On The Radar - Bloggers Special - Tanusha Bajaj, Vishal Fernandes, and Divya Boppana

Who would have ever thought that social media would end up playing such a vital role in our life? Let’s face it – one of the first thing most of us do is check Instagram as soon as we get up! Thanks to which it has also created space for a lot of careers – from bloggers to social media managers, there are plenty of new opportunities. Especially the blogging industry that has had a steep rise considering how every second teen wishes to be a successful blogger nowadays.

With everyone being locked up at home for almost six months now, we’re glued to our phones more than ever before. This, too, has increased the demand and reach of social media influencers, who seem to be the best medium of advertising currently. They’re a good way to amp-up one’s food, fashion and lifestyle game, even though they aren’t professional food connoisseurs or fashion stylists or writers. They stand out from the pack, thanks to their one-of-a-kind sartorial sense and sharp business acumen – and hence we can take a tip or ten from them. Here’s a list of such young and talented bloggers from Hyderabad with their wings reaching out to the world.      – Anahita


Tanusha Bajaj: Quality Over Quantity

Tanusha-Bajaj

Her blogging style is experimental yet wearable, vintage yet trendy and most importantly, imperfect yet real. Tanusha Bajaj is one of the cutest faces in the city, who creates content out of her sheer passion.

What made you start blogging?
I got really bad grades in high school, and that’s when I realised I should focus on things I’m better at. So when I was in 12th grade I started my blog simply out of passion and also because I was trying to feel better about myself not fitting into the conventional norm of what a successful person looks like, I guess? 

What has been your most successful post so far?
A lot of posts in the lockdown performed really well! I took up the trending #PillowChallenge and #PassTheBrush challenge, and they got a fabulous response. I also did an interview where I opened up about my struggles with depression and suicide to break the whole taboo around mental health. The response was overwhelming! 

How do you pull traffic on to your site?
Honestly, I never went out of my way to do that. I still don’t know how to use the right hashtags or how the algorithm works; I’ve never been a part of any PODs or done a single paid promotion. My focus has always been on creating quality content, and I never worried too much about pulling traffic. 

What according to you, is the biggest challenge about blogging?
Brands are always chasing numbers and not content. As someone who never bothered about numbers, it can be really difficult when someone haggles with you about payments just because you don’t have a certain number of followers. Another issue is brands look at bloggers as cheaper versions of models which is not true.

What’s your fashion obsession?
I love all things retro! There are some classics like a white shirt or hoops or a pair of cat eye glasses which will never go out or style for me. 

FAVOURITES:
Style icon - Audrey Hepburn and Sarah Jessica Parker 

Fashion magazine - Business of Fashion 

Brand - Everything on Revolve & Moda Operandi 

Piece of clothing - Lately it’s been biker shorts 

Photo spot in the city - Oneroze always has the cutest little spots. 

Instagram filter - Silly face is the best!

Quick fix for makeup - Kiehls hydrating mist followed by the mac compact gives a great natural base. I end with the too faced mascara and the SmashboxGulabae lipstick or any nude lipstick for that matter. I lowkey dig liquid lipsticks that can also be used as a blush and eye shadow.

Instagram handle: @tanushabajaj


Vishal Fernandes: Tasting the world, one meal at a time

Vishal Fernandes

Vishal Fernandes is an IT professional by day and a blogger over the weekend. One of the oldest and most well-known guys in the business, he knows his craft to the T. Started off as a food blogger, Vishal’s now also an expert at travel and lifestyle. 

What made you start blogging, and when did it happen?
I started my first blog (on Blogspot) somewhere around early 2010 to document all the restaurants that I would visit and talk about their USPs, and since then have gradually developed to the point where I now document about Travel, Lifestyle and all things luxe – an extension of what I am. 

What has been your most successful post so far?
 My series of posts on the perennially ignored Southeast Asian destination, Laos garnered some good impressions. The posts gave a glimpse of this landlocked country’s traditional way of life unaffected by modern perils.  

