We’re crowdfunding on @Seedrs. This is a great opportunity to be part of our journey. Please check it out at https://www.seedrs.com/startups/tibdit. You can invest anything from £10 and become a tibdit shareholder. We can send you a button, or if you invest £200, we can send you a limited edition t-shirt. For £100, you can reclaim 50% tax relief under SEIS.
Come with us, and show your support that this will work. We believe it.
tibdit, the quick and easy way to make tiny payments/donations for online content, at the click of a button. Think of it as a ‘like’ with a little bit of money behind it. If you know anyone (blogger, journalist, charity etc) that might benefit from this revenue stream, please let them and us know. [email protected].
We’re listing on Seedrs crowdfunding platform on Wednesday 15th April.
We really hope you want to get involved; even £10 would be great: think of it like a lottery ticket with much better odds. For £50+, we’ll send you a tibdit t-shirt if you’d like one and £100+, you can reclaim 50% tax relief under SEIS. We hope you decide to join us on our epic journey. https://www.seedrs.com/
On 20th & 21st March, we had the opportunity to sponsor the WordCamp event in London’s Metropolitan University. For anyone who is not too familiar with WordPress, it’s one the most popular Open Source Content Management Systems on the internet; you can find some very interesting facts about it here in addition to its very own Wikipedia page.
Over 600 attendees came to the event; now in its 10th year of running. What started out as a group of volunteers & WordPress enthusiasts in San Francisco back in 2006 has now spread to a global phenomenon. There are currently 48 different countries all now hosting their own annual Wordcamp event spanning from North America to Beijing, China. Over the last 10 years WordPress as a platform has grown to host 19% of the entire Internet and continues to accelerate onwards thanks to its recent support for mobile devices.
This was only our 2nd outing in sponsoring blog events so we weren’t too sure what to expect: we knew WordCamp was best known for its Open Source approach, so we weren’t surprised to see a lot of attendees were working with non profit organisationss & charities.
The photo below shows Justin, Rosemin and Michael manning our stand; talking about our product, answering questions and giving out notepads and badges.
So many active User Groups who attended this year in London
We had a chance to talk to a lot of people about micropayments; many were unhappy with the inability to make such small payments due to transaction costs, and were keen to know about alternative our payment channel.
We could now really see people providing online content were more open to adopting Bitcoin, despite its volatility and often too-negative portrayal in the media. People were starting to realise how the technology could really benefit them. Bitcoin is Open Source like WordPress, so we think this is a match made in heaven.
We look forward to future events.
With our crowdfunding on @Seedrs imminent, we want people who are interested in our product to be part of our journey, and our company.
We also want to reach out to publishers, bloggers, charities and anyone who wants to monetise their content with small micropayments/donations; even to complement an existing income stream.
So if you’re interested in our @micropayment / microdonation platform for yourself, or know someone who might be interested, let us (and them) know. The more people who know about, and start using our button, the more places tibs can be used. Pocket change for the internet is on its way for all of us: spread the word.
A short while ago we briefly looked at the results of recent research done by a UK based affiliate marketing firm on the income of bloggers who were actively making an income over a 2 year period. You can read about the results here.
We discovered there are 4 key strategies being used by today’s bloggers to make money. Some will work better with certain themed blogs; like fashion & beauty, versus food-related or film review sites. See below for more info, and if you have any feedback do let us know!
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Pay Per Click is a term generally used to describe selling advertising space on your site and claim revenue for every click each ad attracts; by far the most popular advertising method since 2009. Bloggers used to love this because they know they are guaranteed the money from just the click itself and not the sales that result from it, unlike Affiliate Marketing. The concept has now saturated the internet and many are looking at alternatives.
PPC ads is only profitable depending on the amount of traffic your website gets. Only a small percentage of people will click on these ads, so to earn a lot of money from them you will need a lot of traffic. The most commonly used PPC service is Google Adsense, but there are others on the market, thanks to a lot of competition.
