Skip to content

Are you thinking about turning your blog into an online store and selling digital or physical products, services or subscriptions?

If you answered yes and aren’t sure how to add ecommerce to your blog then read on.

Make the Most of Your Blog and Store: It’s Easy to Add an Online Store to Your Blog

1. Choose Your Products and Services

2. Test Demand for Your Product

3. Pick the Right Ecommerce Solution

4. The Final Nuts and Bolts Before Launch

Your Blog is More than Just a Store

Pin this post for later

Pinterest graphic for an article about your blog and store

I’ll share some simple steps with you to turn your blog into an online store:

No excuses! You can start now. Now the good news.

You’ve already done the majority of the hard work building a blog with an audience, so you’re not starting from scratch.

You’ve spent the time and effort in creating the content and promoting your blog and have already got your niche. The people following your blog are your target market, and this makes it easier to figure out your products or services you can offer.

This is an excellent example of a successful author, Joanna Penn, who’s worked hard at building a loyal following and is selling directly from her site The CreativePenn as well as the usual book marketplaces.

online store

The longer you leave it, the more competition you’ll have.

Don’t hesitate any longer, you can follow these simple steps and turn your blog into your own online store.

1. Choose Your Products and Services

We recommend you start with products that you’re passionate about (and your audience) and to focus selling on something unique.

This might be oversimplified but you just need to brainstorm your product ideas. Check out some other similar blogs and see what they are offering. You don’t have to copy them but it might spark some ideas. This checklist will help you break it down.

A quick product checklist

  • What is the problem you are solving?
  • Who is likely to want to buy it?
  • How it will be used?
  • What are the features of your product or service?
  • Is it a physical product needing delivery, or a digital product or service?
  • How does the user benefit from these features?
  • Are there any alternative products or substitutes to your product?
  • How much will it cost to make and ship?
  • What price will you sell it for (how much profit)?

If you’re looking for more great practical advice, take a look at this post from Ryan Robinson, an entrepreneur who’s been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, and Entrepreneur.

A crowded desk shows all the things that a blogger has to do. This article shows you how easy it can be to monetize your blog and store.

2. Test Demand for Your Product

If your product will take a large amount of work or investment it’s a good idea to test the demand as early as possible. You want to see if your blog readers will buy your product or service before you spend your time and money on something that doesn’t possibly sell.

Here are three ideas on how you can test demand for your product.

Start a Kickstarter campaign

If you have a specific product in mind, you could consider a Kickstarter campaign. It takes a lot of effort and planning and it’s not for everyone as there are restrictions on the types of projects, but it can be a good way of judging whether people are interested in your idea.

For example, Seth Godin had a Kickstarter campaign to raise $40,000 for his upcoming book, The Icarus Deception. He raised more than his target within four hours. Solar Roadways also crowdfunded a project to the tune of $2.2 million, you can read more about their crowdfunding experience here.

Take pre-orders

This is a good choice if you’ve already decided to create a product and service.

It has the benefit of providing you with some additional cash to fund making your product. It also gives you a good idea of how much inventory you will need when you launch and start taking orders. You can help create a bit of a buzz and urgency by offering a pre-launch discount.

Register your interest

If you’re undecided on a product and want to gauge interest first, a fantastic way to gauge interest is to talk about your product idea on your blog. You can ask for feedback or for people to register their email address to be notified when it’s available. You can then measure the level of interest before investing your time and money.

Testing before you create a product will help you make the right decisions before you move on to the next step.

Read more: How to Improve Product Quality with Customer Feedback

3. Pick the Right Ecommerce Solution

If you want to make money this is a pretty important step. This is how you take orders, collect money from your customers, and deliver your product or service.

You’ve got enough to do with running a successful blog so you’ll probably want to stay clear of coding, and complex or custom ecommerce shopping cart solutions. You want something that is streamlined and requires the minimum cost and effort.

Here are 17 things to consider when choosing an Ecommerce solution for your blog and store:

  1. Does it support the products you want to sell? Can it handle selling physical products, digital downloads, services or subscriptions?
  2. Are there any restrictions on who can use it? Are there any limits on the number of products you can list?
  3. How easy is it to set up and use? How easily can you add a buy button, shopping cart or embed an online store on my site?
  4. Is there a WordPress plugin available (a lot of bloggers reading this will be WordPress users as WordPress powers more than 20% of the web)?
  5. How do I manage product options and manage my inventory? Can I offer discounts or coupons?
  6. How much will it cost? Are there any monthly fees for using the tool?
  7. Does it handle payments securely? Will I need to have an SSL certificate?
  8. Can I accept credit cards and PayPal? How much are the fees per sale?
  9. How quick and easy is the checkout process for my customers to use? Does the checkout need a customer to register first?
  10. Will the checkout, transfer the customer away from my site to complete the order? Does the checkout have lots of fields asking for unnecessary information?
  11. Is it easy for people to buy using a desktop as well as smartphones and tablets?
  12. How will my buy buttons or store look? Can I customize how they look?
  13. Is it compatible with my blog? Will it work with my blog theme or do I need to pay for any special themes?
  14. Does it have social media integration? How easy is it share products to Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest? Does it provide a Facebook Store?
  15. Can I choose to add additional functionality if I need it? How much additional functionality is free and paid? How much will the apps or extensions cost?
  16. Does it have a WordPress eCommerce plugin available? Does the eCommerce solution integrate with other third-party tools?
  17. How much free support is available? How responsive is customer support in answering my queries? What other resources are available to help me grow my sales?

