How to Start a Blog
Do you want to get more visitors to your eCommerce website? Of course you do, and blogging can help you achieve this. You may have seen a few methods for generating traffic and paid advertising, but aren’t really too sure if you want to try that yet.
What you should try, and continue with, is blogging. You may not think that many online stores have a blog, but quite a few do and it’s becoming more popular now.
Blogs are great because they can help drive traffic through search engines and social media, while also providing great content to help keep visitors on your website and boost email subscriptions. If you want to know how to start a blog for an eCommerce website then this guide is for you.
Blogging can generate serious amounts of traffic for a website. Every website owner wants more traffic, especially ones who have websites that can generate revenue. In all honesty, anyone can get traffic. The hard part is to get good traffic.
You need traffic that converts, which means the people who visit your website are interested in its content and what you sell. There’s not much point going around the internet promoting your website on sewing forums if you sell car parts. You may get a few visitors, but they aren’t interested in what you sell.
This is where blogging for eCommerce websites can come into play. You can create blog posts and articles that your target audience would be interested in reading. Because of this, they are more inclined to purchase something from you as they already have an interest related to what you sell.
Many eCommerce websites do not utilize a blog, which could leave more opportunity for you if your competition is like that. So, follow this guide below and learn how to start a blog for your eCommerce website and try to drive the right kind of traffic to your site.
How to Start a Blog: Getting Started
There are many platforms available for you to choose in order to sell products online. If you also want to start a blog for your online store then the platform is going to need this capability as well. We are going to detail this guide based on two of the most popular and easy to use eCommerce platforms in the world:
Shopify Blog vs WordPress Blog
Shopify is self-hosted, which means that your website is actually hosted with them and is included in their monthly fee. You can, however, purchase a domain from any provider and point it at your Shopify account, or you can purchase it directly through them; it’s up to you.
You can purchase a domain name from here and then connect it to your Shopify account afterward by following this guide.
If you did it this way, a domain name would cost around $11, and Shopify starts from $29 per month.
Shopify is the best option if you want a platform with a minimal learning curve and ease of use.
WooCommerce is actually a plugin that you can install on the WordPress platform which then enables you to sell online. Both WooCommerce and WordPress are completely free to use, but you will need to purchase a domain name and web hosting in order to install them.
You will also need to learn how to use WordPress, which will take some time as it’s not as intuitive and user-friendly as Shopify.
You can get a domain name for free and your first year of web hosting from around $2.95 per month from here. WordPress is easy to use but takes a little bit of time to learn the basics.
You can check out our comparison on Shopify vs WooCommerce if you want a more detailed breakdown of the differences.
To put it simply; both platforms are easy to use, but Shopify will get you up and running faster, while WordPress can enable you to have more control and customization options, albeit within time and practice.
If you haven’t chosen a platform to sell online with, then Shopify or WooCommerce are great options. Both are user-friendly and very popular choices. Both platforms receive constant updates and there are always new features being added so you can customize your website more.
Setting Up an eCommerce Blog
Once you have chosen your platform, creating a blog is easy. Anyone can write blog posts, but it’s also important that they are SEO optimized in order to get traffic from search engines. Take a look at our guide here on What is SEO for a basic understanding of the topic before you start writing.
Let’s take a look at the steps for both platforms.
Blogging on Shopify
To create a blog post on Shopify, log into your store and look at the menu that goes down the left side.
Locate where it says “Online Store” and click on it.
After you click on that, you should be taken to another section where you will see “Blog posts” and you will need to click on that. This will open up another section, and you will then need to click on “Create blog post” to continue.
You will now be able to see the Shopify blog post editor.
If you’ve used a word processor before such as Microsoft Word, then this will be very easy to use. The blog post editor has all the basic functions that you need to create a post and also has this option in the screenshot below.
This is where you can change the H Tags for your headings and optimize your blog posts for search engines. If you’re not sure what an H Tag is, we covered this in our guide to What is SEO that we linked to earlier.
After you have created your blog post, you can scroll down the page a bit more until you see the section on Search engine listing preview.
Click on “Edit website SEO”
Here, you will be able to edit the page title, meta description, and URL for your blog post.
They have also given you some tips for using their blog here and tips for SEO optimizing your store here.
That’s about it for creating a blog post on Shopify, it’s very easy to do and doesn’t require any technical knowledge. If you need some assistance, check out our guides on Writing a Blog Post and Blog Post Ideas.
Once you have gotten a domain name and web hosting, you can install WordPress on your domain and start a blog in no time.
Once this WordPress is installed, you will be taken to the Dashboard.
This is the main page of the back-end of your WordPress website.
The back-end is what administrators of the website can see, and the front-end is what visitors of the website can see.
From here, you will see a menu on the left side that has all the sections you need for building and customizing your WordPress website.
There are two ways you can have a blog on WordPress, and the choice is really down to what you want and your personal preference.
With WordPress, you can use either Posts or Pages to publish your blog content. Both have the stock-standard options which are enough if you just publish articles with images or videos.
Pages can be more customizable if you’re using a page builder plugin such as WPBakery Page Builder.
Once you have decided between Posts or Pages, create a new one and you will see the editor. It looks similar to the one Shopify has, but WordPress has more options as it’s not just an eCommerce platform.
This screen would only look different for you depending on what plugins you install on your website. Near the top-left corner where you can see the word, “Paragraph” in the drop-down menu is where you can make H Tags for your titles on WordPress.
This example has WP Bakery Page Builder installed, which is the blue button that says “BACKEND EDITOR” you can see.
That will change the editor to a page builder and you can select from a variety of different elements and functions you want to include.
The WordPress theme used in the example has also customized the appearance of WPB Page Builder, so it would most likely look different for you too, but essentially have the same functions and elements to choose from.
Using a plugin like WP Bakery Page Builder can turn your posts from a standard looking article into something interactive and visually appealing. Not only this, but it’s also great to use from building WordPress eCommerce websites as well and can make the product pages look really good. Without it, a WordPress site can still look good, but nowhere near as good as it could be.
You can then publish your blog posts and articles and promote them on social media to drive traffic back to your website. Make sure you follow the SEO practices we outlined in the What is SEO guide we linked to earlier in this guide.
You don’t want to make a bunch of blog posts and neglect your SEO, because fixing it up later will be a long and tedious task. Not to mention the potential traffic that you could have missed out on by not doing it in the first place.
That’s really it for starting a blog; it’s very easy and won’t take long at all to get going. It’s how you write your blog posts and promote them that is the most important part, and you should incorporate them into a content marketing strategy for better results.