Getting behind a cause and supporting a charity that is relevant to your blog really helps to connect with and build relationships with the people who visit it. Many companies of all sizes associate themselves with charities because it is good PR and it is often newsworthy. People have always thrown benefit concerts and fundraisers and everyone who is involved helps out because they care, but also because they know that other people care. Supporting a worthy cause helps you identify with those people who care. This has been an effective off-advertising promotional tactic used by businesses for decades.
Associating with charitable organizations is no secret to bloggers. There are plenty of bloggers who donate some or even all of their earnings to charities and don’t mind getting a little recognition for it. But for some this just isn’t possible. Many bloggers need the income they are generating. There are also a lot of bloggers who prefer not to monetize their blog for various reasons. Social Vibe addresses both of these issues.
SocialVibe is a widget which up until now was available for people to use on their Facebook pages and other social networks to promote and earn money for the charity of their choice. In just under a year they have raised over half a million dollars for various charities through their widgets on people’s profiles. Now they have teamed up with Automattic and created a Social Vibe Widget for WordPress. The widget is already available on WP.com, and if you have a self-hosted WordPress blog you can download the widget from the plugins directory.
In the WordPress widget area, setting up your widget is not much different than it is on the Social Vibe website. The same three step process of choosing a cause, a sponsor and then design is applied.But they’ve managed to cram the whole procedure of the site into a small neatly layed out three tabbed form.
If you aren’t already familiar with Social Vibe, here is a bit on how it works. With SocialVibe the money generated for your charity doesn’t come from you or your visitors. When your visitors view and interact with your content brand sponsors will donate money to your charity. The content might be a video or some artwork for your readers to rate. You choose the sponsor and the charity and your visitors get to make a difference just by being there. Your visitors will see a widget with live updates indicating how much your blog has done for a charity as they interact with the site.
i.e. This blog has provided 63 cups of clean drinking water for people in need.
This kind of widget has tremendous potential. If you can find a charitable organization that readers of your blog could strongly identify with it could have an amazing effect on your traffic and readership. Once a visitor realizes that their actions are funding something they care about they will likely want to come back. They may even share it with their friends having a potentially viral effect on your site.
For those of you who don’t have a blog on WordPress.com or a self-hosted WordPress, you can still get an HTML code from SocialVibe.com to put the widget into your other blogs and profiles.