How would you describe your blogging style?
Expression, not impression – that’s what id term my blogging style as. Paradoxically, I realised, the more I wrote to myself as a journal, the more it resonated with my audience. Hence – I call my blog as an extension of myself. 

How do you pull traffic on to your site?
First, by creating content that is share-worthy and help readers in a more meaningful way than what others currently do. Second, by incorporating the right SEO strategies and third, by being active and consistent on social media. 

What according to you, is the biggest challenge about blogging?
I must admit that writer’s block is one of the biggest challenges to me. Disconnecting myself from blogging space for a couple of days certainly helps in addressing writer’s block. 

How would you describe your food and travel obsession?
65 flights, 113 nights at different hotels, 302 meals at multiple restaurants – those are few of my stats for 2019. If that’s not food and travel obsession, then I don’t know what is! I believe eating is one of life’s great pleasures. And as a traveller, it’s beyond that - its culture, authenticity and experience. In my 10 years of visiting 30 countries and 72 cities, I’ve had some exceptional food experiences.

FAVOURITES:

Cuisine: It’s like asking a parent, who is your favourite child. My home cuisine – Goan will always have a special place, and nothing beats my mom’s Goan fish curry and rice. 

Photo spot in the city: Taj Falaknuma – the palace’s elegant architecture, art, history and natural beauty forms a perfect canvas

Instagram filter: Jaipur – a city so pretty that Instagram named a filter after it. 

Collaboration so far: Again too many to mention here, however the recent culture and heritage trail with MP tourism was one of the best. Curated by a renowned archaeologist, Padma Shri

KK Muhammed – the trail was a bespoke experience. 

Instagram handle: @thefernandist


Divya Boppana: Your girl next door giving fashion advice!

Divya Boppana

An Undergrad student, Divya Boppana, got into the field of blogging thanks to her desire to know more about fashion. Having collaborated with some of the best designer brands in the city here’s more about her life on this platform.

How did it all start for you?
I actually started writing blogs back in my 11th grade on WordPress, later when Instagram started picking up; I shifted the medium for more exposure!

What has been your most successful post so far?
I can’t name one post; I always feel successful when I work with brands/ people who I always wanted to work with. I think working with Vijay Devarakonda two years ago when I initially started off on Instagram was a major boost for me! 

How would you describe your blogging style?
Feminine with a bit of chic and class! 

How do you pull traffic on to your site?
I believe in relatable and authentic content! I think that’s what brings people to my profile!. 

Who has impacted you most in blogging, and how?
As a person, I’ve evolved a lot. I’ve started this at the right age where I got to meet a lot of successful entrepreneurs and people who helped me look at the future from a different perspective! 

What according to you, is the biggest challenge about blogging?
Trying to be authentic and being unique! That’s something I don’t find nowadays. I hope good old days of fashion blogging come back! 

How do you plan your posts?
I plan my posts way in advance. Lots of brainstorming goes on every minute! 

What’s your fashion obsession?
My 2020 obsessions has to be the colour lilac; I can’t tell you how much I’m obsessed with it. Apart from that, I love styling high waisted pants, crop tops and Indian wear! 

FAVOURITES: 

Style icon: Sonam Kapoor 

Fashion magazine: Vogue 

Brand: Zara 

Photo spot in the city: Charminar 

Instagram filter: Paris 

Quick fix for makeup: Lipliners are underrated 

Instagram handle: @divyaboppana_


Pallab De: A blend of the things I love!

Pallab-De

An IT professional by the day, Pallab De blogs as his hobby. Featuring diverse topics like food, beverages and travel - he’s one of the oldest bloggers in town. He blogs because of his passion for food and travel, provides him with the opportunity to learn, explore, and unwind. Here’s more on him.

What made you start blogging?
I got into blogging in the mid-2000s, back when it was just taking off. What began as a personal blog evolved into a tech blog, and eventually a writing gig for a prominent online portal. My shift into the world of food happened after I moved to Hyderabad in 2011.

What has been your most successful post so far?
A piece I did on the most popular spots in the Old City.

