Flattr is a micropayment system that allows blog readers to make donations to a site, simply buy clicking on a button. This can be simpler for the user than deciding on each site how much to donate and having to carry out a PayPal transaction on each site. With Flattr, readers set a monthly budget which is spread over the sites that they click on.
I’ve explained the system at some length this morning in the Beyond Blogging Project, so here I will concentrate on how to install it on a WordPress site.
Before you start, you will need to set up an account on the Flattr website.
Flattr offers a range of buttons that can be placed on the sidebar of a site, but these only donate directly to the site itself. The power of Flattr lies in adding a button to each post using a plug-in, meaning that each post can be credited individually.
1. Once you have registered for a Flattr account, log into WordPress and click on “plug-ins” in the left-hand sidebar
2. Click on “Add New”
3. Enter “Flattr” and click on “Search Plugins”.
4. The Flattr plug-in should be at the top of the list.
5. Click on “Install Now”.
6. After the plug-in has been installed, click on “Activate Plug-in”
7. To configure the plug-in, click on the new “Flattr” area in the left-hand sidebar.
8. You now need to decide between “Basic” and “Advanced” modes of the plug-in. For most people, basic will be sufficient and just requires your Flattr username.
The advanced setup allows the site to automatically submit new content to Flattr. But Flattr has some pretty strict rules on what sort of content you can submit, so I do not use this and either submit my content manually or let the first person who clicks on the button trigger it.
9. In “Post/Page” Buttons you can select the style of button, the default language for the posts, and decide whether to automatically add the buttons or to do this manually using PHP in the theme files.
10. In the “Advanced settings” you can add a Flattr button to your RSS feeds.
Once you have saved the settings, and either activated the buttons or added the relevant PHP code to your theme files, the Flattr buttons should appear under your posts and you can start earning money with it.
It is a good idea to explain Flattr on your site somewhere, so that the readers understand what it is all about and you encourage them to use it.
One last thought: it is probably good etiquette to disable Flattr on posts that either guest posts or are directly selling a product. The latest version at the time of writing even allows each author on the blog to have their own Flattr account.