Friday, July 15, 2005

How to use blogs to help sell items online.

One of the questions that I get asked a lot by online sellers is how do you use your blogs to sell stuff? This is a great question.

It is difficult to give a definitive answer because blogs are very flexible and you can use them in so many different ways. I recently did a post in my blog for collectibles, Fitzgerald's Online Journal that I think can serve as an example to give some answers to this question. You can check that post out here; The Cruise Book Series: USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) 1967-68 & 1975 Editions.

Blogs can help you target customers.

I created Fitzgerald's Journal to promote my online selling activities on eBay and iOffer which are two online selling venues that I use. My idea was that I would keep a log of my activities and also I wanted to connect to new pools of customers. I noticed by reading blogs that they attract a certain type of person, and further each blogging platform attracts a type of reader. So blogs can help you target customers.

Another observation I had from reading various forums was that there are many different communities online. Online sellers tend to spend time talking to each other. I wanted to break out of this world of talking to my fellow online sellers and speak more to people who could be my customers and not just fellow online sellers. I found blogs to be an excellet way to do this.

Blogs allow you get information about what you are selling.

Here is an experiment for you to try. Go to Google and enter the name of what you sell plus the word blog. You will get a list of blogs that mention your item. You can then go to these blogs and read what others are saying about the item that you are selling. This is very valuable information. You do have to be careful, because you really need to read several blogs prior to making an informed opinion. But blogs are a great way to do market research for the items that you sell.

My example.

What I did. I started a series of post about collectible Navy Cruise Books that I sell online. Every couple of weeks or so, I write a new post about one of the books and post links to it in my journal. I think this can work for many other online sellers.

Other cruise books that I have linked to in my collectibles blog have been;

USS Ranger (CV 61) 1982 Cruise Book
USS Nimitz 1982 Cruise Book
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) 1982 Cruise Book
USS USS Forrestal (CVA 59) 1956 Cruise Book

Blogs help with SEO.

By building links like examples I show above you will be increasing the incoming links to that item in your online store. Depending on how much page rank your blog has, you could be increasing the chances that your item will be
picked up by a search engine.

Also, while it may be dificult to get someone to link to the items that you are selling online. It is relatively easy to get people to link to your blog. One of the eaisest ways is to just link to blogs that are related to your blog. In my case by linking to others who have blogs on Journal Space I am getting some very high quality incoming links. And this helps with SEO.

So here are the ways that I think blogs can be used to help you sell items online.
Blogs Can Help Target Customers.
You can do market research by by reading blogs.
Blogs can be used to promote your products.
Blogs help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

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