I started my Instagram blog @mum_made_yum in 2020, and it's since evolved from hobby to side-hustle.
Many assume food blogging is simply eating at cafes and taking a few pretty pics. But it’s a lot more than that - it's a way of life.
Food blogging means I perform so many more roles than just “taste-tester”. Yes, there’s a lot of eating, but I also have the role of photographer, food stylist, business manager, writer, social media marketer, salesperson, shopper, dish washer, accountant and so much more.
With an audience of 11k+ on Instagram, maintaining my blog can take up hours of my day, and it's often unpaid.
And because I do it on top of my corporate nine-to-five job (and while juggling two young kids), this “way-of-life” has inadvertently replaced all of my Netflix & Chill time and taken over several rooms in my house.
Since taking my blog seriously, it has also started generating regular income for me. It’s nice to be financially rewarded for my hard-work, however it’s certainly not the driving force or my motivation.
Like many freelance professions, income is inconsistent, and in some cases the “reward” may not be in the form of money. Some weeks I may land several paid posts ranging from $100 to a few hundred bucks each; some weeks there will be none. Other weeks I may publish commissioned articles.
Restaurants or cafes often offer brunch or dinner “on them” in exchange for some attention on their socials and a review of their menu.
Brands offer “contra” arrangements; in other words they gift an item or product in exchange for a post or story - however I tend to only accept gifted items that I already align with or would normally use.
Some may perceive this as a means to just getting "free stuff", but it’s a great opportunity to support (often small) businesses with very cost-effective promotion and build their brand awareness.
And of course, in many posts, I will simply share something that I love using, with no sponsorship attachment - because let’s face it, that’s exactly what Instagram is all about - sharing things that you love and inspire you.
Here’s a little insight into my day as a mum and food blogger.
6.00am – Today is my day off from my corporate job, however I get up before my kids (Zoe, five, and Ari, one) so I can get ahead of the day.
I boil the kettle, get dressed and put on some makeup. I sometimes try to read work emails and Instagram comments before Ari wakes up, but he is my early riser and today he’s not sleeping in…
6.30am – Ari wakes up, I make him a warm bottle of milk while I read and respond to those work emails (even though it’s my day off, I often monitor emails and take calls throughout the day).
7.00am – Ari plays with his toys while I chuck a load of washing on.
I quickly scan my Insta DM's but don’t have time to respond yet.
7.30am – I drag Zoe out of bed, get her dressed for kinder and make the kids breakfast.
While the kids are eating, I quickly check and respond to my Instagram DM’s and reply to new comments on yesterday’s post, which was a new recipe I shared.
8.15am – S**t! Kinder starts in 15 minutes. I yell at the kids to get ready, throw our shoes on and race out of the house, with the mess of breakfast still on the bench.
8.30am – With Ari on my hip, I drop Zoe off at kinder, I bump into a few other mums and we have a quick chat.
9.00am – I swing past the coffee shop and pick up a medium latte. I love my daily takeaway coffee and supporting my local.
9.30am – I quickly return home, hang up the washing, give Ari a snack while I check my blogger inbox and respond to a few collaboration proposals.
It sometimes takes weeks of emails, phone calls and negotiating with a potential partner until a collaboration is finalised.
10am – I dash out of the house again to meet my sisters at a café 30 minutes away. We have been invited to try their new brunch menu in exchange for an Instagram post.
I take Ari along with me, which is sometimes tricky because he is walking now and brunch doesn’t seem as appealing to him as it does to me…
10.30am - We arrive at the café, order a few menu items and I take some pics and videos once they arrive, while my sisters help me entertain Ari with chicken nuggets.
The food is cold by the time we can eat it, as pics take around 20-30 minutes to capture, but they turned out amazing!
Prior to leaving the café, we chat with the owner about their business marketing strategy, and we compliment their food.
12.30pm - Ari and I arrive home, and I collect a parcel left at my front door, which contains a new kids' food product.
While Ari plays with his toys, I unwrap the parcel, take a few pics and put it away out of reach from my hungry kids, just in case I need to take more pics later on.
1pm - After a quick play with Ari, I put him down for a nap and tidy up the house.
I start writing the caption for today’s post, which is a lunchbox (by far my most popular with my audience, and I love making them!).
I edit the pics on my iPhone, upload the pics I took the other day and save it later to post on Instagram.
1.30pm - I start making Zoe’s lunchbox for tomorrow (I personally prefer to make them the day before).
Once the lunchbox is packed, I take it outside to take the pics. Sometimes I’ll take 10, and then realise that the first one was perfect. I save it for later.
2pm - I make myself a smoothie bowl for lunch, but first take a few pics. I have a pantry full of smoothie items, so often the hardest part is deciding what to top it with!
While I have my smoothie, I upload a few stories of the new products we received today and a preview video of today’s brunch. I then work on editing the reel for brunch, which I only partially complete by the time Ari wakes up…
2.45pm – Ari wakes up, we sit on the couch and have a cuddle and play.
3.45pm – Ari and I leave home to pick up Zoe from kinder. She and her friends enjoy a play while the mums chat.
4.15pm – I dash into the shops on the way home to pick up dinner. I get distracted by a new range of biscuits recently launched by a health food brand. I take a few snaps and upload to my stories.
4.45pm – My husband returns home and we cook dinner together.
5.30pm - As we sit down for dinner, I take a few pics of our meal, a delicious French chicken casserole, which I’ll share in a few days along with the recipe.
I quickly open Instagram and press upload on my lunchbox post I prepared earlier.
6.30pm – Dishes washed, kids bathed, and bedtime stories read.
7.30pm - While my husband distracts the kids I sneak into the study for some quiet time to reply to a few food collaboration emails and texts and proofread a “Lunchbox Ideas” article I’m writing for Mamamia…
8.30pm – We put the kids down for the night, and while laying in bed, I monitor comments on today’s post and research the latest reel trends.
9.30pm – We go to sleep and prepare to do it all over again…
Written by Alison Said
Originally published on MamaMia.com.au on 21st July 2021
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