If you’ve had any exposure to modern digital marketing tactics over the course of the last few years, you’ve probably seen or heard the hype surrounding content creation as a way to market your products or services. One such way of interacting with your audience is by blogging. So in this post, we’ll show you how to write a blog.
Blog posts can attract new customers, helping you to increase sales.
Despite the benefits retail stores can reap from a relevant, engaging blog, most ignore this marketing channel. Instead, they choose to increase their ad spend, hoping for instantaneous sales and customers.
In reality, while it takes more time than ads, blogging can help you engage with your target audience on a personal level. This will not only help create an affinity toward your brand, it will result in customers who come back.
So, are you ready to learn how to write a blog?
As with every new endeavor, there’s almost always some apprehension or doubt. Perhaps, it’s the fact that you don’t know how to start a blog. Or maybe you previously created a blog, but lost enthusiasm when you didn’t see an immediate return on your time investment.
Whatever the case, you don’t need to worry. I’ll be the first to tell you that starting a blog for your business is one of the best content marketing strategies that you can implement for your store.
In this article, you’ll learn why you should start a blog for your own store as well as how to do it.
Related: How to set up a WordPress blog
Start blogging in 5 steps
Blogging is so effective at increasing visibility, leads and customer loyalty that even large corporations do it. Here are the five steps everyone uses.
Choose a platform.
Create a content schedule.
Write your first post.
Share it far and wide.
Before we wade into the weeds on how to write a blog, let’s first talk about what you stand to gain from your investment of time.
There are many critics of business blogging who say that the effort and time invested in creating a successful blog aren’t worth the reward in the long run. This misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a business blog that is relevant, engaging and consistently updated with fresh posts can have a huge impact on your business in many ways. A blog can:
- Capture fresh leads, converting them into new customers.
- Deepen your relationship with your existing customers.
- Establish you as an expert within your industry.
- Spread recognition of your brand or business.
- Improve your your store’s ranking with search engines.
That last benefit is particularly valuable, as search engines are the key to greater visibility and more customers.
How to get started with blogging
Now that we’ve (hopefully!) convinced you of the importance of starting a blog for your retail store, you’re probably wondering how you can get started.
1. Choose a platform
First off, you’re going to need a tool that you can use to build your blog. Some of the popular platforms for blogging include:
Personally, I prefer to use WordPress for blogging, simply because it provides access to unlimited themes and plug-ins. These enable you to take a very solid blogging tool and add on to it to create a blog unlike any other on earth. Also, if you’re not very technical you can always make your life easier by using Managed WordPress from Go Daddy. It gives you all the power and flexibility of WordPress with zero technical upkeep.
For details on setting up WordPress, read this post.
2. Create a content schedule
After you have selected a blogging platform and have set up your blog, it’s a good idea to stop and make a plan.
Before you start writing, set up a content calendar for yourself.
A content calendar is an organizational tool that you can use to help plan your topics and blog content in advance. A calendar is useful because it:
- Makes you think long-term.
- Specifies topics you’d like to write about.
- Helps you visualize (and stay on top of) publication dates.
- Creates consistency in how you are presenting your brand.
When you’re creating a content calendar, always remember to schedule seasonally-themed posts ahead of time so you can ensure that these topics get published on time.
Gift lists, last-minute wardrobe hacks — topics like these are always popular with readers. Make sure holiday posts are published well in advance so they have time to read and prepare.
3. Write your first post
This part trips up many a blogger. When confronted with a blank page, it’s easy to freeze up. But really all you need to do in your first blog post is introduce yourself and your store. Then explain what you plan to discuss in your blog.
- Write as if you’re talking to a friend.
- Be authentic — but in keeping with your brand.
- Use keywords to attract more readers via search engines.
Add photos and video of you and your store to pull readers in. If your products are available online, be sure to provide links for any products you feature in photos.
Before you publish that first post, let it sit for a day. Then preview, preview, spell-check and … publish!
4. Share it far and wide
Your work isn’t done yet. Copy the link to your post and paste it into messages on all the social media networks where you have business pages. Make sure you include a killer photo to go with it; it’ll increase click-through.
The goal is to get each blog post in front of as many people as possible. If you keep it up, this strategy pays off in incrementally more followers every week.
5. Keep going
One of the big reasons that many blogs fail is because they don’t publish new posts on a consistent basis. If you want your blog to be successful, there needs to be something new to see every time your readers stop by. So once you’ve created your content calendar, follow it.
Pro tip: Experienced bloggers suggest creating several posts at one go, then scheduling them to post in the future (according to your calendar). This way, you won’t feel like there’s always another deadline looming.
What should I blog about?
One of the first mistakes that many retail bloggers make is making their business the primary focus of the blog. The fact of the matter is that most of your readers don’t care about you or your brand — they only care about what you can provide them.
Some ways that you can provide fresh, valuable content include:
- Videos of how to use your products.
- Asking questions that will get your customers to share their thoughts.
- Behind-the-scenes looks into your business.
- Product reviews from satisfied customers.
- Invitations to seasonal store events.
These will help keep your blog interesting and relevant to your customer base so that the readers you have will come back for more.
That’s how to write a blog
While there are many challenges that come with learning how to start a blog for your retail store, there are even more benefits from doing so. Whether the blog is for your ‘brick and mortar’ shop or an online store, this content marketing tool has the proven ability to bring in leads. Then it’s up to you to turn them into customers.