An eCommerce blog can be a fantastic way to improve the performance of your eCommerce store.
It helps you bridge the gap that lies between online and physical store and it gives you an opportunity to talk to and engage with your customers.
It can give you industry authority, too. And, most importantly, it can increase your traffic and give you more opportunities to generate revenue.
That said, it’s vital to get it right. A poor quality blog can have an adverse impact if you aren’t careful.
With this in mind, we’ve pulled together some of the central ideas of what makes an eCommerce blog great. Read on to find out more.
1. Knowing your audience
You can’t start writing if you don’t know who you are talking to.
It is vital to understand who your audience is so that you can speak to them in their language.
Draw up a picture of your ideal customer: Who are they? Where do they live? Why do they like the products you sell?
Blogging is, in essence, marketing. You need to know about demographics and interests in marketing campaigns, and it’s the same for blogging.
It’s OK to have more than one target customer, too. You might have to draw up several buyer personas — but make sure your blog is laser-focused on reaching those people. This will help you form your strategy. If you aren’t comfortable with forming your strategy, check out this strategy hub. The next big question is — how do you do that?
2. Focus content on your customers’ needs
You should tailor your blog to fit the needs of your audience.
Engage with their particular interests and provide them with benefits. For example, you might create handy ‘how-to’ guides for your best selling products.
There’s an opportunity to foster their interests in a particular industry, too. The idea here is to provide them with a platform for learning new things and encouraging trust.
Don’t use your blog as a sales opportunity. Instead, be informative, entertaining, and challenging.
Write your posts so they are appealing to your ideal customers, and you should find you engage a lot more visitors.
If you’re looking for tools to help you create great content, be sure to check our blog post on the matter.
3. Consistency is critical
You don’t have to create blog posts every day — once a week or twice a month is fine.
But you do need to be consistent. If you want to develop a strong readership, it is vital to get them to anticipate your posts.
Just like people have specific times to read a newspaper, they also do the same with catching up with online news.
Consistency also sends signals to the likes of Google that your blog is being updated on a regular basis.
Bear in mind that Google won’t even notice until you create several pieces of content — all of which need to be of high quality.
Here’s where a lot of blogs fail — an inability or lack of desire to network. To be an authority figure in your industry, you have to approach other authority figures.
Communication with other bloggers in your industry is critical to your success in several ways.
First of all, you can tap into their market. A recommendation or link from an authority industry figure can have a big impact on your website performance.
It also helps you build credible links, which are great for boosting your search rankings. In turn, this leads to more traffic and even more opportunities to make sales.
Starting to network takes a lot of confidence, but once you get started, you will find it is easy.
Start commenting on other people’s blogs, and also link to their posts in your articles. You can guarantee that successful bloggers will always be looking for where their links are coming from.
If they don’t contact you, don’t panic. You can also send them an outreach email letting them know you have linked to them, and see if they respond to that instead.
5. Promote your content
Just writing won’t do it. You need to promote your content as well.
Unfortunately, you can write some of the best, most thorough posts on any given subject, but without marketing, no one will read it.
Push your content through your social media channels and make sure you publish them at the most popular times of the day. There are various tools that will do this for you, like the Scheduling Tool.
Also, consider using other networks like StumbleUpon or Digg, too, as the most popular social networks are becoming too crowded.
Think about email marketing. A really effective way of getting regular visitors back to your website is to actually let them know you have new content.
You can even try encouraging your friends and family to share articles as well — you never know if a post or infographic you create will take hold in a big way.
You can’t guarantee a post will go viral, of course. But you can be sure about one thing: no post has ever gone viral without a lot of promotion done by the creator.
About the Author: Matt Janaway, adigital & online entrepreneur and marketer specialized in retail & eCommerce. He has built, purchased, optimized and sold in excess of 10 eCommerce businesses with multi-million-pound revenues and is now heading a team project optimizing 30 websites with over 20,000 products. Google+ Twitter