What other ways can you find to monetize your traffic? Let everyone know what you think of Joint Ventures (JV), Donations, CafePress or other models you have read about or tried (not already discussed above).

Moderator: Sheri from Uneeda

#1360449 by A J from Somewhere Hot
Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:15 am
I am with everyone else, do not go begging.

But here's a though to consider Sure, we know that very few people will donate, that's just the way of it. 99% of people are not going to give money when they get exactly the same things from you for free. However, those few that would donate, are your biggest fans, the people that really appreciate what you do, and what they get from your content. With a donate button, they might give 5 bucks or something, but those same people would most likely also be happy to pay 50 or 100 for a good course.

So that's what I would be thinking, give those fans of yours something worthwhile to purchase rather than just donating a few dollars. Even a subscription section to your website, with all the best tabs, videos and what have you would be a good start. A bit of work to get it set up and content created for it, but once it's up and running then it will just tick along by itself. It might work best with infin it so that people can be issues passwords but a lower security setup might work on a standard sbi site.

Cheers, AJ :D
#1360495 by Mike from England
Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:26 am
Thanks A J. Always good to read your thoughts.

Coincidentally, yesterday I received a very generous donation from a visitor. By far the largest donation yet. But I'm not going to let this influence what has developed from this thread! You're right, the average donation is 5-10 bucks and few and far between.

There is something about receiving donations that makes them more special than revenue from selling a product. This is partly why ramping up donation requests was at the forefront of my mind. But at the end of the day, I want this to become a real business.

Thanks to the level headedness of everyone who's posted here, I now have a plan for a more reliable source of income. I have three product ideas I'm going to work on over the next few months. I'm excited to see what comes of them.
#1360496 by Andrew from Essex
Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:51 am
Awesome, me too!

By the way, whereabouts are you from? From your videos I'm guessing somewhere like Derby or Sheffield? :)
#1360497 by Cath, SiteSell Content Team
Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:09 am
Hi Mike,

You've already had some great ideas here. You might also like to have a look at Kirby Swinemar's site. He's a very successful SBIer. Here's a link: http://www.kirbyscovers.com/

Take a look at how Kirby monetises. You may find you can do something similar. :D

#1361866 by David from California
Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:32 pm
I did a search for donations on the forum and this thread came up. Not much else relevant to my question.

We all would probably jump at the chance to get rid of Adsense and other ads if...

... we knew that we would be making as much or more from donations.

Has anyone had any more experience with asking for donations, perhaps going ad free?

I just ran across a site that operates on this basis. It is an unobstrusive site that I don't recall ever seeing before but it ranks extremely high on Alexa at 10, 540 today.

Here's the page I happened across: https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/11/1 ... me-brulee/

Skim it until you see the parts that ask for donations.

What do you think? How did this guy get enough traffic to live on donations? Can we do it?
Last edited by Debs Seeber from Palm Coast on Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:30 pm, edited 2 times in total. Reason: Split; sometimes a new thread gets more action than a very old one that was popped up. Put in link to the old thread for reference purposes. Merged again as discussions were getting split between the 2 threads.
#1361990 by Jacki from Macleod
Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:27 pm
I think it totally depends on your demographic and niche. I doubt if anyone would donate anything on any of my sites, but they do seem to buy things, if they're on topic. I was planning on making more e-books to answer some of the questions and I'm also working on an app for succulent plant identification. The price you can charge for something like that is minimal, but at least they would buy it.
#1362023 by Jacki from Macleod
Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:30 pm
That was a good thread, with some unexpected results. :lol:
#1362063 by David from California
Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:02 pm
Thanks for the info Dee

#1362064 by David from California
Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:35 pm
The question of donations came to my mind again (after thinking about it a few years ago) when I came across a website that is totally professional but relies on mainly on donations.

What I want to address in this one post is viewing donations as "Begging."

Take a look https://www.brainpickings.org/

This donation website has an great Alexa rank (for what its worth) of 10,400.

Note the way he talks about donations. Does this sound like begging?

I believe there is a way to address donations without sounding like begging and I think it is totally possible to state a donation arrangement without sounding like begging as this author does.
#1362073 by David from California
Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:05 pm
Diane from Paris wrote:Mike,

Donations are to my mind, the bottom of the pile. I donate, sure, to causes like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Food Bank...but to a website?

I agree Diane, that donations are not the route of choice for most of us.

