When I bring up blogging for ecommerce websites or an Etsy shop, most people say they don’t want to do tutorials, and they don’t know what else they would be writing about.
Other people say that they hate writing, and they don’t want to spend the time working on a blog.
I think that blogging is one of the easiest ways to get traffic to an online shop, and a blog can also serve other purposes. So what are some reasons to have a blog for your business?
If you have a website or any type of product-based business, having a blog on it provides an additional source of information for Google to find and categorize your website. It’s also a way for Google to find your listings faster. If you link to your products from your blog articles it helps Google to figure out that your products exist on the Internet.
There are a lot of reasons why you should have a blog for your business…Let’s talk about those, and about the reasons why you might think you wouldn’t be able to manage one.
Table of Contents
- Blogging helps Google find your products.
- How can I find time to write blog articles?
- Do I have to write tutorials if I do a blog?
- What should I write about on a business blog?
- Should my blog be on my website?
- Monetizing your blog.
- How can blogging help me in Google search results?
Blogging helps Google find your products.
Having a blog that’s attached to your online business provides a way for Google to find your listings faster. Writing articles that link back to your product pages makes it easier for Google to find and index them. This will get your listings into Google organic search results much more efficiently than just waiting for Google to index them separately.
Any kind of link that you can put online that leads to a product is going to be helpful. When Google crawls websites it looks for pages, and adding links will direct Google to pages that might otherwise be way down the priority list.
When you link from one page on your website to another page on your website it directs the Google crawlers directly to those pages, and this is a faster way to let Google figure out that your listings even exist.
In this example, I wrote an article about tropical-themed cake decorations, and I added a bunch of links to the article that went to the products. If Google finds the blog article, it will also have access to the product links, which helps get them found faster for Google search results.
How can I find time to write blog articles?
It can feel like starting a blog is going to take too much time, but if you’re creating a blog to support your product-based business, you don’t have to write on a schedule. Just create articles when you have time, and if you use the questions that your customers ask you all the time as topics, you can probably get 5-10 articles written pretty easily.
Another way to write is to dictate instead of writing.
As I write this blog article I’m actually busy making silicone molds for Etsy orders and talking.
I’m dictating this article as I’m physically making the molds, so I’m not even writing anything. I’ll go back later and edit and format things, but I’ll have most of the work done at that point.
There are so many ways that you can dictate with voice-to-text software, you don’t even need to sit down and type anything. And it makes it a lot faster to produce articles that you can then just go back and edit.
I don’t do every article this way, but it’s definitely a time saver. And if it adds to the content on my website then I’ll continue to do it this way!
I use the dictate feature on Microsoft Word, but there are a lot of other services that have voice-to-text. Some are free and come with your computer or mobile device, so look into those to see if they’ll work for you.
Do I have to write tutorials if I do a blog?
Another objection that I hear from people is that they don’t want to have to write tutorials, and they’re afraid that people are going to steal their work.
One of the benefits of writing tutorials is that you can show people how hard it is to make your products!
Or, on the other hand, how easy it is to use your products if you are someone who makes patterns or sells supplies.
Depending on how you create the article it can serve your purposes, and it’s not just going to be a way for people to come in and copy your work.
The truth is, there are so many pieces of information online already, it’s unlikely that anything that you do is going to be telling people information that they can’t already figure out.
If you have a specific process that you use that you have created yourself, definitely don’t write about that! But there’s no harm in writing about commonly-used techniques that have already been talked about online.
If you use this kind of article as more of a showcase of your skills than as a how-to, it will help to get traffic to your site, and it can also help your customers understand that they’re getting a genuine handmade item. Plus, they’ll get to know you better as the creator of those items.
In my case, I sell cake decorating supplies, so I use my blog to show projects that my customers have done using my products.
This helps to give people design ideas, but it also helps answer questions about how to use the products, and if people are nervous about that it takes away that fear.
So you don’t need to give away your secrets! You can definitely write a blog without doing in-depth tutorials.
What should I write about on a business blog?
If you don’t do tutorials showing how to make your products, what should you write about?
There are a lot of things that you can write about for a product-based website, including articles about your products, your industry, and your process.
Answer customer questions.
Writing doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be super technical. Any kind of roundup articles that you have with photos of your listings or information about them can be used to create a blog article that will direct people to your website and tell them more about your business.
The easiest thing to tackle first would be all of the questions that you get asked every single day by your customers.
If you write each question out as a single article with a well-thought-out answer, you can just direct customers to that instead of having to repeat the same information over and over.
This will save you time, and it’s also a way to direct people to your website when they ask you a question without explicitly saying “here’s my website.”
When people ask me questions I give a quick response, and then I say “I wrote a blog article about this that goes into it in more detail, here’s the link.”
It usually makes customers more comfortable purchasing from you if they can read a thorough explanation of their question. And they’ll get a better answer than they’d be able to if you just answered it quickly in an Etsy convo or an email.
Product demos and roundups.
Product demos are another topic that you can cover including showing how your products work, how to use them, and how to style them if that’s appropriate.
Because I sell supplies I do write about some tutorials, but they usually involve the products that I sell. They’re basically product demos, so customers can look at how the products are used before buying them.
Instead of demos, you can do product roundups that include information about the materials that you use, pictures of your products, and link to those products from the blog article.
Writing about industry information can be a good way to show how your products fit into trends, or to showcase a collection.
Combine industry news with a product roundup and write about things like how you’re incorporating the colors of the year or the season into your products.
By adding a lot of photos to these kinds of posts, you won’t have to write a ton of text, you can let the photos do most of the work!
Should my blog be on my website?
