As a Zazzle affiliate / storekeeper trying to promote your product designs, you need your blog posts to be like a neodymium super-strong magnet for search engines.
If you can do that, the types of visitor you’ll get will be interested in your post’s subject right from the off and that can only help you to make sales.
This post will tell you exactly how to do that. It’s aimed at WordPress blogs but the general points are valid for all.
First, a summary of what we’ll cover:
- Be really clear to yourself what the post is going to be about
- Work out the post’s structure – one way is to create a summary first, like this one
- Put products out of your mind for now and just write a very, very first draft
- Go back and start to flesh out your post, noting where the natural places are to embed a few products
- embed them with the NiftyGridZPro shortcode (you do use NiftyGridZPro, yes?)
- Put your SEO hat on and polish your post
Keep reading to make sure that when you publish your post it’s a search engine magnet.
What’s your post all about?
Whatever subject you choose, you need to keep specific to that subject – don’t wander too much and dilute its point. You don’t need to think about product designs yet because Zazzle has something to cover every possible (G-Rated) subject you can think of.
If you want to promote from your own store, then you’ll obviously have to think of an appropriate subject that works for what you want to promote. Once you’ve done that, then forget it for now.
Why is that? It’s because your frame of mind determines how interesting and appealing the post will be. If you’re focused on product-designs, your post will suffer.
Post structure of a search engine magnet
Everyone’s got their own style but be sure to pay attention to and include:
- an intro that lets a visitor know what the post’s about – you have seconds for them to decide if they’ll stay
It doesn’t have to be an obvious introduction but is still needed in some form
- a call to action
It’s not quite enough to include designed products, the call to action is what really helps convert
- some form of closing that summarizes the post in some way or draws consclusions and also inspires them to come back for more another day
Very first draft
Because you’re not worried anymore about the time and effort involved in including products (because NiftyGridZPro takes the strain) you can engage your left brain creativity on what’s important – writing an engaging post.
Don’t worry too much about the finer points you want to make, sketch it out, get the flow going and go with it. Fleshing out and polishing come later as you’ll see below.
Flesh out your post
If you’re anything like other people, by now you’ll have a post that has:
- some bits close to complete
- some that might just have a starting sentence or two
- and some previously unthought of ideas triggered by your creative flow while writing
Now go over it all and add to / rephrase and fill in the gaps.
Again, if you’re like anyone else, this phase will likely involve lots of your favorite hot beverage (coffee or tea anyone?) and some distractive nonsense when you dry-up. I washed the kitchen and bathroom floors while writing this! 😅
Don’t worry, that’s perfectly natural. Taking a break and then re-reading afresh will help you read it through the eyes of a visitor.
Pay particular attention to grammar and spelling. Here’s some easy-to-mix-up stuff to watch out for:
- you’re and your
- their and there
- would of instead of would have – it’s never would of
- it’s only ever it’s when it’s a shortened it is – see what I did there? 😉
- to instead of too
if this one gets you, say to yourself “Mary likes ice cream and I like it, too“. Listen to yourself. Now say “I like ice cream to cool me down“. Did you hear the first one made a longer “oo” sound? When it has that long “oo” sound that’s the one that’s spelled too
It might seem like a pain, but it goes like this in the mind of a visitor that can tell the difference:
hmmm… they keep getting their grammar / spelling wrong… if they were a professional outfit they wouldn’t make those mistakes. I don’t trust this site very much if they can’t take the time to get it right. I’m outta here…
You never want to chase away otherwise interested potential customers. Looking at it the other way round, good grammar and spelling could boost your income from the post by 10%? 20%? Maybe more, if you’ve written a good search engine magnet post.
Drop in the products
Decide on how you want your products placed and how many and then drop in a shortcode:
- using a collection
- or using your keyword / phrase as the search term
- …and possibly the store to pull from
- …and possibly the department and / or category
If you’re embedding a small grid within a paragraph, adjust the grid cell max size so the experience on mobile / tablet works just as well as on desktop / laptop.
Even though you can get NiftyGridZPro to display up to 120 products, that’s not really appropriate for a blog post. Larger grids like that are best reserved for WordPress pages where you’re presenting something more like a store front.
Do allow visitor interaction on your included grid as it improves the “stickiness”. This is another way of saying how long someone stays and how engaged they are. Obviously high “stickiness” is a good thing. (If you include more than one grid in a single post, remember that only one can allow interaction.)
When you use stickiness, your “bounce rate” will improve and that helps the strength of your search engine magnet.
Polishing your post and wearing your SEO magnet hat
As you move from fleshing out to polishing, now’s the time to also put on your SEO Hat. Here’s one you can wear if you haven’t got your own yet:
Polishing just means re-reading, adjusting, leaving a while and then re-reading again. Rinse / repeat.
As for SEO (search engine optimization), these are things you absolutely must do to make your post a magnet for search engines:
- Use a post title that includes the subject key word or phrase you’re focusing on
- Make sure you include that same key word / phrase in the first sentence / first paragraph but don’t make it look contrived
- Any images you include should have alt text defined for them
In WordPress you set the alternative text when you edit the image’s options with the pencil icon
- Aim for around 300 words or more in your post. If it’s a major one, consider around 900 words or more
- Make sure you have a heading that includes your chosen keyword / phrase
- Don’t use your keyword / phrase repetitively or too often
Above all, the flow of the text has to be natural and overuse, when not needed for the sense, can be a downer in the eyes of search engines
- Do use other words that mean the same as your chosen key word / phrase in the natural flow of your post
Synonym searches on your favourite search engine can help with this
- Do include one or two links to other relevant pages / posts
- Do include a link to a non-commercial reputable site, where appropriate – it’s a small thing but search engines use this as a ‘signal’ as to a post’s quality
If you can’t think of one, Wikipedia is a good fall-back
Don’t worry about about the SEO on the product grid(s) you include. That’s because NiftyGridZPro takes care of all that for you, which is nice.
Now you know one approach to writing a blog post that acts like a magnet to search engines. What will you write about to attract those search engines like bees to nectar?
NiftyGridZPro – taking the strain to let you focus on creative writing
Click the link to get your free, fully functional NiftyGridZPro plugin
If you know someone whose blog posts would benefit from some of the guidance here, please share so they can get better results!