Rosie Alyea discovered she had a connection to sprinkles after five years of baking material on her blog and the publication of The Sweetapolita Bakebook. On Etsy, she debuted her first Sprinkle Medleys line, and from there, she expanded her product range.
Rosie combined her love of cakes with her entrepreneurial spirit to create a successful culinary blog. And she's only one of many happy endings. People from all around the world have discovered the proper ingredients for making money from their culinary blogs. We'll go over the many options to monetize a food blog below, from ebooks to cookbooks, and meal plans to live cooking lessons.
How to Set Up a Food Blog
If you're new to blogging, you'll need to choose a platform and a domain for your blog first.
Choose a Blogging Platform
However, because it comes pre-baked with e-commerce features, Shopify is the ideal solution for e-commerce tie-ins. For example, if you want to sell an ebook, culinary class tickets, or a real cookbook, Shopify offers a straightforward and clean experience for your consumers.
On Shopify, the Sweetapolita blog is an example of how a food-focused blog may appear.
Decide On a Name
If you're still stumped for a name for your blog, Shopify's company name generator will help you come up with something unique. Simply type in a term that characterizes your business, and the name generator will provide a list of options. Try searching for “kitchen“, “table“, or “meals” to see what comes up.
Select and Host your Domain
Some blog platforms (often referred to as content management systems, or CMS) may assist you with purchasing and hosting your new domain, which can be a time-consuming process. This functionality is available on Shopify, Squarespace, and WordPress. For branding purposes, your domain should be as near to your actual name as feasible. If it's not available, start with a filler word like “get” or “shop.”
Design a Logo
Hatchful, a free professional-quality logo builder offered by Shopify, can generate a logo for you to pick from in a matter of seconds. Hatchful will produce a selection of logos for you to tweak and customize based on your company category (food and drink), your business name, and where you'll use your logo.
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Pick a Theme and a Design
Choose from a wide range of themes available on these platforms to choose the one that best represents your company.
Phase 1: Starting up 🌱
It's possible to monetize a blog before you've built up a loyal following or a significant volume of internet traffic. It's always situation by case when it comes to when you'll start producing money. It doesn't take long for some bloggers, though. FindingBalance.mom creator Lily Ugbaja made money two weeks after launching her site.
Unless you're a professional photographer and a qualified chef, your material may not be as polished as that of more experienced food bloggers at first. Don't let yourself down! Everyone must begin somewhere. Display advertisements may be a terrific cash stream for people who are new to the game as their firm grows.
1- Make Money From Display Ads
Many food bloggers make the majority of their money by posting display adverts on their sites. The writer behind Tiffy Cooks says that display advertisements account for 40% of her blog's earnings in one blog post. The nicest aspect about employing display advertisements on your site is that they need little work and may return a lot of money. Because display advertisements can be so profitable, even newbie bloggers and food blogging experts like Half Baked Harvest employ them. However, they obstruct readers' sight, and you typically have little control over the types of advertising they see.
Google AdSense is the most well-known ad network, and millions of blogs rely on it. If you want to know how much money you can make with Google AdSense, go to the bottom of the page and provide a few facts about your site to obtain a year-end income estimate.
You'll need to attract visitors to your website to get the maximum money from display advertisements.
Here are a few options for getting started:
Create a profile for your food blog on Pinterest. Pinterest has quickly become the go-to place for the greatest culinary recipes, and with good cause. Users may build virtual cookbooks that they can access from anywhere thanks to the app's visual design and save capabilities. Popular culinary blogs like Sally's Baking Recipes and Half Baked Harvest have over 10 million monthly visits and almost one million Pinterest followers. Because readers must visit your blog to see the complete recipe on Pinterest, submitting your recipes and photographs to the site is a terrific method to drive traffic to your blog and earn money. Instagram and TikTok, on the other hand, are excellent additions to your social media arsenal.
Hone your photography skills. People will be drawn to your recipes because of the stunning photos since they'll want to reproduce each meal exactly as you've shown it. Great food photography is required for food blogs, and these photographs can help you acquire momentum on social networking platforms like Pinterest, which will increase total website traffic. Take some time to study the ins and outs of superb food photography as you begin your food blog adventure.
Optimize your website for SEO. It may appear difficult, but it does not have to be! Our beginner's guide to e-commerce SEO is chock-full of pointers for getting your food blog to rank first on Google for a variety of search phrases.
Develop unique recipes that readers can find only on your blog. If you have recipes that no one else has, they'll have to come to your blog to acquire them. Do you have any family favorites or recipes you'd want to share that you've perfected over the years?
