Tobold's Blog
Monday, May 31, 2010
 
Status of the donation project

I haven't mentioned my donation project for a while, for the simple reason that there wasn't much to talk about. The status for the month of May is the following: I received 2 donations this month, for a grand total of $22. I don't think I should be quitting my day job just yet. :)

Although the generosity of some long-time readers last month surprised me, the result of this month is more in line with what I expected. A donation is like throwing money into the hat of a street performer. It is an expression of appreciation of the performance already given, with no expectation of any future return. And the streets of the internet are lined with performers, many of which don't even have a hat out. So why donate if you can get everything for free?

Note that while I spent the donations for game- and thus blog-related purposes, e.g. my WoW subscription, filling up my Playstation Network "wallet" to buy PS3/PSP games online, buying games on Steam, and today's Warstorm review, I would have spent exactly the same money on the same games if I hadn't received any donations. So while your donations are welcome as a token of your appreciation, you don't have to feel obliged to donate so I can afford to blog about games. The donation button stays up as a social experiment on blog monetization, not as a serious source of financing. It is a reminder to myself that in spite of some "how much is your blog worth" websites spouting great numbers, the true commercial value of a niche blog like this is just a handful of dollars. It saves me from taking myself too seriously. :)
Comments:
Are there any hosting costs to keep the website online?
 
>you don't have to feel obliged to donate so I can afford to blog about games

You say this so much! Yet is it good to keep repeating it in posts where you talk about your donations, so new readers don't get the impression you're a starving artist.

>The donation button stays up as a social experiment on blog monetization, not as a serious source of financing

And this idea is great! Was great when you started, is great as long as you're collecting more data. If it were my blog, I wouldn't take it down until blog close, even if no donations come in for months.. after all, costs nothing to leave it there.
 
Are there any hosting costs to keep the website online?

No, not for hosting. There are costs for the www.tobold.com domain, but that is pure vanity on my part, the site would run just as well as tobolds.blogspot.com for free.

The hosting is yet another free service from Google, which costs us nothing but our souls.
 
"The hosting is yet another free service from Google, which costs us nothing but our souls."

So true.
Give it 5 more years and Microsoft hate will be like a mild disagreement compared to the hate Google will generate.
I hope not though...
 
Given the much larger amount you received when you first put the donation button up, perhaps you should experiment with taking donations only periodically? Put it up for two weeks every 6 months or something like that, making it a big deal to make sure and donate during that short time.
 
>Put it up for two weeks every 6 months or something like that, making it a big deal to make sure and donate during that short time.

That would be a cheap psychological trick, which Tobold is adamantly against.
 
I have to admit that I haven't (and won't) paypal you any money, and not just because I despise paypal. As a fellow blogger, you get my content for free, so I consider it a fair trade ;)

I'd be curious, for experiment's sake, how much one banner would bring in for you.

I had considered putting one up on ixobelle.com, but when I began the blog (moving away from NotAddicted), I was in Japan, and just couldn't be hassled to deal with yen to dollar conversion. You may have a similar situation with GoogleAds to euro?

Throw an ad up for a month or so, and see how much it brings in, just for the hell of it. I know anyone that cares about ads already runs adblockers (I don't), and since you're already accepting 'donations' it wouldn't be too far of a stretch to see if you could have your blog pay for (or help pay for) your game subs.
 
Actually I didn't spend anything either and won't as my commitment on commenting here is improving the blog quite a lot already ..
..
anyway. That's what I tell myself.
*smile*
 
I was reading about monetizing blogs, and the article I read made a good point -- your best chance of converting readers into cash is if your blog solves a problem for them and your solution is either something you sell or sell ads for.

If that's the case, your best chance is probably to answer the question a reader may have that goes like this: "What MMO is worth my time?"
 
Another tack to consider: how much would you, fellow commenters, pay to leave a comment?

(cue aghast howling in 3 .. 2 .. )
 
An interesting thought exercise: although you are actively NOT trying to monetize the blog; how much would it cost TO buy your influence to simply make a post on a subject (if you were trying to monetize). $25? $50? $100?

It would be just like your open Sunday thread suggestions, only you would right on the subject of the donators interest. :)
 
Well unlike you cheapskate bloggers I appreciate the written word ;) so I have donated in the past.

How much I would pay for the write to comment on my favorite MMO forum, tobold.com? No more than $0.25 a post, hehe.
 
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