How to add a mini-blog to your Ecwid store

There are a number of reasons why having a blog on your store website is a win-win situation for both you and your customers. From SEO and increase in brand loyalty to being able to buy (and sell) right away. Not to mention that customers won’t need to go anywhere to read more about your products.

In Ecwid, you can create a mini-blog with the help of category descriptions. You have probably already tried categories — and, maybe, even subcategories — in your store. Now… What about using them to construct a blog? This might sound tricky, but you will like the result.

Tips on blogging
Adding a blog to your store on a paid plan
   Creating the blog section
   Creating blog posts
Adding a blog to your store on the Free plan
Other options

Tips on blogging

Before you start, here are some benefits that writing a blog can bring to your store:

  • SEO. Articles are content, and keywords in them will help your store rank higher in the search engine results, as will backlinks to these blog articles.
  • Traffic. Not only the organic search traffic but the referral traffic as well. Quality articles attract readers. More than that — if your texts are engaging and helpful, people might share them on social media and on other websites.
    Be the first — post a link to a new article on your social media account!
  • Conversion. Customers convert for different reasons, and your blog can be one of them. For example, you can write a detailed article about your product and put a link to this product in the text. This way, the readers will be able to purchase the item right from your blog post.
  • Advertising. New arrival? Sale? Contest? A blog is a perfect place to tell about them, as you aren’t limited in space. Not to mention that having a blog itself is a way of self-advertising.
  • Your voice. Articles can help you develop your brand identity. Even if, for now, your store is a small one, you can already start building your image, brick by brick. The blog will affect the way customers perceive your business.
  • Expertise. Tips and tutorials. News and announcements. You know your product better than anyone, and you know your industry. So you can share this knowledge and gain credibility.

Adding a blog to your store on a paid plan

Ecwid’s Venture, Business, and Unlimited plans allow you to create up to 10 000 product categories in your store. You can use part of this limit for your blog and blog posts. “How is this even possible?” you might wonder. It’s possible because category descriptions allow you to add texts, images, and even videos.

Let’s break the process into two parts: creating the blog section and creating blog posts.

Creating the blog section

Here is how you can add a blog section to your online store:

  1. In your Ecwid admin, navigate to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Hit the + Add Root Category button. You will see the New root category page that you can now fill out:

    How_to_add_a_mini-blog_to_your_store__6_.png

  3. In the Name field, enter the name that you prefer for your blog section. You can name it just “Blog” or “Our Blog”, or come up with a title that suits the concept of your store.
  4. In the Category Image field, click Choose file to upload an image that will be the cover of your blog:

    How_to_add_a_mini-blog_to_your_store__1_.png

    If you don’t upload an image, your category will have a default gradient image for a cover.
  5. In the Description field, write a short description for your blog. It will become visible when someone enters the blog category.
  6. (optional) Drag and drop the category in the category tree to change its order in your store.
  7. Click Save.

Alright, now you have a blog section in your store.

For a customer who is viewing your store front page, this section will look like one of the store categories (and it will also be listed in the menu):

How_to_add_a_mini-blog_to_your_store__2_.png

Now it’s time to create your first blog post. Guess where? Yes, in a subcategory description.

Creating blog posts

Category (and subcategory) descriptions in Ecwid are 300 000 characters deep and have the built-in text editor. You can use this editor to format paragraphs, add images, videos and links, change text color, size and font, create lists and tables, and much more. All that you would normally do in any blog editor. Moreover, as subcategories can also have pictures assigned to them, you can add an image to every post in your blog that will serve (in a way) as its poster.

To create a new blog post:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, proceed to Catalog → Categories.
  2. In the Categories menu, find and click your blog category.
  3. Click + Add Subcategory.
  4. In the Name field, enter the name of your blog post. For example, “April’s new arrivals”:

    How_to_add_a_mini-blog_to_your_store__7_.png

  5. In the Category Image field, click Choose file to upload an image that will be the cover of your post.
  6. In the Description field, write the text of your post using the WYSIWYG text editor. You can add pictures, videos, links, and more.
  7. (optional) Click Category products → Assign Products to Category to choose products to be displayed at the bottom of your post. This can be the products that you are writing about or other products from your catalog:

    How_to_add_a_mini-blog_to_your_store__4_.png


    You can also forward your customers straight to the shopping cart as soon as they click the Buy Now button and enable adding products with default options to the cart. This will make the shopping process faster and easier.
  8. Click Save.

That’s it! This is how your new post may look in the blog section:

How_to_add_a_mini-blog_to_your_store__5_.png

When you add a new subcategory to a category, by default, it appears at the end of the list. To arrange your blog posts in chronological order, you will need to change their order manually.

In case you don’t want to display some of your blog posts (e.g., they became outdated or you want to publish them later), it’s possible to hide them by disabling the subcategory. You can also delete the posts that you don’t need anymore.

How_to_add_a_mini-blog_to_your_store__1_.gif

Blog post example from Cowboy Magic website

It's also possible to additionally tune the look of your blog posts. For example, you can choose to hide category images and display only the category names in your store. This way, your blog section will consist only of post titles. Or you can choose whether to display the category name on the image, below the image, or on mouse hover — or even hide all the category names and leave only the pictures.

To do this:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Design.
  2. Scroll to Category name position.
  3. Choose your option.

The changes will be autosaved.

Please note that these changes are applied to all the categories in your store and not only to the blog section.

Adding a blog to your store on the Free plan

If your store is on the Free plan, you can still use your categories to add a blog. Even though there are only two of them available (along with 10 products).

That’s how: you can add your products to one of the categories and use the remaining category’s description for your blog.

Just create a category, name it “Blog” (like we described above), and then write your blog posts in its description area. As we have already mentioned, the category description limit is 300 000 characters. This is more than enough for several dozens of medium-sized posts. Which, in its turn, should be enough for a small store that just sets off.

Use the text editor to format your texts and to separate individual blog posts from one another. Remember writing a diary? You can add a date and a heading (with different formatting and/or font) to your post. Also, you may use horizontal lines to mark where the post ends:

How_to_add_a_mini-blog_to_your_store__3_.png

Do not forget to add every new post above the previous one in the editor. This way, it will be the first one your customer sees when opening the “Blog” category.

Other options

A mini-blog based on your Ecwid categories is great for a start, especially if you are using Ecwid’s Instant Site. In case later you want your blog to have more features, you can always sign up for some third-party blogging service (like Blogger or Tumblr) to continue writing your blog. All that you will need to do afterward is add a link to it to your store website.

For example, you can add a link to an external blog to the description of the "Store front page" category — the text will appear on the main store page above the category icons. Another option is to add the link to the description of your “Blog” category — this way, you will have the blog section listed in the menu. If you decide to run a blog on a social network, you can add a link to it in the Instant Site site editor. This link will be shown at the bottom of your website in the Contact Information section.

Alternatively, you can build a site on one of the platforms that have the blogging feature out of the box. Ecwid has built-in integrations with Wordpress, Wix, Weebly, Joomla, Rapidweaver, and Squarespace. This means that you can add your Ecwid store there and have both your store and your blog on a new platform. Your store itself will remain the same — with all the existing products, product descriptions, categories, payment options, and so on.

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