Blogging to Sell Your Products

 

Blogging to Sell Your Products

 

Lesson Info

What Should You Blog About: Content Ideas for Your Blog

So we talked about content in terms of really broad buckets, but now we're gonna focus in on actually answering that question, finally, finally of what should you blog about, and go over some content ideas for your blog. So you shouldn't have to start from scratch every time you sit down to create a blog post. Of course we've already given you guys some ideas right? If you were happen... If you do happen to start from scratch right? We talked about this idea of thinking about, what do I want to show? Instead of what do I want to say. So starting with that image, and we also talked about how you can just mine your social media profile, your social media posts, for blog post ideas right? You can take the images that you're already sharing on Instagram, or already sharing on Facebook, and turn those into blog posts, but now from here, what we want to do, is develop a blank... A bank of blog post types... That's a mouthful. Develop a bank of blog post types, that you can use on your blog t...

o create content, and so basically what this is gonna look like, is in the last lesson, you identified the topics of your blog right? The big bucket topics that go into your unique editorial angle. So you're gonna take... When we take a topic, and we combine it with a post type, which I'm gonna show you guys in a minute, that's gonna give us content ideas. So a topic plus a post type, boom. Now you know what you're gonna write about. So just to kind of remind you guys, when we set that unique editorial angle for my blog, my blog types are jewelry. That's one of my topics because that's my product. Style, art, and travel. So then within your blog there are really two types of posts. Either posts that link directly to your product, or those that don't, and to be technical, we're going to talk about those as indirect content. So I think about is content that introduces new visitors to your brand, and so I have outlined, at least 12 different types of posts in these two buckets. So our product posts and our brand posts, and you'll see I've actually come up with more product post ideas, because this is blogging to sell your products. So want to help you guys think about how to actually incorporate your products into your blog posts, though not every blog post necessarily will. So I'm gonna go into these in detail in a minute, so you don't feel like you have to copy the list down right now, but I want to remind you guys that if you purchase this class, one of the bonuses is actually, all of these blog post types with descriptions, and links to every example I'm about to show you. So if you want to read these blog posts in full, if you want to see what these are, make sure you guys have bought this class, because then you get this list as a bonus, which is really awesome, because it saves you a lot of creative Googling to try to see these examples. So really briefly, and then we'll dive into the details. In terms of your product posts, some types are preview posts, how-to or your product and use posts, product roundup posts, posts that overcome product objections, what I call direct inspiration or behind-the-scenes posts, posts that actually show inspiration for one particular product, instead of your collection as a whole, customer use or testimonial posts, and then post for press or product features that you might have had, and again we're gonna dive into these deeper. Then we have brand posts. So these are posts that aren't specifically about your product. So we might have just general inspiration, behind the scenes, you might create how-to posts that are not about your product, lifestyle posts, which is pretty much a big ginormous category, that can influence any... Include anything from art, to travel, to books, to music, to nature, to whatever. Life style is that big bucket that we can pull from one we're like, I want to write about anything, and then interviews tend to be non-brand posts as well. So let's take a look at a couple examples of these, and again, if you buy the class, get that bonus PDF, there's links to all of these examples that I'm about to show you in that PDF. So I've already shown you guys a few examples of product preview posts, so we're not going to go into this one too deep, but literally the idea is, here's a product that's not available yet, it's coming soon, and then here's a call to action to join my mailing list to get this product when it's available. Really simple post type, and again as we're looking at these different post types, you can also think about what the goals are for your blog, because some of these post types are better at attracting new audiences, and some of them are more for your existing. So this post type is definitely more for your existing audience. This is not quite as good for attracting future audiences, though some of this content does work really well on Pinterest, and can drive some traffic in that way. So our next type is how to or a product in use posts, and so these are literally posts that are going to teach our customer something related to our product, or something useful that they need to know to use our product. So here's one example here, back from when I used to have a textile line. Four ways to wear the November long statement scarf, and then literally... It's actually just four different images, showing how to wear that one scarf. Another example here, five ways to style a statement necklace. So in this case, I do a lot of this kind of idea of post, and in this one, it was based on a photo shoot, instead of image collages. So I showed it you know with a floral print kimono on a gray t-shirt. So these are just really kind of basic