Food influencers across the internet are inspiring millions to step into the kitchen. Lindsay Ostrom of the food blog Pinch of Yum is one influencer who has found a way to stand out in the saturated space of food bloggers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers. Ostrom brings recipes of all types to her Instagram audience of half a million and boasts partnerships with brands among the likes of Chobani, Land O’Lakes, and more.
We interviewed the recipe creator to learn about how she turned her love of cooking into a full-time career on social media, and to get an inside look into her creative process and forthcoming projects.
1. How did you become interested in cooking and what inspired you to start a food blog?
I cooked a lot with my roommates in college and then when Bjork and I got married, bought a house, and got “real jobs,” cooking regularly started to become a normal part of my life. I loved having someone to cook for and always loved trying new recipes.
2. At what point did you consider food blogging full time? Any specific turning points or factors?
We implemented ads on the site about a year after I started blogging. I never started it to grow it into a business, but about three years after starting the blog, with the help of display ads and a few of our own digital products that we sold, we were able to build the income from the blog into something that was matching or exceeding our day jobs. That was a major turning point where I started to realize that doing this full time was a possibility.
3. What are some of your main sources of inspiration when developing a new recipe?
I love Instagram! It is a great place for visual inspiration which often translates into new recipes for me. I also love to eat out and try new restaurants and that is often a source of inspiration.
4. When partnering with a brand how do you best integrate a product into your content?
We only work with brands that we truly enjoy and recommend, so integrating products is easy and natural. I usually show the product in a picture in the blog post and talk about why we like it. Sometimes I go on my Instagram stories to talk about the product further or show it in a real-life context.
5. What brand sponsorships are you most proud of?
6. From your point of view, what draws audiences to your recipes and food images/videos?
I always try to make our content interesting and inspiring, but ultimately very approachable. I want people to look at a recipe and say, “I can make that.”
7. You and your husband Bjork run Pinch of Yum together. What advice can you give to aspiring bloggers or social media influencers who are working with a close friend or spouse?
It’s okay to have some separation. We do not work closely together on each of our respective areas – I do all the content and dictate almost everything about how that comes together. He does all the back-end website maintenance and dictates almost everything about how that runs and operates.
It helps to be able to take ownership over certain areas so you can work together without really getting in each other’s hair too much. 🙂
8. What’s the most underrated aspect of working in social media?
Instagram stories have been huge for us in the last 6 months. It’s amazing to me that we can just be in our house in our pajamas and doing some random video posts that will be viewed by more than 50,000 people.
If I were to go in front of 50,000 people in real life, it would feel so intimidating. But I can talk to that many people from my pajamas, on my couch, without showering, and not feel nervous about it at all. It’s a very strange and powerful concept for Instagram influencers to be taking advantage of in terms of having a really engaging way to connect with their followers.
9. Lightning round:
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Most difficult recipe you’ve mastered?
Maybe eggs benedict? That hollandaise is tricky.
Best part of living in Minnesota?
Snow at Christmastime. And lakes. So many lakes.
Favorite spice or herb?
10. How do you see Pinch of Yum evolving in the future? Any upcoming projects that your fans should get excited about?
We’re looking at purchasing a new studio building and probably expanding our team in 2018!
11. Anything else you’d like to add?
Sage (our dog) says hello! 🙂
This interview has been edited for clarity.