20 Blogs That Will Help Your Ecommerce Site Grow In 2013 And Beyond
Support for small businesses comes in many forms these days, and in a previous blog we’ve already taken a look at some of the best available online for helping yours, whether it’s an estore, a traditional bricks-and-mortar shop, or a service provider.
Whatever the nature your business, it pays to stay on top of the latest trends and make sure you are targeting the right audience, using their language and being seen in the right places. For example, at Davpack we have lots of business customers buying flat pack cardboard boxes, but we also get lots of people ordering boxes for moving house. Using eCommerce blogs as a source, we learnt that we should be using Adwords to advertise moving boxes outside of working hours, because this is when people are at home and ordering what they need for packaging their personal belongings.
But it’s a big digital world out there, and you’ll find literally hundreds of sites offering to impart advice, share experiences and give you access to forums where you can exchange ideas, lessons and tales from the front line with fellow online traders.
But out of all those sites, which are the ones that are really worth spending some of your valuable time on? Which might actually help your online business deal with the complexities of modern commerce and ensure you stay one step ahead of the less well informed? Here are some of our favourites!
If you’re selling online or even just planning to do so, you can’t afford not to have Shopify prominently bookmarked for regular access. Quite simply, it has all you could need, including essential software designed to manage your estore and a lively forum where other sellers from around the world discuss everything from Adwords and affiliate marketing to taxation and crowdfunding. And, of course, the regularly updated blog has all the tips, opinion and advice to keep you fully au fait with the latest developments.
You won’t find many better places to keep track of the latest news, advances and advice in the world of online selling than here – and with over 250,000 unique monthly visitors, it’s evidently not just us that’s impressed. There’s enough resources, research guides and general information to keep you more than busy, while the blog features contributions from a wide range of knowledgeable contributors.
Digital marketing is a key component of any successful ecommerce venture and Econsultancy is one of the best sites around for keeping in touch with current trends and developments. With several blogs posted most days, it’s one of the liveliest and most up-to-date sites in the field, and definitely one you should visit on a very regular basis.
This site now has eight years of experience providing some of the most down-to-earth, helpful and – the clue is in the title! – practical advice for ecommerce businesses. With sections dedicated to different aspects, including carts & platforms, design & development and conversion, it’s one of the best organised and comprehensive sites around, making it easy to navigate and find out just what you need to know.
If you want to make the most out of your estore, at some point you’re going to have to get to grips with the wonderful world of social media, because, whether you like it or not, it’s here to stay. People – your customers – are spending more and more of their lives using it, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or the other less well known but very busy sites now available. Social Media Examiner takes a lot of the pain out of understanding how the different sites work and how you can use them best to market your business.
If you want to sell online, the most important thing you need is people visiting your website. Getting them there can be a problem, but here is the best resource on the internet for doing just that. What these people don’t know about search engine optimisation is known only to Matt Cutts and the spiders at Google, and the blog is, as you might expect, a veritable encyclopedia of the latest insights into the art.
The fact that this site has twice won the Forbes ‘Best of the Web’ award for small business blogs should tell you all you need to know about whether it’s worth spending some of your valuable time on. Founder Anita Campbell has a diverse background which encompasses, among other fields, information technology, human resources, marketing and eCommerce, and that broad range of interest and expertise is well reflected in this all-round useful resource.
This lot have taken a comprehensive, data-driven approach to growing ecommerce sites, but unlike many others listed here they’re a lot more than just an online resource. They’re an agency working on the front line, with some impressive clients including Reed & Barton, The Franklin Mint and even Olympus. If such big brands can trust their online presence to Blue Acorn, you might reasonably conclude that the blog they also run on the site should be a pretty worthwhile read. And you’d be right!
Get Elastic has one of the biggest lists of subscribers in the business and comes complete with impressive recommendations from the likes of the Wall Street Journal and PostRank (who named it their No.1 ecommerce blog). Packed with ecommerce tips, tricks, news and commentary, including a whole section dedicated to Conversion Optimisation.
If you’re trying to make a living selling on an online market such as ebay or Amazon, then you really need to read Matt Ogborne’s impressively comprehensive blog. With more than 300 in-depth articles, including great coverage of and guides to Magento ecommerce software, your question or problem is almost certain to be addressed here!
Having escaped the corporate rat race to restore the work and life balance that had somehow gone missing, Andrew Youderian is now not just a successful online entrepreneur (with enough spare time to indulge his diverse hobbies and interests), but also the owner of this handy site for those hoping to start, grow and operate their own online stores. And if you want to tip the balance back in favour of your own life while you’re doing it, you could do worse than take some of Adam’s very sound advice.
Any round-up of useful blogs on any subject has to include the Grandaddy of them all. Good blogging is all about sharing your expertise and knowledge, thus drawing more traffic to your site via info hungry search engine spiders. Darren Rowse’s blogs about blogging – and those of his well selected guest writers – tell you how to do it successfully.
Another site worth keeping a close eye on if you want to have more potential customers dropping by your online store, which we assume you do. As the name more than suggests, it’s a great place to stay in tune with the very latest developments in how those pesky search engines work. That will help you ensure your site and your marketing are always working at their best.
Drawing people to your site is no good if a) they don’t buy once they arrive and b) you don’t know what it was that brought them in the first place. What Kissmetrics does is help you analyse the behaviour of visitors to your site so you can see what you’re doing wrong – or even what you’re doing right! That in turn will allow you to do some fine tuning, thus making it work more effectively and you earn more money.
Like Blue Acorn, who we talked about earlier, Groove Commerce is a web company that designs, builds, manages, and promotes high converting eCommerce websites and then shares its accumulated wisdom and knowledge with you via its, erm…groovy blog. It’s an entertaining read throughout, neatly illustrated with informative graphics and, if you hunt carefully, you’ll even find a photo of CEO Ethan riding a bike while wearing a unicorn mask.
This is the digital arm of the National Retail Federation in the US, and their goal is simple: to be the world’s most valued membership community for digital commerce. If you study the list of member companies, you’ll soon realise that they’re working with and for some pretty big hitters, which gives their blog a cachet few others can match.
Tweak Your Biz is a truly international forum for managers, entrepreneurs and other smart people to share their accumulated wisdom. With a readership drawn overwhelmingly from those at executive level and representing companies of all sizes (about half from companies with under 20 employees, and 32% from those with over 1000 employees), you can be sure that you’ll find someone here whose experience and areas of expertise will match your situation.
Known as the world’s most practical small business expert for his marketing ideas and strategies aimed specifically at small businesses, John Jantsch’s blog is, as you might expect, a no-nonsense series of articles which give you straightforward help and advice.
The ECT Network, to which the Ecommerce Times belongs, is one of the largest e-business and technology news publishers in the United States. It’s just about the nearest thing to a daily newspaper for online sellers. That means that even though every article and feature may not be for you, you’re bound to find plenty to browse that you won’t just find interesting, but useful too!
Like Shopify, Core Commerce create the sort of software you need to run an online store. And again like Shopify, they then go on give everyone the benefit of their experience via their great blog, filled with the sort of advice which will help you turn your business into the success you’ve always wanted it to be.
These are the blogs we turn to make sure Davpack stays on top of its game, but have we missed one you like to follow? Perhaps there’s a new kid on the block we haven’t caught up with yet, or a hidden gem that’s slipped under our radar. We’d love to hear your thoughts so why not leave a comment and share your own favourites?