Whether you represent a non-profit organization, need to raise money for a school function or just need to defray the cost of providing excellent blog content, you’ll more than likely have to eventually start asking for donations. Some people might think that this will turn off your readership, but fortunately, there are many ways you can incorporate a donation widget without scaring off a single user.
The first step is to make sure that you don’t beat your existing readers over the head with requests for money. When you ask for donations more than you post usable content, you’ll start to frustrate those who are among the most likely to give you cash.
Think about using emotional appeals in just the right measure so you give your readers a sense of urgency but don’t turn them off. Once you have a plan in place, you’ll be ready to tackle the technical side of the equation.
Update Your Blog Software
You won’t be able to install a good donation widget if you’re not running the latest version of WordPress. Webmasters who are still using proprietary closed-source systems are probably even in worse shape than those who are running dated versions of the WordPress platform.
If you’re running a different platform such as Wix, there are straightforward ways to convert your site to Wordpress now. You may also want to visit the Wayback Machine or another archiving site if your older platform shut down and left you without all the content you worked so hard to create.
Once you’re running the latest version, you’ll be able to install a widget.
Use the Right Plugin
You may think that every WordPress donation plugin is created equal, but that’s not true. As with everything else when it comes to the platform, you have a wide range of options to pick from.
All of these plugins differ in various ways. You might find that some of them don’t offer as many various payment options. You’ll want to select one that can reliably parse as many payment types as possible.
Consider one that gives users the option of using PayPal as well as foreign currencies. If you’re serious about reaching out to as many people as possible, then you’ll also want to be sure that you can accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Most donate widgets still don’t support this technology.
Check the specifications list at the bottom of the plugin’s description page. This will clearly spell out whether or not it accepts this kind of payment.
As soon as you’ve got a widget installed, it’s important to consider your site’s presentation design in order to keep things neat and tidy.
Incorporating a Donation Request into an Existing Blog
Assume for a moment that you already have an excellent layout. You don’t want to risk damaging it by shoving links everywhere. Create an image box that links to your donation plugin and then paste this along with your blog’s navigational sidebar.
Take a look at how Johnson’s Indianapolis 500 site added a GoFundMe link only at the very bottom of their included WordPress blog. This makes it unobtrusive enough that nobody can claim the site is begging for donations.
Depending on how much content you have on your blog, you may consider posting a link higher. If you do this, then you can jazz it up with some sort of pictorial. Don’t make it look too flashy, though. You may want to use the icon of the plugin you selected if it includes one as a compressed image. This is especially the case if you’re using a branded plugin that’s tied to a specific organization that collects money for you.
After you have everything in place, you’ll need to remember to never let your content suffer in the process.
Content is Still King
This is the time to clean up any design deficiencies your blog might currently have. If there are any elements or divs plastered over one another, then you want to sort these issues out before you ask for donations. Potential donors won’t be impressed with you if they have any reason to believe that you’re lazy.
Once you’re done fixing WordPress bugs, you’ll be in a better position to pay attention to your content. As many marketing gurus say, content really is still king. People will be attracted to your blog if they have a reason to believe you’re supplying them with valuable information.
Make sure to give your audience the same effort you always have. They’ll reward you for it.