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Conversations with Allie Erdman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Allie Erdman.

Hi Allie, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Best Bites KC started while I was a full graduate student. With the studying and demands of grad school, I was seeking hobby that was completely different than what I was studying. I needed a creative outlet. At the time, I had been playing around with editing photos and posting to my personal page. Slowly I started to realize that I probably shouldn’t bombard people with continuous pictures of food, as this is what I was doing. I began playing with the idea of creating a separate page but wasn’t quite sure if that’s what I wanted to do. In the midst of this decision-making, I attended a local workshop that focused on building a brand – that sort of gave me the tools I need to begin developing a page. Within a week Best Bites KC was created. I’ve learned a lot of about editing apps, setting up photos, the ins and outs of social media, writing, and blogging. Getting my first email from a PR company was surreal. I almost thought it was fake because I hadn’t signed up for anything and was just posting for fun.

Starting this page three years ago has really led to quite the adventure. I’ve gotten to explore the city I grew up in, but in a new way. It may sound crazy, but I didn’t spend a lot of time downtown growing up. This page really opened up a new world to explore that had practically been in my backyard this entire time. I’ve also had the opportunity to connect with other bloggers and foodies, continue growing my knowledge of social media and writing, and of course eat a lot of delicious food along the way.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There have definitely been struggles along the way. I get periods of time where I get stuck in a lull or creative block. Sometimes I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing and it leaves me feeling unmotivated. If my personal life or my work life (I have a full-time job) have something that takes priority or when I start to feel overwhelmed, I struggle with coming up with what to post. I’ll post what I may be or feel obligated too, but again it will leave me feeling stuck. I’ve also found it challenging to create the time for myself to really work on my writing and developing that side of my brand. I have to remind myself that it’s okay and to find the balance in my life so I can continue enjoying what I do and this hobby.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
In its simplest form, I take pictures of food and post them on social media. I see myself somewhere between a local guide and an influencer (even though I don’t love the term). I try to focus on the local businesses, restaurants, breweries, and coffee shops in my area and share that journey. The Kansas City food scene is continuously growing and expanding, so I try to be a resource in sharing what’s the area. My hope is to pivot into more writing and blogging to share more about the delicious adventures we go. I also share some of the food and drinks from travel — I really feel like food is great way to explore any city (plus I love getting to connect with other local bloggers!). As such, I try to focus on small businesses that are local to the city or region. I do collaborate with local businesses to help spread the word of new restaurants, new menus, special events, or really anything that a business wants shared. I’ve also written for City Lifestyle and am a part of the Yelp Elite Squad in Kansas City. All of these have provided opportunities for me to develop my content and brand, connect with businesses, and keeping doing what I enjoy. In no way is this my full-time job, but something I get to do on the side and in my free time. It’s a great excuse to get out and explore my city.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
My husband, Erik, has been one of my biggest supporters. At first, I don’t think he completely understood what I was doing, he’s not big into social media. Despite that, he supported my hobby from the beginning. He was abroad at the time, but I was able to share the exploration I was doing (and start planning dates for when he was home). Now he’s helping me stage photos, holding things for me, acting as a hand model, and reminding me to take pictures. He’s my automatic plus one to any event and my partner in dining! He likes to joke that him ordering a second plate is an excuse for more content. It’s gotten him to expand his palate and really open up to new foods – and I absolutely love his willingness to come along and least try something new. For a man who doesn’t do Instagram, he’s incredibly supportive!

My parents have been supportive in my hobby as well. My dad, who also doesn’t do any social media, loves to hear about where we’ve been locally and when we travel. Apparently, he shares my page and website with some of his coworkers and shares what I do. While I’m not sure how he describes what I do, I love that he gets excited about it.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Alexandra Erdman / Best Bites KC

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