Let’s get this out of the way right now … if you are not blogging for your eCommerce business right now, it is time to get started. IT WORKS LIKE CRAZY for building credibility and driving traffic.
The internet is full of stories – doctors, software developers, pet groomers, fitness trainers, and online merchants like you – who testify that starting a blog has transformed their business. I write content here for the TaskHusky blog, and we saw huge increases in organic traffic and conversions within 30 days of ramping up our blog content in 2017.
This article is about “how” to get started, and we will spend most of our time on those practical tips. But here’s a quick reminder of “why” blogging helps your business and is so valuable.
Why Blogs Work for eCommerce Business
Creating an eCommerce Business blog and regularly writing articles help you in three important ways:
Crystalizing Thought – Paul J. Meyer – the famous businessman, speaker, and author – once said, “Writing crystalizes thought, and thought produces action.” Maybe THE most vital part of leadership is communication. As an entrepreneur, the most important things that you communicate are the value of your products and services, instructions on what needs to be done, and why what you are doing is important. Writing articles for your company blog will make you a better entrepreneur and leader.
Building Credibility – When visitors come to your site, one of the subconscious questions in their head will be, “Can I trust this business?” Regularly writing articles about topics related to your business, products, and services will demonstrate your knowledge and commitment, and that inspires confidence. Your blog will help you sell.
Marketing and SEO – Google and the other search engines know that their business depends on delivering search results that are current, authoritative, and fresh. That’s why all the search engines give extra consideration – more link juice – to websites that are updated regularly with fresh content that matches popular search queries. Your blog will generate more organic traffic to your site.
There are very few things that you can do this cost-effectively that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on you and your business success.
Super Goodly Writing NOT Required!
A lot of people get really self-conscious about their writing skills. You shouldn’t be.
Yes … it’s important to spell things well and to use proper grammar. But believe it or not, in today’s online world the value in the meaning of what you are saying is FAR more important than perfect punctuation and subject verb agreement. My eighth grade English teacher – Mrs. Maupin – would smack me with a ruler if she knew I was saying this … but it’s absolutely true.
In your eCommerce blog, people will want to see you talk about things that can help them make good purchasing decisions or to learn more about the products. Sure … sometimes a hater will leave a comment criticizing your word choice or some other nit-picky thing. But the VAST majority of internet users – people who communicate on a daily basis by way of smiley-face emoticons and text-message acronyms – will not care too much about all the little bits and pieces.
You CAN do this! Write naturally … just like you are talking to your customers face-to-face. There are a lot of scientific studies that show that your natural, authentic writing “voice” will be more believable and effective than stiff, precise prose could ever be.
Easy-peasy Pro Tip – There is an online service called “Grammarly.” They have an absolutely FREE version that you install in your web browser that lights up spelling and grammar errors and lets you change them on the fly. I’ve used it inside the Shopify blog tool and it works great. It can REALLY cut down spelling and grammar errors as you type!
Getting Started With Your Blog
Starting a blog today is pretty easy for the eCommerce merchant. That’s because all the big eCommerce platforms KNOW that blogs are important, so they have included really solid blogging tools right there in the software. And all the big theme developers make sure that the theme looks good in the blog as well. So, if you’re on Shopify or BigCommerce – or one of the other eCommerce platforms – all you have to do is activate the blog to get started.
Choosing Topics to Blog About
When we’ve encouraged eCommerce website owners to start a blog, the most common objection we’ve heard back is, “I wouldn’t know what to write about.” Hey … that’s completely understandable! But that’s only a problem when you’re not in the habit of writing. Once you’re rolling, it get a lot easier.
If you’re in business – any business – you have conversations each and every day about all kinds of things related to your business. You talk to suppliers about the latest product colors and new features. You talk to customers about how they use your products. You talk about challenges getting products to market. You talk to your friends and employees about using the product yourself. You discuss articles in magazines and trade publications.
