Blogging is huge.

And if done right, your blog can quickly become the leading source of revenue for your online store.

However, the sad truth is that 95% of eCommerce sites either don’t have a blog or if they do they are doing a  terrible job at using it.

If you’re guilty of this in the past, and you want to turn your blog into a revenue-generating machine then keep reading.

For years people have seen a blog as a way to share company news and achievements – However this is all wrong.

While everyone likes to share what they’ve been up to, the sad truth is your potential customers don’t care. There I said it – your customers don’t care about you, your new office, or your new staff (when was the last time you actually read about a store’s
new staff?)- they only care about themselves.

While this harsh reality might hurt at first, it opens the doors to a very powerful opportunity. If you write content that will genuinely help your customers, and that they want to read, then you’ll capture their attention, gain their trust, and begin
the cycle to converting them into a buyer.

In a moment, I’m going to give you a 5 step process which will ensure that your eCommerce blog starts returning you an insane ROI, but first, let’s cover off on a few important points.

The Benefits of an eCommerce Blog

You’ve likely been told that you need a blog for SEO right? Well, this is right and wrong…

You see, ‘fresh’ blog content isn’t as significant to Google as we are told. If you look at the ranking factors that Google takes into account, the freshness of content is only 1 part of an enormous puzzle.

So how does your blog help you?

By gaining auxiliary traffic!

By blogging about topics that your customers are actively looking for, and by providing them with questions that they are turning to Google to fix, you’ll gain a tremendous amount of additional traffic to your website.

For example, if you sell kids toys, did you know that in Australia the search ‘Gifts for ten-year-old boys’ gets 320 searches a month? Or that ‘Gifts for Girls’ gets 720 searches monthly?

This is the sort of traffic that is targeted to people who are likely seeking what you have for sale, but are still in the research phase. By following the steps that you’ll learn in a moment, you’ll be able to create quality content around this sort
of material to start accelerating your online sales.

Before we go there, though, here are a few additional benefits of an eCommerce blog:

    • They are useful in building your email list – You should offer compelling opt-in offers on your blog either via pop-up or sidebar offers to capture this valuable traffic.
    • You can  pixel your readers – If you have a remarketing pixel from Facebook or Google installed on your blog you can then follow up with your readers with relevant ads to convert them to buyers.
    • They attract links – By writing great quality and useful content you’ll likely attract natural, white hat links. If your blog is set up as a subdirectory (e.g., yourwebsite.com/blog) NOT a subdomain (eg:blog.yourwebsite.com), these links
      will grow your overall domain authority, helping you improve your rankings across the board.
    • It gives you a non-pitchy reason to post to social media & email your list – As a part of the 5th step below – promoting your blog – you’ll discover the power of building a relationship with your customer base, not just always selling – And your blog will help you do this.

The 5 Steps To A Successful And Profitable eCommerce Blog

Below I’ve broken down my exact process to generating massive amounts of traffic from blogs. Each of these steps is important, so make sure that you pay attention, take notes and get ready to act.

Step 1: Get Clear On The Purpose Of The Piece

There are only three purposes that a blog should ever be written:

  1. To get organic traffic
  2. To go viral
  3. To pre-sell

Each of these three types of content forms an important part of your overall content marketing strategy. For long term growth, you should run a 70:10:20 ration. That is, 70% of your posts should be geared towards organic traffic, 10% should try to ‘go
viral’, and 20% should position your readers to buy a product.

How each type of this content is used:

Organic Content:

Organic content should be designed for evergreen traffic – this is content such as ‘gifts for ten-year-old boys’ or ‘how to use a balance bike’. It’s the content that you will put a lot of time into making high quality so that you can attract links
to it, which will ultimately help you rank and gain the traffic. For your organic content aim for 1,500-2,000 words, with1,890 being the average length of a first-page post (this post is 2,135 words as an example).

Viral Content:

To go viral content needs to have an intrigue factor. It needs to be the right balance of ‘click bait’ with authority so that your readers share your articles. I’ve never been great at creating viral Content – Only half a dozen of my blogs have
been shared more than 500 times in the last year, however, I still suggest you check out The Ultimate Guide To Viral Content by KissMetrics to learn about this point.

Pre-sell content:

Your pre-sell content should be softer than a direct pitch, but still be heavily suggestive. Things like gift guides and “Benefits of Product X’ posts are very useful and easy go to content for your pre-sell pieces. Because this content is designed to
sell, it’s likely it won’t ever get much organic traffic. This is why when promoting this content you should utilise strategies such as social posts, emailing your list, and even running remarketing ads to readers of similar content.

Create your content plan:

When creating your content plan always try to budget for a month’s content in a row. This allows you to order it in the most logical way.

For example, on Monday, you might post a piece about ‘How to use a balance bike’ as an organic piece. On Wednesday a Viral article about ‘How my son learnt to ride a bike and never fell over’, promoting the benefits of a balance bike. And on Friday a
sales piece ‘ Why every kid should learn to ride on a balance bike’.

