Writing for your e-commerce site can be fun and exciting, or a major burden. We’ve put together this guide to help you write specifically for e-commerce. Some of you might be depending on blogging alone to earn revenue from your website, while others of you want to earn money selling products and services.
Why not combine the two and get the best of both worlds? Blogging is not so great in the short term for making money quickly, but it can be a very satisfying experience, especially if you enjoy expressing your thoughts. In the long run, you’ll find it can generate lots of returning visitors.
The great thing about an e-commerce store is that for every product sold, you earn profits right away. It’s the quickest way to earn REAL income on the web. By combining blogging and e-commerce, you can create a synergy between them like no other.
Use blogs to promote and generate loyal fans for your products and services, and engage with them for the long run. In the meantime, your product sales allow more people to discover your blog and form a deeper connection with you.
Introduction to Writing an E-Commerce Blog
For many online stores, e-commerce becomes a one way interaction for customers, leaving it up to them to decide the value of your store. Don’t let this happen by creating a two-way connection between you and customers beyond just another phone call or email. Blogs serve a greater purpose to help educate and inform visitors of events around your business, your product value, answers to common questions, and most important of all, to help build trust with customers.
Someone recently asked what to do if they are not good at blogging? We start by approaching this in the same manner as we approach customer service calls and email support. We evaluate what we should be doing. As long as you are professional and provide the information others need, it makes no big difference.
What You Should Do in E-commerce Blogging
- Bring passion to your products and services: Show that you are involved in the industry for the long haul and write about all the ins and outs of your product or service will help you grow to become an authority in the business.
- Educate customers by providing tips and advice: Learning is the key. Provide extra help by educating readers on features and your industry in general to help customers know more about the product.
- Feature a product or product group: Write in depth articles about a particular product or group of products at “monumental occasions”. For example, the product or service is new, on sale, graced with special features, a limited edition item, or simply because it’s Tuesday.
- Provide deals and free offers occasionally: Every loves a good deal, and special offers and deals that arrive on occasion provide a reason for visitors to be excite and share out your goods and services.
- Link to your products: Provide links to your products and services when you mention them in your blog
- Link to your other articles: Provide links when you mention a past article on your blog
- Respond to individual customer questions: Let visitors know that you are an active participant. Provide answers to customers’ questions directly in comment replies when they ask about your products and services. Point out any references or Q&A pages they can view.
- Get the most out of…: Provide use cases for your products that are geared to those who already own your product.
When it comes time to writing your blog, it’s as much about what you should do as it is about the form and manner in which it is written. In the next segment, we’ll focus on how you should write your e-commerce blog. Let us know of your e-commerce blogging experience!
How to Write Your E-commerce Blog
Writing your e-commerce blog requires that you develop a writing style and tone that fits your audience. Even beginning writers can achieve this with little effort since blogs are their best when the writing style is casual. As a matter of fact, when e-commerce bloggers write and express their uniqueness through their blog, it only helps make their content more interesting to readers. Add a bit of humor, excitement, or wit to your blog and experiment with what fits your personality and is appropriate for your readers. Develop a sense of what appeals to your customers and follow these general e-commerce blogging principles below.
How You Should Write Your E-Commerce Blog
- Be friendly: Stick to a good web etiquette, and give visitors a reason to want to talk to you via comments.
- Excite and surprise occasionally: Make your blog enjoyable to come and visit often.
- Use Paragraphs: Use paragraphs and make it easier for readers to view and understand your key points.
- Repeat yourself if necessary: Repetition is a positive thing. Consistently remind people, especially if a particular topic hasn’t been mentioned in a while.
- Use the language of your audience: Are you selling music? Can you relate to the fans of your product? Step into the shoes of your audience will help you understand their perspective.
- Use Photos: A picture is still worth 1000 words. Insert photography in between text to make your articles vibrant and memorable.
- Use bullet points and numbering: Lists help provide clarity and define key points at a quick glance.
- Separate sub-topics into segments: Use headers to separate sub-topics so that readers (and search engines) can quickly reference your content.
- Proofread to check for spelling and grammar.
- Set your article aside for a few days: (If you can afford to wait.) Give yourself time to read it again. It will help you gain a new perspective if you are not confident about publishing the content right away.
Blogging is a great way to reduce the distance between you and your customers. In the following segment, we’ll focus on examining the most important types of contents to provide on your e-commerce blog.
Essential Topics for E-commerce Blogs
Your e-commerce store is an opportunity to reach out to your customers, and with blogging, you can drive about 50% more traffic to your site than without one. Blogging on your e-commerce store means a lot more than simply advertising about your company or its products. Provide content that would be valuable for your readers to help them understand your industry will go a long ways for your business. Keep these key points in mind when considering the type of content to write:
- Think about your target audience and what general searches they would be looking for that’s RELATED to you industry (but not necessarily in your industry).
- Take advantage of popular trends on the web and write about the topic while they are hot. Google Trends is a great resource to discover trending topics.
- Think about what will help or make life more efficient for your audience.
- Review the traffic to your e-commerce blog to figure out what has worked and what hasn’t.
What Content to Provide on Your E-Commerce Blog
- Provide general information on your product or industry: Write about topics that would seem like second nature to you, but your customers would find valuable.
- Tutorials: Show how-to’s and do-it-yourself on general everyday items or through the use of your product.
- Provide product and service examples used in real life: It may take some effort to document, but it could be well worth it if you have a story or experience to share. It may even go viral if conditions are right.
