Tips Jars, I’m curious….

Have you ever seen this on a blog before?  A “tips jar” where you can donate to the site owner to help offset the costs involved with keeping their site running.

I’m just curious what you think when you see one.  At first, I have to say – I found this kind of….ballsy.  But that was before I blogged.  Now that I have been doing it awhile, I can see the merit of having something like that.  As most bloggers (esp in the paper world) aren’t selling anything, there is quite a big of upkeep that goes into keeping an up to date blog running.  Besides the cost of wherever you host your blog (unless you do a free one like blogspot), that’s the cost of your time.  This is probably the biggest one to me.  Especially things like product reviews or tutorials – they are really time consuming to put up.

Anyway, what’s your initial reaction when you see something like this on a blog?  What are your thoughts about the idea as a whole?  No, I’m not putting one up…..I was just wondering what other people thought when they saw something like that.

42 comments to Tips Jars, I’m curious….

  • Kim

    Haven’t seen this one yet…But my initial reaction is like yours. I don’t even like tip jars at my local McDonalds. Yes, it takes time to blog but that’s a choice you make. It certainly doesn’t cost much, if anything, and if it’s too expensive then don’t blog. It’s not anyone else’s responsibility to help me pay my bills, especially people I don’t even really know. If we came on hard times and I was paying something for my blog, then the blog – being a luxury item – would have to go. If it was a matter of helping a stranger with, for example, medical expenses for some kind of tragedy then I wouldn’t be opposed but just to keep a blog up and running…not so much. Hope I don’t sound too cranky about this… 🙂 Thanks for polling for thoughts…

  • Jean

    to me that is like tipping WalMart for being open 24 hours a day. It is a choice but hey I only read a couple of bloggers 🙂

  • I find it off-putting, at least try to garner some cash through advertising or referral links (although I think you have to walk a fine line there). For me, blogging is a hobby and like any of my hobbies I expect no one else to finance it 🙂

  • barb

    First, I love your work and blog and enjoy reading it everyday. However, I agree with the above posters and consider blogging a luxury both for the blogger and bloggee. It is our choice to use our money to have one and our choice to use our time to read them. If either becomes scarce, it is our responsibility to quit.

    Have a great day.

  • I blog because I love to, these are supplies I would have used anyways so how could i possibly justify asking for a donation to keep doing it? I too agree blogging is a choice not a need so no I don’t think tip jars are appropriate. Just my 2 cents.

  • Rachel H.

    I don’t see anything wrong with it. If you feel like tipping, go ahead; if not, don’t. It’s kind of like when NPR (National Public Radio) and PBS do their fund raising–it’s a time to financially support something you get to enjoy for free. There are costs to keep blogs interesting & running. I’d much rather see a tip jar than a thousand advertisements popping up on the screen.

  • I have to agree with Kelly on this one. We are blogging because we love to and offering blog candy and such because we want to share with our blogging friends. I don’t get offended when I see one and I guess it’s to each his own. I personally won’t add one to my blog – my 2 cents lol 🙂

  • Phyllis

    My reaction was, and still is, the same as yours. It seems a bit cheeky.

    But I do understand the value of time, especially for tutorials. I guess if people need payment they should set up a website and charge for specific items.

    I think SU demos do them to attract sales and to educate their customers, because they can do so much more on a blog then they can on the SU website. I wonder if the bloggers who are on design teams etc who have links to the stamp company or links to web site store get a little something for that. I am sure there is a way to count the click throughs and how many result in sales.

    My 2 cents.

  • Julie C.

    Oh wow, I have not seen one or if I have it hasn’t caught my attention. I don’t read a whole lot of blogs because that could be a full time job in itself!! Plus I’ve found that not a lot of bloggers keep their blog updated. Your blog ranks #1 with me because you put so much of yourself into it and you update it regularly and I really enjoy it. I’m like the others, I guess, blogging is a hobby like anything else and I think the blog owner should be more creative in generating income, if that is the purpose of their blog, than a tip jar. I think it is more than fine for blog owners to have a store, ribbon or other product share, items for sale, etc. Sending your lots of {{{hugs}}} for all the personal things you do to make us love ya more and more!!

  • Amy

    I’ve kind of got mixed feelings about it. We do this because we love to do this. We can stop at any point in time. No one hired us to do this job, so the pay thing is sort of wierd to me. But, I totally understand that it’s SUCH a commitment and so much work to keep up a blog. But really, what would you spend the money on? I’m sure it amounts to only pennies (I could be totally wrong about that!). I know some people use the money for blog candy, and that’s a good use for the money. This is only my 2 cents, for what it’s worth. I think if you want it, go for it. I don’t look down on anyone that does it. It’s probably just not for me at this juncture! Good luck–hope you get some good answers on this one!


