Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Retailers Why Blog?...

If you have any expertise in the products you sell; you should blog. If your retail brand represents anything to do with trust, advice, or experience; you should blog. If you wish to push forward into online any authority and authenticity you have developed in-store to advise and influence people; you should blog.

The reason is blogging will bring you new customers, reinforce and strengthen your brand, and bring you more sales. But you must do it well.So to help you do it well, expert blogger on Lasoo Caroline Warnes has kindly put together the following tips. You can view Caroline’s Savvy shopping blog here.

Blogging tips

1. Have a blogging presence: It’s the age of social media and it’s important to have a presence in as many arenas as possible. Blogging gives your brand a human face and can establish you as an opinion-maker in your field.

2. Blog only about what you know: Credibility is very important online. Decide what you know, and blog about that. Don’t get distracted in something off-message.

3. Blog regularly: Decide from the start how often you can afford the time to blog, then stick to this schedule – whether it be daily, weekly, monthly (or multiple times daily, if you’ve got the luxury of lots of time). Readers are more likely to return when they know when to expect new content – and if it isn’t there when they visit the site, they will get frustrated.

4. Have a point of difference: You won’t attract a lot of visitors if you’re offering nothing new. Rather than rehashing what’s already out there, you should decide what will set you apart from the rest. This might be devoting the blog entirely to an aspect of your field that is rarely covered in-depth, it might be having strong opinions (and not being afraid to share them), it might be having a unique sense of humour – in fact, the best thing you can do is to let your personality shine through, rather than making it dry commentary.

5. Understand the community: Identify the other blogs that are relevant to your area and make a point of visiting them regularly (and leaving comments on them). It’s also a good idea to link back to entries on other blogs and offer your opinion on them. This exchange of links with other relevant blogs is a great way of building your own traffic and credibility in the blogging community.

6. Use social media: Using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to promote new entries on your blog is another great way to enter the community and grow your traffic.

7. Clean up your writing: Blog entries don’t necessarily need to be Shakespeare, but they should at least be readable. Run a spellchecker over your entries before you post them if you don’t trust yourself, or get someone who is good with spelling and grammar to read over them. Nothing is more of a turn-off than a poorly written blog.

Blogging is an investment. It won’t pay dividends to your retail business overnight – but it will deliver a very strong payback in the medium term when done well.Paul Marshall - CEO
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