Since there are too many opportunities, it is not hard to understand the benefits of blogging on Shopify. It's hard to decide between the options. The main question usually is whether you should host a blog on Shopify or consider other platforms like WordPress. Then, do you really need to start a blog on Shopify at all?
It is tough, we get it. But that's why we're here to help you harness the power of content marketing on Shopify. This guide will take you through all the crucial steps required to start a blog on Shopify. We'll also discuss when you need to start blogging and share some bullet-proof practices for a Shopify blog.
Hopefully, that will send you in the right direction for a long-term content strategy.
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Should You Host Your Blog on Shopify?
This question usually gives merchants and bloggers the biggest headache. To save you the trouble, answer this question: Is your primary goal blogging or selling on Shopify?
Shopify is an eCommerce platform. So if you don't plan on selling anything there, why even bother to set it up for a blog? But if you want to leverage the power of content while promoting your product or services, it's best to keep your blog in the subfolder of your Shopify domain.
In fact, moving your blog from a subdomain to a Shopify subfolder has boosted the traffic by up to 40%. And it makes it easier to manage everything from one place. That's about sums it up.
When To Start Blogging on Shopify?
Before we dive deeper into the specifics of blogging on Shopify, let's define if that's what you need. So, here are some specific cases when you should consider blogging:
Market your products
A blog can really make a difference if you want to drive organic traffic from search. At the same time, harnessing the power of social media works better for some products. The point is — blogging doesn't work the same for all products.
Difficult, high-ticket products need more "explanation" you can provide in your Shopify blog. How-to articles, updates, news — anything that could drive people to your store, turn them into leads and. correspondingly, customers will do.
Leverage low budget
It's true you can get a significant amount of organic traffic for free. However, if you want to get traction early on stop right here since the blog is not the option for you. It is a long-term strategy that requires work, a lot of work and a certain approach.
When you're on a low budget and want to grow organically, you don't have much of a choice, do you? But don't let this discourage you. It will be slow, but in about 6-12 months it will finally start to pay off.
Focus on long-term strategy
If you already run paid ads but need a more consistent traffic source, you should consider blogging on Shopify too. It is a perfect option since you'll continue getting traffic and sales from another source while building your blogcommunity.
Thus, a blog will never harm your strategy. If you have some human capital and time to spare, go for it.
How to Start a Blog on Shopify?
You should know what you want to post there and create a content plan before you start a blog on Shopify. However, we'll get to that part in more detail later. What you probably want to know right before you start creating content is — is it free to blog on Shopify?
It is free indeed. Shopify offers you the blog functionality out of the box. The variety of features is quite limited though, which forces you to make another choice. That's where we'll start.
1. Choose a Blog App
Same as any choice, choosing the best app for blogging on Shopify won't come easy. There are too many options and you don't really know what you'll need later on. So, let's list a few of the crucial features a blog app for Shopify should have:
- Content: options to create posts, categories, tags, authors, comments management, posts schedule & preview, sidebar management
- SEO: XML sitemap, metadata, SEO-permalinks, internal linking
- Sales: related products, option to add related blog posts to products and homepage
Did we miss anything?
Shopify blog apps usually offer these separately. But not all of them. Shopify Blog App by Magefan provides all these features at once. You don't need to get a separate app for related products or install some other solution to add your blog to other store pages. So, it's definitely worth giving a shot.
Note: we'll be displaying further steps based on this Blog App due to its usability.
2. Create blog posts
When everything's in place, you're ready to create your first blog posts in Shopify. You just need to go to App > Magefan Blog > Posts and press the Add New Post button.
The interface is pretty straightforward. So you can easily add post content, including images and videos, using a handy WYSIWYG editor.
You can also add the featured images, tags, categories, related posts and products here. But the best part is — you can define the metadata for your post, which is extremely important for SEO.
Take your time to create valuable content your audience can relate with. Once you finish, you can enable your post and schedule it for publication. This way you can manage your time better and enable your content to be published regularly.
3. Add a blog to the navigation menu
Once you have some blog posts published, it's important that people can find them. Enable blog link in the Shopify navigation menu to help people discover your content. Don't worry, you don't need a developer for this. Just go to Sales channels > Online Store > Navigation > Menus > Main menu and add a new menu item.
