We recently held an interesting and rather delicious food conversation on the new normal for food bloggers in India on our Facebook page with the talented foodies – Vidya Lakshmi and Suchitra Chari. The food blogging community has been a source of innovation for the entire blogging community as they adapted quickly and transformed their pages. A highly competitive industry with warm camaraderie exists together as a paradox – and deliciously. Think of gulab-jamun and ice cream or Maggi and bread. You don’t know how it works. But it does.
The ‘eating out experience’ has taken a hit because of the pandemic, lockdown and resulting impact on the entire hospitality and restaurant industry. And, as a result, so have collaborations for this community. But their presence on social media has not. So, the challenge to keep their audiences engaged is now even bigger and more essential as the world changes and re-imagines the future.
Ideas and content take precedence over competition. From being a guiding light for foodies on all things food they have morphed into discovering new recipes for their audience. Content creation has moved from restaurant tables to their own kitchens and requires them to upskill and push the boundaries of food blogging – yet again.
Here are a few takeaways from our session for budding food bloggers, to help them rise up to the new challenge in a new world:
- Connect with your audience: Think about what would attract your followers. Since most of the bloggers are cooking and creating content for the pages themselves, presentation is key. A picture and post which is presented well will always attract engagement from audiences. Add the story behind the picture in the post and see the hearts chalking up.
- Look closer home: Dig deep into your treasure trove and family to find recipes that connect with you. It is ok if it is not perfect. Whip them up and share what they mean to you. Your audience like you would also be cooking at home and will be on the lookout for healthy, easy, quick, home-style recipes. No better time to pick up the phone and call your long-lost relatives and far flung family in search of interesting family recipes.
- Pick up new skills: While most mobile phones today have some excellent cameras, it might be worth your while to enhance your photo and video editing skills to craft an appetizing picture. Suchitra & Vidyalakshmi highly recommend Pixlr, Canva, Fotor, Snapseed & Lightroom among other tools for beginners.
- Food styling: A very important aspect of food blogging is creating a beautiful image. While technology can help you to a certain extent, you need to know about composition, plating , color combinations, lighting and props to bring the picture alive and create a story around it. All these are essential elements of food styling that will benefit you greatly if you pick them up. These will help you create the perfect shot yourself rather than depending only on technology and luck to give you a good pic.
- Be consistent: Lastly, do not abandon your pages. You have worked hard to earn your followers and not being there will ensure they forget or unfollow your page. The situation around us can get overwhelming sometimes, and it might be difficult for new bloggers to create content very often. But a spot of advice from the community veterans is to post anything related to food on your feed, even if that means a picture of your evening masala chai or a cup of hot coffee with the story behind it, rather than not posting at all! Stay connected.
- Experiment: There is no clear path on what food blogging will look like in the future. Where there is chaos there is always an opportunity to innovate. So, go right ahead and do that. Innovate with content as well as format. Find a style that you enjoy and works for you.
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