Priya Iyer has been blogging for over a decade and feels overwhelmed at the way the medium has evolved over the years.
Rejecting briefs and pitches that aren’t in sync with her ethics comes easy to Priya Iyer now. She has been doing it long enough. Taking aspirations from everything around her and beyond, she loves to create relatable content for her followers. One of her campaign featuring ‘unglamorous’ hands was a hit among them, getting her feedback and appreciation. Here’s more.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
I started blogging way back in 2007 when it wasn’t even a cool thing to do. I happened to read a few blogs and was really fascinated by this medium of expressing one’s thoughts and connecting with like-minded people. I started a blog of my own too, which was more or less a collection of my ramblings and anecdotes from everyday life.
Today, I can’t believe just how much blogging has evolved – it is no longer just an online diary, but a portfolio, a compilation of one’s work, a means of showcasing your talents to the wide world and earning via the same. Over time, I stopped rambling on my blog and started focusing on the few things that I really loved doing – food, travel, books, and parenting.
What’s in the name?
My blog is called The World Through My Eyes, which is exactly what it is. Every single post reflects my thoughts about the subject in question, my way of looking at it.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
You are right — blogging has become too cluttered these days. It is important that we separate the wheat from the chaff…
How does my content give me an edge? I would say I write from my heart. When I am writing about a place I have travelled to, I infuse the post with my personal experiences and feelings. When I talk about food, I make it a point to write about the various memories I have associated with it. I try to create simple dishes using ingredients that are not very exotic. My content is real and relatable, and I guess that is my USP.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
I draw inspiration from the world around me. My recipe posts are mostly inspired by the time of year, season, available ingredients, and what my family likes. I also keep track of the trends prevailing in the food industry.
As far as my travel posts go, I talk about different places through my eyes and offer tips to make visiting easier for my readers. That’s how I stay relatable.
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
I develop recipes for brands using ingredients provided by them. I also review products and/or services on my blog, and share guest posts making my readers aware of a certain concept. That is how I manage to make a little moolah.
That said, earning via one’s blog is still at a nascent stage in India, one that is still evolving. The industry needs to be regulated well before blogging becomes a win-win situation for brands and bloggers alike.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
I take up only those campaigns that strike a chord in my heart, somewhere. I put up truthful reviews of places/products/services, and my audience knows this.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile.
I have blogged about several age-old recipes that have gotten lost in the hustle and bustle of modern life. I have had several readers come up to me to thank me for keeping alive these ‘lost recipes of India’, saying they tried them out and that the dish tasted exactly like the one their grandmother or mother would make for them. Moments like these make all the effort I put into blogging worthwhile.
Then, there was a campaign I undertook on my Instagram page about flaunting one’s flaws. I wrote about how I have the most unglamorous hands ever because I lovingly cook a whole lot for my family. I had several moms writing to me, telling me about how much they could relate to my post, how it made them feel better about their thankless job as ‘feeders’ of the family.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
I have had brands wanting me to be write only the good about them, though, without a word about the negative aspects. I have also had brands who just wanted me to write about a product, without ever having used it. I have had travel brands tell me they were ready to host me at a certain property if I would bring them a few guaranteed customers. I have turned down all of the above requests.
And, oh, I get asked for ‘free’ work all the time! I take a call on these requests depending upon the brand and the cause involved.
If not blogging, you would be?
Cooking, travelling, exploring food the world over, and writing all about my experiences – somewhere!
A day in your life…
… is busy. A typical day begins at 5.30 AM, and the first thing I do is go for a morning walk. Post my walk, a quick cup of tea follows, which is followed by waking up my daughter and getting her ready for school, then dropping her there. A few hours of work comes after this, interspersed with some cooking. Then, my daughter is picked up from school, and she and I eat together. After some reading and indoor games and then a short nap, it is time for the evening chores at home. I get in an hour or so of work again after my kiddo goes to bed at night.
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
Work hard. Be passionate about what you are doing. Blog because you love it, and not because it is a cool thing to do. Stretch your creative boundaries regularly. Learn constantly. Be real and original.
Your Favorite Influencer
I admire a lot of influencers at different levels. Some write brilliantly, some take gorgeous photographs. Some have the knack of taking you with them, virtually, when they travel to various destinations. Some are superbly creative with respect to the food they dish up. Some are so real and honest, you laugh and cry for them. Some are genuine influencers, who don’t do campaigns just for the sake for money but influence wisely and responsibly.
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
I’m not sure what the future of blogging will be like, so I can’t really say. Ten years down the line, though, I hope I’ll still be writing, photographing, travelling, and sharing my life experiences via my words. I hope I’ll be much better at what I do than where I currently stand.