Next up in our interview series we have Food Blogger Sanika Kelkar of FoodTravelPeople. An extroverted, talented and extremely successful food blogger, Sanika Kelkar is a real example of how unexplored and big food blogging is! With over a whopping 16k+ followers on Instagram, her journey over 6-7 months has been truly inspiring. She follows her dad’s advice – “Do whatever you want to but make sure you’re at the best of it.”
Sanika has profoundly cemented her place amongst the elite of the food blogger word. From sharing the recipes of her mom to reviewing every corner of every food place, Sanika has always been a big time foodie. So let us know more about her journey as a food blogger –
WSL: Tell us more about FoodTravelPeople?
Sanika Kelkar (FoodTravelPeople): FoodTravelPeople started very randomly and out of nowhere about 6-7 months ago because of my love for food and travel. It is a platform where I write my personal experiences when I visit a certain place or when I try a certain dish. Even though it is a personal blog it has become a marketing platform for restaurants, resorts, and food brands. I focus more on what a layman would look for in a restaurant. Each one of us always goes through the “Where to go” dilemma and that is where I want to help people with FoodTravelPeople. Apart from that, I want to share my travel stories and the inspirational stories of people that I’ve met through this journey. I firmly believe that there is something to learn from everyone we meet.
WSL: What inspires you to be a food blogger?
FTP: To be honest, food! Nothing other than food could have inspired me to be a food blogger. I am not a morning person but I can wake up at 5 AM for a cheesecake!
WSL: Now that you’ve got more than 16k followers, tell us how did you start your journey?
FTP: Like I mentioned before, it happened very randomly. I had a habit of posting whatever I ate on Instagram and I used to end up exploring a lot of places. A couple of friends then suggested me to make my Instagram account public so that people would know about the hidden and the new food joints. Within a month I had a considerable following of about 4000 and I started getting calls from PR agencies and restaurants for food tastings. During that time I was freelancing as a content writer for a couple of websites which made me start my own blog. I got a fair response and that is when I decided to take it forward professionally. Now I have a Facebook page which is 1 month old with about 1000+ followers and slowly but steadily I am expanding on Twitter as well. I don’t just like to eat but I also like to cook so I have also started getting into videos and sharing my mom’s recipes. I never thought that Food Travel People would grow as big as it is now but I am thankful to all my followers and the people who supported me and helped me out with making this happen.
WSL: How will you define a true foodie?
FTP: Anyone and everyone who loves food is a true foodie! I don’t think I have a definition to it but there is a foodie in every person.
WSL: Your fondest food memory?
FTP: There are quite a lot actually. Naming just one would do injustice to the rest. But, it has to be the time when I nailed the Red Sauce pasta and made the perfect Garlic Bread for my family.
WSL: What made you call your page/blog “FoodTravelPeople”?
FTP: My old blog had the name “Life and Glitter” I still don’t know why I named it that way! It is quite embarrassing now! But, since I am fond of traveling and I love food and I have met a lot of interesting people through this journey.. this was the only relevant name that I could think of. Clear and straight. No mysteries there!
WSL: If there’s one food place you had to be, which one will it be and why?
FTP: This is a tough one! I’d never want to be a food place! I’d rather go there and eat.
WSL: What do food bloggers do – day in, day out?
FTP: I don’t know a lot of food bloggers who are into it full time. Most of them have their jobs and businesses to look after so it is a part time thing. But eating takes up most our time! Haha.
WSL: Could you tell us more about your experience with branding and social media marketing?
FTP: To be honest, I am still learning. There is something new that comes out in the market everyday. Social media is a very powerful and a very fast paced industry to be working in. Keeping yourself updated with what is going on and what is coming up holds utmost importance. The moment you are outdated, you are forgotten. Branding is a very vast term, from my experience brand is a reflection of what you are, it is a reflection of your ideas and your vision. From what I have observed, even though we see a lot of digital marketing firms around, people are still not aware of social media influencers and the power of working or collaborating with one. Having the right brand name, concept and the right content is important but for it to reach to the right people, there is nothing better than a right social media influencer. Brands like Swarovski, GAP, Old Navy, Harrods, Guerlain, Hugo Boss, etc have made the correct use of social media influencers to launch and market their products. The fashion and lifestyle industry has already recognized the power of influencers and how beneficial it can be for the brands. People are smart, they don’t blindly believe in advertisements. Influencers are the easiest way to target your customers.
WSL: Finally, how has your life changed since working on FoodTravelPeople?
FTP: People pay me to eat delicious food! Can it get any better than this? Haha. Jokes apart..It has been a roller coaster ride because this is a very less explored field so I could not go to anyone for advice. It was about trials and errors and a lot of reading and a little bit research that helped me get to where I am. It hasn’t been a very flowery journey but people have started to recognize me. I have to be careful and responsible with whatever I post online since whatever I post is accessible to a lot of people and a lot of people trust my judgment. Food Travel People has helped me build my own identity and last but not the least, I am doing what I love to do!