Want Ideas to Promote a Niche Ecommerce Site With A Blog?

by Sherryl Perry on February 18, 2011

Share Button

This week someone left a comment about wanting to add a blog to an ecommerce site. He recognized that it would be a great way to help drive traffic to his website but he didn’t know what to blog about. His perception was that “it is so hard to build a blog for niche ecommerce sites.”

Is it difficult to come up with ideas to blog about for a niche ecommerce site? What was he selling? Who are his customers? What would they be interested in reading about?

Trying to be helpful, I followed the link to his site and after spending a few minutes poking around, this is my reply to him:

“Hi Joe,

Do you know who your target customer is? I looked at your website and it looks like you may have different customers based on your product line. For example, the elderly may be your best market for your shopping carts, families on the go may be interested in your beach carts and obviously fishermen.

I didn’t spend a lot of time on your site but it doesn’t look like you’re selling the “benefits” of your carts. Why do people need/want them? Since your target customers are a little diverse, I might choose to blog about something like “mobility” and I’d probably target active baby boomers.

Once you narrow down who you’re writing for, then it should be easy to identify topics that interest them. Check out some other sites for general topics. Follow other bloggers online. Pick up newspapers and magazines that your target customer would read. Don’t forget to check out what your competitors are doing too. (You may be ahead of them with the blog idea.) Let me know if you want my ideas. I love brain-storming! :)”

What would your advice be for Joe? Do you have an eCommerce site that you would like to add a blog to ? (If you do and you’re looking for ideas, send me a link and ask me to take a peek.)

Share Button
Rudee
Twitter:
January 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm

This has been a tough journey. I am in the over 65 group and I am becoming more aware of social media. We are starting to write a blogs. I went to a competitors site and they have over 1000 blogs. I am struggling with ideas to come up and I do know the importance in order to get noticed. I couldn’t believe this past weekend when my granddaughter asked me if I was using Instagram. You blink and there is another social media target. How do you know which one is the most important?

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 22, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Hi Rudee,
You’d be surprised how many bloggers are in the same age group as you. Don’t let your age deter you. You’re not that old and you have experience to tap into.

To be honest with you, I don’t use Instagram myself. Rather than spread my Internet presence too thin, I concentrate my interactions mainly on: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. (LinkedIn is my #1 source of clients who I’ve met on social media.)

My advice is to start with Twitter and choose your user ID there. (They have the shortest length for your user name.) Second, go to Gravatar.com and register your user ID, enter your primary email address (associated with your main blog/website), enter your website URL and upload a profile pic. Then, register your user ID on as many social media sites as possible. (Even if you don’t intend to be active on that particular site, you don’t want someone else reserving your name.) If there’s a profile available, fill it out. Try to incorporate the make sure that you precede your URL with http:// which makes it clickable. (Don’t just enter http://www.domainname.com unless you have to.)

As for the best social media sites for you to participate in, that will largely depend on where your target customers/clients are. Continue commenting on blogs too and follow those bloggers if you like what they have to say. Share their content and hopefully, many of them will follow you back and share for you too.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Utilizing Social Media to Build Brand Awareness and AuthorityMy Profile

John Knights May 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I just have know this from Dean about finding a niche.
Flippa: is a website auction site a good source when researching possible niches and the best thing is that the webmasters who list their sites here take all of the guess work out of entering a new niche, they tell you how much traffic they get, how much they make from this traffic and how they make their money and who know they you may even find yourself a bargain.
Hope this can help.

Terje Sannarnes May 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

A blog is considered to be a highly effective tool to promote an ecommerce website and an entrepreneur can take numerous advantages from it.

