A blog about blogs
We’re going to get a bit meta right now. What is the point of a business having a blog? Isn’t blogging just for fashionistas, photographers, travellers or foodies? Nope. Not any more. Brands and companies of all sorts have blogs, and it’s not just because they don’t have anything else to do - keeping an updated blog is an important part of running a modern business. Here’s why.
It’s one of the most thorough ways to build your brand
We’ve gone over the importance of branding a few times. Building a good brand means building trust, getting customers to come back, and name recognition that leads to higher sales for new customers. The best brands manage to reach people with different uses and interests, and gain recognition outside of their starting niche. There are a ton of elements that go into building a brand: design, product quality, consistency, customer service, innovative ideas - and content.
The wording on your website, called the copy, is a hugely important piece of how your viewers see your company. Phrasing can either entice or turn away shoppers. But content doesn’t stop on your landing page. Blogs provide an opportunity to really show your audience who you are and what you care about. They allow you to show that your company is made by people, for people in a way that product pages simply can’t do.
Blogging is also flexible. Video production often takes much longer and requires far more equipment. If you go to an event that’s relevant to your industry, if you hear of a news story that matters for your brand, if you had a customer show you something particularly innovative, you can take an hour to write a new post and be done with it.
Blogging shows you’re keeping up with the latest
As an ecommerce company with a good product, you don’t need to be coming up with a new collection every few weeks. But keeping your site the same can get a bit stale after a while. Blogging is one way to demonstrate you are evolving and improving with the industry; that you’re responsive and open to new ideas. By doing this, you’re signaling that you’re the expert. That your products aren’t changing because they’re the best out there, not because you couldn’t be bothered to learn something new.
Content is easy to share
A huge component of how we gather information comes from our friends and family. Often we’ll learn about new ideas, products, news, trends and opportunities by seeing someone share it to their social media networks or directly to us.
Sharing blog posts and articles is an easy way to show your network something you find interesting or important. By creating those blog posts and articles ready for sharing, you’re making it easier for people to refer you to their networks.
Blogs are also more likely to be picked up by others in the industry, who might link to them. This can even include media and news outlets, which are big winners in terms of reaching new audiences.
Blogs make you more searchable by improving your SEO
The math is pretty basic. Blogs (and extra content in general, on more web pages) make your keywords more available for Google Bot to find you. Your blogs are a great opportunity to include keywords that people might search to get to your company. Keywords that are embedded into headings, Calls to Action and URLS are especially important for improving your SEO - and blogs can include a lot of headings.
Your search rankings (how high up on the page you are) improve vastly when your site is linked by a different company. Including links to other websites is one way to get the attention of others who might link back to you.
You can answer questions before they’re asked
If you’re getting similar questions from your customers, writing a blog post is a great way to put the answer out there for others in the future who might be curious about the same thing. More than just an FAQ page, blogging about your company is a way to thoroughly answer a question and encourage people to learn more.
What do I write about?
For people who aren’t used to blogging, it can be overwhelming to think of new topics every week. Perhaps that’s why only 30% of ecommerce stores are using content marketing (blogging etc) as part of their marketing. But after you get in the habit, you’ll start looking out for new ideas and find them all over the place. Here are a few to get you started:
1. Talk about your own business
This can include the story of how you started, the people behind the business, some of the challenges you faced or successes you’ve had so far.
2. Talk about other businesses or ideas you really like
No industry operates in a vaccuum. Other businesses make products that go really well with yours, or have inspirational stories themselves. If you sell notebooks, you can talk about organisations that do creative storytelling. If you sell vintage clothes, you can talk about companies selling vintage furniture or companies that sell makeup and accessories. If you sell digital development services (like us) you can talk about businesses that do ecommerce (like you).
3. Highlight products you sell
Blogs are a great way to show off particular products, provide in-depth tutorials about how to use them, share new ways your customers are using them or talk about how they’re made. Make sure to link to the product, and link the product to the blog.
4. Promote events you attended or are hosting
Whether it’s a trade fair you attended, and the cool stuff you learned there, or an event you’re participating in that’s open to the public, sharing events is a great way to show you’re in the heat of the industry. You can even blog about a block party down the street that you went to where you used your products.
5. Share news in the industry
If you’re picking up on trends that are happening in your field, write about them! It’s a great way to show some personality and keep those who are interested updated.
6. Share something fun you found on the internet
Not everything has to be about your products, and in fact if you go broad you might reach a wider audience. Think about things that aren’t actually what you sell but that your customers might also enjoy.
7. Offer giveaways or promotions
Blogs are a good forum for announcing and promoting upcoming giveaways and sales.
8. Interview an expert
One way to write a blog post is to interview someone in the industry that others have heard of, and share your interview with them. You can even do a Q and A transcript - but make sure to put your own take and inspiration from them at the end.