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 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.

Payment options:

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.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

109 thoughts on “Income From Donations – Amazon Wish Lists Rock”
  1. […] Income From Donations – Amazon Wish Lists Rock […]

  2. Yes, Jeremy. I’am agree with you. 🙂 Donations should be a second tier form of income for those looking to make money online.

    1. I just don’t know how people could make income that way, unless they gave a certain percentage of their earnings from an affiliate program to a donation. I rather make my own donation or give directly to the donation myself instead through a third party.

    2. The only thing about a wish list versus donation buttons is that sometimes you just need money and not stuff.

      I guess that’s where 2nd tier income comes in.

      1. I think you’re missing the point though. The idea is that you’re getting something on your wish list. Usually that’s just as good as money. Ideally you have stuff on your wish list that you WANT. 😛

        1. Yes, but this isn’t the barter age, and obviously you can’t get EVERYTHING on Amazon, so you’ll need cash at some point.

      2. Except that those people might end up spending the money on things they want, like stuff from Amazon.

  3. Great , I ll have these on some of my blogs…in hope of Super Bloggers donating 🙂

  4. What a novel idea thanks. I would not have thought of this in a thousand years. I was contemplating putting a tip jar on my blog. Amazon wishlist it is!

  5. That’s very thoughtful of you to buy your friend a camera!! Way to show the holiday spirit. I’ll have to look into these wish lists – sounds kinda neat!!

    1. It is novel because wish lists do tell a little about their personality. We are interested in knowing who we communicate with. It’s also a great conversational piece.

  6. I actually had no idea you could do that from Amazon and I’m even an affiliate. I’m going to implement one of these ASAP.

  7. I couldn’t agree more, Jeremy! In fact, I had everyone on my Christmas list sign up for an Amazon wish list and add everything they wanted to it, from Amazon and beyond.

    Not only is everyone getting something they want, but I was able to do all my shopping in about a half-hour or so. No parking issues, no long lines, no hassle. My kind of Christmas!

    1. That was actually a good idea. I wish I’d thought of doing that as well. Would’ve made things easier!

  8. I was just looking at doing this for some of my wordpress plugins I’m about to release in the next week or so, and here you are blogging about it 🙂

    A question though, since I live in Europe, can I add electronics to my wishlist (on As far as I’m aware, they don’t ship electronics outside the US, but maybe this is different if someone gifts it to you? (Not that I’m expecting any electronics :))

    Having a wishlist would be an option, but then US people would have to sign up again just to gift something, etc.. too much work for them.

    1. Maybe you could find an European equivalent to Amazon that offers gift-lists? Most retailers have gift lists as well now.

      1. Yes, ofcourse the problem is that the gifter is often times not European, and if he/she has to sign up for a new website, they may give up and forget the idea alltogether.

        1. Yea, I understand.

          Maybe a donation button is your option at all? You could also create a custom page where you list different things you want, and include paypal buttons underneath for that price.

  9. That is an awesome idea. I am a sponge soaking up all the information and inspiration from other people and often find what I learned really changed the way I approached a certain aspect of my business and I really want to thank them for it.

  10. I will have to try out the wish list. I’ve always seen it on the widget page, but never used it.

    On a side note, where in the code do you find the delicious days link?

  11. Yeah…I really like Amazon. I signed up with them about 3 years ago as an affiliate, but I left because they paid very little. Nice company though

    1. Same here.

      Another thing is that their affiliate is very saturated, so it’s even harder to make sales.

  12. While I’m not against trying this on a website/blog, I must admit, I have NEVER seen anyone’s wishlist where it showed items had actually been fulfilled… this has led me to believe that the wishlists are not working for most people, unless you’re huge/super blogger….

    Momma, feature blogger at Engineer a Debt Free Life (lots of freebies, bargains, and money saving ideas)

  13. I totally agree with you! I’ve just finished a WordPress plugin for my site that displays the current contents of my wishlist inline using AWS (so it’s always up to date), and it is *so* much better than simply asking for monetary donations!

