The Kitchen Thyme Blogger Spotlight Series is a way for you and I to get to know and support the wonderful Food Bloggers who share their delicious recipes at Kitchen Thyme.
Meet Nicolas from Blogtastic Food!
Check out Nicolas' recipe collection at Kitchen Thyme!
Kitchen Thyme: Hi Nicolas! Thank you for being part of our Kitchen Thyme Blogger Spotlight Series! Tell us where you’re from and how you got into blogging?
Nicolas: I am from Perth in Australia. When I first went to chef school, I was an awful cook. Messy, unorganized, slow…you name it. As I improved, I really started to enjoy and respect the process of cooking a quality dish, then I wanted to use my skills to try and get more people in the kitchen. And that was and still is my main motivation behind why I blog to this day!
KT: How did you come up with the name of your blog?
Nicolas: I was trying to think of something catchy, but also something that didn't sound corny as well. I liked blogtastic food because it's easy to remember, and it's straight to the point.
KT: How long have you been blogging?
Nicolas: Nearly 4 years now, but it certainly doesn't seem that long.
KT: Are you a part-time or full-time blogger?
Nicolas: Part time at the moment, but I am striving to become a full time blogger. I would love to make this my career.
KT: How many recipes do you publish each week?
Nicolas: At the moment I upload 2 recipes a week, sometimes I like to touch up my old recipe posts and update them so they're at the same standard as my new recipes.
KT: After you publish a recipe on your blog, walk us through the steps you take to get more eyes on that recipe. What sites do you submit your recipe to? Do you use a spreadsheet to keep track of where you share your recipes?
Nicolas: Well, I like to submit the recipe link to a number of websites, kitchen thyme is obviously one of them. I also like foodgawker, tasty kitchen, yummly, my recipe magic and a number of other sites. I share the post on Facebook groups, and my social media accounts, which are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
KT: What does a typical week look like for you? Do you create recipes and blog posts on certain days of the week?
Nicolas: Monday and Friday are the recipe testing and shoot days, and Wednesday and Sunday are the days I upload the post. Other days I'll be writing recipes, coming up with different ideas, updating plugins, editing photos and videos….all that good stuff.
KT: Do you have a good blog/life balance? Do you unplug at night or on the weekends?
Nicolas: I try to unplug when I can, but at the moment I am very focused on making this food blog into my platform. So I work very hard on it.
KT: How much time do you spend on Social Media each day? Do you use any schedulers for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Do you have a Virtual Assistant to help you?
Nicolas: I schedule my Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter posts which saves a ton of time. And then I try to be as interactive as I can on Instagram. Which has been working well for me so far.
KT: What social media networks/websites give you the most traffic to your blog?
Nicolas: Foodgawker gives a nice boost of traffic, I get a lot from Pinterest and Facebook but most importantly, a good SEO strategy is very important. I get most of my traffic from Google clicks.
KT: What AD networks do you have on your blog?
Nicolas: I don't run ad networks at the moment but it will probably be Mediavine when I do run them.
KT: What are the main sources of income from your blog? Sponsored Posts? Advertisements? Affiliate Links?
Nicolas: So far I don't make an income, but running ads will probably be my first way of getting an income.
KT: Do you have a long relationship with any particular Brands?
Nicolas: Not yet, but I would like to!
KT: Do you enjoy going to Blogging Conferences? If so, which ones do you recommend for Food Bloggers?
Nicolas: I haven't been to conferences, however, I am signed up to food blogger pro, and they have a ton of helpful podcasts. You can also listen to a lot of these food blogger pro podcasts on Itunes. I highly recommend doing this if your a food blogger who is trying to grow.
KT: Where do you find inspiration to create new recipes?
Nicolas: Everywhere, TV shows, social media, books, restaurants etc. I always learn something new or get inspired when I look at other peoples work.
KT: What are your top 3 favorite recipes on your blog?
Nicolas: The vegan lemon meringue pie because of how similar it actually is to the original lemon meringue pie. My Broccoli Caesar salad, not really because it's my personal favorite but mainly because I was so surprised by how many people absolutely love it! And my seared sushi nigiri recipe, it's simple yet exciting and that has been a huge hit on my blog for a long time.
KT: Do you have great lighting in your house for photos or do you need to use artificial lighting or filters?
Nicolas: I have good enough natural lighting in a couple of areas of the house which works really well for me. There has been very few occasions where I have needed to use artificial lighting.
KT: What advice would you give to new food bloggers when it comes to taking photos of food?
Nicolas: Get a book called “From Snapshots to Great Shots” by Nicole S Young. This is exactly what I did. She is an amazing at food photography, and she breaks everything down in a way that's easy to understand.
KT: Do you have a favorite cookbook?
Nicolas: Yes, it's call “off the shelf” by Donna Hay, an Australian chef. Her recipes never fail me, and she is a brilliant recipe developer.
KT: If you could cook with a famous chef or celebrity cook, who would it be and why?
Nicolas: Very tough to answer but it would have to be Jamie Oliver. Not because he is one of the most popular chefs, but because he is the one who inspired me to actually get in the kitchen and give cooking a go. If it weren't for him I may not be doing all this super cool food blogging. So I would love to show him my gratitude for that.
KT: You are constantly working with food. What are a few ingredients you cannot live without?
Nicolas: I would say first up, smoked salmon, always been a favorite of mine. Next, would have to be lentils and chickpeas as they are my good sources of healthy protein and fiber I highly rely on. And my last ingredient would be Kale, I love kale because it's a leafy green with so many benefits and it tends to last quite a long time in the fridge.
KT: Do you have any advice for someone starting a food blog?
Nicolas: Yes, make sure you are signed up to a good host. Siteground if you're on a budget, and Cloudways for the best site performance. Those are the only 2 acceptable hosting sites in my opinion. And find out the types of things Google wants to see when it comes to recipe posts, very important for SEO. Write content for the user, and provide as much value as you can in each post.
KT: Thank you so much for participating in our Blogger Spotlight, Nicolas! Where can our readers find you?
BLOG: Blogtastic Food