Creating Content for Your Fresh Store
In this guide, we take a look at methods for creating content yourself and properly outsourcing content to save you time.
Why is content important?
If you intend to receive organic traffic from any of the major search engines you must always consider the quality of what you are offering and the content of your site. Google will judge your site (sometimes manually) and decide if you are offering something uniquely useful or not – if they judge against you, you will be penalized in the organic search rankings.
Where can I add content to my store?
You can add content to all areas of your store, including the products and categories. Here is a full list:
- Homepage – you can edit the text on your homepage (and any standard page). Manufacturer logos also appear on the homepage once uploaded.
- Pages – you can create new pages and link to them manually within the content, or add them to a sidebar.
- Categories – when you create categories, there is a “Top Description” and a “Bottom Description” field for adding large amounts of content.
- Products – Every product can be edited. You can change the titles, main descriptions, attributes etc.
- Manufacturers – The manufacturers are imported automatically from Amazon. By default they are disabled. You can enable the manufacturers you want and then add content in the form of text and logos.
Our Recommendation for a New Fresh Store
Inline Content Editing
Every piece of content is available to edit by browsing the store while logged in as admin. Simply click the content (e.g. the product title) or click the key icon in the top bar.
This is a great way to quickly make changes and keep your store content fresh.
Planning Content Creation
Whether you are writing the content yourself or not, it is essential to plan what content you will be writing and adding to your store. The main considerations in planning content are:
- Originality – not just rehashing what someone else has done.
- Usefulness – writing what people want and need
- Profitability – focusing on content that is likely to lead to sales
- Consistency – content that relates to each other and can be interlinked
In this guide I am going to use an store niche example of Exercise Bikes. First let’s clarify the considerations of content creation with the example.
Originality of your Content
You will find many articles on the internet relating to exercise bikes. In a quick review, articles mainly cover the health benefits of using an exercise bike, an overview of the different types and reviews of different models. I take a look on sites like Ezine Articles, Squidoo and Hubpages as well as competing sites and Google.
These are good topics and are obviously what people want to read, so there is nothing wrong with using these as a base for your articles. What you must do however is offer your unique spin on the topic and not just rewrite what other people have done.
In this example you could take a look at creating a health benefits focusing on different types of people. For example, young sporty types can get an edge with the extra cardio exercise; people wanting to lose weight can do so without stressing joints; suitable for older people as it can be gentle exercise; good for rehabilitating injuries due to low impact exercise.
The other side of creating original content is covering a topic that has never been done before. Using our example, here are some potential ideas:
- Exercising while you work – it could be possible (with some bike models) to use a laptop while gently pedalling
- Low Impact Exercise – Why exercise bikes are better than treadmills in respect of not hurting your joints
- Exercise Routine – A well planned out exercise routing for using an exercise bike with different goals i.e. weight loss, power, stamina etc.
This is about changing your focus from writing what content you think is needed to writing what content is actually needed.
Basically you need to get a good idea of what questions the people in your niche want answered. Are they confused over Jargon? Do they want reassurance it works? Are they worried about reliability of the product?
To get an accurate understanding of this, take a look in places like Yahoo Answers to see what related questions people are asking. You can also do keyword research to highlight what people are searching for in Google (see our niche research section for keyword research guides).
Here are some common concerns and questions relating to exercise bikes that can be used to create unique and useful content:
- Will XX exercise bike support my weight?
- Will an exercise bike tone my tummy/thighs/bum?
- Will an exercise bike make my legs muscly? (negative thing for women)
- Are the cheap exercise bikes worth getting? Do they break easy etc.?
- What is the best exercise bike for my height?
Profitability of your Content
Sometimes users may need answers or a problem solved in your niche that does not necessarily relate to a potential purchase.
