Instagram reach, good content is the key to success: food blogger Soham Sinha
Soham Sinha is a successful city-based blogger and food influencer on Instagram with over 101,000 followers
Knowing your equipment and having a vision are important for content curation
Audience feedback, response tracking and knowledge of Instagram algorithm are important
The recipe for a successful culinary blog is as nuanced as any delicacy in a chef’s repertoire. Behind the delicious images of gastronomy and savory words lie years of hard work and a fiery passion for the profession.
We recently caught up with Soham Sinha, a food blogger turned lawyer, and discussed her personal experience dealing with the different aspects of food blogging and how to become a successful influencer.
Editor: How did your journey as a food blogger start?
Soham sinha: I had some free time after my Class X exams at South Point School and decided to do something off the beaten path. One day I suddenly realized that food blogging could be a good option in Kolkata because no one in the city is doing it! However, I didn’t have a lot of pocket money at the time and could only afford to visit a restaurant once a week. I used to click on photos of food but didn’t know where to put them. Then I stumbled across Zomato and put the review of only one restaurant on the site – that’s how it all started.
You trained as a lawyer and are now one of the city’s best-known food bloggers. Can you describe how the transition went?
Soham: I was posting reviews on Zomato even after I was admitted to Heritage Law College, University of Calcutta in 2015. After posting over 100 reviews on Zomato, I got a call from a restaurant asking me to review their food. Soon after, I started getting regular calls from other restaurants.
My experience with Zomato inspired me to focus on Instagram. A restaurant asked me to do a paid review when I gained 7,000-8,000 subscribers. After a while I started getting more calls like this. By the time of my third year in college, I was not only helping brands promote through my page, but I was also curating great content, food photography, and mood images for their social media. I then won the Best Instagrammer award for two consecutive years in 2019 and 2020.
After my senior year, I practiced at the Calcutta District Court for two months, but soon realized that it was impossible to juggle the law and food blogs. I finally opted for my passion: to be a blogger and a culinary influencer.
How did you get into the content creation business?
Soham: I have always been passionate about curating travel and food related content. Traveling was pretty expensive when I started out and that’s why I started to create food content. But for the past year and a half, I’ve been focusing more on food-inspired travel to guide people on what kind of local delicacies they might consume while traveling to a specific region. We were recently in Gujarat thanks to a collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism of the Government of Gujarat. We took a seven day trip and hiked the Rann Utsav.
What are the essential qualities to be a content creator in the food industry?
Soham: I can only speak from my personal experience. Initially, I had a simple phone camera to click on pictures. After a while, however, I bought my first Canon camera. I used this camera for two to three years and then went back to the phone camera because it is easy to handle and control.
There was another reason behind this change. The type of content that could be generated from the camera was way better than the clicks on my phone’s camera. But these photos made my profile look like a photographic profile, which I didn’t like very much. I think the phone can be the primary weapon someone can start with as a food content creator.
Behind the delicious images of gastronomy and savory words lie years of hard work and a fiery passion for the profession. Facebook: Kolkatadélites
You have over 101,000 followers on Instagram. What do you think is the best way to retain so many subscribers?
Soham: I created my Instagram profile in 2013, but didn’t become proactive until around 2015. It takes about a few years to figure out what people want. My target audience is basically those between the ages of 20 and 50.
First, you need to understand what your audience is asking for. You might receive direct messages from them in terms of what they want to see. Second, you also need to keep an eye out for content that is actually reaching people based on the number of shares, saves, and likes. Third, you need to be very consistent with the type of content you are generating. Finally, you have to understand Instagram’s algorithm.
Your videos often give us the activities that take place inside the kitchens. What intrigues you the most about the entire food preparation line?
Soham: It has to do something with the crowd. People love to know what’s going on at Kolkata’s heritage restaurants and cafes. I had to get permission from the restaurant authorities to enter their kitchens and capture the whole process. Grasping how a product is made piques the interest of a large number of audiences who might be interested in knowing the recipe.
Are there any specific points you keep in mind as you capture these moments?
Soham: We have editors who take care of the post-production process. Sometimes the videos are shot for almost 15 minutes and we have to cut them down. Each dish has its own angle and my goal is to capture it. For example, if it is a plate of Biriyani, it must be a sideways blow. If you click on a chicken steak with sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes, it must be a great shot.
How to contact you for internships?
Soham: Anyone can send me a CV if they want to join my team or create content. They are always welcome. It will be a paid internship. For us, it’s not just about creating content for our page, as we also create content for other brands. My email id and Whatsapp number are synced with my Instagram profile.
For short cooking videos, transitions play a big role in increasing your reach. Edited shots, drops, and plating shots work well for the audience.
– Soham Sinha
Are you looking for a place before you visit it? Can you explain to us the background work during the creation of the videos?
Soham: If this is a new restaurant, we have no idea where and what kind of food it serves – we have to improvise and create content on the spot. But if it’s an old restaurant or cafe, then we know something about it.
However, I have the impression that a place has nothing to do with its history because everything changes over time. Creating content isn’t really pre-decided because we don’t know the crowd and the situation when we visit a restaurant.
Can you give us an overview of the technology involved in creating content?
Soham: For Kolkatadelites – my personal page – all content for a year and a half has been clicked on the phone. I am using an iphone 11 and editing on the phone itself. For photo editing, I recommend three apps: Normal Phone Editor, Snapseed, and Adobe Lightroom.
For videos I would suggest Inshot or Adobe Premiere Pro. If someone is comfortable editing in another app, that’s fine as long as they don’t change the ethics of the video. For short videos, transitions play an important role in increasing your reach. Edited shots, drops, and plating shots work well for the audience.
What are the current trends in food blogs?
Soham: It also has to do with apps. I was part of the Instagram media partnership program called “Born on Instagram”. We’ve had partner managers on Instagram sending us weekly trending songs and stuff that actually helps us post videos. They also help us organize content and make it go viral.
You have to put in a lot of effort and create great content to go viral on social media. At the same time, you need to familiarize yourself with trends like hashtags and songs, as they would give you better leverage.
Here are three of Soham’s favorite things:
- Favorite food: Biriyani.
- Favorite bakery: Patisserie by Franziska.
- Favorite restaurants: (Asian) Bar-bQ / (Japanese & Korean) PA PA YA / (Asian Lounge) Momo I am / (Biriyani) Royal Chitpur, Dada Boudi Biryani.
Careers in Food Technology: Entrance Exams, Eligibility and Job Prospects
Last updated on December 31, 2021