How You Can Support This Site — And Why You Might Want To

Occasionally, I get an email or a comment from someone who wants to know if I accept donations by PayPal. The answer is wholeheartedly yes. My PayPal address is rae@uskeba.ca.ca. The reason that I don’t have a donate button is that PayPal prohibits the use of the donation button for this purpose.

I’m going to get into details later in this post about why I don’t feel uncomfortable accepting donations.

But first, there’s an easier way for you to support this blog that won’t cost you anything: shop on Amazon.com through my link. I won’t know what you’re buying and there is no additional cost to you. All you have to do is remember to access Amazon.com through my link each time you shop there and you will be making a difference to my bottom line. How easy is that?

How it works is that by using this link instead of the basic Amazon.com URL, I get up to a 6% commission on anything you buy, with no limit. It might not sound like much, but it adds up!

Right now, I get a cheque from Amazon about once every two months. They’re not huge, but they are sufficient to pay some bills, like internet and power on my property, the month they are received. That makes a difference in my life. This kind of passive income is what justifies the amount of time I spend blogging. There would be no A Life By Design if my Amazon earnings hadn’t started to creep up in the last couple of years because I wouldn’t be able to justify the time spent on it without those cheques.

So why might you want to support this blog and why do I not feel squirmy when a lovely reader sends me a donation?

Here are a few reasons, in no particular order:

The Cost

I have a self-hosted blog. I prefer going this route rather than using a site like Blogger because it does not leave me at the whim of the blog hoster and allows me to retain ownership of my blog content. I have complete freedom to design the site as I wish, not being locked into templates, and I can build my own traffic independent of the blog host.

The annual cost for me to run this website is about $200, or $16 a month. That’s easy to calculate. What’s not easy to calculate is the number of hours I put into the blog every month just to keep it running. I have to deal with security breaches, coding issues, spam comments, making  changes to improve the navigability of the site as it grows, and more. I haven’t yet spent as much time on this current blog as I did on Travels With Miranda, but the hours are increasing.

The Content

It takes time to write blog posts with informational content. Now, I have no illusions that this new blog provides anywhere near the resources that Travels With Miranda did, but it takes time to pull up maps, provide directions, write reviews, and more.

I would love to write more informational articles, especially while I’m in Mazatlán, but I have to remember that paid work needs to be my first priority. When I have income coming in that is directly related to the blog, it’s a lot easier to spend it on the blog.

My Help

To this day, I receive emails from blog readers wanting information about RVs, the RV lifestyle, setting up a business on the road, getting into transcription, temporarily importing a vehicle into Mexico, and more. I spend hours every week responding to these questions.

One thing that’s been made clear to me in my six years of blogging is that I provide  services and information people find valuable. I therefore do not feel uncomfortable accepting a financial reward for the effort or equate those donations to being charity. Blogging was never meant to be a hobby, but rather a way to supplement my income, and that is why I work so hard at it.

So again, the simple thing you can do to make it possible for me to keep blogging a priority in my life is simply to shop on Amazon.com through my link. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “How You Can Support This Site — And Why You Might Want To

  1. There are different definitions of self-hosting that people use.

    1) Self hosting is when a site owner forgoes buying storage space from a third-party host, and instead stores the files for their site on their own server.

    2) When you pay for storage (hosting) and import a platform for publishing, like WordPress.

    3) When you pay for storage (hosting) but write your own platform.

    Which one of these describes what you are doing when you say self-hosting? Or, if none of them fit what you are doing then I would be interested in what you have done.

    I have always referred to my site as being ‘home grown’. It started out on GeoCities and when Yahoo! closed that down I moved to their Small Business Hosting but I have done all the coding. I’m now in the process of migrating to Web Hosting Hub and cleaning up my web design while doing so (a LOT of link edits). So I guess I have always been a #3 but never thought about it.

    • The generally accepted term for what I do, #2, in the blogging world is self-hosted. I agree that it is a misnomer. I rent space from a web host and use WordPress as my content manager. I used to do a combination of #2 and #3, but HTML and CSS has changed too fast for me to be bothered to learn it. With WP, I’m up and running very quickly as soon as I settle on a theme (template) to use. I’m now familiar enough with PHP, the coding used for WP themes, to be able to do a lot of my own tweaks.

      I was on Geocities eons ago, but very quickly moved to buying my own domain names and renting web space.

      Fun fact: I used to get bonus credit in one of my college classes for submitting my papers as a web page (all manually coded back then)!

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