A Better Shopify Blog
Why even start a blog in the first place?
A blog is the cornerstone of advertisement.
It's the hub from which all your different arms spread, be they Facebook ad campaigns or scheduled Twitter posts. Your blog is like the resume for your store, where you post all the accomplishments of your products and all the great reviews from your customers. It's endorsements, letters of recommendation, and work experience all in one.
Blogs are considered to be the most powerful sales tool in a store's arsenal. For all of the above reasons, but also because they give the opportunity for interaction. The comments section of blog articles provides a place for conversations to happen, where all your customers can come together and pool their experiences with your product. Testimonials are great, but they have a sort of... artificial feel to them.
Real people... who are implied to enjoy browsing your blog... unrelated to any purchase. Now that's a shop owner who must know what they're doing.
"Your blog is like the resume for your store, where you post all the accomplishments of your products and all the great reviews from your customers. It's endorsements, letters of recommendation, and work experience all in one."
As if that wasn't enough, a blog actually gets you more customers. It can be a little slower than someone directly looking for a product and seeing that you sell it, but it's no less effective. Let's say you have a series of articles on your blog about gardening, for example, and someone who enjoys gardening chances across one of those posts. They might start reading that post, and then see what else you have to say about gardening. And one day, when one of their gardening tools happens to break, they'll remember that you sell gardening tools with neat designs on them... and you can guess what comes next. They come back and buy from your store!
A blog draws people in with content that interests them. It's the top of a funnel that eventually leads to a sale or even repeat customers. It builds trust by showing you know what you're talking about, and it’s basically free advertising every time someone finds one of your posts on Google or another search engine.
Bettering your blog
You need a better Shopify blog.
It's become increasingly obvious. You can deny it no longer.
Your readership is low, you don't get any comments or leads, and the amount of people that browse or purchase from your store remains the same. Or worse, it's dropped.
So how do you turn your blog from flop to shop-til-you-drop?
Assess your blogging platform
Your first problem might be with the platform you're using. The place your blog is set up can impact the features that are available to you. The way your blog is integrated into your shop's site affects the look and feel of it. When it comes to blogging on Shopify, you basically have three options: the default Shopify blog, WordPress, and DropInBlog.
Let me break down the pros and cons of each for you...
Default Shopify blog
Shopify's built-in blog is probably what you're using now. It came free with your Shopify store, so why would you need to look elsewhere, right? Read on...
It all comes down to features. The features you have available for your blog depends on your store's theme, and if you didn't choose a good store theme, your blog features will be lacking. A rebrand would be the only way to get more features, which is basically the same as opening a new store.
Another missing feature is an easy way to change how your blog looks. Shopify is built with HTML, meaning that you need to know CSS to change anything on it. If you don’t know CSS, then you’re out of luck unless you learn or hire someone.
The one that confuses me the most is that the default Shopify blog, the system built by Shopify, doesn't have a clean way to integrate your products directly into blog posts. You finish a long, detailed, thought-provoking post comparing three of your products... and then you can't simply link those products at the end. What the heck Shopify?
Wordpress is the oldest, most well-known blogging platform ever. Though you won't be supported by a real human, you can find a solution to just about any problem by Googling it, and the amount of plugins they have is frankly, excessive.
Tragically though, Wordpress and Shopify are two entirely different platforms. Shopify doesn't let you host a Wordpress blog right on your site, so you'd have to pay for extra hosting to even set it up. Additionally, your Shopify theme won't transfer over, so you'd need to recreate it from scratch or suffer from mismatched websites. #fail
Most egregious of all, Wordpress itself is barren of features. Every little thing you want your blog to do, you have to install a separate plugin. Most plugins aren't free if you want full functionality, and every plugin you install opens up another hole in the security fence around your blog. If you let even one of them get out of date, that's just a hack waiting to happen. Or should I say hack-en?
Look... I know I'm not supposed to have an opinion, but honestly this blogging platform is really good.
It's available in a convenient app right on the Shopify App Store, so installing it takes a single click. It automatically copies the theme of your store, so the design of your blog will always match your shop, no matter what changes you make. You manage all of your posts from a simple editor within the Shopify App. You can create and assign categories to post, as well as create post authors and change who wrote what with a single click, meaning that the organization is a snap.
You can also embed store products directly into your posts. The ability to link readers to the products they just read about should not be understated. This is probably the most important feature, next to the built-in SEO analyzer.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is a way to write posts according to the rulebook that search engines use to find webpages. The closer you adhere to the search engine rulebook, the easier it is for a search engine to find your post and show it to people.
DropInBlog's SEO analyzer reads your post and automatically compares your post content to the search engine rulebook for you. All you have to do is choose a 'keyword', a single word that most relates to what your post is about, and tell the analyzer to use that as a baseline. The easier it is for a search engine to find your post using that keyword, the higher your score. This means you can find out why Google is being a little jerk and not showing your blog to people.
SEO is kind of important if you want to grow your audience, which is why DropInBlog made it a core feature. Wordpress needs a plugin to analyze SEO, and the full version costs money on top of the separate hosting fees. DropInBlog isn't free either, but its benefits pay for themselves in no time
Go ahead and try the DropInBlog app risk free for 14 days so you can see all this magic for yourself!
Twin Creek Media’s team of professional Kelowna website developers and marketing gurus have worked with both local and national companies on their website strategy, production, design, promotion, and programming. Let us help you integrate the tools you need to do business in this current climate.