We catch up with Kirstin (from Taste and See blog), a born-and-bred South African living in London. She has just completed a MSc Human Nutrition degree, and is currently working in nutrition research in the area of personalised nutrition. She loves spending time in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, walking outdoors and getting out of the busy city, and is a huge fan of GOOD coffee.
Our Influencer Training Scheme is designed to help you build strong working relationships with brands – apply to join today.
Health Bloggers Community and Wellspoken Mark have paired up to create a much-needed resource for all bloggers – both new and old – who want to share content responsibly, maximise their influence, and have fun whilst doing so.
Over to Kirstin…
I started blogging in August 2016 when I first started studying nutrition and dietetics back home in South Africa.
At the time I felt that there was so much misinformation on the Internet concerning food and nutrition, and wanted to share what I learnt with others in a way that was understandable, not intimidating, and also backed up by sound scientific evidence. Some of my biggest inspirations when I started my blog included McKel Hill of Nutrition Stripped.
Over the years, my blog has evolved and transformed as I have learnt more about the human body, nutrition science, and how we as people relate to food – particularly how the idea of ‘health’ can easily be taken to extremes when we fall into patterns of disordered eating and hating our bodies.
Some of the people who I have learnt a lot from in the past year or so in this area has been the likes of Laura Thomas, Christy Harrison, Paige Smathers, and Haley Goodrich. Although my blog has shifted and changed over the years, my intentions still remain the same – to share knowledge as I learn more about nutrition, tasty recipes centered around fresh, seasonal food, as well as resources that can guide each reader in their journey towards living a healthier & happier life.
In a way my blog is still a hobby – it is something that brings me joy as I create new content for it, it has helped me develop many useful skills, and is something that I dedicate time to it each week – as I am not making millions from running it at the moment!
I suppose it started to become more than just a hobby when I realised that those reading the content that I shared on the blog and my social media channels were becoming a community of individuals who had an interest with what I put out into the world, and to whom I had (and still have) a responsibility to educate, inform, and connect with in meaningful ways. I think that the first time someone shares a picture of one of your recipes that they made or sends a message of thanks for a post that you shared helps to shift that mindset.
I am still learning, and have a long way to go.
So I am thankful for platforms like HBC to help those of us who need guidance! From what I have learnt thus far, I think that establishing your own unique voice, sharing organic content, and having a few values behind your blog and brand help to guide the work that you do. Being open to change and having flexibility is also always important, because over time your views and messages might change, and your brand needs to adapt with that.
From my limited experience with working with brands, it’s always good to:
- Stick to your values. Don’t partner with brands and companies that don’t align with the values you want to exhibit.
- Make it official. If you are working with a brand/company, make sure that you sign a formal contract that includes what is expected from you and the brand/company, deadlines, and payment details. You don’t want to be taken advantage of.
What have your learnt from taking the influencer training scheme that you did not know before?
I am still processing a lot of what I learnt, and need to find the time to implement the things that I was exposed to on the training scheme in the way that I run my blog in future. I definitely didn’t fully understand many of the practical aspects of brand partnerships, how to facilitate them, and how to market yourself as a blogger and am grateful for the hands-on, practical approach that the training takes towards teaching these things.
Write a list. It always helps me to have tasks that need to be completed written down on paper, so that I can plan my day/week/month around finishing them.
The bonus is that whenever you complete a task, you can cross it off the list, and that always feels AMAZING.
Biggest thing you have learnt and actioned since the training?
Something important that I learnt from the training, but am still planning on implementing in the coming months, is setting up a review policy for older blogposts and articles. In the world of nutrition science this is particularly important, because there is ALWAYS new research coming out and older blogposts definitely need to be updated every year or two to ensure that they are still accurate and informative.
Don’t forget our Influencer Training Scheme is designed to help you build strong working relationships with brands – apply to join today.