Inspirational Interview with Jess from Choosing Chia

Jess Inspirational Interview

Inspirational Interview with Jess from Choosing Chia

With this blog post I am starting my new blogging series: Inspirational interviews! I strongly believe in always thriving to learn more and improve upon oneself. I do this a lot by finding mentors and talking to experts in a specific niche. Through my inspirational interview series I am going to start speaking to some of the people that inspire me the most and share their valuable insights with you! 

Why Jess inspires me:

For my first inspirational interview I  talked to one of my biggest food blogging inspirations since day 1: Jessica Hoffman.
She is the beautiful face behind the vibrant food blog Choosing Chia. Jess is from Canada and such a lovely person inside and out. She was one of the first people I followed on Instagram and has been a huge inspiration ever since.

The photos you find on Choosing Chia are magnificent and I love the professional look and feel of everything Jess does. Jess grew her blog to 60.000 monthly sessions this year and is one of the few food bloggers, who shares her knowledge regarding how to grow a blog, work with Pinterest and gives photography tips. I recently attended her Food Blogging Bootcamp, which was a 4 week blogger course where she taught us everything about systems, workflows, SEO, social media marketing and monetization. 

It meant a lot to me to finally be able to sit down with her for an interview and ask Jess some important questions regarding food blogging, personal development and fitness. 

With Choosing Chia Jess shows her readers easy, yet delicious vegetarian recipes that focus on fresh ingredients. A lot of her recipes are plant-based and suitable for a clean eating diet. Have a look at Jess‘ Instagram account if you don’t know it already. 

Let’s jump into the interview. I divided it up into three different sections: food blogging, personal development and finally healthy lifestyle. 

Choosing Chia Interview

Talking about food blogging

How did you get into food blogging and why?

I grew up in a family where everyone loved to cook a lot. By the time I was 20 I really got into Yoga and did my yoga instructor certification in India. When I got back from my trip I realized how much I loved healthy, plant-based cooking and eating. That’s when I really started to get into blogging. 

I set up my blog in 2015, but was only posting sporadicly. Only after my trip to India in 2016 I really started to post constantly and grew my Choosing Chia blog ever since. 

How did you come up with your blog name Choosing Chia? 

I sat down and realized I need a name for the blog – something healthy. So, I set down with a pen and paper and a little note book. I started to write out different names and combination of words. Then I found the word chia, which I found could be cute and chia seeds were starting to become popular at the time. Then I tried to figure out what could sound good with that and then somehow found Choosing Chia. 

Banoffee-pie-chia-pudding-2

Looking at recipe development – how long does it take you from the first step into the kitchen until the uploaded post on your blog? 

These are the steps I usually take:

  • getting the groceries
  • recipe testing
  • making the final recipe
  • taking the photos
  • editing the photos
  • writing the blog post
  • uploading and publishing it

If I had to put an actual time on the whole process I would say at least 4 hours. It would be around one hour for recipe testing, another hour for the final recipe, an hour to shoot and edit the photo and another hour to prepare the blog post. I used to do this in one flow, but I recently started to do batch working more.

Instead of jumping from place to place I now started to batch work a lot more. So I will do recipe testing in one day, then I’ll take a nice cloudy day to shoot all of them, edit them on the next and finally write out the blog posts. So I can always be focused on one task. 

Vietnamese-fresh-spring-rolls-8

What is your favorite recipe out of all the ones you have created?

My banana cream pie chia pudding. I love the recipe, I love the photos, it really fits my brand and its simply so yummy. It’s my favorite chia pudding. 

banana-cream-pie-chia-pudding-3

What was your biggest blogging accomplishment so far?

I think it would have to be launching the food blogging bootcamp. Being at a place with my blog and business where I can teach other people and help them on their blogging journey to grow their blog. 

Now looking back at your blogging journey. What piece of advice would you have given your 21 year old self, when you started out blogging?

I would have to say having a process, system and schedule in place and sticking to it.

