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3 sure-fire ways to find your next blog topic

15 Feb 2016

Late last year we answered the question 'do you need a blog for your ecommerce store' so it won't come as a surprise to you to know that the answer is yes. A blog allows you to provide additional value to your customers by providing them with additional information about the products you sell (for instance if you sell party supplies, your blog could be used to show how to create specific themes using the products that you sell), you can use blog articles when you send out to your email marketing lists, and a blog helps to create relevant content for your website which can bolster your SEO (search engine optimisation) efforts.

But quite often the hardest part about having a blog is working out what to write about. In fact that part is usually what causes blogs to be abandoned.

Here are 3 sure-fire ways to get your blog topics flowing...

#1: Look at your emails

Every day in business we receive emails from our customers. Most of the time for an e-commerce store they are asking for products to be ordered, but every so often you will receive a question. Why not expand upon that answer and turn it into something to write about on your blog? Chances are if one customer is asking about it, more have wondered about it silently.

For instance, if you receive an email asking if you provide gift wrapping and you do, then write a blog article called 'A little added extra to make someone's day', talk about your gift wrapping service, how it can be requested and include photographs of products which have been gift-wrapped. Make sure to mention if you charge extra for this service. As an additional bonus, if a customer can select a gift-wrap option during checkout, then you can include a small link here to 'see examples' and open a link to this blog article in a new window. Having photographic examples is a great way to increase the number of people choosing this option, and if it is a service you charge for, then it can be a nice little up-sell.

The same goes for your social media platforms; look at the comments and direct messages that you receive and see if any will be suitable for turning into a blog article.

Or if you have a FAQ section on your website, then pick a question, expand upon it's answer some more and you've just got yourself another blog article.

#2: Check out your product catalogue

This should be your go-to whenever you are stuck for inspiration. Pick one of your products (perhaps a best seller, or even one at random) and write an article about something it could be used for:

  • 500ml plant sprayer with plastic nozzle? Write an article about aphids and the damage that they can cause to plants, including what an aphid looks like and how to tell if your plant is infected with them. Include an easy 'recipe' for a natural based aphid killer (dishwashing liquid and cold water) and how often to use it.
  • Xmas LED lights? Write an article on safety including the safe ways to hang Christmas lights and how to not overload a power socket. Include photographs of some safe set-ups including steps for creating them. Talk about which lights are the safest to use.
  • Mussel Pot? Write an article about mussels, including tips for collecting them, how to tell if the supermarket ones are fresh, how to clean them and include a recipe or two for a great evening meal.

All the information to go alongside these (and any of your products) can be found by spending 10-15 minutes doing research on Google. Alternatively you could contact an expert (like a local gardener, electrician, or chef) and ask if they would write an article for you - make sure you credit their business with a link to their website and/or contact details.

And most importantly remember to include information about the product that you sell which relates to the article, including an easy way for an interested customer to add it to their cart.

#3: Other companies mailing lists can be your friend

There's nothing better than having the topic for your next blog article delivered directly to your inbox!

Take the time to join other companies mailing lists; whether they are industry leaders, complimentary to your business (for instance if you sell kitchen products, you might like to follow famous NZ chefs for their recipes), industry associations or even your competition. Set up a gmail or hotmail address to join with so that you can keep your research separate from your work email (helps to reduce clutter). Read what gets sent your way, but make sure unsubscribe from any that you don't feel offer value.

The benefit of doing this is you will be sent a raft of potential topics every week and once you've read the emails there's a very good chance that you'll find something which relates to your business that you either agree or disagree with. Once you've found this topic, sit down and start writing from your own company's perspective and before you know it you'll have another blog article ready to post!

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