Donations Welcomed?

by Scott Nichols

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and so I’ve finally built up the courage to come out and ask what people think about the idea. I’m thinking of adding a donate button to articles I post on this blog.

I know, donate buttons are taboo, and from what I’ve heard in the past this is doubly true for professional freelance writers. But I wonder if that taboo is breaking down as sites continue to close and ad-blocker cuts into the funds the still-running sites can allocate to a freelance budget.

I created Gamerly Musings with the subtitle “where failed pitches go to shine.” The idea was that this blog would afford me an outlet to still post articles and features that other outlets had turned down. However, I have not been using it that way very often. One of the reasons is that there are only so many hours in the day, and I am a fairly slow/methodical writer, so I prioritize my time for articles that will help sustain me financially, which this site doesn’t do.

Adding a donate button to articles I post here would give me the peace of mind to actually post more articles on Gamerly Musings. Maybe I did an interview with a developer that has a unique line of questioning, but my regular freelance sites already had someone interviewing them. Maybe I have a new perspective on a super popular game and editors don’t need more articles on that topic? Maybe it’s a new perspective on a less popular game that editors don’t think will bring in traffic so they turn down the pitch. I often hesitate to spend time transcribing or writing out pieces that my editors have already rejected. Even though this is my personal site, it is demoralizing to post pieces here when I’m devaluing my work.

Any articles that I put a donate button on would be original content, not re-published articles that I post elsewhere (not that I do much re-publishing here anyway). This would also be a donate button at the bottom of the article, not a payment requirement or a general donate button for the entire blog. Did you like something I wrote? Maybe you liked it enough that it’s worth a dollar? Maybe more? Maybe nothing at all? I would not expect to make very much from donations, it would more be an experiment to see if people are receptive to a per-article donation model.

But first, I want to hear from you. All of you. What would be the argument against adding a donate button? I see it as offering a way for people who like my original work to support it, and to get some (most likely minuscule)  compensation for work that wouldn’t otherwise be paid. I especially want to hear from other writers and editors, in a personal email if they don’t feel comfortable in the comments. I haven’t 100% decided that I will add a donation button, but I am leaning that way and would like some feedback as to whether that is something people would support or a terrible mistake.

Thank you,
Scott Nichols