Content Ideas for a Blog for an Online Shop

ASK GAIL: ANSWERING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS QUESTIONS

ASKgail

Hi Gail,

I’ve been making a lot of changes to my business and feel that quality content on my new website is needed in order to be found in searches. Honestly, I’m a little confused by it. I understand quality content from a bloggers point of view but for an e-commerce site, I’m not sure what to put on there that is going to get me found in searches where people will be looking to buy my products. My main focus is to promote my Smoosh Boxes right now. 

Thanks!

Brittany 

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Hi Brittany,
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Good question. Yes, bloggers whose blog is their actual business is much different from a blog for an online shop. Since you are targeting dog owners, and your new product is a monthly subscription box service, there is a variety of content you can post that your potential customers will be searching on. Then, as a result, they will hopefully stumble upon your online shop via your blog posts.
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Here are some ideas for content that I think your target market is searching for, based on using Google’s auto-complete feature. You start by typing in “dogs”, “French bulldogs”, “dog lovers” etc., and see what longer search phrases come up. This is a good way to determine potential blog titles and content.
  • 15 Christmas Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers
  • 5 Awesome Monthly Subscription Boxes for Pet Owners
  • 8 Boston Terrier Puppy Training Tips
  • 20 Male Dog Names & Their Meaning
  • 12 Non-Shedding Dog Breeds
  • 10 of the Cutest Puppy Videos on YouTube

You do not always have to write original content, you can curate content as long as you give credit. Now, because you are primarily an e-commerce site and not a blogger by trade, you just have to post once a week. You may want to make it on #WoofWednesday.

Best of luck!

Gail

Just 3 More Things to Do…

Thanks for your support!

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.

Weekend Reading List for Small Business 6/5/15

by Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

Sorry, I know I missed last week but I was swamped with consults! Here is my list of small business news to catch up on this weekend.

small business blog roundup

Lots of great reading in my archives as well. Just use the search option in the sidebar. Enjoy your weekend! Gail 

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Is Your Online Shop Taking Advantage of the Summer Rush?

by G.B. Oliver

When looking at the top retailers online, I noticed one reoccurring theme that you may want to add to your shop – and it is “Summer“. Every major store right now is promoting summer items, sales, and more, and you should jump on board as well.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 11.29.10 AM

Most Popular Trending Headlines:

  • Summer Clothing
  • Summer Style
  • Summer Entertaining
  • Summer Beauty
  • Summer Wedding
  • Summer Decorating
  • Summer Recipes
  • Summer Reading
  • Summer Camp
  • Summer Fun
  • Summer Sale

This is a way to connect with visitors to your shop as to what their needs are right now. It is also an opportunity to get into editorial (more immediate media like blogs and newspapers) as these are the types of articles they are writing about, not to mention capitalizing on any trending summer hash tags or themes on social media.

Even looking at the HARO (Help a Reporter Out) requests today, I saw the summer themes consistently popping up in editorial requests:

  • Looking for Five Great Travel Products
  • Makeup tips for an Outdoor Wedding
  • Beach Makeup Tips
  • Keeping Your Party Business Afloat This Summer
  • Products to Turn Your Home into a Relaxing Seaside Retreat
  • Adorable Swimsuits for Little Girls
  • Best Beach Bags for Summer
  • Family Vacation Saving Tips

So take a look at your shop and see if you can categorize your products into one of these summer trends, to take advantage of the next several weeks of seasonal buying habits.

Other Trends To Keep in Mind for June/July:

  • Fourth of July
  • Vacations
  • Festivals
  • Beach
  • Fireworks
  • Barbecues
  • End of School
  • Weddings
  • Swimsuits

Exploit the summer trend by offering your own summer sale, change-up your landing page with a summer theme, bring to the forefront items that are in this vein, and tailor your social media postings to fall in line with the trend as well.

FINAL WORD: It is important to make sure that your online store is always in step with what buyers’ current needs are to avoid seasonal slowdowns. Marketing is all about taking advantage of the latest opportunities and finding a way to apply them to your business.

MalloryHopeDesign_AGMarketing_eBook_HomeProductsNeed More Marketing Advice?

