For the longest time, the “make money blogging” craze was all the rage, right?
This resulted in sort of a gold rush of bloggers fighting tooth and nail to drive traffic and build a rabid audience of readers.
A decade ago, a decent blog readership was enough to earn some serious income via Google AdSense.
Fast forward to present day with many Google updates later and times have obviously changed.
And although as proverbial AdSense well may have dried up, a blog with a decent readership still can be a potential money-making machine. In fact,
Enter the world of ecommerce.
If you’re already managing a blog, selling to an audience that already trusts you while also providing offers to incoming traffic is a no-brainer. Doing so successfully means optimizing your site and not coming off as a salesperson, both of which require a bit of finessing.
That said, it’s totally worthwhile in the long-run.
Interested? Good! Read on to understand the six things you need to do to take your blog and convert it into something that sells.
Choose Your Products Carefully
If you think that monetizing your blog is as simple as slapping some affiliate offers on-site and walking away, you need to rethink your strategy.
Before you even think about integrating your blogs with the likes of Shopify or BigCommerce, you need to answer a big-picture question: what exactly are you going to sell?
You don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel here. If you already have digital products or affiliate offers in mind, that’s a good start. Those looking into physical products need to do a bit more digging, though.
WiseMerchant has some great words of wisdom about choosing products: “One of the best ways to determine what will sell and what won’t is to look at the bestselling items within your niche.”
For example, let’s say you’re running an outdoorsy blog. Combing through specific categories (think: snowboarding accessories) on Amazon that speaks to your niche to find top-sellers can clue you in on what you might want to sell.
Upgrade Your Existing Content
If you look at your Google Analytics, you’ll likely find that you have a few older, “pillar” posts that drive a decent chunk of your blog’s traffic.
As such, these are the types of posts that are going to result in serious sales. Updating old blog posts to include product mentions, links and new keywords is totally fair game and can jumpstart your journey for sales. The more than you’re able to write, the more you can naturally integrate these elements.
Keep Up Your Consistency
The jury might be out on how often you should blog (think: daily versus a few times of week), but conventional wisdom should tell you to keep doing what you’re doing. If you’ve amassed a readership through bi-weekly blogging, why break what doesn’t need to be fixed?
Sure, you might want to ramp up your content production to help hone in on your product-centric keywords. That said, sacrificing quality for quantity is a dangerous game. Rather than risk losing your sense of authenticity, make sure that good writing doesn’t fall to the wayside for the sake of keywords or spammy blog posts.
Sort Out Your Fine Print
As soon as you start dealing with transactions on-site, you start dealing with legalese. If you’re working with Amazon or other affiliate offers, you’re obligated to let your readership know out of respect and likewise legal obligations. Tools, such as this terms and conditions generator, can help provide the blueprint for what you need to stay out of any potential trouble.
Keep Your Email List in the Loop
Especially if you’re adopting an ecommerce platform or plan on selling digital products, you should make some sort of announcement to your email list. Whether as a mention on your newsletter or by offering some sort of discount to current subscribers, your readership deserves a sort of “first look” at what you’re offering.
Again, you obviously don’t want to come off as a cash-grab. Frame your products in a positive light, noting that this will ultimately help your blog grow which your readers will understand.
Adopt a “Slow and Steady” Mentality
Finally, a mindset tip to keep you focused on the big picture.
Bear in mind that how long it takes to see results from SEO depends on a variety of factors, many of which are ultimately out of your control. It may take months before you see significant returns from your blog, and so patience is the name of the game.
If you’re already scoring significant traffic and boast a sizeable readership on your blog, transitioning it into a full-blown storefront flat-out makes sense. With these tips in mind, you can do so seamlessly while also staying with the best practices of ecommerce and the blogosphere alike.