Every Friday, in our Friday Fever Series we aim to launch talented Indian Bloggers and this Friday we are delighted to launch a lady blogger who is creative, passionate, food, travel lover and writes and share her experience on everything she encounters at her blog. So here is what Zenia Irani the passionate blogger from “Branded Bawi’s Biography” shares with DiaryScroll.
- Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog “Branded Bawi”. Why did you named your blog as such?
Branded Bawi’s Biography started out as an attempt to document restaurants I ate at, places I traveled to, and topics that touched my heart. I’ve always enjoyed writing and food – two passions that I imbibed from my Bawa family. A blog turned out to be the best medium for me to pursue both those passions.
I am an Audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist by profession, and my day job involves peeking down people’s ears. But by evening, I transform into Branded Bawi – dining, cooking, and socializing. I like to think of myself as a Dr Jekyll – Mr Hyde personality of sorts. Dual identities in a single person.
I wanted a blog name that would reflect my identity, yet be unique and stand out. Since I owe my love for food to my Parsi upbringing, I wanted the blog name to have a Parsi indentity – hence the word Bawi. The name ‘Branded Bawi’ popped into my head thanks to a bottle of wine and a deep conversation with a friend, and it remained there ever since.
- How do you started as a blogger, what were you doing before you made your mind for blogging?
As mentioned I am an Audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist by profession. That’s a profession I chose, and brings food to my table every month, and I respect that. Though I always felt like I was lacking a hobby or something I was passionate about. Then I was introduced to the world of food writing and restaurant reviews while I wrote for the Times Food Guide 2011 Budget Bites section. I also wrote for a couple of other blogs and websites before I decided to start writing for myself on my very own blog. And the rest is history.
- A multi niche blog you manage! How do you do that with a fresh content post?
Content is key in the blogging world. You need to come up with stories that will ensure your readers come back to you. I try and write on topics that I would find interesting to read myself. If you’re writing the same restaurant review that everyone else is writing about, what ensures that the reader will read your post? There has to be something unique and different even if it’s the same story everyone else is doing.
- We see your blog post about reviews, what points do you keep in mind before reviewing? How can one start earning by posting reviews on his blog?
Reviewing is one aspect of blogging, and shouldn’t be your entire blog. Having said that I do a lot of restaurant and product reviews on the blog, though i prefer to use the word ‘experience’ instead.
The most important aspect of a good review is to keep all biases aside – intrinsic and extrinsic. Honesty in a review is important, without being rude or hurting feelings of the brand involved. Making money out of a review is difficult unless you reach a certain level of expertise and popularity. Till then simply focus on writing, keeping the monetary aspect aside.
- What’s the section “Random Musing” about on your blog?
As I mentioned earlier, the blog started off as a personal diary of sorts. I want to be able to write about random topics under the sun like my experience with auto drivers, and the blogging scenario currently. The section random musings is about all of that. Topics that don’t necessarily fall in a category, but I still want to express upon. In-spite of they being random topics, I have found that these posts garner a lot of readership under my blog stats.
- Which platform do you use for your blog and why?
I started off the blog on a whim, and I chose Blogger at that time. I am still using Blogger because I am technically challenged and find the platform easy. Though I urge all new bloggers to start a blog on WordPress because of the detailed stats and analytic it provides. WordPress also allows greater customization of your blog. Cucumbertown is also another great platform for food based blogs.
- What are some promotional activities do you carry out for your blog? Where can one reach you on the Social Media?
Touch wood, the blogs taken off pretty well without the need for any major promotional activities. Though collaborations with other bloggers work very well. Also inviting other bloggers to do a guest post or vice versa improves your blog visibility. Hosting giveaways is another great idea to increase followers and subscribers.
I am fairly active on social media and you can find me vociferously voicing my opinion on Twitter – Zenia Irani or Facebook – Branded Bawi Follow me on Instagram as well for tons of food pictures @branded_bawi
- What some Dos and Don’ts can you share for a newbie blogger?
A lot of newbie bloggers get into blogging for the wrong reasons – freebies, instant recognition and a fast route to money. I always tell new bloggers to blog because they love food, not because they love free food. The passion for writing is also sadly dwindling with most bloggers opting for micro blogging over the conventional written route. I urge new bloggers to write about food because it’s a passion.
I am sharing an excerpt from an open letter I wrote recently addressed to all new bloggers – ‘Your blog is your identity. Please put up content that you’ll feel proud of. It is okay to make mistakes. Hell, even the best of bloggers have done that. It is okay to not know everything. If you did, you would be a judge on Masterchef Australia. But try and gain the maximum that you can. Read up recipes and cuisines on google. Travel and eat new dishes to understand world cuisine. If you cannot, the city of Mumbai has enough to offer. Experiment in the kitchen. Only when you cook, you will realize how difficult it is. It will make you humble, and think twice before criticizing a cook at a restaurant you go to review.’
- How do you monetize with your blog? If not, what ways can you suggest?
Since I have a day job, I haven’t consciously tried to monetize the blog. So you won’t find Google ads or link-back to other websites up there. A few sponsored posts do come my way, and I am picky and choosy about what I eventually associate myself with. I always specify if the post and content is sponsored, so that my readers can make an informed decision accordingly.
- Tell us about some of your favorite Bloggers and Blogs?
So many blogs I love and read on a regular basis.
Kalyan Karmakar www.finelychopped.net for the most interesting food stories
Bawi Bride www.bawibride.com for a complete Parsi food resource.
Roxanne Bamboat www.tinytaster.com for the updates on food and travel
Abhik B. www.seventhbreakfast.com for the most delicious food pictures and witty writing
Monika Manchanda https://www.sinamontales.com/ for wonderful recipes that encourage me to cook.
- As a women blogger, what advice can you share from your experience?
The blogosphere does not judge if you are a man or woman. Equal opportunities are given to all. Ultimately it is your talent and writing that makes you stand out. Don’t let gender biases stand in the way of anything you want to achieve.
- What tips can you give for our blog “DiaryScroll”? What else can we do on it?
Keep up the good work you’re doing. Especially having a section like
Best of Bloggers encourages so many bloggers like me to achieve more.