Pros: Reasonably simple to implement/administer thanks to vendors making services easy to use. Hordes of WordPress plugins offering lots of competing services/concepts. Lots of choice and customisation available.
Cons: Considered a “dated” strategy. Requires large amounts of traffic before an income is realised. Adverts can annoy readers: can now be blocked thanks to browser extensions. Only suitable for some blogs and not all (according to the research). It’s always advised to use PPC with caution on any site.
tibdit are by far the fastest and easiest way to get started to receive micropayments/donations for your blog or any other website you have. No sign up process, no fees, no bank details, no complex customisations or tweaking of settings. Get a Bitcoin address and put it into a tibdit link and away you go. Receive payments from readers in a few clicks via our WordPress plug-in, or you can receive your tibs from a simple URL as part of a “tib-per-article page”, or to access another recipe from your food blog for e.g. (click here to see some other working examples).
If you’re not sure about Bitcoin or need any help with questions or getting set up, we will guide you every step of the way. We will have a downloadable FAQ around how to get a Bitcoin address in 45 seconds soon. If you have any questions in the meantime please get in touch.
Pros: As a recipient (tibber) there are no sign up forms or fees (unlike PayPal or other providers). It simplifies registering to make micropayments/donations for your readers/fans (tibbees) and solves a lot of the “mental costs” which have hampered previous attempts. See here for the reasoning why tibdit works the way it does.
Cons: “WHAT?!? …Bitcoin, Seriously?!” – Bitcoin has been plagued with bad press recently mainly about its uses as opposed to the underlying technology. It’s the cheapest and fastest payment network in the world today and has many advantages over other solutions like PayPal and Znak It. Sure its volatile, but you can cash out of Bitcoin straight away once you have enough tibs and not hold onto them if you don’t want too. Again get in touch if you have any questions, we would be happy to answer them or offer advice and what best to do with your newly acquired Bitcoin.
Affiliate Marketing is most commonly used to describe adding links to certain related keywords from your site to a 3rd party supplier that pay you an agreed commission on every sale. For example, if you have a food & cooking website, you could research affiliate programs that contain products related to recipes or kitchen equipment. Perhaps someone wants to advertise their new cookware range; you could write a blog entry ‘What’s the best way to make great home baked cookies?’ and at the end you could promote an affiliated product. That’s just one example and if done right this method is a great way to monetize your blog. Many other methods can be used as to offer affiliate marketing, but often a review of a product can work just as well as any other.
With this type of advertising, you can get a commission with every sale that resulted from your recommendation. You refer viewers from your site via recommendations, banner ads, text link ads, etc., which takes them to the product page. If they buy, then you get a commission. This is often worked out on a percentage of the sale price, maybe 10-20%, sometimes more (some products offer 75% commission) depending on the individual product itself.
Pros: Has seen most success with fashion & beauty bloggers, lots of competition has provided varying services in a large market place. Lots of WordPress plug ins available with lots of customisation. Not as intrusive for readers as PPC advertising.
Cons: Can require a lot of administration/customisation and support from 3rd parties (such as the affiliate marketing firms themselves). Again requires lots of traffic before a feasible income is realised. Commissions can vary a lot, have to shop around to get best value. Can cost money to implement depending on tools used.
Does it exactly what it is says on the tin and probably one of the most controversial methods to monetise your blog. Just like the other methods requires a lot of traffic in order to be successful. This is in theory a practical method but it hasn’t seen nowhere near the same success for bloggers as Pay Per Click or Affiliate Marketing and only really works if you have a strong dedicated following. According to some research only 0.5% of readers will actually go through a paywall. Also requires very care full administration and complex set up with heavy reliance on the likes of PayPal, so this method is going to have the most fees versus others.
Pros: Best suited for music,video or niche content rather than just a blog (e.g. an ebook download or complimentary service offered). WordPress plugins are available to take a lot of the headache away from set up but this comes at a cost.