My series of ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!, walks you through all my best tactics for selling successfully online, with version for selling Home products, Wedding products, Kids & Baby products and Jewelry & Accessories. Please check out my Ebook Shop at the top of the page.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

4 Tips to Ensure Customers Join and Stay on Your Email List

by G.B. Oliver

One of the biggest revenue streams for any online business is repeat customers. Once someone has bought from you, if they are happy, it would seem obvious that they would likely buy from you again. Getting them to subscribe to your email list is a great way to keep customers coming back, but it can also turn people off in fear they are going to be inundated daily with messages from you.

email_signup
Email Sign-up at OldNavy.com

So, here are some tips to get customers to subscribe:

  • Explain Exactly What They Are Getting. It’s as simple as stating, “We frequently offer one-day sales up to 40% off. If you would like to be notified, please add your email to this list. We promise, no more than one email a week.”
  • Give Them Options. Better to have them a little, than not at all. For example, “If you would like to be notified when we are having a sale of 30% or more off, please subscribe to our 30%+ list. If you wish to be notified of all sales, please subscribe to our All Sales list.” OneKingsLane.com actually allows you to choose which days of the week and times of the day (AM or PM) that you wish to be notified of any sales. People like having options and being the one in control.
  • Allow Emails to be Product-Specific. Maybe you sell a variety of products and they are only interested in certain ones. So, offer customers the ability to select certain items that they would like to be notified if they go on sale. This is similar to the service Hukkster.com, which allows you to track your favorite products on any shopping site and be notified when that specific product goes on sale.
  • Maintain Email Etiquette. You can also offer a feature that Fab.com does, whereby Fab will stop sending you emails if they detect that they are going unopened. It is a new form of email etiquette as they are assuming you are away and they do not want to fill up your inbox unnecessarily.

If you are not selling on your own site, but a major marketplace, you can still have customers sign-up for Email Alerts through your Gmail Contacts Group.

FINAL WORD: If you want repeat customer business from your email marketing campaign, you have to be more flexible and scale it to what different customers want and need. People have become leery of email, so give them options and they will be more likely to subscribe. (By the way, did you know you can be alerted by email when I have a new blog post by just clicking on the Follow icon  in the  right side bar).

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Product Photography I Love – March 2013

by G.B. Oliver

I love great photography. It really does help sell a product. Here are some favorites I found, and I will explain (in case it’s not obvious) what works that makes this a photo that sells.

Beauty Products

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Why It Works: I love this product shot by Crabtree & Evelyn for many reasons. One, I think by including the oranges in the shot, it really does convey that you will find them in the product. Two, I love how they positioned the bottles on this white washed table, making it feel like a very natural, fresh product. Finally, grouping all four products together really does help upsell, making you want the whole set.

 

Vintage Products

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Why It Works: The vintage shop, Dreamy  Whites, does an amazing job of shooting their vintage finds with magazine quality photos. The soft lighting makes the vintage product feel like it will fit into any type of home today. Showing the product in use is always a good idea. If you just saw a photo of this basket on its own, empty, would you be as inclined to want it?

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Pet Products

kurgo-pet-skybox-booster-seat-d-20090924170450133~526856

Why It Works: This is a great product shot from a company called Kurgo selling on HSN. You can never go wrong showing a cute dog, and this one is a great model. Again, showing the product in action helps me visualize it in my own car and with my own sized dog. And they make it look just too adorable to pass up.

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Paper Products

laser-cut-pebble-wedding-invitations2

Why It Works: Invitation company, Luscious Verde, shows various aspects of the design in one photo, really highlighting nice details you might have otherwise missed. Doing a collage is a great way to ensure the customer see all the features and benefits.

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FINAL WORD: Photos really can sell a product if you use them to highlight use, need unique features. Plus, with today’s image-hungry online environment, top quality photos are more likely to be “pinned” and “liked” helping your products to go viral.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Google Search Phrases On The Rise

by G.B. Oliver

★ THIS BLOG POST  MADE NY TIMES SMALL BUSINESS, BEST OF THE WEEK 

I love looking at Google Trends and seeing which search phrases are popular, but also which ones are on the rise. The great thing about Google Trends is you can customize it by country and by time period (i.e. last 7 days), so it is a great tool to keep on top of the marketplace. So I entered some product categories to see what the top rising search phrases were, for the last 3 months, worldwide.

