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Sid Khullar's Open Kitchen: Food Blogging Queries Answered
  • Hi SSKuruganti,

    I'd like to disagree if I may.

    Blogging: Please blog about a subject you love rather than a subject that you think will attract visitors. You'll never fall short of content with the former and will nearly always struggle (after an initial honeymoon period) with the latter. I'm sure you'll agree that content is the lifeblood for us bloggers.

    Visitors: Once you have a niche selected and have begun chugging away at creating content, you'll find visitors automatically begin beating a path to your blog. That stream will dwindle out in a while and you'll find your visitor graph beginning to plateau. When *that* happens you'll want to analyze your traffic, subscribe to services like OnlyWire to disseminate content, use platforms like HootSuite and Tweepi to build an audience to whom you can distribute your content.

    Idlis, Rotis: There are *so* many people who cannot make soft idlis to save their life and are perpetually on the lookout for methods to do so. What's mundane and boring to you is exotic to another. If Indian, regional cooking is your forte, please follow it and aim to make your blog the best or one of the best in that niche. The rest will follow.

    Niche: Yes, a niche is a must, else you may not be sure of a focus for content generation nor will search engines slot you (and then rank you) in a given niche. Google is quite particular about that.

    Stay well.
    Sid
    Join the Chef at Large food and cooking group


    Hey, Sid. I've been baking and blogging about it for a while, mostly just things I've seen on the internet (or on 'Masterchef') that I wanted to try out. The occassional comments I've been getting are from friends. Now I'm trying to build an audience, but I'm a little confused - when it comes to cupcakes and things, there are many popular sites (international ones) that I'm sure people would prefer over mine. And when it comes to Indian cooking, I feel no one would be interested in reading about idlis or rotis, because they're making the same thing for breakfast and dinner, anyway. Do you think I should just continue blogging about whatever I feel like, or should I choose a niche that would probably attract an audience?



  • Hi
    I've been blogging for some years now. Was wondering if its a good idea to collect all my recipes onto a food blog ??
    What will be your suggestions to start my Food Blog ???
  • Hello Sid,
    I have been going through the culinary schools you discussed in your reply. From what I understand, there requirements are a Hospitality Management degree. I am a lawyer by education. So, is there a short term course I can do to be eligible to get into one of these schools?
  • We are loving this. Taking this interesting discussion forward. @Sidkhullar and all those who are blogging about #food & #blogging

    What according to you is the next step for Food Blogging in India? What are the current hurdles that you are facing?

    We have been observing an upward trend in people who have started blogging about food in India. But, we still believe that there is lots that can be achieved in terms of photography, styling, design, etc.


    We would love to have your two cents here.
  • Hi umsreflections,

    What have you been blogging on for these past years?
    Please remember, there are literally tons of pure-recipe food blogs out there. This means, your blog will probably be one of them for a while until it develops a loyal audience who actively work to propagate it. I suggest thinking along the lines of a niche. For example, there's Gujarati food and there's non-vegetarian Gujarati food. Similarly, there's north-Eastern food and then there's vegetarian north-Eastern food. In both cases, the niche is what that particular cuisine is *not* known for.

    My point here is, you'll want to find a niche that builds on your strengths, skills and passion while still carving out a place for yourself in this overcrowded segment. It may take a while and will definitely take some hard work, but the results will be worth it.

    When starting your food blog, I suggest beginning with a free one on Wordpress.org and when you find your schedule is set, content flows happen and the blog becomes a part of your daily life, purchase a domain (yourblog.in/.com) and hosting (e.g. hostmonster.com) and bring it into the mainstream with an undeniable individual identity. Having a good camera will help, perhaps a DSLR. A cheap Nikon DSLR will deliver results better than an expensive point and shoot. :)

    Stay well.
    Sid
    Join the Chef at Large food and cooking group

    Hi
    I've been blogging for some years now. Was wondering if its a good idea to collect all my recipes onto a food blog ??
    What will be your suggestions to start my Food Blog ???



  • Hi Rituparna,

    That may be so for some of the longer programs, but not so for all. Have you seen the link below? It doesn't appear to require a degree in hospitality, and what it does require, from my perspective, separates the serious from the whimsical. :)

    http://www.ciachef.edu/admissions/requirements/default.asp?source=GenHome&segment=CAAdmRequirements

    Stay well.
    Sid

    Rituparna said:

    Hello Sid,
    I have been going through the culinary schools you discussed in your reply. From what I understand, there requirements are a Hospitality Management degree. I am a lawyer by education. So, is there a short term course I can do to be eligible to get into one of these schools?



  • Regarding first point in discussion, according to me though there is uptrend in food blogging and every day one comes across many new food blogs. But unfortunately 60% of the blogs are abandoned within first three months and even out of the surviving ones, there are few which are updated regularly and in the rest of them posts are few and far between, mostly due to lack of motivation in terms of appreciation or any monetary compensation.


    Unlike west in India bloggers are still consider hobbyists and not as serious people, and brands do not recognize the full potential and influence of bloggers. If serious and quality bloggers are given due recognition and roped in promotion of food and related products as our western counterparts it will provide a good boost to food bloggers in terms of maintaining quality.