When I started out and would randomly post one week and then didn’t post anything for the next weeks I didn’t see any growth. Only once I started to get a content calendar, blocked off time in my schedule it made a big difference. If you really want to see growth and want to make something out of your blog you also have to block off time and make it a priority. It’s also less stressful, because you know when things are happening. 

You can check this blog post from Jess to sign up for a free content calendar template!

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Finding out more about personal development

Would you mind sharing a little bit about your morning routine?

I start my day at 7 o’clock in the morning and have a coffee. Then I work out for an hour around 8 o’clock. Like a cardio or yoga workout or a combination of both. After the workout I like to meditate for 10 minutes.

Then I like to take the dog for a walk and finally get ready for the day and make my bed. I always make my bed in the morning. Then I have breakfast, I love to drink a green smoothie or have something nourishing, especially after working out in the morning. Then I sit down and start my workday around 9.30am. I just find it very important to exercise in the morning and get outside to get some fresh air. 

Tri-lanka

Who has inspired you in your life and why?

A person who has recently inspired me a lot is Marie Furleo. She puts her videos online every Tuesday, is a published author and does a lot of work with women. She has been a really big inspiration to me to turn my blog more into a business and branching out to do something like a bootcamp or start online courses. 

How important is reading to you and what’s your best book recommendation?

One of my favorite books is „you are a badass“ from Jen Sincero. It’s a great book for personal development and being a better, more successful and confident person. I also love to listen to audio books. I can cook and shoot my photos while listening. 

10-must-read-books-for-creative-entrepreneurs

Who are your role models and why?

Jamie Oliver is someone I have always looked up to in the food industry who has really built his own food empire.

Ella from deliciouslyella inspires me as well. She is one of the first foodies that I have followed and who really built something for herself, beyond just having a food blog. She has products in grocery stores now and has built something really big with that. 

Jenna Kutcher who does online course creations. She is another female entrepreneur who built an empire out of nothing. She has the goal digger podcast. I listen to her podcast every week. 

And of course Marie Furleo, who I have already mentioned. 

What is the next big goal?

My biggest goal is to really grow the blog into a big platform where I can transform it into a whole community. I would love to launch an online course and eventually turn the bootcamp into an online course. I would love to put out the course for other people to grow their blog and get to the same place where I am today, or even surpass where I am today. 

Speaking of health and well-being

Being a blogger means to be very connected all the time. Do you ever take off time from social media?

I started doing digital detox more this year. I feel so much more recharged when I take a social media break. Sometimes I try to implement it more and take at least 48 hours (or a weekend) off. No Instagram, no email, no checking the Choosing Chia blog.

When I do it I feel so much more recharged and energetic not looking at my phone for a period of time and simply taking in the moment. It is definitely something I would recommend for everyone to do. Especially if you want to make it your full time job. Taking breaks and recharging is equally important as working. 

Tri-lanka

How do you keep a balanced lifestyle and take care of your body and health?

I always make sure to take time to exercise. (at least 5 times a week) Sometimes it’s also just yoga or a long walk with the dog. It’s important to me to stay physically active. I make sure to eat overall healthy and have green smoothies, vegetables and salads, but then also indulge in ice cream and french fries if I want to. I think finding that balance is important. I’m not saying to myself that any foods are off limits.

I simply try to overall eat healthy and be active. I actually block that time off in my calendar. Having time on the weekend to do things I love also helps me to stay balanced. 

This was my inspirational interview with Jess. I hope you really loved this interview with Jess from Choosing Chia and learned some things along the way. It was such an honor to interview her and Jess is really such an inspiration! Make sure to check her social channels and blog for more inspiration! 

Are you looking for more helpful food blogging content? Check some of my other blog posts concerning this topic: 

Let me know in the comments if you like this new inspirational interview series and if you have any suggestions on who to interview next!

xoxo,

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Blogging while traveling – a how to guide

Blogging while traveling

Over the last half a year I have been all around the world, food blogging while traveling at the same time. I love how my job as a food blogger gives me so much freedom and flexibility and combining my two biggest passions: the love for healthy food and my excitement for seeing new countries makes me feel like I created my own dream job. In this blog post I would love to show you and explain how you can travel and still keep up the quality of your food pics along the way. 

