Blogging is a great way to get the word out about something and it's not limited to authors and reporters. eCommerce blogging is one of the most important things you can do for your business, and if you do it right, you can keep your readers and the search engines happy at the same time.
If you use Miva Merchant as your eCommerce platform and want to start blogging, the Scot's Blogger module adds a Wordpress-like blogging environment to your administration. All the posts here on Scot's Scripts are made using Scot's Blogger. This Post describes Scot's Blogger in more detail.
1. What is the purpose of your blog post?
This is the most important thing to think about before writing anything. If your blog purpose is not clearly defined, then you could waste a lot of time and words figuring out your purpose as you write.
The answer to this question is your ultimate article purpose: What do you want your readers to do?
"I want people to buy my blogging module."
2. Your title is more than a title, it's a page heading.
Most blog titles are wrapped in header tags like this:
This is used in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and a header like this is probably going to be picked up right away when search engines index the content of your blog post. Make sure your title gets the point across.
"Scot's Blogger is a Blogging Module for Miva Merchant"
The sub-title is also often used in SEO and gives you an opportunity for a one sentence description of your title, or a more obvious description of the post if you wanted to be artistic in the title.
Be the Steinbeck of Miva Merchant
Add the power of Wordpress and Blogging to your Miva Merchant eCommerce Store in One Click
4. Write a one paragraph synopsis of your blog post.
Keep it short. Keep it simple and make sure that if someone reads it, they know exactly what you're going to talk about and exactly what you want them to do.
"Scot's Blogger makes it easy to be a blogger in your Miva Merchant store. Use the powerful WYSIWYG editor, drag and drop images, a code-folding source editor, and short-codes to format your posts any way you want. Buy Scot's Blogger now at a special price."
5. Use structure in your post. Introduction, content, and summary.
Flesh out your synopsis, touch on all the points you will be covering, and use two or three keywords that people use to search for the subject of your post.
Describe in detail everything that you mentioned in the introduction and make sure to use your key search words, but not too much. Keep it at around 1 key word per 100 other words (general rule of thumb for longer articles.)
Don't get sidetracked. If you think of more stuff to write about, make a note of it but don't add it to your post because first, you want to make sure it falls within your post's purpose, and second, it's better to make multiple posts about something that try to fit everything in one gargantuan article. You'll have fodder for your next article and be rewarded with better SEO because you'll have more pages and content regarding the subject matter.
Quickly reiterate what you talked about and then give your reader an opportunity to do what you want. If you want them to buy something, make sure there is a big orange "BUY NOW" button. If you want them to read more, give them links.
Don't leave your readers hanging. Tell them what to do and give them the means to do it.
6. Use paragraphs, headings, images, and lists.
Err on the side of too many paragraphs.
Many people write entire blog posts in one paragraph. This usually means they are writing on the fly and then did not go back and edit which in itself is a problem, but that's not the main reason to use paragraphs.
The main reason is that it makes your post much easier to read.
I don't think paragraphs are going to help the SEO aspect of your article, but it will definitely help in readability. Also make sure the sizes of the paragraphs are different so that it the page visually appears to have different sections. Psychologically this will induce a sense of dynamics in your article which makes it easier for your readers.
Long paragraphs usually contain details and readers approach them with a sort of subconscious apprehension. On the other hand, short paragraphs are fun but lose their impact if there are no long paragraphs to make the short ones seem short. Contrast is the idea here.
Use headings when the subject matter changes or when you're reaching a new point. Headings are like candy to the subconscious, making everything easier for the reader by offering choices, like a reading menu. This is important because psychologically this will give your reader more of a sense of control. A reader can actually begin resenting the author, on a subconcsious level, if the post isn't broken up into different sized sections.
Images are one of the best ways to break up the boredom. They don't even have to relate to the post.
Lists also break up the boredom. Anytime you are putting down more than two items in a group, create a list.
7. Read your post out loud, record it, and listen to it.
Don't laugh, this works. If you record yourself reading your post and then go back and listen to it, two things will happen.
First, upon reading your post out loud, you'll not only find all the grammatical stumbling blocks, they will find you. Reading out loud forces you to examine your writing in detail which is difficult to do objectively when reading to yourself. In fact, it's very easy to gloss over awkward rhythm when reading silently because your mind fills in the blanks.
Second, when you listen to the recording you'll hear every rough spot, every weak argument, and if you stay objective you'll learn a lot about how other people might respond to your post.
Cell phones make it easy to do this and I urge you to give it a try if you want to engage your readers at a higher level.
8. SEO Strategies
- Make your posts long and make every word count. Add custom content by relating personal stories and experiences that apply to your article purpose.
- Even on a short post, write at least a full page because it gives search engines more of your content to index and helps place more importance on your posts.
- Warning: DO NOT COPY OTHER ARTICLES WORD FOR WORD. Even your own. This will kill your SEO and search results will be drastically altered if search engines find cloned content.
- As far as key terms and words go, the general consensus "out there" seems to be that you should have around 1% key words and terms for long articles and 2% for shorter ones.
- Link to previous posts: in Scot's Blogger and Wordpress you can use shortcodes, but regardless of how you do it, linking to previous articles helps establish a web of authority in your blog posts in humans and search engines.
- Most Important Blogging SEO Strategy: Add new content regularly. Force yourself to post an article at least once a week. Search engines think it's sexy when a site has new content, so the more you write, the more Google is going to hit on your site.
- Fit popular keywords and phrases that apply to your subject into your blog post. A good place to explore is Google Trends. Apparently adding the term "Uma Thurman" to a blog post is a good thing.
9. Use Words to Create a Reading Current
Use words that give the reader something to look forward to, such as:
- First of All
All of these words signal to your readers that something is about to happen and creates a sort of micro-anticipation, a reading gravity that propels them to the next section. Like a diving board, once you go, there's no turning back.
10. Be Yourself
Unless you're ghost writing a technical author, remember to write with your voice.
Don't write careful or worry about what you think your readers want. If you do that, your writing will not flow and it will feel contrived and unnatural, and worst of all, it is the fastest way of turning off your readers. Your genuine voice is important to them, and if they find out your writing is otherwise, well, good luck selling when your readers don't trust you.
When you write in your own voice, your readers will feel like they connect with you and in turn they will be more likely to come back for more.
If you are able to remind yourself about these blogging tips as you write, it won't take long before blogging for SEO and eCommerce becomes as natural as breathing.
Let me know if I missed anything here, and if you use Miva Merchant for eCommerce and want to blog the easy way, take a look at Scot's Blogger. If you're a writer looking for a good eCommerce platform, then Scot's Blogger and Miva Merchant are for you.