How would you describe your blogging style?
My writings are usually information-dense. Along with the usual aspects of the food (such as taste, texture, and appearance), I try to shine a light on the technical details as well as the history and the story behind it.

Who has impacted you most in blogging, and how?
One of the biggest influences on my writing was my first editor Clif Sipe. He thought me the importance of brevity. My move into the world of food blogging was inspired by Sabyasachi (Foodaholix). 

What according to you, is the biggest challenge about blogging?
If your self-publishing, putting together a piece is a lot of effort. You’re doing everything from conceptualisation and writing to formatting, copy-editing, and uploading images and videos. Maintaining the discipline and enthusiasm to continue putting in that effort for years and years is a challenge. However, if you enjoy writing, you may encounter an occasional writer’s block, but you’ll always find a way out of it.

How do you plan your posts?
I don’t really have a defined process for coming up with new topics.

How would you describe your food obsession?
Food is an amazingly diverse subject. Of course, I love eating. But food has more to offer beyond what’s apparent at first glance. Food of a place tells a story; a story of the people, the culture, the history, and the geography. One thing I love is experiencing new cuisines. It’s fascinating how just a few simple basic tastes, such as sugar, salt, fat, acid, and heat, have been used in infinitely different ways by cultures around the globe.

FAVOURITES:

Restaurant: Once Upon a Time, The Hoppery

Cuisine: Japanese, Bengali, and Kashmiri

Photo spot in the city: The by-lanes of Old City

Instagram filter: None - I don’t use Insta filters

Collaboration so far: With Vice

Instagram handle: @hydfoodguy


Shiwangi Vijaywargiya: Fashion with comfort!

Shiwangi Vijaywargiya

With the sheer interest in sharing her life with the world, Shiwangi Vijaywargiya became a blogger. Currently working full-time as a social security consultant, she blogs in her free time, as it works as a stress buster. Read on ahead to know more about this content creator.

What made you start blogging?
I was never into fashion as a child or until I realised, at least. While growing up, I developed a huge sense for dressing up, and it made me feel good. Sometime in 2016, I thought of sharing my interest with people and Instagram and blog were free to explore, and I gave in after expressing it to my sister.  

Blogging was my escape from my otherwise busy life, and I’d do it as soon as I felt I was a little free. I have a day job to keep me busy during the weekdays and weekends are for my passion for fashion! 

What has been your most successful post so far?
Wouldn’t be one, but there has been many which goes out of the reach, and I see people enjoying raw content over branded. 

How would you describe your blogging style?
My primary focus is comfort. I am all in for a size up and anything which is comfortable. 

How do you pull traffic on to your site?
To be honest, with the videos all around. People are more into watching and less into reading and writing has kind of taken a backseat in the era. I still have a soft corner for a creator who 
publishes some mind-blowing writeups. 

What according to you, is the biggest challenge about blogging?
I think being in a lockdown has made me learn about technical stuff which was a challenge, but as such, I would say being on social media and publicly available comes with a lot of sense of responsibility.

How do you plan your posts?
Planning a post depends on a lot of factors. If it’s a branded post, it then needs planning with a specific date and time.

What’s your fashion obsession? 
Baggy jeans! 

FAVOURITES:

Style icon: Diipa Khosla, Valeria Lipovetsky 

Fashion magazine: Harper’s Bazaar 

Brand: Zara

Piece of clothing: Plain t-shirts

Instagram filter: Larrisawlc 

Quick fix for makeup: Nude lips and brows


Mohd Zubair Ali: A one-stop for all your queries about Food and Night life!

Mohd Zubair Ali

Mohd Zubair Ali started Hyderabad Food Diaries to give people an insight into Hyderabad’s food scenario. He and his posts are known for being genuine and real - making it his USP. In conversation with him, we understood a bit more about his style of work.

What made you start blogging?
Becoming a food enthusiast was never in the plan. All I knew was I loved everything about food. I became a food expert over time. It took me ten years to reach where I am today.

