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.