Donations as a source of income for website owners is a topic I bring up all the time. Let me begin by saying, I think donations should be a second tier form of income for those looking to make money online. Many times people have a “donate” button on their site with a set amount (usually it’s $5 or less on PayPal). Or maybe they have a button that says, “Buy me a cup of coffee!” which usually just takes you to PayPal (again). Although this only takes a few minutes for both the website owner AND the user… I think it sucks for everyone! Instead, I personally am a HUGE fan of the Amazon Wish Lists. While I have never used a “donate” button, I have spent thousands of dollars this year on people’s Amazon Wish Lists.
Often times, when people make Amazon Wish Lists they put a lot of items on their list due to the fact that Amazon has so much inventory! There’s always a wide range of things for website owners to choose from. Basically if you can’t find it on Amazon, it’s likely you can’t find it anywhere on the web. (Another reason why I love Amazon Wish Lists.) When I give someone a gift, I really like to personalize it. For instance, while attending a conference a couple years ago I noticed that one of the Best Of The Web guys had a camera the size of a brick! I knew they probably wouldn’t buy a new camera for themselves but I knew they needed a new one. Once I got home from conference, I got on Amazon and ordered each of them a new Canon ELF camera.
When I browse people’s websites and I see an Amazon Wish List, I almost always look at it. To me, it’s almost like an extra “About Me” page for the author, giving me some real insight into what they are like. Often times, it’s interesting to see where you can connect with people by looking at the things that interest them. Whether it’s a friend, top commentator on my blog or someone who has a site I really like, if they have an Amazon Wish List, I can buy something I know they want and it lets me personalize the gift. Instead of throwing money at them, I’ve purchased them something that we’re both interested in. I like that.
Amazon Wish Lists make both the receiving and giving potential unlimited (unlike a ‘Buy me a cup of coffee’ button). Here’s an example. There is this guy over at Delicious Days, a website about food and cooking, who also happens to be a bad ass Ajax PHP programmer. Over the last year or so, I’ve been using the cforms plug-in he wrote on a variety of websites, including ShoeMoney.com and some that aren’t even WP. (The plug-in is unbelievably amazing and this guy is incredibly talented. If you’re not using the cforms contact plug-in, I highly suggest you download it now and set it up.) After downloading the plug-in, the first thing I did was take out the link to the guy’s website. Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t do this to be a jackass, but rather to lower the footprint so that if there’s ever an exploit found, people don’t find me… at least as easily through automation. I felt bad about doing this, however, so I went to the guy’s site who makes the cforms plugin. I saw that he had an Amazon Wish List and bought him two of the books on his list. It came to about $300. What if he didn’t have a Wish List and instead just a button for me to buy him some coffee? Then I probably would have done that. It would have been my only option. Not only would I have been limited to giving about three dollars, but he also wouldn’t have received the things he really wanted or needed.
Amazon accepts all major credit cards so there’s no issues with PayPal. It’s just easy.
Don’t miss out on this source of income! Log in to your Amazon account today, make a Wish List and post it on your website. You can thank me later.