A lot of small food business owners don’t blog because they don’t see the point. It’s not always clear what the immediate benefits are, and justifying the time away from more tangible business activities can seem like a waste of precious time.
We all know how busy farmers are. Restaurant owners, artisan food vendors, food truck entrepreneurs – they’re all typically starving for time, and any addition to the daily or weekly routine needs to be matched by a clear benefit to the business. Bringing food to us takes a lot of time and effort!
That said we pay a lot of attention to the ways that food businesses relate to their customers, and think it prudent to outline the ways that blogging can provide hard-working food entrepreneurs with tangible value.
If you’re not at all familiar with what a blog is then watch this video by Common Craft, Blogs in Plain English. It was made in 2007 but the information is still relevant today.
Let’s talk about why you should be blogging if you own a food business.
Share Your Story
These days people are looking for more information about what they eat. They want to know who they’re giving their money to, and they want to feel connected to the people who are producing their food. This offers food business owners a huge opportunity.
Consumers want to know about farming practices, sustainability, production methods, and how far their food has traveled. They want to see pictures and videos of the people making their food, along with pictures of the places that their food comes from. Increasingly, food consumers are rallying behind their favorite restaurants, farmers, and providers…often these are business owners they’ve met in person or feel an affinity for. A blog can establish that affinity.
Transparency is king these days and a blog is the ultimate platform for opening up.
Most blogging platforms are free to use and easy to set up. Within minutes of creating an account you can write your first blog post and share it with the world. Commonly used blogging software include WordPress, Tumblr, Posterous, and Blogger.
That said, the cost isn’t purely monetary. It takes some time to sit down and compose a post, but conservatively the time commitment’s about a half hour. When the benefits of connecting with your customers are weighed, it’s undoubtedly worth it to spend that half hour at least once a week.
Google Loves Blog Content
Having an active presence on the web makes it easier for people to find your business online. Million of people are searching Google for food every day, and you’re best advised to make sure that you turn up in those results. It’s easier than you think.
A blog is a simple way to make sure Google’s searchbots find you and your website. Your content will turn up in search results and the more you write, the more likely it is that potential customers will happen upon you when looking for the food they love.
Sharing Widens Your Customer Base
Blogging allows the people in your audience to share what you’re saying with the people in their audience. If they like what you’ve shared on your blog, they can easily share it beyond your immediate network of food lovers. Food bloggers can link to it from their own blogs. Customers can email it to friends, share it on twitter, or post it to Facebook. The possibilities are endless.
Consider the alternative; everything you say to a customer in person, or via an advertisement, is likely only going to reach them. It won’t reach their friends, family, or foodie network.
Keep Your Customers Informed
There’s no better place than a blog to keep your customers informed.
You’re a restaurant about to launch a new location? Write a blog post.
You’re a farmer with a new crop of tomatoes about to go to market? Write a blog post.
Your blog is an outlet to share news and information with your customers (and potential customers). It allows people to get to know who you are, your products and business practices, and upcoming specials or events.
Share your thoughts in the comments; why else should food businesses blog?