Food for talk: ‘The Hungry Mommy’

Meet food blogger Nusreen Moideen, who turned her fondness for food and passion for photography into an Instagram page that has more than 55,000 followers. Her page, which is filled with bright, happy photos of dee-lish food as well as a few childcare and fashion tips for young parents, is definitely a must-see if you are in Oman and looking for the next place to eat out this weekend or just looking for a bit of inspiration to follow your own path.

Tell us a little bit about yourself ?
My name is Nusreen Moideen and I am a chartered accountant by profession. I am currently running a perfume business in the capital, and I am a mother of a very adorable little four year old. Growing up in Dubai, I was exposed to a wide variety of amazing cuisines from all over the world, so it was only natural that since a young age, I’ve been experiencing all kinds of foods and a varied spectrum of flavours.

What is it that made you become a food blogger?
My love for food started way before I blogged about it, and so a platform such as Instagram to share my eating experience paved the way for me!
When I started the blog, it was merely as a creative outlet to share my love for food and to help people make a decision when they think of where to dine out. That’s when I got a domain registered and began my WordPress blog – this enabled me to write to my heart’s content. I realised soon afterwards that there were rarely any people who did food blogging here in Muscat, so I decided to go about it seriously and created my Instagram handle ‘The Hungry Mommy’ and made my page public as Instagram was then the new trend.

How do you think you stand out from the rest of the bloggers?
Through my page, I try to create a story of my experience, of what my audience can expect when they go to a place that I recommend. Also, I have stuck to one golden rule – I only promote a product or service that I would be happy to pay for myself, and that I have had the time to use and of which I’ve been able to create my own opinion.

What are the challenges you face as a social media influencer?
Firstly, consistency. The key to being in this platform is to be consistent with your content, post regularly and keep your audience engaged by being more creative. I would like to post content more regularly but I’m still finding the right balance between my work, my responsibilities as a mother and wife, house duties and blogging.
Another challenge I face every day is the negativity surrounding the social media platform due to the anonymity provided by it. I have realised that people can say anything and everything to a person as long as they are hiding behind a fake profile.

How sustainable do you think it is to become a social media influencer?
Being a social media influencer can be expensive, especially if you want to do it well. If you are in it for the long-haul and want to make it your career, it needs to be something you really enjoy. If you find a topic that sparks your curiosity and passion, it will really help you keep the creativity flowing.
Overall, blogging is one field where you can follow your never-ending passion for food, travel, photography, or any field of expertise with no one telling you what’s right or wrong. You are your own boss and you are responsible for your own mistakes.

What are the lessons you have learned from your work?
The biggest lesson blogging has taught me would be that nothing comes easy. Most importantly, content really matters. Make it a point to get the best pictures clicked, wander around the restaurant for the perfect lighting, click in different angles – a good picture makes up for good content any day! Also, your captions, tags, and every other detail matters. Your blog must reflect your personality and must drive the audience in and around your story.

Any advice you want to give to others?
Use authenticity, positivity and passion. You need a lot of passion about your particular topic to carry you through the whole process. Also, always remember that your viewers/followers are the ones who made you reach to the level at which you are, so be more interactive with your followers and that adds all the advantage you need for your blog.

What sort of cuisine do you cover?
I don’t particularly have a genre, I love foods of all varieties from all over the world. I try not to stick to one type of cuisine on my page, as my followers are of different nationalities and I want to give them all the satisfaction that they can get from following me. I do try to cover all types of restaurants, but I am prejudiced to Italian cuisine!

Your most memorable experience as an influencer?
The constant support, interaction, and compliments from my followers are the biggest rewards that I receive on a regular basis. I have made so many friends on this social media platform even without meeting many of them. There have been several occasions when I have gone back to my country, only for many of my followers to come up to me and tell me how much they loved what I do. These were among the most tear-jerking moments for me as a blogger.

What food combinations work best, and more importantly, which ones don’t?
I don’t think I have yet had any food combinations that didn’t quite work well together. I feel it’s mostly about one’s preference and palate, what you find delicious, for example, might not be my first choice.