The Starter’s Guide To Blog Monetization Part 5: Donations

Back in the early days of the internet, one of the main ways people monetized their blogs was through donations. You would often see a websites with a PayPal donate cart somewhere located on their site. It was a common sight to see at one point but it seemed to have dwindled over time.

However, as of late, the donation model has resurfaced again. In fact, many top YouTubers and bloggers are using the donations model as their main source of income. And many of those YouTubers and bloggers have been quite successful with the donations model.

Read on to find out if the donations model is for you and how it works should you decide to pursue this method of earning income online.

The five blog monetization models:

How YouTubers and bloggers are using the donations model to earn online income

You don’t see the PayPal donations button as much anymore on many websites or YouTube videos. Then, how are people asking for donations now that PayPal isn’t being used as much for this purpose anymore?

Back in 2013, Patreon was launched and has since been the go-to platform that content creators have been using to earn income through the donations model. It’s very similar to PayPal except people can donate on a re-occurring basis. Patreon uses a subscription model where people can donate indefinitely.

Content creators can even offer special perks to those that donate a specific amount of money per month. Some perks I’ve seen includes behind the scenes look at how the content creator operates to bonus content only available to those that hit a specific donations tier.

Is it for you?

Just like with anything in life, you have to decide if it will work for you. Do you like the idea of asking for donations instead of selling products or services? Do you prefer donations over having advertisements on your website?

In my opinion, this is how you want to look at it. If you want to keep your content pure and authentic but you don’t necessarily want to sell anything, then the donation model is for you. If you hate having advertisements on your website, the donation model might also be for you.

But, if you hate asking for donations, then don’t do it and stick with the other blog monetization model.

Is it for me?

I’ve briefly experimented with using Patreon and I didn’t quite like it. I do think it works for certain personalities out there but it’s just not for me.

Personally, I will be sticking to the branding and sales model because that is what works for me.

Can you mix and match the different blog monetization model?

You definitely can mix and match the different monetization model. However, do keep in mind that if you are too aggressive with selling or advertising, you might turn off some of your viewers. For example, if you have advertisements on your website and you are also selling stuff, then that will definitely muddy your brand. Having a muddy brand can affect your sales long term since your viewers are less likely to become raving fans who become repeat customers.

In my opinion, the best model to use is a combination of branding plus any of the other four monetization model above. So you can combine branding with advertisement, sales, staff writing, or donations.

Branding can actually help you increase your revenue through the other models in the long term if done right.

So, which model do you prefer on utilizing should you decide to start blogging?

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