Jordanian architect Lama Haddadin shares her passion for food and cooking on her Caramelized Thoughts blog. MediaSource spoke with Lama about her most memorable blogging moments, how she prefers to work with PR, and her take on the Jordanian blogosphere.
What inspired you to start blogging?
Food is passion, you either have it or you don’t. I always wanted to spread food culture across the Arab world….and I have managed to reach even further than I thought.
Who is your blog aimed at?
I write for people who love eating tasty food, but think it’s too hard to make. I simplify recipes and use easy techniques to make it less confusing. I also enjoy writing to enlighten people about places they can visit for a good bite.
What have been the highlights of your blogging career so far?
I would say there are several that stand out:
• Holding events to support the King Hussein Cancer Center (using the hashtag #food4cause). I have held a few events to fundraise for the center which made me feel like the blog made a positive contribution.
• Meeting top influencers like Glen Gilmore, Sean Gardner, Gina Stark and Deb Hopewell in Jordan was great and, if it wasn’t for my blog, I wouldn’t have been able to.
• Getting recognition from the Gulf Food Exhibition 2014 - they asked me to cover their event as one of the top food blogs in the area.
How do you measure blogging success?
My measure of success is getting recognised by people and owners of food venues as a person who is specialised in that area.
How would you describe the blogging scene in Jordan?
There were more bloggers in the past but a lot of bloggers are now just using microblogging sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It would be nice to see more active bloggers.
How do you work with PRs and marketers?
I love to work on a consultancy basis to help them see the strengths and weaknesses of their clients.
What kind of press material is useful for your blog?
I am happy to receive PR that highlights events for a good cause, and maybe openings of restaurants that I have worked on as a consultant.
Any advice for PRs and brands wanting to pitch or work with you?
Know the value of your blogger and how important they are for a certain industry. I’m a dedicated person who likes to finish work on time so be clear on all points. I don’t like delays in schedules or people who underestimate the value of my time. Preplanning and flexibility is essential. I love to travel and have no problem trying any kind of food - so long as it’s not still alive while I’m eating it!
What social media platforms have worked best for you?
I tend to use Twitter and Facebook most, but I’m ready to venture into Instagram.