Rainbow Nourishments vegan food blogger and Instagram influencer Anthea Cheng is a one-woman show.
She creates her own recipes from scratch, takes her own styled photographs, has published two vegan cookbooks, and creates cover photo recipes for the UK’s top selling vegan magazine, Vegan Food and Living.
With more than 209,000 Instagram followers, Anthea’s biggest challenge is what to do with all her leftover baked goods. Whether they’re masterpieces, or first attempts which need a bit of work, she makes sure nothing goes to waste.
“If it’s not edible, I will compost it,” Anthea said.
“The rest goes to my partner’s colleagues, so he brings to work two or three boxes every single day. I am also friends with a vegan mother who has three growing teenagers.”
Anthea first started Rainbow Nourishments in 2016 when she realised that her federal public service job was no longer her cup of tea.
“I just started the Instagram account to record what I was eating, but then I couldn’t stop thinking about what to post, and then I was like ‘I just need to quit’,” she said.
Once Anthea had left the public service, she initially freaked out about how she would pay the rent.
Fortunately, Anthea’s first business came to life when she posted a photo of a cake on a vegan Facebook group. She received a flood of attention and was receiving cake requests left, right and centre.
She used this business as a steppingstone to figure out how to make money online, and once she got the formula right, she said goodbye to the cake orders, and her Rainbow Nourishments blog and Instagram page were able to rise to their full potential.
Her Instagram account organically grew in its first year to 20,000 followers, and then slowly increased over time.
“It was just constant posting on Instagram, posting unique content, and engaging with other people,” Anthea said.
Anthea explained that she earns money for her Instagram posts through paid sponsorships and product placement.
For anyone who is ready to make the leap to social media stardom, be cautious that the pay isn’t as enormous as some may think – Anthea’s income is about the same as what she was earning five years ago in the public service.
“I think people really glamourise being an influencer, but you have to really enjoy the craft of it,” she said.
“So, if you want to become a baking influencer, you must really enjoy baking, and for the first three years live off your savings or be comfortable living very frugally.
“It can be a very lucrative industry, but that’s based on your niche, and how many followers you have, and your luck. You can make quite a bit of money from it, but that’s only a very small percentage of everyone.”
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