Blogging for retailers

As a content marketer employed by an eCommerce store developer, one of the first places I look when checking out a new retail site is the company blog. Almost every eCommerce site has a blog, but very few are ever properly utilised.

This is a real shame because a company blog allows a retailer to share relevant, engaging and unique content with their existing customers and potentially millions of other people using the major search engines to find the products they want to buy.

Just in case you didn’t get the memo, Google loves relevant, engaging and unique content. Unfortunately, if you are a retailer selling the same products and using the same product catalogue descriptions as your competitors, relevant, engaging and unique content is hard to come by. Therefore anything you can do to “spice up” the content on your site and make it more discoverable should be grabbed with both hands.

Social media fuel

Great content acts as the perfect gateway between your social media activities and your website. By encouraging social media followers to visit your website rather than just scrolling past your carefully curated images and witty posts brings potential customers into an environment where you can monitor their engagement and persuade them that you are a trusted and knowledgeable retailer. This is especially important for retailers that specialise in products that may have a technical element.

Blog posts are also the perfect bait to encourage visitors to subscribe to your email marketing lists. I often refer to email, social media and content marketing as the “holy trinity” of online marketing. All three of these marketing channels are incredibly low cost, feed each other and can be quickly deployed.

But isn’t blogging is difficult?

There’s no getting away from the fact that blogging is time-consuming and may prove challenging for some people who perhaps aren’t so confident about their writing skills. But a good blog post doesn’t have to be the digital marketing equivalent of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

The best blog posts focus on solving a particular problem for a customer. For example, a retailer selling bicycle spare parts might want to focus on how a customer knows the item they are buying is compatible with their bike and how to fit it with confidence.

Every retailer solves a problem for a particular type of customer. Whether that problem is what to wear on a Saturday night out, how to bake the perfect cake, or what computer game will keep the kids quiet for hours on end, people are looking for solutions. Your blog can provide the answers.

Nobody should be better placed to write expert content for your blog than you as a retailer.

If you are really not in the position to write your own blog posts, you should at the very least carefully brief any freelance help to produce the kind of content you know that your customers expect and want to read.

5 tools to make you a better blogger

There are a number of tools I use every day to optimise the quality of my blog posts. Here are five of my favourites.

  1. Grammarly: A cloud-based writing assistant that reviews spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement, and delivery mistakes. Grammarly uses powerful AI to identify and search for an appropriate replacement for any mistakes it locates. This fantastic piece of technology is like a spellchecker on steroids, and I guarantee it will make anyone a better writer.
  2. Zoom: If I have to interview anyone for a blog post, I always use Zoom to record the interview. This saves me from taking notes (which are always difficult to read) during the interview and occasionally provides excellent audio or video content that I can further utilise in podcasts and YouTube videos – killing several birds with one stone.
  3. Otter: Forget transcribing those notes from your interviews the old-fashioned way. Otter plugs directly into Zoom and turns your audio or video into incredibly accurate text. As a prolific blogger with multiple projects on the go, Otter saves me countless hours (perhaps even days) when working on detailed blog posts.
  4. Canva: A picture is worth a thousand words, and a high-quality image should accompany every blog post. Canva enables you to quickly create unique images, videos and animations without bothering your design team, giving you no excuse to publish your next blog post in a timely fashion.
  5. Email marketing: OK, there are so many low-cost email marketing service providers out there, I don’t really want to pitch one above the other. The good news is, they all essentially do the same. If you have a great email list and some engaging content, you’ll have the potential to drive an incredible amount of traffic towards your blog. Remember your email subject lines should be as engaging as your content. At Frooition, we recently sent an email with the subject line: Have your eBay sales fallen off a cliff and generated thousands of page impressions over the next three days — and they are still coming in.

Can you afford not to blog?

If you are still not sold on the concept of blogging, consider this. The Frooition blog generates hundreds of page impressions every day from content that was written several years ago. The good news is, as long as that content is still relevant, it remains as timely and useful as ever to our existing and potential clients. Could you use your company blog to solve a similar problem for your customers?

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