  • I definitely had the same first impressions you did. And I still don’t really agree with it. I know I personally would never ask for anyone to “tip” me for my ramblings. I know comments make me smile so I try to do that in return. Show my appreciation through comments and RAKs and shout outs on my own blog. I guess if I am really inspired by a site I would contact the blogger personally or if it’s a site like Splitcoast have a pay area. Or members only content or something. Anyway much appreciation to you for all you do (even though I know you weren’t fishing for comments )

  • I personally don’t like it. I find it ironic that the sites that do have the tip jars {the ones that I read at least} the blogger usually gushes about how much they love stamping and love “sharing” their passion with everyone else. A tip jar to me is like you said…ballsy. They aren’t blogging to share they are blogging for self promotion. No one is forcing them to blog, do product reviews or tutorials so if it is too much then why do something that is a burden in your life. Just my two cents.

  • AmandaC

    Ok don’t you get free things for being on a design team and part of the reason you blog is to advertise the product. I think the tip idea is crazy because you are kind of being paid for time with the free product!

  • My personal opinion, the only “tips” given on a blog should be the ones the blogger is giving to their readers — free of charge. That said, if someone is of the mind to “tip” for the privilege of reading someone’s blog, go for it. But it seems to me as if there are so many blogs out there these days that are just of excellent calliber that we don’t really need to pay to read someone’s blog.

  • Hmmmm, I have to agree with most of the other posters. If the cost is too much, then go to a free service like Blogspot. I find Blogspot totally acceptable for the limited amount of time I really want to spend updating a Blog. However, my Blog is primarily for my customers and to give demonstratable ideas to others. In addition, there are too many Blogs out there (and more cropping up every day) for me to pay/tip for the “service” of reading someone’s Blog.


  • Desiree

    Just wondering but can you leave tips like “Dont eat yellow snow” because it seems as if they are just asking us to finance their habits.. And man if that is the case I do not even have a blog but I could set a jar out just to see if my husband wants to drop some change in there or the neighbors for that matter.. Just try my Laundry RULE.. Whatever happens to be in your pockets during laundry time, I get to keep! It can prove to be profitable!

  • One simply word “TACKY”

  • I guess I have many feelings on the subject. It seems that blogging has become so popular and we are depending on bloggers to produce great quality reading material. So I could understand how you for instance, may feel that you need to post regularly to keep readers happy.
    So I guess should readers demand your blog be updated daily with tutorials and more, than I could see why you would want to be paid.

    On the other hand, I agree with Pyllis, should you expect to be paid for your tutorials, you need to set up a website and charge. (I’m saying you as in the blogger) I think that you should be sharing for that sake of sharing, and should you not have the time or money to commit, then you need to step back and realize that.


    Thanks Em!!

  • Mo Moss

    I do tip. I have learned a lot from these people and I am glad to give them a little tip to help the cause and I do appreciate there work.

  • I am not a fan of the tip jar. I don’t really like it anywhere…Why should I tip at Subway for them making a sandwich I am paying for…why at Starbucks for a coffee I am paying (A LOT) for them to make….?
    As far as a blog, I understand it takes time to keep it updated and add extras like tutorials and gallery’s, but that is a choice the blogger makes. I am sure there are many who very well may pay to have a card artist show step by step how to do something, I am honestly not sure I would. I appreciate bloggers sharing their talents, but not under a stipulation of payment. Just my 2 cents…howbeit poorly worded

  • I have seen the tip jar on all sorts of sites-even the free ones. MOst of the crafitng ones are selling something-they are demos for SU, TAC, CTMH CM and others and not only do you get their blog but you get their business emails too. There are several places to have a free blog with no costs involved-and some that actually pay you to host ads. My son gets a small amount for hosting ads about hiking etc. I keep my blog clean because I can. TypePad may have more bells and whistles but it was the choice of bloggers to go there and pay for it. I have free space alloted me by my IP but wont use it because I will lose everything if I change providers. Thanks to Google, we have a wonderful choice for blogging, email and other services-free! (their maps are kinda sucky tho)

    I was getting a blog from one woman for two years and every other entry was how expensive it was bla bla bla. But she was selling digital art rather expensive and using a free provider. I signed off when it got to be begging. Don’t do what you dont enjoy and cannot afford.

  • Jessica

    I’ve seen them and they don’t bother me at all. Unless the blogger is actively asking for money- well then readers can choose to tip or not.

  • Well I understand that there is an expense in having it there, but I read so many blogs that I couldn’t tip them all. Also, I have the expense of my own website where I share pictures and tutoritals.
    I think I’d rather tip though than have it turn to a world where no one shared ideas, patterns, recipes, pictures unless one paid.

  • I guess if you are really getting something out of it and its worth it to you and you have the money then tip. I always tip at resturants.

  • Emmy

    I think they are kind of lame and pretty much ignore them. I think blogging is a choice and for the most part it’s a self promotion thing for the blogger (and I don’t mean that in a bad way). I think a popular or well thought of blog can lead paper scrappers to more DT work and such….

  • Evelyn

    I view tipping as optional, so it doesn’t bother me to see a “tip jar” on someone’s blog. I have never left a tip on a blog site, but I suppose if I got something that I felt was “brilliant” or saved me in a pinch, I might consider sending a tip. I sure would hate to see blogging turn into a “fee for service” activity, or see people stop sharing their creativity because they aren’t being “tipped”.

