Blogging seems to be the thing all the cool kids are doing, so you might be wondering if your cake business needs a blog, too. Firstly, you need to remember that a blog for a business is just a marketing tool. You can choose to use this tool or not, but like ALL of your marketing efforts, your cake business blog needs to have a defined and measurable purpose, be done consistently, and be an extension of your overall brand. Like any other form of marketing, it will take time to start seeing a benefit to it and to grow its readership. There are a number of benefits to blogging including improving your Google ranking, giving you a platform other than social media to share on, keeping your website content fresher, and helping you get more clients. That being said (and I know, I sound like a broken record here!) blogging for business is a marketing tool. It’s a very effective one for a lot of small businesses and there are several cake makers whose blogs now help them earn a living, enough so that they need to hire other writers to help them blog. There are also a lot of misconceptions about blogging for small business, namely that each post needs to take a long time to write or be a fully researched essay, that you have to do it every single day for it to work, or that it’s just a time suck.
I blogged for my small business very effectively – and no, I didn’t do it every day, I didn’t research for hours on each blog post, I didn’t use ghost writers, and it did not keep me from running the rest of my business or having a life. It got me a lot of new business, it kept my existing customers engaged, and I found it to be one of the more fun aspects of marketing. However, like ALL marketing activities (here I go again!) – it had a purpose, I could measure it’s effectiveness through statistics (and people commenting to me about it), I did it consistently and it was in keeping with my brand. I saw definite results from it because of that consistency. One of the major benefits to blogging is that you can time the posts to go out later on – so you can sit down and write ten of them and then time them to publish weekly so you’re not needing to come up with a new topic every week. You can also use that content in more than one place. For example, you can blog about something, then post it across different social media platforms and include it in your newsletter. You can also recycle that content into the future. If you’re having a quiet week, you can always post in social media, “Have you read my blog post about how to store cake?” with a link to that post. It’s useful, good information and it should be shared – and because it already exists, you’re not needing to re-invent it every time. You also fully own all the content you produce, so unlike social media where someone else gets to control who sees your stuff and when (and can delete it if they want to), you get to be entirely in charge of what your clients get and when they get it.
Blogging is just another way to communicate with your clients, so here are a few ideas for blog posts which won’t take you forever to write, but which are fun, engaging content for you to offer your followers:
- Cake of the week feature – a picture of your favourite cake you made this week and a bit of back story about the event or the order
- Behind the scenes – some pictures of your staff working on something plus some back story about what is happening in that picture
- Some “food porn” – a close up photo of some yummy looking chocolate, a mixer going at high-speed, or mounds of fluffy swiss meringue buttercream plus some info about the ingredient shown
- A “how to” post – a guide for cake cutting, some tips on how to transport cakes, some tips on how to store leftover cakes
- Your new class timetable, highlighting a new class
- A short interview or feature on a new staff member
- Seasonal trends in cake – flavours, colours, or concepts which you’re working on for the upcoming season
- A post about your next event or sale
- A feature about a charity you support
- A short picture tutorial about something you’ve made like a simple figurine
- An easy recipe you like (not one you sell, something you’re happy to share like a family recipe.)
- A short video blog (time-lapse of a cake, holiday greeting from you, some “bakery life” type videos)
- A client testimonial along with a picture of the product you made for them
Blogging for your cake business is all about engagement, showing your customers and ideal customers a more personal side to you and your business. It does not need to be approached in the same way as a full-time blog would be, because at least initially it’s just another way you do your marketing. If it helps you to do so, think of it like a longer status update – the photos need to be as good as you would put anywhere else and the content needs to be what people want to read about. Your cake business blog is an extension of your brand, so make sure you aren’t publishing anything there that you would not be happy to publish elsewhere.
Blogs don’t need to be updated every day to be useful or effective for your business. Just to prove this point – this very blog is only updated once a week. That’s 4-5 posts a month on average. Your cake business blog doesn’t need to have huge long articles – and in a small business, you don’t want your readers to get bogged down in long articles anyway. You want them to read enough to engage their interest in you and your business. Blog content does not need to be perfect, but it does need to be relevant and engaging to your ideal client. Sure, you could let blogging become your only form of marketing and suck up vast quantities of time – but you wouldn’t let any other form of marketing do that, would you?
So – should you start a cake business blog or do you need one in the first place? Personally I think a cake business blog can be a really effective marketing tool (because it’s been proven many times), so if you’re evaluating your marketing activities and this is something you’re interested in adding into the marketing mix – then go for it! If you hate the idea, don’t really want to add any more activities in, or just think it’s not the right marketing tool for you or your clients – then don’t. A cake business blog is just one of many, many tools you’ve got available in your marketing tool kit. Nobody is forcing you to do it (just like nobody is forcing you to Instagram, send out a newsletter or post in groups. Your business = your rules.)
In the comments below, tell me: do you blog for your cake business? Have you found it effective? I’d love to see your small cake business blog, so feel free to share the link as well.