That’s a real interesting question: should you add a donate button to your blog? And my answer is pretty simple, if you write stuff for the others, YES, add a donate button, you probably deserve it!
Adding a donation button to your site doesn’t mean that you love money and that you would do everything to earn more. To me, it means that you give a chance to your visitors to compensate you for a service. When you write a tutorial, i mean an advanced tutorial, or you make a great plugin available for free, it takes time, it takes your time. And your time is money. And everybody needs money to pay bills. But the donation button isn’t something that will pay your bills, it’s a tool that will measure your content quality. The more donations you’ll get, the more your visitors will express you thankfulness. In other words, your blog content helps other people. And the amount of donations you receive is a barometer of what your audience thinks.
Do you donate? I do. And i do it often. Why? Simply because when i learn something that could cost me hours of work if i would study it by myself, i integrate new skills faster. And yes, once again time is money. Many posts i read make me gain time, it means i save my money by learning faster. Then that’s normal for me to donate to the post author because i learnt something and he spent time on sharing something awesome to the world, for free.
That’s the case when you i use a free plugin too.
If you are scared of the word “donation”, why don’t you propose your visitors to offer you a beer? A coffee? You can go a bit further and provide a list of things your readers can contribute to: pay the cost of a tutorial, pay a month of hosting, offer a MP3, or whatever…
Finally, i think that the best thing to do is to let your visitors choose the amount of money to donate instead of suggesting a predefined amount.
So, what now? Wanna keep me awake with a coffee? ;-)