Monday, December 12, 2011

Worth a Buck?

What we have to do is to be forever curiously testing
new opinions and courting new impressions.
                Sister Mary Xavier




If I put my stories to music and stood on the corner playing in the big city would you stand and listen, then maybe throw a quarter in my case?

If I framed all my photos and stood on same corner would you stop and maybe buy?

These are the questions I am asking myself these days ever since Sandra asked if I would ever consider putting a Donation Bin on my Blog. My quick response was “NO, absolutely not.” I could not even put ads on my blog.

 I never thought of making money on my blog except by being discovered by a publishing company (OK everyone has that dream, admit it) and I absolutely love sharing my stories, and my photos with everyone. I love the fact that people like them and it makes me feel very special. I do know my photos are being copied and I have no problem with that, OK maybe a little, but it is part of the whole “if it is on the internet it must be free thinking.” I half expect to walk into a discount store, and see copies of my prints on big ugly fake canvas. Imported from somewhere I have never heard of.

I am spending a lot of money on my blogging now and I never thought it would come to that. Everyone has a hobby and I do know they are all expensive. Some people can paint, some knit, some make all kinds of cool jewelery, and other crafty ideas. They have set up etsy shops and can sell their beautiful wares online to support their blogging. I can do none of these things. I essentially have no marketable skills, unless it involves farming. I do think I take photos people enjoy, and I think my stories are OK.

My Dad, when I was a child would NEVER and I mean NEVER let us sell anything. He thought it was awful to talk someone into buying something they did not need. You know what I am talking about; remember the school chocolate bars, and Christmas card fundraisers?  My Dad was probably right, and we never brought them home to sell even when the teachers forced us to. My Dad talked to them, they never asked again. Most of the kids I grew up with had parents who could not buy one chocolate bar, let alone a box. I have carried this with me my whole life, when my kids brought home those fundraiser things; I bought what they had so they would not get teased by their friends, like I had been. I would have a very hard time letting them sell, except to family. My Dad always thought it was a form of begging.

Sandra asked the question “Are you a receiver or just a giver?”  The answer is a giver.  I do not receive very well.  It has always made me very uncomfortable.

My point of this whole post is to ask you, my very smart readers a question, and get your opinion. Would you go to a blog and throw in a quarter; or a buck for something you really enjoyed?
 I may have to consider this, and just need input.
Do not turn me off just yet; Wow! You’d think I was selling a vacuum cleaner at the door or something. I SAID!!!  I was considering it, not necessarily going to do it. I would appreciate any comments on this matter. Feel free to leave anonymous comments so no one will know who you are. Be honest, I would appreciate that.



 Was my Dad right? Is it begging? Should I go on spending money I do not have, until I can no longer do it?  Be honest. What do you really think?

Later.

15 comments:

  1. I volunteer my time and also give to certain charities but not all of them who can

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  2. Oh b...all i can say is that I would not. I would pay for what amount of internet I could afford without causing a problem and go with that. Sometimes all we have left is our dignity...everyone is trying to strip every thing else away from us. Though I would be happy to contribute if you did...xoxo

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  3. This is a tricky question with no simple answer, especially since I was raised the same. I think as you do, that blogging is something one does freely and with no expectation in return. I know some bloggers advertise on their sites. As with you, it's not something I'd easily consider, although many do. Also, I don't watermark any of my pictures and I certainly don't know if anyone else is using them without acknowledging the source. I haven't considered whether it would bother me overly if they did. My objective is simply to share and to have a record for myself. I accept that a time may come when I will no longer be able to get out and about. I know that being able to look back through my blog at all the lovely places I've seen, will give me immense pleasure and rekindle happy memories, so my blog is also very much a personal journal. I have not yet come across a blog where a donation is asked to be given. I do think that would rather put me off visiting that site again. How does one determine the donation, especially with the great difference in international currency values? What would be considered reasonable? Furthermore, how easy would it be to give a donation? How secure? These are questions I would have. I honestly don't know what would be the best way forward. I certainly don't think your blog should become an expensive millstone around your neck, either! I do hope others are able to be a lot more helpful than I have been! Big hug xoxo

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  4. I've only seen donation buttons for non-profit charities. Not sure it would be easy for me to just donate to a blog.

