As content creators, we are always looking for ways to monetise our content and one of these can include our readers or viewers supporting us directly by sending us money (I couldn’t think of a better way to word it!).
And that is where Buy Me a Coffee comes in as it allows our audience to buy us a coffee (you can replace coffee with anything you like such as Beer or Pizza) as a way of saying thank you to us, you can also create a membership which allows for recurring income but more on that later.
I’m going to try and get a little creative with this review and try an combine a tutorial into it as well! Talk about being ambitious.
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What Services Do Buy Me a Coffee Offer?
Buy Me a Coffee offer a couple of services:
1. One off Donations
I can’t think of a better word than donation, so that is what I am going to go with and these are one off payments that your supporters can make to you as way of saying thank you and this is the main thing I use Buy Me a Coffee for.
It is super easy for your supporters to make these payments as they just go onto your buy me a coffee homepage, and they choose how many coffee’s that they want to give you and the page has options to donate 1, 3 or 5 as standard along with an option to donate as many as they want.
When setting up your account, which I will cover a little bit more later in this post, you set the minimum amount that a person can donate (I’ve set mine at £3 as that is what a coffee usually costs in the UK!).
Once they chosen how many they want to donate, they enter their name and a message if they want to, click support and they will be taken through to PayPal or Stripe (whichever you have set up, I went for PayPal as it is quick and easy on both sides) to complete the payment.
Very quick and easy for you supporters and this is the service I mainly use Buy Me a Coffee for.
The second option is memberships, which is becoming a very popular way for creators to start making a recurring income every month.
Memberships allow you share exclusive content to your audience but unfortunately as of writing this review, they don’t allow for video uploads directly on to the Buy Me a Coffee platform, so your exclusive content will be limited to written posts or images but they are planning on adding a podcast features soon which will allow you to add audio files.
Now it is up to you whether you do create exclusive content or not but it generally helps as a selling point when trying to convince people to give you their hard earned cash every month.
Extras is a pretty cool feature as it is basically your own little ecommerce store, where you can sell things like:
Some people also use this for physical products but I would argue that a proper ecommerce store such as Shopify would be a better option for doing this.
But being able to sell things directly to your audience via an easy to use interface could provide you with some extra income every month.
Buy Me a Coffee Fees
So you can do quite a bit with Buy Me a Coffee but what do you pay for the privilege?
Well Buy Me a Coffee are very upfront with their fees and they are basic and simple to understand:
This means on a £3 donation using PayPal, you walk away with around £2.46 but there aren’t any monthly fees for using Buy Me a Coffee and I think these fees are pretty reasonable for the services they provide as Buy Me a Coffee only take 15p, with the rest going to PayPal.
You can choose to have it so that the person making the payment pays the fee on top of what they were already going to give, I think this is a bit cheeky, especially as they are willingly giving you their money, so I choose to pay the fee out of what I receive.
How Do You Get Paid?
The money is deposited straight into your PayPal or Stripe account and with PayPal, it is up to you when you want to transfer it to your bank account, with Stripe it depends on the pay out schedule you have set up in your account, whether it is daily or weekly.
How Easy is it to Set up?
One of the things that I really liked was how easy it was to get up and running with Buy Me a Coffee as signing up is a case of:
- Click sign up and you can either use your Google, Apple, Facebook or Twitter accounts but I opted for the traditional email and password.
- You then choose the URL for your page, this is max 15 characters and mine is buymeacoffee.com/themoneysmith
- You then need to verify your email address, you will be sent a code via email that you need to enter on the buy me a coffee site
- Once verified, you need to choose a payment method with PayPal and Stripe both being options, to connect them simply click the connect button and follow the instructions on screen
- Once you have connected your gateway, you can then start setting up your page
Sorry I don’t have any images of the steps above but it has been a year or so since I signed up.
The main sections that you want to get set up on your page are:
- Your Page Name
- Your Header Image
- Profile Picture
- Features Image
- About Me Section
This allows you to brand your page so that it fits with the rest of your creator brand, you can also add links to your website, YouTube channel and social media profiles as well, so that people can check that it is actually you.
You can also change it from Buy Me a Coffee to anything that you want and you could be very creative with this, especially if you have some kind of inside joke going on with your audience.
Now I can’t go into detail about what it is like to use for memberships or extras as I only use Buy Me a Coffee for one of donations, but for what I use it for, it has been very easy to use and has worked perfectly.
You can also interact with your supporters by replying to their donations, even if it is just to say thank you.
Using Buy Me a Coffee
Now it is up to you how you choose to use Buy Me a Coffee and promote it to your audience.
One of the most simple ways is just pasting your link into places like your YouTube description and mentioning it in your video (works surprisingly well!).
You can also add a button to your website, which is what I have done on themoneysmith.co.uk (it is on the homepage and sidebar) and this can be done simply creating the button in your buy me a coffee account (go to dashboard and scroll down integrations and click on website buttons to get the following popup).
This will provide you with some code that you can just copy and paste into your website (any area where you can add HTML or PHP code).
Buy me a coffee also offer a few integrations, including a WordPress plugin, which works but I preferred copying the code and pasting it into a widget. They also have integrations with Discord, Stream Alert and Zapier.
Overall, Buy Me a Coffee is very simple to use and although it can be easy to forget where some things are in the dashboard (like how to create a new button).
Conclusion, is Buy Me a Coffee any Good?
I have been using Buy Me a Coffee for about a year now on my website and also for YouTube and it has been awesome.
Now, as I have said, I only use it for the one off donations but it has worked flawlessly, the only time I have logged into the dashboard is to respond to comments that people have left with their donations, no other need to come back as it just works.
But even if you are coming back regularly, the dashboard is super easy to navigate and use along with being well laid out.
If you are looking for a way to potentially take donations directly from your audience, I would recommend checking out Buy Me a Coffee and if you do want to sign up, it would be awesome if you went through my link buymeacoffee.com/?via=themoneysmith (you know, one creator helping out another 😉).