My story of blogging while traveling

I became a self-employed food blogger in February 2018 and couldn’t be happier ever since. Turning your hobby into your profession is something extremely special and I am grateful every single day to be able to do this kind of work. Since I am very flexible with my working hours and do mostly everything online I decided last year to travel the world while still working and creating content like I would in Austria. I figured it shouldn’t really matter if I sit at home in Austria or work from a beach in Panama. Simpler thought as done – this I can tell you already. Obviously there are quite some challenges when you want to travel and still produce the same quality results for your clients as you would at home in your familiar surroundings. In this blog post I would like to share some important food blogging travel tips. 

In the fall of 2018 I planned my first big international working trip. I set out together with my boyfriend to travel through Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico, both working full time. For our first trip we were gone for almost three months. After that we came back home for Christmas and left again for our trip to Asia, visiting Taiwan and the Philippines. The second time we were gone for one month, creating content and doing company promotions just like I would have at home. By now I would say I have gotten pretty good at knowing what things are essential when blogging while traveling and would love to share these insights with you in this blog post. 

Blogging while traveling

Challenges you will face

On your trips there are quite some challenges you will face at some point. Especially when you travel to developing countries like I did. The infrastructure simply isn’t the same as you would find it in Europe, America or Australia. You simply can’t expect to find internet everywhere, good lighting or a quality working place. Here are some challenges I ran into on my trips:

  • Time difference 
  • Shipping difficulties of products
  • Non availability of certain ingredients
  • Poor internet connection 
  • Terrible lightning situations 
  • Broken props (plates, bowls) due to rough airport handling 

Blogging while traveling

Food blogging travel tips

Here are my major tips for food blogging while traveling that will help you to smoothly create content on your trips without frustrations. Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools, services and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful. This is not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement. The products are simply the ones I use when blogging while traveling and where I thought you might find the direct Amazon link helpful as well 🙂  

  • Use waiting time: Especially in countries with polychronic tendencies, meaning they don’t really value the concept of punctuality you will run into a lot of unnecessary waiting time. There will be a lot of time lost waiting for planes, buses or being stuck in traffic. Especially in the Philippines I had to learn the hard way to use my waiting time wisely for work projects. Literally every plane, bus or taxi was delayed and it always took us twice the time than expected. That is why I recommend you always save some work you can do offline. For me that was usually editing my pictures, planing my gallery or like right now – just sitting on a flight to Coron island right now actually – writing a blog post. This way you will use otherwise dead time super efficiently and will have more time for yourself once you arrive at your destination. 

Blogging while traveling

  • Always have your charging devices with you: This is a mistake I kept making for a long time. I would charge my laptop and phone thinking it would last for our traveling days. Each time we had another airport delay or spent another hour in traffic I ran out of battery not being able to charge my devices. Blogging while traveling means keeping your batteries charged! I would also recommend buying a strong power bank so you always have a charging opportunity. This is the one from Anker that I have and can greatly recommend. Another tip I can give you regarding managing your device compatibility is buying an charge-all-in-one device. Like this you only need to bring one cable and can charge all your devices. This is the one from VONMÄHLEN that I use and can recommend. 
  • Schedule in enough working time: When blogging while traveling make sure to schedule in dedicated working time every day. I was better with this on my Central America trip than now on my Asia trip. I simply had too many things planned changing location almost everyday leaving very little time to work. In Panama and Costa Rica I defined a pretty fixed working schedule for me. Work from 6am-12am then time for beach or activities until 6pm and back to work from 6pm-8pm. Since the sun set at 5pm I really wanted some daytime to enjoy and scheduled in that long lunch break. Now in the Philippines I tried to travel more, see more places and I really noticed how much it reduced my quality working time. Now on this trip I did the bare minimum. So my take-away is definitely to schedule in definite working days where you have no trips or excursions planned or like I did in Central America go to one location for longer (at least 7 days) work from Monday to Friday with a fixed schedule and do day trips on the weekends. 

