Using Blogs as a Gateway

I just had an interesting question posed to me via the private msg system here at Performancing. This particular reader wanted to know how to use a blog to drive traffic to her ecommerce sites. It’s a good question, because it allows for so much scope in it’s answer.

The question was this:

How about a post about strategies to drive traffic to a site through a blog? I have been thinking about adding a blog to a site for a while. I’m wondering, how can I get traffic to the site without google’s help and could I use a blog for that purpose?

Firstly, there just isn’t any easy fix. Blogs are hard work, period.

Saying that, sure you can use a blog to generate traffic to another site, or use a blog to create traffic on an existing site. It’s a fairly simple concept, but it rather depends on your niche as to how hard a task it may be.

If your site sells products on a theme, then it’s relatively easy unless you’re selling something utterly dull. There are a number of ways you might attack the challenge:

  • Post news on yours and your competitors product lines. By creating an industry/niche specific news site you could generate a lot of links from a lot of different sources. Mostly other blogs of course, particularly if you make it known that you welcome having your headlines syndicated.
  • Create a HOWTO blog. Post tips, anecdotes, stories about your products. Use search services like Technorati tags and pubsub subscriptions to find other product users stories, and link to them, help them if you can. Again, by creating a hub of product information the links should flow, within your niche.
  • Create a group user blog, and allow product users to submit their own stories, and help build a core group of customer evangelists within your niche. Let your users spread the word!

Those are straight off the top of my head. Im having similar thoughts as to what to do with a friends site right now. It’s a simple, nice little ecom site where you can buy her products, but it could be a center for industry discussion, product discussion or a large community of product users (rather like a forum, but in a more bloglike format).

The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination vs resources (time/money/people) you have to throw at it.