A great number of blog readers over the last few months – years, actually – have suggested a one time donation button where people of limited resources or patience can contribute to the blog in any amount they wish as often as they like, or as infrequently.
Here it is, a new Donate Button at the bottom of every blog post.
This does not replace the voluntary payment program where people can contribute small amounts of money monthly, it is for those people who can't contribute regularly but wish to contribute when they can, or in small amounts, and for those who just don't want to contribute that often.
You can donate any amount at any time using Paypal or or major credit cards. The first donation – $15 – came in instantly, and the sender was grateful for this option. The payments are one time only.
FD said she loves the new button, she was the first to use it and she thanked me for it and for the message I wrote thanking her.
"The one time donation button on each post is great, quick and convenient, " she wrote. "P.S. If the donation could have fully reflected how deeply I enjoy everything on your blog, especially your honesty, there would have been more zeros, lol.)
A nice note to get, thanks FD.
My blog, going on ten years old, has nearly four million visitors a year now. It is a full-time job for me, along with my books.
It is expensive to maintain, the maintenance fees and updates are costly and so is my photography.
I will need some new equipment shortly, and hope to repair a broken lens.
All of my photos are free, to be used in any way you wish – I don't bookmark or copyright them – and if you see a photo you like and are using or printing out, the donation button is a quick and inexpensive way to show your appreciation for my work. I suppose it can be an impulse button, I love impulse buttons.
The voluntary payment program has been more helpful than you might imagine, and I will be honest, I could not sustain a blog at this level of quality and production without it. I think in the coming years the blog may be more important and relevant and helpful than ever. I hope so, and plan to make it so.
On the voluntary payment program, people can give $75 a year, paid annually or in small installments. They can also contribute $5 or $10 a month. Lots of people are in transition, and lots of people are struggling, so I thought the "donate" button at the bottom of each post would make it easy for people who have a lot of demands on their money, as so many of us do.
As always, no financial information of any kind is stored on my website or server, I have no access to your money or accounts, I cannot authorize or cancel payments for your own protection, only you can do that through your own account or through Paypal or your credit card company. Paypal seems popular for people who are in a hurry.
For those who don't care to use the Internet, you can also send a payment or donation to Bedlam Farm, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. I love getting your notes and letters, they are especially touching and personal, and also fun when money comes out (money is not necessary in order to write me, I love your letters.)
For those who can't or don't wish to contribute at all, you are welcome, the blog is free. It costs nothing to subscribe. Just type in your e-mail and the blog will be delivered daily, the blog will always be free, I appreciate your loyalty and will not ever forget it. The subscription has nothing to do with whether you support the blog financially or not.
I earn my living as a book writer, but as many of you know, publishing has changed drastically and royalties and advances have shrunk dramatically. I work every day on the blog, and I work hard. It is always changing. These payments are the new revenue source for writers willing to write online. I am all for change. My life is creative and exciting.
The blog is the account of my life as a writer and someone with a farm, and of my life with Maria and the animals here. I promised to be open about my life and I am. I will always be honest. Sometimes you will agree and sometimes not, that is fine with me, and I hope it is fine with you. Because that will not change. All kinds of people are welcome and safe here, including those who voted differently from me or who disagree with me. I have never understood the point of reading someone I never disagree with. Why bother?
This is not and will not ever be a political blog but as my life evolves, I share it, wherever it goes. And I feel strongly about some issues – immigration. I do not practice rage or hysteria, I have many friends and readers on both sides of things, I wish to keep it that way.
I abhor argument and hostility online, I ban it as often as soon as it appears. My blog is a monologue, not a dialogue, and I do not permit comments there, but the blog does feed onto Facebook – Jon Katz there – and civil comments of agreement and disagreement are welcome there.
As you know, I am undertaking some new directions – helping new refugees to America and their children, the good people at the Mansion. And keeping my focus on the animals and my life on the farm.
These initiatives have generated a tremendous response, and they also take a great deal of time and energy, and sometimes, money. Your donations and voluntary payments make all the difference, and they matter.The blog could not survive without them, and while it took me a long time, I appreciate being paid for my work. The blog is a work in progress, I will never stop trying to make it better.
My idea for the new writer's life is called macro-payments – lots of people giving small amounts of money. We're getting there. A very small percentage of my blog readers contribute at all, so there is great room for growth.
Thanks for considering the new donation program – one-time payments in any amount, as often as you like. Or as infrequently. You are totally in control. I have a good feeling about it.
Small payments – $5, $10, $15, $25 matter. Thanks.