Blogging while traveling

  • Thoroughly screen your accommodation:
    • Kitchen: This will be one of the most important things to consider before leaving for your trip. When you work and travel at the same time you simply won’t be as flexible as the average backpacker booking the accommodation one night before and rearranging the entire trip from one day to the next. When food blogging while traveling you must consider a couple of things: you need a kitchen, good lightning and at least a supermarket close by. From experience I can tell you that hotels are generally a really bad idea because it is quite impossible to prepare your own dishes. I recommend booking an Airbnb with a full kitchen. Inquire about the kitchen appliances. Do you need a baking dish and a stove? What about a blender? 
    • Lightning: Besides the kitchen inspect the lightning situation on the photos of the Airbnb listing. Is there enough natural light coming into the apartment? I have gotten quite creative here, also shot outside in front of the door because sometimes the actual accommodation ends up looking different than you imagined on the photos.  
    • Internet: Last but not least, make sure the apartment has a good internet connection. I always ask them for a speed test. I can recommend this one by Ookla showing you the exact download and upload speeds. The results of the upload speed should be somewhere around 3mb and the for the download around 2mb. Having good internet is really the most vital thing for a productive work day. Especially when traveling to developing countries the connection can be unstable. We had internet blackouts because of Typhoons, earthquakes and over-usage already. So make sure you always have a back up plan like a close by Café with Wifi. I think this point is the most crucial one when blogging while traveling. One time I was stuck on an island without internet for 8 days and wasn’t able to do anything which created quite some problems for me. So make sure you always check the internet situation before you go somewhere!
  • Find a co-working space: When we stayed in big cities we were usually looking for co-working spaces. This is a great way to get out of the apartment and mingle with other like minded people. Internet is usually fantastic there and it’s great to switch up the work atmosphere. Co-working spaces provide you with great infrastructure and are designed to give you the best working experience possible. I always found myself super focused there and having the most productive work days. 

blogging while traveling

  • Be aware of time difference when blogging while traveling: My tip is to write emails at least one day earlier than you would have done at home. Since you won’t have the entire day to monitor your inbox the email conversation will just take longer than it usually would if you were in the same time zone. Try to work at least 2-3 hours overlapping your home country’s time zone or the time zone where most of your clients are. When I was in Costa Rica and had an 8 hour time difference I was always working from 6am-9am so I would still reach them in Austria for their last 2-3 working hours of the day. In the Philippines I was mostly working at night time because of the 7 hour time difference in the other direction. I was usually working from 5pm-8pm to reach the Europeans in their first working hours of the morning. 
  • Plan your gallery/blog posts ahead: This is something that has help me tremendously on my trips. When I know I have a big trip coming up I usually already take a lot of photos before. So when I leave I have a buffer of about 10-15 recipe photos that I can post without having to produce anything in between. I also already pre-take all the photos for my long term cooperations. So in case I won’t have good photo opportunities on my trips I can at least go back to these photos I took beforehand. Like this it is also much less stressful because you already know you have got your „posting to-dos“ covered for the trip. I schedule my posts with an app called UNUM, which I can highly recommend you to use as well to plan your IG gallery ahead. 
  • Preorder products for promotion: When I know a long trip is coming up I give my cooperation partners a heads up and get the products I need to promote during my time abroad shipped to me in advance. I made the experience that companies don’t want to ship overseas because it is simply too expensive for them. That is why my suitcase is usually pretty full when I travel. I would say 1/3 of the space is taken simply by the products I need for my cooperations. Plan ahead of what you are going to promote on the trip and then just bring the essential things for those posts or IG hauls. 