Is blogging your full-time profession?
Yes! It’s been four years since. A full-time food expert sounds fancy, but it’s not an easy task. It takes years of experience, knowledge, understanding of food and connects to make it big. To begin your career in food blogging, one needs to have all these skills, plus socially active.

How would you describe your blogging style?
I believe I fall into the category of bloggers who you can count on to review restaurants for the quality of food, ambience, service, price range and so on. It’s much more detailed version of a restaurant guide and will always include a little story about why I loved or hated the food, what motivated me to go in the first place and so on. Hence it would be raw, natural and unscripted.

Who has impacted you most in blogging, and how?
My whole purpose of starting an Instagram handle was to let people know that Hyderabad is not only about Biryani. There is so much to Hyderabad as a city. It started with a simple food post, and now Hyderabad Food Diaries is the most known and loved food blog of Hyderabad. The passion of helping people with providing information about the F&B sector has impacted my way of working in a very positive way. And it continues to push me daily.

How would you describe your food obsession?
I fell in love with the whole art of making food while I was in my college and pursuing Hotel Management. It’s been a blessed journey since then. I still am passionate about learning new 
dishes and different kinds of food. My obsession with exploring food joints had earned me name and fame in the shortest of time.

FAVOURITES:

Restaurant: Aish, Tansen, Resign, Sofreh and Farzi cafe

Cuisine: Hyderabadi 

Food item: Biryani and Tahari

Photo spot in the city: Gol Banglow (Taj Falaknuma), Mazzo (Marriott Executive Apartment)

Instagram filter: None. I don’t use any.

Instagram handle: @hyderabad.food.diaries.


Vasanthi Singampalli: A girl who dates food

Vasanthi Singampalli

Vasanthi Singampalli, the face behind the well-known food blog ‘Tastydrips’, believes that food blogging is a passion about food that can tickle not only your tummy but also your tongue. Currently working for Accenture as a Quality lead, this foodie’s profile is best described as “Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice”. In conversation with her, we found out more about her work.

What made you start blogging?
I started this page exactly two years ago only for my love for food. I used to go out a lot, explore places and try a lot of food, click pictures, and post it on my personal account. A few of my friends recommended me to begin a page, but I never took it too seriously. One day when I was going through my gallery, all I witnessed were food pictures - and that’s when I realised I needed a separate page for it.

How do you pull traffic on to your site?
I don’t stress much about it. But I honestly believe, content is the key. Adding to that, it’s not enough to produce good content and hope that people find it, we have to be proactive. I keep a close eye on the insights data and post the content accordingly. Most importantly, the right hashtags can grab a lot of visibility to the post.

What according to you, is the biggest challenge about blogging?
As the page grows, the expectation of the audiences increases. To match the expectations, we need to continuously brush up our skillset in terms of depth of knowledge, content quality, photography and writeup. Moreover, being a full-time employee, it demands proper time management to balance work-life, personal life and blogging.

How would you describe your food obsession?
Food for me is like an ultimate mate, a saviour, stress buster and a true friend indeed. I don’t eat because I want to or have to eat. I eat because I love food. It will be completely wrong if I say I only love to eat, I love to cook too. Good food makes my day. 

If someone really wants to apologise to me, just give me a good treat. 

FAVOURITES:

Restaurant : Jewel Of Nizams

Cuisine: Middle eastern, Hyderabadi, Andhra and Italian Cuisines 

Photo spot in the city: Golconda resort, The Hole In The Wall Cafe, Funnel Hill, Farzi Cafe, The Fisherman’s Cafe and Taj Krishna

Collaboration so far: Swiggy, Ratnadeep, Buffalo Wild Wings etc. 

Instagram handle: @tastydrips


Gaurav Tiwari: Beer, and love, and rock & roll

Gaurav Tiwari

‘Willsdocker’ aka Gaurav Tiwari is probably the one guy who blogs about beer in the city. Also the owner/part of a two-piece heavy rock band Diarchy, this talented man blogs just as a hobby - it’s usually as and when he finds something inspiring enough to write about or to photograph. Read on to know about his love for beer.

