Practical Ecommerce

Blogging Builds Trust, Demonstrates Expertise

Blogging is extremely important to ecommerce businesses. It’s one of the easiest ways to update the content on your website, and it also demonstrates your expertise about your products. When done correctly, blogging can complement your products and offer a reason for people to return to your website, even when they’re not currently interested in purchasing from you. Here are some reasons why you should consider blogging.

Blogging Builds Trust

Ecommerce sites often focus on attracting visitors for the immediate sale, but sometimes potential customers want to learn more about your business and your products before they’re ready to turn over the cash. With a traditional brick-and-mortar store, consumers know they can reach you if they have questions. It’s more difficult to find the same level of trust with an online store. By providing valuable and free information to potential customers, you’re building trust that you know what you’re talking about and you’re in it for the long haul.

Show Off Your Expertise

Consumers usually purchase from companies that have expertise with their products and in their industry. A blog is an opportunity demonstrate this expertise, and to discuss issues of interest to your customers and provide them with valuable insight and information.

Easy Search Engine Optimization

Search engines like sites that constantly update their content. Blogging gives you an easy way to update the content on your site, while still providing something of value to people. If you are sure to include top keywords for your industry, you’ll also have a way to build valuable links to your site.

Have a Conversation

Blogging gives you the opportunity to have a conversation with customers and others in the industry. If they have a blog and you have something to say, you can comment on it (with a link back to your blog), or you can post a more lengthy response on your own site. Pointing out other places to check out great content in your industry is a good way to start having a conversation with other bloggers.

Get Feedback

Not every blog will get comments, but if you spend some time connecting with your readers and other bloggers, you’ll probably get some feedback. Once you’ve been blogging for a while, you should have an audience you can tap into from time to time with short, one-question surveys. And people are more likely to give feedback if they feel you’re interacting and not just advertising your wares.

Show Some Personality

Many great ecommerce sites have a personality that is associated with the company. People are more willing to purchase from another person. They want to know a little bit about you and the company. The days of the general store where the clerks knew your name and everything you’ve ordered are mostly gone, but you can still connect with your customers by showing a bit of personality on your blog.

Blog Examples

Zappos is well known for its use of social media to promote its products and website. Not surprisingly, there are several blogs on Zappos. Different people blog for the company, and they write about what they’re passionate about, which helps to create connections with different segments of Zappos’ customer base.

Threadless Tees has built an entire business on engaging customers for its design creations, and the company has several different blogs. Interviews spotlight different designers or artists and tell the story behind their designs and what influences them. Sightings and sponsorships are about celebrities spotted with Threadless tees and companies that have used the T-shirts for promotions. News and updates keeps customers updated about Threadless events and promotions.

Give It a Try

With free blogging software available, such as WordPress and Blogger, you can create a blog in just a few minutes. With a bit of extra work, the blog can become part of your own site, adding to your content and SEO.

Blogging does take a bit of patience and time. Ideally, blogs should be updated on a regular basis, and it may take a bit of time for the blog to gain traction. But, the return on the blogging investment is quite high in terms of content, SEO, and, most importantly, trust and reputation.

Sarah Worsham

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  1. Michael Stearns July 9, 2009 Reply

    Hi Sarah,

    Great points in this article.

    I do wonder, though, for the Mom and Pop Ecommerce shop, or, just the Mom ecommerce shop, how often the blogging equation has a positive ROI? We see a lot of languishing blogs coming from smaller ecommerce site owners.

    There are some glowing examples of success. The ones we see who are successful are really having fun with their blog, or, in some cases are outsourcing the creation of great content.

  2. Chris "Cartel" English July 10, 2009 Reply

    Definitely a great article.

    I’m definitely having modest success due to our blog which has increased overall traffic to site which in turn has slightly increased conversions.

    My site’s blog is updated on a daily basis and tied to our social media accounts so that when a new article is added… it’s automatically post the notifications to our Twitter and Facebook pages.

  3. Tag44 July 13, 2009 Reply

    Thanks Sarah for the wonderful post and for sharing such useful information.

  4. ProiMPACT7 July 14, 2009 Reply

    I must only agree. We have launched proimpact7 website just in May 2009 and blogging drives a lot of traffic to our website. On average I post 2 blog posts each day relating e-commerce and conversion tips to show our expertize, and it is working very good for us, as people started noticing us and some of our articles have been used on well known e-commerce blogs. So from my own experience it’s a must tool for every company.

  5. Elizabeth Ball July 14, 2009 Reply

    Great article, Sarah!
    I’d love to hear if you know of people (like me) who have a website and a separate hosted blog (my one, http://gifts-by-the-stars-online.com is hosted on WordPress) and whether they should have two separate domains or to pull the content back under a tab on navigation bar on their main website.