Don't Buy Me a Beer, Water is Healthier

By Ian Fernando

Buy me a Beer is a WordPress plugin that allows your readers to donate money to you via PayPal. The plugin adds a “Buy Me a Beer” button to the sidebar and at the end of all posts. When your readers click on that button, they are taken to the secure PayPal page from where they can donate money to you.

I have been seeing this in the blogosphere for a while and it looks like it has been increasing in downloads, but are they really receiving a donation? To me this is a very good NLP (Neuro Lingusitic Programing) strategy, because it seperates the donate button with a beer or coffee etc. Instead of asking to donate, the blog author asks the reader to buy them a beer. Simple.

Ryan Shamus share the same feeling:

Instead of that clunky “Paypal Donate” button that you see everywhere, you can activate this sweet plugin to take it’s place. People are much more likely to “buy me a beer” and donate a couple bucks instead of just donating. Clicking a regular old Paypal donation button is no fun, at all.

Is this really worth to put on your blog? I know there has been some successful blog authors that receive kegs of beer from this plugin. For example John Chow receives the following donations via Buy me a Beer Plugin:

Johns Wu - $88.88
Danielle Nagami - $50.00
Melissa Surles - $50.00

That is a huge amount of money for a donation. The reader does not see it as a donation though; they see it as "I am buying you a drink." There are so many bloggers out there that use this all the time in hopes to get a dollar.

Since I always think as a newie instead of an expert, I tend to think this plugin is useless. Its a form of trickery to the reader and the blog author.

Agreed by Jon at Smart Wealthy Rich:

It’s simply a nicer and cooler way of asking your readers to donate, instead of having a “donate” paypal button, which looks rather ugly anyway, the buy me a beer plugin does the same thing and it’s linked to your paypal e-mail adress...

I do not see this plugin on such popular blogs such as ProBlogger, DoshDosh, and CopyBlogger. In my opinion I think they enjoy their content. They do not want to ruin the environment their blog provides. The readers come to receive information and learn these are serious readers.

I understand you should be having fun once and while, but the purpose of this plugin is a simple donation replace by a beer image. Why can't you just have the regular donate button and ask for a donation? Instead of asking to buy you a beer, I mean it serves the same purpose.

Though this plugin works for some, does this work for new bloggers? Bloggers that only get under 100 visits a day? As I have been reading there is usualy a 3% conversion with traffic. Meaning 3% of your traffic will join your list, buy a product, click on adsense, etc. I have yet to see hard facts on Google BlogSearch about hard studies on this plugin. I was going to do a case study on this, but then again I thought to myself would I want to put a beer image on my blog?

I like to keep my website/blog clean and provide information to the fellow bloggers, especially newbies, newies, noobs, etc.

Some blogs out there says if your readers are loyal they would buy you a beer or a cup of coffee. If they are loyal and you ask for a donation they should be willing to donate correct? Its a simple mind trick, to make the reader think you are buying the blog author a beer.

If your readers are loyal they would return to your site and soon turn into a sale. Providing information is what today's market is yearning for, not just randomly donating money to Buy a Beer.

I worked hard to write this post, so I will walk to my fridge to grab a bottle of water, its healthier than beer.

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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