Here are some examples:
- Someone looking for a lost manual for the exercise bike they already own
- Someone wanting information on fixing the bike (e.g. spare parts)
- Someone wanting manufacturer contact details
- People looking for exercise plans
While it is good to have any content on your site, consider prioritizing content that will more likely bring you direct sales. This is not to say all your content should be entirely focused on profit and sales, but gently lean this way. To illustrate the point here are some more potentially profitable topics:
- Comparisons of Exercise Bikes
- Descriptions of guarantees and warranties
- Exercise bike buying guides
All this being said, remember that people may be looking for a future purchase and will remember your site. They may also bookmark your store, link to you on a blog, recommend to a friend etc. due to your good content regardless of the potential profitability.
When you think of creating content, think of it as a set instead of individual pieces of content. You won’t be able to cover all topics in a single article so consider how they will link together.
A good example would be exercise routines. Different people need different routines depending on their goals. To solve this problem, create a single page with some overview information on exercise routines with an exercise bike and link to other articles on “Exercise Routine for Weight Loss”, “Exercise Routine for Athletes” etc.
Particularly when it comes to these related articles, try to ensure your articles are written to a consistent standard and preferably by the same person. This just ensures visitors get used to the writing style and quality of the articles.
Try to group content together in different ways, when they relate to each other. This could be sideboxes in your store or linking from another article like in the exercise routines example.
If you do not have the time to write content yourself, outsourcing is a good way to do it. Please follow these guidelines however, as not doing will undermine all your efforts:
- Quality – there are a lot of non-native English writers who do not do a good enough job of writing content. Check your writers examples thoroughly.
- Research – some writes will try to pan out articles with fluff and filler content, making the article a waste of time to read. Ensure research (as above) is part of the process.
- Word count – depending on what you are using the content for, set a word count as a way to price the job. For a standard article, 300 or 400 words is fine. Don’t limit your article however if there is more to cover on the topic (or split it into two).
- Content Spinning etc. – avoid methods that create content in an automated way. This will never produce the good quality content you need to succeed.
Finding people to outsource to is fairly easy on the internet now. My top recommended site for freelancers is oDesk.
As an employer, you sign up to oDesk and register a payment method. You can then post jobs to the community and receive offers from candidates (with their price and experience details). Once you review the candidates, ask them questions and decide you want to use one you offer them a job.
I typically give them a bit of a trial run to see how they perform and then give more responsibilities over time when i can trust them.
The great thing about oDesk is the way you can manage your workers. If you setup a per hour contract (you can also do it at fixed price) then they use the oDesk software to track exactly what hours they have worked. Even better, you can also see screenshots of their computer from regular intervals along with activity levels (i.e. keystrokes and mouse clicks) so you can check on exactly what they are doing for you.
This guide is about content, although in later guides we will explore how to get smart and outsource all kinds of tasks to freelancers – leaving you to concentrate on the important things.
Getting Ideas for Content
When it comes to getting ideas for your store content, you have a few different options to look at.
If you want to offer customers something unique, answer their pressing questions. Look at the questions and answers on the page and see if you have enough to compose a Q &A sheet. If customers are complaining about something or can’t find the information, search it for them and create an article about it.
This is another great place to get ideas for your content. Type in a keyword and you will see a suggestion of different topics and questions that people are searching for.
If you want to know what people are searching for in your niche try Google Trends. This can give you an idea of what people are searching for in your niche in the past 12 months.
If you want to fill your site with content but are stuck on what to write about, try https://ezinearticles.com/. You can search a keyword and see what articles come up. Do not copy and paste the article or even spin it. We want to add unique and original content. The site should be used to help you find article topics that you can write about. You can also browse through the article and see how they were written, what was added, and what else you can add to make the article better.
These are a few places you can search for to get content ideas for your website. Remember, if you don’t like to write content you can have someone else write it for you. You can use iWriter.com or Fiverr. If you're more comfortable talking, create short videos to add to your store and YouTube.
Some Final Thoughts
Hopefully, this guide has given you a good understanding of how to create content for your store. Try to offer content with real value and not just for the sake of it.
Good content will help your store rank better in Google and help customers find you. But, just as importantly, good content will help your customers to find what they want and to trust you.
Investing your time and/or money in great content will increase your conversion rates, your commissions and bring you traffic for years to come.