Change Your Game: Switch from Blogging to Ecommerce
Transitioning from ‘selling’ words to selling products? Whilst there are transferable skills between blogging and ecommerce, the two pathways demand very different things. Here’s how to know if you and your business idea are ready for the challenge.
Ecommerce: A Blogger’s Paradise?
By transitioning from blogging to ecommerce, you are going against the grain. Most ecommerce businesses set up a blog further down the line when they realize the importance of engaging with their customers. But that’s not to say it’s not possible — having an already established blog could put you at a serious advantage. Here are some things that you should consider before making your first move:
- Do you have the right business attitude? Going into business is very different to being a blogger. There is certainly a skills overlap: as a blogger you are naturally great at communication, and basic web design. These two skills are very useful for ecommerce. However, a successful business requires attention to detail and the drive to make sales — two things which can be daunting for the average blogger
- Does your blog naturally lend itself to a certain industry? For example, if you regularly blog about cosmetics, it would make perfect sense to set up an ecommerce store selling make-up brushes. Have a think about what you would have the knowledge and blog readership to sell
- How would you sell your products? There are many routes to get into the world of ecommerce. Get to grips with Ebay and Etsy or Amazon to get started. Alternatively, to have more control over the design, it may be worth using an ecommerce platform to set up your own online store
Put on Your Thinking Cap: Find That Niche
Having an already established readership and being influential in a certain industry puts you a step ahead of many others wishing to get into ecommerce.
Pro tip: You really need to make the most of this advantage to ensure that your online store is a success. Find out what your readership really wants. Here’s how:
- Engage with your readers – Email questionnaires or posts on your blog can be a great way to find out what people would like you to sell. How could your ecommerce store improve the lives of your readers?
- No cutting corners – do thorough research into your industry competitors. Do any of your competitor bloggers sell products directly or have affiliate links with particular brands? Have you noticed an online niche that’s taken your fancy? Make a note of any successful stores or bloggers in your industry
- Be unique – the best way to make a crack at the ecommerce industry is to offer something nobody else does. Find that gap in the market and fill it with your store
Pro tip 2: If you can link your blog niche to a particular kind of product, then absolutely do so. Use your blogger brand help to sell yourself as a pro product expert. Using your blog to promote your products or services with click-through links to your ecommerce store will increase your chances of making sales.
Create a Fantastic Ecommerce Store
So what’s the best way to set the wheels in motion? Whether you choose to set up an Ebay store or use an ecommerce platform, these are some important things to make sure you include in your store:
- Attractive promotional imagery for your store’s background and web hero images, as well as great products photos. Avoid bland stock images at all costs
- Clear web design to convert your page visits into sales
- Communicate with your customers via a blog and newsletters to advertise your products and get your brand heard
- Link up your store – your brand’s social media and blog should all be integrated and set up with click-through links from your online store. Integrate social media into the purchase journey as much as you can
credit: good as gold
Good As Gold are a clothes and accessories brand with a really well-designed shop front which was set up using the Shopify platform. This brand opted for a visual slideshow to promote multiple ranges of products on the homepage. The design is easy to use with clearly defined product categories for a great user experience. A platform can also help you sell products fast with minimal development time; it’s a really fast way for you to get up and running from blogger to merchant.
Will You Take the Plunge?
Switching from selling ideas to selling products is a bold move. However, having an already established blog can put you well on your way to becoming an ecommerce whizz. Just make sure that you:
- Be honest: consider if you have what it takes to go into business
- Do your homework to find a profitable niche
- Create a beautiful and easy to use shop front to create a great user experience.
Click here for in-depth tips on what you should avoid when setting yourself up in ecommerce.
Are you considering transitioning from blogger to ecommerce entrepreneur? What lessons will you take away from it? Let us know in the comments.
Patrick Foster, ecommerce entrepreneur & writer
I am a freelance writer and contributor to multiple marketing and ecommerce blogs. I’m passionate about business, start-ups and all things social.