I’ve got to admit, it was a bit of a starstruck moment when I headed over to BBC HQ in London and stepped into the BBC 1Xtra studio. Like, totally casual, just walked in and was greeted by the so-cool-it-hurts Jamz Supernova, a presenter for the show championing Future R’n’B.
Why was I here? I have my friend Charlie to thank for this opportunity, an assistant producer for the show who got got me in to talk about my blogging and freelancing career as part of the #DIYGeneration series: “Celebrating some of the best and innovative creative young people around the country who have turned an idea into a reality.”
You can listen to the full interview BELOW. Yes, I definitely had the cringeworthy moment when hearing my own voice and pick up on stupid little habit haha, but I was also pretty overwhelmed when taking a step back and realising how far I have come since setting up my blog a few years ago, and taking the leap into freelancing in September 2015. It seems mad that right now, I’m doing what I love as my job.
So anyway, I thought I’d pull out some key points from the interview with the lovely Jamz, as requested by a few of you on Twitter – so here goes!
Q) How did you get into food blogging?
I’ve always been interested in healthy living and food from an early age…I loved studying social media at college and university (I graduated in 2010 with a First Class Honours Degree in Media & Communications) and when I met James, we ran a music website on the side of our jobs which involved going to loads of festivals, gigs and club nights which involved a lot of social media activity.
After a few years of partying and travelling all over to cover music events, my blog became an outlet for my healthy, tasty recipes which I started to share and take photos of – and it went from there really!
Q) What does a food blogger actually do?
It’s really varied, and because being a freelancer I have three things I mostly cover: social media work (keeping on top of conversations about trending topics, tapping into what people are talking about), content writing (researching trends in the health food industry and writing about them) and the main one – recipe development, working with brands and using their products in delicious but healthy creations.
Q) Do you take all of your own photos?
Yes! I used to use my phone (the first photos I took and posted are, admittedly, pretty shocking!) but when James bought me my first proper camera for Christmas in 2014, it transformed my blog content and recipes! I played around my camera a lot with it to see what worked best and learnt along the way.
Something else I take more and more care of these days is the additional elements of photography, especially with food: things like props, materials, cutlery to create the composition of an image. This part is constantly challenging me and I find it to be another wonderful creative outlet for my ideas and presenting them visually.
Q) Do you think that the health food industry is inclusive because it can be expensive!
I get asked this a lot – the recipes I do, I try and make more accessible so while they include more pricey ingredients like coconut oil (which last quite a while!), they also use store-cupboard ingredients or cheap produce like plenty of fruits and vegetables. [Read my blog post here about how to eat well on a budget.]
Q) There are so many food bloggers out there now – what do you have to do to stand out?
The main thing is to stick to a certain style that has your own stamp on it; something you will become recognised for. There are so many trends that many jump onto, making it hard to distinguish between who’s who…Instead, keep in mind what you want to focus on, have your own theme and stick to that, without feeling like you have to conform and be like everyone else, as it’s so easy to get lost amongst all the other food bloggers out there.
Q) For young people out there, do you think becoming a food blogger is achievable?
Definitely! The power of social media is crazy – and in such a short period of time, it has allowed people to make their passion, whether that be music, fashion, sport etc. into a business or outlet that springs them into success.
Q) What’s next for you?
It’s good to have an end goal but right now for me, part of what I love about doing what I do is that things come up unexpectedly, mainly from a tweet or email which has opened up an exciting opportunity. For instance, last year I hosted my own supperclub where I cooked for 24 paying guests and it was filmed for All4 (watch it HERE), something which I wouldn’t have ever planned or anticipated, but I’m so glad I took on the challenge!
One of my dreams, whether it will happen or not, would be to have my own book! I love having something physically which I can pick up, look at, keep and go back to, and recipe books especially are close to my heart. It would be amazing to see my own recipes there in front of me one day!