March 29, 2020
Ep. 22 – Does My Shopify Store Need A Blog? – With Kaleigh Moore

Ep. 22 – Does My Shopify Store Need A Blog? – With Kaleigh Moore


Welcome to Honest eCommerce where we are dedicated
to cutting through the BS and finding actionable advice for online store owners. I’m your host, Chase Clymer And I’m your host, Annette Grant. And we believe running an online business
does not have to be complicated or a guessing game. If you’re struggling to scale your sales,
Electric Eye is here to help. To apply to work with us. visit electriceye.io/connect
to learn more. And let’s get on with the show. In this episode of Honest eCommerce, we welcome
Kaleigh Moore. She’s a freelance writer that creates blog content for eCommerce platforms
and stores. Welcome back to yet another episode of Honest
eCommerce, I am your host, Chase Clymer. Welcomed by… Wait, not welcome. Joined by… (laughs) (laughs) Annette Grant. And today we are bringing
to this show a great, separate perspective. This is a new one, everybody. Today we welcome
the show, Kaleigh Moore. Kaleigh Moore is a world-class copywriter. She’s worked with some amazing brands and
I’m gonna let her kind of give her own intro and let you know who she’s worked with and
why her expertise is so cool. Welcome, Kaleigh. Thank you, guys. It’s so nice to be here chatting
with you. So I’m Kaleigh Moore like you’ve said. I’ve been a freelance writer for about
five and a half years now. And I mostly work on blog content. I’ve done a little… A few
different types of writing, but that’s where my focus is. And I work with folks like Shopify,
Bigcommerce, Bigcartel and then I also write for eCommerce industry blogs. So places like
A Better Lemonade Stand and Copyhackers and Conversion XL. So lots of blog content, lots
of research, lots of writing. Question. Right before the show, I was working
on a blog and I’m like, is this freaking even worth it anymore in 2019? (laughs) So, can you help me with that? Because social
media is everywhere. I’m still doing these blogs and tagging it and is that still worth
it? Yeah, so that’s a big question. But the short
answer is yes. Of course, I’m a little biased because (of) the work that I do so I see the
value in it definitely very clearly. But I think that the short answer to that question
is, it’s still a great way to teach and educate on what you know. It’s a great way to build authority and ethos.
And it also helps with your SEO and your PPC efforts. So if that’s something you’re working
on, it’s still very much helpful in regards to those efforts. So it does a lot of things but I think the
primary value in creating blog content in 2019 –so right now– is that it’s a platform
for you to share what you know and to tell stories and to connect with your audience
in a way that you can’t really on social media or maybe in an email newsletter or things
like that. It’s a different place for different types of context and it’s… I think it’s
still really valuable. Good. Now I feel better about the time. Yeah, yeah. That was time well spent. Oh, absolutely. We put out a blog, one blog
a week –we try to– here at Electric Eye but it’s a little bit easier for us to come
up with that plan and that strategy because we’re… Our customer avatar is pretty well-defined
and we know what they’re looking for on the internet. It’s essentially tips and tricks
and essentially everything that’s found in this podcast is what they’re looking for.
So from a store owner’s perspective, –and they’re selling physical goods– do you have
any tips to help them curate their content strategy and how to come up with stuff that
will be engaging for their customers? Because I always feel like that is such a hard concept
to direct… I’m gonna use a terrible example now. A shoe company, they’re selling… I was waiting for the shoe company. Chase
uses the shoe company pretty much on every episode. (laughs) I’m not reinventing the wheel. I’m lazy. Alright. (laughs) It’s a theme. I like it. Cool. So I’ve got this shoe company. We sell
shoes. How do I start blogging? Yeah. So I think the first thing always is
to do –the best companies and the smartest companies that I work with do this well–
is they go to their target audience and they ask them directly. Like, “What do you want
to read from us on our blog. Give us ideas.” And so crowdsourcing content ideas that way
is a really brilliant way to jumpstart your ideas on what you should write about because
you’re going right to the people you care about most and asking them what they want
to learn from you. You can also study what your competitors are
doing. You can think about it from a keyword perspective. If you’re trying to rank for
certain types of shoes or different types of customers who are shopping for shoes, you
can take that angle. Or you could also talk about what’s happening behind the scenes at
your company and use it as a way to kind of break down the virtual walls between you and
your customer. So I feel like sometimes it’s hard when you
have an online store to get people to really understand who you are and what you do as
the person behind the brand. And a lot of companies do a really great job of using the
blogs as an illustration of their company culture, of a day in the life, what it’s like
to come up with the idea for a product, to get it from point A to point B… There are a lot of different directions you
could take with those things. But I think the big thing is to make sure that it’s story-based
and make sure that it’s relevant to the target audience and that they are actively giving
you feedback on what they want to read from you. So that you’re not just winging it or guessing
at what people want to read from you, you’re always making a data-informed decision as
