July 11, 2007
This article reprinted from the the TypePad Hacks Weblog. The original article can be found online:
© 2008, John T Unger
I had a revelation not too long ago which has sparked some interesting conversation with the folks at TypePad about integrating ecommerce into blogs. This has been one of my long-running areas of interest here since I make most of my income over the web these days. My original ideas about how to do this revolved around two basic concepts:
- Building catalogs and product pages by hand in HTML and incorporating them into the blog to take advantage of the content-management tools, categories and natural SEO of blogs. This works, but it's a lot of work.
- Trying to get TypePad to create and implement a blogstore set of templates, with a compose page that had fields to create all the files needed for both catalog pages and individual product pages. This would make creating a store easy for us, but it's a lot of work for the design team at TypePad.
Here's a list of the services covered in the upcoming post: PayPal, Google Checkout, RightCart, E-Junkie, TypePad Tip Jar, Etsy, PrestoGifto, eSnips, aStore, PopShops, Bravisa, Zlio, Shoplinc, ThisNext, Wists, StyleHive plus five custom hacks. There's also a brief look at: eBay blogs, Shopify and terapad.
Because it's probably the longest and most detailed post I've ever attempted for this blog, I'll probably end up breaking it into sections and posting it over a week's time as a series… but I want to wait until I've finished the entire thing before I start so I can be sure that the structure of the study is as clear as possible.
That said, here's a teaser for you that I want to show off just because I'm so pleased with it: I built a really cool new template module that I'm using on all my art blogs to display best-sellers on every page. On the index page it displays between the featured post and the rest of the entries. On archives it displays at the top of the page. On individual entries it displays at the bottom of the page, below the footer and FeedFlare but above Technorati Tags and comments.
Here's what it looks like:
I think I have a little bit more to do to make this truly functional… The problem I foresee is that currently the thumbnails load an item into the RightCart shopping cart, which is great, but possibly confusing. People probably expect them to link to the extended description instead (despite the instructions in the box, which I bet no one will read).
Anyway, I hope to start running the ecommerce feature within the next week or sooner. Just thought I'd give all y'all a head's up since it's been so quiet here lately.