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  5. Tricky.
    I think it has to be one's own personal decision...and then regardless of how it turns out- be happy with it. I guess what I mean is....don't expect great things to happen but be thrilled when they do!
    I have to agree with your dad- very wise indeed. Nowadays it's seen as "support" for your fellow teammate or niece/nephew....help to pursue that which one loves to do. It also seems that money is hard to come by as usual...
    Oh I don't know!
    Tricky:)

    And a big thank you for a beautiful fog capture. My heart melted.

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  6. yes, tricky. i have ads on my blog, and have had for about a year. i've made about $200 in that year. i hope i haven't bothered folks with them too much, but appreciate the little bit of income - if nothing else, it helps offset the postage and framing costs of my monthly drawing giveaways.

    as for donation buttons, i've only seen them for charities or for pet fundraisers and the like. i read once that Chickens in the Road had asked for donations at one point to keep her blog going (before i ever read her, apparently). not sure how that was received.

    i know i'd donate to you to help you out. i love your blog. but i don't want folks to be put out by it, either. i know i'd feel uncomfortable asking for donations.

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  7. There are some charities I give to every month by direct debit. I dislike being asked for money though, especially by tin shakers in the street. I once made a donation to a music site, but decided it was a one off donation. I do not think I would donate to a blog, but I am a bit of a sucker for a sob story. I fight against it. I might donate to a blog if it was one I read regularly and enjoyed, but then again I don't know. I will say this though: why not give it a trial run, for a short period, see how it goes.

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  8. I'm with your dad on selling candy, etc. to raise money for school or other worthy cause. I'd rather just donate to the high school band or the scouts without lining the pockets of a middle man.

    However, your writing and photography are a valuable commodity. (I'm with you on the photos on my blog being pirated by the cyberworld--grr!). You might look into a way to put some of your best posts into an inexpensive chapbook and put copies of it up for sale on you blog. I know I'd buy and probably get more to give as gifts.

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  9. I've really been thinking about this since I read this post early this morning. First of all, I was not raised like you regarding selling things and fund raising so I can't agree there. It is the way many charities, schools, school programs and church programs survive. I also believe if someone has a talents, ie. musicians, artists, writers and the like, they have every right to sell that talent.

    I do not like the thought that blogging is so expensive for you. It makes me very sad to know you may not be able to continue as I enjoy your blog. However, with a thousand, million or billion blogs out there that are free, I don't think I would feel comfortable donating to one. It is nothing personal. I just couldn't do it.

    I advertise on my blog. Again, I see nothing wrong with it. Am I getting rich? Heavens no but every little bit helps. We encounter advertising in every area of our lives and the one place I don't mind it is on the blogs. Why? Because bloggers are the little people...just like me and if they can make a buck, let them. This country is what it is because of entrepanuers (SP). That's part of what makes it so great.

    Sorry...didn't mean to write a novel here!

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  10. Hi Buttons,
    Since I am the one who raised this issue I felt I should comment. First of all I almost regretted putting it. I wondered, for a day, if you would be "mad at me"...or if you would feel insulted at such a thought. And it does seem a donations button may not be the way to go. But, what I was really trying to convey is the worth and value of your blog/photos. It is really 'you'...in the only way you can share 'you' with the world. It is of great value. I hope this did begin, maybe, some thinking outside the box. I have learned this "worth" thing in my later years. Honor yourself and your work! We, your readers, do. Perhaps consider using Adsense or promoting your photos somehow. I think many of us readers would give you a shout out from time to time, increase your traffic, and get these photos on the block somehow....just to make enough to cover your blogging costs.

