Don't soften anything. Go for the hard sell. I don't mean like the mean aggressive hard sell that you get from telemarketers or car salesmen where they make people uncomfortable and kind of imply that if you liked children, kittens, or being a good person, you wouldn't even wait until later to spend the money. Rather, consider it more like public radio doing their pledge drive every season. They don't slip that shit into a show that they're doing so that you barely notice if you're not paying attention. They end the show early, take a special moment, tell you that they REALLY need your help, and that they can't do it without you. It's not a guilt trip, but they don't mince words. Plus you get the earthquake survival pack.
I've done a lot of appeals posts. Some have been folded into existing articles with little more than a note at the end. Some have been very gentle and "If it wouldn't be too much trouble...." about the way they've asked. Some have been more like I'm doing a pledge drive.
And every single time, the ones that get the best reaction are those that are direct, forthright, and candid. You can make it fun. You can make it creative. But don't hide it inside of other content and don't soften the ask.
Here's an example
ALSO KNOWN AS ME DOING MY ACTUAL HARD SELL APPEALS POST FOR MAY.Hi everybody,
I just want to remind you all that except for a couple of newsletters that I put out as rewards for certain tiers of monthly support, everything I ever write will always be free online. I might offer some longer works all in one place (instead of a hundred separate posts) on an ereader for a dollar or two, and some print on demand books are coming, but the text will at least be available for free.
However I AM a working writer. I have rent to pay and groceries to buy just like everyone else, and the only way I'm able to do that is by generous contributions from all of you.
So please if you have enjoyed our mailboxes, craft essays, pop culture breakdowns, and want to see more great content, consider giving a donation that will help me keep the lights on around here and keep writing as much as I can.
Better yet, you could become an ongoing patron through PATREON. Not only does this level of support help me plan budgets with an income I can expect to stay steady from month to month and help me with those bills each month, but you also get access to reward tiers offering everything from newsletters to occasional selfies to early access articles and more.
We lost many patrons in the months around tax season. For the first time ever, my writing income went down two months in a row and hasn't recovered. I want to keep offering you this great content and not have to cannibalize posts to work side gigs, but I need your help to do that.
Even as little as a single dollar a month (just $12 a year) will help me more than you think and get you in on backchannel conversations and news updates. For $3 a month, you'll get our newsletter that talks about what's going on and future developments. And there are more tiers and more rewards you can check out at my Patreon site.
If you like Writing About Writing––as well as all the other places I generate content (from memes to proto-posts) like NOT Writing About Writing, my Facebook page and my own FB wall,––and you want to see us keep doing what we're doing, please consider at least a small donation.
And as always, these posts are not typically "barn burners" on their own, so if you will help me defeat social media algorithms by giving them a heart react or a comment (Gif party in the comment thread!) or even a share if you have a lot of friends who follow WAW (or maybe just like giving away money to cute writers), that would be wonderful.