Blogging while traveling

  • Get a local SIM card: Blogging while traveling means you will probably need internet on the go. If you want to make your life a lot easier I recommend getting a local SIM card. You usually already find little SIM card stands at the airport and the prepaid plans are really affordable connecting you to the internet without a problem. This can also be super useful if you need taxi services like Uber or Grab. I however decided against a local SIM card because I consciously wanted to force myself to some internet free time when away from the hotel or restaurant. 
  • Bring the right props: Being gone from your save home set-up can be quite challenging. At home its quite easy to get a good photo because if you are like me you will probably have various plates, kitchen towels, decoration items and other fancy props to choose from. On your trip however you can only bring the essentials. This is what I brought with me on my trip: 3 of my best plates (neutral but unique), 1 white background fabric I could always use for a nice blurred out background, my favorite little spoons, a golden knife and fork, my mini cookie cutters for decoration and one coconut bowl. Like this I could create a wide array of different settings. It might also be a good idea to ask the Airbnb host about the color of plates and silverware. Another insider tip is to buy plastic backdrop paper. In Austria I usually use wooden backdrops which are bulky and quite heavy. Before my trips I bought this marble backdrop paper that I can simply roll up and is super light! 
  • Bring the right equipment:  When you are gone for a longer period of time you surely still want to keep producing amazing content but simply can’t take all your inventory with you. Photo equipment can get really heavy and your suitcase is usually limited to 23kg per flight. This is what I had with me: A super light travel tripod, my reflector, my favorite 35mm 1.8 lens together with my Nikon D7500. Since I travelled together with my boyfriend it was a bit easier to bring more equipment because he also had some suitcase space. Therefore, we brought also the drone and the gimbal. 

Blogging while travelilng

Blogging while traveling and still keeping up the quality of your content can be a challenge at first, but also presents amazing new opportunities for different content and unexpected shooting possibilities. I hope this blog post was helpful. If you have any unanswered questions feel free to put them in the comments. I will make sure to answer them all. You can also always reach out to me on Instagram. You might also be interested in my online food blogging course that will teach you some more about the art of food blogging. 

If you want, you can also sign up for free food blogging tips and tricks here: 

I recommend you also check out my top food blogging tips as this blog post is teaching the essentials of amazing food pics and could be super helpful for you as well! If you are interested in how to make money as a food blogger you might want to watch this YouTube video on different ways to monetize your blog. 

xoxo,

 

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Food Styling – 6 Dekorationsideen für Weihnachten (2018)

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Heute möchte ich mit euch teilen wie ihr am besten eure festlichen Rezepte weihnachtlich stylt. Food Styling ist ja gerade beim Food Blogging super wichtig und kann speziell im Advent perfektioniert werden.
Es ist meine liebste Zeit zum Fotografieren im ganzen Jahr, da ich mich hier immer total mit allen Props austoben kann und ein “zu viel” an Deko gibt es fast gar nicht.

Mit einigen einfachen Food Styling Tricks möchte ich euch zeigen wie ihr das Beste aus euren Rezepten herausholt und im Hand umdrehen eine weihnachtliche Stimmung erzeugen könnt.

Dekorationstips – Top Food Styling tipps

Konfetti

Mein Tipp #1 sind Konfetti. Diese gibt es in allen möglichen Formen. Vom Schneemann, zu Eiskristallen und schönen Sternen. Wenn man diese am Shootinguntergrund etwas vertreut, bekommt man sofort einen bezaubern Glanz am Bild.

Food Styling Tips - Weihnachten

Lichterketten

Lichterketten sind eine tolle Art warmes, festliches Licht aufs Bild zu bekommen. Ich habe sie in verschiedenen Varianten gekauft um diese immer wieder abwechseln zu können.

Food Styling Tips - Weihnachten

Gewürze und Trockenfrüchte

In der Weihnachtszeit duftet es überall nach den herzlichsten Gewürzen. Warum nicht diese auch gleich mit aufs Bild nehmen? Ich liebe den Look der Sternanis oder die rustikalen Zimtstangen. Sie sind gerade perfekt für Food Styling. Sehr gerne trockne ich auch Orangenscheiben und lege diese auf das Bild dazu.

Food Styling Tips - Weihnachten

Kreativ werden

Wann hast du zum letzten Mal etwas gebastelt? Bestimmt schon länger nicht, oder? Mein nächster Tipp ist mal etwas kreatives zum selber machen. Ich schneide total gerne aus Papier Weihnachtssterne aus. Der Scherenschnitt macht richtig Spaß und kann euer Bild super schmücken.

