Blog Title: Vegans Baby
About: Diana launched Vegans, Baby in 2016, offering the only comprehensive guide to vegan dining in Las Vegas that includes an interactive map of local restaurants with vegan choices, dining and lifestyle directories, guides, news stories and more.
Over the years, Vegans, Baby has expanded and includes a vegan dining month in Las Vegas, Portland and San Diego, vegan events and curated, chef-driven dinners at the James Beard House and in Las Vegas. Diana offers local and international food tours, restaurant consulting and authored the Las Vegas Vegan Food Guide.
Notes from Episode #093: How to establish yourself in the community and worldwide while expanding your food blog through providing different offerings such as a comprehensive guide, food tours, consulting, special activities and more.
Fun fact: Diana wanted to be an Emmy award winning soap actress on All My Children. She liked Susan Lucci.
Food blogging can help lead to so many other avenues for your business to grow into.
The key is to find out where there’s a need that isn’t being met because you can fill that demand.
Diana started out as a travel blogger and there weren’t a lot of people doing it at the time. Now the world wide web is inundated with travel bloggers. Food blogging is the same.
So it is key to find something that will make you stand out but that you are passionate about at the same time. The less competition you have, the easier it will be to stand out.
You and your “why” are unique so when you’re looking at your blog and you’re drilling it down, telling your story, it is important that you find non-invasive ways of weaving that through posts. Whether it’s through your blog or in your stories on social media, you have to stand out with what you’re sharing. Why you’re doing this blog life helps you to grow loyalty and stand out. You can’t do what everyone else is doing, just do you.
You have to show up, be accessible and consistent.
You have to engage. You have to be relatable. Otherwise your audience will move on to the next person who is.
Know what you do and show them what you do. You have to do this in 500 different ways. Tell it to the people in the back.
Don’t expand into something you don’t do. Stay on brand.
You are where you are because of the people that support you. Have a gratitude mindset. Expressing gratitude goes a long way.
Beyond food blogging – there are ways you can get involved in your community and create partnerships and establish your own brand.
During this period where we can’t go out and are mainly online, you can still begin building relationships. You can connect with restaurants, distributors, like minded people. Once we get off our digital platforms, you can go out and introduce yourself in person.
When we’re past Covid, you can reach out to restaurants. Introduce yourself, say who you are, explain what you want from them and how they would qualify to partner with you. For example, Diana would call up restaurants, sometimes walk in, meet face to face. Diana was offering to place restaurants that were in her community on her website to direct her audience there. But they had to have a minimum amount of vegan options available to qualify.
Diana grew from there. She’d set a vegan meet up at a local restaurant. She’d build from there. Do a pop up in town, highlight restaurants/new menus, invite people to do a restaurant opening or recommend food walking tours and meet the chefs. You can do fundraisers, special activation (vegan dining month), food guides, consulting, etc.
She could do these kinds of events because she’d built relationships and networked in her own town. She’d cultivated relationships with these local businesses.
Diana recommends that you brainstorm. Think about what you do online and how to go into the real world with it.
Diana had a chef approach her recently. He knew that with shelter in place happening, people still needed to eat. So together they set it up so that she could advertise to customers they could purchase a meal to people during the pandemic to support this local restaurant. Customers were able to drive to the restaurant for ‘take out’ and those relationships Diana cultivated had continued to help her audience and the restaurant.
One way to begin the process of making relationships is to engage online with others that you want to potentially meet, network, partner with. Connect with markets that are similar to yours and connect through social media platforms. Follow them on Instagram, really become the audience to people that are ‘foodie’ like and start a conversation.
Don’t look for people to hire you, look for partnerships to nurture.
Be approachable and professional, not entitled. If you are going to ask for something for free, then show them the value of what you’ll offer to them in exchange. If you have a fee, it has to be a good value.
Diana’s goal for her blog is to make vegan lifestyle accessible for people and to see how easy it is. The destinations written up on her blog are to help people. She doesn’t want to be just a restaurant guide, or just be a recipe site, she enjoys writing about all kinds various things that connect vegans with anything that will help them.
Diana shares this piece of advice with us: she said her mom told her right away when she started this journey, “Find your niche.” Find your passion. Figure out how to make that into your business.
Helpful references from the episode:
Diana has gotten to where she is with the help of others. So if you have any questions, reach out. She will always try to be helpful.
Vegans, Baby is on all the socials and her email is [email protected]