Have you heard the phrase "blogging is dead"?
When people say this, they're usually referring to the old way of blogging, the way people used to do it a decade ago when blogs were just beginning their epic rise. Back then, blogs were more like diaries. Readers subscribed to blogs and kept up with them regularly, waiting for them to be updated.
Today this isn't so much the case, especially for e-commerce blogs. People don't subscribe to an e-commerce blog to keep up with company news. They're not checking regularly to see if your blog has been updated. Existing customers aren't thinking, "I like this company, I should subscribe to their blog for more information." And yet, e-commerce business owners make the mistake of blogging as if that old way of blogging is still alive and well.
Just because your shop design includes a blog, you don't have to feel obligated to update it regularly. You don't have to keep up a blog presence if you're blogging without a strategy. It's a big waste of your time.
I wrote about how to use your e-commerce blog to drive traffic to your website in another post, so if you want to get ideas for what you should be writing about and how you should be using your e-commerce blog, check that out.
Meanwhile, I want to highlight 5 ways I see e-commerce businesses misusing space in their blog. These common blog post types deliver information that is better shared elsewhere.
Here are 5 things you should stop writing about on your e-commerce blog (and where to write about them instead).
While I personally love attending pop-up shops and markets, I don't need to read your re-cap of what happened at your latest pop-up. You might find that these posts are difficult to write because they're just, well, boring. As a general rule, people don't want to read about a past event unless it was the Super Bowl or the Oscars.
What to do instead: It's important to keep a record of markets and pop-ups you've appeared at, but rather than blog about each one (where the news will eventually get buried), add a short list or a collection of logos on a separate page on your website.
Similarly, you might feel compelled to write about upcoming events you'll be appearing at, or to post your summer pop-up schedule to the blog.
What to do instead: Rather than bury upcoming events in your blog, add them to a separate Upcoming Events page on your website where people will be more likely to find them, as in this example from Badger Balm (above).
Recaps of News Features
I realize it's a big deal if you scored an important news feature, but when you use your blog to highlight the fact that your business was in the news, you're doing two things:
- Making it seem like being in the news is rare for you when you want to give the impression that it's the norm
- Burying your press validation in your blog, where it eventually becomes invisible
What to do instead: Don't get me wrong. It is a big deal when you get a mention in The New York Times. Therefore, you don't want to bury your press mentions in your blog. Follow Found My Animal's example (above) and include a bar of press logos at the bottom of your website design, near the footer.
New Product Alerts
If you're guilty of writing "new product alert" blog posts, don't worry, pretty much everyone does it. But that doesn't mean it's right! Unless you're a company like Apple whose new products are eagerly awaited by millions, adding a new product to your shop is non-news. You're an e-commerce company. You're supposed to be adding new products to your shop all the time.
What to do instead: There are a few ways to promote adding new products to the shop that don't involve burying the information in a blog post about it.
- Add a "New" section to your shop categories so people can immediately find recent additions
- Highlight new products in an email (like in the example from People Tree, above) that links to the "New" category on your website
- If your website design includes a home page carousel, include the new product announcement in a carousel slide
It's very tempting to include truly epic company news on your blog, but remember no one is going to go searching through your blog posts a year later to find that important news. It'll be buried forever!
What to do instead: Instead of making company news announcements on your blog, find ways to include that information on your About page. In the example above, Raleigh Denim Workshop added the fact that they were recently accepted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) to their About section.
Now, go create a strategy
If you've been using your e-commerce blog to do any of these 5 things, that's okay! Now you know you want to stop treating your blog like a repository of company information and instead use it to drive traffic and make sales. Read this blog post to learn more about how to do that!