Do you remember when Square was revolutionary? Now there are new companies getting in on the act every day, and choosing the best merchant for your wireless credit card machine involves asking yourself a few questions.
1. What Kind of Support Do I Get?
A good online payment merchant will have a real live human being available to take your call 24.7. A good merchant understands that you don’t have time to wait for an emailed support ticket to get resolved. You need a solution right that second. Any merchant worth your business will make that available to you.
2. What is the Fee Structure?
Every online and mobile payment merchant has a transaction fee. That’s how the merchant makes money. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to settle for super high fees. Look for a merchant with fees that won’t take too large a chunk out of your sales. Most of the best merchants charge fees in the 2-3% range.
3. What Do Other Sellers Think?
As with anything else, it is important to check out the reputation of any company you are thinking of partnering with—especially if that company is going to have anything to do with your money. Do the research and see what people think of each mobile merchant you’re thinking of using. Make sure that you look for independent reviews, through Google, CNet, etc. Do not rely solely upon testimonials offered through the merchant’s website.
4. What is the Size of Your Sales Force?
Are you going to be processing a lot of transactions, or are you a sole entity who is hoping to sell a few things here and there? The larger your sales force, the more robust a system you need to have in place. For example, a brick-and-mortar shop using the online payment merchant as its register system is going to have different needs than someone selling merchandise at a craft fair or sporadically through a website.
5. Will You Be Charged for the System Components?
Most of the time, the best payment processors will give you a card reader and other system periphery for free. They know they’ll make up the cost of the hardware in fees gained via your transactions. Sometimes, though, especially if your sales force is large and you need a large amount of equipment, you might be asked to pay a reasonable fee. Do not assume, though, that hefty equipment charges are normal. They aren’t.
6. What Kind of Payments Can You Accept?
As mobile and online payment processing technology advances, more and more types of payment are being accepted. Is almost all of your sales volume going to be purchased with a credit card? Do you want to be able to take checks as well? Do you want or need to be able to track your cash payments as well as card payments? Find the merchant system that allows you to easily take and track whatever payments make the most sense for you and what you are selling.
7. How Extensive Are the Merchant’s Analytics Reports?
You already know that being able to track your customers’ information is important. You need to track what people are buying, how much of it they are buying, and how often they are buying it. Is one product more popular in one part of the country than it is in another? Does one person buy everything you sell the moment you put it up? This is information that will help you not just track your money but make business, product, and marketing decisions. The better and more in-depth the analytics, the better.
Extra Bonus Tip: Make sure you choose a merchant whose interface is easy for you to use. You don’t want to get lost in the system while you’re trying to process a payment, do you? That just makes you look unprofessional!
Choosing a mobile or online payment processor is more involved than closing your eyes and pointing at a picture of a card reader. It should not, however, be an impossible decision to make. Weigh the pros and cons, figure out what you need, and pick the processor that best matches the two. Viola! You’re done!
Erin Steiner is a freelance writer who covers, among other things, a variety of small business- and internet-related topics such as how to find the best wireless credit card machine.
How to Develop Super Human Confidence in Your Blog
Baby steps, my Young Blogging Padawans.
New bloggers, baby step your way to being super human confident in your blog. Being wracked by doubt, with a little wild excitement mixed in, you cannot gain unreal confidence in your blog today. But slowly and steadily gaining clarity gives you the foundation upon which to become a highly successful blogger who feels bold, knowing your blog rocks.
I am about super human confident in my blog. I am developing the same level of confidence in my eBooks and courses, too. Why? Believing in my blog and premium offerings helps me to help more people and I also make more money too, which is neat, considering I live a worldly life.
Follow these tips.
1: Feel and Release Fears-Doubts Aligned with Your Blog
Before you become confident, you need to purge any lack of confidence. I know this feels bad but tis a necessary step to become super duper confident in your blog and in your premium offerings, too. Sit with doubts, those nasty traitors. Be with your fears about self, your writing ability and your blog presentation. Feel these unpleasant energies. Clear the energies. Proceed from a clearer, more confident, space. Confidence is borne of clearing a lack of confidence. Do messy energy work to become uber confident in your blog and in your blogging abilities.
2: Surround Yourself with Loving Bloggers
Loving, caring, compassionate bloggers see brilliance in you when you cannot seem to see it in yourself. Although all confidence issues flow inside-out, you need a network of supportive people around you who believe in you, versus being around haters or negative nellies. Never, ever, ever surround yourself with poverty conscious, failure conscious bloggers. Are you running a cyber charity? Are you a therapist? No! Negative people stuck in fear and failure throw negative cross currents into your being, shaking your already fragile confidence in your blog.
Hang with folks who believe in you and who believe in your blog. Pros share where and how you can improve but they always believe in someone who follows their dreams, and will instill that faith in you, and in your blog, too.
3: Write Your Butt Off and Publish Content Like the Dickens
Writing and publishing content is like breathing to me. I do not lose confidence in my ability to breathe because this is an automatic, auto-pilot, process. I just breathe without thinking about it. Ditto for writing and blogging. I wrote and blogged for 20,000 to 30,000 hours so now it is an automatic, easy process I have super human confidence in. I do not even think about it because I do it routinely, automatically, on a type of auto-pilot borne of making writing and blogging a habit.
If someone criticizes my blog, it is like someone criticizing my breathing; sounds weird, or funny, but it stirs me not, because I have equal confidence in each.
