You might have noticed my “buy me a coffee” icon has gone. I didn’t want to keep it up too long, at first I only had it on here to try it out then I thought I would leave it while I could draw some conclusions. Now it is time to write up those conclusions.
While I do not disclose my earnings out of principle, I did get a bunch of donations (thanks!). It averaged out to a few every couple of days after the initial rush of them when the plugin first was put up. Providing you wrote posts that people like to reward, I can see it competing income-wise with Adsense.
Here are my findings
- People are willing to reward bloggers when they see value in your writing
- There seemed to be some pent-up demand for a concrete way my readers could thank me, for this reason alone it might have been worth keeping it or finding some other outlet for gratitude
- A lot of the notice it was given might be due to novelty, there was a big batch at the beginning but that trailed off
- My most rewarded posts were the motivational kind. There seems to be a correlation between donations and “feeling good”, which makes sense to me. On the other hand the messages I received imply it was people who had been reading for a while who donated, so the blog as a whole matters as much as the single post they clicked through from.
- People have judged it as “begging”, I don’t see it that way. The majority of people who sent me money were genuinely grateful for what they had read.
- You can’t get better encouragement than someone sending you money out of their own pocket! If somebody gives you cash you know you are on the right track.
- It’s useful to have a paypal button around, a couple of people used it to send me unrelated payments.
So why am I not leaving it up?
It’s just a matter of taste. I would encourage anyone who is interested to try it but for my own blog I don’t think it sits well. On the one hand I am advertising services such as consulting calls and blog critiques for $150, on the other hand I am promoting a paypal link where people can buy me a coffee. Bit too much of a disconnect!
Have you tried out a donation button? How did my experiences compare with yours? If you haven’t does this encourage you or put you off? Let me know in the comments …