Adding a donation button to your WordPress blog is really simple. You can use a Paypal button or other widgets to invite and allow readers to donate to your blog freely, rather than – or along with – ads that can bring income to your blog.
If you’re considering adding a donation button, take some time to think through your decision, asking yourself the following questions:
Does your blog support a non-profit?
If your blog supports a non-profit organization, whether it’s a local religious organization, a politically active organization, or even a local animal rescue group, then you should almost definitely put a donation button on your page. In fact, non-profits are the only ones who are technically allowed to put a Paypal “Donate” button on a WordPress blog. (Though there are other WordPress widgets for for-profit bloggers to use to ask for a donation.)
If your blog is for a non-profit, or if you’re fundraising for a non-profit through your blog, add that donation button. If not, ask yourself more questions to determine if asking for donations is right for you.
Do you have the right readership?
Unless your readership is very devoted to your blog, you’re probably not going to make much money from a donation button. You need to provide high-quality content and have readers who follow you consistently if you’re really going to make any money from a donation button, according to the famed ProBlogger blog.
Do you have enough readers?
Even if you have devoted readers, you need to have lots of them to make any money from a donation button. Traffic requirements for making money from donations are probably even higher than requirements for making money from AdSense and other forms of online income. If you don’t already have a large readership, you may want to hold off on adding that donation button until you get more regular readers.
Does your blog have other means of income?
Often times, blog readers are turned off on a blog that both runs advertisements and asks for donations. Using a donation button when you have other forms of income from your blog, particularly advertisements on your blog, can make you look money-hungry. Even if you’re up-front about being a professional blogger, your readers would normally prefer that you either ask for donations or put ads on your blog – not do both. While this isn’t the case 100% of the time, it’s crucial to think about reader perceptions before adding that donate button.
Does your blog already offer something for free?
On the other hand, if your blog offers something for free, like WordPress widgets or software you’ve developed, then a donate button is a great idea. In fact, with the right audience and approach, you might make more off of your free product asking for donations than you ever would by putting a price on the product you’ve developed. If you offer your readers something for free, you can probably safely use a donate button, even if you also use ads to generate income for your blog.
Can you give something back for a donation?
If you can offer your readers something in return for a donation, it’s only sort of a donation, but this is a model many non-profits use. Plenty of non-profit organizations will offer a free copy of a book or some other low-cost extra to people who donate any amount. Some bloggers also use a donation model that allows their readers to pay whatever they think a product or service is worth.
For instance, if you run a blog about finances, you might create a miniature ebook about some of the best credit card deals for travelers or for people with bad credit. Then, allow your readers to pay whatever they think your credit card ebook is worth in order to access it. If you’ve included solid information in the ebook and can get some good reviews for it, your readers may choose to donate more as time goes on.
Think through the donation button before just adding one in
Like all the other decisions you make regarding your monetized blog, it’s important that you really consider all the angles when it comes to adding a donation button to your blog. Adding a donation button at the wrong time or in the wrong way could turn readers off to your blog, which could lose you readers and set back your ultimate monetization plans. However, adding a donation button for the right reasons and in the right way could be an excellent way to monetize your blog or donate money to a not-for-profit you’d like to support.