By Michelle L. Rodriguez • 01/07/2010
Praveen Kumar shares his culture through food at AwesomeCuisine.com
Praveen Kumar started out as a web designer in 2000 and then moved into SEO in 2004. After which, he worked with some of the top dot-com companies in India. Kumar had always wanted to be a chef but since that didn’t happen, he turned his passion for good food into a website where he could share delicious Indian recipes with everyone at AwesomeCuisine.com.
Kumar also enjoys writing poetry, and began writing online at PoetryOfLife.com. It doesn’t end there, as he also owns a dot-com company providing SEO services and design consulting while trying to be a full-time entrepreneur.
Mequoda – Which CMS (i.e.: WordPress, Typo) are you using?
PK - Primarily WordPress, but the Indian recipe site uses Website Publisher from Interspire.
Mequoda – Are you blogging for your company as part of your job (i.e. corporate) or is this a personal passion?
PK - Started out as personal passion but now it’s more of a full-time job.
Mequoda – Has your blog enhanced your professional reputation? How?
PK – People have started to recognize me and link me, to the writings that I have made. This has helped in acquiring new customers and at the same time more collaborative writing options.
Mequoda – How often do you post a new blog?
PK – I tend to write one poem a week. For the recipes, it is every single day. I try to keep it updated every day.
Mequoda – Who is your target audience?
PK – People who have a liking for good Indian food, predominantly in the 15-40 age group.
Mequoda – What are you doing to grow your audience and to create customer loyalty?
PK – Over the last few months, I have linked up with other bloggers and have sponsored various contests, giving out freebies and cash prizes. At the same time it gives them an opportunity to add their own content to my site and gives them a platform to showcase their culinary skills.
Plus, I find out what the audience wants by checking out various online tools including Google Trends and various research reports. Offline I generally keep up with the news makers and give the same back to the audience.
At the same time, most people can differentiate between a good site and a bad site; hence a good looking website is a main element to keep the visitors coming back for more. Ease of navigation with a clean site goes a long way.
Mequoda – How are using social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) to promote your blog? Has that changed the way you blog?
PK – Not a lot I would say. I have a Facebook page and a Twitter page where I update on what’s being posted to the site. Apart from this, my audiences are not there yet.
Mequoda – What is your main source of revenue – ads, sponsor, products sales, or donations?
PK – Mostly advertising revenue.
Mequoda – Approximately what percentage of your overall revenue comes from product sales vs. advertising/sponsorships or other sources?
PK - I do not sell products on my websites as it is difficult to convince my audience to open up their wallet. Hence the majority of my revenue is from advertising.
Mequoda – What is your main source of referrals?
PK – Word of Mouth and Organic search.
Mequoda – What key metrics do you monitor to analyze the health of your business?
PK – I use Google Analytics to track my numbers. I pay attention to visits each day, the number of ratings, comments and sends to a friend. Mainly visits though.
Mequoda – How many sites have you linked to in the last 30 days?
PK – I do not keep a track, but it should be about 30-40.
Mequoda – What changes have you seen in your market since you began blogging?
PK – It has become more competitive and it is a bit tougher to retain people given the amount of alternatives they have.
Mequoda – What advice would you give a new blogger?
PK – Start out slowly. While making money is important, do not make that as your main goal. Focus on quality and have a good looking site. Spread the word and everything else will follow. Don’t copy someone else, what works for one need not work for another.
Mequoda – What ways are you planning to expand over the next year?
PK – Go offline and do more strategic tie-ups with big brands. Yes, there are a lot of big brand food companies, eg. Kellogg and Nestle to name a couple. By creating a “landing” page for these companies, it can add more revenue.
Plus, participating (or sponsoring) in various cooking shows and contests. I am planning to get the word out, something like providing a contest prize sponsored by AwesomeCuisine.com
Mequoda – Is there anything you’d like to share?
PK – Always stay focused and positive. Whatever others might say, don’t give up on your dream. One day, it will be yours. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share my experience.
If you’d like to try some of those delicious recipes check out AwesomeCuisine.com.
Posted in Audience Development Strategy