Marcella is the baker, photographer, stylist and writer behind the lifestyle blog MODEST MARCE. She lives in the west end of Toronto where she creates and shoots all of her blog features in her tiny apartment.
We caught up with Marcella on her experience working as an Influencer for Branding and Buzzing and what it takes to make it in today’s competitive social media space.
First off, tell us about what you do.
I am a baker, photographer, stylist and recipe developer from Toronto, Canada. I am the creator behind the lifestyle blog Modest Marce and I also freelance for various brands.
Tell us a bit about the work you’ve done with Branding and Buzzing.
I collaborated with Branding & Buzzing this season on a delicious holiday cookie feature using Bonne Maman’s chestnut spread!
What are some of the challenges you face working in the social media space?
There is a lot of competition with social media and so much talent out there. It can be difficult to stand out and gain a loyal following when there are so many other talented individuals doing what you do. Social media can also take up quite a bit of time, as I am always trying to connect with and respond to my readers.
What food writers or sites have been your biggest influences?
The biggest influence for me growing up was the Food Network. I was OBSESSED in high school. It was pretty much the only TV station I watched. Two of my favourite chefs were Bobby Flay and Ina Garten. Ina Garten creates some of the best recipes I know. I often reference her on my blog. As for food blogs/websites, my main influences have been Smitten Kitchen and Simply Recipes. Everything I have made from these two websites has looked and tasted perfect. Style wise, Local Milk Blog is a work of art.
What do you think makes food blogging in Toronto different?
I find Toronto quite a difficult market to crack. While there are a lot of lifestyle magazines in Toronto, there aren’t many food magazines like New York. No Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur Magazine. Those are just a few of the big ones I can think of right now. However, the Toronto food scene is big in terms of restaurants & food trucks. Just have to hope food blogging becomes more popular amongst Canadians!
What upcoming social media trends do you see in the food blogging industry?
I think food blogging is only going to get bigger and bigger. Trend wise, I am noticing a lot of the bigger bloggers are starting to introduce video into there blogs. So I think the video trend will grow and there will be a lot more food related content on Youtube and Vimeo. Personally for me, I am in love with the photography aspect, so I don’t see myself doing video anytime soon. I think it’s my photography that got my blog noticed the most!
What advice would you give to newcomers in this industry?
While I am slowly learning more and more each day, some advice I can give is to pick a niche and stick to it. Whether it be a style blog, food blog, DIY blog… it’s best to focus on one topic. Trying to do it all may be difficult to find your target market, gain a following and really excel in all areas. I would also advise people to use social media to get their blog out there and work really hard on the photography. People cannot taste what you are making, so if the photo doesn’t look appetizing (no matter how good it may taste) people aren’t going to appreciate it.
How do you see Influencer Marketing evolving in the next few years?
Similar to blogging, I think it will continue to grow. Brands seem to like the idea of having an influencer using or featuring their product over an advertisement or commercial. When people envy your style or design they want exactly what you have. Being a social media influencer has now evolved into a full time job.
What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
That I went to school for economics! It couldn’t be further from what I am doing now. I wasn’t happy pursuing a career in that field, so I took a risk and started doing what I love. I hope it can inspire others to make a change if they aren’t happy. Life is too short to be working a job you hate and always counting down to the weekends.
What do you do when you aren’t creating recipes or writing?
I am probably still in the kitchen baking something for fun! But I also play music (piano & guitar) and roam the streets of Toronto looking for new areas to discover with my dog Buddy Holly. You can often find me shopping and drinking large coffees on Queen Street!