Zubaidah has become the most authentic and most followed food and lifestyle blogger in Ghana.
Her journey to becoming the country’s connoisseur in food and travel started three years ago when she used to give out food tips and share pictures of food and vacations spots within Accra on social media. A Twitter thread about a couple who encountered issues during their dinner date is what eventually propelled Zubaidah to officially start food blogging in 2018.
“I came across a thread on Twitter where a couple had run into problems dining out due to underbudgeting, and that’s when I realised there was actually a need for a service like that. With some encouragement from my family and a close friend, I bought my domain name, created a website, did some research and found a few restaurant menus to start with,” she told Kuulpeeps.
Zubaidah reveals that she was extremely nervous when she started her website because she was not sure if Ghanaians would be interested. Fortunately for her, things picked up very quickly and she got a lot of people who liked the kind of content she created.
“When I started, my website got close to 600 unique hits in 2 days. Also, at the time I had less than 4000 followers so I was very excited. That was all the encouragement I needed,” she said.
She later converted her Twitter and Instagram pages into extensions of her blog; she also created another page on Instagram to share budget-friendly dining prices. In three years, her total social media audience has grown more than 10 times the number she started with.
“Since the upgrade in 2019, my site has had over 600,000 page views and my impressions on Twitter alone are at least 6 million a month,” she revealed. “It’s encouraging to see people actually reference my site and posts when they go out.”
Aside from her fear of whether or not Ghanaians would be interested in the content she was creating, Zubaidah also had to deal with making sure that the places she recommends provide the exact services she stated in her reviews.
“Recommending places can be tricky because so many places are simply not consistent… so trying to build a brand around honest reviews is doubly hard,” she indicated. “I can take a beautiful picture of a specific pasta dish made with rigatoni and next time someone goes the chef has reduced the portion and is using pappardelle or fusilli.”
However, finding solutions to these challenges and working hard to build the credibility of her brand paid off when she started bearing the fruits of her labour. Zubaidah reveals that getting her first major paycheck as a brand influencer is one of the top moments in her career as a food and lifestyle blogger.
“I can’t even describe how I felt at that moment. I was very excited. And to finally get to know that brands actually appreciate the kind of content that I create was enough to spur me on to do better,” she said. “And the first time a stranger walked up to me and said she liked my blog, made me very proud of the impact I’ve been able to make through a website and social media.”
Being a highly rated food blogger comes with some rare opportunities, and Zubaidah is enjoying that part of the job too. She has been invited to dinner by ambassadors and high commissioners who want to share their food and culture with Ghanaians. She has also done reviews in Germany, Nigeria, Dubai and Morocco.
“I genuinely did not think being a food blogger could get me this kind of recognition,” she said with a smile.
Zubaidah, however, credits her success as a food and lifestyle blogger to consistency, hard work and innovation.
“I don’t just review, I give as many details as possible to make dining easy for anyone who uses my blog,” she indicated. “I frequently update menus, upload hotel and resort reviews, including the booking processes and prices.”
“I recently created a WhatsApp automated chatbot that gives recommendations, completely eliminating the need to wait for a response from me. Each recommendation comes with the address and phone number of the establishment and you can view their menu via the bot,” she added.
Zubaidah’s ultimate goal is go global as an international food and travel blogger and get to grow an international audience while continuing to improve her services to her Ghanaian audience.
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