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Accepting the Blogger’s Social Responsibility

This is a guest post by Bryan Cassidy of Endless Bucket List.

On a daily basis we bloggers are bombarded posts about so-called unique methods of making money, getting new advertisement opportunities, and how to increase revenue streams. It becomes so deeply ingrained in our minds that the end goal, if we care about monetizing our blog, is to become the next millionaire blogger. For some of us, blogging is our job so we truly need the revenue. But based on the inherent characteristic that bloggers enjoy helping each other, shouldn’t we bloggers have a social responsibility to give back to society?

Darren mentions the five “Cs” of blogging include content, community, points of connection, cash, and contributing something of value to the world and the blogosphere. As blogging allows us to easily share ideas and connect with individuals around the world, we shouldn’t be relying on corporations and philanthropists to help those in need.

Proactive or passive?

Bloggers can be classified in two groups when it comes to giving back to society: we’re either proactive or passive. A proactive blogger will more than likely actively assist charities by offering direct assistance. An example would be Darren’s travels in Tanzania with a charity to assist with a project and capture the story.

A passive blogger is more likely to place a widget on their blog sidebar, enabling a reader to navigate to a third-party site to make a donation if they feel inclined.

It truly doesn’t matter what group you fall into, as both provide human or monetary resources to a specific cause. I personally feel that bloggers should try to move into the proactive group, as the conversion rate for a charity or non-profit button will most likely be lower than what you can achieve by proactively giving back to society.

Six ways you can give back, starting today

I’m not talking about posting helpful information on a blog as being your gift to society. I personally can’t recall anyone in world history who has mentioned helpful information that has changed society without specific action by someone else.

What I’m talking about here is donating monetary resources to a charity in desperate need, donating your own time to personally help a charity, donating technical skills to help promote a charity, or helping educate those who cannot attend a place of learning.

While ideas and information may spur innovation to help in the long run, sometimes direct contribution can be the better solution for immediate impact. Here are a few ideas on how you can start to give back on your blog;

1. Donate a percentage of revenue (e.g. affiliate revenue, ebook sales, etc.) to a specific cause.
2. Place a widget or PayPal button on your blog.
3. Partner with other bloggers for a specific purposes (e.g. PassportsWithPurpose).
4. Organize a specific day to meet with your readers to participate in a community service project.
5. Find charities in your local community that need help advertising, and use your technical abilities to help build a blog for them.
6. Start a scholarship for your community to help pay education costs for under-privileged children.

Finding a correlation between your niche and a charity

Now don’t get me wrong: I personally feel that a donation to any charity, even if it doesn’t directly tie to your blog, is a good thing for society. But we are taught to keep our blog ideas tied tightly together, and a blogger should be able to look at the overall mission of their blog and identify a possible opportunity to “pay it forward” to society. Once you start looking, it’s not difficult to find a cause that aligns with your blog’s niche. Here are a few examples.

A couple that blog about renovating their house at Young House Love donate surplus children’s toys and clothes to Goodwill and almost every piece of furniture, lighting, cabinetry, door, window, and fan to the Habitat For Humanity ReStore.

Matador Network, an international travel magazine blog, is a member of the 1% Of The Planet charity, which asks its members to donate 1% of their sales revenue to the natural environment.

My own site, where my partner and I blog about our bucket list journey and inspire others to start their own list, donates a percentage of affiliate revenue to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Can my actions make a difference?

It’s a fair question. We can feel that our individual actions cannot move an obstacle. Just like any other animal on this planet, our strength comes in large groups. We bloggers have done this before by uniting together after the devastating Haiti earthquakes in January 2010 and asking readers to donate to international charities.

But don’t be tricked into thinking that change can only be brought by massive groups, our individual actions carry weight too. The well-known butterfly effect theory states that, “…a small action can have large effects elsewhere.” When we, as individuals, give back to society, we are essentially throwing a pebble into a large calm lake, causing a ripple that will be felt on the opposite shore. Those ripples are the good deeds that we’ve passed back to society, and which will ultimately have an effect on someone less fortunate.

What are the benefits?

  • You’ll enjoy the great satisfaction of returning a favor to society.
  • You may build trust with new readers and a strong foundation with existing readers by showing your personal effort to pay it forward.
  • Your blog may experience a boost of traffic from other blogs or media coverage.

So now I challenge you: how can or does your blog contribute back to society?

