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Blogging for Ecommerce: Best Strategies for Online Stores

20 min read

Launching an e-commerce store these days is easy. But generating real profit and growing your store into a reputable brand — now that’s a real challenge.

The ease of starting an online store means that e-commerce is now a super competitive space. New stores spring up and fade away each day, and their survival and success depend heavily on their marketing efforts.

That’s why emerging e-commerce brands should use one of the best marketing tools — blogging.

This article will break down the fundamental importance of business blogging and strategies for creating quality content to convert through it.

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Why Is Blogging Essential to E-commerce?

As a new e-commerce entrepreneur, you already have your hands full with endless to-dos such as sourcing products, managing inventory, fulfilling orders, providing customer support, and more.

Even so, you can’t ignore the significance of maintaining an active and engaging blog on your e-commerce website. Here’s why:

Blogging helps your SEO efforts

Google search constitutes a significant chunk of a typical e-commerce website’s traffic, 33% to be precise.

The higher quality blog posts you put out, the more likely your store will secure top ranks on Google search results. That’s because text-based content infused with the right keywords helps search bots better understand what your website is about.

Blogging builds your brand’s thought leadership

Your blog is the perfect place to share actionable advice: tips and tricks, tutorials, and even industry news and knowledge. If you’re a veteran in your niche, you can also share some personal stories and experiences that can help newbies get a feel for your niche or industry.

If you consistently publish valuable content that resonates with your target audience, they’ll start trusting your brand as an authoritative thought leader.

Blogging inspires brand loyalty

With an active, relatable blog, your business becomes more credible in your customer’s eyes, both new and old. Quality articles will help you drive more sign-ups to your email list. Through that, you can then share exclusive deals and discounts that lead to more sales.

well-thought-out blog also gives customers a reason to keep coming back to your store, indirectly leading to more conversions in the long run and improving the customer lifetime value.

So, while posting exciting content on your e-commerce brand’s Instagram profile will help drive traffic, gain followers, and boost brand awareness, you can only get so far without creating blog content that lives exclusively on your website.

Once your e-commerce store is up and running, it’s time to start working on a game plan to create and publish high-quality content consistently — articles that are useful, informative, and also entertaining to read.

Strategies to Create Quality Blog Content

Merely churning out blog post after blog post of so-so quality whenever you have time will bring you little-to-no value. So, what should you do instead? Here are four concrete strategies to being consistent with your business blogging and realizing its true potential for your e-commerce store.

Outsource to expert writers

Creating quality content is no easy feat, and for a time-strapped business owner, the actual writing part of blogging can seem overwhelming. Researching, outlining, drafting, editing — blogging may look easy from the reader’s perspective, but a lot goes on behind the scenes.

If you have the budget, it’s not a bad idea to hire an in-house team of writers or send a project proposal to a content marketing agency. But that’s likely not the case. And besides a big marketing budget, these options also require a long-term commitment.

So if you’re strapped for time and cash, a sensible and relatively cost-effective way to get the job done is to outsource writing to niche freelancers. Not only will they take things off your plate, freeing you up to tackle other important business affairs, but they also bring in their years of subject matter expertise, which makes for better quality content.

You can also choose to use licensed, “syndicated” content produced by trusted professional publishers. This is an inexpensive way to populate your blog and drive traffic while writing some posts in-house to advocate your brand’s values and form deeper connections with your audience.

Create focused blog posts

Different types of blog posts have different goals—some are super-comprehensive long-form guides meant to drive organic traffic and educate potential customers. Some are bite-sized and meant to be more social media share-worthy. Others espouse your brand’s principles or convey a big-picture message.

Content that helps bring visitors to your store won’t necessarily convince them to make a purchase. And so, creating content for every stage of a buyer’s journey is crucial.

Typically, your blog is a prime place to house “awareness” content that educates and entertains your audience, without being promotional. This type of content draws interest and builds trust with new visitors who’ve landed on your website for the first time, be it via search or well-placed social media links.

Below is an excellent example of such how-to content from Packit Gourmet, an e-commerce trail food brand.

Once your audience is aware, you can use “branded” content to introduce them to your products without seeming overly salesy. You can subtly plug your products in your educational blog posts, so people know your products and services are great choices worth considering.

The branded post shown below does a fine job of highlighting products with crisp photos and no hard selling.

Unless you’re announcing a new product launch, your business blog should never contain overtly promotional content — keep that for your product pages and social media.

