How to make money as a food blogger has become a hot topic lately thanks to food blogging being one of the most lucrative niches in the blogosphere. Food blogging is a multi-billion-dollar industry and growing, and which such stinking amount of money floating around, everyone is trying to get in on the action.
Do a quick keyword research around the food niche and you find out there is still a massive opportunity for those trying to get into the food blogging scene. That means it’s easier for new entrants to get in and make money faster with a food blog compared to other niches.
That’s the great news. The big question though is how to make money as a food blogger. How are food bloggers making money? What strategies are they using to maximize their income? And how can you implement these monetization strategies to start making money with your food blog?
Well in this post we cover just that. Hold on…
Types of food blogging
To understand how to make money as a food blogger it is important you have a clearer picture of the types of food blogs are out there and how each will affect your earning potential.
A friend of mine always jokes that people are so emotional about food because everyone is an expert when it comes to food. You start eating from the moment you are born to the day you drop dead, So by all accounts by your 5th birthday, you have done your 10000 hours and can judge your mums cooking.
Variety of opinions means more niches.
In food blogging like all other blogging segments, the money is in the niches and below are just some topline general types of food blogs out there.
There are a lot of these around. Everyone and their aunt have one. I presume 7 out 10 blogs are recipe blogs. Honestly, this segment of blogging is a little bit too saturated for my liking which makes it very difficult for a newer food blogger to cut through.
But later in this article, you will see it’s also one of the most lucrative based on the income reports of food bloggers profiled.
There is still have a lot of legroom and massive opportunities to niche out and make grow a following. However, there is a thin line between being a cooking blog and being regarded as a recipe blog.
The difference will all boil down to the angle you take with your content because it’s very easy to have a cooking blog and end up creating a lot of recipe like the content on your blog.
So, it’s important to differentiate yourself, followed by a solid content marketing strategy.
Diet specific blogs
More people across the world are choosing various forms of diets either for health or animal right reasons and this has created a massive opportunity which is yet to be exploited to its full potential.
Diet specific blogs for Keto, Veganism and the likes are making a killing in the blogging space and it is becoming one of the textbook examples of how to make money as a blogger.
Photography is at the Centre of food blogging. Actually, both photography and videography. Part of building a blog is taking compelling images of your outcome and sharing it with your audience.
There are also major food platforms you can submit your pictures to and getting accepted to one of those can be the defining moment between the blog that will hit 5-figure income in a year and the one that takes longer.
Getting accepted to those platforms is a big deal. The food photography category is growing massively and also a great opportunity.
Finally lets now move to the real stuff, how to make money as a food blogger.
How to make money as a food blogger in 2019
There are various monetization strategies that you can implement to your blog to start making money. The problem most bloggers make is depending on one revenue model for their business. This is a huge mistake and food bloggers leave way too much money on the table by limiting their revenue channels to one or two sources only.
In that regard, my first advice is to implement all the below revenue channels on your blog to maximize your income.
So here we go…
The first point of monetization for most bloggers’ is display ads. However, this can be super demoralizing when you have not developed massive traffic and got in bed with the major ad platforms like Mediavine and Adthrive.
Mediavine and thrive are premium ad platforms that pay way better compared to the pennies you get from AdSense. But there is a catch. Mediavine requires a minimum of 25,000 Pageviews to approve your application while Adthrive has a minimum 1,00,000 Pageviews entry barrier.
These are very steep numbers to realize as a newbie hence why display ads are not the best food blog monetization strategy when you are just getting started.
An affiliate link is a great way to start earning money from your blog even when you have fewer dedicated readers. The mechanics behind affiliate marketing are pretty basic.
You recommend the products you use or endorse to your readers through a special link and if they buy using that link the affiliate owner cuts you a Cheque.
It’s the easiest way to make money as you sleep. Ever noticed how all your favourite bloggers recommend Blue host hosting and telling you to buy it through ‘this special link”.
If you buy the hosting through that link they earn up to $75.
That’s how lucrative affiliate marketing can get. If you offer value and compel your readers to act, then those numbers can add up pretty quick.
Next great way to monetize your food blog is through sponsored posts. Though this may need you to be a little proactive.
In isolated cases, brands will approach you, especially if your blog is backed by massive social media following. However, on regular days you need to go out and get the business.
Develop a media kit and reach out to a few businesses. Usually, it may start with a few brands just sending you free stuff. Later that relationship can escalate to a financial transaction.
As your profile grows more brands will start approaching you hence saving you the hustle.
Pro Tip: Promote the hell out the free stuff and you might just land on the radar of a competitor or other brand who would assume a financial involvement and send you an offer.
Selling products (Courses, E-books & cookbooks)
This every bloggers’ dream way to make money and still one of the best ways to scale your blog and make money as a blogger.
After a while of delivering value to your audience, you will start to understand their pain points and the kind of problems they are trying to solve. Use this insight to develop a course or an E-book that solves that pain point and sell it on your blog.
For an e-book, you can use simple tools like Sendowl to sell the e-book on your site.
You can also opt to write a cookbook or sell physical products from your blog.
Offer services (Food Photography, Coaching)
You can offer services you have acquired on your site for some pay. So, book some food photography gigs or offer blog coaching or custom menu service development at a fee.
These are little gigs that will keep you afloat as you wait for that Adthrive Cheque J
Finally, you can make some money through content syndication. This is when your content is published by a third party and they opt to compensate you.
In most cases, a link back to your site will suffice, but in some instances, you will be paid.
Like if BuzzFeed offered me a syndication situation I will opt for the link back any day. That’s crazy traffic you will get from BuzzFeed.But you run into some magazine trying to republish your work? Get that cheque.
Now that we have covered how to make money as a food blogger in details, let me give you just a shot of motivation on how food bloggers are killing it out here.
How much do food bloggers earn?
I took a wide selection of incomes vs traffic just to give you a picture of what you can do at the top of your game, mid as well as when just a few months in and try to figure how to make money as a food blogger.
Pinch of Yum-$ 86,884.12/In one month
This is one of the most successful food blogs started by a 4th-grade teacher and now works full time on the blog with her husband. A huge inspiration in the food blogging community.
Their income reports (which they have since stopped releasing) are the reference and learning resource for food bloggers across the globe.
Check out a feature by Huffington post on her blog income.
Cheryl Malik-$ 36,925.41/In one month
Cheryl Malik I another great example of just how far you can go if you are dedicated and take the multiple streams of income approach to your food blog.
Check out her income report and note, she has implemented all the possible monetization channels possible on her blog.
Christine-Jar of lemons-$ 2,193
Christine is also making a killing, this is not her latest income report, but just imagine still being able to get over $2000 after only a few months blogging.
Pretty impressive right? Check out her income report.
As you can see the food blogging niche is still lucrative as ever and with dozens of opportunities on how to make money as a food blogger if you follow the full monetization strategy I had explained earlier.
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