Just like in an email sequence, this blog series will help you with your overall conversions.

Step 2: Keyword Research

The second phase is to find the right keywords for your blog.

To do this, I recommend using the Google Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to research keywords and keyword terms that you’re going to write about for your Organic content.

When choosing your keywords it’s easier to rank for ‘long tail’ keywords than it is for ‘short tail’. For example – Rather than writing a post about ‘kids presents’, narrow it down to ’10-year-old boys presents’. Yes, there will be less traffic for the
longer version. However, it does also have less competition which will allow you to rank easier and quicker. Because unless your blog is in the top 5 positions for your keyword the traffic that it will bring won’t be worth the time.

I suggest that your topics have at least 300 readers a month as a minimum, however, 500-2,000 is the sweet spot for traffic vs ability to rank I’ve found.

Research for Viral Blogs:

When researching for topics that will ‘go viral’, I recommend using a tool like BuzzSumo. This tool allows you to find content that has done well on Social Media and has been shared a lot. By learning from what has and hasn’t worked you can follow the
same traits as the top articles to boost your chances of success.

Step 3: Planning your article

Now it’s time to start putting your article together. To get significant traction from your blog, there are a few best practises that you should follow:

    1. Build your title around your keyword – don’t stuff it. If you’re writing a post targeting the keyword ‘gifts for ten-year-old boy’ then the worst thing you could do is that your title. It’s boring and no one will click on
      it. Instead, use something like “17 gifts all ten-year-old boys will love.”
    2. Use sub-headlines to provide dual readership pathways – There are two kinds of people who will read your posts. The first are those who will read every word, and the second are skimmers, who will skim the article reading only the subheadlines. The skimmers will, however, start reading more if one of your subheadlines is intriguing and captures their attention. Have a scroll through this article and see how I’ve used subheadings to break the piece up and provide this dual readership path. The
      other benefit of using sub-headlines is that it helps Google understand your article better, and as a result, it will likely rank you for more terms. Only use H2 & H3 tags for your subheadlines, not H1 (you should only ever have 1 per
      page)

Step 4: Optimizing your article for SEO

This article isn’t about SEO, nor is it about how to take your content to the top of Googles search results, however because Organic search is going to be the foundation of your traffic, below are a few basics that you should always follow when posting
your blog.

  • Always use only one H1 tag – Multiple H1’s can confuse Google while none is leaving a large amount of traffic on the table. Most themes will have your page title set to your H1, but check your source code to make sure.
  • Check your Meta Description is set – While Meta Descriptions don’t lead to higher rankings directly, by convincing more people to click through you will gain more traffic, your CTR will increase, and, as a result, your rankings may improve.
  • Only show a snippet on your main blog page – Many eCommerce merchants don’t use the ‘read more’ tag in WordPress and, as a result, their entire posts are showing on the blog page. Ensure that you use this setting only to show a snippet of the
    article. This allows your readers to browse articles quickly to find what they are looking for, plus it helps with reducing duplicate content issues on your main page. If in doubt how to implement this correctly click here to see how I’ve implemented
    it on our blog
  • Internal Link from other posts where relevant – Internal linking serves two purposes. First, it gives your reader the chance to read more articles that they might find interesting. And second it helps ‘funnel’ the ‘link juice’ through your
    website evenly so that all pages rank well.

Step 5: Promoting your post

In the world of content marketing, there is a saying that you should spend twice as much time promoting your content as you do producing it. So if you’ve been just writing, posting, and leaving it, then that is likely a large part of the reason you haven’t
had the results you’d hoped for.

There are are many techniques that you can use to promote your blog, but below I’m going to share with you the fundamentals. If you’d like to learn more advanced techniques, then I suggest this post and this post.

The three fundamentals for blog promotion are:

    1. Social Media- Share your content on multiple channels. Post it to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and all other channels that you belong to. These shares serve two purposes – Firstly they help get direct
      traffic to your blog which is great, and secondly they provide social signals, which may (there is a lot of debate) contribute to improving your rankings.
    2. Email marketing – At the very least you should email this blog to your blog readers email list. If you don’t have a separate list for your blog readers, then I highly recommend you get started with email segmentation ASAP. Short 3 line emails get the best results for sharing content like this.
    3. Getting links – To accelerate your ranking in Google it’s important that your posts get links. By submitting your blog feed to sites like alltop.com you’ll get a fresh link to each post when they are pushed live.

eCommerce Blog Blueprint Wrap Up

So there you have it – A complete guide on how you can grow your website traffic and sales using your blog. As I mentioned there are far more advanced techniques that you can use to accelerate growth even more, however until you’ve mastered the basics
I wouldn’t suggest that you invest your time there.

If you’re a complete beginner to creating awesome visual elements that would smash engagement, you could use a cool page builder tool to break down the information into smaller chunks to make it easier for your audience to understand.

So now there is only one thing left to do – Open a document and get to work on your eCommerce content and blog plan!

If you have any questions, simply leave them in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to help out.