Baking a Better Business After 50: What I Learned About Myself While Rebuilding My Website
Are you naturally inquisitive? Do you love to learn? I certainly do. From my perspective, it makes life much more interesting. Health experts are currently telling us that learning something new every day, whatever our age, keeps us healthy.
From what I’ve seen and read, it is the process of learning that is important rather than what we learn. So let me inspire you to try something different. This year I have spent many hundreds of hours learning how to build and implement the new Lindy’s Cakes website.
It was a huge task – one that I will admit to dreading, one I had put off and put off. I don’t know about you, but I find starting a task is often the hardest part. To get me going on the new website, I enlisted professional help to give me the push I so desperately needed.
I hired a graphic designer to pimp up the front page, a copy editor to write text for six key pages and a web developer to set everything up and train me in how to use the software, plugins and widgets I would need.
When a Challenge Appears to Be an Impossible Task
Once these talented people completed their roles, everything else was all in my hands. For example, I had to design, write and create the remaining 30 or so pages, decide on the navigation and update blog posts (still have many on my to-do list).
Moreover, I had to set up and come to grips with our new e-commerce shop, plus a hundred and one other necessary tasks that make a website tick, including Google visibility.
I do love a challenge, but must admit there were times when I thought this project was an impossible task. But slowly, step by step, it became easier, and I learnt what I needed to know. What I discovered surprised me.
I have learnt that website text is now written in a very different way to how it used to be. Nowadays, the words should be aimed at you, the user, and how we, the website owners, can help you.
Text is expected to be precise, condensed and to-the-point – none of which was easy for a detail-oriented person like me. There are tools to help, but nevertheless, it has been a challenge.
Pictures Open a Whole Other Pandora’s Box of Complexity
Another ongoing challenge is photography. Cakes by nature are tall and thin, a classic portrait shape. However, current website layout design practices require wide landscape shots, which leads to a bit of a conundrum!
I’ve worked with many professional photographers over the years. I know that cake photography is not easy, but obtaining landscape shaped shots is even harder. Nevertheless, I needed those shots…
It was time for me to get creative, time to think outside the box. Obtaining these photos really stretched me. I tried various approaches, with differing degrees of success. In the process, I am happy to say, I learnt what works and what doesn’t.
For example, I learnt that trying to photograph a cake straight on usually doesn’t work. There is far too much background and not enough cake. If, on the other hand, I look down or up at a cake and tilt the angle of the shot, I can fill the frame.
I am thrilled with my newly found, artistic photography skills and would encourage you, also, to see what is possible. It is so rewarding and satisfying when you eventually get that ‘perfect’ shot or master that elusive skill.
Here Are Some Examples
After many months of work, the Lindy’s Cakes website was finally published a couple of months ago. Yet, this is not the end of the story. It is not ‘job done’ – tick. In some ways, this is only the beginning, I still have much to learn: how to increase performance, site speed, etc.
There are new marketing techniques and ideas to explore, and I have a to-do/try list that seems to be growing daily rather than shrinking.
That Huge Sense of Satisfaction When You Finish!
Yes, creating my new website has been time consuming. Yes, it has been challenging and, at times, frustrating, but it has been highly rewarding, too.
I feel a real sense of achievement and have learnt so much along the way. The journey has been fascinating and beneficial on so many levels. It has made me feel vital, alive and full of energy.
So, I encourage you to set yourself the challenge of learning something new, something that will really stretch you. Something that will keep stretching you over an extended period of time. I have certainly noticed the benefits.
Remember, it’s the process of learning that’s important rather that what you learn. To view what I’ve achieved, you are welcome to visit my website. If you like what you see, sign up to our newsletter for regular email updates about all things sugarcraft!
Have you ever embarked on a project that took forever but turned out to be so rewarding? Have you built your own website or blog? Please share in the comments below!
Lindy Smith is a multi-award winning, highly creative cake designer, best-selling author and international teacher. With over 25 years’ experience within the sugarcraft industry she has a true passion for all things cake; this is evident in her vibrant use of colour, modern designs and real enjoyment in sharing her knowledge on her website.