How To Write A Great Shopping Post

When you spend as much time browsing style blogs as I do, you pick up a thing or two. You see a lot of really great things, and a lot of really not-so-great things. All these posts help me glean new ideas for my own blog, and remind me of methods to avoid as well.

 

I think my biggest pet peeves among blog posts come from shopping posts. I see far too many poorly constructed posts featuring one or all of the following:

 

  • An endless, takes-forever-to-scroll-through list of images
  • Said endless list, with incorrect or inactive links
  • Collages or image lists with no links at all
  • Low quality images
  • Collages that just aren't pretty to look at

 

I think shopping posts that showcase your personal style, your favorite stores and trends you love are a great way to communicate with readers. I try to post something like that at least once a week on my blog, because these types of posts give people tangible and constructive insight to how I think and provide a nice break from gratuitous photos of myself in different outfits.

 

That being said, here are my top tips for creating a shopping post that will look pretty, excite your readers and inspire great purchases!

 

Create A Gorgeous Collage

 

  • Use a site like ShopStyle or Polyvore that lets you easily select items from popular online shopping sites, and arrange them freely. If you have Microsoft Office, Powerpoint is also a great tool for collaging. If you're a little more tech savvy, Photoshop lets you do just about anything with your images.
  • Try to keep items proportional, ie don't make the shoes or a watch gigantic in comparison to a dress.
  • This isn't always possible, but I prefer to combine pieces that are shown off-model. I find it looks much more clean and professional. Random half-bodies and complete looks next to floating sweaters and jeans looks confusing and cluttered.

 

Present One Idea At A Time

 

For me, a really important component of a great blog post (no matter the subject) is to have a main idea. I like to think of it like an essay for school, that needs a thesis. It sounds so basic and like a bit of a no-brainer perhaps, but looking at your blog as a publication rather than a stream of conscious will result in stronger posts with more reader appeal.

 

  • Trend Story: Pick a trend that you love, and build your story around it. If you want to post about, say, military-inspired, pick your favorite pieces, and perhaps even merchandise them with other items you might pair with each.
  • Outfit(s): Another way to set up a shopping story is to build a complete outfit. Perhaps you have an event coming up, or you've dreamed up a scenario and a perfect look to go with it. Create a whole ensemble from the shoes to the accessories to inspire your readers and yourself!
  • Color Story: A color story is just another type of trend story, but I find they're very visually appealing, and inspiring. Pick a wide range of pieces, from accessories, to beauty products to give your post depth and diversity. (Here's an example from my personal blog.)
  • One Special Piece: I often use this type of post when I've become completely obsessed with a certain pair of shoes, sunglasses, whatever the case may be. I post a nice large image of said item, and below it include it's name, price and the e-tailer that sells it. I also like to give some background as to why I love said piece so much, and how I plan to style it. (Example)

 

Link Out

 

  • This is a quick note: be sure to hyperlink your pieces to where you found them. The whole point of a shopping story is for your readers to become hopelessly in love with your sense of style and want to emulate your excellent taste – so let them!
  • Test your links to make sure they connect properly.
  • Make sure your hyperlinks are a different color than your main text, so they're easily accessible.

 

Do you include shopping posts on your blog? Any tips you think I may have missed? Please share your favorite shopping posts and tips in the comments!

 

 

 

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34 Responses

  1. Aquí

    you’re spot on with this post! I like creating shopping posts and I like reading them. I think the links are particularly important. There is NOTHING more frustrating than falling in love with an item, only to find that there is no link or detail of where the piece came from!

    Reply
  2. kiley

    i love creating shopping posts! agree with all of your points here-although i tend to sometimes not have a common theme to the post other than they are all things i am currently obsessing over 🙂 they’re like my personal little inspiration collage board.

    kiley

    http://asequindressatbreakfast.net

    Reply
  3. Faye

    i never really thought about doing shopping posts, but these helpful ideas have made me change my mind!
    thank you xo

    Reply
  4. Pearl Westwood

    Oh dear you just reminded me of Polyvore it took me months to get over that addiction 😉

    Great post, I do the odd shopping post but not all that often, usually my new season wish list or something. You are right there is nothing more boring that a huge long list of a post, they have to be aesthetically pleasing as well as informative.

