Trouble Finding Blog Ideas?

July 22nd, 2016 by

Like anything new, becoming a Blogger could be overwhelming at first but it doesn’t have to be.  With the help of a process that clicks for you, you can get past the hurdle of finding topics to write about and spend more time on writing the quality content you want to disseminate.

One of the hardest parts of blogging is finding stuff to write about

You already know that you have a lot of value in your experience, expertise, and industry knowledge to speak on.  But that is a big pool of ideas to start with and we have to think about ways to narrow it down.  Ideas for Blog topics can come from multiple sources including:

1. Daily Life

If your daily life is like mine, you have a lot going on and every now and then get that flash of inspiration that intrigues you to investigate and ponder further.  These inspirational ideas are awesome when they come but they are not always handy when you need them.  Always be ready to write down the flash of inspiration ideas immediately without thinking.  Otherwise, a second later, they may seem silly or worthless and you’ll forget about it.  On the other hand, those scribbled flashes of inspiration could save you in a crunch some other day when a topic is sorely needed.

2. News/Media Sources

The news/media that you follow is an excellent source of topics for your blog.  Industry related news gives you a chance to promote your brand perspective on the news of the day and provide valuable insight to potential customers.  This is a fun category of ideas to play with and the topic is given to you, so you just have to give commentary or spin on it.

3. Website Stats

Website statistics like Google Analytics and other real time statistics tools are good way to see what content that you already offer gets the most attention.  Track which web pages and blog posts get the most attention and what keywords are driving traffic to those pages.  This can help you to come up with Blog topic ideas that speak directly in realtime to your website visitors and social followers.

4. Search Engine Stats

Search engine statistics are stats from sources like Google Webmaster tools where you can see the organic traffic your site receives and the specific keywords generating that organic traffic.  These long tail keywords are Blogging gold and may be the source of your most valuable content ideas.

5. Advertising Stats

Advertising statistics are stats from sources like Google Adwords where you can see the paid traffic (PPC) to your website and the keywords that are generating the most interest.  Keywords that generate traffic and not sales can be paused but they may represent visitors in the investigative stage of the buying process, and it is those keywords that you may want to focus on writing Blog posts on.  Blogging gold here again.

I’m happy to help with any questions so please feel free to comment or contact freely.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sener Korkusuz is the Founder and CEO of EarthSkater.com, dedicated to helping small business owners succeed online with custom tailored eCommerce solutions.  He is the Co-founder and CTO of the LinkedOpinions.com, a free tool used to survey your LinkedIn connections and the co-founder and CEO of the A7FL. The American 7’s Football League, “The Game America Wants”.

 

How to Setup an Online Clothing Store

July 15th, 2016 by

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The most frequent question we receive from new online merchants is… how do I setup my online store?  The answer to that question is typically the same whether you are selling clothing, electronics, supplements, or any other retail product.  It is important to note a few exceptions to the typical online store setup.  More complex online store setups include sites that sell recurring subscriptions, digital downloadable products, or some other custom calculation that involves the customers input.

OK, so you are ready to start your online clothing store.  Here are our top 6 things to consider when it comes to setting up an online clothes store.

  1. Brandable Domain Name
  2. Online Store Platform
  3. Product Photos
  4. Social Media
  5. Blogging
  6. Newsletter

Brandable Domain Name

A short and memorable domain name is ideal.  Premium domain names, domain names that are for sale at a premium price,  may be the best way to get the exact brand name you desire.  Sites like Oro.Domains specialize in the sale of premium domain names.  The more basic and identifiable your domain name is, the more likely it will be ranked higher in the search results.  For a clothing store, choosing a name that represents the brand or one that represents the specific niche in the clothing market may work well.  Your business plan should help guide you in this process.  Earth Skater offers a complimentary domain name branding service during our setup process to help choose the perfect name for your business.