4: Do Energy Work
I do not play around; 3-4 hours of energy work daily allowed me to face, feel and release blog doubts, to become the clear, confident blogger I am today. Consider meditating, or doing yin yoga, or doing Kriya yoga, and power walking. Or do it all. I spend 3-4 hours doing each – collectively – daily, to expand my awareness so I can feel and clear doubts and so I can blog mainly from an abundant, generous, relaxed, detached vibe.
Be confident guys. Believe in your blog. Follow these 4 tips to succeed and to become super human confident in your blog.
Should You Search for New Blogging Niche Ideas?
Ask yourself that question and you will get an answer that best suits you.
I went with the blogging tips niche for people who want to circle the globe. But I did not go for this niche to be new, edgy or different. I had lived that life for many years. This made sense for me. I was being genuine, honest and as authentic as one can be. Perfect match. But if I chose a new niche from an energy solely of financial gain, being popular or some other fear-based driver, I would have fallen flat on my blogging face.
Why would you ask someone for new niche ideas? What is the energy or intent there? Do you want the fast track to success? Or are you in a creative space, wishing to do something different? I see searching for new blogging niches as being a waste of time considering the endless, established niches we already have at our disposal. Why waste time and energy searching for some niche if you have all the niches you need right before your cyber eyes? Toss in the fact that you need to research the niche inside-out if you have no prior knowledge and you invest a significant amount of time just to get the blog off of the ground. Makes no sense to me.
What do you love talking about? What is your biggest passion? Start there. Select that niche. You already have an ample supply of information in your noggin and the confidence to discuss the niche in clear, cogent fashion. Who cares if the niche is new or old? The blogging tips niche – my main niche – has been around for a few decades. Who cares? There is nothing new under the sun blogging-wise but thousands of new bloggers join our ranks daily. I also find that I seem to be converting people to blogging the more I persist in creating and connecting, keeping at this gig, being present, helping spread awareness about a pretty cool blogging niche, and, about a pretty cool way to help people and to free yourself.
Go with What You Know
When it comes to picking a blogging niche, go with what you know. Pick a niche inside of your blogging and knowledge wheelhouse because being armed with knowledge, experience, and a pulsating passion for discussing the niche makes you stand out from the blogging crowd in a major league way. I created this blogging course in under a day. Imagine that? 6 hours of recordings and oodles of blogging knowledge, packaged into a course that I created in under 24 hours. Imagine how much I needed to know about blogging and how confident and clear I had to be in myself, to ship in 24 hours? I go with what I know; sure doesn’t hurt me.
But when you pick a new blogging niche you have no knowledge of, it takes you 2 months to create and ship the course. Not good. There is the quick, and the dead, in the blogging world. We need be patient, persistent and generous to succeed online but in the same regard, adding years to your learning curve by deviating from what you know is a foolish blogging idea. Why? Go with what you know to prosper mightily over the long haul and to hit the ground running.
But Is It Worth the Time?
One of my favorite check up blogging activities involves asking if some blogging action is worth the time. Someone may ask me to do something to benefit them. Sometimes, I do it. But often, it is not worth the time I would put into the action. Why? My time is precious. All time is precious. Thinking how a specific action leverages your presence in a specific amount of time gives you clarity in making a decision.
Someone may ask me to guest post on a blog completely out of my niche. Is it worth the time? Almost always, nope. But even if I do it once I likely never do it again because I only have so much time daily to work with, and I cannot spend 1 second trying to connect with an audience who has zero interest in what I have to offer. Just my gig. I have too much to do daily, to do anything otherwise. The secret for any new blogger is to learn this time posture tip and to put it into action before your schedule gets filled with clients and speaking to customers and creating and connecting. New bloggers believe they possess all the time in the world but this ain’t true. New bloggers need be as ruthless with their time or else other people will trample all over their time.
Imagine if someone asks you to self-publish an eBook on an unknown platform because the person enjoys reading eBooks on the platform. Would it be worth the 3 hours it took to write and proofread and ship the eBook to put it on a platform for one person? Nope. Waste of time. But you would be surprised at how many new bloggers or struggling bloggers make this foolish decision, choosing to waste their time for one person with weird, exotic tastes. What WOULD be worth your time? Write the eBook, self-publish on Amazon and gain access to an audience of hundreds of millions of people. This is smart use of your time because 3 hours of work gives you access to millions of people. Do you see why I promote my Amazon eBooks all day long?
Speaking of, buy my eBook:
because this read melds perfectly with the topic of this blog post. We need turn down or release certain online partnerships that do not resonate with our blog, brand, schedule and overall energy. I released a few of these over the years because I was not resonant with the gig. Accepting out of a sense of guilt, or, loss of opportunity-money, would have completely wasted my time. I would have needed to own that one, big time, because if you say “yes” to an opportunity you do not vibe with, you waste time every split second you engage with the business partner, or, in the business opportunity itself.
Check your value filter. What do you most value? Before you do anything with your blog, ensure this activity aligns with your values. I value writing to help people, I value promoting my eBooks and I value promoting my course, too. Which is why you see me guest posting here and on a gazillion other blogs while publishing 5 or more posts to Blogging From Paradise these days. I spend time on what I value to help more folks, to succeed and to have fun enjoying the ride.
Do the same before you decide to engage in any blogging activity.
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