Taking Stock: The Journey of a Food Blog

I just realized that it’s been a year since I started this Site (does buying the domain count?). Feeling a bit sentimental and all so I’ve decided to post my blogging journey thus far.

The Concept

  The idea was born after watching and re-watching too many Antony Bourdain No Reservations and Parts Unknown episodes. (I am obsessed with the guy btw. They don’t make them as cool as him anymore L ) Anyway, I was intrigues with all the diverse food cultures across the world and  I thought it would be really cool to have someone tell the same about our Kenyan food. See, everyone talks about these popular restaurants around town but no one really talks much about our street food culture and the other “kawaida” eateries which feed majority of Nairobians and Kenyans in general. So one day after class in March 2015, I asked my gang (Alex, Denno and Slick) to stay behind and pitched to them the concept for this blog. They thought it was good and even gave me pointers on other segments to add e.g. (Fun Food Facts). Infact, Deyno designed for me the logo.   This was precisely the kind of motivation I needed to hear and I decided, why not?  How hard could it be?

FoodieKE
The Logo Design

Well, the idea wasn’t to see the light of day until 5th of June. I had just come from Biko’s Masterclass where I had heard people talk zealously about their writing dreams and the grand plans they had. This sort of propelled me to push my procrastination aside.  I decided to buy a .com domain from Weebly (To all rookie bloggers, NEVER do this. It’s honestly a waste of time and money. Gave me so many problems) and I went right ahead to do that DIY website. It was ugly! I loved the colours, but the fonts were all wrong. I had a headache trying to figure things out. This was not what I had signed up!

Luckily, my Ugandan pal, Kollin came to the rescue (if you need your sites designed, feel free to hit him up). He-redesigned my ghastly DIY website and made it what it is now. Lifesaver! That was between August-September.

The Journey

Earlier on, I mentioned how I thought this whole starting and running a blog maneno would be a breeze. Si I love writing and all that. Eh, turns out creating content on a regular wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I was just joining final year and I was running so many other things. I was overwhelmed and at some point , I think I just cowered and let things be (I have this tendency of walking away from stuff real fast).  I had all ideas written down and a posting plan which I never followed. I felt like running away from it. But good thing about having friends that care about your dreams is the fact that they’ll push you to be accountable for them. If it were up to me, I’d probably have abandoned this blog way before it even started.

Consistency has been a major problem on my end possibly because I generally tend to steer away from order; could also be the elements of ingrained self-sabotage. But it’s definitely something I am struggling to improve on.

All in all, it’s been an amazing, bumpy journey so far. This blog has taught me a lot about patience and persistence. I’ve been able to meet a lot of fun and interesting folks in the process; attended great events; networked and even made a few coins here and there.

This Chapati Work Station was where all the fun was at :)
The Chapati Forum earlier this year was one of the most memorable events I have ever attended 

Lessons Learnt

  • Be You-nique

When I started this site, I was honestly intimidated. See, my major is in construction and I didnt know jack about food. I’d read other food bloggers use big vocabularies to describe their dining experiences or cooking. How could we even play on the same level? But then, as I have come to learn, we all have unique ways of telling our experiences in a way that no one else can.  I didn’t need to talk about cheese and wine like a connoisseur.  I chose to start with the stuff that I liked and was familiar with to set the ball running (probably why I’ve only written about the restaurants I actually like)

Cake Plaza was the first eatery i ever featured
Cake Plaza was the first eatery I ever featured.  This was also the first time I took my new camera for a test drive. Such a risky move coz I was so green in photography

 

  • Short-cuts are costly

Patience is a virtue. Take time to think through and work stuff out. Remember my Weebly story? Don’t be like me.

  • Draw Inspiration from others

Always be a sponge; explore the internet for other bloggers. Draw inspiration from everywhere. Seeing how much effort people are putting into their work will keep you on your feet eternally. There is no end to learning! Keep you mind open, keep discovering new things!

Also, never shy away from asking for help from others when you are stuck however scary it may seem.

Pinterest has been my biggest go-to Inspiration site
Pinterest has been my biggest go-to Inspiration site. I see stuff and I ache to try them out
  • Consistency

However crappy you feel your work is, keep writing, keep posting. Like wine, it will get better with time.  Don’t spend eons trying to be a perfectionist then end up not doing a thing at all. Better he who attempts to do something than him who doesn’t try at all.

  • Start at you own level

You don’t need to start big. Use what you have around you. It’s the content that matters and not the tools.

My earlier pictures were all made on a Kodak digital camera
My earlier pictures were all done using an old Kodak digital camera
  • Take a chill pill

Don’t be too hard on yourself. When things don’t go the way you expect them; don’t mop around feeling sorry. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You will start all over again. Go to the kitchen and make yourself a huge mug of  lemon and ginger tea ; sit down and relax as you sip on that goodness.  Free your mind.

****

I wrote this for anyone that’s planning to venture into something similar. It’s never too early or too late. Just start!

PS: Way Foward

Thanks to all those people who’ve been reading this blog and for all your Instalove :)  I really appreciate the support.

Working on some really interesting projects this month. Cant wait to share them! Keep it Foodies Kenya !

Love Life! Keep feeding!
Love Life! Keep feeding!

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About Canduh

If food were a person, I'd be happily married with 6 kids by now. Nothing excites me more than the experience of sampling food and trying out new recipes. A Foodie, Hobby Photographer and graduate Quantity Surveyor all rolled into one

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