A solid content strategy is really key for running a niche online store. A powerful blog will drive traffic and ultimately sales, too. Just yesterday, for example, I received a phone call from a lady who found my store through a particular article and had some more questions. I closed the sale!
The point here is if I can have 10s, if not 100s of other helpful blog posts and articles, there is so much more traffic that is just waiting to come to my store.
One problem does come up, though.
And that’s what should I write about?
Not all of us are lucky enough to have super interesting niches – some of our niches are downright dry and boring(but still profitable:). So to help us all come up with ideas to write about on our store’s blogs, I asked experts in ecommerce, blogging, and SEO for some of their best tips.
These tips are in no particular order.
Debra Mastaler – Alliance Link
Let’s say you sell cameras and want to create a really great piece of content that will inform and entertain. How about a historical review of cameras and how they’ve changed? Fill the piece with old images, facts, news clippings and advertisements and then compare each component to cameras today. The piece will appeal to people who love antique cameras, be fodder for Wikipedia and a solid piece to pitch to news outlets. Win!
Jon Haver – Authority Website Income
A really interesting idea for store owners is to go out and find blogs on their topic and purchase them. Most sites sell at a 20x monthly sales multiple with an 8% profit margin on revenue driven by the site. If an ecommerce store owner buys the site at a 20x multiple on 8% affiliate commission and turns that 8% into 40% they have substantially increased the value of their purchase.
Chris Makara – ChrisMakara.com
One of the cool things I like to see is how are customers actually using a product. You or your customers might think that you product can only do one or two things. However, that might not be the case. Let’s take a rubber band. Sure, we all know the common uses of a rubber band. You can use it to hold things together, shoot it at people, or even make a giant rubber band ball. But did you know there are hundreds of other uses for it?
Rubber bands can be used as erasers, a hair tie, or even toddler proofing your cabinets. While we all don’t sell rubber bands, I am sure there might be some out-of-the box uses for your product and others would love to hear about it. Some of the ways you can work this topic into a blog post would be to survey your customers for ways they use your product. Sure, most might use it as expected, but I’m willing to bet you will find several instances of use that may surprise you. Take these responses and craft a blog post around it.
Be sure to mention/link to your customers whether it is their own website or social media profile and tell them about it. I’m sure they will have no problem showcasing the blog post that mentions them to their peers. That’s a win-win. A happy customer telling others about your product they use.
James Gurd – Digital Juggler
Think about interest areas related to the products you sell, not just talking about products and the company. For example, Red Bull has built a publishing business out of lifestyle content on extreme sports and MR PORTER produces high quality content related to lifestyle pursuits that its customers associate with e.g. sailing. The intelligence behind this is understanding customer profiles and personas and investing in a content strategy that provides competitive differentiation whilst aligning with the core brand values.
Matthew Barby – MatthewBarby.com
Within any content marketing campaign you should be creating content that your target audience can relate to. If you can weave in the values of your company within this content then you’ll kill two birds with one stone.
Zac Johnson – ZacJohnson.com
When blogging with the concept of ecommerce in mind, it’s important to provide value to the end customer. This can usually be done by writing about the advantages of how to use a product, showcasing testimonials from other users and also using video to bring products and services to life. Should your audience commonly have questions about any services or products you offer, this would also be a great opportunity for you to answer them. In addition to everything else mentioned, creating a blog around the products and services an ecommerce site offers will also help the site rank better in the search results and get shared through the world of social media.
Siddharth Bharat – LemonStand
Blog about your customers! Every time customers write to you about how they love your products, or write reviews on your site, you have a potential new blog post. Reward them by calling them up and asking to interview them. Find out why they love your products so much and how it has helped them. Ask them how they think you can improve and what they would like to see in new products. The best part is, people love getting interviewed and sharing their stories. So the customers you interview will basically do the marketing for you as well by spreading the word on their networks. In fact, this could be a great incentive to get more customers to write product reviews. For example, Fitbit has an entire section on their blog dedicated to interviews with customers. They call them Fitbit Success Stories and highlight inspirational stories of customers who have used their products to make a positive change in their lives.
Kurt Elster – Website Rescues
Listen to your customers. They’re telling you what they want you to blog about. Every question you get is a potential blog topic in your target market. Using their own language makes your positioning that much more effective.
Dave Schneider – Ninja Outreach
Well it really depends on the product but I think it could be worth while to blog about all the neat things someone can do with your product. Get creative. Like can you build something with it, or make something arts and crafts with it. Sometimes food can be art, for example. Giving people fun things to do with the product outside of the basic usage will help drive their creativity and enthusiasm for the product and hopefully drive sales for you!
Terry Lin – Build My Online Store
Interview influencers in their industry or market. It helps you build relationships, backlinks, and also targets the right traffic. You need to make it 100% about them and not about promoting yourself. You won’t see results until a couple of months and not everyone’s going to share their interview. But if you’re in it for the long haul it’s a very effective content, outreach, traffic, and SEO strategy combined in one.
Ryan Stewart – Webris
It’s important to understand that you shouldn’t just blog about anything. Your blog needs to come from a place of genuine interest and passion, otherwise no one will care. Ecommerce store owners should focus on issues that relate to their customers and figure out a way to create interesting, shareable and valuable content around that.
Richard Lazazzera – A Better Lemonade Stand
I always like the idea of being comprehensive with whatever you do, especially when it comes to blog posts. I think a great idea is to take one of your products and show how many different, including untraditional, ways it can be used, or styled. Wendy from Wendy’s Lookbook did an incredible job of doing this when she created a video detailing 25 ways to tie a scarf.
She also had some great production value, but ultimately, she was comprehensive in showing how many different ways a scarf could be tied. With over 30 million views and hundred of backlinks to her site, it clearly paid off for her.
Darren DeMatas – SelfStartr
For an ecommerce blog to be effective you have to consider the entire customer lifecycle and create content for each stage. I talk about this in an interview with Henneke.
Lets say you sold bike saddles: For riders looking for general information you can create an ultimate guide to bike safety or an infographic of top bike trails in America. Lately, Ive been a big fan of crowdsourced buyers guides. Target research/comparative keywords. Find a bunch of cyclists and ask them whats the most important when buying a bike saddle. Both those content types are proven to do well on social media, too.
Matt Janaway – MattJanaway.co.uk
If you own an eCommerce store and have a blog, you have to use it to your advantage by writing great content that shows your visitors you are an expert in your field. However, this does not mean that you have to be linear in your content. Think about seasonal events but also keep an eye out for news that you can slightly relate to your industry.
So there you have it. Start blogging today – the more content you can create, the more visitors you can drive to your site. Of course, you don’t want to publish and pray – you have to share, promote, and get eyes in front of your content, too.
What kind of blog posts have you seen the most success with on your store? Share with us in the comments!