Making money from Food Blogging – Guest Blog for #FreelancerFriday

Making money with food blogging

My Journey as a food blogger started somewhere in 2012 when I had already left the corporate world and started full-fledged consultancy. Friends who came over on weekends to taste the new dishes which I curated with my own twists often appreciated it and asked me to start food blogging. This brought in the idea of starting Fashionablefoodz. I initially started Fashionablefoodz.net and switched over to fashionablefoodz.com in the last 2 years or so.

To be honest, nothing comes free or easy. So I had this difficult patch for the first two years. I wondered often if there was ever going to be any income which I would generate from my Blog? Now when I sit back and see the journey, I feel that content plays a major role in selling your blog. The initial period was when IU only populated content on my site and wrote guest posts. This got me a good amount of back-links. I also started socializing a bit at events and ceremonies revolving around blogging. Since I am more of a Lifestyle blogger than a pure Food blogger, I tried my hands at other things too like a bit of fashion posts, Movie reviews and Travel posts apart from my niche of Food, fitness and Nutrition.

My Experience as food blogger

Two years down the line after starting the blog and with some dense content, I got my first break when a company approached me to put up a Food related post which required using and describing their product and offered me money for the services. I think that was the beginning of commercial returns on my Blog. I in turn stuck to my honesty and have been upfront with all my clients telling them clearly that I will write an honest review of their product. 99% of my clients have not just appreciated this but in fact welcomed this. They offer me extra money for consultancy on improvising the nutrition quotient, I advise them on enhancing the taste and the flavors by adjust the proportion of certain ingredients and spices. So it is more like a well woven story which I have with my clients.

I take pride to tell that I have been associated with my client for over 2 years now and they trust my judgments on putting up posts.  Barring a few occasions where the clients have wanted to introduce a freshly made tagline or something, never have any of them actually interfered in my work and given me complete freedom. This bonding is needed to leave a mark in the Industry. Today, I blog full time and make decent money to run a household.

 

Trends in food blogging

Food Industry has got diluted in last couple of years.  There are so many aspiring, directionless new comers who have come in. They write for free or for peanuts. They do free food reviews just for some free food. Their reviews on Zomato and other platform speak about their knowledge of food (“Wow, the food was awesome, Wonderful experience at Hotel XYZ, I was there and the food was good with beautiful ambiance and sincere staff who served well”) Surprisingly some restaurants who are wanting shortcut to success often try these bloggers making them give a 5 Star rating for a free meal. Eventually when customers taste the food and write the reality their ratings drop down drastically.

Hence a class difference has been created. One is the Blogger class who has developed skills of writing, giving in depth feedback keeping Nutrition and other aspects in mind when it comes to food blogging. The other is just generic class. The choice is up to us, as to how we wish to pitch ourselves.

Advice by Baba UK

My Tips for the people who want to join Blogging Industry are these:

  • Make content rich blog. This may take time but original and good content will always attract masses.
  • Always use Hashtags and keywords. This will help your blog ranking climb up faster.
  • Visit other blogs, read their content to get a fair idea where you stand. Comment if you like their posts. They too will come back some day to check yours.
  • Never work for Free for any client. Remember, you are taking this up as a profession, not a hobby.
  • Always follow senior bloggers on social media. You may get lucky to tie up with them on some projects soon.
  • Never copy paste content just for populating your site. Readers are smart and clients are smarter.
  • Be honest and patient. Both Honesty and patience pays. I say this by experience.
  • Last but not the least, stay away from fake limelight which gives momentary glamour but no money.

Over to you

If you are planning to be a serious blogger, try and follow the tips which I gave above. If you are not, then ignore my post. 😀 It is definitely not easy to make money on your blog as soon as you start. Especially when it is a Food Blog, but the satisfaction which you get after writing genuine posts and giving genuine feedback for a review, is much above all. So sit down, make up your mind and if it says a big YES to Blogging, go for it. Success will follow.