Food Styling Tips - Weihnachten

Geschenkspapier und Weihnachtskugeln

Taking food stying to the next level! Da man bei den Vorbereitungen zum Fest bereits die ganze Dekoration griffbereit hat, verwende ich die eingepackten Geschenke und Kugeln für den Baum gleich immer als Props für mein Setup. Somit könnt ihr eine perfekt festliche Stimmung erzeugen.

Food Styling Tips - Weihnachten

Zuckerstreusel und Kekse

Ein paar hübsche Kekse um das Rezept gelegt zaubert Weihnachten bereits auf das Foto. Ich nehme auch gerne noch ein paar goldene oder silberne Zuckerstreusel um das Bild zu verschönern.

Food Styling Tips - Weihnachten

Ich hoffe euch hat der Blogpost gefallen und ihr konntet das eine oder andere dazulernen 🙂 Für mehr Dekorationsvorschläge könnt ihr euch meinen Blogpost mit vielen Food Tips und den zu meinen liebsten Stylings Tips noch ansehen.

Merry Christmas!

Xoxo,

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10 best food blog tips for Instagram growth (2019)

Food Blog Tips for Instagram Growth

Do you have a food blog and want to grow on Instagram? Well then this blogpost is perfect for you. In this blogpost I will share my best 10 food blogging tips with you here in order to help you kickstart your own food blog channel! 

I have been a food blogger for over 2 years now. Today I can proudly say that I am Austrias biggest fitness food blogger and am grateful enough to be able to inspire thousands of people every day with my healthy recipes and active lifestyle. 
Since the beginning of this year I am doing it full time, having made my hobby into my dream job! Now in this blogpost I would like to share my knowledge with you to become a top food blogger as well! 

How to start a food blog successfully?

Below I will show you 10 hands on tips for stepping up your food blog game! Because of that, I will also link you products that I am personally using at home. 

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools, services and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful. This is not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement. The products are simply the ones I use at home and where I thought you might find the direct Amazon link helpful as well 🙂 

Food Blogging Top Tips for Instagram Growth

1. Find the right light

Taking a good picture will greatly depend on the light situation in the room. Hence, make sure to find a spot where you get good lighting. My tips: shoot with natural light, avoid straight sunlight and use a reflector. 

  • Natural light: I like to shoot at daytime. You get the worst photos when trying to shoot at night with your kitchen lights on. Oh and by the way – never use a flash for your photos. That is just straight up going to kill the photo! I usually place my food right next to a big window, so I get good light from one side. The best time to shoot when you have a slightly cloudy sky. This gives you nice diffuse light. 
  • Avoid sunlight: When you try to shoot under direct sunlight you will get a lot of very hard shadows in your photos. Also, the colors will come out in a very different way. When its sunny and you must shoot a photo I can recommend getting a diffuser. You can put that in front of your dish to shield it from the sunlight and get nice diffuse light. 
  • Use a reflector: I usually put a reflector on the other side of my dish, so light gets reflected back onto the dish. You can get a really cheap reflector on Amazon. This is the one I use daily at home. It really makes a huge difference, since you will get a brighter photo with less shadows! 

2. Find the right angle when shooting

What I learnt is that not every dish can be shot from the same angle. If you are shooting a nice smoothie bowl you most probably want to shoot it straight on and not from the side because you would loose a lot of that nice decoration on the bowl. 
However when taking a photo of a pancake tower you definitely want to shoot that from the side to see the stacked up pancakes. Therefore, don’t be shy to move around with your camera and try out different angles. 

3. Get social

How to become a food blogger on Instagram? Very simple – start by engaging with a ton of other people in your niche! After all Instagram is a social platform. When I started I spent hours commenting and liking other peoples posts. Giving is living! If you give a lot you will soon notice that you will get a lot of engagement back. 

