maybe that’s just me?

    As business owners, we shouldn’t underestimate our value. If it’s good enough to charge for – charge it. If it’s something you are happy to give away for free, do so and market around that 🙂

  3. October 12, 2012 / 5:27 pm

    If it’s a charity or not-for-profit then I’ve no problem with a donate button. If it’s a business then it should be able to make a profit without asking for donations. You wouldn’t expect a high-street store to have a bucket at the front where you threw in donations to be given to the owner, so I don’t see why an online business should be any different?

    • October 19, 2012 / 11:18 am

      ooo such an interesting topic 🙂

  4. October 26, 2012 / 6:28 pm

    I would only donate to a blog if it was for a charity. I just wouldn’t do it otherwise and don’t feel it’s something I’d want to have on my site either. I suppose it’s up to individuals though. It wouldn’t put me off reading blogs with donate buttons, but I just wouldn’t do it – sorry!

  5. February 12, 2013 / 8:56 pm

    Don’t forget that if you sell advertising, the links to the advertisers sites must be “no follow” otherwise google will penalise your site.

    • February 12, 2013 / 9:07 pm

      you are very right and make sure its the right way .. as it takes ages to go through and edit them all!! hehe

  6. May 21, 2013 / 4:28 pm

    Why would I want to pay someone for reading their blog – which is just another platform for advertising?

    Advertising booklets that are delivered through the door are free. If I had to pay for those, then I’d decline.

    Blogs should generate interest in a product – if it’s a good product it will be bought.

  7. February 26, 2015 / 12:11 am

    I honestly can’t imagine ever having a ‘donate’ button on my blog that was meant to be just for me, for my time. I find it a bit weird. I have donated to websites in the past though. I think the example you give is far more than just a blog, he’s producing free instructional videos that you would otherwise have to pay for, so if I used his blog I’d be happy to donate to keep that resource.

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