About the Author

Utpal Krishna (UK)

I am born and brought up in Mumbai, graduated from the Mumbai University and worked in the corporate world for about 20 years. I quit the corporate world in 2012 and started Full time consultancy in Content management and Food. As a certified nutritionist I have helped many stay fit and also work with corporates from time to time for their Food related content requirements. I run a blog at http://fashionablefoodz.com which is well known by now. After doing voluntary social service for over 10 years, I decided to start a NGO and in April 2017, Being The Real Human came into existence (http://beingtherealhuman.com) 

I am participating in the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge

Karva Chauth, a story of faith – #writebravely

Karva-chauth a story of faith

She got up before sunrise and went  to meet her mom-in-law,

Hesitantly, her mom-in-law gave her the Sargi.

She had been fasting the whole day, like she did every year, but this year was different

While she went about her daily routine, her ears were glued to the radio set in the kitchen.

Every ring on the mobile, saw her rush towards the phone and a second later witness her crestfallen face.

She smiled as her toddler hugged her, but the worry lines never left her face,

She was decked up like a new bride, but the happiness was missing.

A look at her and her mother-in-law had no words,

She simply hugged her daughter-in-law who was now more than a daughter to her.

She prayed and begged in front of the Gods, but

This Air-force wife refused to lose hope

It had been more than 24 hours since the chopper crashed in the mountains, with no updates about the crew on board.

This Karva Chauth was more about faith than a ritual

My salute to the brave wives and families of  our armed forces.

Write Tribe

The day we understood – #DaanUtsav, the joy of giving

Every year India celebrates #DaanUtsav , the festival of giving and people from all walks of life come together to make it a grand success. Every year we donate clothes, books and toys that we can to this noble cause and it’s heartening to see it is growing bigger and bigger with each passing year, with more corporate’s pitching in.

However, I am not writing about that, I am writing about the time when my daughter found joy with #DaanUtsav, the festival of giving. As Diwali is nearing, we took our kid shopping. Diwali means new clothes, sweets and fun. My daughter was looking forward to it. While we were shopping, my daughter came across this #Daan Utsav poster and carton full of clothes, books and toys.

She asked me what was this all about and when I explained her the concept of Daan Utsav, she suddenly looked around in wonderment. So you mean to say, so many people have given their toys, books and dresses so that others too can have a happy Diwali? She asked. When I nodded in affirmative, she ran to her father and insisted on going home. We assumed she might be tired and came back home.

The next day, when my kid came back from school, she had already sorted her dresses, books and toys. When I asked her what she was upto, she replied “These are the things that I am giving away this Diwali! I have even told my friends and all of us will be donating our things” Isn’t Diwali all about joy of giving? She quipped.

These wise words from my primary schooler made me proud and happy. My daughter had not only understood the real meaning of Diwali gifting, but had also found the real joy in life through #DaanUtsav

My Friend Alexa by BlogChatter


Indian Bloggers

#MyFriendAlexa is an initiative by BlogChatter to help us blog better. I am fairly new to blogchatter and this is my first #MyFriendAlexa campaign with them. As a digital marketer, I tend to use all the tools for the betterment of a client’s business or campaign, however, forget to implement the same for myself. I don’t know about you, but I come up with loads of excuses the moment someone points it out and though I can see through my flimsy excuses, I haven’t done much to improve. So I am taking #MyFriendAlexa as a challenge to push myself to work for my blog, my personal brand, which has been neglected for way too long.

I am supremely thankful for communities like BlogChatter as its because of them, people like me get the necessary push (or should I say kick :P) to better ourselves. I usually write about parenting (no advice, only personal experiences or my confusions) try my hand at short stories or micro-fiction and my advice or experiences as a Digital Marketer. As you can see my Digital Marketing section is the shortest as I am usually lost about what to share that will be helpful without being overwhelming.

Theme for My Friend Alexa

It’s not necessary to have a theme for My Friend Alexa, however, I have decided one for myself. I will write eight posts that might be helpful for bloggers or small businesses to push themselves on social media. These will be tips, hacks and maybe ideas to try out. I will touch upon all the major social media channels and what I know about improving them. So be it Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or Twitter, hope you will find a tip or two that you would like to try. Hope you enjoy these posts.