But don’t just write mundane sentences like „nice pic“ or „looks awesome“. Thats so unpersonal. Read the captions and actually say something meaningful. Start real conversations. Moreover, make sure to watch and reply peoples Instastories. This is a great way to really get to know the people behind the accounts. 

4. DSLR cameras making top food bloggers 

What do top food bloggers have in common? They all shoot with a DSLR camera. You won’t hardly find a food blogger who doesn’t use a professional camera for their food photography. It simply makes a big difference. Phones can take really good pictures and are very practical for on the go. However, a DSLR camera simply differentiates the hobby bloggers from the professional ones. 

I personally use a Nikon D7500. In my opinion, it is a great camera also for beginners. Regarding lenses I can recommend using either a 35mm. 1.8 (thats the one I am using at the moment) or a 50mm 1.8. With these lenses you get a beautiful depth effect and can shoot pretty close to your image. 

5. Join a party 

If you are already highly engaged in the foodie niche you might have seen other food bloggers throwing a party and inviting everyone to join with a dish. Usually these parties have some kind of theme. I recently had an autumfoodparty and in the summer a summer closing party. Some people throw parties when they hit 10k, 20k, or something similar to celebrate the occasion.  You might wonder now why people do this. It is actually a huge advantage for the people throwing the party and those participating as both parties will grow their reach and get more exposure. 
When you enter the party you have to tag the person in the caption and the photo, like this your followers might become aware of the account and go follow. On the other hand if the big host account will feature your post, usually in stories and the winners on the feed, you will get a lot of exposure back. It is also a great way to start building a relationship with the bigger food influencers out there. 

6. Build a network

When starting out it is important to build your own network of people who will be supporting you on Instagram. These are going to be your loyal followers who will comment and like all your posts. This is what will determine also your engagement rate. Because of this make sure to find likeminded people that you can connect with. I suggest you find other food bloggers in the same niche who have about the same following size as you do in the beginning. Like this it will become easier to start a conversation and build a relationship. Once you have a good network you can start asking your other foodie friends for shoutouts on their stories. Mutual IG story shoutouts are a great way to grow and get more exposure for your account. 

7. Tag curation pages

When you post your content make sure to tag it correctly. There are hundreds of great curation pages out there that are looking for viral content daily to post on their galleries. Those pages can take your photo and repost it on their account, often reaching ten thousands of people giving you an incredible amount of exposure. If you manage to get reposted on a consistent basis by many big accounts I guarantee your account will grow immensely. 
What I like to do is to write those curation pages a personal message and asking them directly if they would be interested in sharing my piece of content. They are always looking for new talent and you might be the next big star on their profile <3 

8. Consistent posting schedule

Moving on to the next tip. Have a consistent posting schedule. I believe it is important to stick to a clear schedule regarding how many times a week you are posting. Like this your followers will know when and how often to expect your content. Don’t post nothing for a week and then throw out three pics in a row. This will seem super confusing to anyone following you. If you can’t manage to post every day then try to commit to every other day or at least four times a week. 

9. Food Styling

Next, lets talk about food styling. This is something I have neglected for the longest time. It is so powerful though! Because of this simple trick I was able to improve my food pics by a lot. Things like little flowers, tiny cookies, sprinkles, fruit and nicely cut veggies can make or break your dish. The most boring chia pudding can look absolutely fascinating with the right kind of decoration. A basic trick I use for so many of my dishes is cutting out little stars or hearts from bananas and place them on the bowl, cake or parfait. Makes it look so much better instantly. I actually have a separate blog post about this whole topic here
Therefore, I recommend you get yourself a couple of cute little cookie cutters and learn the art of decorating your dishes! These are the ones I use a lot for my recipes. 

10. Photo Setup  

Last but not least lets look at food props. Back in the days I used to place my dish on a simple blanked on the floor. Looking back now this makes my laugh so hard. When wanting to take great food pics your photo setup is super important. In addition, you will want to make sure to have a nice background you can place your dish on. Something I can recommend is going to the local hardware store and asking them for samples of marble or wooden floor. I got all my backdrops for free just by asking them for a sample to take home. Worked really well! Furthermore, I can recommend using a nice loose fabric that you can put in the background to blur out your photo smoothly. 
Besides that you should acquire a nice collection of glasses, jars, spoons and plates to switch up your food photos. 

