Our April 2016 Featured Blogger is The Modest Baker by Nakida Asson. Nakida Asson is a self-taught
What’s it like to be a food blogger?
Well for one you’ll be dreaming about butter, eggs and sugar. And you may have a nervous breakdown when you realized you forgot about adding the sugar in your cake as it bakes in the oven. Oh, and don’t forget about all my food-related dreams. I can tell you how many times I dreamt about so many awesome recipes only to wake up to forget what it was. Food blogging is a full-time job, and it can consume your every thought. It can get very expensive; quality ingredients are not cheap, when I bake I used the best ingredients possible right down to the milk and eggs. Once a month I get my eggs, milk and honey straight from my wonderful farmer. I love wholesome, nutritious and organic produce. Behind every picture I post on my blog, there was a story; a story that consists of trying to stop my children from eating my baked goods before taking a photo and sorting through hundreds of photos in search of the perfect one. That’s a job in itself. It gives me great gratification to share what I bake with my friends and family.
When and why did you start food blogging?
I started blogging January 2016. Baking is a form of therapy for me, and I know if I can share what I bake, it can be truly rewarding. I learned from the best; my grandmother was a wonderful baker; her sponge cake was to die for, and she is my number-one inspiration.
What made you decide to be a food blogger?
A wonderful sister mentioned I could start blogging on Tumblr a couple of years ago, and I thought about it, but I didn’t know how to start, so I left that idea alone. Fast forward years later, and I decided it was time to start blogging about all my delicious recipes.
Did anyone, in particular, inspire you to start blogging?
Yes—my grandmother and food blogs like Call Me Cupcake, Adventures in Cooking, Renee Kemp, The Cake Blog and Maggie Austin.
What do you hope to gain from blogging?
The more you write the better you’ll become, and as a blogger, I am getting good practice. In addition, I hope to get some kind of exposure like being a contributor for a food magazine and the like. Alternatively, maybe a cookbook in sha Allah.
How do you motivate yourself to keep your blog up and running?
I ask Allah to guide me in all my endeavors. Success comes from Allah, so I am motivated when my job is done correctly in my household. If I am keeping up my daily duties as a wife and mom, afterward I am motivated to work on my blog. When my home is happy, subsequently I am pleased to start experimenting in the kitchen to bake up delicious recipes.
Where do you find inspiration to bake creative recipes?
I find inspiration almost everywhere like restaurant, cookbooks, bloggers, famous French chefs and even my little corner store in my neighborhood.
What’s the most challenging thing about baking and blogging about it?
The most challenging aspect of blogging for me is trying to find a balance. I depend upon mostly entirely on natural sunlight, so I have to make sure to leave enough daylight time to get a good shot of the final product and sometimes that is really hard when you have three young children waiting for you trying to dig into my baked goods.
How do you manage to get readers interested in your recipes?
Enticing photos is a great way to capture readers and one of the kind recipes and awesome written prose which I am working on.
Have you had any opportunities arise as a result of blogging?
Since my blog is relatively new, there are no opportunities knocking at my door. However, I will definitely answer if it’s a perfect fit.
How important do you think it is to have clear and professional images for your recipes on the blog?
I think it’s extremely important to have professional photos on your blog. People eat with their eyes first and to make it in this food blogging world; great food photography will get you notice. Food photography is a skill and you either have it, or you don’t. And one good thing about the Internet, you can learn about food photography for free. I just recently learned about the rule of thirds and how Pinterest prefers vertical images instead of horizontal. Learning new ways to improve your pictures will pay off in the end.
Where do you see food blogging in 5 years? Will you still be doing it in shaa Allah?
To be honest, I am still gasping on a little piece of hope. Hoping that one day I can break even when it comes to blogging, make some kind of income through ads or the like. Blogging about food is so competitive, you have to find your voice, you have to come out of your shell and be unique.
What’s the most interesting part of being a food blogger: baking the recipes, writing the posts, or taking the pictures? Why?
I would say baking the recipes, it is so straightforward. I try to test things at least twice even if I feel like I love it the first time. I want to do it again just to make if I can improve on the taste. I love pairing flavors. What can I pair this fruit with? What will taste great with caramelized pistachios? How can I improve this recipe? Writing is very challenging part of food blogging. There are times when I run out of things to write for days at a time. Yeah, I do not like writing.
Are you a full-time blogger or have another job as well? How do you tend to manage your blog in either case?
Hmm…I am not sure if blogging will ever be a part-time job, in my opinion. Yes, it’s my full-time job. It’s continuously changing the way your blog looks, rewriting, rechecking recipes and answering questions from readers. I am a stay at home mom with three young boys and a wife to a wonderful husband, so I am constantly busy. I usually start writing at night when everyone is asleep or trying to keep up with the blogging community; leaving comments for bloggers and pinning recipes. I try to prepare everything the night before, making sure I have all my ingredients measured out so it’s easier to juggle baking and taking care of my loved ones during the day.
Would you encourage other people to start a blog and do you have any tips for anyone who may be thinking of starting one?
Of course! Blogging can be rewarding but also time consuming, especially if you are a busy mom like myself. Be prepared for mean comments. People will steal your pictures, recipes without ever giving you credit, and you may want to quit but DON’T. On the other hand, people will also love your recipes and pictures. If you love blogging, then it’s a win-win situation, you’ll find a way to make it work by removing all those negative thoughts. My advice to anyone wanting to start a food blog, don’t be afraid to give it a try. Do your research on how to build a successful blog. Do not compare your beginning with someone else’s middle because you’ll get very distracted and frustrated. Trust yourself and it will grow slowly, and patience is the key to establish a wonderful blog.