Thursday, May 19, 2005

Why the fuss over PayPal?

Some of you might have wondered why I made such a fuss over PayPal last week. Sure it's nice, but can't I live without it?

Not this week, I couldn't.

See I used it this week to make money. I have another website - several actually - but one that gets quite a lot of traffic. I've had it up and running for three years now. It's not really something I can sell, so I was stumped as to how I could make money from it. I decided in the end, one of the best ways to make money from the page was to do it the old fashioned way.

I asked for it.

The site provides a niche service that many people take advantage of. I'm hesitant to name the site here as I don't really wish for the two to be connected at this time. I want to keep them separate. There's a lot of research involved in keeping up the other site and people are appreciative of it. In the beginning I would get random donations here and there from people, but I decided to make it a concentrated effort. I used to work at a PBS TV station, so I know a little about running a fund raiser. I decided to use similar principles and run two fund raisers a year for my site. A major one in the fall, and a smaller one in the spring. Two years ago, I had my first fall drive, set a goal of $3500 and made it. Last May I set a goal of $1500 and made it. Last November, the goal was $5000, again it was made, and this week I'm again going for $1500. As of this moment, I'm at about $1100 with a day to go.

My point during the drive is to talk about the time and effort I put into the site. (2-3 hours each day) There are also considerable expenses involved in maintaining it. I recently had to double my bandwidth capacity with my hosting company. People are appreciative, and many drop in $10, $25, $50, some even $100. I have them send it via PayPal. Sure, PP skims a little off the top, but for ease of use it can't be topped. I've got the Debit Card from them, and it's easy to move money into my banking account.

There are other ways I make a little money from the site. Google Adsense, Affiliation and some banner ads, but it's nothing compared to the Fund drives I put together. These are the main source of revenue from the web for me. I use the money to pre-pay hosting and design, upgrade equipment and to justify the time I spend working on the site. I've been able to pay some debt down with it as well.

So there you...if you wondered why I was making the fuss over PayPal...there's your answer.


Cap said...

paypal, as always. is not really your pal.

I use it too, but I really wish I'll just opt for a merchant account, but currently its just not practical.

eventually I'll switch once the volume dictates it, but the switch will also require me to give some assurance to buyers that their CC info is handled properly and securely.

using paypal to buy isnt much of an issue. using paypal to accept large amounts of money for personal income or small business? not really a great idea. if you're big enough and (one of the bigger partners) I'm sure they'll treat you better.. but till this day, they seem to still give more hassles than necessary to people.

the complains on and doesnt seem to be reducing one bit. even after that wacky class action (which I forgot to fill out to my petty $50. argh)

but like u said, there's no easier method.

AKG said...

I am really curious about how people make money on the internet. I would love to hear more about your fundraising approach.