I opened my first Etsy shop in January of 2012, I had a pretty good amount of sales but since I started seriously blogging around November of that year I saw my numbers drastically increase. Since then I’ve been very interested in figuring out why my blog brought in traffic to my shop and learning how to keep it that way! After a lot of research and analyzing my own blog I came up with eleven reasons why business blogging helped my online sales and why it could help you too.
1. It’s another venue to promote yourself.
This especially applies if you write quality content for your readers. You draw people in with interesting articles and subtlety introduce your product and business. I say subtlety because blatantly promoting your shop or services will generally turn people off. But having an ad for your shop on your blogs sidebar or mentioning what you offer at the end of a blog post can absolutely draw in potential customers.
2. They are a great way to show off your expertise.
Blogs are a great way to show off what you know. Maybe you came up with a great pattern for a crocheted hat. Write a step by step tutorial and share it with your readers. People are more likely to purchase from a seller that knows what they are doing. Knowledgeable sellers usually means they have quality products.
3. It’s a place to give stuff away.
Yes I said it, giving one of your products away will most likely make you money in the end. Why is this? Well for one, people LOVE free stuff so just promoting your giveaway will draw traffic to your blog. Two things could result from your giveaway…
1. People could see your amazing item and decide that they just can’t wait for the giveaway to be over with the possibility that they won’t win, so they buy the item immediately!
2. They could see your item and say to themselves, “Wow, I love this, I wonder that else they have made.” And you instantly get traffic to your shop that is already interested in your products.
4. Making Friends.
The blogging word is very friendly and once you start getting into it you’ll start making friends with authors of other blogs. Then you might decide to swap buttons. A blog button is an image that links back to your site so swapping buttons means free advertising for both of you. Personally, the way I usually find new blogs to read is by looking at the sidebars of blogs I already like and checking out who they’re currently swapping buttons with.
5. Improving your search engine ranking.
SEO is SO important for websites. It’s how you get found on the internet. Having a bunch of well written posts with relevant keywords and tags will really help you climb up the pages of the search engines. The more content you have on your site that properly include search terms, the more likely your blog is to be found and in turn, the more people that could be directed to your online shop.
People get to know you and trust you. This is especially true for those selling handmade items. A huge reason that the handmade business is so popular is because of the people behind it. When you buy a handcrafted item, you know that item was made with love and care and received personal attention. A blog allows people to get to know you, they get to know the real live person that will be handing their product before it’s shipped to them. People are much more likely to buy from those they know and trust.
7. Email Opt-Ins.
Email subscriptions are an excellent tool that is often overlooked. Having an option for people to receive your posts by email is great for business. You instantly have a list of people who are already interested in what you have to share. Every time you write a new post they’ll receive it by email and be reminded to go check out your blog and potentially your shop as well. One thing I like to recommend however, is that you definitely do not want to only talk about yourself. If you’re only promoting your own items and trying to sell products eventually you’re going to lose your audience. The majority of your posts should benefit your readers in some way. While writing your posts ask yourself, why would people read this article? What can they learn or take away from it? If your blog only benefits you, chances are that you’re going to be the only one reading it.
8. Engage with potential customers.
Blogs are a great place for you to engage with potential customers and learn what they would be interested in buying. You can blog about some new items you were thinking about about and get their feedback. This way you’re speaking directly to the consumers. You could ask if they would buy the product at all and if so what other styles or colors they would like to see. Besides getting your name out there, its excellent market research.
9. Branding your business.
The majority of major companies have blogs, and there’s a reason for this, it works! Having a blog is great for branding your business. It makes you appear more professional and in turn attract more business. Having your blog design match your shop banner, business cards etc. will make your brand much more memorable.
10. Spread the word.
The internet is amazing for making content and images go viral extremely quickly. If you write a great post and someone shares it on Facebook, all their friends will see it and possibly read it and share it themselves. And more people that view your blog means more people that know about you and your business.
Using analytics will bring you a wealth of information. You can track where your blog views are coming from, demographics of the viewers, how long people visit your site and what posts are the most popular. Once you know where your views are coming from you can tweak your advertising efforts in order to reach your target market.
Hopefully some of these suggestions will help you improve your online sales as they did mine. As with anything, try new techniques and approaches for promoting yourself and your business. One thing doesn’t work for everyone so just find what works for you!