Bryan Cassidy runs Endless Bucket List with his soon-to-be-wife Lauren, a blog that captures their stories on accomplishing the joint bucket list items and inspiring readers to start their own bucket list. You can subscribe to their RSS feed.

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Comments

  1. Jia Jun says:

    Indeed I will do so, contribute back to the society when I achieve something. :D
    After all, we are all interrelated with each other in the society.
    The great thing about blogging also about the interaction between author and readers from all around the world. :D

    • Lee Fecteau says:

      I agree. It is remarkable what bloggers can do when they put their mind to it! It’s all about “doing to others what you would have done to you…”

  2. zoja says:

    I like idea, I put banner of red cross on my blog… this can be one way of social responsabilty :)

  3. This is a very encouraging post and something that I believe all bloggers should do as well. The post was also excellently written, I kept asking questions about it and they were already written about later on in the article which is exactly how it should be.

  4. Papa Echa says:

    yeah I think u’re right, with blog we can each other that may need our help

  5. Akos says:

    Nice and inspiring post. When taking my blog to the next level of success, I always motivate myself with money. But I have to say not that kind of money, I mean money that will go to charity. It’s a great feeling to help others and that’s my goal.

  6. This was an amazing post and really great. Giving just a little back to someone else can help you grow in so many more ways than you can think of.

  7. I’ve been trying to become a “millionnaire blogger” for such a long time.

    Unfortunately it hasnt worked yet, too many “get rich quick” pipe dreams.

    I have read several articles telling me the best way is to offer something back.

    Writing expert content seems to be key.

    Thanks for the informative post.

  8. Michelle says:

    I loved seeing this post on ProBlogger! I actually just published a list of 25 missions for the next two & a half years (before my 25th birthday) and one of them is raise $10,000 for charity, which I plan on doing with the help of my blog. I do feel like we, who may have worked hard to get where we’re at but still have some amount of luck and privilege behind us (most of us are from developed nations, don’t have to worry about starving or finding clean water, etc.), should give back to others. I’m glad to see other bloggers promoting the idea. :) Great post & a wonderful thing to read! Thank you, Bryan!

    • Thanks Michelle! We have an item on our bucket list to donate $1,000 to a charity. I’ve been toying with the idea of combining a few of my bucket list items and do something like hiking Kilimanjaro and raising money for the American Heart Association, or something like that…

      Keep up on tackling those “25 missions” and good luck with #11, I think I’d go crazy after a few minutes trying to do that. Haha.

  9. It’s really refreshing to see someone posting about something other than making money for themselves. Good on you! Cheers!

  10. Michael says:

    I like the idea of bloggers giving back. Blogging seems to be all about, me, me, me. And charity is a chance to show that it’s about something more and comes with a chance to give back. I’ve got a military influenced blog and I focus a lot of time on military issues and help out with a lot of military charities. It’s great to know that people are doing the same things in their own niches.

  11. Roger Carr says:

    When made a part of the overall strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) not only can be effective at making a difference, but it can also help the bottom line. This is a great post to show that there are several reasons for bloggers to do the same.

  12. Hi Bryan,
    A couple of notes:

    Over the years I have enjoyed presenting at conferences for zero or very little financial gain just to help out people who have little income and no really good ideas about how to take care of themselves. I have actually expanded my reach by offering information on my website. I believe educational sites can be of real help.

    You mention about raising money for charity. Most charities are looking more for help than money even if it is only one hour a month. I set a goal once to donate time to charity instead of donating money and that worked out nicely since I have not always had any income.

    I took a look at your site. It sure is a trend to create bucket lists. I am all for the motivation of planning great life events. I never created a bucket list but I am blessed to have traveled to dozens of countries, hiked in the Himalayas and much more.

    Enjoy a wonderful life with your lady,

    David

  13. Mary Speller says:

    Brian, I have been giving this whole matter a lot of thought lately, as making a difference to those in most need has always been very important to me, both time wise and financially. I see so much abundance, but so many people are still lacking the absolute basics, and I would like to help to right that.

    I will certainly be sharing your article, as I start my own online campaign and share ideas with others.

  14. Great post. I remembered what my mom used to tell me back then, “always share something to others with what you get”. I think this post says it all. Thanks, Bryan.

  15. Thanks for the tips. I donate my diaper cakes for charity and also donate a percent of income each year from my business, but that is about the extent of it. :)