If you are already investing money into web hosting, domains and content for your blog, it makes sense to monetize your page so you can drive a return on your investment. Whether you want to set up a membership site, sell an eBook, offer an online course, or develop a storefront with products, knowing how to add payment options and tailor them to your audience is vital.
Digital payment options
There are now numerous digital transaction options available, so you should consider consumer preferences when deciding what to include at the point of sale on your blog. The North American Consumer Digital Payments Survey recently found that more than a third of millennials now use their smartphones to purchase products and services online, so if your blog is popular with younger audiences, offering mobile-optimized content with e-wallet options such as PayPal is essential.
Consumers in the US believe that trust is at the core of relationships with payment providers, and they expect you to provide a safe and secure transaction environment where their personal data is protected and fraud is safeguarded against, all while making it easy for them to complete their purchases. North American consumers generally prefer to pay with traditional card providers and alternative payment providers such as PayPal, but tech startups are now adding value through increased functionality and ease of use.
Making the payment process easy
Customers now expect a variety of options when paying online, so try to tailor the user experience to engage with the people that read your blog. It may be best to offer direct bank transfers from major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard and American Express, while also providing a PayPal option as a starting point. You should also allow your readers to check out as a guest instead of forcing them to create an account and sign up; this will remove an extra obstacle on their path to sending you their money.
It is important that your digital transactions dovetail with the branding of your blog, so make sure that the colors, fonts and design on this page mirror those found elsewhere on your blog. Fortunately, many online payment providers now allow you to customize the design of checkout pages, so it should be easy to integrate payments within your blog. Consider adopting a minimalist approach to design; customers are generally only willing to offer essential information. Adding a long list of fields can impact your chances of driving conversions effectively.
Safe and secure
Considering how important trust and security are to consumers, you’ll want to display your credentials with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) certificates and badges on the checkout page. SSL will ensure a customer’s credit card information is encrypted and that any connections are safe and secure. Meanwhile, complying with PCI SSC will show that you have met the required standards to store, transmit and process their data. Finally, make it easy for consumers to fix any errors in their payment details with short and informative error messages.
In the B2B sector, tech giants such as DocuSign are empowering enterprises with a digital infrastructure that eliminates paper-based processes entirely and manages all document-based transactions using the cloud. DocuSign chairman Keith Krach recently revealed that embracing digital allows companies to leverage tech such as Big Data and artificial intelligence, too. He said: “Speed of implementation and getting results is crucial to overcoming the cultural resistance to change during any type of transformation.”
WordPress case study
Your blog might not match the complexity of a larger enterprise’s digital platforms, but it is easy to see how going digital can benefit your website as well as your readers. WordPress continues to be one of the most popular open source systems for content creation, and it is now very easy to add payment options to these pages. For example, if you wanted to accept payments for ecommerce platform Stripe, you can select from several free plugins on WordPress and seamlessly integrate them into your blog.
The basic steps for adding payment plugins on WordPress are generally the same. First, you will need to access the WordPress dashboard, navigate to the Add Plugin page, search for a plugin, and select Install Now. Once downloaded and installed, you must then activate the plugin and integrate your account with the respective payment provider by adding account details. You can then get the API keys, copy them to your plugin settings page, and customize the checkout page to suit your requirements.
The idea of digital payments may seem daunting to the uninitiated, but it is now easier than ever before to add transaction options to a blog.