What made you start blogging, and when did it happen?
My blogging journey starter with me registering on Instagram. I’d post there as a relief and a break from the rest of the world, where I would just focus on my new-found love for craft-beer. Even though I’ve been frequenting microbreweries right from the onset of microbreweries in India, I never really got down to photographing and writing about my favourite craft beers from India until I discovered great breweries of Bangalore.

What has been your most successful post so far?
When I moved to Hyderabad from Bangalore, the only place that made great beers according to my preferences was Zero 40. I took a pic of a beer I love there (Beach Bum) and photoshopped it to look like a full-glass vertically adjacent to an empty glass, within the same glassware. It was to appreciate the aspect of a good beer - how perfectly medium-bodied that particular beer was, and how much lacing is left behind, because lacing on an empty glass are also a reflection of how well beer is brewed.

How would you describe your blogging style?
I am known for making beer glasses levitate. I spend hours to get that one perfect shot of a pint of beer perfectly floating mid-air. That style got me my maximum growth in terms of followers. But I have moved on to doing other stuff, to not make the levitating glasses monotonous.

Who has impacted you most in blogging, and how?
The way microbrewery culture has grown in India. I am not over-congratulating the scene yet because it still has a long way to go. There were some pathbreaking, experimental, artisan beers that are being made. But the real challenge comes when the business is not just catering to what the masses want, but also bringing a change in the preferences of the masses to drive them so start appreciating the beer-styles which they have not been exposed to yet.

How would you describe this obsession?
It’s all about good craft beers in India.

FAVOURITES:

Restaurant - Biergarten, Bangalore

Food item - DIPA at Biergarted, with their Fish Fingers or Dal Makhani and Lachha paratha combo

Photo spot in the city - Broadway, Hyderabad

Collaboration so far - My band Diarchy’s collaboration brew with Biergarten, Bangalore - It was Olicana Pale Ale - a very summery, refreshing but boozy pale ale with Olicana hops, brewed for the first time in India.

Instagram handle: @willsdocker


Meghna Govindaraju: I love pink and styling outfits in an unapologetic manner.

Meghna Govindaraju

Her Instagram profile is the perfect shade card for every hue of Pink and has a very young and stylish vibe. Meghna Govindaraju, who blogs under the name of @in.her.wardrobe, uses the medium as a mode of expression and aesthetic personal to everyone.

What made you start blogging, and when did it happen?
I started blogging after I graduated from NIFT, as I was always enthusiastic about fashion and wanted to showcase my style. Blogging worked out to be that platform through which I could reach out to an audience.

Is blogging your full-time profession?
I started as a part-time blogger but then later quit my job to devote my complete attention towards blogging - my true passion.

What has been your most successful post so far?
I believe that is yet to come. And not just one post, but I want my followers to love my work and efforts.

How would you describe your blogging style?
I am consistent with my style and fashion sense. I want to make my personal style statement prominent. And aesthetics is an essential part of my work.

Who has impacted you most in blogging, and how?
I like putting an eye out for international runways and street fashion. I particularly like Korean Fashion. 

What according to you, is the biggest challenge about blogging?
It takes time to grow. And sometimes I may not be able to do as much creative work as I want to. And I wish I could dedicate more time into it.

How do you plan your posts?
When inspiration strikes, I come up with a concept. And I plan my posts accordingly.

What’s your fashion obsession?
I particularly love monochrome and layering. I am all about pairing unique looks. And you will see that in my styling too. 

FAVOURITES:

Style icon: Zendaya, Kendall Jenner

Fashion magazine: Can’t just name one! 

Brand: Faballey

Piece of clothing: Skirts

Instagram filter: No favourite filter

Quick fix for makeup: Always carry lipsticks!

Instagram handle: @in.her.wardrobe


Laxmi Reddy: Content is King

Laxmi Reddy

Currently, a full-time social influencer and fashion blogger, Laxmi Reddy’s work is a reflection of her personality. A lifestyle blogger, her profile is a complete package with different aspects being featured. Striving to create inspiring and unique content, here’s more about the PYT.

