Friday, June 1, 2012

Google+; one year after

So, I was all in ecstasy about the launch of Google+ last year. The social network of my dreams, and a potential Facebook-killer had arrived. Not that I disliked Facebook that much, I just felt like it was time for a change. So I jumped the G+ wagon, and started fiddling away with the new universe of social engagement.

That lasted a couple of months. The involvement in G+ vanished on my part. I am not sure why, but I guess I never gained what I expected to gain from my G+ presence. Same goes for this blog really - offline projects became priorities, and I cut my online-time dramatically.

Now it's been a year, and I logged into G+ again for the first time a couple of days ago. My stream was noisy - in fact it was so noisy, that I decided to cut the number of people I follow from almost a 1,000 and down to only around 300. I am not looking into everyone of them, to see if they are actually using G+, and surprisingly enough (?) a whole bunch of them haven't been logged in for 7-11 months.

That tells me that a lot of people did what I did. They signed up, they engaged themselves in this new community and after a short time they quit it. I am still wondering why that is, but I guess that with very few reallife friends in there still, you only gain something from G+ if you are able to use the service in a commercial and/or professional way. Most people are not, as the active users in there are mainly technerds and photo enthusiasts.

Nevertheless, I'm back. Both here and on G+, and I'm planning to stay. A bunch of new projects are coming up, and I'll pay special attention to this little blog, hoping to gain a few more readers within the next couple of months. The goal is 200 listeners via feedburner, at least 100 followers on Facebook and at least 100 followers on my G+ page for the blog, once i get that going. I'll keep you posted as to how that works out.

Monetization of this blog is not yet a priority. I am thinking about completely removing the adsense ads on the blog, and will probably do so within the next couple of days. Iwas also considering moving the blog to another domain ( but as the whole idea in the first place was to prove that you can be succesful in blogging using free tools only, that wasn't really an option after all.

In the coming weeks I'll post a few interesting articles for you to read, and hopefully share and comment on. It's been a long time, and I look forward to start bloggin' away once again!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Paypal as only payment option - is that an option?

Indeed it is! Paypal is widely recognized as a secure way of payment, and with the possibility to pay for goods using the Paypal-gateway, without actually having a Paypal account, the service just got even more useful.

I live in Denmark, and here we have a local payment-card called "Dankort". It's similar to Visa's in it's function, but it was the first card to market in Denmark, and back in the 80s and 90s everybody had one. Hence the "Dankort"-sign is highly respected and has a lot of credibility within the Danish market. Local cards, such as the Dankort, are NOT supported by Paypal (at least not yet), and that can prove to be a serious shortcoming if you operate in a market where these cards are widely used.

If you sell to an International audience, most payments to your shop will probably be done via Visa or Mastercard, and Paypal supports both. In many markets, including the US, Paypal is just as trusted as any other provider of payment gateways - even eBay uses Paypal to handle it's payments between users.

Is it secure? I believe so! Sure, you can hack a Paypal account, but it's not a whole lot harder to hack your bank account. All payouts are checked by the Paypal staff, and in order to change your creditcard information etc. there are some really rough procedures to go through. I.e. Paypal withdraws one dollar from your bank account, and adds a X-digit note as payment reference. You then have to go back to the Paypal website and enter that code to verify your card. Pretty neat. The one dollar will be refunded, by the way!

To sum it all up:
If you target a Worldwide market, or if you operate in markets where Visa and Mastercard are the most common payment methods when shopping online, Paypal will be just fine. The number one benefit from starting out with Paypal is that it costs nothing. There are no monthly fees, no sign-up fees. They only charge you a little bit everytime you actually sell something. As a startup business you'll find that interesting.

Let me know what's your experience using Paypal for handling payments to your blog or webshop!