July’s blog of the month is….Bintu Hardy who blogs at Recipes from a Pantry.
What inspired you to start your blog?
I love food and love talking about it, and I also want to record some of the discoveries I’ve made, for my children (things like how to make Sierra Leonean recipes with western ingredients, and healthily). So my blog is a chance to talk to the world whilst curating and sharing my recipes.
What is also perfect, is the flexibility of working when and from where I want.
Has your content changed much since you started? if so, how?
Yes. My food photography and content creation skills have developed further. I’ve also become much more confident at adding my own twist or West African influence to mainstream recipes. Many of the changes have been guided by what resonates with my readers.
What have you learned since starting your blog?
I could start a long list right now! But leaving out the technical skills, one of the most important things I have learned is what my readers like and what they don’t. I’ve learned how to talk to them through more attractive stories and recipes.
The other big life lesson is how important it is to be nice, and honour your commitments. I’ve found that if you are helpful to anybody (from someone commissioning a recipe to other bloggers), they will appreciate it and will be willing to work with you in the future.
What has surprised you about blogging?
I knew I would like it but I am surprised about how much I love it. Not only that, but I am now at the point where I am starting to earn a decent living doing stuff that I love. All that hard work is now paying off. A big shout out also to the supportive community of bloggers who have given me advice me along the way.
How do you balance blogging and real life?
I think I am still trying to figure that one out. If any blogger out there knows then please do share. It is tricky and I have found myself staying up until midnight to write up posts and schedule my social media work. Luckily we eat the food I cook and I have a very supportive partner.
What’s the best thing about writing your blog? And the worst?
The best thing – I get to cook and talk about food that I like, and inspire readers to cook and share my recipes.
The worst thing – It is hard to switch off sometimes, as there is always one more thing to do. Seriously, 24 hours never seems enough.
What advice would you give someone starting a foodie blog now?
Go for it. Write about what you love. It is also very important to find supportive blogger groups or conference. Meeting other bloggers at various stages of the blogging journey, who have been willing to answer all my questions and offer advice, has really been key to helping me grow.
Has blogging brought you any amazing opportunities or experiences?
Oh most definitely. I have had the pleasure of creating and photographing recipes for international brands; met one of my food heroes, Yottam Ottolenghi; eaten at exquisite restaurants; got to have amazing culinary adventures in Dublin, Rome and Tours and written fun freelance articles – so a lot.
Which have been your most popular posts?
I find easy recipes packed with a great flavour, like my sesame spinach salad and easy baked doughnut recipe do very well. Other recipe posts like this West African peanut butter gravy resonate with readers too.
And which are your personal favourites?
How does it feel to be chosen as Foodies100 blog of the month?
It is an honour to be part of such a great foodie community and be featured as a Foodies 100 blog of the month. Thank you.