What made you start blogging?
I hadn’t ever thought I’d end up here as entering the fashion world was never my dream plan. Eventually, it’s become one, and I’m glad it did. It all started by creating an Instagram public page. Initially, I couldn’t pay much attention to it because of my studies. But after my graduation, I decided to become a fashion blogger.

What kind of content do you enjoy creating?
I quite enjoy making my fashion videos - they’re the most successful till now, too. 

How would you describe your blogging style?
I believe in creating authentic content according to my style and personality. On a platform like this, all that matters is how original and close to yourself you are. 

How do you pull traffic on to your site?
I pull traffic to my side by creating a different type of content. I keep my path clear and relatable. 

What according to you, is the biggest challenge about blogging?
My biggest challenge is to create new content every day and being able to keep my profile useful and inspiring. It has to be creative and unique after all your content has to be king. 

How do you plan your posts?
I usually don’t plan my posts; I only do when I have brands to post. I’m more impromptu with my camera phone always handy. After all, I think photography and creativity is the key.

What’s your fashion obsession?
Nowadays it’s skirts and dresses. I wear clothes according to my mood and hair (good hair day or bad hair day), and I like trying different things. Above all, I love pairing everything with shoes.

FAVOURITES:

Style icon: Masoom Minawala 

Fashion magazine: Vogue and Elle 

Brand: Gucci, Prada, Chanel and a few more  

Instagram filter: Soft glow 

Collaboration so far: Reebok, Adidas, Orient, Havells, Forever New, Steve Madden and the list goes on 

Quick fix for makeup: Sugar has some amazing products 

Instagram handle: @laxmireddy75


Esha Rao: Chic, Peppy and Relatable

Esha Rao

Undergrad student doing her Business Management, Esha Rao also blogs on the side. She’s someone who is not the usual fashion blogger who hops onto every trend but tries to understand what works for her. Using this platform to share her love for fashion and lifestyle, with the desire to stand out from the crowd, here’s more on her.

What made you start blogging?
Officially I started blogging over two years ago, as an outlet of the tips and tricks I wanted to share with others. I used to share outfit pictures, and I would get a lot of love on those, that developed into what it is now, TheFashionPsychic. 

How do you pull traffic on to your site?
In a world full of people trying to be someone they’re not, the simple recipe for gaining traction is by being original and relatable, someone who’s real. I don’t just share what I wear or how I dress, I also share my struggles related to my work and occasionally talk about mental health in a time where we’re constantly surrounded by trauma.

What according to you, is the biggest challenge about blogging?
This market is hitting a saturation point. No matter how original you think, your idea or content is, someone somewhere around the world would’ve already done it. That being said, the beauty of creating content on your own is the fact that you can add your twist. 

How do you plan your posts?
If it’s sponsored content, I definitely plan them ahead. If not, I try to be spontaneous and in-the-moment. 

What’s your fashion obsession?
Currently, I’m obsessed with finding Indian brands which fit my aesthetic and finding chic and comfy clothing. A few months ago, I barely knew 1-2 brands that fit my style. Still, now I’ve discovered some amazing local brands which aren’t just fashionable but also ethical such as Urban Suburban, LabelFrow, Aaral, Zwaan and so on. I highly recommend everyone to check them out before shopping from Zara or H&M. 

FAVOURITES:

Style icon: Princess Diana, without a doubt. She was a woman of class but also such a badass. 

Fashion magazine: I would’ve said Vogue, but it’s highly scandalous for not having more representation in terms of colour, body diversity and so on. 

Brand: Zara and Aaral 

Photo spot in the city: Safe to say my favourite spot has become my balcony over the months 

Instagram filter: Butterfly effect

Collaboration so far: This is such a tough one, but I think the one with Sindhu Reddy Design House 

Quick fix for makeup: Dusting a tinted setting powder: Maybelline Fit Me Loose Powder does the job!

Instagram handle: @_thefashionpsychic_