Blogs are a great way to keep a food truck’s customers abreast of the latest business news much like many truck owners already use Facebook and Twitter. The major difference being, the blog posts are part of your food truck’s website which will draw more people in hopes of introducing yourself to locals who may not have heard of you.
Over the next few months we will be covering more on this topic to give our readers more advice and help on how to bog. The areas we will cover will range from the software used for blogging down to the various styles you can use to attract even more people to your website. Some of you reading this may wonder why you might entertain the idea of adding blogging to your resume, well, it’s simple. As a business owner, you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors, and giving your customers and community a view into your life, you are separating yourself and letting the community know more about you.
There is no need to worry if you are not a professional writer, blogs are known for their casual writing and unpredictable subject material, but the best blogs have proven that — regardless of punctuation and spelling — even “novice” writers can be entertaining enough to attract a broad audience.
Blogging about yourself and the daily happenings around your food truck that your customers may never see is an engaging subject for foodies and those interested in your local food truck scene.
Here are three principles to follow when adding a blog to your food truck website:
- Develop a writing style and tone appropriate to your audience.
- Post often, even if your posts are short.
- Allow your readers to comment on your posts.
Develop your voice
A great site design and technical gimmicks are no replacement for developing an interesting, readable writing style. Most food truck owners don’t do much personal writing in their everyday lives or even keep a diary. Writing about yourself is never easy, and you may find yourself freezing up in front of the computer screen or becoming stilted and unnecessarily verbose.
Here are a few suggestions you can use to develop your own voice and style for your food truck blog. First, remember that a blog is a conversation. Try to write the way you speak. Avoid jargon and clichés and don’t overuse the thesaurus. It may be helpful to speak your entry out loud before trying to type it or to read it aloud after you’ve written it. If you find yourself struggling as you read aloud or speaking unnaturally, think about what you might have said if you were talking to a friend rather than writing.
Second, write your blog with your customers in mind. Thinking of someone you know well and who might want to read your blog will help you relax your writing style. Your goal is to get your writing to sound more like you and less like a lofty essay.
Finally, before you start blogging, spend some time visiting other food truck blogs that are like the one you’re thinking of starting. Read one or two for a few weeks and pay attention to things like the length of posts, frequency, writing style, and subject material. You can get some great ideas for your own blog by noting what you find interesting and compelling in other food truck owner’s blogs.
Update, a lot!
The blogs that attract the most readers are the ones with frequent updates. If you start a blog, be prepared to spend some time working on it every day or two. If you’re going to add blogging to your already busy schedule, you have to blog! It takes discipline for most of us to write, even conversationally, every day. If you find yourself dreading posting to your blog, maybe a blog isn’t for you.
Not that your day isn’t already busy, but as you go about your day, keep the blog in the back of your mind. You may even want to carry a notebook on the truck or in your kitchen where you can jot down reminders for topics you want to blog about later. Don’t be afraid to write about everyday activities — parking tickets and truck repairs — but don’t neglect to talk about what you’re thinking and feeling. All these areas will make it possible for you to update frequently.
Having one of your staff members act as a co-blogger can take some of the pressure off, especially if you all contribute regularly. If you’re going to be working with several people on the food truck’s blog, discuss how often you expect each other to post so that you can keep some focus and cohesion to your blog.
If you will be updating your blog on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis, try to be consistent about when you add new posts so that your readers know when to catch up. For example, you may choose to update your site every Sunday evening.
Invite readers to comment
An important aspect of blogs is that they feature the writing of the blogger as well as the comments of readers. When you visit a blog, you often find a comment link under the text of each blog posting. Clicking that link enables you to read comments from other people and submit your own. Usually bloggers make their own comments in the posts on their site, but sometimes a blogger adds a response in the comment section because it’s a more direct way to address someone else’s comment.
Not all bloggers choose to implement the comment feature, but if you want to develop a dialogue with your audience, comments are the best way to do so. The comment feature is an easy way to involve your audience and get valuable feedback about what you’re doing with your blog.
NOTE: If you do decide to allow comments on your blog, be sure to keep an eye on them. The comment feature makes it possible for anyone to add comments to your blog and you may not always like what they have to say. For example, spammers sometimes take advantage of inattentive bloggers to do some marketing that you may not want on your blog. All good blogging software makes it easy for the author to remove comments.