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Do I Really Need a Blog for an Ecommerce Business?

I’ve worked with thousands of clients who are looking to start an online business, particularly ecommerce based, and I’ve heard this very question over and over again.

I have to admit, it is a valid question, one that caused me to reflect on the concept and ask myself, “Why do I really blog for my eCommerce site anyway?”

To help us answer this question, let’s first review what blogging really is.

Wikipedia explains blogs in the following way:

A blog is a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order. Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of most early blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photo-blog), sketch-blog, videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media. The term “blog” is derived from “Web log.” “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. As of November 2006, blog search engine Technorati was tracking nearly 60 million blogs.

Other explanations I’ve heard about blogs include “online journal”, “digital newspaper”, and “web logs”.

bloggingWhy are blogs so important when it comes to eCommerce?

Isn’t a blog just something else you have to work on and spend time doing? You bethya! However, the return on investment of a blog can come in a variety of ways.

4 Reasons Why Blogging is for eCommerce

  1. Free (or very inexpensive) Targeted Advertising: there are many free options out there. My favorites are and I use both of them but lean more and more to because of all the functionality. Having multiple blogs, in relation to your website, can be so helpful: it’s a way to build additional quality links – ways that search engines can find your website.  As you make posts on your blog, you can create anchor links to specific pages of your new website using keyword phrases. This is off-site advertising at its best! If you want even better recognition, purchase a domain name from GoDaddy and get your blog hosted for a low monthly fee.
  2. Build Industry Credibility: the more quality information you post about products, services, and information within your industry, the more your visitors (and potential buyers) can see that you know what you’re talking about; they can trust in the products you are offering. Without content and quality information to back up buying decisions, buyers will probably look elsewhere.
  3. Affiliate Marketing Opportunities: blogs can give you a few different ways to actually make money in addition to selling products online. The first is through Google Adsense, a pay-per-click campaign that makes money as visitors click on the advertising links. Google Adsense is free to set up and can be a great supplemental income to your business plan, at least to start. Other affiliate marketing campaigns on blogs can be product reviews with companies like and Sign up for these free accounts and start applying for affiliates within your industry or that compliment what you are doing. The pay may not be as good as getting products at a wholesale price and reselling at a retail price, but at least you give yourself the opportunity to make money (and there’s no cost).
  4. Your eCommerce Competitors are Blogging: that’s right, your competitors are probably blogging right now so you better take this post serious and start blogging too! Not only does blogging show that you know what you’re talking about in your industry, but it’s also very helpful for search engine optimization purposes too. Some of my biggest masses of traffic to my eCommerce store have come due to blog posts I’ve done about industry news. As potential clients searched for these topics in Google, guess who’s blog post they found at the top of the page? Not only did this help build my brand and reputation online, but these same blog posts had a direct connection with increased sales on my eCommerce site.

If you haven’t been blogging for your eCommerce website yet, don’t worry, there’s still time. Many business just seem to be getting the hang of blogging and doing it on a more consistent basis. The best recommendation I can give you as a new eCommerce blogger is to make sure you remember the key word for effective blogging – Consistency:

  • How often you post – whether it’s once a day, week, or whatever, it’s important that you post new information on a consistent basis if you want readers to come back.
  • What you write about– if you have questions about this see my post about the importance of focus.
  • Anchor links – we don’t want to overdo the anchor links to our website, but it’s important to make keyword links to other pages (deep linking)
  • Product Reviews – if you are selling products on your website, it’s a good idea to do reviews from time to time – tell visitors why your products are better than the competition (use testimonials and feedback from clients)
  • Posting to other people’s blogs – find blogs you like that relate to what you are marketing and make good comments, asked to guest post, and get them involved in what you do too.

I’ve been running multiple eCommerce businesses for almost 5 years now, have taught hundreds of clients about starting an online business, and there’s one thing that’s  certain – an eCommerce business without a blogging strategy is leaving money on the table for a competitor to put in his or her pocket.

How do I turn my blog in to a money-making machine in addition to running my eCommerce website?

A common question with many answers.  Let’s discuss a few.

The main key to eCommerce Blogging Success: CONSISTENCY.

Six Consistent Keys to eCommerce Blogging Success

1. Frequency

You don’t have to be a blogging fanatic if you’re just getting started.  Whether it’s once a day, once a week, or whatever, it’s important that you post new information on a consistent basis if you want readers to come back.  If Sports Center didn’t come on every evening at 10:00 p.m., I’d be pretty upset and would have to watch one of their competitors broadcast (not sure who but you get the point).

2. Topic

One of my biggest pet peeves with blogs, especially well established ones, is when they jump all over the place with different topics, randomness, or just flat out STUPID content.  Always try to tie your blog posts back to one or two specific themes.  Specializing is so important in today’s world of “free information”.

3. Links

For most, this is a no-brainer.  But if you’re new to blogging, you need to remember that a blog post without a link to another post on your website is pointless.  Deep linking (inner linking on your website) is a great benefit, both to readers and also to search engines.  One of my favorite wordpress plugins is the Related Posts.  It creates automatic “deep links” based on the content of your blog posts.  We don’t want to overdo the anchor links on our blog posts, but it’s important to make keyword links to other related pages.  It’s also very beneficial for your reputation to include links to other articles you’ve read that relate (a bit of “link love”).

4. Reviews

If you are selling products on your website, it’s a good idea to do reviews from time to time – tell visitors why your products are better than the competition (use testimonials and feedback from clients).  Side by side comparisons can work wonders for a blog that’s promoting products.  Interviews can also work wonders.


One common question I get from new bloggers: “How do I find blogs in my industry?” or “I don’t think there are any blogs in my industry.”  GOOGLE IT!  Go to to find blogs that relate to what you are marketing.  Subscribe to them and make good comments (ie. add value to the post, disagree, share an experience that relates, etc).  Quality comments on a well known blog can greatly build your credibility as a new member in the industry.

6. Networking

Social media is obvious.  Twitter, Facebook, and StumbleUpon are great places to start.  I recently shared the following “break-through” ideas 🙂 with a semi-new online marketer:

A few ways to “network” with bloggers in your industry:

  • Offer to do a “Guest Post” on their blog
  • Write an article that’s informative and share it with them to publish on their site or in their forum
  • Offer them a “Revenue Sharing Opportunity” if they will help you sell your products to their clients
  • Have them send a dedicated email to their database promoting what you do

To many, these concepts may seem second nature, nothing we haven’t heard before.  However, what I’ve found is that even the most “basic concepts” often get overlooked.

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. – Robert Collier

Best of luck at you blog your way to the bank with your eCommerce Business!

Like Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:

That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the task itself has becomes easier, but that our ability to perform it has increased.

What are your thoughts about blogging for an eCommerce business?

Nate Moller has been teaching clients about how to start an online business for almost five years. He consults small to medium sized business, helping them establish and implement a blogging & social media marketing strategy to grow their business. Read more about Nate at and follow him on Twitter (@mollermarketing).

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