      1. Still ironing out the last few issues, I’ll be releasing it in the next few days. Leave me a comment (/contact) on my site if you want an email, or just check my plugins page (/wordpress-plugins) in a few days.

        1. I just subscribed to your RSS feed. Looks like you’ve got a lot of great stuff up for PHP/Linux etc. That’s what I’m in to. Just do a post when it’s done and I’ll check it out.

  14. […] Blog Entry About Income From Donations – Amazon Wish Lists Rock. Read more here […]

  15. Very nice. Not only because I might put a “wish list” on my blog because of that (even though I’m not sure if other people are doing just like you…), but also because I think it is VERY nice from you to do what you do. Way to go!

  16. Thanks for the idea Jeremy. I’ll put mine Amazon Wish List up tonight. I’ve just launched a new blog (only 32 posts but adding daily). A task I have for January is to be the top commentator on a few popular blogs. Of course this one is at the top of the list. Let’s see how I can contribute to your site without sound forced or plain old dumb. I’ll start up Jan 1.

  17. I though most folks here were big shot affiliate marketers making the big bucks. Why would such high rollers need to beg for hand outs on their sites?

  18. You want to leave a tip for a fellow blogger? Click their Google Adsense ad each time you visit!

    It does not cost you a penny and helps the website owner. Yes, I know it is so tough to move your mouse and click a link when you are surfing at break neck speed, but give it a try.

    The biggest bitch you here “I don’t make money with ad sense, no one clicks my ads”. I’ll bet you the same whiners never reciprocate by clicking ads on other sites they like and visit. I love this one- “savvy web users mentally block out ad sense ads when they are on a website”. I bet you same folks whine- “Adsense sucks, I make no money”.

    It’s called Karma folks, so spread the click love and the love will return to you 2 fold.

    1. Hmm, I’m not sure most people would want you to do that. It’s aching to click fraud since you’re not really interested in the ad at all. If alot of people did this, google might ban the account.

    2. Except that Google will eventually catch onto it & possibly close the site owner’s Adsense account down due to “being a threat to their advertisers”.

  19. Well shoe, where’s your amazon wishlist? I’m sure some people here are thankful for some of the content you’ve created 🙂

  20. The last thing I need (and most struggling people) now is more junk/products. I need cash. The bank/mortgage, electric company, and Comcast don’t accept cameras or books as payment. Times are hard and cash is king for survival.

  21. Where do you post the amazon wishlist? In a blog post? In your side bar? In a page? On your about page?

    1. If I was going to post one (which I’m not) I’d write it as a page, and link to it from my blogroll.

  22. […] Posted by : Paul Piotrowski I was scanning through my RSS Reader today and I found an article by Shoemoney talking about having an Amazon Wish List on your Blog.  He talks about having an Amazon wish […]

  23. “While I have never used a “donate” button”

    What did you use for Nextpimp? I thought you said you used a donate button all the time. I could be wrong.

    1. im glad you brought that up. We did use donations but they were included html files. No donation button was on the website. This was a “plan for piracy move”.

  24. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to put it on the About page of my sites. Of course you might wind up with a Sponge Bob Comforter on the wish list, and then the wish list on a MMA site or something.

  25. Great idea! I’ve been using my Amazon wishlist for years just to keep track of stuff I want for myself. It would be great if everyone made their wishlists more public. I’d love to get gift ideas from friend/family wishlists. btw…I read this post this morning and have been “shopping” Amazon all day. 🙂

  26. I think i got your point Jeremy. But wait don’t come to my blog yet. Let me put my wish list then please come to my blog..;)
    Thx for the idea anyway…

  27. I actually find those a bit desperate, unless you’re a plugin designer or a theme developer providing free themes.

  28. I feel that blogs that offer useful information or entertain the readers warrant a bounty of income from advertising revenue and there is no need for begging for hand outs. I believe that asking for donations cheapens the website and comes across as looking desperate and unprofessional. My guess at the end of the day the measly donations you may receive will be detrimental to the long term success and longevity of your business model. This is just my opinion and I welcome vigorous debate to the contrary.

