How do you usually keep yourself updated with the city’s hottest bites? Through food reviews on Openrice, or the appealing images on Instagram? As these platforms become a mainstream for people to seek dining ideas, Jane Ho, food blogger as well as a doctor-to-be, talks to us about what she genuinely loves— relishing the wonder that a kitchen knife could create and sharing it with the world.
With the handle “pigheadxx”, Jane started food blogging on Instagram in May 2015 with the intention of using the account as an album to record her life. Now, she has accumulated nearly 10k followers and more than a thousand posts. She giggles and says, “It’s weird but eating is my hobby! I enjoy the process of searching new restaurants and the excitement of trying out new stuff.” As Instagram food reviews took over the social media trend, along with Jane’s interest for food and content creation, she decided that she might as well be a food blogger and posted about her food hunting journey, hidden gems in the city, recipes and more.
“It is most fulfilling for me when people save my posts, or ask me for restaurant recommendations,” says Jane. This helps her to connect with food lovers and makes her feel immensely satisfied.
Although Jane might feel frustrated sometimes when the engagements and reach are low, she takes that as an opportunity to learn about Instagram algorithms and improve. However, this is never too much of an issue for her, as food blogging is what she truly loves and the numbers alone just do not define anything.
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One of the perks of being a food blogger is definitely the opportunity to attend tasting events. Jane admits that she does get tasting invites all the time but she is very selective with the restaurants to not do any “fake” reviews. For food blogging newbies though, she recommends putting more hashtags, so that marketing agencies might discover your account easier for tasting invitations. You can also join platforms like Gingfood and FoodiesHive, where there are lower entrance barriers for food bloggers without an impressive number of followers.
Jane goes further than just attending free food tastings, but rather, meeting like-minded individuals who love food as much as she does. With the rising popularity of NFT (non-fungible tokens), Jane has joined Dreamnft as an ambassador and is given a free NFT. She is extremely grateful for this opportunity, as she is introduced to a community of food enthusiasts, including restaurant owners, food bloggers and bartenders. In that way, she gains a deeper insight into the F&B industry.
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For those who are curious about food blogging, Jane highly encourages them to give it a try, as well as offers a few tips for a Instagram successful food blog:
1. Be consistent
It is important to figure out a schedule for your posts, say a minimum of four times per week for a higher engagement. You may start by looking into your Instagram analytics to check which time of the day your followers are most active.
2. Create your own persona
Figure out a “positioning” for your account is fundamental. Do you prefer having a visually-pleasing feed that focuses more on layout and editing like f.o.v_ or one like Jane’s that just makes you drool and crave for food? This is key to determining your niche or group of audience.
3. Do not give up!
It might be discouraging to see your posts not gaining as much noise at the beginning, which makes you feel as though you are “talking to yourself”. It takes time for new profiles to reach Instagram users, so just hang in there! Everything will be worth it if you see your post finally being on the explore page.
Follow @pigheadxx for ideas on where to dine out after the relaxation of social distancing regulations on 21 April (finally!)