Writers On Writing / Thang Ngo on blogging about what ‘fuels his fire’

Wondering how to stay passionate about your blog content? Need some inspiration for creating a blog? Award-winning blogger Thang Ngo gives us great advice on getting started with blogging.

Writers on Writing Thang Ngo Writing NSW 2020

What are some key tips for remaining passionate and engaged in your blog content?

Picking the right blog topic has really helped me to own the space and grow its increasing popularity. Over 10 years ago, food reviewers and blogs only cared about fine dining, number of awards, number of hats and how deconstructed a dish could be. I intentionally wanted to focus on the less stuffy, casual experience of culturally diverse food – Vietnamese phở, pad Thai, Malaysian laksa, Iraqi lamb shanks. Luckily over time, it’s these dishes that Australians love and that’s really inspired me to continue to showcase more great cultural food. Even today, there’s still a fire in my belly about promoting the ma-and-pa eateries that don’t get reviewed, and don’t have the advertising budget to promote themselves.

Stay true to you. If you’re not authentic, trying to write about the latest fads and trends – that’s a slippery slope. Fads come and go; you’ll be forever chasing your tail and getting no enjoyment or satisfaction out of it.

And of course, if you write about what you love, you’ll always be passionate about writing content.

You’ve been blogging for over a decade on your award-winning blog noodlies. What is it about blogging that has kept you hooked for so long?

Blogging has helped me adapt to technology. When I started a decade ago, it was basically photos and text on Blogger or Tumblr. Over time, I’ve learnt so much more: how to write content for online, photo editing, photography skills, video and video editing, social media, media skills, SEM and SEO and gosh, so much more. It feels like I’m learning all the time and staying up-to-date. Because I’m doing it as a progression of blogging it still feels like it’s a passion and not a chore to learn. All these skills have helped my day job too. I built our company website over the weekend on WordPress, so we didn’t have to outsource it and spend thousands. I’ve trained the team to update it so our work website is constantly updated.

Can you tell us about three of your favourite blogs and why you love them?

ProBlogger: everything you’ve ever wanted to know about blogging, you’ll find on Darren Rowse’s blog. Today, Darren makes a living from blogging. He’s been doing it since 2002. Any issues you might be experiencing as a blogger, he’s been there, done it and lived to tell the tale. His podcast is also so easy to listen to and is full of helpful advice. I love hearing an Aussie accent and know that one of us is a world-leading blogging expert.

DavidduChemin: David describes himself as a world and humanitarian assignment photographer, best-selling author, digital publisher and international workshop leader, whose nomadic and adventurous life fuels my fire to create and share. I love how he uses his blog to share his stunning photography and talks candidly and frankly about the challenges he faces.

Andrewgreer: Andrew Sean Greer, author of the hilarious book, Less, does a great job of using a blog as an author website. It promotes the book, his bio and upcoming events. It’s clean and coherent. I love the way he extends it through social via Instagram which shows us the life of Arthur Less.

Thang Ngo has been blogging for 17 years. His blog, noodlies, is one of Australia’s most influential food and lifestyle blogs. Blogging has resulted in commissioned work for offline publications such as Good Food (Sydney Morning Herald, The Age), Feast Magazine, The Drum (ABC) and Tiger Inflight magazine.

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