The Story of a Social Media Influencer and How Choices Are Made.
Today, I walked almost 4 kilometers and didn’t feel a second of it.
5000 steps, and I felt exactly 0.
45 minutes, and the time just flew by.
That was because I was talking to a friend of mine about how people choose their careers. More specifically, how he chose his.
He’s a food blogger, a social media influencer, and most of all, one of the best people I’ve ever come across in my life. I’ve known him for over 8 years, and have spent the conscious years of my school time in his company.
I called him up to meet in the central part of town, so I could know more deeply how he does what he does, how he started, what influenced his decision to start a food blog, and how he finds the motivation to keep going today.
Sure, the answer could be as straightforward as earning off of it, or getting invited to 5 star restaurants to review their food — but it isn’t.
To know you’re going to be an intrinsic part of a food blogging community, with well over 40,000 followers and a strong readership is no less than a clairvoyant’s premonition when you’re starting off.
He started back in March of 2015 and has never looked back.
And so followed my first question for him.
How, and more importantly, why did you start a food blog?
Although I kind of knew how he started off, I didn’t know his complete story and I wanted to. So off we went…
He explained that he’d go out for dinner with this family on Sunday nights like millions of other families do, and he’d keep Snapchatting his food, which, once again, millions of us do with every damn waffle we order.
Clearly, he had better plans.
As many of us create our oh-so-curated Instagram pages, so did he. He also bought his domain name, FooDelhi.in, to give his blog a more professional theme, which he stresses upon as one of his beneficial moves in the space.
I’ve always known Karan (oh, that’s his name, by the way) as an entrepreneur. A few years ago, we had the idea to start a company which would deliver mobile cables and spare parts to people’s doorsteps and Karan spearheaded the whole thing. Damn you, wireless world.
He also has a full time job which he happily exercises control over and does with great skill.
And, that was it. That’s how FooDelhi was born. A mix of entrepreneurial blood and Sunday night outings with the family.
But wait, we all start things. How did you sustain it and grow it?
And now for the trickier part, how does he maintain his food blog with a full time job?
Much like Karan, we all start things we think are interesting. An Instagram account and a Snapchat ID cost nothing but a confusing period of time deciding on a cool username, after all.
I soon realised the underlying reason for him to sustain a blog, more like a business (yes, he earns from it, we’ll get to it), for years — passion for food.
It didn’t matter to him that people called him names or made him feel badly about his eating routines, he loved every second of it, and those people are still complaining that their username is the reason they’re not getting enough traffic to their page.
You might think, “hey, I can go out and eat, I do that every day, that’s not a business.”
Yes, but for him, it was also an investment. Food doesn’t come cheap, much less free, and time is a resource you never get back, and he was ready to commit.
From his first follower to 1,000 to 5,000 to 20,000 and now over 40,000, he has never thought of it as work simply because for him, it’s not.
How do you earn from a food blog?
Well, for starters, the term “blog” isn’t used in the conventional sense it used to be. A blog not just a wordpress sub-domain website you post on as a hobby. A blog is much more than that.
FooDelhi.in is not just a website, it is also an Instagram page, a Twitter page, a Facebook page and a source of brilliant food recommendations for the city of New Delhi (and even other places, occassionally).
I asked him when he realised his blog could actually yield benefits, both monetary and in kind.
He told me he was first invited to a 5 star hotel for a fancy, experiential dinner with none other than the seasoned food critic, Mr. Vir Sanghvi, based off of an Instagram DM (direct message) when he wasn’t even 1,000 followers strong. Talk about going on and on.
From then till now, he has been to countless events by invite, and to even more just because of his love for food. Although all the reviews are strictly unbiased, he has been able to crack numerous brand collaboration deals for social media campaigns on his blog and social media handles.
He says he still remembers that first event he got invited to; that he can narrate the experience with vivid recollection to the point of him actually wondering how he got here.
As we finally finished our burgers (of course, he recommended the place) following the walk, I asked him what his key takeaways have been while building his social media influence from scratch.
Just start. Not enough people do.
And that’s exactly where most of us get separated from our potential multi-thousand followers and fans.
We just don’t do.
Everyone can talk a big game. Everyone can have dreams.
Essentially, everyone is a dreamer. Once you inject the dreamer with a strong sense of doing, they become an achiever.
You might look back on today a couple of years from now and wonder about how you couldn’t have ever foreseen getting where you are.
Put your head down and get to work like you never have.
And always remember:
I might fail 99% of the times I try; but I fail 100% of the times I don’t.
Since I start off with my journey today, I shall bring to you the most interesting stories about people, their choices about what they do, and what influences those choices. We will together find out and answer the long held question of how people choose what they want to become in life and what they do about it.
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