    I am not saying that all bloggers are pro but there are quite a few who know the intricacies of the subject they are blogging about. I feel that we are seeing slow change due to proactive blogger communities like blogadda so hopefully this hurdle will be conquered in near future.


    Coming to second point


    As I said before though there is up tick in the numbers of food blog , there is still lot to desired in terms of quality blogs, mostly because as a blogger you have to wear many hats you are photographer, odd job person, designer, cook/chef/baker, social media manager and most importantly writer of the blog too. And believe me it’s not an easy job to do it all and still continue working with zeal without any real motivation for a long time so many of them drop out after sometimes. As if you are not real good that stat counter tells you the truth and eventually you start considering putting a stop to your efforts. How do I know? (Been there done that).


    But picture is not that bleak some of the food bloggers who survived will tell you that


    Photography, food styling and enticing writing are three essential parts of any food blog. A clean design of blog, a food presented and styled in a way that all you want is to reach and savour it makes the people to make it more often. Styling your food with simple things like Vegetables drizzled with colourful sauce on a sparkling white dishes, cheese oozing out of scrumptious sandwich or picture of carefully messy looking dessert. All these have a special role in making your readers always wanting for some more and coming back for it, and that’s what every bloggers aspire for.


    We are loving this. Taking this interesting discussion forward. @Sidkhullar and all those who are blogging about #food & #blogging

    What according to you is the next step for Food Blogging in India? What are the current hurdles that you are facing?

    We have been observing an upward trend in people who have started blogging about food in India. But, we still believe that there is lots that can be achieved in terms of photography, styling, design, etc.


    We would love to have your two cents here.


  • Thanks so much for your kind words Sid :) You always keep surprizing us with your passion and knowledge about food and blogging. Always happy to help with whatever little I know !

    Regards
    Rekha


    Hi Tina,

    Perhaps you could try CCDS for these. Considering they stock branded products too, physical inspection may not be necessary.
    http://www.nowletslearn.com/shop_online.php

    I'm not much of a food stylist and cannot comment on that area. People like Rekha Kakkar of My Tasty Curry and Parul Pratap Shirazi of The Shirazine do a great job. I'm sure they'll be happy to help out too.

    Personally, I prefer shallow Depth of Field photos for food in frames that get really close to the food in question. As a result, I don't use much props and prefer a shot where the food in question fills the frame. That's just me. :) Please see the end of Page 1 of this forum where I've answered a similar question by Fab. If there's more you'd like to discuss, please feel free to shoot specific questions for specific problems you've faced.

    Stay well.
    Sid
    Join the Chef at Large food and cooking group

  • Agree!
    When are you starting that workshop on food styling Rekha?
    Where's the 'Super-Like' button Harish? :D

    Stay well.
    Sid

    Regarding first point in discussion, according to me though there is uptrend in food blogging and every day one comes across many new food blogs. But unfortunately 60% of the blogs are abandoned within first three months and even out of the surviving ones, there are few which are updated regularly and in the rest of them posts are few and far between, mostly due to lack of motivation in terms of appreciation or any monetary compensation.


    Unlike west in India bloggers are still consider hobbyists and not as serious people, and brands do not recognize the full potential and influence of bloggers. If serious and quality bloggers are given due recognition and roped in promotion of food and related products as our western counterparts it will provide a good boost to food bloggers in terms of maintaining quality.


    I am not saying that all bloggers are pro but there are quite a few who know the intricacies of the subject they are blogging about. I feel that we are seeing slow change due to proactive blogger communities like blogadda so hopefully this hurdle will be conquered in near future.


    Coming to second point


    As I said before though there is up tick in the numbers of food blog , there is still lot to desired in terms of quality blogs, mostly because as a blogger you have to wear many hats you are photographer, odd job person, designer, cook/chef/baker, social media manager and most importantly writer of the blog too. And believe me it’s not an easy job to do it all and still continue working with zeal without any real motivation for a long time so many of them drop out after sometimes. As if you are not real good that stat counter tells you the truth and eventually you start considering putting a stop to your efforts. How do I know? (Been there done that).


    But picture is not that bleak some of the food bloggers who survived will tell you that


    Photography, food styling and enticing writing are three essential parts of any food blog. A clean design of blog, a food presented and styled in a way that all you want is to reach and savour it makes the people to make it more often. Styling your food with simple things like Vegetables drizzled with colourful sauce on a sparkling white dishes, cheese oozing out of scrumptious sandwich or picture of carefully messy looking dessert. All these have a special role in making your readers always wanting for some more and coming back for it, and that’s what every bloggers aspire for.


    We are loving this. Taking this interesting discussion forward. @Sidkhullar and all those who are blogging about #food & #blogging

    What according to you is the next step for Food Blogging in India? What are the current hurdles that you are facing?

    We have been observing an upward trend in people who have started blogging about food in India. But, we still believe that there is lots that can be achieved in terms of photography, styling, design, etc.


    We would love to have your two cents here.




  • Very very soon Sid ! ... just finished with first draft of the workshop material :)

    And yes Harish we could do with that "super-like" button as many of us want to use that for Mr Food Encyclopedia in such lively and delicious discussion in the open kitchen :D


    Agree!
    When are you starting that workshop on food styling Rekha?
    Where's the 'Super-Like' button Harish? :D

    Stay well.
    Sid




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