Practical Ecommerce

10 Blog Topics for Online Retailers

One of the best ways for an ecommerce site to rank highly in Google search results is through blogging. Most blog platforms are search engine friendly, and easy to use.

But merchants sometimes struggle with what topics to write about. Here are 10 post types to spark writing ideas that get Google’s attention — and attract readers.

1. How-tos

These can include step-by-step instructions, tutorials, or tips on ways to use a particular product.

This type of post is popular with Google because it furnishes substantive, original information the search engine now looks for based on the recent Panda update.

2. Product Reviews

Review posts are popular with consumers because they give prospective buyers an in-depth look at products in which they have interest.

Review posts should include the following information:

  • Brief product description;
  • Product testing process;
  • Product pros and cons.

Be as objective as possible when reviewing a product in order to prevent any bias that may influence the purchase decision.

Technology website CNET is known for its reviews. They often include video demonstrations that cite a product’s features and benefits. Look at some of those reviews to become better acquainted with this type of post.

3. Lists

List-style posts are a favorite among readers because they tend to be concise, easy to scan, and they supply information the reader can quickly put into action.

I often use this approach when writing articles and blog posts for Practical Ecommerce, such as the one you are reading. Here are two other examples.

List posts could include such topics as myths, best practices, how-tos, tools, and tips.

4. Customer Profiles

Showcase loyal customers and their use of products you sell. This type of post serves two purposes.

  • It provides third-party validation about your products that can lead to increased trust;
  • Profiled customers may share the post with their family and friends, thus increasing the number of people who view it.

Customer profiles could come in the form of interviews, case studies or testimonials.

5. Curated Links

Content curation has become popular due to the overwhelming amount of information available on the Internet. Curation differs from aggregation because content is sorted, filtered and organized around a specific topic or theme. This provides a valuable service because it saves readers time and effort they would otherwise expend doing so themselves.

A good example of this post type comes from social commerce company inSparq, which includes a “Friday Five” curated post that contains a weekly recap of what happened in social commerce across the web.

Posts can include simply a bulleted list of links or, better yet, links with annotations that contain a summary of the content, as well as your own insights.

6. Opinions

Posts that state an opinion — especially one that relates to a controversial topic — is a good way to get readers engaged. Find a topic that you’re passionate about and make your best case.

7. Breaking News

Find a breaking news item or trending Twitter topic that relates to products you sell and tie it to a blog post.

8. Thought Leadership

People want to do business with those they trust. One distinct advantage to using a blog is its ability to demonstrate your thought leadership and expertise, which can lead to increased trust and credibility.

9. Question and Answer

If you’ve ever taken time to answer a customer’s question via email, turn that response into a blog post. It’s likely that other customers have that same question and your blog can become its own form of FAQs. In fact, you could create an FAQ blog category to serve the purpose.

Alternatively, you could create a post that asks a question or conducts a poll, which is an ideal way to get readers engaged.

10. Guest Posts

If you run out of posting ideas, invite others to write one on your behalf. These could include customers, subject matter experts, industry authorities or vendor partners.

Encourage guests to avoid promotional style posts, and instead focus on supplying helpful information. You should include a brief bio and link to their websites.

Paul Chaney

Paul Chaney

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  1. eDigitalFields February 23, 2013 Reply

    People would love to read reviews and how to-s especially before deciding to buy something/product. I strongly recommend these two options and start writing some reviews of the products and if necessary then write how to about product. In addition, we can also describe all the key features of the product as a blog post with screenshots. For more marketing tools, http://www.edigitalfields.com/internet-marketing.html

  2. Elizabeth Ball February 23, 2013 Reply

    Great list Paul! You might want to mention that when you write compilation list posts, that you should always invite those websites whose owners, products or services have been profiled, to mention it in turn on their own blog, Twitter, Facebook pages etc for better SEO.

  3. Natalie February 25, 2013 Reply

    How-tos and product reviews are great ways of creating content. What about website reviews though? What online sites are doing well and how others can emulate this success. Here’s a few examples: http://ow.ly/i1J1p and http://ow.ly/i1JdA . I think this can be really useful and provide real-life examples to help contextualise it.

  4. Paul Chaney February 25, 2013 Reply

    Thanks everyone for you comments. Keep content focused on what provides value to the reader – reviews and how-tos work very well – syndicate via social media with @mentions to those referenced, and, yes, website reviews are a great idea, too.

  5. The Collectors Hub March 3, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for the blogging tips! I always appreciate ideas for our blog.