Jonathan April 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Yes Sheryl I do have plans to integrate my own blog in the website some time soon. In the end I will still keep the blogger blog and another wordpress blog I have as all traffic feeders. My philosophy is the more the better.. I’m glad to join the discussion. Some great people here

Jonathan kush April 21, 2011 at 7:21 pm

I run a niche e commerce site and a blogger blog to complement the website and drive traffic to the main website. It all starts with knowing who you are trying to market to. From there I simply look for content that might interest them. But also make sure my blog content complements what I sell. Sheryl is right on that Point of knowing who you want to sell to first.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Thanks for joining us Jonathan. I’m curious that you mention having a blogger blog to compliment your niche eCommerce site. Do you have plans to integrate your blog into your main site?
Sherryl Perry recently posted..8 Reasons I Do NOT Follow Like or Connect on Social Networking SitesMy Profile

Moore parker March 25, 2011 at 6:32 am

I’m also like brain storming work. I think through niche you can target more people on the blog sites. Your target is dependent on their business product . You should use relevant content in their blog sites that can help to target the appropriate customer.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 1, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Absolutely Moore. It’s important to provide content in your blog that your target reader is interested in. Using the appropriate keywords in your titles, headers and content also helps the search engines to find your site. The goal is to appear in the organic search results.

Casey March 24, 2011 at 3:21 am

hi Sherryl Perry,
you given the nice tips to divert the traffic towards to your site. but i m little confuse could please elaborate how to get traffic and business related customer

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Hi Casey,
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I’ve been on vacation and have been playing catch-up ever since.

There are lots of ways to direct traffic to a business website including pay-per-click advertising. Blogging is another excellent way of building awareness of your business and driving traffic to your site. Search engines love new content which is another great reason to blog.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Is Online Shopping Like Being in the Self Checkout LaneMy Profile

Jay March 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Definitely if it’s a niche ecommerce site, (eg too niche to write a decent blog about easily) then focusing on a larger segement or vertical of that niche would be a good move. This way you can still interest the people that read the blog / buy the product, but can write about a much broader range of topics!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
March 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Great suggestion Jay! That’s why it’s so important to understand who your customer is. You can’t begin to know what they would be interested in reading until you’ve answered that question. Thanks for joining the conversation!

Dennis Salvatier
Twitter:
February 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm

You hit the nail right on the head. You taught him a very important lesson that we shouldn’t sell our product (which can very), we have to sell the value. I hope he appreciates what you did for him.
Dennis Salvatier recently posted..How I Lost a Potential Client TodayMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Thanks Dennis. From reading your blog, I know you understand exactly what I’m talking about as do many of the other readers who have left comments here. I hope it’s been a beneficial read for other people too. There have been some great suggestions left in the comment section.

Jill Tooley from @QLP Blog
Twitter:
February 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Sherryl, you really know your stuff! It’s important to note that there’s a difference between being aware of your competitors’ efforts and blatantly ripping them off. The key is to use a good idea as a base in order to build upon it and improve it. Not that anyone here would consider dishonesty like that, but I felt it was worth a mention. I had a run-in with plagiarism recently (although it wasn’t with a competitor, just a random site), so it’s fresh in my mind! 🙂

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I had a run-in with plagiarism too. It was a blog that uses a content scraper. There’s no reason to rip anyone off but I believe we can always learn from each other.

Catarina Alexon
Twitter:
February 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm

You gave him great advice Sherryl. Add Susan’s suggestion and he can’t fail with his blog.

In fact by getting his customers input and feedback on what they want from his ecommerce site he may increase revenues tremendously.

My suggestion is that you give him a price for setting up the blog and do the blogging for him. He seems so confused he should use someone else. Once you have it up and running he will eventually be able to do it himself. If not, you have got youself a nice little earner.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 22, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Thanks for your support Catarina. If he contacts me, I’d be glad to help him. He has a nice site in a competitive market. Two of the biggest benefits to him of adding a blog would be more visibility with the search engines and engaging his customers (as Susan suggested).

Catherine Lockey
Twitter:
February 20, 2011 at 2:46 am

Great post Sherryl. Really, what e-commerce site couldn’t use a blog? There is an endless supply of stories one could tell about any product. Success stories, how to use the product stories, creative ways to use the product contests, history and development of the product stories… For example, if I sold pet food I could write about pet health, pets and depression, how pets change the lives of the elderly, pet grooming etc. Blogging is a great way to manage one’s reputation too.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Thanks Catherine. I love all the ideas on here. The comment section is terrific on this post!