far as strategy goes when it comes to the things that you write about. Well, that’s it. We can stop right now. That
was the best answer I’ve ever heard about how to come up with that strategy. I thank
you so much. Go back and listen to that again, anyone that listening to this podcast. Hit
that 15-second rewind thing a few times and listen to that again. That was chock full of value for sure. Thank you. I do have a question about guest blogging,
is that still something that’s relevant also? Asking other people to provide content? I think so. Yeah. Okay. Because your own blog is like your company
megaphone, right? You can blast out content there all day, but it’s a little bit one-sided
sometimes. So you’re usually talking to the same group of people day after day. But when you guest post, you get that opportunity
to get in front of a new demographic, a new set of eyes, who could potentially share that
and then you get shares that way, you get new eyeballs that way. So I think that again, from a link perspective
as far as increasing your SEO and helping those things, –which I’m not an expert on,
by the way. I just know enough to be dangerous– but I know enough to know that guest posting
is good for increasing your quality score, as far as Google is concerned. And (it) helps
you also get in front of new audiences. So I think it’s good for both of those things. Yeah, Google likes those backlinks. Mm-hmm. Awesome. So I think this is a good time to
get into how that content looks. So what are you finding these days… What’s the best
performing content that you’re helping people create for their blogs. So there’s two main categories. Number one
is the super long-form, in-depth evergreen content that takes a million years to write.
It’s full of research. It’s got tons of examples and screenshots. And it’s just really valuable
for anyone who takes the time to sit down and read it. It’s usually a lot more expensive
to create or to outsource or to even write yourself. It takes a lot of connecting the dots, I guess,
and finding interesting things to say, maybe, that hasn’t been said before as far as data
is concerned or as far as making new points about how to do things or illustrating concepts
or “how-to’s”. How to optimize a landing page or how to perfect your product page or something
like that. So that’s the first category and those do
really well because they’re just really valuable. They’re extremely interesting. They’re really
well done. And people end up sharing them a lot because they are so great. The other type of content that I’ve seen really
do really well as kind of the other end of the spectrum. And that’s content that’s kind
of fun and silly. It’s usually short-form. It’s usually full of jest and memes. It’s
very pop culture-centric. And those can do really well too, because people connect with
them and it makes them feel like the company gets them or the brand gets them. It’s hard to nail. You definitely have to
have a specific type of brand voice to be able to do those so it’s not for everyone.
But if companies do this well and can be really engaging with a conversational tone in these
types of posts, I’ve seen those be really successful. You hit something there that I want to talk
on again, –I preach this all the time, especially when I’m talking live– There’s two ways to
create content. It’s either going to take you time or it’s gonna take you money. Mm-hmm. There’s no other way about it. It’s you’re
either investing that time to make something awesome, –and even with any marketing strategy,
honestly– you’re either learning that skill yourself or you’re paying someone that has
that skill already to help you accomplish your goal. Right. That’s so true. Hey, if you’re in the product making business
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first three months of a paid subscription, Check out Katana today. I’m going to ask a question and hopefully,
you’ll be brutally honest about it. From a store owner’s perspective, if I’m going
to go out and hire a freelance copywriter to help me with some blog posts, what type
of budget do I need to have in the bank before I even ask them to help me out? What do you
think the baseline is for the starting of a blog post? That’s really difficult to quantify for a
couple of reasons. Okay. Number one, it depends on the type of content
you want. If you want the super in-depth, expert-level post, –number one I just talked
about– that’s going to be quite a bit more expensive. And those are typically, I would
say, going to cost you anywhere from $500 to $2500 apiece. And that really just depends on the expert
level of the writer that you’re hiring, how much time is required, the length of both
the research needed, all those types of things. If you’re looking for a shorter form, and
you’re on a tight budget, I would say you could get a writer with a little bit less
experience –maybe 1-3 years– for anywhere from $100 to $350 per post. So I think that those are pretty safe ballpark
ranges as far as what to expect when it comes to those two types of posts, it varies a lot.
And rates are always changing based on the writers’ experience level and the results
that they produce, the value that they can bring to the relationship. So it’s hard to
say for sure what it would cost. But I think from my perspective, those are pretty realistic
ranges. No. We appreciate that because I think it’s
something that store owners get bogged down in the day to day and if we can at least give
them a starting point, that’s helpful. Like, “Wait a second. What’s their time worth versus
hiring a professional to help them with an amazing post?” Yeah. And obviously, that’s an investment.
