Name: Linh Huynh
IG Username: @linhsanityfoods
Location: San Francisco
1. What inspired you to start blogging the foods you eat on IG?
I have always been a foodie ever since I was a kid and loved watching the cooking channel and the food network. I have always wanted to start a food blog ever since I was in high school but the perfectionist in me procrastinated and pushed it off as I thought my work was not where I wanted to be. However, it was not until quarantine that I pushed myself to finally start because I reminded myself that everyone starts from somewhere and I should also focus on the journey and not just the end result.
2. What kinds of foods did you grow up eating?
Since I grew up in a Vietnamese household, I mainly had Vietnamese food! My mom loves to cook a lot of soup dishes so I always had some of the iconic ones such as Bun Bo Hue, Bun Rieu, Pho, and Bo Kho! Some other dishes I had a lot growing up included Banh Xeo, and Goi Cuon!
3. Favorite snack growing up? Favorite snack now?
Definitely the shrimp chips you would find at the Asian grocery store. They were so addicting! Slightly salty with a satisfying crunch factor. However now, my favorite snacks would be fruit. I always crave something refreshing and fruits are always my go-to’s!
4. What’s your favorite thing about being a foodie blogger?
My favorite part would definitely be meeting new people, exploring new foods/brands in my community, and collabing with different establishments! I love being creative and I really appreciate how blogging incorporates all of my favorite hobbies; cooking/eating/photo/video.
5. What do you dislike about being a foodie blogger?
When numbers get involved in blogging, it could get discouraging because of course you want your platform to grow, but it could become very stressful.
6. What are some interesting things you learned through the process of blogging about food?
I think one of the most interesting things I learned is that you do not need a super huge following to start collaborating and working with brands. I always had the perception you need tens and hundreds of thousands of followers. However that is not the case. I have definitely seen my fellow foodies gain partnerships with less than 1K followers and it makes me happy that brands are willing to work with smaller creators.
7. What’s one of your favorite foods and drinks you’ve posted on?
This is a hard question because there are just so many! I would definitely say all the local restaurants and food establishments because every place is creating something new and I enjoy seeing all the food innovations popping up! For example, I worked with a Thai restaurant and they had a dish with Italian influences, and created a risotto with Thai flavors.
8. When did your IG start to gain more attention from people? And what do you think triggered it?
I believe when I posted a lot of cooking content for a while, I started to get recognized from brands and other bloggers too, and I started to gain some collaborations. I believe since I was creating consistent work, and formed a style to my content, I became more recognized.
9. What inspired your style of posting content on your IG?
I feel like my style is constantly changing but I would say I love being casual with a bit of an atheistic twist. I really enjoy things looking nice (this where my perfectionist comes in) but also being casual lets me have a little fun! This style really reminds me that not everything has to be perfect and we should just have fun with what we’re creating.
10. We love your work! How do you plan for food/drink photoshoots? What kind of equipment do you use?
I try to find inspiration through my explore page and also Pinterest! Those platforms provide a lot of ideas of what other people are doing and I want to see how I could change it to make it my own while also using what I already have at home. For my pictures, I use a Nikon D750 and for my videos I use a Panasonic GH5. I know these are fancy equipment, but I want to remind people you do not need anything high tech to start blogging or be creative! A lot of people I know use just their phone and only advance to nicer equipment when they want to get more serious or invested into the hobby.
11. What is your full-time job?
Freelance video editor!
12. What does a typical day look like for you?
My days are typically plain and simple. I usually start by cooking myself breakfast. Lately I have been eating a lot of avocado toast! If I need to film a cooking video, I usually film in the mornings after I wake up because lighting is better, and what I make ends up as my breakfast. Then after cleaning, I work and do my assignments for my regular day job. After that, I eat dinner with my family and end my day with editing photos, preparing for any shoots I have the next day, and watching any entertainment I feel like watching for the night. Usually it’s either anime, cooking shows, or travel content.
13. What are some challenges you encountered to get to where you are today (as a food blogger with 2k followers)?
I think one of the biggest challenges is how social media is always changing, especially the algorithm. Sometimes the numbers are really high and sometimes the numbers are really low. However, I try to not let it bother me. If anything, it definitely motivates me to keep trying and try different techniques!
14. What is your long term goal with food blogging?
I hope one day I could make this my full time job. My dream is to travel the world and find a flavor I have not tried before. Hopefully once the world opens back up, I can be closer to my goal!
15. Any advice for people who want to start a food blog?
My biggest advice is to just start. And one of my biggest regrets is not starting when I first had the idea to start. All the thoughts and fears you have about no one recognizing your work or feeling it's not good enough, will definitely pass. If you have the passion and drive for it, go for it! Don’t let anything stop you. I love food and will still continue to post about food even if I lost all my followers.