  • I know of one tip jar…
    The site was about to shut down (the blogger agreed with the earlier poster that blogging was a luxury and would be one of the first things to get cut in the budget). Some of the readers of the site requested the tip jar so that they could take over the cost of keeping the site up.

    At that time I was okay with the tip jar on that site (I don’t like them overall).

    Now, the life event that was going to cause the site to get shut down did not happen. AND the tip jar is still there.

    Now, I am not so okay with that tip jar. 🙂

  • Hmmmm.. I’m on the fence with this one. Personally for me, it’s not my thing. But I’m not offended if someone else does. This would fall under the category of different strokes for different folks.

    In the big non blogging world… I think that if your in a service job (waiter/ waitress, hair stylist) where tipping is part of your salary.. “The bigger the better”.. if you did a good service. If however, you are paid a salary that does not include tipping (ie: mail counter worker at the PO, the people working the deli or meat counters in your local market, those people who you pay when you buy your gas (not full service stations.. are there even any of these anymore?) NO WAY.. your not getting my money for doing your job. If that’s the case, when was the last time anyone sat down and wrote out a check and sent it to your credit card company and wrote tip in the memo line. “Thanks for doing an awesome job, this is for you!”.

  • Lori

    I agree with you Emily. I browse a few blogs when I have time but have not seen a tip jar. My first thought when I read your question, it is kind of like seeing someone on a street corner with a sign begging for money.

  • First of all, I do not have a blog but I read lots of them. I have seen the “tip jar” on many. I’ve never contributed to the tip jar mainly because I financially cannot. My love of stamping and paper crafting has been an expense that my husband has tolerated because he knows how much I love it, but we are in need of cutting back and I’m afraid I’m just going to have to make due with all that I have right now and be happy that I can still do the craft that I love. I really don’t like the idea of it but I can understand why someone would do it. I agree with many of you though that it is a choice to do the blog. If they cannot financially do it, then they shouldn’t.
    My two cents.

  • I’ve seen them…never tipped…thought about it; but agree with most – to each their own!!

  • Ha–Leave it to Kimberly to leave the comment that nearly made me spit up! I have to say I agree with her and many of the others who don’t like tip jars on blogs. Whether it costs a person to blog or not, blogging is a luxury and a choice, so I feel it’s inappropriate to ask others to subsidize the cost of creative luxury.

  • Cathy B

    I have seen them and just never thought about it much. but I will say, I enjoy this blog so much, I would pay to keep seeing this. I get so much out of your blog it is like a class in stamping for me….and my business. You are my favorite. cathy

  • At first I thought they were “nervy”, but now when I see a tip jar I just think to myself, “I wish I had the nerve to add a tip jar to my blog” LOL. I wonder if anyone actually puts tips in those tip jars.

  • Wanda

    I believe it is your choice to have the blog and you should be responsible for it. There are a lot of blogs out there and most of them are not asking for tips to support theirs. Blogs don’t cost anything, Blogspot doesn’t anyway. I agree it is your time and your materials. But it’s your choice. You don’t HAVE to blog. Your cards you make for the blog can be donated and used as a tax write-off. But as far as asking the public to help support you blog/habit I have to say no. The blogs that I’ve seen with this on are by bloggers who get a lot of free merchandise to test supplies and/or design. They have a lot more benefits than most of the other bloggers out there. Again I say that it is your choice to have a blog. It’s your choice on how you spend your time and you shouldn’t be asking the public to support you. When your blog is no longer up and running another one will take it’s place. You are right, it is a “Hot Button Topic!”

  • Karen Pounds

    Amy Rysavy has one (Prairie Paper & Ink) and I have donated to it. I don’t mind donating since it takes you girls time and effort to put these beautiful cards and projects on your blogs! Keep up the great work!

  • Wow.. I agree with the many of the others.. quite nervy.. I must admit, I find it off-putting and tend to stay away from bloggers that feel they are “worthy” of tips! Although if they show a little skin maybe dh will tip them (the pig!!).. 😉

  • Krystie

    I’m all for it. There is one blog that I frequent. She has very useful info, a beautiful gallery, and tons of industry insights. I definitely benefit from her site and was happy to leave a tip recently. I don’t understand anyone would care, it’s optional, as it going to their blog to begin with.

  • I have sen tip jars on many websites and a few blogs. I have contributed to a website through paypal if they were putting up valuable information that helps animals ( I am a BIG animal advocate ) or if they have a lot of free ware that I download. Now free ware is very time consuming so I can see asking for help with that.

    I do not however tip a blog for crafts, stamping and so on. Sorry, but I just won’t. A blogger can easily place Google Adsense or other programs that almost every company offers called “incentive programs” or “associate programs” where all a visitor has to do is click on an add on the page and the blogger gets paid. It’s not much work at all. Amazon has one and many other craft/digi scrap/rubber stamping companies do this.

  • I don’t even know how much to tip. What is standard? What is acceptable? There is only one blog I would tip and that would be Julie Ebersole’s –

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