Do you have any tips or tricks or just ways that you see people that maximize the value
out of this content that they have now curated with a trusted partner? I get this blog content
back. Other than just slapping it on my blog, what should I be doing with this? Yeah, so I think that there are a couple of
different things you should do. Number one, if you have an email newsletter, you should
definitely be sharing that content with them, with your subscribers. Their inbox is still
a pretty sacred place. So if you have this really great, helpful piece of content, definitely
share it there. Of course, you have your social channels.
You also have an opportunity with social advertising maybe to get that content in front of the
right customers for you and educate them in a new and interesting way. You can also use it to start positioning yourself
as a thought leader. So if you’re looking to get bylines with bigger publications or
industry type blogs, that’s a piece of work that you can showcase. It’s like, “Here’s
what we’ve been doing. We’d love to collaborate with you on a future project. Take a look
at this and see if this kind of aligns with what you guys are doing.” And so when you have those really great pieces
of content that you can put in a portfolio, I think it ups the success rate on those opportunities
quite a bit too. So it’s long term and short term outcomes as far as how to share it or
where to share it. But I think you can also use those as a springboard for future opportunities
as well. Another place I think it would be interesting
to use too is if it’s that long-form blogs is if you could break that down into some
individual YouTube videos that go along with the brand, too. I think it would be an interesting
place. I mean, when you have a well-written piece
of content, it’s a script for a video, essentially. You just got to change the verbiage. I don’t
know. I’m a terrible writer. Or, if it is long-form, I mean, you could
dice it up into 10 different YouTube videos and then 10 different email blasts depending
on how involved… Especially if you’re making a large investment in it for sure. Or an ebook or a full course. I mean, there
are a lot of things that you could do to repackage that content. And I think that that’s a really
great way to get extra mileage out of those. Yeah, I’ve been trying to find it in the show
notes and that reminds me. So there’s an awesome piece of content by Gary Vee. And it talks
about how he takes his keynote, –he calls it “keynote content” which is essentially
his daily blog or when he speaks– and he turns it into 12 other forms of content. It’s
a really cool way to show you how to take a good piece of content and then create other
content from it and get the maximum value out of it. Absolutely. So where can I find these freelance
writers that would be a fit for me? I’m actually going to be honest. I don’t even think I’ve
hired any yet. I’ve just been interviewing them. And it’s all been word of mouth. But
where else can I go with it? What’s a crowdsourcing site for freelance writers? So I am pretty anti sites like Upwork or Fiverr
or places like that because that’s where you get the people who are really hungry for work.
They’re very new to whatever it is that they’re doing. Those aren’t going to be your subject
matter experts, most of the time. There are exceptions to that rule, but a lot of the
time, it’s kind of a race to the bottom for who will do it the cheapest and the fastest. So if you want to really great quality writer,
I would say, go to your community that you’re part of and start asking for a referral. Maybe
go to the industry blogs that you really admire and see who has byline there and maybe poach
writers from those sites (laughs) if that’s what you’re wanting to do. I think that happens
quite a bit. But I don’t see a lot of people talking about it. Poach is kind of a dirty word. But it’s a
great way to find writers who already do great work and that you know you like and that align
with what you’re trying to do. And then the other thing is, just look at people who are
doing great work within your industry or with other merchants that you admire or maybe even
your competitors and see who are their writers and what are they doing? Are there people that you can connect with
who would have good ideas for linking you up with really high-quality writers who are
a good match for your type of business and have the right subject matter expertise. But
always remember that those writers for hire sites, like I said, they’re a scary, dangerous
place to go. Because what happens sometimes is when you
hire those writers that just want the cheap and fast work, you get these outcomes that
you’re not happy with. And so you end up paying somebody else to do it over again or you’re
frustrated by the quality and you put it up and it’s just kind of lackluster results.
So just something to keep in mind. Like I said, there are exceptions to that
rule. But referrals I think, are always the best way to get recommendations for writers. As someone who does work with a network of
freelancers, you need to be very honest and receptive to their feedback. You need to tell
them what you want, They’re not mind-readers. They don’t know what’s going on in your head. You can’t just go, “I want to blog about shoes.”
You got to be like, “I want this type. Here’s five examples. Here’s what I like about them.
