“Why not do something with all of these amazing meals we are eating”, she said.
A little over a year ago, we were sitting at Creekside Cafe – going on and on about how delicious our meal was. Over cups of coffee and a few games of backgammon, the idea of this blog came to life. A little while later, while folding laundry, the name “She Said, She Said” was picked. A week later, domain name bought, photos taken (don’t even get us started on the stress of this!) and before we knew it, we were pulling our hair out over how stressful setting up a blog was.
“That better be the worst of it”, she said!
We are at a restaurant. “WAIT! Don’t eat your food please” – is what we have to yell to all our friends and family because we need photos of all the food on the table before they can eat it. We MUST keep trying new places. But sometimes, just sometimes…you want to go back to a place you love, right? But that would be a wasted night out. The day job is crazy, we are travelling, we have families and a life. But the posts must go on – it’s kinda like a full-time job! It’s so ridiculously tiring sometimes… one would ask – a whole year later, is it all worth it?
“You bet your best doughnut, it is”, she said!
Life in a fast-paced city like Dubai can get very busy and monotonous very quickly. Before you know it, you are in cruise control mode. We started this blog to serve as a creative outlet. We wanted to have something that would push our minds to think creatively and as we learnt, even test our technical abilities. Little did we know how much there was to learn about writing, photography, sites, CSS, fonts, lighting, WordPress and the general blogging universe. SO MUCH. And we’d like to think that we learnt a little bit. We know we made a couple of boo boo’s along the way but we also think we did a few things right!
Today, on her first birthday, She would like to share some of that learned wisdom!
1. Just the two of us!
If you haven’t noticed, there’s two of us! While one sets the table and fixes the light, the other takes the photo. We have each other to share the responsibility, keep each other accountable, share food and tell each other “it’s OK” when life is taking over and there isn’t time to do anything you want to. Most importantly, with two people, we get to experience more!
2. Good photos are Queen!
Good photography is key! There are a few photos (in some of our earlier posts) that we wish we could go back and re-do! Cameras are expensive and you have to know if it is something you are going to use. If not, iPhones are a true saving grace. You can take some fantastic photos with them – just know a couple of things: avoid filters and ensure there is good light. Speaking of light – Nancy has become quite the lighting expert (you can see her work her magic in this post!) Do what you need to do to get the photos you want!
3. Build Community and Soak in the Experiences
Dubai’s food blogging community is ginormous. And through this first year, we’ve had the chance to meet so many amazing people (and some we’d like to unmeet!). It’s always fun to hang out with some of our favourite ladies and discuss little blog things – all the fun, trials and tribulations that only another food blogger understands (read: I love food, I hate food. I love food, I hate food. And on it goes). There are things we would never have had the chance to do had we not been bloggers – like meeting chefs, doing food tours, learning how to bake bread (granted this was one, very specific, joyous time) – there is SO much to learn about food, it’s mind-boggling.
4. Some say numbers are fun, we disagree.
Food is fun. Numbers aren’t (at least for non-math brains). Have fun with all of it. Remember why you started a blog in the first place. You will get caught up in the number of Instagram followers you have and how many likes on Facebook you have. It’s bound to happen and maybe you let it get to you for a little bit. But after that – STOP. Know that popularity on social media doesn’t translate to views on your actual blog. Keep your content interesting, fresh and try new things. People will catch on eventually! As long as you are having fun, it will all be worth it.
5. Props actually save your life (or you know, a photo).
Eventually, you’ll get a little sick of eating out all the time and you will want a home cooked meal. On such a day, you will cook a fantastic meal and be so impressed with the outcome. You will want to write about it on your food blog. In order to do that post, you will need photos of the food and that’s when you will realise that your plates are fugly. OR you get a gorgeously fun invite in the mail and want to take a photo of it for Instagram but have nothing to make the photo pretty. Props are the answer, my friends! Go out and invest in a couple of plates, cutting boards, vases and maybe even a fake plant (especially if you are like Namrata and kill all real plants with a single look!).
6. Blogging is a full-time gig!
It is a commitment. If you want the loyal readership – you in turn have to be loyal and consistent with your posts which is time consuming. Wait until you are trying out a new theme for the blog – you will need to spend hours on it and eventually either give up and drink wine instead, or learn how to use CSS coding. Also, friends will constantly point out how lucky you are that you get all these “free meals”. Here’s a secret – there is no such thing. With each “free meal” comes expectations of coverage. Things get especially awkward when you don’t like the meal and that was a whole bunch of calories for nothing!
So there it is! Thank you all for being with us on this wonderful journey and for taking the time to read and support us. Here’s to another year filled with lots more food, loads more photos and all other things She Said! Bon Appetit!