LOH YI JUN (PART 2)
Realities of Starting a Blog
Yi Jun (instagram: @jun.and.tonic; http://junandtonic.com) is a chemical engineer turned chef, food writer, and podcaster. At 23, right after graduating from Cambridge, he took a plunge and dived headfirst into the world of food—signing up for culinary school in London and Paris, working at the farm-to-table restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York, and now running his own food blog and podcast, Breaking Bread. His Saveur-nominated blog—Jun & Tonic—explores the quirky side of Asian food and cooking. His articles on food have also featured on Food52 and Taste.
On this episode, we pick up our conversation again and look at what Yi Jun is currently doing: blogging about new fusion recipes he is creating, guest writing for other food blogs and running a podcast on the Malaysian food scene. We talk about the challenges and joys of being a freelance blog writer.
Listen to part 1 of our conversation here
3 Things I’ve Learned
- Side projects may be an interesting way of developing new skills. Yi Jun got into blogging because he wanted to improve his English writing, and he got into podcasting because he thought it would improve him as a conversationalist and would force him to be responsible for keeping the conversation interesting. But he makes the process of learning these new skills fun and enjoyable for himself because he uses them for something he is passionate about – food
- Consistency is key for content producers. But it’s useful to examine how it affects you internally. Once you stop, you lose momentum, lose motivation and you break your streak. So keep showing up.
- (For podcasters like me) Yi Jun’s rule-of-thumb for guest selection: find people whom you think are interesting and whom you’d like to speak to. If you follow your area of interest closely and keep up to date with what’s new and exciting, chances are you’d have quite a good barometer for what would engage your audience as well.
Here are links to some of the references we make in the podcast:
- Food52 https://food52.com/
- 1000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly https://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/
- Yi Jun’s Breaking Bread podcast episode about Malaysian caviar: https://junandtonic.com/breakingbread/2019/2/25/ep018
- The Breaking Bread podcast episode about kueh and Perankan cuisine https://junandtonic.com/breakingbread/2019/2/25/s01ep08
- Grit by Angela Duckworth https://amzn.to/2MgnGRo
- Grit Ted Talk https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance?language=en
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg https://amzn.to/2KxevKb
- The Tim Ferriss Show https://tim.blog/podcast/
- The Ezra Klein Show https://www.vox.com/ezra-klein-show-podcast
- Freakonomics Podcast – access from http://freakonomics.com/
- The Ground Up Show with Matt D’avella https://mattdavella.com/podcast
- How I Built This with Guy Raz https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this?t=1565709782860
- TED Radio Hour https://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/?showDate=2019-08-09
- Intelligence Squared podcast https://www.intelligencesquared.com/podcasts/
- Lucky Peach Magazine (unfortunately it seems they have now stopped publishing – look for past copies on Amazon)
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser https://amzn.to/33raVJ7
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott https://amzn.to/33v2xIt
- Bonus content – a great video on reading more books that Yi Jun recommended, from our post-interview conversations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIW5jBrrsS0&t=1s
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