I get this question a lot, “will a blog help my business?” And my answer is always the same, “it depends”. Let me explain.
Facts About Blogging
1. It is Time Consuming – you have to write at least one 400 word blog post Monday through Friday. Do you have something to say every day? Plus, you now have to promote the blog, in addition to your online business.
2. It is Free – there are a few upfront costs, like paying for your domain name or a layout, but otherwise it is free.
3. It Can Be a Source of Additional Revenue – if you take advertisers, but you have to build up a sizeable audience before that is an option.
4. It Can Help Establish You as an Expert in Your Field – which is helpful if you are selling your knowledge.
5. It Can Help Sell Your Products – if you do it right. And you can get ideas on how to do it right from these online stores below.
Blogs from Popular Online Stores
To help give you some examples of how a blog can help your online store, here are a couple of ones I like, and how I think their blog helps up-sell their products.
Layla Grayce sells everything from home decor to baby items to women’s fashion. Their blog is amazing because they have interesting, very visual blog posts that showcase their products but in a helpful way. For example, regular features include showing a product in their shop that matches something worn by a celebrity; inspiration boards that pull together various items in their shop for creating a certain look in your home; clippings of their products when they have appeared in popular magazine editorial. In other words, their products are the focus of every post, but they are doing it in a way that creates a need and helps establish use. Plus, the blog is pure eye candy, which will always keep people coming back.
West Elm has a blog called Front & Main. They offer lots of design advice with their Ideas & Inspiration section where they give you tips on colors, patterns and how to decorate with objects, all the time including their own products. Their We Love Handmade section profiles Etsy sellers that they carry in their online store and catalogs. In Your Open House they show before and after decorating photos and have guest posts offering insight from some of their designers. And in their Born in Brooklyn section, they include a link to every blog post, online article, inspiration board or Pinterest board that mentions one of their products, giving their press even more press.
Wedding Paper Divas is one of the most popular wedding invitation companies around. On their blog you will find photos from real weddings, wedding inspiration boards built around one of their designs, as well as tips for brides on how to add custom touches to all the paper products they offer. They even frequently have guest wedding experts that they let their customers ask questions to.
Want more suggestions and advice on how to use your blog to attract more customers? You’ll find that, and hundreds of other helpful ideas, in my marketing guides, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!
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