In the last few weeks, I've had several clients and contacts ask me about the importance of having a blog and some tips for making it effective and engaging. And well, what better place to share these tips with you then right here on our very own!

Could you give three reasons why e-commerce businesses should have blogs, and explain why each is important?

  1. Content is king. Having authentic brand content, regardless if your business is B2C or B2B, helps potential clients have a better understanding of you who are as a business, what you stand for, and is an essential way to develop a more personal connection to your target audience. Utilizing a blogging platform is the perfect way to build that content.
  2. Blogs are an essential piece of a thriving SEO strategy. Search engines prioritize valuable content and the more authentic and relevant the content is, the better. Search engines also prioritize websites with fresh content, so the more you post, the bigger the trigger to search engines like Google that your site is active and your organic search ranking will improve.
  3. Blogs are the platform for thought leadership. Your blog is the ultimate place where you can share expert tips, best practices, and provide your company’s thoughts and perspectives on growing or dying trends in your industry.

What are some tips that you'd offer for effective business blogging?

  1. Stay true to your brand voice and core values.
  2. Discuss topics that are relevant to your business, timely in the media/news and of interest to your potential customers.
  3. You don’t necessarily need to blog about a business promotion or new product for an effective blog.
  4. Keep track of your blog analytics. Track readers, click-throughs, popular topics, shares, and comments. This data will give you invaluable insights into your blog audience’s (potential customers, and existing customers’) interests.
  5. Let your blog be a two-way conversation. If there are comments on your post, be sure to respond and create a dialogue.
  6. If you are using a separate platform than your website, make sure the blog design is cohesive with your site, so there is a clear connection between the two. Ideally, you should build the blog into your website as additional articles/pages for the most added-value to SEO.
  7. Every time you post on your blog, be sure to share the article across your social platforms for increased exposure and engagement.
  8. Don’t be afraid to mention other relevant brands. Doing so is a great way to appear more credible (and less biased), create potential partnerships, and further build SEO.

What are common mistakes you see in business blogging, and how can they be avoided?

  1. Making the blog too “sales-y.” When you are only blogging about promotions, sales, and linking back again and again to your website, the blog will be seen as inauthentic, and your audience may lose interest.
  2. Staying too formal or corporate-like. If your brand’s tone of voice is formal or corporate, of course the tone should lean more in that direction than say a low-key surf shop. At the same time, your blog is a place where you have the opportunity to create a connection to your audience in a way you may not have on the home page or services page of your website. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader. If you wouldn’t want to read it, you probably shouldn’t have it on there.
  3. Staying too focused. Yes, having a niche and strategic direction is crucial, but don’t be afraid to branch out with your content. If your blog only discusses one or two topics, and just puts a different spin on it each time, readers will become tired and uninterested.
  4. Posting purely for SEO benefits. While the upside for your SEO strategy can be vast by having a blog, it should not be abused. Overusing keywords, and discussing irrelevant topics to try to create SEO friendly content will backfire. Stay authentic, stay true to your brand, post regularly, and have fun with it!

Stay Fearless.