4. Categorize your content
As you start developing your content, the number of posts is going to grow. Correspondingly, it will become harder for your audience to discover certain information unless you add categories.
Categories help you to structure your data and keep your blog organised. Additionally, you can add categories to the sidebar so customers find them on each blog page.
5. Choose a blog template
You can make your blog easy to find, it could be super informative and useful. However, if it isn't appealing enough to grab attention, people are not going to stick around. The look and feel of your blog matter. And while it should align with your website design, it should have something unique to it.
Magefan Blog App for Shopify goes with 19+ templates and 3 different layouts. So you can choose a different template for the blog homepage, posts lists or posts in the homepage widget.
Seems pretty simple if we put it like this right? It's because starting a blog on Shopify is not that hard, considering most of the work is done "behind the scenes".
Thus, you can consider these 5 steps we've just described as the tip of the iceberg. Some real work includes brainstorming ideas, planning and scheduling, which is up next.
Blogging on Shopify: Best Practices
I know it's easier said than done, but you do need to put in a lot of work if you want to build your blog into a consistent traffic source. That's why you need to know about the best practices before you start a blog on Shopify.
Choose a topic and set goals
While it seems insignificant, having clear goals and knowing exactly what you should blog about saves you a lot of time and effort. If you start on the wrong foot, you won't see the expected results and simply get discouraged too soon.
Do you want to promote your products in a blog, or simply communicate with your customers? Having clear goals helps you draw a content strategy that works for you.
Develop a content strategy
Once you have your goals mapped, it's time to develop a content strategy. However, it's also tricky in a way. While most brands focus on different blog post types, when you only start blogging on Shopify, you have one option.
Keyword-based blogging is the best approach for new blogs since it allows you to drive a lot of new traffic and get noticed by search engines.
Even though you have some ideas drafted, check what people are searching for. It will save you the time you'd rather spend on content that drives results.
Use some keyword research tools or hire expects to create a content strategy for you. Having a plan helps to keep on track. So don't just post randomly.
Pay attention to SEO practices
Having a content strategy already gets you ahead of a lot of blogs, but that's not enough. You should maximize your efforts with SEO to put your content in front of fresh eyes consistently.
We won't drag you through a long list of SEO rules, since they change. Instead, we recommend you stick to the evergreen practices:
- Use keywords in meta titles, descriptions, titles and H1 tags.
- Use paragraphs, bullet points and white spaces to break up the content.
- Use target keywords at the beginning of the blog post, preferably in the first paragraph.
- Use images and videos to break up content and add more value to it.
- Create SEO-friendly blog URLs that include a keyword.
- Analyse similar articles that do better than you to optimize your content regularly.
Build content clusters
To support your SEO goals you can also create content clusters. It's a concept of a series of posts or pages supporting one topic. Topic clusters usually have one long post as a primary hub for a cluster and 5-20 smaller supporting posts.
It helps you to cover certain areas of your sales funnel in more detail while driving customers to the final step of their journey. Google loves clusters, so you should use it.
Include internal & external links
When you think about blogging on Shopify, or blogging in general, every blog-related thing comes down to SEO. Internal and external links are not an exception.
Internal links tell search engines about the relationship between your pages. Besides, they help you to pass the link juice from one page to the other. It's a good practice to use 3-5 links for every 1000 words in your post.
External links, on the other hand, signal to search engines about the place of your content in the topic graph. So, linking to relevant authority resources helps you boost your blog scores. Remember that.
Don't forget about visuals
You don't want visitors to bounce off and skip content potentially valuable for them only because you don't use visuals. A wall of text is the most terrifying thing someone looking for a solution to their problem can face.
Support your content with images, videos, tables and graphs. It keeps people on the page, makes them share your content and provides a solution.
And it couldn't have gone without SEO on this one too. If people bounce off right after landing on your page, it's bad for your rankings. Google considers your page irrelevant and moves it from the top position. Believe me, you don't want that.
To Blog or Not To Blog?
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for that. That's why setting goals is one of the most important steps when you start blogging on Shopify. When you draw a plan you see whether the blog aligns and supports your eCommerce goals.
So, once you make up your mind and start a blog, don't look back. Choose the best Shopify Blog App and start your blogging journey.