With 56% of B2C marketers crafting content based on specific stages of the buyer’s journey and bringing in strong results, this will become a strategy you swear by.

Create smart CTAs for your product

While being subtle and natural with product promotion in your blog is the way to go, you might also think about featuring relevant products at the end of each blog post.

Go ahead and create visually appealing calls-to-action for your products (consider making short product highlight videos) and integrate them at the end of the post, so readers know your brand is an expert option that’s just a few clicks away.

Just make sure featured product CTAs complement your blog content (not distract from it) and remain at the end of the posts.

For example, Simple Pin Media’s blog posts are a great example of how to place compelling CTAs to your readers. As pictured below, the CTAs to read her book and visit her podcast are positioned at the very end, after readers have already been delivered value by the post and convinced of her expert insights.

This writer also gives compelling reasons the blog’s readers should check out these resources, hopefully driving them to take action.

When featuring your products in blog articles, don’t forget about Buy Buttons. These help to get products in front of potential customers by adding a shop button to your blog pages. Readers will be able to buy products right from your blog post.

Examples of the Buy Buttons you can add to your blog posts

With Ecwid E-commerce, you can choose from different Buy Button layouts to match your blog’s aesthetic.

Apart from using Buy Buttons, you can add a whole online store to your website. Ecwid stores can be added to any website including popular blogging platforms like WordPress. If you’re a WordPress user, take notes: Ecwid E-commerce is compatible with the most popular page builder for WordPress, Elementor. It’s code-free and easy to use, perfect for beginners.

Leverage an editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is one of the most useful weapons in your content marketing arsenal. It helps you streamline your planning and publishing process so you can focus on content creation.

After all, the key to business blogging success is consistency. You need to be persistent with your publishing for a few months, and you can’t do that without an editorial calendar.

Source: HubSpot

Check out a neat editorial calendar template that’ll keep your blogging efforts organized and on track all year long.

Promote and Convert Through Content

Creating and publishing great posts is only half the blogging battle. You can have the most entertaining and enlightening content, but it won’t do you much good for traffic and conversions unless you promote it actively.

Here are three nifty ways to do that.

Advertise on social networks

Don’t hesitate to share your blog posts on all social media channels, using both your personal and your brand’s social media accounts. Share each post at least three times over a few weeks to make sure every post gets the maximum possible readership from your followers.

Then, take your content promotion a step further by running ads on Facebook and Instagram. You can launch an ad campaign for both platforms using Facebook Business Manager.

You may already be using Facebook and Instagram to run product video ads. This is great for reaching potential customers who are ready to finalize a purchase. But for the people who haven’t yet heard of your brand or are in the early stages of their buyer’s journey, content ads are often a better bet.

With content ads in the form of promoted Facebook posts and Instagram Stories ads, you warm up an unaware audience and engage potential customers who aren’t ready to buy from you just yet, and thus, cover each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Regular posts can be promoted too (Image: @reclaimdesign)

Not to mention driving a paid click to branded content only costs a few cents instead of a handful of dollars for a paid click to a product page.

Running ads for your blog allows you to generate inexpensive traffic (and you can target the exact audience demographics in the campaign) to your website, and elevate your brand visibility.

Create and grow your email list

Today, there are over 3.9 billion daily email users, and this number is expected to grow to 4.48 billion users by 2024. It’s safe to say your customers use email on a near-daily basis.

Email marketing is compelling for e-commerce businesses. It’s a key communication channel that allows you to nurture a one-to-one relationship with your customers by personalizing your marketing messages.

In fact, for every $1 you spend (sensibly) on email marketing, you can expect a return as high as $44 — a 4400% ROI!

Building an email list is also important because most visitors aren’t looking to buy from you right away. They may have landed on your blog looking for information, or merely browsing your catalog for kicks. It’s your job to convert them into subscribers so you can keep them in the funnel and market to them until they’re ready to make a purchase.

Using popups is one of the ways to grow your email list (Image: Hansen Distillery)

Of course, first you need to create an email list by capturing your site visitor’s email addresses. Here are a few great ways to do that:

  • Incorporating carefully timed pop-ups.
  • A striking email sign-up button in the sidebar of your blog or at the bottom of the posts.
  • Creating a newsletter-based online course, or a weekly/monthly newsletter promising the finest content and exclusive deals.
  • Offering exclusive gated content such as a relevant step-by-step guide in exchange for their email address.
  • Creating interactive content such as a quick quiz and presenting results in exchange for their email address.
  • Inviting visitors to sign-up for your list on your “About” page, where you tell your brand’s story in a way that resonates with your target audience.

