How do you add a PayPal button to your WordPress Blog? I first came across this question a few months ago, and it bedeviled me. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to add any arbitrary text, whether it was a pretty Amazon link or a PayPal link, to my blog.
What was the problem? My WordPress blog was not self-hosted, and I couldn’t add PayPal or any links to other websites to my sidebar area as a WordPress Blog. If you don’t know if your blog is self-hosted or not, chances are, it’s not, because becoming self-hosting requires signing up with BlueHost or HostGator, among other options.
I strongly recommend you become self-hosted if you’re not already. As an author or wanna-be author, you absolutely must have easy-to-click through links prominently positioned on your blogs so that readers can buy your books. The same principle holds true if you’re selling any other products and services on your website.
What companies sell the most dependable, easiest to install self-hosting options that are compatible with WordPress? Please feel free to research self-hosting companies, such as HostPapa or GoDaddy.com. Personally, I use Hostgator and can also strongly recommend BlueHost, based in part on Michael Hyatt’s Blog post and in part on some painstaking albeit seemingly incompetent research of my own.
I think I always feel like incompetent when I’m researching technical issues online. I guess I’m every woman in that respect.
Let me save you hours of messing around and please trust me on this: unless you’re self-hosted, you cannot add “arbitrary HTML text.” If someone reading this please knows a workaround, I’d love to hear it, but I spent hours surfing down this particular “Arb Text” rabbit hole. And without the ability to add arbitrary HTML text, you can’t install those pretty PayPal buttons folks can click on in order to buy your books or services.
Once you have bought self-hosting and installed it, your next step is to go to PayPal. Assuming you already have an account with PayPal (and if you don’t, make it so), then go to Merchant Services. Once you click there, click on the Create Payment Buttons for your Website. Then click on the Blue Button that says, Create a Button.
Just this morning, I wanted to create a button so that folks could buy writing coach services from me, so I followed the instructions, and clicked on the yellow Create Button and came up with the following text:
<form action=”https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr” method=”post” target=”_top”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”cmd” value=”_s-xclick”>
<input type=”hidden” name=”hosted_button_id” value=”PKGQF2HGM2HCS”>
I copied that text down.
Then I went over to my self-hosted Dashboard on my blog. On the far left side, I scrolled down to Appearance. Under that menu, I clicked on Widgets. I searched for the word Text, and underneath it appeared the words, Arbitrary Text.
I click-dragged that box, the one titled Text, over to my right sidebar widget area, which is where I have all my other widgets, like my Subscriptions JetPack, my Facebook Like JetPack, my links to my books on Amazon . . . and my MailChimp Widget, and I found a comfortable home for where I wanted my new PayPal button to appear. I let go of the mouse, and Voila: the Text box appeared underneath and mixed among all those widgets.
Then I typed Writing Coach-TeleCon in the Title, and in the big blank open rectangle under the Title, I pasted the arbitrary text I’d copied from PayPal. After hitting the blue Save Button, I smiled, held my breath, and tapped on the name of my blog, Running from Hell with El on the top left of my browser. Underneath it appeared the words, Visit Site, which I clicked on.
And here’s what I saw:
Good luck, and happy monetizing your WordPress site! Please feel free to drop me a line with any questions! And in case anyone’s looking for some coaching work, I’m accepting new clients now.