Susan Oakes
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Hi Sherryl.

Good advice and as he already has an Ecommerce and presumably customers he can always get their input as a starter for blog topics. If he has a best seller among his products or regular customers then this could be the starting point.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Great suggestions Susan! Thanks. (I hope he’s reading this comment thread.)

Janet
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Sherryl, aloha. Well done and very generous on your part, Sherryl. By writing your comments to Joe as you did, all your readers benefit by seeing your thought process. As other people comment, it adds to it even more. Thx for your insights. Aloha. Janet

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Thanks Janet. It’s great to see all the feedback in the comments. There are some great ideas here. I’ll have to remember to add them in the future.

Julie Weishaar
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Great advice you gave Sherryl – the need to pay attention to who your market it. I have to make my site more focused and would actually like to do the reverse – create an e-commerce site off my blog 🙂 Videos anyone? LOL
Julie Weishaar recently posted..What are QR Codes and Why Should I CareMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Great to catch up with you (via email) Julie. Keep me posted on incorporating e-commerce for the video products that you’ve offering. That’s a really nice addition to your marketing services.

Jeannette Paladino
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm

About six months ago I changed my WordPress template so that my three main areas of focus would immediately catch the reader’s eye: blogging and social media, employee engagement and branding. I needed more focus and I think it’s helping because visitors to my blog have almost doubled. Good advice, Sherryl.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm

You’ve done a lot of work on your site Jeanette. Nice job!

Dina Eisenberg February 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I totally get where Joe got lost. I also have multiple markets for my mentoring services: entrepreneurs, managers and HR professionals on SpeakUpPowerfully.com

Initially, when I was writing the home page is sounded like vague blah, blah blah because I was trying to cover all three bases. What cleared things up (at least, I hope) was creating a persona for each market, including a complete backstory. It’s so much easier to write for that imaginary person- go figure!

I based mine on an aggregate of real clients so it’s gonna fun to write for them and the issues they face. Have you done something similar?

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Dina, I’ve set up sites where I’ve had niche target customers and I’ve created both micro-sites and targeted landing pages. Have you ever read my article about creating a website that meets the needs of multiple niche target markets? You might find it interesting: http://keepupwiththeweb.com/can-one-website-meet-the-needs-of-multiple-niche-target-markets/

keyuri joshi
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Sherryl, You’ve hit the nail on the head with your points about identifying the target market and speaking to needs. One observation about effective marketing that I’ve noticed is speaking to someone’s emotions. What will make their pains go away so they’ll feel better? What taps into their “feelings”. Addressing these needs seems to make people take notice.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm

That’s a great suggestion Keyuri. People are always looking at how they will benefit from buying something.

Patricia@lavender-oils February 19, 2011 at 8:52 am

Hi Sherryl

Thanks for the offer of having a peek when we set up e-commerce site. May be taking you up on it soon 😉 Have a few plans in the pipline so great to know an experienced blogger/marketer is willing to give advice to those of us just starting our fledgling businesses. Appreciated.

Patricia Perth Australia

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Patricia, You’re doing a great job blogging for a niche eCommerce site. Feel free to contact me when you’re setting up your next one. Meanwhile, I hope you don’t mind but in my reply to Diane, I suggested that she take a peek at your blog and follow you on Twitter. You’re doing a good job of driving traffic to a niche that a lot of us would probably never have checked out (if we hadn’t seen you interacting with other bloggers that we know).

Patricia@lavender-oils February 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Thanks so much for those kind words Sherryl and I definitely don’t mind when you recommend one of your commenters follow me on Twitter 🙂

Patricia Perth Australia

Wes Towers
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 3:38 am

This is a great thing you are doing here, Sherryl. Not a lot of people do what you are doing right now, writing a post about helping somebody out. Although I am okay about helping people out, I have never done what you have done here. Kudos to you!

