December 11th, 2012 Content Conversations: How Content is Changing the Way We Shop

On Tuesday December 11th, OLC attended Content Conversation’s How Content Is Changing The Way We Shop, with Etsy's Editor-in-Chief. The event was sponsored by Outbrain and Contently, and featured Alison Feldmann, Chief Editor at Etsy and Erin Griffith of PandoDaily.


Content Conversation’s event revolved around the topic of “the relationship between ‘browsing’ products online and consuming content.” It focused closely on Etsy’s successful ecommerce-related blog. Feldmann started off by detailing her rise from intern to Editor-in-Chief at Etsy. The blog started off as an experiment, but soon morphed into a success.

Griffith, who interviewed Feldmann, asked what were the goals of the Etsy blog? Engagement of investing members was the cheif reason.

“Comments are king,” said Feldmann. The blog does not exist to create sales, but rather to engage customers. It “doesn’t exist to make sales.” She explained.

“How do you determine what is a success or failure?” implored Griffith. Most of a blog’s success depends on reader feedback. Feldmann cited a custom-made shoe product that, while pricey, gained popularity after a blog post outlined the product’s usefulness. The blog doesn’t “write content to engage generically.” Griffith commented. “They explain it, to make it more interesting.”

The conversation continued on to the discussion of what comes first, content or commerce, and then led into what makes a good blog. Depending on what came first (content or commerce) determines success explained Feldmann.

“Our content is 70% lifestyle content, making it more relatable,” said Feldmann. “It adds to the larger experience.” To make sure content stays relatable, the company hires employees with an editorial background to write for the blog. They also make sure to keep the tone conversational.

“We don’t just talk about ourselves” Feldmann said, while cautioning company blogs against simply advertising their products. Blogs that just displayed their products and sales tended to seem untrustworthy or misleading. Etsy posts on topics that their readers and shoppers can best relate to, including cooking, home and beauty ideas.