 I want to take my Alexa Rank to the next level with My Friend Alexa

Do add in the comments below, what you would like to read more about. That will give me ideas for the posts and hopefully helpful information for you.

As required by  #MyFriendAlexa, I am sharing my Day 1 ranking below. Currently, it is 1, 571,494

My Alexa rank on 1st Sep 2017

Winning the Liebster Award

Yay, I have been nominated for Liebster Award! This is the first time I have been nominated by someone for an award (Shh!) and I am enjoying every moment of it (grinning from ear to ear)

I have been nominated for this award by CrazyList. She is a lifestyle and beauty blogger, quotes collector and lover of lists! Check out her blog here.  I loved her pineapple / palm tree gold logo! Thank you so much, Mayuri Saxena

Liebster Award

What is a Liebster award?

The Liebster Award 2017 is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.   Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. The rules vary at times, but here’s what Mayuri stated and I am following the same.

The Liebster award rules:

1.      Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their site.

2.      Display an image of the award and write a post about your nomination on your blog.

3.      Answer the 10 questions your nominee has asked in their blog post.

4.      Nominate 5-10 other deserving new bloggers for the award and ask them 10 questions of your choice.

5.      List the rules of the award in your blog post.

Answers to Mayuri aka NYX questions:

1.  Tell us about your blog.

My blog started off as my private space to hone my writing skills and today has grown into a space that talks about parenting, digital marketing, short stories and micro-fiction.

2. What has been the most rewarding experience your blog has brought you?

Meeting wonderful people and reading about their amazing journeys! In Blogosphere all you need to do is ask and people will help and guide you. Blogging is an exciting journey and you learn something new everyday. All this has been extremely rewarding and fulfilling.

3. What is the best piece of advice you can give your readers?

Life is too small to bicker and hold on to painful memories. Keep working on a better ‘You’ and collecting Neki Ka Khazana (Kindness treasure).

4. What is your favorite travel destination and why?

I fell in love with Andaman’s. The idyllic islands were so mesmerizing that I didn’t want to come back. Read more about it here 

6.  If someone were visiting your city or town, what would you suggest they do?

Pune and its beauty can be best appreciated in the monsoons. Go biking or hiking in the Western Ghats, trek the many forts around Pune or take a splash in the natural waterfalls dotting the hills around the city.

7.  What makes you deliriously happy?

Small achievements make me happy. I am someone who loves and enjoys the small things in life. I like to surround myself with achievers and dreamers and rooting for them and they rooting for me is what keeps me going.

8. What is your guilty pleasure?

Desserts, Masala Chai and Pani-Puri

 9. What is a difficult obstacle you have had to overcome?

I believe there aren’t obstacles. Life throws choices at us and it’s up to us to decide what we wish to do. I always look for solutions and thankfully have always been lucky to either find solutions or get help in finding them.

10. What are you most grateful in your life?

Family and friends

I nominate the following bloggers for the Liebster Award:

All of these bloggers are hard-working, professional and just really good, inspiring people to have in your blogger life! Please answer the same questions I answered.

Congratulations! I hope you guys do justice to Liebster Award and I am looking forward to reading your answers.

Dr. Amrita Basu

Shalini 

Tina Basu

Uttpal Krushna

Hiral Amodia

Atul Maharaj

Mayuri

Deepa Gandhi

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. All the best to the nominated bloggers and looking forward to reading your replies.

Love,

Neha

Find out how this young law student is improving legal awareness in Maharashtra

What would you expect a fresh graduate to be like? Enjoying life, hanging out with friends, being optimistic right? Abhida Niphade is all that and much more. As a founder of Being Lawgical, and the youngest Global Youth Ambassador she has a lot going on in her life. This third-year law graduate, is a Global Youth Ambassador at ‘A World At School’ where Mala Yousafzai is also serving as Global Youth Ambassador. Abhida has worked with foundations like His Holiness Dalai Lama Foundation and Sahyog Trust-Humanistic Proactive Org.