Each one of those conversations has the ability to become a blog post. The best way to think of your blog is as a conversation. Anything that you think is interesting to talk about related to the business is fair game.
Here are a bunch of sample blog article titles that you can use to inspire your next blog post. Heck … you can copy and use them verbatim by just adding the name of your product and other details.
Seven Sample Blog Article Topics That You Can Use Now
- "I Tried Out the New [product name] and This Is Why I Really Like It"
- "The Hottest New Feature in [product name] is [name of feature]"
- "The New Color for This Season is [name the color] and It Looks Awesome!"
- "I Got a Tour of the Factory Where [product name] Is Made and This Is What I Saw"
- "New Products We Are Launching Next Month"
- "How to Choose the Best [product name] That’s Right for You"
- "How to Use [product name] Correctly"
There are really no rules. You can write about just about anything related to your business that users and fans of your products might find interesting. If you want more inspiration, look through our articles here on the TaskHusky blog. Our customers use us for all kinds of small task development on eCommerce websites. So, our topics cover everything from marketing to themes and from eCommerce to apps and beyond. You are our target audience, so if you’re interested in it, then so are we.
Easy-peasy Pro Tip – The last thing that you want to do is to “have” to come up with a good topic on short notice. Keep a spreadsheet or document on your computer – or even a real paper notepad on your desk – and jot down EVERYTHING interesting that comes to mind. Don’t worry about all the details just yet. You want to remember the core idea and have it handy when it’s time to write.
How Long Should an eCommerce Blog Article Be?
You will find TONS of opinions on this question, and all of them different. Our opinion is that an article should be as concise as possible and as long as it needs to be to remain interesting and deliver value.
Marketing topics like the one we are discussing here require some detail, so it’s a bit longer than most. This article will end up at around 1800 words by the time I’m done with it. But a good rule of thumb is to target at least 700 words and try not to exceed 2000 words.
Using Keywords in eCommerce Blog Articles
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a science unto itself. There are lots of tips, tricks, and special tools available. We’ll do another article on keyword research later with more detail.
Since you’re just launching your blog, start by using the kinds of words that your customers might use when searching for products like yours on the internet. That’s essentially what keywords are, and including these words and terms in your blog articles will make them show up higher in search rankings and get you more traffic.
And that brings us to one of the simplest and fastest – and FREE – ways to find great keywords to include. Simply bring up Google and start typing a word or topic. You will see that Google starts offering you options for searches that might be helpful. Google keeps track of all the kinds of searches that people are doing all over the world. But you can use that to discover your first keywords.
Let’s say that you are in the coffee business and you want to write an article about espresso. As you can see in the screen capture below, as I type the word “espresso,” Google offers up a lot of options that a lot of other people have already searched for. This includes things like “espresso machine,” “espresso cups,” and “espresso shot.” If you can find a way to include these keyword combinations in your article text, title, and headings you are taking to first steps to generating more SEO traffic.
Go to Google and try it for yourself right now by typing the name of one of your products. Easy right?
A Few Things to Avoid In Your Blog
Here are four things to avoid in your company blog:
- DO NOT dis your competition. It’s tempting, but it actually makes you look bad.
- DO NOT mention sex, religion, race, or politics unless you are selling products DIRECTLY related to those topics.
- DO NOT curse. I know that it’s really common these days, but using curse words can be distracting at best.
- DO NOT say anything negative about any customer (even if you’re dying to tell the story). Staying positive and optimistic always wins.
The Time to Start Your Shopify or BigCommerce Blog is Now
If you’ve hesitated to start your own eCommerce blog you are missing out on one of the best business and traffic-building tools available to you right now. You can start for FREE, so there's no risk. And it's easier than ever before to get started today.
But if you need a little help getting your blog set up, just let us know by creating a task. We help with this kind of thing every day. And if this article has convinced you to take the leap and build your own ecommerce business on Shopify, this link will take you where you need to go.
Thanks for reading!