  29. There are too many people blogging about how to make money blogging who themselves have yet to make money blogging but think if they keep blogging about how to make money blogging they will eventually make money blogging about how to make money blogging.

    Does that make sense?

  30. It is so obvious that a large portion of the comments here are Shoemoney using different aliases. They are so canned, corny and kiss ass you have to be a complete dolt to think otherwise.

  31. Shoemoney content is getting lamer by the month. It is hard to come up with good useful information daily and it is really starting to show here. You post some really useless crap and try to sugar coat it with your lame alias responders in a feeble attempt to create a steady buzz. Only the retard groupies you have still think you are a big deal, but they are as dumb as a bag of hammers.

    1. You think his content is lame, yet, you obviously can’t stop coming here. You’re ridiculous.

  32. Do a good Christmas deed Shoe, share a real useful nugget of information that will help your readers make money online. I’m talking something really useful, not just some fluff crap you usually throw out there for filler content.

    If not may the ghosts of Christmas visit you Mr. Scroogemoney.

  33. i wish i even had a amazon wish list last month when some one buyed me a coffee,
    will setup it soon

  34. I never looked at someone’s Amazon Wishlist as another form of an “About Me” page. That was probably the most interesting part of the post.

  35. […] Vote Income From Donations – Amazon Wish Lists Rock […]

  36. I don’t know what’s more interesting. The amazon list idea or some of the comments posted here

  37. […] bookmarks tagged wish Income From Donations – Amazon Wish Lists Rock – S… saved by 4 others     Methodman5 bookmarked on 12/24/08 | […]

  38. What are the tax implications here? Does the receipient have to pay tax on the fair market value of the Amazon gift received? If so, you should only place items on your wish list that you would consider buying.

  39. Somehow the donation thing just don’t feel right to me. Personal opinion, nothing against people using it 🙂

  40. I’ve never believed in the donation trick especially since most people on the web think everything should be for free. The wishlist is an interesting idea as many potential givers may be able to get you that special something at no charge to themselves. I wouldn’t expect much in the way of gifts from it though. If you are after the $$$ then just resell it on ebay.

  41. Its such a great idea. Most people are taken back when somebody ask money from them. I personally prefer to give something than giving money unless its a very important need. Wishlist is subtle way of asking.

  42. thanks for sharing! the worse of all is when i see pages full of ads and then a button saying: donate to keep this page running through the very high expenses etc…

  43. That’s what I call a good idea! I was contemplating putting a tip jar on my blog. Amazon wishlist it is!

  44. That is a great idea. Even if I don’t use it on my blog, it does make gift giving easier.

  45. […] Make (and share) your Amazon Wish List (borrowed from: ShoeMoney) This one’s a good idea even if you don’t have a blog.’s Wish List feature is a place for you to add anything Amazon sells that you might like to have.  Amazon also offers a new Universal Wish List feature so you can add the few products it doesn’t sell.  Think of your wish list as a wedding or baby registry, but without the hassle of getting married or having a kid.  On blogs, use your wishlist as alternative/compliment to your “donate” or “buy me a cup of coffee” links; or include it with your “about” links to give your readers more insight to the person behind the blog. […]

  46. Free stuff, you just can’t beat it. I would love to get free stuff all the time but unfortunately I don’t, how sad. Well anyways it looks like you got it pretty good being able to get and send free stuff all the time.

    Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

  47. Giving donations are nice especially when they are to me (jk). But to be honest I have never seen an amazon Wish list, not even for my sister’s wedding.

  48. […] Income From Donations – Amazon Wish Lists Rock […]

  49. […] to receive support from donations is something like an Amazon Wish List. You can checkout a post on about really why the Amazon Wish List is great. There’s no need for me to repeat the […]

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