Bloggers are a daring bunch. Many can’t decide whether they host a non-profit or for-profit website, using both strategies in an effort to maximize their income. Problem is, by using both strategies simultaneously, they are more likely hurting their take-home.
For example, many bloggers place ads on their website. This is an obvious for-profit strategy that works well given high site traffic. But many of those same sites also solicit donations or contributions via PayPal for the sole purposes of “investing directly back into the site for hosting and maintenance purposes.” Wait a minute. You mean you can use your ad revenue to do that and then subtract your costs from revenue to get your profit? That’s like Google making money off their ads but still asking people for donations to help with their costs.
Here’s an idea bloggers, pick one. Either go the kottke.org route and ask for donations only (non-profit), or go the ad route (for-profit) and make money that way. It doesn’t work both ways, and you’re only fooling yourself if you believe individuals can’t read between the lines.