- Explain Common questions and answers in detail: Draw out common questions and explain them to help visitors learn.
- Make product comparisons: Point out the competitive advantages of your product or service.
- Interview customers who have shopped through you: Post reviews and experiences by people who have been your customers in the past.
- Provide exclusive “behind the scenes” photos: Share photos of the product in development, different angles, or places you had to go just so that you can provide the perfect product.
- BONUS: Provide how-to videos: Let visitors hear, see and learn directly from you.
- BONUS: Provide customer rewards: Provide coupons and other incentives for loyal customers.
Experiment with what kinds of content works for your visitors and mix it up so that your content is always interesting to view.
Mistakes to Avoid in E-Commerce Blogging
There are content that you should avoid putting in your blog for the sake of holding on to your visitors. As we have to remind ourselves from time to time, the reason to have a blog on an e-commerce site is so that you can provide your unique perspective on the world around you and attract visitors.
Writing about your opinions is not about if people will agree or disagree with you; the real question is, did you capture your audience enough so that you’ve caught their attention. Make your store a thought provoking and memorable experience through maintaining a positive energy on what you write, and you’ll establish a loyal following that is willing to return. On the other hand, there may be content lingering on your blog that’s having the opposite effect.
Visitors can be especially weary of following a blog that belongs to an e-commerce store. Your goal is to make your store’s environment be friendly and welcoming to all visitors. Your blog plays a big part in helping you gain customer trust and develop your fan-base. Have a look at the list below and check to see if your e-commerce blog contains any of these issues.
What You Shouldn’t Do in E-Commerce Blogging
- Over the top selling: Too much focus on the product and not enough on valuable content. Instead, learn how to create great content for your blog.
- Non-stop deals: Deals that no longer are deals because everyone has accepted the discounted price. There’s no point for someone to click on your discount if they know it’s always the same one.
- Responding to individual customer issues: Back and forth responses to individual issues that bear no impact to others, and only create a negative environment for your store. This only causes spectators to misinterpret the issue and question your customer support.
- Copy & paste product/service descriptions: Posting what viewers could have otherwise gone to the product page and see the same content. Instead, provide a link or use quotations and reference the source.
- Duplicate content: Word-for-word re-posting of the same content as another on your store or someone else’s blog. Not only would there be copyright concerns, search engines penalize for duplicate content, and thus, will also decrease your search rankings.
- Posts of no value: Lots of words but too shallow or vague. Create value from your articles and give others a reason to share it.
- Broken links: Check to see if your posts have any broken links or photos such as from moved pages or external sites. Let both users and search engines know that your site is active and well maintained.
Today, blogging is an important piece of your online business. If you have any of the above issues on your e-commerce blog, it could mean that you are losing valuable traffic and sales opportunities. Consider the necessary changes to the type of content on your blog.
How to Manage Your Time Spent on Blogging
Having a blog on your e-commerce store could be the change in your e-commerce business that leads to success. In this final part, we’re going to put it all together, and provide tips on how to best manage your time blogging when you have so many other items to take care of for your business.
For instance, is blogging a higher priority than other forms of promoting your store or making it look better? What do you do if you find yourself spending too much time blogging and not enough time for anything else?
First, plan out a schedule. Don’t tell yourself that you are going to blog 7 days a week, when it takes you 2-3 hours to create one. You’ll end up burning yourself out, and risk losing valuable time needed to build the other parts of your e-commerce business.
If you are a light blogger or have never blogged before, plan on writing only 2-3 articles per week at the most. Pace yourself so that you are not writing 3 articles in a row. Let 2 of them be short articles, and one be a longer one (300 words or more). Don’t forget that photos and videos mean as much to the content of your article as text.
Don’t worry if the first few articles (any amount under 20) take you a long time to publish. With practice and persistence, your writing will improve in quality and efficiency. It doesn’t matter if the first few articles are not up to the quality you’d like them to be. Very few people are going to see them anyhow. After you’ve written about 50 or more, people are going to start paying more attention.
How Much Time to Spend Blogging for E-Commerce
Blogging for e-commerce is a value-added promotion for your products and services, balance your time between store operations and writing.
- Slow writers: Are sometimes the best writers because they put a lot of thought into their writing.
- Writing once a week is better than nothing.
- Writing once a month is STILL better than nothing. (Use a reminder to help you remember to write something.)
- No one says you can’t write a 15 minute quick-blog between your in-depth articles.
- No one says you MUST write at least once a day. (Don’t get burned out writing. Remember, blogging is more like marathon running rather than sprinting. You’ll need to be resourceful for the long haul.)
- If you have a mental block, then it’s time to take a walk.
- If you’re “in the zone“, don’t stop writing, you can always segment your writing into different blog topics later on.
- If you’re A.D.D., then write every time you think of something cool and interesting before you forget. (For your business that is…)
Never say to yourself that what you write doesn’t matter. Your writing is just as important to society and others in e-commerce as the next writer. Most of the time, it’s because the 1% writes and the 99% consumes, and so those that write keep getting better and better.
The sooner you get into the game and start writing, the more likely you will improve your writing, and attract visitors to your store. In today’s world, you also have multiple platforms and devices to choose from. Draft a blog while at the airport, and then finalize it when you get home. Write your ideas in bullet points on your phone, and then expand on them later. You can make a profound difference to your e-commerce business.