how-to posts about your product, and then the next type are product roundup posts, and these are really kind of infinite, because you can do product roundup posts that are just your product, or your product in relationship to other people's products. So this is that post I shared earlier, which is 13 pieces of black jewelry, and we talked about the idea that you don't have to write a lot. This post was literally the title, that's a link to the product, and a picture, and then the title, and the link to the product, and the next picture right? There was probably an introductory paragraph, but that's it. There's not a lot of text happening here right? Headlines, links, images, that's it, but again you can also think about ways to round up your product with other things. So I've been showing you guys a few examples of these kind of outfit round up posts that I've done, and in a little bit I'm actually gonna show you guys how to create these kind of image collages really easily, but it's not specific to style. So here's an example back from when I had my textile line, where I wanted to show a pillow with a few other products. So you can think about using these product roundup ideas in a lot of different ways. So this is a really easy way to generate content, even if you're not making outfits, and then of course we have our posts on overcoming product objections. So this is that idea where, if you think about every single question someone has ever asked you about your products, every single one of those could be a blog post. What's a question people ask you about your products? Most are just about size and stuff like that. They're just concerned like how... You know how big is it? So right. Like how big is this? So the post could literally be something like, photography that illustrates how big your product is in comparison to other products in your line, or something else. Boom that's a blog post. I want you guys to start to think through this kind of creatively. So that's why I'm doing this sort of on the spot. In your case I'm thinking, okay your unique editorial angle involves nature. So what if you did a really cool photo shoot that was like how big something was, in comparison to like leaves, or something that like they could kind of have an immediate visual and how big it is? Oh yeah. So right, right there. How big something is. So boom. Question that you had turns into a blog post idea. So that's really what overcoming product objection posts are about. So again I showed you guys this one before. You know what makes the contra composition statement necklaces so comfortable, and then this other one, that is literally what is dendritic opal. So that's the stone that I use in my contra collection. So it's like what is that stone? Oh it's dendritic opal. See I can't even say it sometimes. Oh it's dendritic opal. Well what's dendritic opal? Boom blog post, right? So this is a real... Again a really easy way to generate content ideas. What are the questions that people are asking? And then you might do a direct inspiration behind the scenes post, and quite frankly I did not have a great example for this. I threw this one in here, but really actually, that post that we made earlier today, from my social media profile, with the Calder inspired earrings, and the Monstera leaf, that's a perfect example of a direct inspiration post. So really with these kinds of posts, I'm thinking of something that relates to one specific product, or a small grouping, rather than like this is my inspiration at large, because again that makes easy to direct somebody somewhere, either to the mailing list to buy it later, or eventually... And I should be really clear about anything that's a preview with a mailing list. Once the product is available, go back in, change the call-to-action, so it's this is now available in my online store. Here's where you can go buy it. So we want to change those in the future. Then you might do something like a customer use or testimonial post, and so this is one I did. Caught wearing at the buyers market. So someone who was actually just wearing my product around at a tradeshow, and again remember, I don't do interviews right? And I don't write long. So this is literally just a picture of a happy customer. (audience laughter) But look how happy she looks right? So it does not have to be complicated. So don't be like, oh if I'm gonna do a customer testimonial, I have to send out an interview. I mean if you want to do that great, but again, picture of a happy customer. This this says a lot right? Then you can also do press or product feature posts, and you can do these for any piece of press that you've gotten, but they also work really great, when you've gotten a feature that you haven't been credited for, because it's a chance to really play with the SEO. So a couple of years ago, Trisha Yearwood wore my earrings on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, and because they're actually her own personal earrings, from what I understand, because I've seen her, but she's worn them in other places, and they didn't use a credited stylist on the shoot. No where are they credited in the piece. So what I did, is I immediately created a very keyword heavy blog post. Trisha Yearwood wearing Megan Auman earrings, on the July cover of Better Homes and Gardens, and I in fact had customers say, I saw these earrings. I did not know. I Googled, and I found your post, right? Because they're like... I was like, what if someone saw this image, and were trying to figure out these earrings, what would they search for right? What earrings is Trisha Yearwood wearing on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens? Another really good example that's not mine, Tiffany Whips recently had her earring... Her rings worn