In the spirit of a fast-paced internet, the quick answer is, yes, your ecommerce website needs a blog. With 77% of internet users reading blogs, blogging is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
If you already have a loyal following, it’s possible to survive on word-of-mouth and killer social media—in the same way it’s possible to survive out at sea on a floating wooden board with a first-aid kit.
As an ecommerce business, your entire existence relies on your online presence. And because blogging is a crucial part of increasing a website’s visibility, you can’t expect to make much headway as an online merchant without a well-maintained blog.
On top of your responsibilities, blogging for ecommerce can be daunting. After all, it takes added time and dedication.
But with an understanding of the benefits and the guiding principles we outline in this article, you’ll see just how worth it blogging is.
What Is a Business Blog?
Abbreviated for “weblog,” a blog is a collection of published articles in which the author discusses their thoughts. Usually, the blogger will have expertise in the topic, and people can subscribe via email to read future posts.
From a business standpoint, blogging is part of your larger content marketing strategy. And just like any other business, an ecommerce business can leverage blog content to boost traffic to its website and eventually lead to more sales, as we’ll discuss later in this article.
You may be thinking: My business has a newsletter. Do I really need a company blog?
Yes. Though both are periodical long-form publications, blogs and newsletters are different. A single blog article usually covers a single topic in depth, whereas a newsletter issue may briefly cover several relevant topics.
What Are the Benefits of an Effective Ecommerce Blog?
Blogging isn’t just for ordinary people passionate about a topic. While you should find passion in whatever you end up writing, the main resource you need is knowledge on the topic.
And no one is more knowledgeable than you when it comes to your business.
Below are some of the major advantages of blogging effectively.
If you choose to write your own articles, blogging only costs you time.
Even if you outsource your content or have an internal writer, your ecommerce website reaps the rewards of incoming web traffic for years after publication. That makes it a cost-effective investment.
Comparatively, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and management cost small businesses $1,000–$10,000+ a month and mid-sized businesses $10,000–$500,000+ a month.
While blogging may not replace your need for online advertising, it improves your chance of ranking on search engine results pages, significantly alleviating your marketing costs.
How to Use a Blog to Push Your Products Organically
We want to be very clear: The purpose of an ecommerce business blog should not be to promote products.
Consumers today are fatigued by constant advertising and promotional marketing on nearly all communication channels. Your blog should be a haven from clutter where people can consume reliable information.
That said, one of the benefits of ecommerce blogging is that you can cast your products in a naturally enticing light through your expertise. You can make honest product comparisons that show why your product fits your audience best. You can name-drop and link to your products when relevant.
As will always be the case when you blog, the main goal should be to add value for your readers. After discussing problems your readers face, it is natural to offer solutions that one of your products may very well be able to solve.
Ecommerce Blog Example: Ecommerce company Etsy uses its blog to help customers “explore ideas” and get “inspiration for creative living” with shopping guides that feature products sold on its website.
Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engines like Google favor websites with fresh and relevant content, which is what your blog should strive to contain.
In order to reach your intended audience among the 1.9 billion web pages out there, your ecommerce website will need a properly managed blog that sets it apart.
Having a blog on your ecommerce site allows you to rank for more keywords that your audience is searching for. Queries that people enter into search engines lead to content—like your future blog—that contains matching keywords.
Drive Organic Traffic to Your Website
With a blog improving your SEO, you’ll increase traffic to your entire ecommerce website, not just individual blog posts. If your content is useful or entertaining enough to share, you’ll build your website’s credibility through word-of-mouth, which creates a positive feedback loop of increased visibility.
And with more credibility and traffic, your website will start generating valuable leads—all thanks to your blog.
Make sure to facilitate sharing with easily accessible social media buttons on your website. You can also write a line at the end of your articles that directly encourages readers to share.
Support Your Other Marketing Initiatives
Your blog can also support your other marketing initiatives, from social media to newsletters. Share your articles or use them to add links, quotes, or content. Past blog posts can inspire new content multiple times over.
Of course, you need to have other marketing initiatives first.
If you haven’t already, add the following to your content strategy to reinforce the customer relationships that you’ve started online with your blog:
- Social media
- Video content
- Email content
- White papers and ebooks
- In-person and virtual events
Build Your Brand Voice
Behind every business is a person, and every person has a voice. The more a person writes, the more distinct their voice becomes.
An ecommerce business doesn’t get many chances to showcase its brand voice when limited to website copy and product descriptions. A blog can help.
Through long-form copy in blog posts, you develop your brand voice by discussing products, industry trends, company news, or a burning question from your audience.
People get a sense for a brand’s communication style over time through its content and marketing.
When people can recognize your brand’s voice, you build brand awareness and trust. Eventually, that trust transforms into sales.
Ecommerce Blog Example: Dollar Shave Club’s blog, in addition to its marketing, is another chance for the company to show its humor and edgy personality.
Build Brand Loyalty and Increase Sales
As we said, trust in a brand leads to sales. People become loyal to businesses that know what they’re talking about and communicate in an interesting way. If you devote yourself to adding genuine value for the reader, it will shine through your blog.
