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

    Thank you.
    Bit of a dilemma there. I'm Indian and authentic Chinese appeals to me. :)
    Having said that, perhaps this link to Cantonese food may suit your tastes.

    http://chinese.food.com/recipes/cantonese-main-dish

    Stay well.
    Sid

    Fantastic tips and ideas here, Sid. Can you point me in the direction of a good resource (website or book) for authentic Chinese cuisine. I know that the food differs from province to province, but something suited to the Indian palette would be wonderful.


  • Hey Sid,
    I have been blogging my recipes for about 10 months now.
    I have not been able to generate as much traffic as I would want, till now. Hence, I would love to know about how should I go about for building a genuine audience for my space?
    And, also what in your opinion should be the frequency of the posts on a food blog.

    You can visit my site at www.tadkamasala.com.
    Thanks,
    Charul.
  • hi sid...How will I get Advertisement from google for my cookery blog? Is there any constraints for getting ads? My hubby's friend has blog and he said that for getting ads we should have domain and for that we should have more than 500 viewers per day.Then only google will give ads to our blog.Is that so?

    Awaiting your reply:)
  • Hi Guys,
    Harish sent me a few questions asked me to answer them in this thread (great job so far Sid)

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

    The next step would be a better syndication and monetisation of blogger content. Blogger content has already found its way into magazines and on websites but there needs to be a proper revenue stream attached regardless of the syndication being on line/offline.

    Cooking/recipe blogs have a greater chance of transitioning to the mainstream as they promote original ideas. Also, cooking/recipe blogs have a much larger audience vis a vis review blogs as ideas are easy to transport than experiences.

    Issues..I have had requests from content sites/magazines/newspapers to use blog content commercially but not wanting to pay for it. I am happy to share content for free but not if there is an underlying intention to commercialize it without sharing proceeds.

    When it comes to hurdles, the biggest one is time. Work is usually quite busy and it keeps me from being able to post as often as i would like. When i do post, it has to happen in one sitting i.e. first draft is final draft. The inability to refine or pursue tangents makes the writing much weaker. A full time editor would be great too :)

    However a pet peeve right now is the tendency of food review blogs to get caught up in the PR tangle. I get a lot of invites from restaurants themselves as well as agencies and as a rule i only attend previews or menu re-launches.

    And when i do so, i always make it a point to mention i was invited. I follow a lot of other eating out blogs and its easy to spot who paid for their meals and who went for free as i get pretty much the same invites. Reviews are as much about honesty as the content, so when people get a freebie and sell out its something that does tend to rub me the wrong way.
  • 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.

    There indeed are a great many blogs that have mushroomed up in the past year or so. Not only are some of them very well designed but the photography is stunning as well. This will push blog owners to compete in terms of design and quality of writing and the environment should get better as readers will expect more. Also with content becoming more mainstream the visual and reading experience has to be superior if the content needs to succeed.

    Keeping it simple works best and i think a lot of Indian blogs seem to have gotten that right. Ultimately style and content is a very personal decision. One must decide whether you write for yourself or for your audience. Not everyone does it with a commercial angle in mind and its okay to not have something cutting edge but smaller more niche. Unfortunately that is not possible with food as on a blog the visual content becomes as important as the written matter.

    cheers,
  • Hey Sid!!

    What are basic necessities for opening a food blog ?

    Do I need to hire a web designer to give a good look to web ?

    How I am going to connect with people ?

    How many posts should I have before opening the blog for public view ?

    Thank you

    Sourish Karmakar
  • Sid,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. You've given me much to think about. I'll be sure to dedicate my first idli/dosa blog post to you. =)
  • What according to you is the next step for Food Blogging in India? What are the current hurdles that you are facing?
    Hopefully something big and delicious. I think a sponsored food bloggers meet for all of India might be a good beginning ... with interesting workshops on different cuisines, recipe development, blog content, copyright issues, food photography, styling etc. As of now, I think we are a pretty scattered food blog community and it would be wonderful to unite under a roof!
    Also, for food blogs to build a reputation and get 'noticed' or taken seriously, we need to see more quality posts, frequent and original content and creative blogging. This is such a wonderful playing field and for once, there is space for everyone.
    Hurdles? One of the main hurdles I find are that food bloggers are often taken for granted especially by FMCGs and MNCs. Everyone seems to be looking for mileage but are very 'Gringe like' on returns. I have had some bad experiences, yet a few really nice ones too.

    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.

    image
    I agree totally. Once you get bitten by the food photography bug an amazingly creative field opens up.
    image
    Loads to be achieved on this front, and it's heartening to see food blogs here throwing up some beautiful magazine like food shots. I think one just needs to plan a little, invest some time, preferably in natural light {no flash please}, try and stick to neutrals to begin with {I love white and vintage silver}, and an eye for detail.
    image
    In my case, I am often torn between the cooking vs camera obsession and can't seem to get enough of either. There are differing schools of thoughts on the usage of food props, where one side prefers to showcase just food on a minimalistic serving platter, and the other {which includes me} enjoys food styling, design, plating up and the works.
    image
    It's a fine line though as you need to be careful that the props don't steal the limelight away from the food, but it's an art you can work at over time. Digital cameras are the best thing to have happened to our generation of bloggers, and IMHO, a recipe without a picture just doesn't work.
    image
    Play with colours, textures, ingredients, utensils, light, props ... and enjoy the frame. Take inspiration from others but develop your own style!
    I blog @ http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/
  • Gaurav said:

    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.

    There indeed are a great many blogs that have mushroomed up in the past year or so. Not only are some of them very well designed but the photography is stunning as well. This will push blog owners to compete in terms of design and quality of writing and the environment should get better as readers will expect more. Also with content becoming more mainstream the visual and reading experience has to be superior if the content needs to succeed.

    Keeping it simple works best and i think a lot of Indian blogs seem to have gotten that right. Ultimately style and content is a very personal decision. One must decide whether you write for yourself or for your audience. Not everyone does it with a commercial angle in mind and its okay to not have something cutting edge but smaller more niche. Unfortunately that is not possible with food as on a blog the visual content becomes as important as the written matter.

    cheers,


    I think you nailed it! Well said!! Keep it simple and original works a charm.

  • tina said:

    Hi Sid! I am in Bangalore and it's so hard to find out basic baking stuffs like ramekins, butter sheet or muffin trays. Any idea of good stores here where I can get these?

    I also wanted some tips on food styling and food photography. What kind of properties can be added in background, foreground?



    Tina, sorry to answer part of your query to Sid, but you would find a great resource for baking in Bangalore here at Sumas blog http://sumarowjee.blogspot.in/2010/01/whipping-cream.html

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