Asking customers to contribute to your blog

Recently I was forwarded an interesting newsletter that was sent from Perry Ellis, a large distributor of mens and womens fashion wear in the United States.

The email was their monthly newsletter for latest updates and instore specials, except this months email was very different - it was requesting customers to blog for Perry Ellis and discuss topics around; Style tips, gadgets, the arts and more.

This is quite a clever strategy, it got me thinking about requesting customers to contribute to your blog and the associated benefits - something more of us should consider when running a blog.

Why ask your customers to blog?

There are multiple reasons;

  1. Actively shows you are interested in your customers and their lifestyle.
  2. It generates another page for your blog, free of charge.
  3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Shows interest & respect

This shows the ultimate level of respect for their customers. Asking customers to actively contribute to the Perry Ellis blog shows commitment to understanding customers, their lifestyle and how they think. Whether they know it or not, Perry Ellis have just dramatically increased their customers brand perception.

Generates another relevant page

Blogs are great tools for SEO and saturating search engines with relevant content. The hardest thing about blogging is finding the resources and time to put towards generating content that is engaging, thought leading and relevant. What better way to do all of the above than using your existing database of contacts to help you do so?

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is a complex art, but one factor that never fails me personally is the use of blogs. Blogs allow for rapid generation of new pages with relevant content that helps the website appear more relevant, a key factor for ensuring you appear for keywords that are highly targeted to your business.

I find that you can tweak, edit and manipulate content as much as you like - but if you only have 5 pages indexed in Google, you are battling an uphill challenge of getting found by active searchers. Blogging finds a way around this, you can only have one 'about us' page, but you can have an unlimited number of blogs.

The one issue that I have found

The above newsletter that was sent was fantastic, but one issue that caught my eye and makes me cringe is the fact they are asking people to contribute to their hosted blog on 'BlogSpot'. This means all the relevant blogs that users submit will be posted on an external website to that of their actual company website, technically not helping their main website to rank for key terms and phrases.

The current blog is hosted on, a free blogging platform that is hosted seperately to that of the main website.

If you want to see stronger SEO benefits, I would suggest putting the blog onto the main websites directory. Eg;

Using a blog to your advantage

If you want to use a blog to your advantage, there are a few checklist items that must be adhered to;

  1. The blog should be an extension of your existing website.
  2. Do not host the blog externally on a free platform, all blogging needs to be kept under one domain that you want to rank well within search engines.
  3. Page title, meta keywords & description are important. Every blog post you write must have a title and set of meta data that helps ensure Google sees the page as brand new & unique.
  4. Set a blogging calendar. Try and post atleast 3 times a week. For those who are more keen, blogging once or twice a day is the best way to gain further SEO advantage quicker.