– Wes –

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Thanks Wes. I benefit from helping too. This was a very easy post to write and I’ll meet new people who want me to take a quick “peek” at their site.

Vernessa Taylor
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 1:01 am

Hey Sherryl,

You’ve given Joe some spot-on advice. I’m answering the same range of questions for a client who will be setting up an ecommerce site in the near future. Two other ideas come to mind that might benefit Joe.

One is to supplement his own content with some niche-related articles from an article site like EzineArticles.

Another is to “go technical” — gathering and sharing technical information on his carts that comes straight from the manufacturers, but written in a not-so-technical format. For example: “the wheels” or “the fabrics” … Baby boomers love to know everything about anything they spend their money on.
Vernessa Taylor recently posted..Love Your Business Beyond Valentine’s Day- Review &amp GiveAway of Invoicera Online Invoicing and BillingMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Excellent suggestions Vernessa! I love the idea of writing non-technical information that would appeal to his target customers. Thanks!

John February 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Hey Sherryl,

This was a very interesting post. I think I would have given Joe the same advice you gave him to find out who his target customer is. From the moment you check out someone’s site you should be able to tell if they are providing benefits, and if they are not then that usually means they don’t know who their target customer is.

To help him narrow down who he is writing for I would add to your tips and tell him to spend some time on forums related to his niche to learn what people are looking for. Thanks for sharing, it was great to get an inside look at the dialogue you had with Joe.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Thanks John. I thought my reply to Joe may be helpful to someone else. Going to forums is an excellent suggestion. (I wish I had thought of mentioning it.)

Diane
Twitter:
February 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Hi Sherryl, I too have an ecommerce site that doesn’t have a blog, but I’ve been adding article pages to my site using some keywords. I too have a very diverse target market as I am in the online gift box/basket market and the competition is solid. Finding ways and ideas to attract customers to my website through comments in social media has started to make a difference. I would love you to take a peek and give me some further suggestions. I am also going to set up another site, which I would like to see drive more traffic to my site, but perhaps I should have one on my site, along with a good facebook page. What do you think?

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Hi Diane,
Rather than adding “articles”, have you thought about adding a Wordpress blog to your site and then changing the menu item “articles” to “blog”? You could take advantage of Wordpress plug-ins and optimize your articles for the search engines. You could also add tweet and share buttons and you could engage visitors in commenting.

What would be the purpose of another site and how would you drive traffic to it? If your main reason is to drive traffic back to this site, you may want to concentrate on incorporating/creating a blog on the site you have now and then driving traffic to it. You may want to consider redesigning your site and making your blog as your home page.

A few other observations I have looking at your home page would be to put “alt-tags” on all of your pictures. Search engines don’t see pictures and all they’re reading now is “more information”. (Add descriptions using keywords.) I’d also create a new page and move your testimonials to it.

Patricia from LavenderUses.com is a good example of someone with a niche eCommerce site who makes good use of her blog. Patricia is a regular commenter here and she’s getting fairly well known in the blogging community. You may want to check out her site and connect with her on Twitter (@lavenderuses).

Diane
Twitter:
February 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Sherryl
Thank you for your valuable suggestions which I really appreciate. I hadn’t thought of changing articles to a blog. It makes great sense. Also using this to add facebook to my site. I’ve just started adding “alt-tags” to some of my pictures, and I had forgotten about the home page. I do have a testimonials page, but its obviously not easily found, so thank you for suggesting this too.
I have looked at Patricia’s site, but I will go back and link to her on Twitter. I shall put things into action and then see how this affects our site. I am really grateful for all your valuable ideas thank you once again, Sherryl.

Myron
Twitter:
February 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Sherryl, I started reading and it was like you read my mind once again. Because it seems all these questions I have toward my blogging, tweeting, and social networking, you always seem to address. Wearing so many hats trying to run a business, it is nice to have you sifting through things (and posting them on Facebook), as well as posting great advice on your site.

Thanks again.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Thanks Myron. It’s always good to know that my posts are appreciated. It can seem overwhelming when you’re launching a business. I wish you success!

Previous post:

Next post: