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A Good Start
So You’ve Got a Website
So, you’ve got a website for your business – great! Let’s take look at what needs to be done before creating a blog. This will set you up for success with a strong site foundation.

Site Design

This is the big one, right? Your site needs a great look to make people think it’s professional. After all, you don’t want to lose sales because people are concerned about whether or not you’re legit. It’s going to be hard to sell your Rolexes if your site makes you seem like a guy in trench coat whispering, “Pssst!” from an alleyway.
Site Reliability
Your site needs to be solid. It needs to be there when people arrive, work while they’re shopping, checking out, and so on, and not be full of broken bells and whistles. There’s nothing in the world sadder than a broken whistle; if you pick up a cool looking whistle, blow on it, and no sound comes out, how many times are you going to blow on it before you decide to go shop somewhere where the whistles work?
Site Usability
This is largely a function of the previous two entries, but it’s also a matter of thought and planning. You need to make sure people can find what they’re looking for in an intuitive manner, and have to jump through the absolute minimum number of hoops to give you their money.

If you’ve got these three things down, it’s time to think about setting up your site’s blog. I’m Ogi Djuraskovic, from First Site Guide, and I’m going to explain exactly how and why your website needs a blog if you’re going to sell stuff online.
The Downside of Blogging
Let’s get something out of the way right now: A blog is a lot of work. You need to create quality content on a schedule, you need to promote that content, you need to police the comment section, respond to users, plan out future posts, and so on. It is, in many respects, a full-time job, especially if you haven’t done it before.

All this adds up to a simple fact: A blog for your site is going to be an investment of either time or money. So, why bother?
Why You Really Should Blog Anyway
With all that, you might be wondering why you should bother with a blog, when you already have a perfectly nice reliable site, with a good a design and a streamlined user interface?

Well, let’s say there’s another quality site out there on the internet selling more or less the same thing you are. I know, I know, it’s a stretch, right? Well, let’s say there is, and let’s say they have a blog, but you don’t.

They’re going to put you out of business so fast you’ll only have time to file for Chapter One bankruptcy.

There are several reasons for this, but the condensed version, which we’re going to unpack in the next few sections, is that your blog is your site’s doorway to the rest of the internet. You know, the part where the people with the money and the needs to fulfill are?

Okay, let’s jump into the hows and whys of it all.

How are Your Visitors Finding You?

They’re Coming From Somewhere (Hopefully)
Alright, people are reaching your site, we hope, and we also hope you’ve set up Google Analytics on your site so you can tell where your visitors are coming from, and what they do while they’re there. Let’s take a moment to understand the different kinds of traffic, and why blogs are killer at bringing in two out of three.
Organic Traffic vs. Referrals and Direct Traffic
Direct Traffic is what we call it when someone types your URL in the little bar at the top of the screen by hand. These people are either repeat visitors (which are great), people who heard about you from a non-internet source (also great), or people looking for a different site who find you by mistake (less great, but still a shot at a sale). This will only ever be a small portion of your traffic.

Referral Traffic comes from people clicking the link to your site on a different site. Depending on a host of factors, mostly related to your social media presence, or lack thereof, referral traffic will make up somewhere between a quarter and three of your total traffic. If you don’t have a blog, you probably won’t see much of this.

Organic Traffic comes from search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google, but, really, almost always Google. These are hits from people searching for something like, “Buy {whatever you’re selling} online,” and then clicking your link in the search result. Even without a blog, a large percentage of the traffic to your site will come from organic searches.
Why a Blog Helps Your Search Rankings
The first reason is simply that Google likes sites that change regularly, but the big reason is that you have many more opportunities to rank highly on a search page if you’ve got articles showing up on lots of pages. Plus, this all feeds back to Google, and the more people who are coming to your site from various places, the more the search engines will assume people actually want to go there.

Of course, just bringing people to your site isn’t enough, and you can do so much more with a properly designed blog and content marketing plan.
Who is Finding You?
Hats for Cats, not Clogs for Dogs
Let’s say you sell hats for cats (because no one wants a shabby tabby), and Hats for Cats is your business. You write an article titled, “The 25 Best Clogs for Dogs” on your blog, and it goes viral . . . that’s great, but you haven’t really helped your business, have you? You sell hats for cats, not clogs for dogs, you fool!
The Right Eyes
A business blog isn’t just about bringing in readers to your site, it’s about bringing potential customers to your site. Now, there probably is some overlap between the “clogs for dogs” crowd and your targeted “hats for cats” demographic, but ideally you’d want to bring in a group more likely to move from your blog to your shop. For example, a post titled, “50 Pretties for your Kitties” would bring in people who think their cats need a little bling—and what’s bling without proper headwear? It’s an embarrassment, that’s what.

As a side note, your titles don’t actually need to rhyme, I was just on a roll.

Let’s take a look, now that you’re basically a business blogging expert, at your ideal blog plan.
The Business Blog Plan
Share the Right Content
Create content that people will want to share, and will be shared with the people you believe will be most likely to buy your product.
Engage Your Customers
Get people talking, and talk back. Just like a physical business in the real world, people don’t like it when the shop owner pretends they don’t exist, and doesn’t say hi or answer their questions.
Social Media
Get your content out there into the world, so that people can see it. If they don’t see it, it won’t help bring in traffic.
Evaluate Your Results
This is a big one, because you need to always be improving your blog, learning what works and what doesn’t. If you do this right, your competitors (Kaps for Kittens and Fedoras for Felines) are going to be so far down the search results that your customers will never even realize there were alternatives to Hats for Cats for keeping their cats’ craniums cozy.
Businesses Need Blogs
Without a blog, a business site is simply not complete. Of course, just having a blog is not enough, you have to do it right. The blog must work, the content must appeal, your social media presence must be properly managed, and your chosen niche must reflect your targeted customer base. Our site has a number of helpful articles (in our blog) as well as a PDF guide to starting up your own site. Thanks for your time, and good luck blogging!

Ogi Duraskovic is a web enthusiast with a passion to help more people get on the web by starting their own blog or a business website. He’s the founder of First Site Guide which is run by a happy collection of web geeks who work for several big and small firms in the fields of hosting, web development, design, SEO and marketing. They can help you start a personal or business blog/site, a place to show your hobbies, offer advice to others or just to share personal stories, pictures and videos.

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About the author

Ogi Djuraskovic

#Web enthusiast, ex #judoka, #frenchbulldog lover... Founder of First Site Guide

One comment

  1. Myriam

    Hi Ogi! What a a great article! This must be one of the very few posts I’ve truly enjoyed reading. I really appreciated your playful take on the topic along with silly jokes. I have two cats myself and would love to buy pretties for my kitties :)

    Thanks!
    -Myriam

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