How would you like to turn your love for African food into a business? This case study reveals how Ronke Edoho built a digital business from her flair for cooking African food.
It’s amazing how being able to put recipes together and then showing people how you did it can help you earn a living.
And since food is a common necessity, there will always be an audience for it.
Ronke Edoho, owner of 9jafoodie, recognized that fact and has used her passion for cooking, as well as her professional background in nutrition to build an audience of food lovers.
During the day, she works as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). But to also show that she knows what she’s doing, she’s a Certified Nutrition and Clinical Weight Loss specialist. That’s a perfect example of building a life around what you have passion for.
Developing that passion
Sometimes, the fun things we eventually do and earn from when we get older are simply reflections of what we did in our early years.
What this means is you can always link your passion, talents and present skills to things you did way back when.
By having a mother that was always cooking (and a family that always ate what mum cooked), Ronke eventually had the art “drummed” into her subconscious.
By default, Ronke could have started a food blog just because everyone else did it. But there had to be something like a mission to tie that passion to. And she found it.
She saw a problem and decided to address it. Instead of sitting back and insulting those who were ignorant about African food, here’s what she did, as stated in her Dudunorth interview:
The idea for the blog was as a result of a food network article I read which described African cuisine as follows, “Many dishes are similar to a stew, with poorer quality lamb and goats being used as protein.” I was appalled by it, and I realized there are a lot of things people are ignorant about concerning Africa, our food just happens to be one of them. So I decided to start a blog to educate and inspire African cooks.”
This was her reason WHY.
Take away: Before getting started on a passion, find out the reason WHY you want to pursue it. If you don’t find that out, don’t start.
Taking off with a singular focus and a unique angle
Without a target audience, you’ll try to speak to everyone. And that doesn’t work because you weren’t sent to everyone.
The resultant effect is that you end up speaking to no one because your message sounds too general.
On her about page, Ronke clearly states who she’s trying to reach and what she wants to help them achieve.
I hope to improve wellbeing through better nutrition by providing easy to follow wholesome recipes to homecooks like myself.”
Every blog needs an angle – a way to stand out and separate from the pack. As she also stated,
My recipes are rooted in tradition & often presented with a little modern flair. Traditional African recipes have a tendency to appear complicated, my goal with this blog is to simplify them as much as possible. With the new recipes I create, the aim is that they serve a purpose beyond appeal.”
“It takes a few tries to perfect any art” – Ronke Edoho
We tend to give up on our first trial. But even Ronke believes in the power of taking one extra step. As she stated on Dudunorth,
I know this is the most cliche statement in the book but “practice makes perfect”. Kitchen mishap isn’t something only reserved for novices, even the most internationally acclaimed chefs are victims to it. If you do not get something right the first time, do not give in; it takes a few tries to perfect any art.”
It’s easy for new Talentpreneurs to get really discouraged when things don’t initially go as planned. But that’s just sweet spot – the journey matters too.
Consistency is a big word and Ronke also found it hard being consistent. As she stated on Wild Entertainment:
The biggest challenge is consistency. There are days when you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Finding the strength to keep writing relevant content for your audience is key to success.”
Over the years, Ronke has been able to consistently create content that not only educates her audience on new African recipes, but that also challenge the wrong notion people have about African food. This content marketing strategy has sustained the brand over time.
Creating a digital product for an audience
A lot of newbies believe that you have to create the product first and then attract the audience. The truth is it is the other way round. You create a product with the audience in mind.
Many get started online with the sole aim of making money, believing that the audience doesn’t count. That’s a recipe for disaster. As Ronke stated on this interview with Wild Entertainment,
I say you need to build and audience first before you can venture into making money. When you understand what your audience wants and you know how to fill that niche for them then you have hit the jackpot.”
With this knowledge, and with her professional background in Nutrition, Ronke was able to create her own digital product, an ebook titled, “Lose it Nigerian“.
Lose it Nigerian explores weight loss on a Nigerian diet. The book features 50+ recipes, calorie information for Nigerian meals and weekly meal plans for anyone looking to cook delicious meals, track and lose weight at the same time.
A few pointers from Ronke’s story
- You can use your blog to solve a problem you see in your industry.
- When you start your own site, focus on building your audience first. Grow those numbers steadily. And after you must have recognized their needs, create a product that addresses those needs.
- To really achieve success online, you need to create relevant content for your audience.
Take the first step in the right direction
Do you also have cooking skills? Or is there something about African Cuisine that you’d like to challenge as well? How does earning from it sound to you?
From Ronke’s story, she got started by creating a blog with which she could challenge the naysayers. From there, everything else took off.
Like Ronke, you too can take your love for cooking to the next level. All you need is to know how to use the right tools to get started.
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Also published on Medium.