Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your blog? How did you first get into blogging?
I’m behind the blog that is Dalton-Banks which is a place for food and travel lovers. I share recipes that I love to make, where to eat in my hometown, London, and travel tips and advice about the places I’ve been lucky enough to visit. I started my blog to initially share recipes and to showcase my interest in food as that was the industry I wanted to work in. It paid off – I love my job and I still get to blog about the things I love!
You’ve had some fab opportunities through blogging – what’s been the best opportunity you’ve had so far?
I’ve been very lucky to eat some incredible meals. I think one of the best meals I’ve been invited to was a very recent one showcasing two of my favourite ingredients: Parmesan and Balsamic Vinegar. It was at one of my favourite local restaurants in London, Sager and Wilde. There was a 6 course tasting menu using the ingredients beautifully. It was delicious!
What do you think is the best “service” a blogger can provide their audience?
Providing authentic information. People read your blog because they want to hear what you have to say. But it’s only usefully if it’s honest. Whether that’s a review of some kind, a press trip or even a recipe. One of my most popular blog posts is where I talk about a not-so-great brunch that everyone raves about. My readers can trust what I write, which I think is really important.
Do you have a full-time job as well? How do you find the time to run your blog so professionally?
I’ve recently moved to working just 4 days a week in the hope I can focus more on my blog and a couple of other business interests coming out of my blog. I’m hoping there’s something delicious brewing for 2018 so watch this space! I am the biggest procrastinator and spend far too much time reading about how to be more organised and efficient than actually being it! But, I’m an early riser and get most of it done before the rest of London rises at the weekend.
How has your blog changed since you first started it, to now? What was your first post about?
My first post was for a sea bass ceviche recipe – I’d never made it before but thought it would ‘look good’ and like I was a good cook if I did. My blog has changed SO MUCH since then. Firstly I don’t share recipes half as much as I’d like to, as the photography side of things doesn’t come naturally to me and it takes me a while to produce the quality of post I want in my head. I share a real mix of food and travel as they go hand in hand for me. And now I write about food I actually cook, and cooked it lots before I share it, and it seems to be getting great feedback!
Do you have a favourite post that you’ve written? Does it differ from your most popular post?
I loved writing a recent post about things to see and do in Seville. I approached it thinking about ‘what would I like to read?’. I didn’t think about what I should be writing about, which has been written one hundred times before, I thought about the little things that I would find useful to know before a trip, like how early you actually have to join the queue for a popular tourist attraction. My most popular posts are my travel itineraries, which are also quite fun to write as I get to re-live my trips!
What’s been the best thing about your blogging journey?
The people! Which, if you’d asked me before I had even written my first blog post, would have been the last answer I thought I would give. I’ve met so many different people through blogging. Obviously there are the bloggers, but also I have loved meeting restaurants owners, interesting suppliers, hotel owners and event organisers to name just a few! I’ve made some life-long friends through blogging which has just been incredible. Also, it’s definitely given me a confidence in myself I never had before. Which is a nice feeling.
We all know you’re an incredible food blogger, but if you could do it all again, would you choose a different style? Why/why not?
I honestly don’t think I would change it! Food and travel are what I love. I just wish I’d started blogging sooner!
A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money, but we all know it’s not that easy. What advice would you give new bloggers?
I think you should start out writing about what you love and everything around it. People will see your passion and your in-depth knowledge about subject and want to come and work with you and opportunities will begin to arise.
And finally, we want to share the love, so who would you like to see us interview in the next newsletter?
If you have something else you’d like to ask Vicky, pop over to Twitter now for a chat!