Once you get people to subscribe to your email list, make sure to deliver on whatever you promised them.

Start by sending them a warm welcome email thanking them for signing up and explaining how often they’ll receive emails from you, what kind of content they’ll receive, any exclusive benefits you offer to your subscribers, and how they can simply hit reply in case of any questions.

Getting email marketing right is about sending relevant emails to the right people at the right time. That is, at different stages of the buyer’s journey (first-time customers, cart abandonment, post-purchase, and so on), timely emails can encourage subscribers to take the desired actions.

Also: Automated Marketing Emails to Drive Sales Hands Free

Besides using it for sending cart abandonment messages, cross-sell recommendations, and feedback requests, email is an ideal channel to distribute your blog content. By including entertaining and helpful articles next to your products, you’re giving your subscribers who aren’t in the shopping mood a reason to engage.

So, use content to guide subscribers and help them make their way to the decision stage. You already have a solid idea about their pain points and preferences, so send helpful content and resources to make them see why you’re a wise option to buy from.

Harper Wilde, an e-commerce brand that sells everyday bras, is an excellent example of blogging done right. They focus on creating content that answers questions their audience is likely to have about bra shopping, sizing, and care. Their blog also serves as an FAQ section for their site, a highly effective strategy you can emulate. Their brand voice is unique, relatable, and fun.

Importantly, they also use their content to build up their email list. Their email opt-in is found beneath their blog, and they encourage visitors to sign up for “bra tips & puns.” This marketing tactic and email language is consistent with their brand voice.

In short, the name of the game here is creating and leveraging an email list to build a value-driven relationship with your audience, and send relevant content to slowly turn subscribers into customers.

To make the most of email marketing for both your store and blog, use Ecwid’s Mailchimp integration. With Mailchimp, you’ll be able to grow your email list, create branded emails, send targeted campaigns and even add products to your emails — in a single click.

Use pop-ups wisely

Strategic pop-ups can be a highly effective way to collect your visitors’ email addresses and convert them into leads.

You’re not wrong in thinking of pop-ups as pesky and obtrusive, but studies suggest they work wonders for lead generation. For example, ZooShoo, a US-based women’s fashion retailer, generated over 5,000 extra subscribers, 1,129 of whom went on to purchase their products using pop-ups. In just two months, ZooShoo increased its net revenue by 7.35%.

While you can offer small discounts to incentivize sign-ups, conversion rates are typically higher when brands offer high-value, super-relevant content instead — such as a free e-book, a quick checklist, or a handy guide.

Promise them that they’ll get nothing but the best, most relevant content (and deals, of course) delivered straight to their inbox — no spam and an option to unsubscribe anytime!

Pop-up Dos:

  • Offer value that can’t be found anywhere else, such as an exclusive piece of content.
  • Have a clear call-to-action such as “Get my free guide” or “I’m in!” rather than a vague “Submit” button. The dismiss button should also be clear.
  • Are timed sensibly. It can be based on reader scroll depth (reached towards the end of the post), time on site (30 seconds to a minute), and other such factors.

Pop-up Don’ts:

  • Cover the entire page and make them difficult to close.
  • Have them appear too early or too often, especially after being dismissed by the reader.
  • Have a missing, cluttered or confusing call-to-action.

A smart way to collect potential customers’ emails from Mezari: use a popup that offers a gift

Start Blogging for Your Online Store

Producing fresh, high quality blog content consistently is a vital part of any online business’s marketing strategy.

By publishing this kind of helpful content on your website, you make your e-commerce business more valuable to your audience and search engines like Google, boosting your SEO.

As a result, your store will achieve first-page rankings for desired keywords, generate more traffic and leads, keep customers engaged, and inspire more loyalty and word-of-mouth from them.

Go forth, create great blog content, and take your selling game to the next level!

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About the author

Mark Quadros is a SaaS content marketer that helps brands create and distribute rad content. On a similar note, Mark loves content and contributes to several authoritative blogs like HubSpot Sales, CoSchedule, Foundr, etc. Connect with him via LinkedIN, Twitter, or email: workwithmarkquadros@gmail.com.

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