Neha Mathur, one of our most popular and favorite Indian food bloggers, talks to us today about her start and how she has built her Whisk Affair path thoughtfully. Neha was a dentist for two years before she set foot in the food blogging industry.
Join us in getting to know the talented Neha Mathur here!
What inspired you to start a food blog?
I practiced dentistry as a profession for a couple of years. But there was so much travel involved in my husband’s profession and I had to travel along. Both of us being foodies, we realized we were running out of access to good Indian food when we travel. I started to learn to cook. I was quite the late bloomer because my younger days were spent with me being buried in books and getting through college.
The more I cooked, the more I realized how much I loved cooking and eating good food too. That’s where it all started. I was at home while traveling and couldn’t work remotely, so boredom was setting in. I didn’t know how calming and therapeutic cooking can be until I started. What began as a survival technique turned into a passion for me. My husband who always appreciated my cooking suggested that I start a blog so I’ll never lose my recipes.
I considered this a paid profession only after 2 years of working in this space. I got an opportunity to work with a website to curate a list of weekly recipes. That was my first paid gig. ” Only about three years back, I started getting noticed by brands in my social media space. “
But how did that turn into a full-time gig? How do you keep your content different from other food bloggers?
In my initial cooking days, I tried cooking recipes from other sites too. Some turned out exceptionally well and others a disaster. I decided then that even if my content was less, it has to be of the best quality. Investing in bad recipes is a complete waste of time, effort, ingredients etc. So, that became my top priority. My recipes are all tried and tested and I make sure that they are foolproof for my followers. I have to say that it has really helped me in the long run.
Tell us about your journey with a recipe and how you deal with ones that don’t turn out too good.
I try a lot of them. Honestly, once a week I have to deal with a recipe failure. But, years of constantly updating myself, reading and acquired expertise have helped me hone them. Among all the tried ones, many of them still don’t get an appearance on the website. If you go through Whisk Affair, you realize that I haven’t noted recipes of some extremely popular dishes, only because I still haven’t been able to crack the perfect recipe. My obsession with being a perfectionist really helps with the quality of my content.
Do you get any help with your content?
Recently, I am happy to say that I have been turning a large volume on the website. I curate my own recipes and work on the photography too. I have a chef who helps me around in the kitchen, a social media manager and a tech person from the US.
What kind of inspiration do you derive from your favorite cuisines?
I belong to a mixed small community from my father being from a part of Rajasthan and my mother from UP. My weekends consisted of my father’s fabulous non-vegetarian cooking. I also am very inspired by my mother’s Uttar Pradesh dishes – most of them being traditional and not very well known. Restaurant food is great in these states, but I got the real deal.
Also, my husband and I have traveled extensively and I love experimenting with international food too.
How keen are you on healthy food?
My definition of healthy is believing in portion control and working out. I don’t focus on less oil or using exotic grains. I like making tasty food with fresh ingredients. For eg, I substitute cold pressed mustard oil instead of refined oil. Indian food takes care of good health naturally.
How do you choose the brands you collaborate with?
I am very picky about the brands I work with. My followers establish their full trust in me, so I keep it simple. I only work with a brand if I would use it at home. I only work with food brands if I feel comfortable feeding it to my kids.
What advice do you have for upcoming bloggers?
Firstly, you have to come to a realization: Is this your passion or profession? The work is going to be intense and they have to be prepared. Your home is your workspace, but you can’t afford to laze around. Keep the passion alive! Even when I travel, I cook. I went to Iceland recently and enjoyed cooking with the local ingredients.
Also, I didn’t focus much on SEO initially. I posted decent content on social media, but only after I started taking SEO very seriously, I am seeing a jump in my page views.
Finally, you have to come to the realization that the competition is so tough. Every post has to be thoroughly researched, the photography has to be perfect, and you need your own stamp in the content and be consistent throughout. Take care of the content right from the start.
What do you see yourself diversify into?
I haven’t also been working on my website my recipe nook which is focussed more on international cuisine and for outside Indian audience too.
Thank you, Neha! That was fun and hope to see you back on Greenroom soon.
Keep watching this space for more interviews with your favorite influencers.