However, note that some of the biggest sites in the world rely on donations so I wouldn't necessarily say bottom of the pile.


I'm not saying that our sites can be expected to run totally on donations. A product to sell is the main way to go.

But a lot of us have relied on advertising for the steady part of our income and don't have a product at the present time that makes us enough money to get rid of ads.

And getting rid of ads is not our choice anymore. The prestigious MIT CSAIL has an article exactly about this subject of donations.

The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory – known as CSAIL ­– is the largest research laboratory at MIT and one of the world’s most important centers of information technology research.

The article is "Ad-blocking alternative gives back to websites based on your browsing" - http://www.csail.mit.edu/tipsy_microdonation_extension

Quoting from the article, "
Consumers have come to hate ads, to the point that almost 200 million people around the world actively use ad-blocking software. Is there a better option?

Karger thinks so, and he is part of a CSAIL team that has developed an alternative: Tipsy, a Chrome extension that lets you voluntarily contribute money to the sites you visit based on your browsing habits.

Tipsy is an MIT product that I will be signing up for. It does not appear on our websites but is a way for folks to contrbute. I really do not expect any money to come in from this, but it will be interesting to see if it works at all.

The thing is, we need to view donations or contributions as a ALTERNATIVE possibility to deal with losing most of our Adsense revenue and it can be a PART of our program to monetize if done in the right way.
#1367737 by David from California
Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:59 pm
Is asking for donations tacky? Not anymore.

Take a look at http://www.theguardian.com, one of the hugest websites in the world.\

They are asking for donations using a sticky bar at the bottom of their pages saying? You got it! the old "For the price of a cup of coffee..."

and on many pages a box as shown in this screenshot:


The Guardian is Alexa rated #159 in the world, so I believe we can trust their "tacky" "bottom of the pile" example :)

I will likely be doing something like this soon. If it doesn't work, who cares? People need to be aware of the hurt in this industry.
#1367746 by Margeurite from Camden
Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:22 am

Hello Mike,

What a talented man you are! The very first testimonial on your about page says this:

"You have the best lessons I've ever seen. Far superior to all the books and videos I have. For this I am indebted to you."

Ahhh yes, your visitors are indebted to you - you provide a wonderful service. Give your visitors ways to pay that indebtedness. They quite clearly are enamored with you. If I wanted to learn the guitar I would be wanting to spend my money with YOU - but you don't let me!

There are 7 billion plus people in this world and many of them have loads of cash and would want to spend it with someone with your knowledge. What you offer is wonderful - but STOP giving it all away. You are worth a whole lot more.

It is okay to ask for money (not necessarily in the form of a donation), but ask people to pay for the service you are offering.

You are obviously an extremely talented individual, but please change your mindset when it comes to money. It is okay to have lots of money, it is okay to take money from people who are willing to pay for a service. Money rocks and you've got to make friends with it! So...ASK your visitors to PAY for your extremely professional, worthwhile SERVICES.

You remind me of one of those artistic geniuses who have no idea of their value. Well stop that my friend. Playing the guitar is second nature to you, but it's not to a lot of people so make 'em pay for your talent and education - you'll find they WANT to!

Beautiful website, brilliant work - now it's time to make $$$...but you'll never make it with a mindset that talks about your income being down, unexpected bills/complications and desperately needing a surge in income. You might say "but it's true". Sure, but I'm a big believer that "you bring about what you think about" so think about how cool it's going to be when you are inspired with a brilliant idea to monetize your site.

I hope to see you back here telling us all how magically things are going.

All the best Mike.
#1367747 by Margeurite from Camden
Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:31 am
Me again. Do you have any AdSense ads? I don't love them, but if you pop one ad per page in your right hand column or within the content, there's some quick cash right there. You don't have to keep them there forever, but they may offer you a bit of breathing space. If you want ads that will match your site look and feel, try media.net - you'll get your own account manager who will design a nice ad for you. It pays pretty well too. Again, not a forever thing.
#1367760 by Mary from Mico
Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:44 pm
Hi Mike,

I agree with Margeurite.

I marvel that people will pay for coloring pages that I give away free.

Maybe there's an app you could use. SBIer Tim from [Domain Private] is making an app for Jacki in the Page a Week Challenge if you'd like to see the possibilities and the ups and downs.

I really like the advice others are giving you - at least you've got ideas.


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