In a candid conversation with Social Samosa, avid food blogger, Nisha Madhulika bursts myths about vlogging, inspiring budding content creators.
We often hear stories about how social media has helped bloggers, small businesses and other content creators flourish, but rarely come across such successful instances.
One of such successful social media blogger is Nisha Madhulika, one of the most successful YouTube bloggers from India. She is famous for her recipes and videos, something she is deeply passionate about. Starting out with a blog, she initiated her own YouTube channel in 2011 and has not looked back ever since.
An exemplary figure, she is an inspiration for us all, Nisha Madhulika. Social Samosa gets in conversation with Madhulika to understand the recipe of success.
You have ardent followers who vow their culinary skills to you. What would you attribute your success to?
I think more than anything else, it’s because I’ve made a commitment to keep things as simple as possible. That means, I make sure there are no mysterious, no steps unexplained, and everything is kept as simple as possible with the easiest to get ingredients. I also try to explain common problems while making the recipe and the solutions to them. That makes it easier even for a beginner to make the recipe successfully and my subscribers really love this.
You started your YouTube journey at the age of 52, inspiring millions of budding content creators. Please take us through your journey.
I don’t believe that age should stop anyone from pursuing anything they want. As for my journey. I started as a food blogger in Hindi. My readers seemed to like my simple recipes and kept requesting me to start creating videos so everything could be clearer. I took the plunge finally in 2011 and uploaded my first recipe to YouTube. It wasn’t simple. We had to solve a lot of problems, right from studio, lighting, camerawork, editing, etc. It took us a lot of time in the beginning, but gradually the processes fell in place and now we are doing things much better.
What was the one thing that inspired you to YouTube your skills? What inspired me to get on YouTube?
My readers. They were the ones who encouraged me, gave me the support and the confidence to continue and who still inspire me to do better and better, and bring the best of Indian cuisine to the world. Nishamadhulika’s success is all due to the awesome people who cook with me every day and give me feedback to do things better.
How do you create content? What are the basic necessities to vlog from the comfort of your home?
When I started it was my husband who did all the technical work, including shooting, editing and uploading. Now of course the scale is much larger and we have a team to take care of everything. I do work from my home, but there’s a proper team now running things. I have people to shoot, edit, and also to help me create content. Working from home is a bit more comfortable because I don’t have to travel, but it’s a regular work day and I have to be disciplined about it. As far as vlogging is concerned, I shoot only about 2 days in a week nowadays. It’s in my home studio. The shooting goes on for the entire workday, starting from the morning right into the evening.
Take us behind your typical day on social media. From morning to as the day ends – what all you do on social media?
I focus more on YouTube and on my site than on social media. For me, most of my interactions with my subscribers happens on YouTube and my website. I answer comments, review feedback and also spend time trying to solve the problems that my readers have in making the recipes. Then I have to spend time trying out new recipes, writing recipes and also reviewing the work that my team has done. I spend some time in answering my followers on Facebook, but it’s not a large chunk of my time. Most of my viewership is coming to me from my subscribers on Youtube, my followers on my website and the people who find me through Google search.
How much time do you spend on social media for marketing your content and engaging with your followers?
I do try to be topical and make things using ingredients that are easily available and in season. I also try to make things according to the ongoing requirements, so if it’s navratri going on, I’ll try to make more of vrat recipes, and in festival season I make more sweets, but apart from that there’s no formula. Indian cuisine is vast, and it’s my mission to bring as much of it as possible to my audience. I’ve already made more than 1,200 recipe videos, and I am adding to them at a steady pace.
How do you decide your content hooks and topics?
Well, so far I’ve turned down every brand integration offer that I got. I’ve got nothing against brands. There are a lot of brands out there with amazing products. I just don’t want to be tied down or recognized for a particular brand. I am the brand ambassador of good Indian food and I support every brand or organization that creates healthy and good quality ingredients or equipment. Yes, it means that I’ve lost some money but my viewers have an increased confidence in me and know that I won’t recommend something just because I am paid for it. That means a lot to me.
What are your views on brand integration? Which are the brands that you have worked with and any plans in the pipeline?
There are highs and lows in every journey. The blogging journey for me has been pretty smooth because I’ve always got good support from my viewers and subscribers, but I’ve had my bit. I’ve faced technical challenges, and also come through personal challenges and health issues. I think an entrepreneur’s business journey is an extension of their personal life and everything they face in their life affects it. There are times when I can’t perform as well as I should due to the problems, but I try to do the best I can in every circumstance, get over things and be back to my maximum efficiency as soon as I can.
What are the highs and lows of this food blogging? How did you manage to thread through difficult times?
Blogging is good business, but it can work for you only if you are committed. Not just to your trade or the topic that you’re talking about, but also mastering the intricacies of blogging itself. Take the time to educate yourself about the technical parts, and be patient about the money. Blogging doesn’t pay very quickly, or very well in the beginning, but if you create a following then you can earn consistently.