Writers Block? 30 Topic Ideas for Your Online Store’s Blog

Personal blogging is pretty easy; business blogging is tougher. Making it interesting, tying your posts into your product line, and achieving the right voice are a challenge for even the most professional writer. These worries often lead to massive writers block. Here are 30 ideas for topics you may have never considered including on your online store’s blog.

  1. Post a recipe that ties into your site’s theme. If you sell children’s products, make something kid-friendly. If you sell purses, do a couture-purse inspired cake design. Include pictures!
  2. Announce an upcoming sale. Even offer a preview exclusively for blog readers, where they can see which products are included at what sale prices via a special link that’s only included in the blog. (Note: This tip also works well in email marketing…think RueLaLa.)
  3. Introduce a new product line that you’ve just added. What makes it stand apart, what are the benefits, and which products are the expected best-sellers?
  4. Support a cause! Identify a popular movement, and make sure it’s one that you believe in. Then describe how you help, whether it’s with financial contributions, or efforts like recycling and reusing packing supplies to support a greener planet. Ask your readers to pitch in.
  5. Introduce a staff member, your entire web or CSR team, or even make it a series and showcase one employee every week.
  6. Write about the pick-and-ship process, what happens after the order is placed.  Our friends at MyCubanStore.com place a video of the process on their invoice page; go purchase a guayabera and see for yourself.
  7. Share your celebrations! Show photos of your recent store events, company picnic, or holiday party. This can be a great way to humanize your store.
  8. Talk about your website itself, instead of your company and its business. It’s a great way to get the some visibility and link love from the tech community. PlumberSurplus.com has made their entire blog about this!
  9. Demonstrate a product with a video. Show its uses, how it works, or the process of assembling the product, such as how Zappos demonstrates their knife sharpener.
  10. Roll out the red carpet! See if you can find any way to include Hollywood. Internet surfers love celebrities; take a look at any recent list of “most popular search terms” if you don’t believe me. Has one of your products been worn by Suri or carried by Angelina? Brag about it, even if they didn’t buy it from you. Just don’t lie and claim they did, :)
  11. Make a list (and check it twice). Much like this one, blog posts that are bulleted or numbered lists are easy to scan and popular with readers. Make a list of your best selling products (and why), or your top tips for surviving the holidays, or 5 ways to choose the perfect Christmas gift…you get the idea.
  12. Think travel! During the holidays or summer you find a lot of people traveling. So pick a place you’ve been to recently, show pictures, and describe the location and some fun activities. Incorporate your products wherever possible – apparel for the locale, luggage for the trip, toys and books for the free time, or a digital camera for the memories you’ll make.
  13. Launch a contest. Create or find a great prize and give people one entry per day throughout the contest. Once they enter the first time, email them daily (with their permission) and remind them to come back, and after they enter show them some stuff to buy.
  14. Give a quick office tour so your customers can visualize what it’s like to work there. And if you break new ground, show the process of creating your new workspace, from demolition to the finished result. Everyone loves a great “flip” video!
  15. Showcase products around a particular theme, such as A Girl Needs Pink at 1928 Jewelry.
  16. Write generically for SHOPPERS. What challenges do all shoppers face? Think of topics like comparing prices, avoiding shipping hassles during the holidays, handling returns, shipping internationally…some topics are universal no matter what products you sell.
  17. Answer a question your customer service team received by phone or email on your blog for others to read. Keep the caller/emailer anonymous, though it might be a nice touch to use the first name only (if you get permission first, that is).
  18. Share your corporate values, ideals, or culture. If this is all you talk about, it’s boring. But sprinkling it in with more people-oriented content lets your readers know what you stand for.
  19. Focus a post on parents or the family as a whole. Offer ideas for together time or family fitness. It’s ok to work your products in, but you don’t have to – this is a great value proposition on its own. And parents make up a large portion of online shoppers, so lots of readers will find it relevant to their lives.
  20. Go back to the early days of your company and tell its history. Did it start out in your garage? Do you have a picture of packages stacked up in your driveway? A video of you removing a batch of your famous pretzels from the oven in your kitchen? Share your grass-roots beginnings.
  21. Incorporate the arts. Feature works from a local artist or write a review of the currently-running show at the community theater. Position your company as a patron of the arts.
  22. Run a poll. There are several plug-ins for major blog platforms, as well as third-party polls, and it’s a good way to encourage participation from your readers. Publish the results as you go along so there’s something of interest to see along the way.
  23. Offer up a great craft or DIY tip, like Free People’s homemade terrarium ornament idea.
  24. Offer a free download – a desktop wallpaper image or a printable coloring page for kids are a couple of popular ideas.
  25. Offer a coupon, of course! It’s great to reward your blog readers with a tangible benefit – real savings off the products in your store.
  26. Do you attend trade shows or other industry events? Include a diary of your travel and activities along with photos.
  27. Happy New Year! These are easy to do and schedule for a future date: just wish your customers a pleasant day for every major holiday of the year. Short and sweet is fine; customers don’t expect you to be blogging that day anyway.
  28. Identify what your customers care about, and blog on those topics. Patagonia discusses wildlife and the environment, while Etnies has videos from extreme sports events as well as competition results.
  29. Online retailers want to make money; shoppers want to save money (even while spending it). Offer tips on how to save money by shopping online. Some ideas are to purchase multiple products from the same retailer to save on shipping costs, to sign up for the newsletter to receive coupons and discount codes, or to provide bulk discounts to groups that purchase together (clubs, schools, mommy groups, etc).
  30. Make a stupidly funny video. Or maybe not so funny? You decide.

