A blog. An informational area found on a website.
These days there’s no excuse to not have a blog on your restaurant’s website. Most website packages include a blog configuration or a web programmer can easily add one.
Why is a blog so important?
A blog will help your search results.
A blog gives you a channel to disseminate information that you control–100% of the content, 100% of the images and 100% of the timing.
A blog is a reaffirms your brand essence (your purpose, points of difference, personality and promise).
Publishing a blog is likely one of the lowest cost, highest impact marketing and branding tools every company, including restaurants, can use.
No matter what kind of food you offer or whether you are a high-end place or a casual diner, having a blog is a tremendous opportunity to tell your brand stories, help customers, influence and educate readers and enhance your brand edge.
If your blog is built with smart, useful content around your expertise it will show up when people are searching for what you’re writing about. Create a list of keywords that search engines recognize as relevant to your restaurant this will also improve your search engine results. For example, keywords can include your cuisine type, special events, “best place for birthday dinner,” or your chef’s name. When creating lists of keywords, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about things that they’d be searching for that you can deliver.
A well-written blog can also help position you as an expert in your restaurant category. For example, if your food type is Italian, or your concept is Fast-food you can showcase your expertise in these areas in your blog. Plus, the eternal visibility online will make your brand easier for news media to discover when they are looking for story sources.
If the thought of writing a blog is overwhelming, here are eight tips to get you going. And alternatively, if you just don’t have time, contract this task out. There a variety of resources from seasoned copywriters (on the high-end) to many low cost freelance writers who are ready to help you. On the low-cost side, here are two resources. www.Fiverr.com, a website where talent is available to hire for $5.00 and www.Upwork.com, a website where you can find tons of freelance marketing help.
- If you’re going to write your blogs yourself and you’re wondering where to start, you can begin by scheduling 15 minutes and decide the goal of your blog article. A goal can be to educate the market about new hours, a new location, a change to the menu, introduce your chef or highlight a local purveyor of produce. Start with the end in mind as author of Seven Steps of Highly Effectively People, Stephen Covey said so well.
What gets scheduled gets done, so put that 15 minutes in the calendar. Set your iPhone or an alarm to keep you on course. Setting a defined time frame and deadline will significantly improve your productivity. Get clear on the one major point you want to make. Don’t worry about crafting the perfect headline, just laser focus on the big message you want your readers to take away.
- In that same window of time, write out a couple sub points to drive that message. Again don’t strive for perfection, don’t over think, just make a list. These content points become your blog’s framework.
- Now just write. Don’t self impose pressure to write a book or a 2,000-word post, some of the best blog posts are short, less than 500 words.
- Put your copy aside again. Your brain will make connections and come up with ideas while you’re taking a break. When you pick it up again this should be your last time to spend time on it. Or in my case I turn it over to a proofer/editor.
- Do set aside one day a month and jot down blog ideas and batch write three or four blogs. They don’t have to be 100% complete or perfect. But do get clear on the major point or idea you want to communicate.
- Keep a blog idea file on your digital devices or in a paper note pad. So as you think of good ideas you don’t forget about them.
- Do read other restaurant blogs and social media. You will see patterns of best practices, article topics, customer preferences and ideas that you can apply to your blog to constantly improve it.
- If you use social media as part of your marketing and branding mix, now leverage and repurpose your blogs in these channels.
12 Blog ideas for a restaurant:
- Write about a menu item
- Write about an ingredient, a spice, a way of cooking
- Write about a charity event your restaurant was involved in
- Write a feature your chef or an employee
- Write about other restaurants you enjoy
- Share some history about your restaurant
- Share entertaining ideas
- Share news about your restaurant or your community
- Share your take on a new movie or book you read
- Recognize a great customer
- Promote a special event or promotion
- Weigh in on a food news story that makes national news
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