Considering the fact that the average cost of web hosting continues to rise, a greater percentage of sites are now soliciting donations than ever before. This would seem to suggest that it’s harder to find a captive audience merely because there’s so much noise online today.
People were raising $650 million on GoFundMe back in 2018, and the numbers have probably increased dramatically since then. When you keep in mind that statistic only deals with one single platform, it can start to get really discouraging.
Fortunately, any webmaster can continue to supplement their income by soliciting donations especially if they have a good solid readership that’s truly interested in what they have to post.
Monetizing Your Existing Site
There’s a saying that content is king and it’s never been more true than now. Quite a few webmasters have automated their sites using intelligent agents and simulated neural networks that scrape other online resources for material and then post them. If this sounds familiar, then you’re actually not only going to drop in the search rankings but might also lose followers the moment that people realize they can get the same sort of material from a wide variety of other places.
You’ve more than likely seen casters who do nothing more than show videos of them coding or playing games that capture a fair amount of people who end up donating to them. There’s two reasons for this. One is that they use a WordPress donation plugin or other simple widget that interfaces with their existing infrastructure and makes it easy for people to give money. Nobody is going to donate to a cause if it’s difficult for them to do so no matter how strongly they might believe in it.
At the same time, these entrepreneurs have found that it’s easier to attract an audience with material that they truly want to consume. Even being a little funny and then promoting yourself can go a long way toward encouraging people to give money.
Keeping followers once you have them, however, is another story.
How to Maintain Followers as Soon as You Attract Some
Perhaps the first step should be to eliminate any technical barrier toward ensuring that people get the full opportunity to explore your content. If there are any problems that cause your site to not resolve properly, then you’re going to want to correct these before you even attempt to promote your brand. Take a few moments to work out any nagging details that might have been an issue before you start putting all of your efforts toward content development.
At the same time, look at what you currently offer to your followers. Those who provide things like inventory and invoice templates are probably going to end up with a great deal of organic traffic from the general clearnet because of people looking for these products. Post something very generic like this and see how much traffic comes from outside as a result.
Over time, you’ll probably find that people start to come into your site for things unrelated to your main focus. That’s completely understandable. What you don’t want to do, however, is ever forget that these individuals can donate money as well. Take a look at your site and see if you need to make any changes in order to spruce it up to handle a potential influx of traffic.
Webmasters who currently rely on a framework like Ruby on Rails for front-end development work will want to dedicate at least some amount of time toward learning more about the technology they’re working with.
Those who are dedicating themselves to responsive site design or any other layout paradigm that relies purely on code to dynamically generate pages will want to make sure all of their framework modules are updated. WordPress users will want to upgrade their installations and then reactivate plugins on every page. This will ensure that their site continues to load properly regardless of what kind of browser their followers are using.
Podcast creators and others who post content on a regular basis might also want to consider an Atom or RSS feed. While you might think that syndication technology is on its way out, it continues to be widely used for distributing audio podcast episodes to users. That means you’ll want to seriously consider it if you’re doing anything like this, especially if you plan to eventually get your material posted to Apple’s official iTunes directory.
You might be wondering at this point what these technical considerations have to do with attracting donors. There’s a very good reason that you might need to think about them, however. When people access a well-made site, they’re going to be more likely to support it.