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Comments

21 Comments

  • Pat says:

    Awesome list! You’ve given me some great ideas for upcoming blog entries. Thanks!

  • Business3.0 says:

    Great list, I also have a products site and sometimes find it harder to find topics to blog about.

  • used tires says:

    Great suggestions and ideas for those dealing with writer’s block and not knowing what type of content to post on their website. What I would also add… in addition to the ideas is to take em in, and then take a nice walk aside, usually for me.. it helps clear my mind and erases my writers block.

    Till then,

    Jean

  • sounds kind of insular, if you want credability in googles eyes link out to 3rd party sites.

    another use for blogs is to hit keyword combinations that dont fit withing an existing product list i.e. on one of my sites they sell white metal bed frames, these could be interpreted as ‘antique french’ style bed frames so a blog post about that topic referencing the products would help attract more visitors and custom.

  • Carly says:

    What a brilliant idea for a blog post – I wish I had thought of these before writing my eShop series. I must add in ‘get a blog’ and link to this post.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • A Super list, I too have a products site and sometimes find it harder to find great topics to blog about.

  • Idris says:

    Very well written susan. I am going to share this with our in-house bloggers who write blog posts for our online retail clients. I especially like idea no. 6, 10, 13, 28 and 29. I’ll refer this blog post in some related blog posts of our retail ecommerce blog.

  • Harvey @ PS3 says:

    Some really good ideas here. I haven’t implemented a blog on my site because i don’t know what to talk about. This would then look bad because articles would be dated and there would be no recent ones.

    However this has given me some good ideas!

  • Thanks for the ideas. My mind was drawing a blank. After seeing just several of the ideas listed, I can generate 40 more. But I needed to see them first. Thanks again.

  • Pete says:

    Awesome suggestions, now i have a bright ideas on how will I start my online store blogs. And It will help those people whose interested in online store blogging.Awesome ideas! thanks a lot.

  • Jerrick says:

    you miss out something. How about wrote the benefit of your product, the unique of your company, product and service. How about talk the issues that you face and problem solving.
    They still lot of idea you can wrote for a blog.
    But this is a great list that keep inform you that what else you left behind which you can share with your reader.

  • Cevdet Bey ve Oğulları says:

    Very well written susan. I am going to share this with our in-house bloggers who write blog posts for our online retail clients. I especially like idea no. 6, 10, 13, 28 and 29. I’ll refer this blog post in some related blog posts of our retail ecommerce blog.

  • Kuzey Güney says:

    Great suggestions and ideas for those dealing with writer’s block and not knowing what type of content to post on their website. What I would also add… in addition to the ideas is to take em in, and then take a nice walk aside, usually for me.. it helps clear my mind and erases my writers block….

  • Jermaine says:

    A lot of us suffer with writters block at least once every so often, it is wonderful that there are blogs like this to help. I have recommended this blog to all of my contacts because I believe you have taken the time to write something that is Most Valuable to people. Thank you!

  • Yalan Dünya says:

    A Super list, I too have a products site and sometimes find it harder to find great topics to blog about.

  • I think a lot of us experience writer’s block with the fear that what we write will not turn out good. It’s very important to remember not to worry about the outcome. Just write. Don’t even stop to review and read what you are writing. Just keep on writing. Just fill the words with emotions. You may take a break first if you want. Then come back to it later. Next thing you know, the words are already flowing on their own.

  • Great list, I also have a products site and sometimes find it harder to find topics to blog about.

  • dad blog says:

    ohh man.. i get writers block all the time.

    I think the best way is to take a break for a bit, then come back to your site fresh. After a break, lots of ideas are found easily! :-)