How To Crush It With Your Ecommerce Blog

The most forward-thinking e-commerce companies today view their blogs as extensions of their core offerings and use them to drive massive traffic and sales of their products.

There is no one-size-fits-all advice that makes awesome e-commerce blogs.  But there are shared traits that today’s successful Internet businesses employ.  (If you’re still unsure why you should be blogging or what to write about, you got to check out this article.)

Two of the most powerful are animated copywriting and laser-focused value propositioning.

Animate your Products with Masterful Copywriting

So many e-commerce sites sell similar things now that it’s hard to stand out.  One major lever blogs can use is to make the copy live — infuse it with energy, spunk and personality so that the brand lives in the words of the blog.

Remember, the blog can — and should — be used as the front end of your sales funnel. The content isn’t just a placeholder; it’s what’s going to compel browsers of your website to become active prospects.

Groupon’s Editor in Chief Aaron With said, “We’re mixing business with art and creating our own voice.”

 

Check out what AppSumo is doing as a daily deals sites for geeks.  The site sells software for people running Internet sites and educational material for techies.  Pretty boring, right?  Nah, subscribers actually look forward to receiving offers from the firm.

Now the language isn’t for everybody (“Sumo ass-whupping” turns some users off), but it does do a good job of weaving a story out of seemingly ho-hum products.

Copy writing is where businesses meet their customers online — every business is ultimately as good as its copy.

What to do next:

  • Read Copyblogger’s Copywriting 101, a great site and great info about how masterful copy writers influence readers to take action
  • Learn from Gary Halbert: Gary Halbert was really a guru copy writer before anyone knew how essential that skill was.  All of his sales letters, techniques, etc are available to learn from.
  • Check out Hubspot.  Few companies are better at giving away free content to capture an email and move users through the sales funnel.

The Blog as Value Proposition Clarifier

I made that word up (clarifier) but not the concept (and it really should be a word).  Successful e-commerce blogs don’t stop at providing valuable content to prospective customers — they actually have to clarify why someone would need your product.

The best e-commerce blogs slaying it are attracting new prospects and converting them to active customers.  And they’re doing so by

  1. defining the prospect’s maximum point of pain
  2. providing resources to help alleviate this pain
  3. channeling user activity with clear call to actions

Let’s look at KissMetrics, a web analytics firm that has a massively successful blog in the 3-step framework just mentioned:

  1. Pain point: KissMetrics is an analytics firm but knows its customers need help with general marketing (without traffic, who cares how to measure it??).  So, the blog becomes a resource for growing and managing a web business.
  2. Resources: Old-school e-commerce sites would never have even mentioned competitors on their websites (Google Analytics).  Instead, KissMetrics is mature enough to understand that many of its users are already using (free) Google Analytics and sets out to help them.  The site also does a really good job of using infographics (as pioneered by personal finance site, Mint.com), valuable charts/illustrations of data that help prospects learn more.
  3. Call to Actions: It’s not enough to just give away awesome content with well-storified content.  Provide users the means to learn more from you, to take the relationship up a notch.  E-mail captures should abound with clear explanations of what prospects get in return.

Successful blogs provide another powerful dimension to e-commerce sites, enabling them to weave an powerful story about the company and its products.

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