With consistent expertise and relevant discussion, you build brand loyalty among people who view your content as trustworthy and useful. And when you consistently show that you understand their problems, they’ll believe your products are capable of solving them.
The goal here is to nurture a following of readers who, when it’s time to buy, will choose your products because they view your brand as the authority of your industry.
Ecommerce Blog Example: Online women’s clothing retailer ModCloth uses its blog as a lifestyle guide through the lens of its products. The colorful and specific content targets its audience well and has built a following for a blog that directly impacts sales for the brand.
For example, in ModCloth’s post “Our Forever Fashion Icons: Mother’s Day Vintage Photo Recreation,” readers are encouraged to shop for items that match the style of mothers in old photos.
Attract Your Future Employees
Your blog isn’t just for your customers—it can also be for people looking to work for your business.
Ecommerce businesses that take potential hires into account kill two birds with one stone:
- They attract potential applicants with the benefits of working at their company.
- They build brand trust by highlighting company culture.
Customers like businesses that treat their employees well and are transparent about working conditions.
Ecommerce Blog Example: Computer software company Adobe dedicates a section of its blog to discussing its company culture and providing general advice for job seekers.
What Does It Take To Maintain an Ecommerce Blog?
Writing an effective blog takes work. It’s difficult, but it’s rewarding for your business.
As a business owner, you’ll build your brand’s credibility by offering an abundance of valuable information for your customers.
So, besides time and dedication, what do you need to start blogging effectively?
In general, good writing is subjective to the reader. But when it comes to writing from an ecommerce business perspective, your writing should meet the following minimum qualifications:
- Backed by research and expertise
- Easy to understand for your audience
- Grammatically correct and spell-checked
When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to read your writing out loud to see if it’s something you would enjoy reading yourself. If not, try aligning yourself with the qualities of blog writing you like.
The more you write and receive peer feedback, the more effectively you communicate with your audience.
If you outsource your content, share with the writer your expert opinions about what you do best to ensure that value reaches your customers.
An Understanding of Your Audience
All levels of your ecommerce business require understanding the customers you sell to. From advertising and website design to pricing and product development, the customer is at the forefront of your decision-making.
Your blog has to follow the same mentality because your readers are potential and existing customers. Here are some ways to learn about your readers:
- Pay attention to readers’ search engine queries.
- Research what your audience talks about on competing blogs and forums.
- Determine what content performs and underperforms.
- Consider customer service inquiries.
- Ask readers what topics they would want to read about in the future.
After you identify what questions your audience is asking in search engines, make sure your blog posts solve them. Answering a reader’s question accurately is a great way to build credibility.
Readers will feel recognized, strengthening their connection to your brand.
SEO and Keyword Research
Improved SEO is a major benefit of blogging as an ecommerce business, although it’s not as simple as learning your audience’s keywords and scattering them throughout your blog posts.
There are many aspects to SEO, including site speed, engaging content, and number of backlinks. It’s worth taking the time as an online business owner to learn them since SEO is key to your business’s online performance. If you can’t devote the time to learn, it’s worth investing in someone internally or externally who can.
Consistency is essential in customer relationships because your customers want to know what to expect when interacting with your business.
We’ve discussed why building your brand voice is a major benefit of blogging for an ecommerce business.
Once you determine your voice, create a brand voice guide with adjectives describing how to write and parameters for how not to write. The guide will ensure your blog maintains the brand voice your readers expect, even if others write for your blog.
After a while, your readers may even grow to expect your blog posts on a regular basis if your content is particularly successful. But even if the same readers aren’t coming back for every post, regularly publishing posts is necessary to maintain any results you see, such as ranking on search engine results pages and garnering website traffic.
How often you blog on an ecommerce website depends on your available time and your competition, but it’s best to post at least once per week.
Updating Content When Necessary
Even after you’ve finished creating a blog post, the work on that article continues! Keeping your content up-to-date ensures that future readers coming across past content will still connect with the posts.
But don’t worry—we’ve already put together helpful tips to keep your content fresh that you can use for blogging and your website as a whole.
Some of these tips include:
- Updating old posts for new times and new regulations
- Deleting outdated posts
- Adding fresh links to old posts
- Updating imagery
After all these tips, you’re probably wondering: What should my blog be about?
Well, your content shouldn’t be uniform, and you have plenty of options. Diversify your blog by considering these common types of articles:
- Lifestyle posts
- Buyer’s guides
- Industry or product news
- Product comparisons
- Holiday-specific and seasonal posts
- Interviews with industry experts
Aim to employ different types of articles to keep your content fresh for readers and search engines, but ensure those you use fit into your overall content strategy.
Ecommerce Blog Example: Samsung uses its blog mostly for tutorials and announcements because of its focus on tech research and development.
Your Blog is a Window Into Your Business’s Soul
Your blog is, in many ways, a reflection of your company. When your customers and leads read your posts, they get a glimpse of what your company knows, believes, and is willing to do to serve its customers.
Ultimately, ecommerce businesses blog to drive traffic and sales, but if you want to turn your readers into loyal customers, you need to empathize with them and provide something they value.
And results take time. We can’t promise you’ll see a significant influx in website traffic right away. But with time, consistency, and valuable SEO-optimized content, your results will come faster than you can write.