    Reply
  5. Jess

    Great post. Agree with all the points above, and this is really helpful for future posts I make on the blog I’ve just started. Many thanks!

    J.

    Reply
  6. alyssa

    Great advice for beginner bloggers! Naturally had to stop over to your page–mean girl references and j. crew pieces make for an awesome page!

    Reply
  7. Caitlin

    Great post!
    I always try and make sure I only talk about clothes that I KNOW my readers can find now! There is nothing worse than seeing a great dress on a blog, only to find out that it i from 3 seasons ago!

    Also, being from Australia (and most of my readers are too) I try and make sure that my readers can buy what I am talking about IN Australia (or from an online site that sends to Australia)

    Reply
  8. Daniel Dunt

    I really love this post; it’s great to see that someone else has the save ‘pet peeves’ as me when it comes to shopping posts. I’m personally not a huge fan of collage posts, which is why if you’re a reader of my blog – http://www.tsnewyork.com – you will notice that I tend to opt for the ‘One Special Piece’ posts alone; primarily due to the fact that I like to draw attention to one item, rather than a whole item. I’m unsure as to whether that’s a positive or negative feature on a blog, yet I tend to just “roll with it”. – Daniel Dunt

    Reply
  9. Brenda

    Hi Taylor,

    I really appreciate your tips and its helping. Like you, I enjoy reading fashion blogs and watching photos and I didn’t notice that – lol.Thanks!

    Reply
  10. Emmy

    Great post, and wonderful tips. I do “obsession” posts sometimes to talk about stuff I’ve been loving lately, and will try to incorporate some of the stuff mentioned:)

    Reply
  11. lisa

    Great basic tips!

    As a rule of thumb, I try to collage together images if I have more than 5 or 6 items being featured in a post. It forces the reader to scroll too much otherwise.

    Reply
  12. Saks2Salvation

    Great tips as always. As a newbie shopping & style blogger it is refreshing to receive real world knowledge especially with so many “experts” out there. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  13. Jessica @ Beautify My Life

    Great post! My blog is primarily a shopping blog, and I tend to follow the same guidelines you laid out.

    On a side note, it drives me absolutely nuts when people don’t link to the items they’re posting. What’s the point??

    Reply
  14. Miss Viki

    The link part has one drawback though: unless you are sponsored by the brand, you are basically doing advertising for free for them. Consider this when doing your next shopping post.

    Reply
  15. Heather Fonseca

    Personally, shopping posts leave me cold unless there’s some twist to it. Recently I saw a “how to wear high-waisted jeans” with a number of collages that was great, but it had a definite point. I would add that whatever you do should be all that you said, but also should be original enough to entice one’s readers!

    Reply
  16. Wendy

    I love shopping posts, one thing I’ve always wondered, is it ok to copy images of items and use them on your blog? Obviously it’s (free) advertising for the company, but is it ok if we use their images?

    Reply
  17. Emma

    Hello,
    What a great and informative article you have got! I loved it and hope to read more in the future. Please keep up your good work.

    Regards,
    British Shopping Directory

    Reply
  18. Delia McManus

    I too love posting shopping blogs and I just love Polyvore’s tool of making sets. But I cannot emphasize enough that you “do need to triple check your hyperlinks” I did one as recent as last Friday, 9/30/11, the next day I had a weird vibe about it so I, not for nothing decided to check my hyperlinks and sure enough they errored out to my horror. So guess what I did? Yup went into damage control in a hurry and reposted a corrected one. Thanks for posting, I really appreciate all the help I can get.

    Sincerely,
    Fashionfoodhotflashes.com
    (fledgling blogger)

    Reply
  19. Eunice

    SO HELPFUL! I love hearing how I can aesthetically better my shopping posts, and my blog posts in general. Love your personal blog, Taylor! Thank you! 🙂

    Reply
  20. Natalie

    Very helpful! Playing around with Polyvore and Photoshop and these are great guidelines to keep in mind. Thanks a lot!

    Reply
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