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October 27, 2009


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Mabray's right and wrong. Yes, customer service is basic and should be buttoned down. Yes, you might want to think about ecommerce (and you might NOT want to given the overhead of shipping wine. Not the direct costs, but the regulations, reports etc each state seems to need). But say Content Strategy to the typical winery and they'll give you a blank stare. Paul's set of issues maps more or less to what his company solves, too.

The main fallacy I see with the 'don't do X until A, B, C and G are done' is that a successful business needs to be able to do things in parallel. You can't afford to work from a to b to c... you need to be able to blog AND sell online AND talk to distributors AND...

Where I do agree with him is that you want the site to look good and reflect what you are and you want to have some idea of the tone of your content, what content you want up there, what words you want to use, etc. But that's really not that involved. If someone doesn't have a handle on it there are consultants that can help you get there in a few hours of work (disclosure, this is one of the things I do). But much of this is common sense; you're in Mendocino and you make Pinot Noir? Then you probably want to use the phrase 'Mendocino Pinot Noir' in your product descriptions. You probably want to have tasting notes for every wine you can up on your site. You want to talk about each vineyard and perhaps have a page on it so if people are looking for information about that vineyard you have a shot at ranking for it when they search on the name.

You can do all of that and blog. Harvest is a great time to blog too - sure you're busy, but this is the time to tell the story of what you're doing. Wine all in barrels? Reflect on the harvest. Doing a release party? Blog about it. With pictures. Just took a trip to see a distributor or participate in a promotional tasting? Blog about it.

Blogging isn't complex - don't make it so.


I would nix eCommerce from Pauls list. The others will all tell you if you can then persue ecommerce. Here in Europe a winery shouldn't even dream of looking at eCommerce till they have the other things down.

And as for blogging. Your site should just have a blog integrated, if you use it great. But having premade RSS for your awards, content or blogging fun, is just a no-brainer!

Phil Degginger

"Time Melt" is a copyrighted image. Please pull it off your site.

Mike Duffy

@Phil: My apologies. The image has been removed.

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