Online Store Platform

Setting up your online clothing store can be difficult and time consuming to say the least, not to mention costly.   Clothing store merchants do better with an online store platform that can help them set up the website.  Questions to consider when choosing your online store platform for your clothing store are:

  1. Will I be able to design the site to match my brands image
  2. Will I have help in uploading the products, content, and photos
  3. Does the online store support all of the product options needed to sell my product line effectively and efficiently

Product Photos

Product photos are extremely important and just as important as having an awesome looking web design.  So your product photos must be top notch in order for your brand clothing store to shine online.  Taking time to optimize, resize, crop, and re-create product photos so that they are as near perfect as possible can be an easy way to differentiate your clothing store from your competitors. Photos should be consistent in terms of size, lighting, background, to give the most professional appearance.  Photo watermarks can be added and most online stores allow for a watermark to be added when inserting products into the online store.

Social Media

Setting up your social media accounts is vital to building your online clothing store brand.  It is not that difficult or time consuming, just go over to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media sites and create an account with your business name and information.  After you create your accounts you will add the links and plugins to your website to connect your website with the social platforms.  Finally, the vital part is to stay active on your social media accounts.  This means regular posting to each account.  Vary the content posted to each social media platform accordingly based on the audiences you are reaching respectively.  Clothing stores can post about things customers are thinking about and looking for.  Use keywords in your posts that customers are searching for and focus on the customer always.

Blogging

Setting up your Blog is the other vital part of marketing your online clothes store.  Blogging and social media go hand in hand.  The blogs you write will also be posted to your social media accounts to create life cycle of marketing content.  Blogging is vital to building your online clothing store brand because of the content that you create as the business owner.  As a clothing store owner you will post about topics of interest to your customers and include the keywords they are searching for.  Also, your customers will see that your website is alive with content through the regular posting being done.

Newsletter

A very important piece of the puzzle in marketing an online clothing store is setting up a newsletter.   Adding a JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER feature to your website allows you to build a list of targeted people to market to.  You can offer an incentive to join your newsletter like a 5 or 10% discount on their next clothing purchase.   The bigger your list grows the more valuable it becomes as a go to source for increasing sales.   Your newsletter is a vital way to keep in contact with your followers and increase sales.

Earth Skater specializes in eCommerce with complimentary website setup and transfer.  We’ve helped hundreds of merchants make an easy transition into the world of websites and selling online with our online store platform.

Top 5 Website Transfer Tips

July 11th, 2016 by

website transfer

As small business owners grow their business online, at some point they eventually may need to transfer their website.  Changing anything can be difficult and that’s especially true when it comes to transferring your website.  Whatever type of website you have, online store, or custom web web development, transferring to a new website solution can be difficult.

Here are the top 5 challenges to consider when it comes to transferring your website.

  1. Website content and products transfer
  2. Maintaining SEO rankings
  3. Domain Name  Settings
  4. Email settings
  5. SSL Security

Transferring Content

Transferring your website content can be a big ordeal, a huge headache and come with big costs to get it done correctly by hand. First off, the complexity of transferring your website content is in the question… how much content is there to transfer?  At the easier end of the spectrum is transferring a simple website or blog and at the harder end is transferring an ecommerce or online store website with a lot of products and pages.

Some important questions to consider about your new website solution and how to transfer your content:

  1. Will your new website solution help you transfer the content or do it all for you
  2. Can you export your content from your old solution and import it into the new solution
  3. Will your new website offer FTP access so you can possibly transfer content more easily
  4. Do you want to set all your content up from scratch yourself by copying and pasting and fixing the issues on your own

Maintaining SEO Rankings

Not many web site solutions speak about this, but you can maintain your old website rankings when transferring to a new website solution.  This can be a big deal because your high ranked search engine pages may come up with a 404 not found or just point point back to your home page after your transfer your website.

