From the Web to the bookshops: Benedetta’s success

Since many years her recipes are a hit on the Web, her Facebook page got more than 2 million “likes”, her YouTube channel more than 260 thousand followers and her Instagram profile 160 thousand fans.

Benedetta Rossi’s figures are staggering. She is a most loved food blogger, and should someone have not yet realized whom we are talking about, all it takes is to recall her typical “thumbs-up” gesture, meant to approve the outcome of a recipe at the end of each video she posts on her channel. “Fatto in casa da Benedetta” (made at home by Benedetta) is the name of the portal created six years ago by 45-years-old Benedetta born in Altidona, in the province of Ascoli Piceno. In time the channel grew, improved and got millions of visualisations, so that Benedetta wrote also a book, published a few months ago by Mondadori.

But what is the secret of her success? How did this adventure start? It is Benedetta herself who tells us.

Benedetta, how did this activity start, and why did you decide to create a YouTube channel to promote your recipes?
In 2009, when I opened the channel, I worked in my family’s holiday farm, and the channel was connected with it. Our guests often asked me the recipe of our courses, so I decided to write them down and to show all passages of their preparation on a video, which I then loaded and shared on the Web.

In the beginning it was almost like playing, but my videos got immediately an incredible echo and plenty of visualizations, which I certainly did not expect to happen. For a while, anyway, I stopped loading videos to consecrate myself to the new activity I had started with Marco, my husband: a new and completely ours holiday farm. We then decided to create a new video channel, “Fatto in casa da Benedetta”, and propose also formulas for the preparation of soaps and unguents, another passion of mine. Marco films, edits and manages the technical aspects of videos.

How changed, during these years, the task of managing the blog?
The task changed completely. While in the beginning we filmed and posted our videos in our spare time, almost as a game, now we are really absorbed by the management of our blog and of social networks. Not long after creating the new blog, we also inaugurated a Facebook page, so that managing our activity on the Web is by now a full time occupation, to the point that I must ask my family’s support to manage our holiday farm.

Your filming style changed too, as years went by.
We certainly aimed at gaining speed, we equipped ourselves with a more advanced software and a more sophisticated digital camera. We try and imagine how our videos would be seen three years from now, we bet on the future. Most of all, I try and produce what I would like to see in the videos myself, aiming at linearity and speed and also taking for granted that certain basic passages, which I override, are understood.

Thousands of visualizations on YouTube. How do you explain the secret of your success?
I believe our strong point is originality. When opening a YouTube channel, one tries different paths, analyzes data and finds out which passages should be removed to hasten the rhythm, always trying to propose simple recipes, accessible to all and requiring few ingredients. Many people reinvent the dishes I suggest to adapt them to their tastes and exigencies. Others send me their recipes and ask me to film the stages of their preparation. In conclusion, a community was born, which follows me also from abroad, mostly from South America and Spain. I appreciate this very much.

How is a typical day of yours?
In the morning I sit in front of my computer to try and answer to all messages I receive. I then devote myself to my kitchen garden, try some recipes and record a video. A video just a few minutes long requires an enormous lot of work. We succeed loading an average of two videos a week, which requires five days of rehearsals. We try and care for all details during the editing: it is a very engaging activity, as we don’t want to deceive our public, but in the meantime we feel happy and satisfied.

How much do your recipes reflect the cooking tradition of Marche?
Many of my recipes belong to the family and regional traditions, but I never fully “regionalized” myself. Mine are universal recipes. I prefer desserts because they allow me to better express my personality. There are also many new recipes, and others I recreate based also on suggestions from my followers.

From the Web to bookshops. Your book “Fatto in casa da Benedetta” (“Made at home by Benedetta”)  was one of 2016 bestsellers. How did this result change you?
I never thought I would publish a book: I am very simple and shy and not ambitious at all. After the book was published, I started launching it in many Italian cities, from Naples to Rome and Florence. What really touched me was the affection showed by people I met; some recognize me on the streets. Still, this success did not change me. The only novelty is I feel a responsibility and a duty towards these people, whom I would never deceive.

What are your expectations and projects for the future?
I never made projects in my life: I always worked hard, with dedication and perseverance since the school years. I created my blog with the only purpose of sharing my recipes; even the book I published was a big surprise, as well as the publisher’s proposal of writing a second one. I work out of passion, have no expectations and like to stay grounded.

di I. Cofanelli