How to Use Your Shopify Blog to Drive Traffic and Sell Products

You can read blogging advice and understand it in a broad sense, but I find that having a real-life example blog to look at and improve is a great way to see how to get specific about “blogging better” and apply that knowledge to your own blog. As a shop owner, you may feel overwhelmed by the idea of doing all you do and blogging, too! Luckily, Shopify provides a simple blog for you to use. While it doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, a Shopify blog does exactly what you need: allows you to add regularly updated, valuable content to your shop that promotes your work and drives sales.

A real life example of a boring Shopify blog that turned into a valuable resource to customers overnight. Also: get 260 blog post ideas for a great start.

My newsletter subscribers find that if they hit me with the right question, sometimes I have a whole lot to say about it. That was the case with the intrepid Melissa Cassidy of Bud & June. She asked me the other day,

 

Hello Arianne,

So you said to let you know the info I need and here it is!
I am working with the Shopify platform. I just started to write my blog in order to attract more customers to my webshop. The blog doesn’t look very exciting like your blog posts.
How can I customize a blog while in Shopify?

I follow your happenings and love what you do! One day I will work with you!
Thank you for any advice!

Sincerely,
Melissa Cassidy
Founder, bud & june inc.

 

I took a look at her current Shopify blog, and had oh so many thoughts. It helped that she was off to a roaring good start, because it gave me a great base for seeing some improvements. You can take a look at what she had here:

What you saw when you clicked "notebook"

What you saw when you clicked “notebook”

 

The first post

The first post

 

The Stinson Beach post (click to see the entire thing)

The Stinson Beach post (click to see the entire thing)

My advice to Melissa to improve her Shopify blog

I was so glad to hear from Melissa again. She had contacted me in the very early days of her business, and it was great to see where she’s at with her business after a year! I was also glad to see that she was starting a blog. A Shopify blog can be a wonderful way to drive more traffic to your site.

Here were my suggestions to her. She jumped back in immediately and made the changes, and things look so much better. I’ll pair my advice with her new work so you can see what a difference it makes.

Make the link to your blog straightforward

The current link to your blog just says “Notebook” – I get that this is cute and less boring and has more personality than “blog,” but people don’t know what “notebook” means in the context of your website, and they’re not likely to click it. Reading further, I’m confused whether your blog is called The Salt Life or The Notebook. My recommendation would be to have the link just say “blog” and then when you get there, there can be a pretty header banner that says “The Salt Life: Our Blog” or “The Salt Life Blog.”

When I click to the blog, I only see one sentence. I don’t feel like I’m on the blog! I would recommend having this show the most recent blog post, or photos and links to the most recent ones.

Oh, hello! Now the link is just, simply, "blog," and I get a bunch of lovely photos and a greeting. I feel much more welcome!

Oh, hello! Now the link is just, simply, “blog,” and I get a bunch of lovely photos and a greeting. I feel much more welcome!

Make your photos big, colorful, and beautiful

The posts themselves would benefit greatly from full-width photos. The ones you have now are too tiny. I’d skip the collages of multiple photos and instead focus on adding large photos. Your photos are dark and not colorful enough. You want people to gasp with delight when they see your photos, not squint with confusion.

I don’t know what photo editing program you have on your computer, but it will have settings to brighten an image and to saturate it (make it more colorful). Spending a bit more time on your photos is going to make your blog lovely and compelling!

I’ve noticed that some of your paragraphs are left-aligned and some are centered. To make an easy reading experience for your visitors, keep all text left-aligned.

So lovely! These photos draw me in as a reader, and I may even pin one of them on my beach vacation Pinterest board now.

So lovely! These photos draw me in as a reader, and I may even pin one of them on my beach vacation Pinterest board now.

Add value to your posts

I’m looking at your Stinson Beach post, and you could make it something people would bookmark and share by making it more of a travel planning resource. I see you include some links, which is great. Putting these in an organized list at the top or bottom of the post would greatly increase the value of the post. If you’re able to take the time to list more sights and places to stay, do! You want to steer away from stream of consciousness and make your post something memorable and usable.

To help with share-ability for a post like this, make the first image a vertical image with text explaining why people would want to read the post. This way, people can pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook, etc. It’s always a good idea to let people do the marketing work for you.

This helpful list makes me much more likely to save it, share it, or at least tune in for the next helpful post.

This helpful list makes me much more likely to save it, share it, or at least tune in for the next helpful post.

Don’t be shy of selling your product

Finally: you’re selling swimsuits! This post doesn’t let me know that you’re selling swimsuits at all. You need to put the name and link to the swimsuit in the caption of the photos when your kids are wearing the suits. You could also include product shots of just the suits and add a bit about the features (“these were great at Stinson Beach because of bla bla thing about the weather and the suit”). At the bottom of the post, when people are done reading and want to know what they should do next, you can link to your full catalog of suits.

I see that you mention a shop in town, “They rent gear and sell a nice selection of beachwear and swimsuits.” Do they sell Bud & June suits? Then your sentence should say, “They rent gear and sell a nice selection of beachwear and swimsuits, including our Bud & June suits (link to your shop page).” If this shop doesn’t sell your suits, skip mentioning their suits, and mention yours instead.

The whole point of your blog is that you’re trying to attract people who’d love to purchase swimsuits from your charming family – so be a charming family and then promote the swimsuits. You can make this straightforward and from the heart: “I hope you enjoyed our trip to the beach! Our family loves the beach, and that’s why we started Bud & June. Our boys are comfier and more adventurous than ever in their Bud & June swimsuits. If you’re interested in shorter, more form-fitting suits for your boys that will literally make them jump up and down, you can view our full catalog here (link to your shop page).”

But I don’t want to be a pushy salesperson

Melissa didn’t say this, but I know we all think this from time to time!

It is absolutely fine to be direct about introducing your business – feel free to put a little “sales pitch” at the bottom of any of your posts. As long as you’ve brought the reader some value, they’re happy to hear a little blurb from you about why your suits are awesome and why they will love them. You’ve gotta get used to tooting your own horn!

Remember that with a blog, often the blog post itself is the very first page anyone will see on your site. They don’t know that Bud & June is a family-run swimsuit business …yet! It’s your job to orient them to what site they’ve ended up on, and why they want to be there.

The more targeted your blog posts are, the more interested your readers will be in having you sell your suits to them. You’ve done a great job with this post, as anyone who finds this post via Google or referral likely has little kids and loves the beach – they’re going to need some swimsuits!

If you’re going to go to all the work of having a blog, make sure that it’s making you money.

Next steps and promoting your blog

If I was you, I’d edit the first post to add photos, and edit the most recent post as I suggested, then see if you can get anyone to share the most recent post for you. On social media or their own blog. Maybe one of the shops or locations you mentioned would want to feature you. You can pin the post to Pinterest, share it on your other social media outlets, and see if you can get businesses local to Stinson Beach to share with their followers.

Best wishes, Melissa!

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