Blogging is one the standard features of the internet. You can try a simple experiment to see that this is so. Think of a topic – and we do mean anything at all – append the word “blog”, and then put that into google. Exactly. There’s more blogs out there than anybody could count, and for any topic which you could possibly imagine – from birdwatching to French politics and DIY to hazardous warning signs.
Or perhaps, actually, we can count them. It is in fact estimated that there are currently 600 million active blogs on the internet, out of 1.7 billion websites. So that works out as well more than a quarter of all websites in existence featuring a blog – or which are purely a blogging website. This leads us to a question – why are blogs so popular?
Blogging has, essentially, democratised publishing and allowed literally anyone to build up a readership at almost no cost. And blog posts don’t just stay on their respective websites either. The enormous influence of social media, which collectively has a majority of all people with an internet connection as users, means that each blog post can take on a new life as a social media post, one that can be shared around many more places than the blog website and among many people than would typically visit any individual website.
Social media and the increased ability of internet users to share content also has another effect: it draws traffic back to the blog on which the post first appeared. It is this aspect of blogging that makes it so attractive – nay, indispensable – to ecommerce.
If you have ever visited an independent ecommerce site, then it probably had a blog. We are almost certainly at the stage now where there are more ecommerce sites with blogs than those without. Blogging is a means of expressing your passion about your business, educating your customers about it, bringing new customers in, building brand identification and customer loyalty, and improving the overall user experience when anyone visits your site. If you run an ecommerce site and have yet to get in on the decades long blogging trend, then you should seriously consider starting.
You don’t need to be a great wordsmith to create a blog either. The most important thing for ecommerce blogging is that it broadcasts your commitment to your product or service, as well as your customers. What customers – or potential customers – want from an ecommerce blog is a sense that you know what you are talking about. This is what makes them more likely to put faith in your product. The golden rule to keep in mind is this: passion always shows through.
A Drop in The Ocean?
However, given that success in ecommerce is all about standing out among a very busy marketplace, and given that blogging is pretty much standard practice for ecommerce sites, you might be thinking that starting an ecommerce blog is a lot of effort for a slim chance of actually improving your business performance. In one sense, it is absolutely the case that an ecommerce blog should attempt to stand out but attempting this is very far from a futile endeavour – regardless of how big or small your ecommerce site is.
As mentioned, ecommerce blogs are all about showing expertise. You will of course have competitors, but who knows more about your product than you yourself? In that one sense, you actually have no competitors at all! The goal then is to properly take up your mantel as expert on your product – although, of course, also your industry – and write like an expert on the thing you are, in fact, an expert at.
Furthermore, the ability to share blog posts on social media and drive traffic back to your site is another means by which you can rise above the crowd. To do that successfully, you certainly need a robust social media strategy that incorporates blog posts as one of the many different types of posts which are needed for social media success. Get that part right, and you can effectively draw new customers to your page.
Top Tips for Ecommerce
So, that is effectively the case made for why ecommerce blogging is, pretty much always, a good idea. But of course, there is a certain way of going about it. Here follows a few ecommerce blogging tips to get you started:
Do Not Make All of Your Blogs About Your Product
One of the main functions of an ecommerce blog is to show of your expertise in your area of business, but if every single post is specifically about your product/service, it will resemble more of a stream of promotional material rather than a blog. Nobody goes to a specific webpage just to read adverts! There is a better way of going about it. You should have a good mix of blog posts which are specifically about your product, those which are about the general industry area, and those which are only tangentially related to what you do. People read blogs to be informed and entertained.
Play to Your Market Base
Of course, while you shouldn’t make your entire blog specifically about your product, you should still be actively targeting those who would be interested in your product. Accordingly, your posts (and especially the titles) should draw in the type of people who could become customers. For example, if you sell fishing tackle, you could do a post entitled “best boats for freshwater fishing” or “top fish to catch in North American rivers”.
SEO is important for having search engines actually find your blog posts. In tandem with a good social media posting strategy, using a few keywords in your posts is a terrific way to draw new traffic. SEO can be tricky, but it is not difficult to identify a few relevant keywords (usually related to your product) which will be picked up by search engines. Be careful, however, to avoid keyword stuffing, as this will have you penalised by search engines. One keyword mention every thousand words should do the trick.
Prioritise Short Sentences and Paragraphs
Think about how text is attractively laid out on a computer screen or a smartphone. It isn’t the same as a book. Short paragraphs and, to a lesser extent, sentences are important. The trick is to make your blog scannable, and short enough for people to casually read.
Everything covered so far should function as an effective introduction to ecommerce blogging. The most important thing to note is that you should be doing it, and that your expertise and passion for your business endeavour should show through. After that, it is all about spreading each post far and wide by means of a good SEO and social media posting strategy. Consistency is key; it might take some time for your blog to be noticed (generally, the sight of blogs with only one or two posts is off-putting) but, in time, it is sure to become one of the major engines driving traffic towards your site and gaining you new customers.