Practical Ecommerce

7 Keys to Ecommerce Blogging Success

Business blogs serve many functions. They can inform consumers of news about your company, highlight upcoming events, promote products and services, or demonstrate expertise and thought-leadership. However, a successful blog requires careful planning.

These seven keys will help you become a more effective blogger for your ecommerce company.

1. Define Your Audience

Start by defining the audience you want to reach with your blog. That single factor affects everything you do in marketing and it’s no different for blogging.

It’s helpful to even go so far as creating a buyer persona, a hypothetical representative of the audience in question. In the event there is more than one type of audience you wish to reach, create multiple personas.

2. Write with the Audience in Mind

I try to blog with the specific interests of my target audience in mind and the personas I’ve created in particular. I work under the assumption that if the content is beneficial to them, it will also benefit others.

As you interact with your audience via blog comments and within social media, you’ll learn what its needs are and can address those more precisely over time.

3. Write with Search Engines in Mind

You actually have two audiences who read your blog: humans and search engines. While you want to emphasize writing for people, it’s a good idea to ensure your posts are keyword-optimized, both in the post title and body. It’s also helpful to post frequently — three to five times per week if possible — and maintain a single topical focus.

One blog that exemplifies these principles comes from pet food retailer Halo. Updated almost daily, it contains expert information about pet health and nutrition, pet food, and interesting stories about pets. Links to the company’s products are often inserted into posts in to encourage sales.

4. Find, Follow, and Communicate with Influential Bloggers in your Niche

This practice can garner a number of benefits. If you subscribe to feeds from influential bloggers, read and comment on their content and link to their posts in your own, they may return the favor. As a result, you’ll likely receive some of their readership and traffic.

5. Write ‘Top 10′ List-style Posts

List-style, “top 10″ posts are popular with readers. They are easy to scan and tell the reader exactly what content the posts contain. People appreciate tips in an ordered list. As a result, such posts tend to get shared more often and encourage a larger number of interactions.

6. Write ‘Link Bait’ Posts on Occasion

Link bait is content — in this case blog posts — created to obtain incoming links.

Some link bait is purposely created to engender controversy or mentions high profile individuals in hopes they will provide a link back. Other link bait is simply well written, informative content that achieves the same goal.

Examples of link bait include top 10 lists, infographics, entertaining videos, interesting polls and surveys, guides and reports, interviews, giveaways and sweepstakes, breaking news, and free downloadable content such as ebooks or reports.

7. Curate Content from Other Blogs and Websites

EContent Magazine, which covers the digital marketing industry, defines content curation as the “act of discovering, gathering, and presenting digital content that surrounds specific subject matter.”

It has become a widely adopted marketing strategy and is used to establish thought leadership, increase search engine rankings, educate prospects, fuel social media channels, and boost lead generation.

One popular form of curation are blog posts that consist of links to other sites combined with brief commentary that summarizes the gist of the referenced sources.

However, finding high quality content can be daunting. Two tools I recommend are Zemanta and Curationsoft.

Zemanta works in WordPress, Blogger, Typepad and Tumblr. It looks at the text being written in a blog post, matches it with similar content found across the web, and displays it within the posting interface.

Curationsoft is downloadable software that sits on your desktop. It finds relevant content sources based on keywords that you input that can be dragged-and-dropped into your post.

Conclusion

These seven keys can make your blogging efforts more productive. When combined with sharing tactics in “10 Tips for Syndicating Blog Content,” my previous article, your posts can reach a larger audience, which can lead to increased traffic to your ecommerce site and the potential for more sales.

Paul Chaney
Paul Chaney
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Comments ( 10 )

  1. Elizabeth Ball January 22, 2013 Reply

    Great tips. With point 7, I’d also add you could simply set up Google Alerts to find out what is happening in a particular area.

  2. Shweta Gupta January 22, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Paul for such a nice inputs. Really need them to run my blog.

    Before that would like to know how many post an ecommerce startup blog should write in a week?

    Founder
    startupme.me

  3. John Adams January 24, 2013 Reply

    Placing a link on your blog to products on your website can get both of your sites BANNED BY GOOGLE, unless it’s done correctly. "Banned," as in DE-INDEXED. Google generally regards such practices as SPAM, and Google WILL catch it; if not sooner, then later. The way around this is to use the rel-"nofollow" tag in your link, which tells Google not to pass along any "link juice" from the blog to the website. Additionally, you’ll need to include a link back to your blog on your website, lest Google regard your blog as being a doorway page to your website, which is another no-no.

    Always regard your blog as a means of passing additional information on to your intended customers, and not as a means of increasing the rankings of your website (which can get you in lots of trouble with Google).

  4. Paul Chaney January 26, 2013 Reply

    Thank you Elizabeth. Good tip on point #7. Shweta, I’d say the more, the merrier, so long as it’s quality content. Quality trumps quantity these days, but if you can produce both, that’s best.

  5. John Adams January 26, 2013 Reply

    And here’s an additional thought:

    Using a blog to point to link to a product on your website, notwithstanding the caveats that I’ve listed above, can actually divert attention aways from your website and onto your blog. So if you link to Widget from your blog, then it’s very possible that people searching for Widget will be presented with a listing from your blog rather tha from your website. In effect, your blog and your website windup competing with one another.

  6. Ambika Tiwari January 29, 2013 Reply

    Great tips! Will help in optimizing blog. Thanks Paul. I’ll wait for you next posting.

  7. Evan Weber January 30, 2013 Reply

    Nice article. I don’t see the like button at the top of the post though

  8. David Woods October 26, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for sharing very useful.

  9. Sukhpreet November 28, 2013 Reply

    Wow, great article Paul. These 7 points indeed make a lot of sense and am sure they’ll add great value our blog: http://www.retailemall.com/blog/ I did have some idea of what these points could’ve been, but having these outlined in such a simple and precise way is actually a big eye-openor for me. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. rahulsingh April 24, 2014 Reply

    Hi, Thanks for the advice. Blog comments is hard to handle. But it help improve one site. Nice of you to share.

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