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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Amazon Honor System

Last month, I had lunch with a business friend and subscriber to Increase Your Reach. During our enjoyable little get together, she mentioned how much information she takes away from IYR each month and that it was too bad I had not found a way to monetize it - in other words, make any kind of profit from the time investment. Although I am certain I will seek my fortune elsewhere and keep this blog and newsletter free, it did get me thinking about what forms of micro payments were possible on the web these days.

It was during that investigation that I came across the Amazon Honor System. It's not new -- I just never saw the button on the bottom of the Amazon web site before! Of course, Pay Pal is also an option for gathering micro payments for online content. But I really liked Amazon because 1) it was simple to set up 2) piggy backed on the existing Amazon customer base and 3) provided a mechanism for digital downloads as well as micro payments.

That said, there were definite points to consider. The fact that it is riding on means that your visitors, if they have ever visited Amazon prior, will be greeted on your site with a message that includes thier name - which might freak them out! Another issue is that they are anonymous to you - good for the donor, possibly a negative to the content provider. I like that - I think that people should be allowed to donate anonymously if they want to.

The Amazon Honor System will work if you want to sell digital content, images, or audio files - and there are not any sign up fees, only $0.30 plus 2.9% of the total transaction amount. The person making a payment is not charged and payments can be as small as a $1.00 per transaction.

Just for the heck of it, I created a graphic and voluntary donation button for the blog. Knowing just one person thought my efforts were valuable enough to donate to, I had to, I'm sure you understand.

Operators are standing by. LOL.