Cons: requires huge traffic, as only a tiny percent of your readers will sign up. Requires complex set up/customisation and use of other tools. Existing paywall systems have caused too much friction for readers – hence low success rate.
Next time we will list the top rated WordPress Plug-ins for setting up all of the above methods that you can use to earn money. We will include a full guide on how you can get a Bitcoin address in 45 seconds, so you can start receiving micropayments immediately and use it in the arsenal of tools you think work best for your blog.
We’re live for card payments now; a very soft launch, but you can buy tibs, and spend them, if you want to show your appreciation to iamsatoshi.com, for great interviews and quality reporting and haggerstontimes for news and content for techies, investors, start-ups and entrepreneurs with a focus on the silicon roundabout.
If you know people you’d like to give a @micropayment / donation to, let them know about tibdit, or tell us and we’ll get in touch.
We’re preparing for a funding round with @Seedrs, so watch out and please invest, even £10 is appreciated.
We’re sponsoring at @Wordcamp 2015 on 21st & 22nd March and have tibdit T-Shirts to give away if you can show you’ve added our button/url to your website and received 5 tibs. Come and talk to us.
After sponsoring a bloggers meetup in London back in January, we discovered a lot of frustration about how difficult it is in general, for people to make money from blogging. We found most bloggers we spoke to were a little reluctant to go down the advertising route; adding banners and ads all across the content, for some bloggers, just didn’t seem like an option. We totally understand this sentiment; the internet is already generally awash with ubiquitous advertising and pop-ups that most readers just find annoying and end up ignoring. In fact most internet browsers now have a small arsenal of extensions and plug-ins available that automatically block any advertising from loading on any web page, making the concept of selling advertising space or “pay-per-click” schemes practically redundant.
This puts many bloggers right into a black hole of a catch 22 situation. How do you make money from your hard work without pushing away your readers with intrusive advertising?
That’s not to say of course that advertising doesn’t work; but it’s definitely not for everyone. Many bloggers think they could be “selling out” and end up alienating some readers. Other bloggers however, such as fashion and food writers, do have success with advertising (see research below). It entirely depends on your audience, and it’s unfortunately a little subjective, as opposed to being a definitive formula that works each and every time.
So we here at @tibdit thought that this situation was just not acceptable! After being confronted with a room full of frustrated London bloggers, we thought we would go out and do some homework to see what options bloggers do have currently; to see what works and what doesn’t. In addition to the tibdit model, there are other complimentary options:-
Affiliate Marketing firm Optimus Performance Marketing recently did a study on UK bloggers who are making a regular second income from blogging. We thought the results were interesting. As far as we could tell, not all the results were made open to the public, so we summarised the interesting points below.
This research was a good starting point to see what appears to be the most successful, and more specifically, to allow us to consider what tools are in use here to help those highest earners get paid.
Many companies like Web-fluential and Nuff Nang exist to connect bloggers with brands in a mutually beneficial relationship, allowing bloggers to get paid and brands to connect with readers. Other popular platforms out there e.g. WordPress, have libraries of plug-ins dedicated to helping bloggers monetise their posts. We thought we would investigate further and come up with the best rated plug-ins, tools and sites, currently on the market, for helping you make money from your blog.
Over the next few weeks, we will list the top WordPress plug-ins for monetising your content and publish a “Bloggers Monetisation Pack” that you can take away with you to help plan your conquest for world domination via your blog. Think of it as an a-la-carte menu sheet that you can pick your tools and starters from. It will list the top current and up-coming plug-ins, for each type of strategy for making money; whether that be affiliate marketing, microdonations, pay-per-click advertising, or that killer photo app that professionally publishes pictures of your mother-in-law’s 50 year old recipe for Beef Wellington, to go on your British food and fine cooking blog. Stay tuned for more updates!
This morning, team tibdit were saddened to hear of the passing of David Carr ….
There are a handful of names from both sides of the micropayments-for-news debate that stand out, and have been significant influences on tibdit’s business model. David Carr was one of those names. We share his passion to find a solution to this intransigent problem, and have often used quotes from him in our presentations. Our thoughts are with his family, his colleagues at the NY Times and all those in places around the globe trying to build the workable solution that he knew had to be realised.
