Funding Yay or Nay.

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First let me say I am in no way passing judgement here, rather I want to examine various options I have seen around WordPress and get your feelings on them.  What is right for one person is wrong for another so please remember that if you use one or more of these methods I am not actually aiming this at you more just querying different things people have done and there effectiveness.

First let me explain where this came from I was catching up on a few posts when I read this one from the lovely Cristian Mihai A bunch of thanks and it got me thinking about all the donate buttons I have noticed around WordPress for various blogs.

This is one of several fund-raising efforts I have seen by Cristian to help fund his writing career, to be fair he does offer items or services in return be it a shout out or a review on his blog or as in the case of when he was raising funds for a new computer copies of his books.  I have seen other blogs where they give away their book for free but place a donate button and ask people donate what they think the book is worth, others simply have the donate button there and gratefully accept donations.

From the posts I have read regarding these fund-raising efforts the latter two do not yield results Cristian’s method however does seem to be hitting the targets set.  The thing is should he need to be doing this, shouldn’t he be able to earn enough from his book sales to allow him to consider writing as a full time job, and by giving away his books to those who donate does that mean he negatively impacts his potential sales?   I don’t know the answers to this and am merely speculating and this is not having a go at Cristian I respect him hugely, as I say this is about discussing whether bloggers have the right to be funded for their blogging and if so how do they go about it.

Most of us blog to firstly improve our writing and possibly build an audience then once we have work out their we use it for self promotion, most of us would love to be able to give up paid day jobs to focus on writing but very few of us will ever earn enough to do so.  Theoretically the donation method could allow this especially if like Christian you have a catalogue of work to give away as incentives, but it will only work short term, you cannot ask the same people to give over and over again so therefore it relies on you actually making enough of a success with your work to gain a sizeable new following.  The other issue is of course it is not a reliable income unless you don’t really need the income ( but then why would you do it?), for those with a family it is not really an option.

Right I have to go get ready to head out to the day job so would love to hear your thoughts, is funding for the blog something you have considered, and if you have tried it how has it worked for you?

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8 comments on “Funding Yay or Nay.

  1. Donate buttons make me uncomfortable. I don’t think that’s what our blogs are about. I just don’t visit blogs that ask for money. Period (which is different from having a link to a book the blogger has written…!)

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  2. I’m not really comfortable with it either. As much as I want to make money off my writing, I think of the blog as more of a conversation between myself and my readers and you don’t ask to be paid for speaking to someone. At least not in that context.

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  3. Like those above, donate buttons make me really uncomfortable. (Although I still drop by those blogs that have them.) If you’re giving away a free book and ask for donations, this seems a little better, but I’m still wary. I would never put a donate button on my blog. I feel like the point of my blog is to get my work out there a little and get discussions going. I’m not expecting to make money from it.

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  4. I don’t agree with the idea. Sure-I can see the need for donate buttons if you have a cause (and it’s clearly legit) for charity or something, but not to fund your writing. Blogging is to reach people with your ‘thoughts’, not hold out your hand. There’s alternative ways to make money from your site visitors. It’s called ads.

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  5. I would never solicit donations on my blog. Even when highlighting a good cause, you can blog about it and create a link to that charity’s website for people to go to if they are so inclined. But when you hold your hand out for yourself, it makes people uncomfortable and wary. It closes people up when you want to open their minds and hearts to what you have to say. As Grace says up above, you want to be able to give your readers something of value. They are already giving you their time and attention. If you can build a network, that is enough. If you want to link them to your books, your readers are free to follow a link or not, but it doesn’t put them in an awkward position. Good question, and good post, Paula.

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  6. I saw a donate button for the first time the other day, and I must say, it took me by surprise. I wasn’t sure what I would be donating to or for. There was no information other than to donate to this writer. My expenses aren’t that great. Book covers are number one, ink and paper next, followed by marketing third. Those are my business expenses. I would never ask someone to donate to my “cost of doing business.” Is this a new thing?

    I did donate to someone who was raising money to have a card game made. In exchange for my donation, I think I was to get one of the games when it was produced. But that was in Australia, so I told the inventor to give my copy to a local child. I can see raising funds for a project, but I’m not sure I see where a writer needs the funds of others – especially a self-publishing writer. Maybe someone will stop by and share the other side of the coin. I have an open mind on this.

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