Abhida Niphade, Global Youth Ambassador

How did you decide to take up law?

I come from a small town Shrirampur from the Ahmednagar district. With my rural background, I had seen a lot of oppression, poverty, illiteracy, and ignorance about the law. Having a girl child was considered a burden in my town. Fortunately, I was born and brought up in a very broad-minded family. Although I was a single child and a girl, I was never denied any opportunity by my parents. Later, for want of higher education, I traveled to Pune and nearby areas and this shaped my outlook towards society. I was a literature student when I came in touch with an NGO – ROSHNI and working with them, made me realize that empowering people with the knowledge of the law is the need of the hour.

What is Being Lawgical?

Being Lawgical is a non-profit organization working towards empowering people with the knowledge of the law. We work with the vulnerable and underprivileged to educate them about the various provisions of law. We want to convince people that law is not something created to harass them but to empower them. Being Lawgical believes that a good way to empower justice is to legally empower people to demand it. Currently, we are primarily working with women, downtrodden, underprivileged and disabled.

legal literacy session in progress

Abhida taking a legal literacy session

What does being a Global Youth Ambassador mean?

The title ‘Global Youth Ambassador’ at ‘A World at School’  has brought many opportunities with it. The appointment is for the duration of three years. The initiative is run by Sarah Brown and Gordon Brown, The UN special envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of UK. The main responsibility I earned is to mobilize young people to stand up for education and make their voices heard in their communities. I can organize local or national advocacy related events and campaigns. From the organization, I will receive all the support needed to mobilize others for acting like an access to the global campaigning toolkit and the support of a large network of like-minded young people from all over the world. I am getting an opportunity to work with great personalities such as Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, renowned singer Shakira and many more like-minded people. Working with an international network is itself is a learning experience.

As the youth of India, how do you see a future aspirational India?

I think ‘youth’ is not a number but a feeling. Anyone with passion in their heart and a clear vision will contribute to an aspirational India. I believe in ‘Karma Siddhanta’ and believe that it is time for us to invoke that knowledge. Working with honesty and integrity for the goal will certainly bring results. We as a country have great potential and the youth are highly motivated. I believe we can achieve a lot if we are knowledgeable and educated in understanding our rights and duties – the law of the land.

Childhood Memories I am thankful for


Indian Bloggers

I came across this prompt on Amrita and Deepa’s Thankful Thursday’s. I loved it the moment I read it but wasn’t getting around to put it down. That is when I read about #Tiniature on Twitter and decided to work on that with this theme.

Childhood Memories

In a way, I am thankful that my childhood memories do not include gadgets and expensive toys as it was through these memories that I discovered kindness and humanity.

There were no mobiles then, but still, somehow we managed to communicate and there was never a worried moment for my parents, caused by non-communication. We didn’t even have a landline for a long time and giving out a PP phone number was okay, but it came with a long list of do’s and don’ts. Interestingly, these lists did teach me to think from other’s perspective. There were no maps but we never got lost. We relied on the knowledge of helpful rickshaw drivers, the traffic policeman, and others.

I traveled alone to school right from my primary schooling days. Went in a public transport, but was never worried as I knew the streets were filled with guardian angels. I didn’t know about the evils of the society but have experienced numerous instances where these guardian angels came in and swooped me away from any possible harm. In most cases, these were strangers who considered a child as a collective responsibility. That was a time when people were watchful about their surroundings and weren’t lost in their mobile world.

It was a time when strangers didn’t think twice before questioning someone’s intent and if anybody questioned, ‘Why are you bothered?’ the instant reply was ‘Hamari beti hai’ Though the nosy neighbor was annoying, she would keep an eye if your child went out alone. The local grocer would be watchful till you turned into your lane if you came to buy something alone.

Those were the days when for every single evil there were a hundred angels. Today we have progressed a lot but the human connect seems missing. How I wish we could have a happy blend of both the world’s so that my children could enjoy an equally carefree childhood.

