In this lesson, you will learn how to:
- What makes a good blog
- What to blog about
- How to create a blog post within Bigcommerce
Having relevant, informative and unique content on a website has many benefits.
Not only will you better rank with search engines, you’ll bring in the right traffic which means more conversions, sales and marketing budget for you!
...but how is a store owner to create fresh content at a regular cadence?
Having and maintaining a blog is an extremely effective way to have a constant content pipeline that helps improve the overall success of your business. Your Bigcommerce store comes comes with a built-in blog including; an intuitive rich-text post editor, SEO-friendly URLS, meta data, social media sharing options, video and image support, and even commenting functionality.
So, since all of that is taken care of, let’s tackle those other questions like;
What makes for a good blog post? What should you write about? Who should you write for? How frequently should you blog? How do I create a blog post for my store? and so on.
A good blog post informs, entertains and engages. Naturally, you’ll want to write about things related to your business or industry, answer common customer questions, discuss new trends, write about your products or how to use them, announce new product releases and so on. The options are endless and every business is going to be different.
Write about what your customers care about.
If you need ideas on what to blog about you can check out your competition, research what your target audience is talking about or asking on social media or other public outlets, collect support questions, or hey, perhaps you can even toss out a survey from time to time to see what they want more of!
Appeal to an audience.
Naturally, if you’re writing about things related to your product, industry, or crafting something around what your audience is talking about, you’re likely on the right track. However, you can write on the same topic many times, but with different personas or demographics in mind. This way you can leverage content you’ve already created, and repurpose it into another post aimed at a different buyer segment.
Make your posts easy to read.
When we read, we’re more likely to scan quickly than read the content thoroughly.
Break up text with things like; images, quotes, tweets, sub-headings, and so on.
Also, depending on your store’s brand, it’s helpful to your readers when you use simple, common words so they can move through your post quickly.
Include a call to action.
Always give your readers a way to engage. If they’re reading, you’ve got their attention — capitalize on it and capture that lead before they leave. To do this, you can add relevant calls to action like: invite them to sign up for your mailing list, download a free report about how to use your new facial cream to look younger, or fill in a survey about a potential new line of skin care. Heck, it can be as simple as encouraging them to comment on the blog post itself.
The more frequently you publish the better, but make sure you’re putting out quality content and not just any old thing with no rhyme or reason. A good rule of thumb, is to publish something new every week. Many clients have shared that creating a content calendar has been helpful in not only making sure that they prioritize writing, but actually publish something at a regular cadence to help them better rank with search engines and keep their website fresh.
When you post a blog, make sure you share it on social media, highlight it in your newsletter, include a link in your order notification, whatever makes sense. Let people know that you have helpful, fresh content available for them to consume.
Ok, onto creating a blog post. The Bigcommerce built-in blog couldn’t be easier to use. Inside of your control panel you’ll go to Content > Blog. First thing to note is the ability to hide your blog from the front end of your store. You could do this if you want to get a handful of posts together before launching your blog, but hey, you should be blogging regularly, so keep it live!
Once you begin blogging this will be the area where you see a list of your published blog posts, who authored them, the date they were published and you’ll be able to unpublish, view, edit or delete individual posts if needed. You also have the ability to save drafts in the next tab which can be incredibly helpful to your busy lifestyle.
No matter whether you are under the Published or Draft area you can customize your blog settings - here. Your Blog Title appears in your storefront navigation so if you want to reflect your brand or get fun with it, you may.
You’ll also have full social sharing enabled by default so your shoppers and customers can share love and appreciation for your content, which in turn, can reap a great deal of benefit for your marketing. Whatever social sharing you have enabled for your online store as a whole will simply be reflected on your blog for consistency.
Ok, on to how to create, save as draft or publish a blog post. No matter which tab, you can create a blog post here. Provide a compelling title which will also create a human and SEO friendly URL automatically here. Then, use our WYSIWYG editor to draft your post. Feel free to structure your posts with headings to keep things organized and easy to read. Also, don’t forget about things like images and videos which can take your blog post to a whole new level! These are all very easy additions and the more you write, the easier it will be.
For an added personal touch or to differentiate between writers, go ahead and sign your post using the Author field.
It’s a great idea to add tags to organize blog posts on the back end into categories.
Plus, you’ll be helping your blog readers sort by topic which can greatly increase their level of engagement with your website, which in turn, is most likely to lead to a sale. Tags can also be used when optimizing your in-store search. You can use tags to determine what results appear for in-store search. You can even set up your in- store search functionality to show specific blog posts related to the search query.
You’re welcome to add a thumbnail image to your blog to make it even more compelling to readers. We highly recommend this as images can help to increase your click-through rate.
Last but not least, add your meta description, which is the short, description highlighting the most compelling points of your post.
So you are aware, your blog title and meta description will be what shows in search engine results, which means they will need some attention in order to encourage shoppers to click through.
If you have not reviewed the SEO content on our Support Portal, we highly recommend it, as we provide best practices and tips for you to pull from.
...and that’s it! Again, it’s pretty simple and the return on investment for creating new, fresh content is very high though it does take some time and planning. To start, keep it simple, pick a few topics you could write about and check out all of our resources to help you write for your users and search engines alike!