The hot buzzword of the year is content marketing. You are hearing this phrase everywhere.
But what exactly does this mean?
Content marketing is essentially drawing people in from various channels to content that you create on your site.
There are tons of different types of content you can create but blogging is one of the most common approaches.
Blogging Can Mean a Lot of Things
Some people post selfies and call this blogging. Is this really blogging?
Blogging by definition is merely:
“A discussion or informational site published online and consisting of discrete entries typically displayed in chronological order. (Source)
Well, then I suppose a bunch of selfies could be defined as blogging.
But is there value there?
It depends on your goal. We are going to look at blogging for Ecommerce. Our goal clearly is to drive sales.
Let’s Dig In Further
Let’s look at two different types of blogging techniques and see what works in your case. What’s going to work for you?
Building A Community
The first approach to ecommerce blogging is building a community.
This particular approach is one of the things that I wish I had done sooner in my online career. I have built many successful online businesses over the years.
Unfortunately, I never tied them all together with a community.
At the time, I didn’t see the value to creating a community.
I was wrong and communities are an extremely powerful asset.
Building a community is about being honest with people and telling your story. Whatever your story may be. This is part of the reason Joseph came back to blogging.
This approach is an effective way to engage your audience. You can make people comfortable with you and your brand. Comfort is a large part of people purchasing decisions.
By writing and sharing your experiences, people can relate to you. If they can relate to you, they are more inclined to buy from you.
While the objective here is to make sales online, your blog doesn’t directly have to relate to your store. People are interested in a face behind a brand.
This approach takes time, and you are going to have to build a sizable audience first.
Once you have an audience of people that are following you, they will then begin to buy from you.
But what if you need ecommerce sales now?
What if you want to start driving traffic immediately?
Blogging for Ecommerce Traffic
The majority of people using the internet start by going to Google. They type in what they are looking for, and come up results.
Having your site show up is a valuable opportunity that you can’t afford to ignore.
Unfortunately these results are controlled by Google. Google is the gatekeeper to the Internet.
So like it, or not, you need to understand how Google works and what they are looking for.
SO WHO CARES…
This approach to blogging isn’t personal. It’s about attracting traffic that have similar interests to your offering.
This is a quicker way to build related traffic.
Joseph talks about how creating keyword rich review pages and posts and how they aren’t viable long term approaches. That’s why he has changed his approach with his new niche ecommerce project.
You want engaged people. You want people with like-minded interests that will come back and shop from you again and again.
Let’s look at an example.
Let’s assume that you have started an online store selling Tupperware. Not the Tupperware brand but your new amazing leak proof, food storage containers.
Within a couple of blog posts, you are going to find it difficult to continually discuss your containers.
You are going to be blue in the face from explaining how the lids are tight and they don’t leak.
But you still need content to write about. What you are trying to do, is attract people who are interested. This is done by writing about other topics they may be interested in.
I was on Pinterest yesterday setting up a Promoted Pin advertising campaign for my wife’s fashion jewelry site.
I came across a beautiful picture of a strawberry salsa.
I know this sounds ridiculous but I was actually drawn to the picture.
The title was “5 Ingredient Strawberry Salsa.” I was intrigued. I don’t even know what Strawberry salsa is but the picture looked good.
This is a perfect blog post for your container store.
You can discuss how the salsa is made. After the recipe, you can highlight how your container can be used. Show it for mixing and storing the salsa after serving it.
This a related post that doesn’t directly talk about your storage containers.
It does however, appeal to like-minded people. The people interested in that recipe, are potential customers of your storage containers.
While these posts can be effective to drive quick traffic to your site, they are often less personal. You don’t build the trust like you do when you speak about yourself and build a community.
But what do I do then?
Combine Your Blogging Styles
It’s clear that these different blogging styles have benefits and problems, but the best approach is a little of both. Combining the two approaches when blogging for ecommerce is the recipe to success.
Blog about topics that get found in the search engines but inject your personality.
This way, you are driving real time sales traffic from search engines and social networks while also building your community.
Alternate your posts and post one for traffic and another to build your community. Ecommerce blogging isn’t your standard blogging approach.
You want to attract people ready, willing, and able to shop online and convert them for the long haul.
Finding the right balance is a personal decision but remember this the next time your write a post.
Jonathan owns half a dozen online businesses, is a best-selling author and blogs at Long Live The Internet. Jonathan helps people start their online businesses one step at a time with a focus on ecommerce sites.