in a scene of the TV show Quantico, and so here you can see her post title is not... Doesn't have SEO, but then if we look up here in the data, what she actually has here is Priyanka Chopra, which is the actresses name / Alex Parrish, which is the character name, stacking rings on Quantico. So if someone again, sees those and is searching for it... So it's a great piece of blog content, because it gets your existing customers excited. That's so cool that your earrings are on Better Homes and Gardens, or that's so cool that someone was wearing your rings on a TV show, but if someone is searching for this, it's also great to help that. So this is a really good post type, if you ever get that kind of uncredited coverage. Now we're gonna go into that kind of general brand posts right? So these are ones that maybe don't specifically speak about your product, but are either used to build that deeper connection, or bring in the audience to your brand. So I showed you this kind of general, like inspiration posts. So three books on art that are inspiring my studio practice right now. So I'm not talking about inspiration in relationship to a specific piece, just general inspiration. Then you can also do general behind-the-scenes posts, and again, unless you're doing a full behind-the-scenes blog, which you're probably only doing if you already have a really big following, I like to keep these sort of sparse, but it is kind of cool right, to get a glimpse into someone's workspace. So here's a post I did, let's take a tour of my studio, and then this is actually admittedly a hybrid post, because it was also featured in a magazine. So I did a little bit of both, but it, mostly what I published in this piece were images that didn't appear in the article, things that weren't used. So it was a way to kind of give that general sneak peek. So you can throw content like this in, because that remember, is content that deepens the connection. It's probably not gonna be the cornerstone of your content, but it's not totally off-limits. Then you can think about non-product how to posts, and in this case, the example that I'm gonna show you is a little bit of a cheat, because it features my products, but the how-to itself is not about my product. So what I did was, how to wear sweat pants to a holiday party and still look chic right? So it's not really about my post. My post is featured, but it's a how-to, and in this case, I did actually write a little longer, because I wanted to give some tips, on literally how to wear sweat pants to a holiday party. I was telling our group about how I... My marketing was like, oh yeah I'm making posts on what to wear to a holiday party, and I got really excited about the idea of heels and sweat pants. So I wanted to create a little how-to post about that. All right and then we have lifestyle posts, and as I said, this is kind of our big bucket for pretty much anything you can think of, that might attract your ideal customer, or might interest your ideal customer. So this is pretty much just an image that I made, and turning a blog post, because I thought, I bet this will do well on Pinterest right? I bet my audience will respond to this quote. So what do you think about lifestyle quotes? It could literally be something as simple as this. There could be a better subject line there, or a better post title there. I could fix that a little bit. Also here's something to know. You could always go back. If you wrote a lot of content in the past, and it's got bad titles that aren't very SEO friendly, you could fix them. I don't really know what I would say there. I might change it to like... Or I might put it in my metadata, like quotes about confidence right? What would someone search for if they were looking for this? Quote about confidence. So I could change that there. I probably should do that, once we're done with this. I have a little... You know right remember? Not perfect. There's always room for evolution, and in my case, then I also do some travel posts. So this is a post about, in this case, when I actually went to Milan, or another post, where from when I went to India. Right so again just general lifestyle things you think the customer... Your ideal customer might find interesting, all within that kind of those big bucket topics that you outlined in your unique editorial angle, and then interview posts, and surprise surprise, I do not have an example for my own blog to show here, because this is my part of my sustainability strategy, is no interview posts, but I've seen people who do it really well. So Lisa Condin does it on her blog, where she interviews other illustrators, and then my friend Brandy from Bellavita jewelry, just started doing this series on her blog, called Boss Lady, where she interviews inspiring young female entrepreneurs. So this can be a great way to generate content, if it's something that you're interested in, and can really appeal to your ideal customer. So if this sounds exciting to you, totally do it. Don't let my aversion to it turn you off. So you do not have to use all of these post types. Experiment and see what works best for you. So you might just... You might have a pretty clear idea right away. Like oh I think these three or four are great for me, and the rest I'm gonna let go, or maybe you're like, you know what? I don't know. So I'm gonna start doing a bunch, seeing what is easy for me to put together, what I like, and whittle down from there. But as you're experimenting, there are two types of posts that I 100% want you to avoid. The first one we've talked about, which is tutorials on how to make your products. Stop teaching people how to make your stuff. Just stop okay? It's your stuff. It's your intellectual property. You have a right to keep that private if you