In today’s online world, content is king. That means in addition to creating your product or performing your service, you’ve also got to get the news out about all of the wonderful things you’re doing. It’s a lot. And honestly, most small businesses can not afford to hire some help for all of these social updates and marketing schedules.
So what would you do if you were able to recover an entire workday during your work week? Mark and Darin came up with a long list of satisfying, creative endeavors that they could actually do if that were the case. These things, done in that reclaimed time, would improve their overall business longevity and allow them to take an actual break after long weekends during the spring/summer/fall wedding and event season.
We’re going to share how they did it.
One of the biggest selling points of switching over to their Squarespace site was the heaven-sent ability to easily blog on the platform and distribute their entries in one step, instead of four. Previously they had to create a blog post and then go to their social platforms, edit their copy and add a link to send their readers back to the post. Then they had to create an email substantial enough to not leave the feeling that emails from their business were simply filling up the inbox of their readers. And then they still had the task of getting their subscribers to click on the link to go to the actual blog post for more news. That was a big ask of their readers and an entire hour each time they performed this unrewarding cycle several times a week.
Now onto their new and improved method! We’re going to use bullet points to keep it clear and concise.
- Take a look at what’s coming into your store next month (or in the next 30 days).
- Pick a 2-hour chunk of time on your calendar in the next three days.
- During that 2 hour-block, write as many blog posts about the products and/or news you want to share with your customers as you can.
This method is called “batching” and you need to take full advantage of it now. You can see the Flower Haus blog page of the new website above. What you can’t see are the smiles on Mark and Darin’s faces as they batch-produced their blog posts, knowing they’d be automatically sent via RSS to their email subscribers through the Squarespace + Mailchimp integration and posted automatically to Facebook and Twitter by Squarespace. Let’s do a quick how-to and get that time back below!
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Here’s the process.
1. Create a Blog name and a logo. We used a royalty-, copyright-free image in the Creative Commons of a tropical plant Victorian urn. (Squarespace has got you covered too, with their free logo maker!) 2. Go to the Pages menu and go to your Blog page. Upload the image to the Blog page so it serves as your Title image and sets the stage for the content you’ll be producing over time. 3. Click the + sign to add a new blog post.
4. Add a cheeky title and write the post, add tags that relate to the post and the categories that apply to the post topic. And, of course, add some gorgeous products shots! This is a Mother’s Day post we’re batching ahead of time since we know that Mark and Darin have a ton of flowers to order and phone calls to answer.
5. Once the post is drafted, by simply clicking icons for the type of content you’re adding like, image, text, etc., add some categories and tags so that visitors to your site can see what you’ve done in the past and love it. In this case we’re adding tags and categories around Holidays, Mother’s Day and Roses.
6. Next, we scheduled the post to launch 2 weeks before Mother’s Day. So easy.
7. Once our “batched” post is scheduled, we can see it in the blog post lineup clearly marked as scheduled.
8. Since the Flower Haus blog has text on the main blog page that displays the posts in chronological order, we added a text excerpt of the post to encourage website visitors to read the entire post.
9. We’re also distributing the blog post onto our social feeds automatically when the post publishes on the site and to do this, we simply make sure we’ve linked our social accounts on the Settings page. Again, easy.
10. On the Blog Page settings, we can set up our blog RSS feed and have it work with Mailchimp to automatically send out the post as an email to our email subscribers, too. Eventually, as Flower Haus grows, we can connect the blog to be distributed via Apple News. There might even be a podcast in the future!
Above you can see a sneak peek of what the “batched in advance” Mother’s Day blog post will look like.
We’ve covered a lot today, so we’re adding an additional post to this mini-workshop series. We’d like you to have a solid overview of the e-commerce and payment side of the site, since it can be one of the most intimidating parts of making changes for the better. Originally, we were going to deep dive into that area today, but honestly, we want you to digest these content creation and distribution how-tos because they will save you so much time. Remember, “batch,” “batch,” “batch”!
Next time, we’re going to share the simple consolidation on the e-commerce and inventory side of the site. This was the second most important reason Flower Haus decided to make the switch to Squarespace. Think analytics, inventory management that offers insights and tools, plus a one-platform payment integration that can work in-store and on their new website. We’ll debut the new site then too! Stay tuned. –Caitlin
If you’d like to follow this mini-workshop and create or implement these changes on your own Squarespace site, try Squarespace for 14 days risk-free. See all of their E-Commerce templates here. When you’re ready to subscribe use code ‘DESIGNSPONGE‘ for 10% off your first website, online store or domain purchase!
For help getting your online store started with Squarespace visit this helpful page, or contact Squarespace’s 24/7 customer care team.