    I am fortunate that there are no costs associated with mine at all, but I am hoping the ads and focus on my art in 2012 will help me reach some goals for insurance for some family members who need it. We are a community and we might all be surprised at the power of that. I know this will work out for you somehow. Regarding security, a link to Paypal is easy and takes care of that problem.

    Keep thinking and stay open to what comes your way. Sandra

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  11. Maybe the advertising thing would be the way to go like some folks have suggested. Pick their brains to see how to do it and how it is working for them...

    love your kitty...

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  12. Wow! A pretty thought provoking post. I have never used advertising for the same reasons as you, but if money is what you need to support a positive hobby in your life than I promise none of us would throw stones. Everyone needs an outlet or hobby, it is what keeps us sane in an insane world. You have an such a talent for storytelling and the photos that go with the stories. I would miss you greatly, if you were unable to continue. I am an honest person and I will tell you that I wouldn't probably donate. I would buy if you were selling something. Mainly because I hate this Wal-mart world and it makes me feel good to buy from someone I know who put time and effort into their product. That is different then panhandling school, church and club products. Those irritate me, even Walmart doesn't come to my door. Your photos with those cool quotes would be a note card I would buy and appreciate. Yes, some of us still write letters and mail them:) I guess I'm not much help. Advertising: Yes you won't lose integrity, but without you could lose your blog. Donations: No, but I'm notoriously cheap. Selling some of what you have worked hard for, you do with farming, why would art be different? I enjoyed making my brain work for awhile. Thanks for the challenging question.

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  13. My answer to most of your questions is : NO
    Adds on your blog, nothing wrong with that.
    I agree with your late dad :)

    Would I read your blog if I had to pay for it, or if there was a 'button' there to leave a 'donation' after reading your blog - NO, I wouldn't do that.
    Your dad is right :)
    Your conscious is tell you, your upbringing is telling you.

    If you can't afford something, you go without, or go without something so you can afford a hobby or whatever.
    Cut back on your hobby.
    Give it a rest for awhile then return with a plan you can afford.
    Don't live beyond your means.

    Yes, I am blunt at times but you know me very well my dear friend :)

    Most people have had a some stage in their lives a similar problem as you, I know I have in the past. As much as I love my hobbies some of them I have had to give away due to cost, but have them back when I can afford.

    You can believe this: I am taking a break from ironing shirts...lol and not it's not the middle of my night :) it's mid afternoon.

    Don't struggle with your decision - just make it and carry it out...my dear friend of so many years now :) Love M xoxoxox

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  14. Blogging is for me free expression and a simple means of communicating with others. Money does not feature in the equation.

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  15. uhhmm. I would buy a hereford pinup calendar of your girls if you made one up from your photos. So, YES I THINK YOU ARE ARTSY!!!!!!!

    Moving on, I never really want to charge or have ads on my blog, because what in reality I am really doing is sharing my time...and my time is priceless :) Thats what you and I are; givers of time. Our blogs reflect who we are and what has happened in our lives versus entertainment or craftster/cookster/anythingster value.

    But after getting a $8000. dollar medical bill right before Christmas that comes out of my pocket, not the insurance company's? Darn, where do i sign up to pull in the cash? But then i remember I do actually have a job in forestry LOL that will pay the bills and I may have to cut back on certain things for a while, but it will all balance out. Lean times and thick times; you farm, so you know that!

    But I still would buy a calendar of your photos, and I bet others would too! And if Ads are pertinent to your writing style on your blog, i may be tempted to click on them and check it out - after all because of a garden blog and its ads, I was able to get 25% off of my order of flowers for my Dad's funeral...

    (AND Yes, unfortunately for Mr. Foresterman, I really am that much of a jokester and camera nut...and undiagnosed ADHD middle-aged womanthoughts thrown in for good measure...LOL but i know you know that!)

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

Please do not copy my work. If you like it let me know I am sure we can work something out. Copyright is in place.