If only…May 11, 2011
Most of my step-by-step instructional posts have a ‘Buy me a coffee if this tip helped you, saved you time etc.’ link at the bottom.
The link goes to a shopping cart (E-junkie.com), and the amount defaults to US$5 (you can change the amount), which can be paid to me via PayPal. In the interests of full disclosure, I pay $5 a month for the E-junkie shopping cart facility.
My blog post readership is almost 2000 visitors per day (as at the date of this post). And I get lots of ‘thank you for helping me’ comments.
So you might think that I’d make a little ‘pin money’ from this blog, right? You’d be dead wrong.
Let me do the sums for you.
I’ve had close to 750,000 visits to this blog since I started it in 2008, and my readership has steadily grown to nearly 2000 visits per day:
- If 10% (75000) of those visitors ‘bought me a coffee’ for the default $5, I’d have made some $375,000 by now! (I wish!! I won’t even do the sums for 50%…)
- If only 1% (7500) of those visitors bought me a coffee, I’d have made $37,500. That hasn’t happened either…
- Let’s try 0.1% (750) — that would have earned me $3750. Nope.
- 0.01% (75) for $375? That’s getting closer…
- Reality: About 40 people have bought me a coffee (and not all have paid the default $5 — several have paid less; none have paid more), so I’ve received around $200. I’ve paid out more than $250 to E-Junkie.
So if anyone or any snake-oil company tries to convince you that you can make money from a blog, they’re dreaming! I’m a professional writer but there’s no way I make money from this blog. The figures may look good (‘you only need 10% of people to pay’), but based on my experience 99.995% of people WON’T pay for information that’s helped them. Maybe advertising works, but I can’t take advertising on a WordPress.com blog — and I wouldn’t want ads anyway.
This is not to complain, just to add a dose of reality to anyone setting up a blog with the aim of making money from the information they provide. I provide quality information (as evidenced by the many positive comments I receive), I have a good reputation and a reasonably high profile in the technical communications profession, and I blog very regularly — typically, I post every work day. My posts are invariably practical, with step-by-step instructions and relevant screenshots. Each post takes me between 15 minutes and 3 hours to write, so I spend a minimum of one and up to 15 hours per week of my own (unpaid) time writing posts for this blog.
I sure haven’t quit my day job, and based on the ROI of the coffee thing for the past two years (average of $100 per year), it’s not going to happen any time soon! Of course, you could take up the challenge below and all prove me wrong! ;-)
And for those who are wondering… yes, I DO donate to other people’s blogs when the information they have provided has helped me, and they have a donate option available.
Update: I’ve now changed many of these ‘donate’ links to a PayPal button.
Update October 2012: I’ve now shifted the ‘donate’ button to the right sidebar as a result of this: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/a-different-sort-of-scam/.