Blogging can be extremely important to ecommerce businesses. It’s one of the easiest ways to update the content on your website, and it also demonstrates your expertise about your products. When done correctly, blogging can complement your products and offer a reason for people to return to your website, even when they’re not currently interested in purchasing from you.
Blogging Builds Trust
Ecommerce sites often focus on attracting visitors for the immediate sale, but sometimes you have to court a customer before they’re ready to turn over the cash. With a traditional brick-and-mortar store, consumers know they can reach you if they have questions. It’s more difficult to find the same level of trust with an online store. By providing valuable and free information to potential customers, you’re building trust that you know what you’re talking about and you’re in it for the long haul.
Show Off Your Expertise
Consumers usually purchase from companies that have expertise with their products and in their industry. A blog is an opportunity demonstrate this expertise, and to discuss issues of interest to your customers and provide them with valuable insight and information.
Easy Search Engine Optimization
Search engines like sites that constantly update their content. Blogging gives you an easy way to update the content on your site, while still providing something of value to people. If you are sure to include top keywords for your industry, you’ll also have a way to build valuable links to your site.
Have a Conversation
Blogging gives you the opportunity to have a conversation with customers and others in the industry. If they have a blog and you have something to say, you can comment on it (with a link back to your blog), or you can post a more lengthy response on your own site. Pointing out other places to check out great content in your industry is a good way to start having a conversation with other bloggers.
Not every blog will get comments, but if you spend some time connecting with your readers and other bloggers, you’ll probably get some feedback. Once you’ve been blogging for a while, you should have an audience you can tap into from time to time with short, one-question surveys. And people are more likely to give feedback if they feel you’re interacting and not just advertising your wares.
Show Some Personality
Many great ecommerce sites have a personality that is associated with the company. People are more willing to purchase from another person. They want to know a little bit about you and the company. The days of the general store where the clerks knew your name and everything you’ve ordered are mostly gone, but you can still connect with your customers by showing a bit of personality on your blog.
Zappos is well known for its use of social media to promote its products and website. Not surprisingly, there are several blogs on Zappos. Different people blog for the company, and they write about what they’re passionate about, which helps to create connections with different segments of Zappos’ customer base.
Threadless Tees has built an entire business on engaging customers for its design creations, and the company has several different blogs. Interviews spotlight different designers or artists and tell the story behind their designs and what influences them. Sightings and sponsorships are about celebrities spotted with Threadless tees and companies that have used the T-shirts for promotions. News and updates keeps customers updated about Threadless events and promotions.
Blogging does take a bit of patience and time. Ideally, blogs should be updated on a regular basis, and it may take a bit of time for the blog to gain traction. But, the return on the blogging investment is quite high in terms of content, SEO, and, most importantly, trust and reputation.