 

Healthwealthbridge
Update – This post went on to be the winning post for the prompt! Yay!! Super happy 🙂

5 lessons I learnt as a Mom

No two kids are alike and hence nothing that has worked with one kid will work with the second kid. I had always believed that parenting is simple and easy (Big Mistake) and assumed I will be a natural and a perfect model for Johnson’s baby ads! How tough can it be? Kids sleep, drink milk, talk sweet nothings and you just have to make them laugh and play with them when they are babies. As they grow up they will learn everything, right! (Totally Wrong!!!) Well, these were the ideas that I had before my baby came along and then I was in for a rude shock!!

That’s when I realized being a parent, is a life long work in progress. Nothing prepares you for it. You cannot learn it nor can you master it. But you do learn a lot from your children. In the following years, after my child’s birth I learnt a few things. Things that have helped me be a better person and hopefully a better parent.

Parenting can be stressful – This is the first thing I learnt as a became a Mom. It also made my respect for my mom grow manifolds. Being  a parent is a thankless job and yet one of the most cherished posts in the world. I respect the fact that I am responsible for growing and nurturing two humans and doing it well is something that I take seriously. I need to be a role model for my children – someone who is responsible, capable of taking tough decisions and never overtly dependent on others.

Focusing on my ‘Me’ time-  As a mother,I ended up losing my identity and choices. I fussed about my children’s choices and wants, family’s requirement and other priorities. I ended up being at the bottom of this priority list. That’s when I observed, my kids never missed on their TV time or play time. They said it made them happy and that’s when it hit me. I need to enjoy things in life to be completely productive. My children made me realize the importance of ‘me’ time.

Keeping my temper in check –I was always known for having a terrible temper. My mom always asked me to keep it in check. Doing a hundred good is wasted with one bad word, she would say. Sadly, I never took those words seriously. However after kids, when I lost my temper and saw their scared faces, I realized how wrong I was. Over the years I have learnt that losing temper hardly serves anything, but arguing without raising my voice can help make a difference. Not that I have mastered this skill. It is still a work in progress but I have made a promise to myself that I will continue working on it.

5-things-i-learnt

To be at the receiving end of nasty remarks, yet chinning up and staying put – When you are a mom for two kids, you end up being in the middle of many fights. While you try to be fair, there are times when the children see you as a villian. The things that you try and enforce as an important rule for their betterment, is seldom seen like that.In situations like these the children lose their temper and say some nasty things. They might not mean it and say in the heat of the moment, but it hurts nevertheless. It is at times such as these, I learnt that I need to put my emotional side away and focus on what is good for my kids and be steadfast in my decisions. They will thank me later.

Always be ready for unknown contingencies- Being a mom of two has made me an amplifier of contingencies.I over think every situation. I am on high alert at all times and I have a solution for almost everything. I know that just when you think you have it all under control life throws a bouncer and you need to figure it out.

I am still a long way from being a pro at this. Still learning new things every day, working hard to be a good parent everyday, trying to be a better version of me. But I am happy in the knowledge that I have learnt a lot on the way

Linking it up with #MMM Monday Mommy Moments by Deepa Gandhi and Amrita Basu 

Down the memory lane

We were back after two decades in those familiar surroundings

Much had changed, yet nobody felt out of place

Such was the charisma of ‘College Reunion’ that nobody was too busy to miss.

The once loved faces and figures were transformed by wrinkles and pot bellies

Yet, no one felt the need to hide or a reason to point.

The evening that had started with an awkward ‘hello’, soon gave way

to loud laughs, nostalgic memories, back-slaps and continuous chatter

The college queen of yester-years was today a chic kitty party diva

The secret crushes of yesterday, shared a hearty laugh and swapped family mantra

The first benchers seemed disenchanted in their secure governement jobs

The smart ones shared their corporate growth with anyone who cared

And it was the back-benchers who spoke about investment, entrepreneurship and profits.

The bitter foes of past had patched up and once passionate lovers were amicable strangers today

Yes, much had changed, yet today was special.

Coz, the unforgettable past and the beautiful future converged on the borders of today as we took a trip down the memory lane

Linking this up with BlogChatter prompt of the week