One of my mom’s readers (who apparently also reads me) sent her a suggestion about my miscarriages: I should put up a donate button so that readers could help fund a trip to a specialist.
I think it was very sweet of her to offer this idea, but I’m not going to do it.
First of all, we have decent insurance. I’m sure I could find a specialist in-network. Assuming we had any idea who else to see besides the genetic counselor we already went to.
Also, I make good money. It’s tempered a bit by Tim being on disability, but we still bring in enough to be comfortable. We also have savings and a smallish emergency fund. We also have some satellite, technically-could-be-used-as-savings accounts, such as our car fund.
In other words, there’s absolutely no rationalization for me to ask you guys for money.
My reaction to this is extra vehement because, frankly, I don’t agree with donate buttons on blogs.
Well, let me rephrase that: I don’t agree with most donate buttons on blogs. I once stumbled on a blog where the gal had seriously debilitating health issues and was out of work. It seemed unlikely she could actually go back to work at all. So I clicked the button and donated $10.
But the majority of bloggers make enough to set some money aside and/or to pay down debt. Asking readers for money just seems crass.
Look, I wouldn’t even pay for content from the New York Times. Of course, there you have to pay for content. With a donate button, it’s merely a suggestion. But to me it still comes across as either grandiose (let’s face it, none of us is the NYT) or greedy.
Most people probably don’t correlate paid-content with donate buttons. But I do, and it makes me uncomfortable. Frankly, I’m less likely to come back to a blog with a donate button. Unless, again, there is a good reason why the person actually needs help.
Rather than a donate button, bloggers should investigate other ways of supporting themselves.
Advertising is a biggie. My ads have fallen by the wayside, and I need to get on that. But you can make a fair amount just off those. If you don’t want to do the work, hire Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. Sponsored posts (which I’m not comfortable with, but we’ve already established I’m weird) are also a great way to get a surprising amount of money.
Bloggers can also join affiliate networks and look into referral programs. I’m keeping my affiliates relatively low in number. I’d rather you go through a cash back site like Mr. Rebates, so that I’m not the only one getting money off your purchases. And with Mr. Rebates I get referral bonuses, so we both win.
I’m not saying I bring in a ton of money each year, but the bonuses with various programs generally mean about $150 a year. (That’s not including Swagbucks, which I simply can’t quantify year-to-year. But it’s a fair amount.) Not huge, but not bad for passive income. And in the big picture I don’t have a ton of readers.
It’s also been suggested that I write an e-book and sell it for $4-5. I doubt I could do that with my energy, time and stress limitations. Though, of course, I have no idea how many pages a $5 e-book would have.
But the point is, I’d sooner try that than a donate button.
Do you guys have any strong feelings about donate buttons? Any ideas of what other specialists we would even see? Or what I would write an e-book about?