How to Add Payments to Your Blog
by Sorin Despot
Hey there, fellow blogger. I am writing this article to shed some much-needed light on the topic of payment processing for blogs. Also, I will be pointing out those few, yet important things you need to consider before opting for a payment service provider ( PSP) for your blog. To be upfront about it, the process is not that difficult, but finding the best features and getting a great deal on your payment processing services can be somewhat tricky.
In any case – I cannot stress this enough – creating and pursuing a realistic business plan is the first significant step toward getting that low processing rate that will allow you to pocket a more substanstial portion of your revenue. Ultimately, muscling a precise assessment of your particular requirements, in line with your production, distribution and financial projections, will benefit you greatly, well beyond the costs of your payment processing services.
We will tackle more in-depth aspects of digital business in other articles. For now, let’s focus on a couple of the whys and the hows of payment processing for blogs. Why would you even need to set up a payment page, and how exactly can you do it?
Let’s Get the Basics Right
There are lots of ways to make money blogging, but not all of them will require you to set up a dedicated payment solution. In fact, most available income streams do not entail it. To learn more about the ways you can make money blogging, check out this evergreen article on problogger.com. It tidily places blogging income streams into eight major categories:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Recurring Revenue
- Promoting Offline Business
- “Alternative” Income Streams (Donation, Syndication, Selling Blogs)
Not all of the listed income streams entail the need to set up a payment page. So, if you’re taking in capital through advertising, affiliate marketing, offline events, promoting offline businesses, or through rare one-time-only sales, you might not need to set up a payment page. For these sort of income streams, you can always get paid through direct transfer or some other payment method.
However, if you intend to opt for any of the income streams listed below, a bank account or a standard PayPal account will not do the trick. For these types of income streams, you will want to open an official merchant account:
- Online events – webinars, workshops
- Digital content – eBooks, courses, reports, printables
- Digital services – freelancing, consulting, design, copywriting
- Software solutions – applications, plugins and downloadable software
- Physical products – books, merchandise
Regardless of the blogging platform you are using, setting up a payment page should be relatively easy. Basically, you contact the payment service provider of your choice, they hook you up with an online merchant account, and they help you install the payment gateway required to accept credit cards.
The payment solution can be implemented through a hosted payment page, or an iFrame, and should encompass the ability to create payment links, which can be easily embedded in HTML. Either way, implementation is usually as simple as dropping a few lines of code into your blog. It's that easy.
Moreover, if you are using WordPress, all you need to do is install the WooCommerce plugin and choose the payment service provider you prefer. Check out Twispay's point-and-click payment module for WooCommerce:
To sum up, the installation process isn't the problematic part. It's as simple as following a few straightforward steps. On the other hand, making sure the PSP meets all your requirements and getting the best possible deal may turn out to be a bit trickier.
What Features to Look for in a PSP for Your Blog?
Adding payments to your blog is seemingly a straightforward endeavour. The client opts for one of your products/services on your blog, they proceed to checkout, enter their card details, hit the "Purchase" button, and that’s pretty much it, right? The client gets the stuff; you get the money. What could you possibly want more from a PSP?!
Well, if you are going to get the full spectrum of functionality and freedom a PSP can offer, here are a few things you might be interested in for your blog:
- Recurring payments – Point-and-click service subscriptions, coupled with timely, clear communication with your customers, will do wonders for your retention rates.
- One-click payments – Instant purchases, with no need to re-enter card details, will please your returning customers and boost your conversion rates.
- "Payment request" feature – This is perfect for consulting businesses and any other highly personalised product or service, since the prices may vary from one client to the next.
- 24/7 fraud monitoring – Make sure your PSP is PCI DSS compliant and that fraud becomes a virtual impossibility on your blog.
- Customizable checkout – Your payment page should be flexible enough to allow for minute customisations, from your logo, your brand colours, to UX details and continuous conversion rate optimisation (CRO).
- A powerful transaction dashboard – If you are going to do this right, you need a complete, up-to-date overview of all your essential performance indicators.
Twispay is ready and fully licensed to offer these features and much more to European blogging enthusiasts and ecommerce entrepreneurs. Moreover, unlike many PSPs out there, Twispay will not charge you extra for them.
However, there is a set of criteria you and your blog need to meet, in order to be eligible for a Twispay merchant account.
What Does a PSP Look for in a Potential Client?
Every payment service provider in the world will put merchants into a couple of categories. You can either be a low-risk merchant, benefiting from decidedly lower fees, or a high-risk merchant, having to support relatively higher prices and, in some cases, an extra dash of regulatory pressure. This risk assessment almost exclusively looks into fraud and chargeback potential.
You can check out our article on the topic of high-risk merchants, but, simply put, the PSP needs to make sure that the payment gateway will not be used in fraudulent ways and that your customers will not trigger many chargebacks since the costs of managing these chargebacks are quite high.
All in all, there is one huge indicator of a great online business, that will usually reassure PSPs that your blog is worth it: truthfulness in advertising and business communication.
Providers scrutinise what you claim your products or services will do for the customer. Based on your claims, they may feel you promise more than you can deliver and this will cause a much higher instance of chargebacks. Keep your claims in check and make sure your messages get across to your customers.
Let's Wrap Up!
When running a blog business, one of the best solutions to consider is to maintain a relationship with a payment service provider that understands and explicitly addresses the challenges of the current digital business landscape. Twispay will help you identify potential threats and opportunities, fight excessive chargebacks, and assist with optimisations on a daily basis.