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For the jewelry vendors out there, and I know there are lots, these are the top rising search phrases:

  • Cheap Body Jewelry
  • Hematite Jewelry
  • Amethyst Jewelry (amethyst is the February birthstone)
  • Bridesmaid Jewelry

For wedding products vendors, typing in wedding was too generic, so here are the top rising search phrases, worldwide, in the last 3 months for “Wedding Invitations”:

  • Fun Wedding Invitations
  • Coral Wedding Invitations
  • Country Wedding Invitations
  • Homemade Wedding Invitations

For vendors of baby products, again, typing in baby was too generic. So I tried “Baby Clothes”, and these were the top risers:

  • Baby Summer Clothes
  • Neutral Baby Clothes
  • Crochet Baby Clothes
  • Handmade Baby Clothes
  • Unisex Baby Clothes

For vendors of art, I typed in the phrase “Wall Art” and this is what resulted:

  • Kitchen Art
  • African Wall Art
  • Bathroom Wall Art
  • Beach Wall Art
  • Kitchen Wall Art (Kitchen seems to be in big demand)

For vintage sellers, these were the breakout rising searches for “Vintage”:

  • Vintage Valentines
  • Modern Vintage Boutique
  • Vintage Swimwear
  • Vintage Prom Dresses
  • Vintage Bridesmaid Dresses
  • Vintage Style Dresses

For sellers of home products, it is a little tougher to narrow things down. So I entered “Decorative” and these were the results:

  • Decorative curtain rods
  • Decorative baskets
  • Decorative bird cages
  • Decorative wall hooks
  • Decorative ceiling tiles

FINAL WORD: When you look at searches in lesser time frames, like the last 3 months, it helps you to see popular cyclical searches, such as Valentine’s, and also how far in advance people start searching for different events or seasons. For example, people are already searching for summer items. Use Google Trends to help you find where that next opportunity lies for your online business.

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Online Stores I Love – Harabu House

by G.B. Oliver

One of the things I try to do with my blog is frequently point out Marketing I Love and Products I Love, but today I am actually going to talk about an Online Store I Love. The store is called Harabu House and if you are looking for ideas to what makes an online store work, you definitely should check them out.

Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 10.41.45 AMHarabu House was launched in 2010 and is an exclusive online eco-boutique for contemporary and stylish global finds. Their mission is to find sustainable products that provide economic, social and environmental benefits to the artisans who create them, and they carry products from all over the globe.

What Harabu House is Doing Right:

  • Great Products – They carry truly unique, beautiful products for the home (as well as some jewelry and fashion accessories). From hand painted tea cups to teak measuring spoons, everything seems to have a mix of the exotic and the contemporary at the same time. Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 10.44.17 AM
  • Easy to Navigate – I personally do not like busy home/landing pages and Harabu’s is sleek and simple. They have a slide show running of various products with a caption such as “Find Me Under Dinnerware“, making it easy for the visitor to find the products on display. All the categories are neatly displayed at the top and the particulars such as contact info, FAQs, newsletter, and social media icons are tightly compacted in a barred off section at the bottom. I also love how that important upper right hand corner notifies customers of their free shipping offer on domestic orders over $75 with a hot pink elephant icon drawing the eye right to it.

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  • Gift Guide – Another icon on the home page is their gift guide. But once you click on it, you are actually then given more options to narrow it down further, such as a gift guide for housewarming, baby shower, for him, for her. Another attempt to make the shopping experience easier for the customer.
  • Product Descriptions – The product descriptions are so well written, with compact narratives that tell you everything you need to know and create a need to buy. They are typically followed by a small write-up about the artist. I love the Tell a Friend feature, allowing you to instantly email the product to a friend, the Add to Wish List icon, and the Request More Information icon – three great Call to Actions to keep buyers engaged.
  • Category Highlight – A nice touch this online store has, is that when you are in a particular product category, the icon behind it colorizes, reminding you where you are. Screen shot 2013-04-29 at 10.47.55 AM
  • Photographs – The photographs are definitely top notch. Well-lit, various angles, magazine-quality set-ups, typically showing the product in use. I also like that for certain products, they include a photo of any magazine editorial that product has appeared in, which helps credibility with customers because it acts as an endorsement.
  • Shopping Cart Total – A cool feature about their shopping cart icon in the upper right hand corner, is that it will not only display the number of items (which is pretty common with most online sellers) but it actually displays how much you have spent so far. Love that!

FINAL WORD: So, if you want a good example of what a sleek, attractive online home products shop should look like, check out Harabu House.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.