So, you’ve made it. You’re one of the few people who not only followed through on the dream of blogging, but found a way to get paid for doing it. Your content must be amazing if it’s so good that people are willing to take money out of their pocket and put it into yours just for access to your creation.
But your product is digital; how are you going to receive these payments you’ve worked so hard to get? If you’re not accepting online payments and processing credit cards through your blog, you should be. Here are a few reasons why.
When you receive a check in the mail, the person sending it — by necessity — knows your address. Read some of the comments on your blog and ask yourself if the place where you live is information you want to disseminate to the masses.
An online transaction goes through a third party (like PayPal) that keeps private information private — for both you and the person making the payment.
Snail Mail Is Silly
The post office is slow and getting slower — and more expensive and less reliable — every year. An envelope can take a week to get to you and can even get lost in the mail.
You’re asking your clients and customers to buy a stamp and write a check; you’re wasting paper and making your invoicing much harder. If you accept payments electronically, not only do you receive payments immediately, but you save paper, and the transactions can be linked directly to your bookkeeping software.
You’re a Pro — Don’t Bill Like an Amateur
If you’re getting paid for your work, you are — by definition — a professional. An unsophisticated billing system that demands the mailing of a check looks bush league and detracts from the image you’ve worked so hard to build.
You’re a blogger! You live in the digital world. You know who writes checks? Grandma, when it’s your birthday. If you can’t figure out how to make it easy to pay you, you’re begging the question of why anyone should be paying you at all.
In This Day and Age, There’s No Excuse
Virtually anyone can set up a PayPal account, which serves as a bridge between you and your customers. They safely and securely plug in their financial information, and you do likewise with your bank’s data. They don’t have to give their private information over to you, and you don’t have to deal directly with them. It’s safe, it’s cheap, and it’s so easy that there’s literally no excuse for you not to accept plastic.
Take That to the Bank — Just Not Literally
If you’re in line at your local bank branch — or in a drive-thru, trying to keep your foot on the brake while stuffing paper into a vacuum-tube capsule — you know what you’re not doing? Blogging.
You’re on your own, living the dream, blogging for a living. Time management is one of your most important skills. Writing your account number onto a deposit slip and hoping the teller gives you a lollipop for waiting patiently is great — if you’re killing time because your boss sent you to the bank to do his deposits. You don’t have a boss, and you don’t have time for the bank.
You’re so close to being a real professional. You’ve taken the leap, and you should be proud. Accepting online payments is easy and adds to your blog’s credibility and prestige while saving you time and hassle. Why accept payments online? I say, Why not?
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles.