Simple treats and mouthwatering delights appear in every corner of a foodie’s mind. But the ability to express that fondness for food requires a special kind of passion, commitment, and creativity – traits which an avid food blogger must have.
With the emergence of new cuisines today, many writers have the opportunity to venture into food blogging. This occurrence paved the way for food bloggers, like Erwan Heussaff, to be recognized in both the online world and television. But being a food blogger is no easy task as it requires a lot of patience and effort.
We give you an inside look on what it really means to be a food blogger in the Philippine online world.
On inspiration and motivation
For Lasallian alumna, Jill Bantang, the idea for creating her food blog, The Food Scout, stemmed from her travel experiences growing up. “I was inspired by my gallery of food and travel photos stored in my laptop, and [also] the countless adventures that started since I was a child,” she explains. It was this sense of curiosity that inspired her to start her very own food blog.
However, aside from chronicling Bantang’s food travels, The Food Scout is also a medium for readers to appreciate food as more than just a delectable treat. “Other than talking about the restaurant and its dishes, there’s something about food that brings people closer to each other,” she shares. For her, food is a way of bringing together friends and family, and that idea of togetherness entices her to continue to post more interesting entries in her blog.
On another note, sibling food bloggers Mhel and Ken Ignacio started their food blog, Certified Foodies, initially as a medium of sharing their very own recipes. They later decided to expand their content to also include food reviews.
For both siblings, their interest in food started at home. They share, “we’ve had this passion for food and cooking since we were little, mainly because of our nanay’s influence. She is an amazing cook, with an arsenal of her mother’s recipes and her own,” Because of this family influence, these sibling bloggers motivate themselves to continuously be better bloggers.
Being a food blogger isn’t as simple as just eating a food item then posting your thoughts about them later. There’s more to food blogging than just that. Bantang says, “I don’t only eat the food served but treat the plate as a model by taking lots of photos [of it] before I start eating. [Also] I don’t just chew but take down notes (on my phone or in my mind) on how the particular dish tasted. [Lastly] I evaluate the whole restaurant experience based on my own experience.” In turn, this shows that the whole meal is a process, and not just a simple review of ‘good’ or ‘bad.’
In addition to critiquing food, these bloggers also have to keep up with the frenzy of the latest food innovations. The Ignacio siblings say that they use social media, television, and food books and magazines to stay updated with the latest food trends. By doing this, bloggers will be able to relate to their market and remain current in the minds of their audience. All their hard work pays off since brands now contact them for partnerships and sponsorships.
As with any venture, running a food blog has its perks and obstacles. A given perk, of course, is the free food. Both siblings also share that they get to meet fellow food lovers, chefs, and other people behind the scenes who make the dining experience possible. For Bantang, her blog lets her expand her borders, represent new brands, and even try out food before they are made available to the market.
On the downside, the Ignacio siblings share that most of their difficulties are technical, like bad lighting within the establishment. They also receive negative comments when people disagree with their reviews.
On requisites and recognition
The perks come at a price. There are certain characteristics that you need to have in order to maintain a food blog. Ignacio shares that first of all you need to be passionate about food. You shouldn’t create a blog because of the freebies. According to them, readers would be able to identify if you’re just in it for the benefits. As with any blog, good grammar is also important. In addition, Bantang shares that you should find fulfillment in what you’re doing. You shouldn’t just love food, you should also love writing, taking pictures, and editing. She adds that a food blogger must value integrity, trust, and love.
Both blogs expanded their network through social media. The Ignacios suggest that reading other blogs, leaving comments, and joining Facebook groups for people like them could help you be recognized in the blogging community. They add that the most important thing to do is just be yourself, and you’ll create a following of your own.
The world of food blogging is indeed full of different flavors. These food bloggers all started with a love for food, which they eventually wanted to share with the world. Passion and perseverance really go a long way.
“If blogging will make you happy, just go for it. Don’t let anyone stop you. You’ll never know what exciting things will happen next if you don’t start it,” says Bantang.