What My Blog Has Done for My Online Store
(from someone in a SUPER TIGHT niche)
This is guest post from Erika Neumayer, clothing designer and founder of Rare Dirndl. She markets her product online like a #boss
Jane’s Note: Erika is joining me as a blogging mentor in San Francisco’s “Get Your Blog DONE Already” workshop this weekend at the DG Expo Fabric Show. Join us!
Hey there Fashion Brainiacs! When I first started working with Jane in 2013, my blog was a hot mess, I was a hot mess, and my business was just still a baby…let’s just say it was a really, really good thing I lived and worked at my parent’s house.
Jane pointed me in the right direction and told me to focus on my blog as my marketing strategy. I’d like to give myself a pat on the back, because… NAILED IT!
Having a blog has changed everything for me.
The blog brings my online store traffic, keeps my Facebook followers engaged, and my e-mail list happy to open my e-mails. 🙂 How did I do it? Here’s a Q & A (with myself… because let’s face it, all creative entrepreneurs talk to themselves) to explain.
Q: When and why did you start a blog?
A: I asked a few friends if they would be interested in the design process and what I was doing in my business and they said yes. So I went with it.
Q: Why is your blog so important to the success of your business?
A: Four HUGE reasons.
#1- It’s fun, humorous, and educational… and people like those things. The blog gives my customers and future customers a place to go and learn about dirndls and other fun German stuff. I provide recipes, restaurant suggestions, How-To’s, feature customers, etc. It’s like my brand’s magazine that is free for them and me!
#2- Google loves reading my blogs too! The Rare Dirndl website is very photo heavy, so google and other search engines don’t always find my site, but they find the blog! It’s great SEO without having keywords plastered all over the website… it’s authentic.
#3- Converts people to my e-mail list. My e-mail list is where I can generate most of my sale and so far in 2016, 212 people have signed up for my e-mails from the blog. I did nothing but put the link to my signup on the bottom of each post.
#4- Know, Like, & Trust BABAY! People feel like the “know me” after reading the blog and watching the videos. So when it comes time to pitch an offer, they’re more likely to buy. Do I know this for a fact… no. I have not hard evidence, but since I started blogging like a business owner and with intention, sales have gone up and up. So….
Q: Were your first posts like your current ones?
A: No… my old posts had no purpose really, just me talking to no one. And you guessed it… no one really cared haha! It took me a while to find my groove.
Q: How often do you post on your blog?
A: At least 1x a week… usually on “Marketing Mondays” (that’s when I do my marketing get it ;-).
Q: How did you eventually know what you write about?
A: Jane told me that I needed to start thinking about what my customer wants to read. Focus more on them. It’s not the Erika show… Wah wah 🙁
Q: How do you get people to read the blog?
A: Each week I email the topic to my list and I post it up on the Rare Dirndl Facebook Page. The people will tell you if they like what you’re putting out there. Likes, comments, shares on social, in person (people say “I love reading your emails”… it’s my blog posts just via email), and by the site stats.
Pro Tip: If what you’re posting isn’t working after 3 months, switch it up. If you have a post that bombs, don’t worry… do better next week.
Q: How do you keep coming up with ideas?
A: I think about my girl – my ideal customer. What does she want to read? What did she just read last week? I posted a German recipe this week, maybe it’s time to talk about Dirndl shoes. Or maybe it’s time to go back a few years and re-do an old one. However, some days, lemme tell ya, the struggle is REAL! But 2017 will be different!
Q: Why will 2017 be different?
A: I mapped out the topics already – every week until next November (when I switch to holiday). I literally wrote out each topic, if I’m featuring a product that week, what my call to action is, and how I’m going to promote the post. I feel so much less stress… because thinking is hard.
Pro Tip: I’m planning my content far ahead, but if you’re new to blogging, just start by planning the next 4 weeks.
Q: How did you do all that?
A: I sat my ass down at a coffee shop, just me and my notebook, and I pounded out ideas in about 2 ½ hours! You need to block out time. Once you start, it just flows.
Q: I’m not a good writer. Blogging won’t work for me. (with an eyeroll…)
A: Well that’s not a very good attitude! How about video? Podcast, picture diary, listicles, interviews… there are so many ways to have blog that converts into sales without actually writing all the content yourself! Be creative… you’re a creative entrepreneur, take your creativity and put it towards selling your awesome stuff!
Q: Any last suggestions?
A: If you want to sell online, start bloggin’ babaay! If you want to make stuff and not sell it online, don’t. Simple as that.
Heads up!! I’, joining Jane Hamill as a mentor in a small group blogging workshop in San Francisco on November 19th, 2016. No more night-before, “Oh no!! What do I post on my blog tomorrow!” Join us a get your blog DONE already. Click here.
About Me, Erika Neumayer: I started Rare Dirndl in 2010 in my parents’ dining room. It’s now 2016 and I work in and on my business full-time, in my own studio with a part-time assistant and 2 piecework seamstresses. I make badass dirndls and dirndl accessories that women want to wear — whether or not they have a German event to attend. That’s right… I make dirndls (that adorable outfit women wear to Oktoberfest), so if I can blog about German-American stuff and sell dirndls, you can do it for your business too!
GREAT blog Erika! I love this lady and am proud to say that she is guest blogging with ME next week over at http://www.ukyankee.com . Super excited and big congratulations to you for being a mentor. I should have picked your brain So Much More when I saw you this summer! And to Jane Hamill- looks like you might have a new follower in me! This blog advice that Erika dished out above makes me think that I need to be following some of your guidance myself!! Have fun in SF! xx Alisa