If you have a website that allows you to have a blog attached, you should definitely host it there so that it’s a subdomain of your blog. Adding more content to your blog will give Google context about your website, and also about your products if you’re linking to them from your blog posts.
Most website eCommerce services have a blog option, so if you have that, the easiest thing to do is just to have the blog hosted with your website.
If you don’t want to do that for some reason, you can always create a WordPress website or a website on another third-party platform like Blogger, and add direct links to your products.
However, this won’t really help Google associate your blog with your website, so the traffic benefits might not be as good as if it’s hosted in the same place.
If you don’t intend to stay on your selling platform, or if Etsy is your selling platform and you can’t put a blog on it, then having a blog on a separate website makes sense.
But if you’re planning on staying on the platform that you’re on and you’re happy with it, and it gives you the option of having a blog, then definitely keep it all in one place. You’ll also get the added authority of the topic added to your product website.
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links that will pay me a small commission if you use them to make a purchase.
Monetizing your blog.
Another benefit of having a blog for your website, beyond just sending people to your products, is the option of monetizing it and earning some money from ads and affiliate income.
Some platforms allow you to put ads on your blog and some don’t. So if this is something that you want to think about doing make sure that you can use ads before you build a blog and then find out that you can’t!
The easiest way to put ads on your blog is to use Google AdSense because that’s the largest network available. They don’t always accept people right away, though, and they don’t always give you a good explanation for why they don’t accept you.
When you put ads on your blog you go through ad networks, and most of them have traffic requirements. Because of that, it’s usually a good idea to build some traffic first, and then if you want to try to use ads you can do that down the road.
In addition, it might be a little weird to come to a shopping website and have ads for different websites on it.
I don’t have ads on my cake products website for that reason. I do use occasional affiliate links, though.
Affiliate income is something that you can do from the beginning of your blog even if you don’t have very much traffic.
There are many affiliate sites where you can sign up to basically be a salesperson for someone else’s products.
You would mention the product in your blog article, link to it using your affiliate link, and if someone follows that link and makes a purchase, you get paid a small commission.
Most of these affiliate sites are run through affiliate networks, which are basically clearinghouses for multiple businesses that are willing to pay people for affiliate traffic.
You have to apply to join them, and some of them do require a certain amount of traffic before you can sign up to be an affiliate in their network, but most don’t.
Once you sign up for the network, you generally have to apply to be an affiliate for each individual business that participates in the network, and that’s another level of requirements from each individual business.
Etsy has an affiliate program that they run through Awin, which is an affiliate network. You do have to apply for it, but they recently made it easier to be accepted because Etsy is running experiments with affiliate links on social media instead of just putting them on blogs.
If you want to learn more about that, I wrote another article about it in more depth. You can click to see that here: What is the Etsy Affiliate Program?
While most affiliate programs don’t pay a huge amount per sale, if you can get a few affiliate sales per month it’s a little bit of extra money, and that never hurts!
Amazon is the largest affiliate network, and it’s pretty easy to be accepted into it. You do have to make a certain number of affiliate sales within the first three months, and their payment rates are not very high.
However, it all adds up, and if you can post your affiliate link in your blog articles it might get a little bit of extra money if you are sending people to things that you don’t sell personally.
If you do decide to do affiliate sales, please read this article because it goes over the legalities and what you are required to do to disclose that you are being paid from those links. There are laws about disclosing links as ads so that consumers know they’re clicking on a link that could pay the writer.
How can blogging help me in Google search results?
Another reason why you should blog for your product-based business is that it can get you more placements in organic Google search results.
Because Google provides different ways that people can find answers to their questions, there are various ways that your site could show up in Google search results.
Google tends to limit the number of results that a website can have on the first page of search results.
And in general, it’s very difficult for individual products to show up on the first page because you’re competing against larger sites like Etsy, eBay, and Amazon.
By writing blog articles you can bypass that competition by ranking on the first page of search results for topics that are related to your products, then link to your products in the article.
This can actually be an argument for having a blog that’s separate from your website, because if it’s a different domain name Google will show the blog article as a separate entry in search results. You could potentially show up for more than one search result on the first page of Google search.
There are some search results on Google where I have my website, my YouTube channel, and my cake blog (which is separate from my website blog) all show up on the first page of search.
In addition, Google will also pull in photos and videos from my website onto that first page in the images results, and my Pinterest boards can also show up there too.
Because of this, I have some search results where I have a product, a blog post, a video, and images all ranking on the first page of Google search. And that does bring substantial traffic to my website.
If you want to learn more about this you can sign up for my SEO Club for Websites, which focuses on Google SEO and goes over how I use my blog in conjunction with my website to get traffic.
If you really want to get into blogging in a serious way in order to increase your income by relying on ads and affiliate income, you should definitely consider signing up for Project 24, which is the blog membership course that I belong to.
It’s the only program that I’m an affiliate for because I’ve seen how the strategies that they teach have increased the traffic from Google to my blog. By adapting these to a prpduct-based business, my website sales have gone up substantially over the past year.
They also have an excellent YouTube section, so if you are interested in building an income based on blogging or YouTube, I would sign up for this in a heartbeat. I would recommend it to anyone who’s serious about it, and I don’t do that with many programs.
If you’re not quite ready to sign up for that, you can always start with their YouTube channels where they do teach a lot of the basic version of the information in the program. Those are at Income School and Channel Makers.
Blogging for a product-based business is slightly different than blogging just in general!
However, using blogging strategies to get traffic will help increase your website’s visibility on Google and build your website’s authority.
That will then bring more traffic to your products, and probably increase your sales. So blogging is definitely worth the effort, and having a blog for your business can give you another way to be found in Google search results.
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