Here’s what I don’t like about them. Our tone of voice is this. This is how we like to do
X, Y, and Z. You can get even as specific as, “We don’t use apostrophes. We don’t shorten
words. It’s going to be would not. It’s not wouldn’t. Yeah. You gotta let people know how you want your
content to look or you’re gonna have a terrible time. For sure. I think that it’s a major red flag
if you don’t have those things in place for the freelance writer that you’re hiring. So
yes, it’s always good to include as much direction and as much specific detail about the writing
project that you can, so that you are sure you and your freelancer are on the same page. I think our brief document for writers is
like two pages long. That’s great. Yeah. I love that. Well, we’re trying to do good stuff over here. (laughs) It sounds like it’s going well. That’s, that’s
great to hear. It is. Support for today’s podcast comes from our
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email and live chat around the clock with Simplr specialists. Start your free seven-day
trial at simplr.ai/honest. So in regards to content and blogging for
the eCommerce store owner, do you have anything that you’d like to share before we pivot to
this other topic that you had here at the bottom about subscriptions? I think it’s a great opportunity –if it aligns
with your brand– to really have that personality that I talked about a little bit earlier and
to have a very conversational tone. eCommerce store owners as independent business owners
have this great opportunity to really showcase a unique brand voice. And so to miss out on that opportunity is
kind of a shame. If you have the company culture or it’s part of your brand voice to speak
in a fun, pop culture-centric way, I say do that because I still don’t see a lot of brands
doing it. I feel like there’s a big opportunity there as far as capturing attention and really
connecting with audiences. Like I said, to break down those barriers
that are so common in the eCommerce environment. Yeah, I mean I just… One last note there
is like, people want to buy from people. They want another real human on the other end of
that transaction and that they’re not just giving their money to a faceless entity, one
of those bigger box stores. You’re helping the little guy. It’s a small business. Everyone
enjoys that. Yes. For sure. That’s a great way to connect
with potential customers and to just really stand out in a lot of noise to be that unique
brand with that unique personality. Awesome. So Kaleigh, now it’s bonus material.
She’s got some insights into subscriptions. One of your clients is finding success with
Recharge. What do you have to share about that? Yeah. So I feel like there’s such a huge opportunity
with subscriptions right now. Even companies that I would not think have a subscription
opportunity are finding them. And what’s so great about that is the sustainable revenue
for the business. Monthly recurring revenue, it’s a great way to increase customer loyalty. It’s a great way to get customers hooked on
products. I’m just constantly amazed by how much is possible when it comes to subscriptions.
And like I said, Recharge is a platform that integrates with Shopify and I’m seeing a lot
of companies use it, and finding, “Oh my gosh. There’s this huge window here that we’re tapping
into where, now we’re not only selling one time products, but we’re getting subscriptions
where people are buying in for six months at a time or three months at a time.” And in doing that, you can upsell on, here’s
what would make your subscription better. You can do interesting things like, allowing
some flexibility so people can customize their subscriptions which boosts retention for long
term efforts. There are just a lot of interesting things
that open the door to as far as revenue goes and customer retention goes. And I think if
anybody is interested in subscriptions, definitely look into that. I think that that’s something
we’re not going to see go away. I think that’s going to continue to grow as a trend. Absolutely. We actually had Rob from Recharge
on not too long ago and it was an amazing episode. Very insightful. Just the one thing
about subscriptions… And it’s gonna… It always goes back to making sure you know what
you want. You got an outline like what that subscription looks like for your business.
And it’s a lot more than like people can get this thing more often. There’s a lot more
that goes into it. Right. Right. (laughs) Yeah, there has to
be a bit of functionality and need for a recurring order of whatever your thing is. It can’t
just be, “Hey, buy this thing every month.” You know, there has to be a bigger value equation
in there. Yeah. And then we start talking about bundles.
It’s like, “Oh, my gosh, what’s going on here? Is the first shipment free? Is it not? What
about free shipping? How would that work?” There’s so much to consider there. Cool. So
in the pre-show, you spoke about an awesome piece of content that you want to share with
our audience that can help people out with beginning this journey. Yes. So, it’s very basic but I think it’s
gonna be really helpful for a lot of people potentially listening to this podcast. It’s
called How to Make Your Writing Sell Stuff. And so you can use the tactics that I’m talking
about in this blog post on anything from product pages, to email marketing, to your blog posts.
It just has some good ideas for writing content that converts, that gets you more sales and
get you more customers for your business. That’s awesome. We’ll make sure to link to
that in the show notes. Yes, Should I just send out emails that say,
“Buy my stuff.”? (laughs) (laughs) Wouldn’t that be great? Right. Just keep firing out, buy button, buy
button, buy button on the email? Yeah. (laughs) Well, no. Thank you, Kaleigh, for being on
the show. I’m excited. I’m gonna check out the blog post, immediately following. We will
make sure to link to that and we thank you for your time. Thank you, guys. You were a fantastic guest. Thank you so much. Thanks. We can’t thank our guests enough for coming
on the show and sharing the truth. links and more will be available in the show notes.
If you found any actionable advice in this podcast that you’d like to apply to your business,
please reach out at electriceye.io/connect. Please make sure to subscribe to Apple Podcasts,
Spotify or your podcast app of choice.

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