One of his best-known and widely discussed contributions from 2009 can be found here.
This week we’ve had a lot of progress, and meet-ups. The week started with London Bloggers Meet-up, which didn’t go as well as we’d hoped, (due to a previous presenter with a really bad, discriminatory joke), but we turned it around and still got some interest.
We then integrated fully with our fiat payment processor so actually went ‘live’ on Wednesday very quietly (woo hoo!!).
On Thursday we were presenting our demo at @DontPitchMeBro. It was a good evening, but not without a few amusing hitches:
Just after I’d been tutting because someone’s phone rang during a presentation . . my phone rang (nobody calls me in the evening apart from my sister and I wasn’t expecting a call!!!), so the whole room was serenaded with the Foo Fighters; The Pretender (oops). After fumbling in my bag and switching the offending phone off, I made some apologetic noises and tried to fade into the background.
When we got around to our @micropayments demo, it was going really well until the critical point where we were showing how to tib and buy tibs, and then, as is the way, the internet connection was lost, and even the contingency failed (oh dear). Justin recovered the situation and made a great job of explaining what we should be seeing. After a couple of minutes, the screen sprang to life but our time was up. Afterwards, there were a number of enthusiastic people wanting to talk to Justin, so it was all good and we’ve made some great contacts.
The video is now available on YouTube for anyone interested at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlyChI54e40&feature=em-upload_owner
So, to the offending phone call: I had already informed my lovely sister, @KarenClark that we had an event that evening, but she had called to see how we got on, just a little too early! Fortunately, the untimely call reminded Justin to also put his phone on silent (which he forgot to change and missed his alarm next morning ). All in all, a quite amusing situation if a little off-putting to others. I apologise to anyone affected and will remember in future to ensure my phone is on silent, and I’ve told Karen when I’ll be busy (not that she listens . . . .
Best wishes from team tibdit
Recently, a @Reddit user started his own music tipping website called @sfx.io, which enables bitcoin tipping for artists in a similar format of rival @SoundCloud. It’s great to see this emerging industry, as it was only a matter of time before people started to experiment with @bitcoin donations, especially for music artists.
You can send bitcoin via a QR Code, containing the bitcoin address. You then open your wallet and send the bitcoin to that address; which can be done with a phone app like @Blockchain’s for example, but there are several others out there and many of them are free to sign up or have no fees to use.
But is this truly “frictionless”?
Many @Micropayment providers have come & gone over the last 2 decades; all have failed to crack the market in an effective way. Bitcoin, despite its volatility, still remains the easiest and cheapest method to send very small amounts of money quickly and efficiently. But is this enough to make Micropayments work?
Many observers within the industry have identified the previous problems with trying to implement Micropayments (@Clay Shirky has a great article here about why Micropayments have failed to go mainstream). The problem is not just based in the cost of transferring small amounts of money in today’s financial system, but it also lies in the anxiety from the decision-making process that people go through. Making the reader confront the decision to pay via some method or process, and if so how much is acceptable? …am I getting “fair value” at 10p? All this immediately brings “friction” into the equation for deciding to make a simple small payment right in the moment. The current conversion rate of readers visiting a site and then signing up via a paywall is around 0.5%. This is quite a shocking statistic, so what can be done to help solve this?
@tibdit’s approach to solve this problem is to allow users to set the value of their “tibs” beforehand, at a value that they don’t have to think twice about. This takes the psychological barriers out of the equation altogether by sending a pre-determined token of value without being confronted with a price. We believe this will create a far more seamless experience, via 2 simple clicks.
The potential that Micropayments can bring is truly huge, the market has estimated to be around $15 billion Euros. The solution that will bring the most success will be the one that provides almost as close to frictionless as possible. Tell us what you think? Check out some of our use cases here and tell us your thoughts.
Until next Time