From Blog to Shop: 4 Lessons from Bloggers in E-commerce

By Janette Crawford, Beth Giles, Mackenzie Horan & Piper Toth.

When we started planning our Blog to Shop panel for Alt, we had no idea how much we would learn just from each other. We had such a great time sharing what we’ve learned over the years, and the audience seemed to love it as well. Here are our main points, as well as a few top tips from the panel:

1) Sell without selling out

  • Start by selling products you’re passionate about - your passion will come through in the way you talk about them, which will feel natural 
  • Find a balance between what you love and what sells 
  • Don’t sell something just because it’s popular 
  • Let go of what you love, if no one else does 
  • Talk about your product in an authentic and organic way — how the product plays into your lifestyle 
  • Promote other people’s products that are a complement, not competition, to your own 
  • Feature the brands/makers on your blog 
  • Talk to your audience like they’re your best friends; your recommendations feel like word of mouth

 2) Follow the sales trail 

  • Follow your analytics and pay attention to where your sales are coming from 
  • Don’t get too caught up in what works for other businesses 
  • Use the platforms that you both enjoy and bring in sales 
  • Pinterest and Instagram have led to the most sales conversions for all of the panel speakers 
  • Use Instagram to show how you style the objects in your life 
  • Trial & error is perfectly fine — just fine tune as you go and see where sales are coming from

 3) Connect with influencers that convert

  • Instead of trying to reach every outlet, focus on the ones that are really relevant 
  • Create a relevant contact list and personalize each email 
  • Provide only the info that helps the recipient make a snap decision on whether or not to feature it 
  • Do your research and tailor your email to the bloggers 
  • Ask to be “pinned” rather than asking for a blog post 
  • Vertical images read better on Pinterest 
  • When you receive press from a noteable blog or magazine, use it to gain more opportunities

 4. It’s easier to get a repeat customer than a new customer 

  • Make every interaction positive and consistent 
  • Send regular newsletters to email contacts, and offer them something other than "buy my stuff" 
  • Have an opt-in option for your email list when people make purchases 
  • Send tweets that leave something to the imagination - they get more click-through

For all of us involved in e-commerce, we’ve created a Facebook Group for asking questions, sharing wins, and maybe even helping each other keep sales up during the slow months. To join, visit Adventures in E-commerce and click Join Group at the top right.

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.