want. This is an interesting conversation I've been seeing a lot online. Right, you don't have to teach people how to make your stuff, and your customers don't care, because if they could make it, they wouldn't need to buy it right? If they could make it, they wouldn't need you. The other one, and I do not know where this came from, but I see people do it. Just traffic or income reports, and I've seen it start to pop in. Like it was a blogger thing right? Like bloggers started doing it, and I think it worked for bloggers who then... From whatever their blog topic was, to now I'm gonna... I'm gonna blog about how to be a better blogger. So this was very common, but I have seen it pop up on like a jewelry designers blog. First of all, if you don't have a lot of traffic or income to your site, don't tell people that, because that does not inspire trust or confidence right? Like oh... Well no one really likes you, so why should I? Like maybe I'm just not cool. Like I need to jump ship right? So just stop. Don't. Those are the kinds of things that can only attract your peers and competitors. So we want to avoid those. All right so any questions about those content types? Yeah Tracy? Just kind of of a technical question with like some of the roundup ones. When you're posting like your outfit, or your home decor collages, what are your thoughts about those links that redirect your audience to other shopping sites to purchase those items? So that's fine. So part of this strategy, is that you have to realize, if you're doing those kind of roundup posts, that not everyone who's coming to your site, is going to click on your product. Like you just have to acknowledge that that's gonna happen, but I'm not gonna be a jerk about it and be like, well the only link I'm gonna give you is mine, and you can't find those other things, because that's just not nice right? So I feel like it's good karma to send people to where they want to get the other things, and my hope is that eventually through repetition, and coming back, they're like oh wait, that's like the third post I saw with that necklace. I totally want that necklace, or now I ended up on the roundup, that's eight ways to wear that necklace. So of course I want that necklace. The other thing that I will say that I do on a lot of those posts, is I'll do the roundup, I'll do all the links, I'll have my paragraph, and then below that, I might include additional images of my products that are featured with additional lengths, to sort of give it like an extra call-out. Like this is the best... This is the best product in the roundup guys! I don't say it like that, but this is the best product in the roundup. You should click on that. So that's another way to do that. You just give yourself a little more priority. I think one of my pet peeves when I'm at a website, is that if they have a link like to another product, I hate it when that... When the link takes me there, as opposed to opening in a new tab, or window because like I usually want to get back to the original post. So I guess I you do that... And I will say that I absolutely 100% make any link that goes off my site, open in a new tab. Yeah that way you can click back easily. Yeah super good point, but I always do that by default. Yeah we have some online questions here. A bunch of people were curious about this, but how do you keep up with your product being worn by celebrities, or influencers, especially if it's not credited? Like how did you find out about that? So what you'll be amazed to find, is that like, people who are fans of your brand, pay attention to stuff. So I got an email from one of my stores, that they said oh one of our customers said that, she just saw your earrings on Better Homes and Gardens, and what's actually funny is, I get things like that often, that actually aren't my products. Like I had three people be like, was that your necklace on Scandal? And I had to watch and zoom in pretty closely, until I realized it wasn't my necklace on Scandal, but like people will point that out. So in that case they were like, oh yeah. I was like that's not true. So I literally like ran to the grocery store, and I was like nope those are my earrings. So that's that case, but with things like TV shows, what you'll find is because those are actually purchased, that you'll actually know in advance. So Tiffany knew that she was gonna be on Quantico, because the stylist contacted her and said, we want this character to wear this all season. So we need like four pairs overnighted, or like four sets overnighted. Can you do that? She was like of course I can do that. So either like usually people are looking out for you, or you might actually be surprised at how much you know up front. Good question.

Class Description

Blogging is one of the most valuable, essential tools you can use to engage with customers and, ultimately, leverage to grow your business and make more sales. An entertaining and informative blog should be an integral component of your online content marketing strategy. If you are not blogging, it’s time to get started!

In Blogging to Sell Your Products, Megan Auman will walk you through her process of crafting blog content that will inspire product purchases.

You will learn to do the following:

  • Set up your blog using the right platform
  • Craft a blog post in less than an hour
  • Promote your blog and create posts that encourage sharing
  • Boost your Google page rankings using SEO blogging techniques
  • Choose a product-based blogging approach

In today's saturated craft marketplace it’s getting harder and harder to make sales. And, it’s also becoming difficult to get accepted into craft shows. In Blogging to Sell Your Products, you will learn to use your blog to set yourself apart from the crowd.