Niche Blogging – My talk at Food Blogger Connect, London 2012

It was a meeting of the minds, souls and passion. Everyone who was present demands applause. The energy of Food Blogger Connect, Europe’s largest Food Blogger Conference could be smelt in the air, tasted in the food and felt in the rustic building it was held. A space alive with the burning intensity of people all connected by a commonality – An obsessive adoration for food and all things food related. The talks were by people  who have reached such heights in their careers such as Diane Jacob, Ellen Silverman, Felicity Cloak, Silvana de Soissons amongst others – all built on the love of food, these are people who have given us so much to aspire towards. – So naturally when I was asked to speak at the conference I was humbled by the prospect of being amoungst such talent, not just the speakers but the delegates as well!

As much as I was terrified of being on a panel of experts such as these,  my talk was surprisingly easy for me to conjure up. When I compare this to my past life of being a lawyer, where I had spoken many a time before judges, in conferences and to clients, I never once felt the conviction, drive or inherent passion nor did I ever feel like I actually  knew about my topic instinctively. Law never came to me naturally, it never kept me up at night (maybe only the fear of exams!) – it never made me work endlessly without  concept of time. But, food does. And that’s why I am where I am 12 years down the line. So when I came to preparing for my talk on Niche Blogging, it was simple in the way that I spoke about the honest reasons that drives me to write a niche blog – this is the reason that focuses on promoting my culture, cuisine with a commitment to raising awareness of the differences of Pakistani food to other cuisine.

Below is a summary of my talk which may either  help you hone your own blog if you are looking to narrow down your niche, help you think about what you wish to attain from your food blog and most of all just give you time to contemplate about things you may already known, but needed to hear.

Reasons why I niche blog:

My my posts are driven by my love for my Pakistani cuisine, culture, traditions and my wonderful childhood and adult life growing up there. I am here to dispel negativity, misconceptions and highlight the positive angles of  my home country – the people, food and every day life. That’s always my reason to blog – that and sharing recipes I grew up with and many that inspire me to create new ones, always staying true to the flavours of Pakistan.

We have many differences between us in this world – but

FOOD IS THE UNIFYING LANGUAGE OF THE WORLD- it brings people, nations, neighbours and friends.

So you want to write a niche food blog – begin by asking yourself these questions:

Money or passion:

People blog for many reasons, passion and money being the foremost. The perfect combination is when these two come together and getting there is hard work.

If you food blog for passion these are my tips to keep yourself in check when writing posts.

  • Write from a place of authenticity
  • Be genuine and engage with your reader
  • Stay consistent to your message, brand and story line
  • Always USE YOUR NICHE AS YOUR FILTER for anything you put out there

 

Relevance and evolution of your niche:

People evolve and so do blogs – never feel like you need to be closeted in, let yourself grow just as a business would you need to stay relevant and focused on trends, reader’s interests and your own self growth.

 

Branch out:

Blogging doesn’t only mean you write – if you are passionate about your niche, speak about it to people, feed people, teach people – come always from a place of authenticity, passion and you will always stand out – Get you own personal, definitive voice heard.

 

Making a connection:

Don’t under-estimate the power of social media, use it as much as possible always using that filter of your niche to guide how you attract a following.

 

Effect of Niche blogs on the food world:

We are finally coming to a point where our writing, ideas and food thoughts are slowly effecting food trends, magazines, media – there is so much to be done but we are now in a position where we are and can be heard.

Writing and presenting a niche blog:

Niche blogs should EDUCATE AND INSPIRE.

  • Your writing should be in your own voice, friendly, nurturing and warm.
  • Invite people into your home, your life – your dining table, these are the emotions that are conjured up when you think of food and meals with family.
  • If you write a nostalgic food blog, always make sure that your writing and stories touch people universally – it’s easy to be self-indulgent, but people always relate to common human emotion, no matter where in the world you are.
  • Always test your recipes, make sure they are written in an orderly manner (I have been guilty of messing this up sometimes, go back and change it!)

 

  • Photos and styling are key – especially if you write about a less known cuisine, no one wants to cook slop on a plate – try to make it look appetizing, pretty, draw people into your world through their taste buds, that starts visually!

Photo credits: Sumayya Jamil (left) Sheba Promod (middle) and Jools Walker (right)

Things to remember:

 

The Future: Is endless, use your niche blog as a:

PLATFORM TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS – USE IT WISELY, USE IT WELL

And finally, never forget:

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for this very nice post about blogging! Having passion for what you write about certainly makes writing an easier thing to do.

    Food is definitely a good passion to have!

    Keep up the good work!

    • says

      Thanks Sally it was wonderful meeting you finally too. Thanks for your kind words. I suppose it’s easy to talk about something that comes naturally! Hope to see you again soon xx

  2. says

    Thank you for writing this lovely post. It was good to read and made perfect sense. I like this part with uniting through food.
    A lot of people complain about foreigners, but still they love their food. More people should start thinking.

  3. says

    Dear Sumayya, I love this post and am only sorry I didn’t get to hear you say it in person. As you know, I am hugely inspired by your passion for food and by your advice for niche blogging. It is very brave, going all out to talk about one particular food topic or culture, but at the same time, by focusing you develop a greater level of expertise. I also love what you say about feeding people – it’s not just about writing. With that in mind, I’m planning my first series of Polish pop ups and am currently considering whether to move my Polish content to a new site to develop my niche a bit more. Lots to think about and thank you so much for sharing your advice on branding, speaking from the heart and writing authentically. Best of luck in your ventures, too!

    • says

      Ren you are far too kind – thank you your words mean a lot and I am trying to do just that, write from the heart, speak from the heart, feed from the heart – just so people know there is more to Pakistan than meets the eye. I think it’s great you are doing pop=ups and I hope the blog takes great niche shape! (know it will!) – There is something I am working on for niche bloggers and I would love you on board, more soon on that xxx – best of luck x

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