Food blogging online course

If you are really serious about your food blog and want to take it to the next level, I can really recommend my food blogging success online course. 

You can check it out here

Food Blogging Course

Do you want to have your first company cooperations? Want to start making money with your food blog? Or even want to become a full time food blogger?

This course will teach you all of it. I have been through the process and want to give all my knowledge to you now. This course is an extremely valuable source of information. Basically I put everything I’ve learnt in the past year about food blogging and how I made it into my full time job into this online course.

The course is structured into 6 chapters. After the introduction you will find the food blogging chapter, where you will learn how to find your vibe and voice, develop great content and a content policy, learn how to set up a blog and I will also be touching on legal requirements.

The third chapter is dedicated to food photography, where I will share my camera equipment with you, tips on how to prop and style your food, how to find the right light, how to edit your pics with and without photoshop and some more tricks along the way.

The next chapter is dedicated to Instagram growth. You will learn how to make use of the Instagram algorithm and make the features of the app work for you. Learn how to get reposts and post content the right way, join the right parties and create your own Insta highlights.

Before the final send off I dedicated a whole chapter to the topic of monetization. I’ll be sharing with you how to find your pricing rates and put together your media kit with great examples. We will talk about how to reach out to companies, negotiate prices and the important topic of disclosing a partnership.

You will see this is a well rounded course giving you all the insights you need. Head over to the course now.  Or sign up for free tips and tricks:

More resources

Here is also a short video summarizing this topic for you:

Are you interested in more tips on becoming a food blogger? Head over to my YouTube to watch videos on how to make money as a food blogger and how I got started a couple years ago. Finally, you can also check out my blog post on the art of food styling, which might be helpful for you as well!

xoxo,

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The art of food styling

I strongly believe you can make anything look absolutely fantastic by just adding some simple decoration items to your dish. Even the most boring chia pudding can turn into something colorful and exciting wit a couple of small styling items. In this blogpost I want to share some of my favorite decoration tricks and food styling tips. Read on if this is something you are interested in 🙂 

The importance of decoration

First off I would like to show you how important it is to style your food. It simply makes a huge difference! Below you find two images showing exactly the same chia pudding. On the left side without any decoration and on the right side with decoration. I would advise you to always use a nice surface to shoot your food on. Plain and simple surfaces are great. 

Food Styling Food Styling

More over I like to use dish towels as background props. It gives the image a soft look and feel. Then I usually use flowers to add an extra touch. I ordered cute spoons on the internet and frequently place them next to my dish to make the picture look more interesting. Having fruit in the picture is also always a good way to make the photo more interesting. 

No decoration

Food Styling Food Photography

With decoration

Food Styling Food Photography

In my food blogging online course I have two chapters especially dedicated to food styling and food props to teach you everything you need to know to become a professional in this area. 

Food props

Here are some photos from the food blogging course video where I am showing all the props I have at home and use for my own creations. 

Food Blogging Course  

As you can see over the months I have acquired quite a big array of different glasses, bowls, plates, spoons and deco material. I love to be able to choose from different fabrics and styles in order to keep my feed interesting. I would also suggest you to slowly build up your own propping equipment.

Here are my top five food blogging styling props: 

  1. Cute spoons 
  2. Tiny little cookie cutters
  3. White dish towel 
  4. Mason jars
  5. Flowers 

In my online course I am explaining how and when I use all of these tools to get the best results. I will also be sharing the links to the products that I use, so you don’t have to look for them yourself.  If you are interested in food blogging and how to get started and improve you should definitely check out my food blogging online course. You can also sign up for free food blogging tips on the website. 

Food Blogging Course

My opinion is always: Content is king on Instagram. If you manage to produce better pictures you will most certainly also see an enhanced growth on your account 🙂
I hope this article was helpful for you! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!
Feel free to check out my other articles on food styling and food blogging

xoxo,

 

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