Stripe or Paypal?
The Blog Marketing Tech Stack (Part 2)
In part 1 of our “tech stack” series (in the last issue of The Edge), we left off here:
So far, we’ve talked about the basic tools that I’ve discussed for a long time now. Every blog-based entrepreneur needs to have a way to do landing pages to drive leads and an email service provider to power their most important asset – their list.
I also introduced a couple new tools that I haven’t talked much about before. I introduced Elementor as a potential alternative to my long-recommended solution of Thrive Architect. And I said that I would change my recommendation from Aweber to ConvertKit. Of course, this doesn’t mean my years-long recommendation of Aweber is invalid. Aweber is still a great tool. But, I have to make revisions to my recommendations as tools change.
Now, let’s move to another level…
Money. Orders. Selling.
In other words, how do we actually process credit cards and make sales with this tech stack of our’s?
First off, in order to actually collect money, you’re going to need a Stripe account and a Paypal account. Stripe is my preferred method of accepting credit cards. It is also pretty easy to set up. Don’t let the geeky language on their homepage make you think that accepting Stripe is difficult. You’ll be putting a layer over top Stripe that takes care of all that.
Now, one may wonder…. do you need both Stripe and Paypal both? Ideally… yes. Here’s why…
When Paypal is set up correctly, people can pay you with a credit card. However, the way Paypal works, it makes it seem as if they need a Paypal account to pay you even though they don’t. In short, it can introduce friction and it may ward off potential sales. For this reason, I recommend having Stripe so that people can pay by credit card very easily.
Now, if you are using Stripe, do you need Paypal? I went for at least a year without accepting Paypal and the reason was because Paypal can be a little problematic when it comes to the way it handles recurring billing. Since the Blog Marketing Academy is primarily a membership site, that’s sort of a thing. 🙂 However, I kept getting people asking for it… and I finally relented and put it back. If I go and look at my own company transactions for the last 3 months, a full 46% of my transactions were processed through Paypal. Clearly, people know and use Paypal even if the option for credit card is right there for them.
Simply put, if you don’t accept Paypal, you’re losing sales. And on the flip side, if you ONLY accept Paypal, you’re losing sales. I recommend you accept both Paypal and traditional credit card through something like Stripe.
Our tech stack diagram will evolve and take shape as we add more pieces to the puzzle. Here’s where we are now…
Now, as I said above… your site won’t be interacting with either Stripe or Paypal directly. Wordpress isn’t designed for that kind of thing. So, you’re going to need a layer in there to serve as the “middleman” between your site and your order processing.
This brings us into the realm of shopping carts and/or membership site software.
Now, this is a big topic… and one that will extend into the next issue of The Edge as well.
It begins with the simple question of… what do you sell?
As you likely know already, the Blog Marketing Academy is a membership site. My business sells digital courses and training, primarily. Some of those courses can be purchased independently while others require a paid LAB membership. Regardless of how one pays for it, in the end it is a controlled access (behind a login) to certain sets of secured training material.
In essence, that’s all a membership site is. Many people make the mistake of assuming that a membership site is automatically about monthly, recurring billing. But, that isn’t a requirement at all. In essence, ANY form of secured access to content to paid customers is a membership site.
And as such, there are numerous Wordpress plug-ins out there that turn your site into an ecommerce machine set for selling content. Here’s a few of the notable ones…
My business runs on MemberMouse. In my research, I have found MemberMouse to be the most powerful Wordpress membership plug-in on the market. It works with a ton of outside software (great for assembling our stack), and it is the only plug-in I’ve seen that supports one-click upsells. These kind of one-time offers (OTOs) are important for maximizing revenue and most good shopping cart systems can do it. But, in terms of membership plug-ins, MemberMouse does it while others do not.
A close second would probably be MemberPress. If I weren’t using MemberMouse, I’d probably be using MemberPress. Digital Access Pass is powerful, but I thought the interface was clunky. S2 Member is attractive for some because it is free, but don’t expect it to rock your world. 🙂
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We’re going to end here for today… for the sake of brevity and not letting an issue of this newsletter get all unwieldy. 😉 I will end with this, however…
Don’t assume you now need to go out and install membership site software. This element of our tech stack is suitable for some situations, but not all.
In the next issue, we’ll continue our talk about the ecommerce portion of our stack. We’ll talk about some of the more traditional shopping cart options and some of the third-party options out there.
Once you’ve seen the various ways you can go, you can make the right decision for yourself and the direction you think you’ll be taking your business.
See ya next time.