Welcome to our series of posts on the business of blogging! Each Thursday for 6 weeks, we'll debut a new post designed to help you build, market, and successfully create a small business with your Typepad blog. Late to the party? Check out our other posts about the Business of Blogging.
You've got a blog, you're starting a shop, but how to integrate the two?
If you haven't started by first comparing the eCommerce solutions out there, then by all means finish reading this post before you do so; it may just save you some time and heartbreak. And while we don't natively offer eCommerce, we make it easy for you to integrate your preferred eCommerce solution with your Typepad blog, provided you use the right service.
There are too many hosted shop services for us to cover here, but it wouldn't hurt to consider one of the following (we aren't affiliated with any of them; we just happen to like them):
What you really need to do, though, is take into consideration the type of shop you'll need. What will you be selling? Is it handmade, resale, direct downloads, or something else? Once you've got that figured out, use your preferred search engine to locate options that fit your needs. Some search terms to get you started:
- embed shop (or store, ecommerce--try all three)
- hosted shop (or store, ecommerce--ditto the above)
- online store builder
- simple shopping cart
Review and compare the shops that look like they'll fit your needs. Now check whether or not they allow you to embed the store, or your items, elsewhere. Do they? Rad! If they don't, then it's best to not move forward with them.
So, your shop is all setup and you're ready to add it to your blog. There are a few ways this can be achieved, and it all depends on the options your chosen service provides.
Embed the shop as a widget in your blog's sidebar
This option will display your shop widget on all posts and pages of your blog. Copy the code provided to you from your selected service, then use either a Notes Typelist (add | publish) or an Embed Your Own HTML module, pasting the code into whichever of the two you choose.
Code pasted? Excellent job! Now save and publish your changes.
Embed the shop as its own page
Depending on the layout used for your blog, embedding your shop on its own page may be a bit cumbersome. Lucky for you that we've covered this topic in the past, right here at Everything Typepad! It's the ideal solution for you if your shop doesn't seem to be fitting within the given space very well.
As with the earlier embed option, you'll need to copy the embed code that your selected service provided. Once copied, compose a page (Compose > New Page), then click the HTML tab of the editor. Paste the code into the page, then click Publish, making certain that the HTML is still visible (returning to the Rich Text tab could corrupt your shop's embed code). Once published, click the "view page" link to make sure it looks the way it needs to.
If your shop service provides you customization options to narrow or widen the content, you can use that to make the shop better fit the space available. If it does not, however, use the CSS tip provided in the article linked above. Make sure to follow the directions carefully.
You can copy the URL of the page you published, then add it to your blog's navigation bar so readers can quickly, and easily, access your shop content.
Embed specific items rather than an entire shop
Does your selected service allow you to embed specific shop items? That's pretty cool! Being able to embed a specific item means that you can include it, via the HTML tab, in a blog post when you are looking to feature a product to your readers.
Similar to creating a page, for embedding a specific item, you would copy its embed code, then compose your blog post as you normally would. Once finished, click the HTML tab, then paste the code into the location you'd like it to appear. Preview the post to verify that it looks the way you want, then share it with the world!
Rock and Roll!
Now that you've got the rundown on how to embed your shop, you're one step closer to getting it up and integrated with your blog. Your readers are going to love having such easy access to your wares, man. All the other bloggers will be totally jealous.
Ready to share your shop with other Typepad bloggers? Make sure to visit and submit your shop link to shop.typepad.com!