BigCommerce is a cloud-based, full-suite e-commerce platform that was founded in 2009. It started as a company similar to Shopify and was best suited for startups and small businesses.
But, as it grew together with its customers, it started changing direction bit by bit and began focusing more on medium-sized businesses, well-established businesses, B2B sellers, and enterprises. However, the numbers show that it’s still primarily used by small businesses.
Nowadays, with total visits exceeding 5.8 million in just one month (December 2022), you can say it’s a pretty popular e-commerce platform. The best thing is that it’s constantly growing and improving its already excellent service.
As a full-suite e-commerce platform, it provides its customers with the tools they need to launch and run a successful e-commerce business: store builder, marketing, analytics, and more.
Together with these, there’s also a built-in blogging tool. At first, it may seem like a blogging functionality is out of place amongst a collection of e-commerce tools. Why would you need a blogging tool? That’s exactly the question we’ll answer in this next section.
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Why Do I Need a Blog in E-Commerce?
In the business context, blogging is about sharing invaluable information and spreading the word about your product/service/brand on the web. In essence, a blog is a marketing tool.
Blogging is an economical way of driving traffic to your store. It can be especially convenient for someone who is about to enter the world of e-commerce or for solopreneurs with limited resources. The traffic that comes from blogging is passive, but in this case, passive is good. It means that you don’t have to actively run advertising campaigns to bring in more visitors to your store/site, which is time and money saved.
Blogging is particularly valuable for establishing the credibility of your brand. It breathes life into what you sell. Your blog becomes a narrative with your products being a part of the story, and people love a good story.
By learning more about your products and brand, visitors become more involved. For example, every new generation of iPhone is part of a big narrative, and most of us want to be part of the Apple story.
However, it’s unrealistic to expect that everyone who visits your blog will visit your store, let alone buy something. That said, even a few redirections from your blog to your storefront per day add up on a monthly basis. The more traffic you get, the more potential there is to gain a new customer.
Blogging also gives you the opportunity to achieve one of the most important marketing objectives – audience engagement. Any type of involvement on your audience’s side, like signing up for an email list or engaging with posts, brings you closer to your main goal: sharing your product or service with the rest of the world.
Lastly, blogging is great for lead conversion, better search engine ranking, and for attracting more (high-quality) traffic to your online store. Surely, all of this makes a compelling case for blogging in the e-commerce context.
Blogging: Good Practices
Blogging may not be an exact science, but there are some practices recommended by the more experienced in the field that can make a blog more successful. Some important things to note are:
- Blogging requires research.
- Regular blog posts will help build a relationship with customers.
- Make the content easily readable – both the format and the language used.
- Use SEO to your advantage.
- Including a call-to-action is particularly beneficial for e-commerce blogs.
As a general starting point for any blog, quality research is critical. Research the topics you plan to write about, your competition, and your target audience. In addition to this, you’ll want to stick to a posting schedule. Regular blog posts are likely to attract more traffic.
Another important feature of high-quality blogs is that they’re easily readable. Posts should use a simple structure, with plenty of headings and subheadings, and use neutral vocabulary.
Image source: Pixabay
It’s also worth considering that your blogs are there to serve a purpose – to draw in traffic and convert leads into customers. Using good SEO practices is crucial to drawing high-quality traffic to your store. In addition to this, a well-placed call-to-action is also very useful.
With that out of the way, let’s see what blogging on BigCommerce looks like. The good news is that the platform provides its customers with a native blogging solution that’s available with all four pricing plans.
However, the blog wasn’t always part of the BigCommerce toolkit. According to one of the company’s founders, Eddie Machaalani, BigCommerce recognized the massive importance of blogging for e-commerce when it analyzed their client numbers who had a blog alongside their BigCommerce store. These clients also had higher profits compared to those who didn’t have a blog. That’s when the BigCommerce team realized that a built-in blog must be part of the platform.
In a way, this means that now BigCommerce can also be viewed as a content management system. A CMS enables people to publish different types of content, typically written articles, but without coding. This is exactly what BigCommerce does, in addition to providing a wide range of strictly e-commerce tools. Combining e-commerce functionalities with blogging really is a winning combination.
How to Blog on BigCommerce
It’s really easy to understand and use the built-in blog.
The BigCommerce blog’s visual appearance and style depend on the store’s theme. Everything else is controlled from the BigCommerce dashboard. The “Blog” option is located under the “Storefront” rubric.
Visibility of the BigCommerce blog is turned on by default. By turning it off, you’re removing the blog links from your store. But if you plan on using different blogging software and you want to fully deactivate the built-in blog, this won’t do the trick. You will need to either unpublish or delete all the existing posts.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to consider third-party blogging software from the get-go – more on this in a bit.
Otherwise, the text editor includes the usual text processing stuff:
- Text formatting
- HTML markup
- Image and video embedding (drag-and-drop method)
- Social media sharing: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest
- SEO metadata
- Optimized URLs
- Multiple authors
- Tags for better organization
It’s mobile-friendly (only with mobile themes), and it has built-in security (SSL). It shares a lot of similarities with other well-known word processors.
You can save your article as a draft and preview the post before publishing. Whatever you do, don’t forget to take care of the SEO part, despite it being optional.
Whenever you want to add a new post, you just click on the plus sign (see the first image in this section). Clicking on the three dots right next to it leads you to the blog settings. In the settings, you will be able to enable comments, change the social share controls, and set the blog title, description, and URL.
Is the BigCommerce Blog Any Good?
The BigCommerce blog definitely has its merits, but it’s very basic. It really won’t do for serious blogging. BigCommerce itself even refers to it as a basic blog. They’ve left room to add other, more specialized blogging platforms to your store – both in terms of design as well as features and functionality.
For example, the built-in BigCommerce blog doesn’t include blog post categories, which can hurt your SEO. By using blog categories, you can group multiple posts under the same category, which can easily be optimized for search engine indexing.
Tidy categorization lets search engines respond extremely quickly to users’ search queries, which naturally leads to your content being ranked better and shown more often. After all, that’s one of the main reasons you’re creating a blog.
Luckily, you are not constrained to using the built-in blog. BigCommerce lets you use a third-party blogging tool, which you can connect to your BigCommerce store. This comes in handy if you need a tool for extensive and serious blogging, and DropInBlog undoubtedly fits this description.
DropInBlog integrates seamlessly with BigCommerce. In contrast to the built-in blog, it’s SEO-friendly, and it’s built to meet the requirements of the modern blogger. For more information on this topic, check out how to create a blog on BigCommerce.
Blogging is a well-known marketing strategy to bring high-quality traffic to your site. It also helps you develop a relationship and a reputation with your customers. However, for blogging to work effectively, you need to do it properly.
With BigCommerce, you’ll only have access to basic SEO features to optimize your blog. However, if you want to stick with BigCommerce but enhance your blogging potential, you can integrate a third-party blogging app.
Over and Out
A blog is definitely an important aspect of today’s online marketing and one of the vital components of online business success. It’s an option worth exploring and trying out because it could lead to big gains for your business, as we’ve divulged.
Ultimately, it’s great that the BigCommerce team decided to add a blogging feature to their toolkit. However, if you’re serious about blogging, it might not give you all the functionality and freedom you desire, so don’t hesitate to give DropInBlog a try.
We’re here to help you with any difficulties you may encounter – simply contact us.