A quick note

I want to explain this to you. I didn’t intend to bring it up at all, but it seems that there’s some concerns out there that I should address.

About a week ago I put a “donate” link on my site. I tucked it away on the “contact” page, and I didn’t advertise or promote it. A lot of blogs have these kinds of links, but I rejected the idea for a year before I finally decided to put one up.

But in the last week, I’ve received some messages from loyal readers who feel offended, or used, or manipulated, or something, by this new addition to my blog.

It obviously wasn’t my intention to manipulate anyone, so here’s the deal:

I get sizable traffic on my blog. There are a lot of things I can do to monetize that traffic, but, as it stands, I only have two small ads per page. Yes, I make money from the ads. Yes, I want to make money from this site. I put a lot of time into it and I couldn’t possibly justify the time expense if I wasn’t bringing in an income to help support my family. Coming up very soon I’ll be putting even more time into it, not to mention incurring some pretty hefty expenses as I expand and grow the operation, but I can’t get into that right now.

In any case, I’m faced with the quandary of how to best convert traffic into income. I could put a bunch of additional ads on my page. I could come up with some kind of “premium subscription fee” ploy. I could strike deals with the businesses that reach out asking me to write a little testimonial about their product in exchange for cash. I could start doing mailing lists. I could do a whole host of other things. But I don’t want to riddle my website with tons of ads, I refuse to ever charge for content in any way whatsoever, and I won’t compromise my credibility by doing write-ups for products I don’t actually use or care about.

So, I thought, I’ll just put this “donate” option on here, forgo most of the other “monetization strategies,” and let people contribute a little bit if they want to. If they don’t — cool. I won’t hit anyone over the head with it, but I’ll have the avenue open and off to the side.

That’s the thought process. In my mind, this was a more tasteful and honest strategy than any of the others I could think up. I feel a little strange even laying this out for you, but I want to be honest with you guys. If enough people for some reason feel alienated by the PayPal link, I’ll take it down.

Thanks for reading. This is the last time I’ll bring this up.

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171 Responses to A quick note

  1. Sam Mace says:

    Jeebus, people. No one complained about the “Donate” link. This is Matt’s underhanded way of promoting the donate link (which I also think is fine) without seeming to be promoting it. It’s a lie. A dupe. He didn’t write this post because anybody was complaining about the donate button. He wrote it for precisely the reason so many of you mentioned. Nobody even knew the donate button was there. Have a donate button, if you want. I may even donate a few bucks after reading a few more articles to determine whether this is a blog I could enjoy. But tell people about it and ask them to donate. Don’t castigate some imaginary “offended” people because you don’t want to just come out and ask people to pay you for your work.

    • deelilynn says:

      Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion, Sam, but it’s obvious you haven’t followed Matt for very long or else you would realize his character would not allow him to underhandedly promote the donate button. You state “which I also think is fine” (to be underhanded) clearly shows the color of your character though 😉

      • Sam Mace says:

        My statement, “which I also think is fine” was meant about having a donate button. Not underhandedly promoting it by trying to look like he’s not promoting it. Thanks for being a “good Christian” though and making unfounded assumptions about the color of my character.

        • chunling says:

          Its not an unfounded assumption. It’s what the evidence of your post suggests. You may have said some things that led every reasonable person reading them to some mistaken conclusions about you, but even if the conclusions are mistaken, they are neither unfounded nor assumptions.


          And seriously, this blog obviously gets enough traffic for there to be people complaining about the addition of a donate link. Your claim that it doesn’t is probably just foolish rather than intentionally deceptive, but the fact is you’ve confidently asserted something that is untrue even before you confidently asserted other things that were both untrue and slanderous.

    • Leah says:

      Hi Sam, I do understand what you are saying however it just takes a little look in previous comments to realize that some people (why I don’t understand) do have a problem with the donate button. Why couldn’t Matt be responding to a clearly offended minority??

      • Leah says:

        I thought I might also say that I am a little surprised that you are offended that someone made an unfounded assumption about the colour of your character when you seemed to do that very thing of Matt??

    • deelilynn says:

      “This is Matt’s underhanded way of promoting the donate link (which I also think is fine) without seeming to be promoting it.”

      I sincerely thank you for responding to clear this up … The sentence as you originally wrote it in it’s entirety does indeed make it appear that you believe to be underhanded is fine … Had there been a proper sentence structure of what your intended meaning I would have understood it that way …

      As for the insult of making “assumptions” did I say Christian?? How about Jewish, Hindu, Muslim or Other, Sam??

  2. J. Morales says:

    You have every right to post a donate button and no one should ever get mad about that.

  3. jasonjshaw says:

    Nothing wrong with allowing voluntary donations. It allows people to contribute to things that they believe in. Chuches have already mastered this concept. YouTubers are beginning to embrace a form of it. It’s the “Caring Economy”! Well, maybe there’s actually a term coined for it, but you get what I’m saying. It’s the opposite of capitalism, you know, the way of earning money by trying to trick and confuse people with marketing and manipulation. It’s an actual honest way to earn your keep doing something you enjoy!

  4. Pingback: The shopping cart “problem” | The Atheist IT Guy

  5. Paul says:

    Hey Matt, why don’t you write a book and have Rupert Murdoch buy millions of copies of it to artificially put it on the New York Times bestseller list?

  6. Christa says:

    Awesome. I didn’t even know you HAD a donate button. Pretty sure if anyone IS offended by it, though, they shouldn’t be. In fact, I say, make it obvious. Giving the option of donation is absolutely the right way to go about it. It is like a store leaving a tip jar. But they actually are making money regardless, whereas you are not likely making much without donations. If I had the money for it, I’d gladly donate myself, but I don’t, unfortunately. Regardless, I hope you keep on blogging. And I will be sad if you ever choose to require payment for access to your blog, because the likelihood of me reading at that point is slim right now, since I’m a single mom and barely making ends meet as it is.

  7. Michael says:

    Should not people who are reading and enjoying (maybe even being enriched by it) help financially support that thing? Should not the people into arts be financially supporting the arts and not expect those not into the arts to field the bill? Same with anything (sports, woodworking, model railroading, etc, …). Matt is only trying to be able to afford to keep his site up and running. And I notice from the comments a lot of people are reading and enjoying it. Without the finances this site would go under. But then, that might be the idea from those that are opposed to it (but cannot keep themselves from coming back)! Matt – do what must be done to maintain this site. Thanks! And – God bless!!

  8. Matt, some people will explode if they don’t gripe…it’s a health thing…like jogging.

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