Go through this checklist for each ecommerce solution you are considering.

As well as having the features you want, it’s important that the Ecommerce solution you choose answers these important questions.

Make it easy for you and your customers to use

You want an Ecommerce solution that is quick and easy for someone to buy your products and services.

It’s estimated that mobile devices are responsible for over 40% of Ecommerce sales. The reason that sales on mobile devices are lower is the cumbersome nature of some mobile checkout experiences.

Try it out

It’s really important to try out any Ecommerce platform yourself. Think about your customer’s journey from start to finish. Identify any potential conversion killers. Run a test order and go through the exact same process as your customers.

A person doing experiments in a crowded home shows the importance of testing ideas for your blog and store from Selz the Ecommerce platform for growing businesses

4. The Final Nuts and Bolts Before Launch

You’re almost ready to launch your online store on your blog. You only need to add your products to your chosen Ecommerce solution, and then display them on your site.

You have the freedom to do what you want with your blog and to display your products and services however you want. Here is one example of how you can personalize things. The amount of time and work this takes will depend on the Ecommerce solution you choose.

Make your product descriptions irresistible

Basic product descriptions will describe your product or service. Great product descriptions make it feel like you’re missing out if you don’t buy the product.

Focus on your ideal buyer and try answering the important questions of who, what, when, where, how and why. Talk about the benefits rather than the features.

The following is a good product description example for a water bottle because it articulates the product’s practical benefits.

Our most popular bottle. The large opening on our wide-mouth bottles easily accommodates ice cubes, fits most water purifiers and filters, and makes hand-washing a breeze. The attached loop-top never gets lost and screws on and off easily. Printed graduations let you keep track of your hydration.

Make product photos that sell

High-quality product photos sell, and the opposite is true, poor quality photos that are fuzzy, pixelated, or have flash glare will put off your potential buyers.

You can shoot your own fantastic product photos on a budget with an iPhone or a basic digital SLR camera. Here is more help with for taking better product photography.

Read More: 7 Steps to Creating Picture-Perfect Product Images For your Online Store

A man photographing outdoors shows how you can learn to take great product images for your blog and store

Your Blog is More than Just a Store

You have some distinct advantages over other traditional online store websites.

First, you’re bringing content and commerce together by adding a shopping cart or ecommerce to your blog in one site. Too many online store websites have content bolted on as an afterthought, and it shows.

Second, your fans get the best of both worlds. And you get to use your excellent blog content to sell more products.

Third, your turning fans into repeat customers. You already have a relationship with the people who like your blog. Show your face and tell a story. After all, people want to buy from other people.

Encourage customers with special offers, and let them know about your products and services.

Make sure you have a clear call to action on your home page.

Test putting a few items on your home page. See if this makes a difference to your online store. Don’t give them too many options as this confuses people, and rather than clicking on something they leave your site.

Congratulations! Your Blog and Store are Ready to Go!

You’re now ready to launch your online store and make money from your blog.

One last tip. Customer testimonials increase conversion rates by 18% and can tip potential customers that are hesitating across the line. So, think about how you will collect these when you start selling your products and services.

About the author

Geoff Austin

Geoff Austin

I talk and write a lot. Some of it about ecommerce, selling online, startups, SEO, digital marketing.

Currently, head of analytics for an automotive business in Sydney, facilitating a culture of data-driven decisions. Delivering data-based insights and intelligence.

Chauffeur to twin daughters and a pizza chef master.

4 comments

  1. Sagar Nandwani

    Its always important to understand the interests of your audience and sell the right products, once you do that you are halfway there, I have been working on my own blog to make it a digital store and I think your article will be really helpful.

    Thanks for sharing this article.
    Have a great day ahead.

    1. Hanna Whirty

      We couldn’t agree more. We’re glad to hear that this article helped, please check out the rest of FounderU for even more helpful articles! Have a great day, Sagar, and thanks for reading!

  2. PanhandleTox

    What as up, just wanted to say, I loved this article. It was funny. Keep on posting!

Comments are closed.