Fork to Belly is a food blog run by a young woman who is clearly passionate about sharing her love of food with the world. The blog covers everything from Earl Grey Creme Brulee to a Spam and Eggs Breakfast sandwich.
8 Questions with Courtney Chun:
1) How do you reset to be creative?
I come from an art background, so am definitely no stranger to artist's block. I've found that for me, taking the time to step away from whatever might be frustrating me and allow my mind to think about other things works best. If I'm not happy with the food styling in my photos or just can't seem to put words down when writing a blog post, I might take some time to get out of the house, hang out with friends or watch some TV. When I come back to the problem, I feel refreshed and prepared with new ideas.
2) What motivates you?
First of all, I love food! Not just eating it, but also sharing it with others. Big occasions like birthdays and holidays always get me pumped to come up with something pretty and delicious. I also draw a lot of inspiration from other food bloggers. The food blogging community is so warm and supportive. Connecting with other bloggers and receiving comments on my own posts definitely helps to keep me going.
3) What is the biggest challenge you face?
This might be a little backwards compared to most other food bloggers, but I'd say my biggest challenge has been learning to cook. I really only started getting in the kitchen a few years ago, and have only started blogging and experimenting with techniques and recipes for about six months. I have definitely learned a lot, and it helps that my boyfriend used to work as a chef. The best part about cooking is that there are so many resources available online today. When I'm not sure about how to do something, I can always look it up on the Internet.
4) How do you stay on top of the cutting edge?
It's always important to pay attention to what your readers want and what other bloggers are doing. I've noticed that my most popular posts are my cakes, and who doesn't love a good cake! When I think about the posts from fellow food bloggers that draw me in most, it's usually desserts or Asian-inspired dishes. I love baking and creating beautiful desserts, which I think translates into my photographs. Speaking of photography, that's a key component to a successful food blog. A good photo draws a person in and good content on your blog is what keeps your readers coming back for more.
5) What is your favorite way to interact with viewers of your site?
Comments, comments, comments! When I first started blogging, I didn't think anyone was really going to read what I wrote about. Then I started receiving comments from people who would respond to what I had written. I love getting to hear people's thoughts and ideas about the content I post, especially when I share something personal and hear that other readers can also relate to it.
6) Where do you see the future of blogs heading to?
My favorite part about the blogging platform is it's so adaptable because there are really no set of rules that define a blog. I'm sure there will be plenty of new social media platforms in the future, which can definitely help add traffic to blogs and also allow followers to stay updated with new posts and content. I haven't been active in the food blogging community for very long, but I can imagine the popularity of Instagram and Twitter really changed how bloggers were able to get their content out there to the public and interact with readers.
7) What is the mission of your blog?
The mission of my blog is to inspire and to share. If I cook something up and find that the dish is delicious, I'm definitely going to be sharing that recipe on my blog to give others the opportunity to try it out too. Sometimes, I wish food was sendable instantly through the Internet! But that's the point of the blog, it's the closest we can get to sharing food across cultures and between countries. I gain so much inspiration from other food blogs. I hope that when people view mine, they feel that same urge to create.
8) What makes your blog different? How can viewers leverage the content on your blog?
I guess this can relate back to how I am relatively new to cooking. What makes my blog different is that whatever you see on Fork to Belly is 100% doable. A recipe may look complicated or may require a few unusual tools, but if I -- a newbie chef -- can do it, then so can anyone else! I'm still learning my way around the kitchen, and I think that's something that others who maybe don't feel so confident about cooking can see and relate to. I used to think cooking was a bit frightening and daunting, but I've learned that you can't improve if you don't get out there and try!