Maintaining your SEO rankings can be achieved a few different ways, here are a few questions to consider:

  1. Will your new website solution provide some way to maintain important website rankings
  2. Can you maintain the old URLS through the transfer to the new website solution without any major changes
  3. Can you implement clever 301 redirecting of the old URLS to new URLS

Domain Name Settings

Updating your domain name settings is easy but there are a few snafus that we’ve seen our merchants run into.  Here are some things to consider when it comes time to transfer your website and update your domain name settings.

  1. Do you have the login information for your account with your domain name registrar
  2. Will your new website solution migrate any important domain name record settings for you
  3. You should know how to update your domain name DNS information if your new website solution will not do that for you

Email Settings

Again, this will depend on how many email accounts you have existing on your website.  If you have a bunch of email accounts that you use with your old website then it will be important to maintain them during the website transfer.  If you only have one or a handful of accounts then it is just less tedious.  There are also a few other considerations when it comes to transferring emails settings such as:

  1. Do you use a 3rd party email service like gmail or other email provider with your website and not the website’s own email account?
  2. If you use a 3rd party email service, then your MX records and other important email records must be maintained during the transfer typically by the new website solution.
  3. If you use your website’s own email accounts then they must be created in the new website email system

SSL Security

For merchants with eCommerce websites and online stores, you must consider whether your website SSL security certificate can be transferred or if you will need a new one.  Here are some things to consider about transferring your website SSL security certificate.

  1. Will your new website solution transfer your existing SSL security certificate for you and do you have access to do it yourself if needed
  2. If you have a higher end SSL security certificate such as Extended Validation (EV SSL) then you will definitely want to transfer it instead of purchasing a new one
  3. Does your new website solution offer low cost name brand SSL security certificate or no cost certificates or your first year SSL security for free or other promotion that may help offset related SSL security costs

Earth Skater specializes in eCommerce with complimentary website setup and transfer.  We’ve helped hundreds of merchants make an easy transition to a flexible and full featured website and online store platform.

Stress Free Online Store Set up

July 1st, 2016 by

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Whether you are starting a side business or working for yourself full time, setting up your online store could be a very difficult hurdle to get over.

Here are the top 3 things we think new merchants should consider when choosing their online store builder and the company to work with.

Setup Service

The question to ask yourself are:

  1. What is your experience level in web design and development?
  2. How do you feel about setting up your own online store, is that something you desire to give a try?
  3. Do you want to set up your online store yourself or do you want to have it done for you?

Today most online store builders focus on providing you the tools and education so that you can set up your online store yourself.  But wait, you may be saying, hey, I don’t want to set up my own online store but how can I get it done affordably?  That’s where there is a big gap between online store builders and the expert service many merchants need to properly set up and grow their business online.  That is where Earth Skater comes in to fill the gap, you guide the design and Earth Skater sets it up affordably.

2) Customization / Flexibility

Most online store builders are what you see is what you get when it comes to features.  It’s extremely important to make sure your online store has the features you need.  The number of features is not as important as the key features you need so don’t get distracted.   Think of questions like:

  1. Will your website need customization that is beyond any of the features the store provides?
  2. Does the online store support customization like custom programming?
  3. Will the online store provider add new features to support your business

These are all questions to consider when it comes to customization and flexibility for your website.  This is again where Earth Skater fills the gap with affordable custom programming and complete customization for your online store.

3) On-going Support

Once your website is online, it’s your time to shine, now you can take full advantage of the online store builder to add and update products, write blog posts, update your slideshow and more.  On-going support is vital to the reputation of your business.  When you need help to make a change to your website, these questions are the important ones to consider:

  1. Does your online store provider have staff on call to provide on demand, hands on, support for your business?
  2. Will your online store provider go the extra mile to provide after hours service to support you in a critical time of need?
  3. Does your online store provider care about your business enough to provide suggestions that you may have overlooked that could be hindering your business

Earth Skater is unique when it comes to eCommerce.  Earth Skater is the online store builder with the expert service merchants need to succeed online with less stress and less wasted time and money.