3 Reasons Why Card & Gift Network’s Blog has to Change.
This is tough, but the blog has to change. Here’s why…
When I first started Card & Gift Network (or Card & Gift Blog as it was at the start) way back in 2009 I had a mission.
To help greetings and giftware companies use the online world to grow their business.
That goal is still front and centre of everything I try to do with Card & Gift Network.
But for a few years now I’ve known that things needed to change. So here goes…
Going forward, the Card & Gift Network blog will no longer feature businesses or products from the industry.
The focus will be on digital marketing and e-commerce strategies that can help greetings and giftware businesses use the online world more effectively.
Change Is Tough But It Helps Us Grow
#1 – The Online World Has Changed
It’s fair to say that the online world of 2020 is very different from how it was back in 2009.
Technology has advanced and blogging has advanced.
In the beginning blogging was simple. I would feature a product and for a couple of weeks people would find the blog post, like what they saw and buy the product.
Today however people don’t just find the most recent posts.
People find everything! They find posts I wrote last week, and they find articles I wrote 10 years ago; the latter can be a problem.
Because when they like a product from an old post and want to buy it they find the product no longer exists.
Sometimes it’s not just the product, occasionally the entire company might be gone!
This is what I kept seeing over and over again. Thousands of buyers flocking to old features for products that were gone the way of the Dodo!
Honestly, it was frustrating.
As much as I only ever promoted the latest posts, as much as I made the old content hard to find. Google was way too smart and it loved sending people to old features.
In fact one of the top ten posts since 2014 is for a greeting card that hasn’t been printed since 2016.
Every month I’d check the site statistics and there it would be in the top ten. Every month I’d get people asking me where to buy this range. Every month I had to disappoint people.
This was reason number 1.
That first reason sent me into problem solving mode.
I knew that I had to consider how to create long-term promotion for card and gift brands.
If buyers were going to be looking at my articles for 1, 5 or even 10 years, those articles had to stay relevant for 10 years.
Now, without some serious time-travelling options that’s not an easy problem to solve.
I didn’t have the time or resources to keep updating thousands of articles over and over.
The solution that hit me was this…
Blog articles could become profiles, which could be regularly updated. This would provide long-term promotion.
I could even take it one step further…
The profiles could be linked to additional offers or sales pages that last a few months max. As the blog did, these could focus on individual product ranges.
With these two types of features both long-term and short-term promotion would be covered.
This would not only remove the problem of outdated content but it would actually give card & gift businesses a lot more promotion.
Plus it would actually tap into what the customers needed — multiple touchpoints with the businesses, so they knew who they could trust.
Win… win… win!
The seed for Spotlight was sown.
And with that thought I had reason number 2 to change the blog.
The third reason to take the blog in a new direction comes down to me.
Just like how blogging has changed since 2009, I’ve changed too.
When I first started this site I knew very little about the online world!
I was a copywriter and marketer but up until then I’d worked purely in the real (offline) world.
My only real experience online was shopping and overseeing other people building websites for the companies where I worked.
That’s not close to being enough to run a website.
Honestly I was so clueless that I couldn’t use WordPress for the first version of the blog. I took 1 look and knew it was too much technology for my overwhelmed eyes!
Today things are very different. Since 2009 I’ve built multiple websites that have attracted millions of visitors.
From 2014 onwards all have been on WordPress. Bye-bye overwhelm!
I’ve trained in all aspects of digital marketing and e-commerce, gaining a decade’s worth of experience in both.
This means there’s a lot more value I can offer to card and gift businesses.
There’s a well-worn proverb we’ve probably all known since childhood…
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Well, I have a choice… do I keep giving fish or teach fishing?
With the seed of Spotlight in my mind, it seemed an obvious choice, I should be teaching.
The blog could share everything I’ve learnt about digital marketing and e-commerce.
Combined with my years of industry knowledge this would provide a unique resource for greetings and giftware businesses.
I’d already been doing little bits of this via the site’s business hub and with my private clients.
If this was the main focus of the blog I could get it done on a bigger and more valuable scale.
That seemed like a very good thing, and so I had a 3rd reason for changing the blog.
3 is the Magic Number
With those 3 reasons in the ‘pro’ column I was fairly certain, which way the wind was blowing.
But, due diligence meant I had to consider the cons.
What reasons were there to keep things as they were?
Generally it was a tumbleweed moment in my brain, but there were a few considerations…
#1. I’d be scrapping a huge section of the website’s content (1400+ pages).
Yes, but that wouldn’t affect a buyer’s user experience.
Buyer’s would be able to find products and businesses in Spotlight.
What Happens Next?
This brings us nicely to the present day, September 2020…
I’ve removed all the old product and brand-focused blog posts, which were created between 2009 and 2020.
The first sales & marketing blog posts have also been added onto the blog. More will be added in the September-December period to create a good variety of articles for new and existing businesses.
In 2021, I will then create a regular schedule for new articles to be added weekly.
If you have any requests for topics you’d like to see or questions you would like answered please make a request via the contact page or reach out via social media.
I know not everyone will agree with my decision.
It might seem like the card & gift industry is losing an opportunity for promotion. I honestly don’t think that’s the case.
I’ve spent a long, long time developing, testing and tweaking Spotlight so it has promotion potential far greater than could ever have been achieved on the blog.
Spotlight has also been kept insanely affordable, because I believe that card & gift companies need to promote themselves much, much more.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Spotlight you can read all you need to know by clicking here.
Change is never easy but it can help us grow.
With this change, I’m embarking on a new chapter of the Card & Gift Network story and
I’m excited to take the site to bigger and better opportunities for us all.
Again, that’s not great, but they could get those links via Spotlight.
Plus they’d be getting more than 10x the promotion the blog could ever provide.
OK, this one gave me pause.
It was a hard fact. The added intricacies of business profiles and long-term promotion would require a paid model.
This made me really question the idea.
I soon realised, however, that I’d still be creating free content for the blog; plus sales & marketing guidance would ultimately offer greater value.
Sell 1 fish notepad today versus learn how to sell 1,000 fish notepads in the month ahead.
I also had the ability to ensure Spotlight remained affordable.
The 3 potential cons didn’t really amount to anything.
And if there were just pros and no cons… well, that means the blog must change.
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