If you happen to follow food bloggers on Instagram, then you must have come across @Walkwithindia atleast once. Created by city-based Engineer, Vignesh Prakasam along with his friends, the Instagram profile is a heaven for foodies. Mouth watering photographs of street foods and jaw dropping pictures of different places taken during their travels adorn the profile, which is bound to leave you asking for more.
‘I wouldn’t call myself a foodie as I love travelling more,’ says Vignesh, speaking to NewsToday. ‘My friends and I live independently. Living alone away from parents makes us eat out and it became a routine. After a point of time, when you live in a hostel, you eventually get fed up and eat outside.’
He adds that it was during his third year in college when he created the Instagram page, documenting about his travels and food experiences. ‘I posted pics with small captions explaining about the food,’ recalls Vignesh. ‘We always made sure to eat at pocket friendly outlets.’
The page soon gained traction and today they help create contents for other restaurants and food chain outlets. ‘We run digital campaigns, we keep travelling and the money we earn is again used to explore and experience a lot more places,’ explains Vignesh. He adds,’ We never put negative criticism. The hotel may have their own reasons on serving bad food. Even though it is important to cook tasty meals, it is in human nature to make errors. So we only posts about places where we enjoyed the food.’
He also informs that he has never monetized the Instagram page. ‘We get requests from people for our assistance to run their food blogging page,’ says Vignesh. ‘They reach us for food photography. That’s how we earn. We also do content marketing for restaurants.’ Their sphere of influence on Instagram has also made restaurants invite them to curate menus of their own.
What was the secret of growing from a handful of followers to over 3.9 lakh tribe and counting? ‘I started learning the crowd,’ says Vignesh. ‘It was entirely trial and error. I learned when to post, how to post, I analysed the type of food our followers liked.’ He adds smiling, ‘We have never learned digital marketing. We are all engineers. I know how to use Instagram while my friends are very good at photography.’
Is food blogging a good option to take it as a career? ‘It depends,’ says Vignesh cautiously. ‘To be honest, you can’t make much money here in Chennai. However, if you do it in Mumbai or Delhi, you can earn well because there are many major food outlets willing to pay you to promote their work. But in Southern cities, it is still growing for now.’ On a personal note, Vignesh says that he loves South Indian and Italian cuisine. ‘But South Indian food, I can take it any time of the day,’ he confesses with a smile.