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2- Get Started With Affiliate Links
Another low-effort option to monetize your food blog is through affiliate links. Affiliate programs function like this: you link to a product in a blog article. It may be anything like a KitchenAid mixer, silicone baking mat, or food processor that you use frequently and recommend for a specific recipe. The store keeps track of every time one of your readers hits that link. When a consumer makes a purchase, the business registers it, and you are paid a commission.
Some affiliate markets, such as ShareASale, can assist you in locating companies with whom to collaborate. Others, such as Target, make it simple to select the specific cooking tools you want. To get you started, here are a few suggestions:
Just One Cookbook and Lisa Kitahara, for example, produced customized Amazon lists so that readers could buy the spices they keep in their cupboards or the culinary utensils they use every day. The bloggers receive an affiliate commission when someone buys something from these lists.
To comply with FTC standards, every time you earn money through affiliate links, you must properly disclose this to your audience. Consult an attorney if you're unsure or have concerns regarding these rules.
3- Leverage Email Marketing
Email marketing is a fantastic technique to keep your audience engaged while also driving traffic to your website. You may earn more money from display advertisements if you drive more visitors. Create a weekly collection of your newest recipes in an email, or highlight a favorite dish that's on your mind that week.
By including an email registration module on your blog, you may begin creating an email list. Dan Pelosi of the culinary site GrossyPelosi, for example, uses a pop-up to urge readers to sign up for “new recipes and merch drops” so they can be the first to know.
Consider producing a bundled series of emails around one major issue that your readers may sign up for, in addition to sending out a weekly read. Sally's Baking Recipes, for example, provides three in-depth email lectures. The first concentrates on yeast bread, the second on cakes, and the third on baking for novices. Readers will acquire simplified, easy-to-understand information about anything they'd like to learn in this manner. Sally may acquire those emails for her main email list if someone registers up for a course and opts into all emails.
A sponsored newsletter is another approach to making use of email marketing. Substack, for example, allows writers to charge members as little as $5 per month for a premium subscription. Even if your food blog has a collection of free recipes, you might use a paid email to send out unique, members-only information such as week-long meal prep plans or your newest recipe innovations.
4- Write Sponsored Posts
Collaborate with businesses to write a product review for your blog in exchange for money or free things. The caveat is that you should only recommend products that you care about, believe in, and use in your kitchen. Sponsoring the greatest or your favorite goods might help you create trust with your audience by establishing you as a reliable source. To comply with FTC requirements, you'll need to let readers know if you're getting paid to promote something, similar to affiliate links. Do you have any problems or questions? Consult an attorney to ensure you've covered all of your bases.
As your site grows in popularity, sponsored inquiries will most likely begin to arrive in your email. However, before that moment arrives, reach out to companies via email or social media.
5- Set up Brand Deals
While individual sponsored content pieces may be one-time events, brand deals are continuous engagements and interactions with a company. For example, you might become a brand ambassador for your favorite spatula firm and commit to showcasing that spatula on your blog regularly. You'll also agree on the amount of money you'll be paid.
Remember that the brands you work with should mirror the principles of your blog and your brand. We suggest sticking to the things you enjoy and use in your kitchen.
Phase 2: Steady Growth 🌿
If you have a favorite food blog, recall the first time you came across it. Was it because of a mouth-watering Pinterest image of a sprinkle-covered cupcake? Or were you looking for a hearty soup to help you move from winter to spring? What was it about that specific blog that drew you back for more? Was it because of the recipes? What about photography? The step-by-step images that were simple to follow?
When people start actively looking for your blog, and when the information you provide on Pinterest starts getting saved or revealed in search results and suggested articles, you'll know your blog is expanding. At this stage, you may have a sizable Pinterest, TikTok, or Instagram following.
Half Baked Harvest's expansion began in September of this year.
Tieghan Gerard has risen to prominence and is now a New York Times bestselling cookbook author with almost a million Pinterest followers, including titles such as Half Baked Harvest Super Simple and Half Baked Harvest Every Day. This increase in readership is the result of ten years of hard effort.
You've probably gained some traction and amassed a good collection of recipes, and you're ready to go on. You're generating money from display advertisements, your website is getting a lot of traffic, and your audience is growing steadily. This is the point at which creating an ebook or even a printed cookbook makes sense.
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The following tips need the use of e-commerce on your website. If you're already using Shopify, the switch will be seamless. If you haven't already, this is a fantastic opportunity to sign up for a free trial.
If you're using Squarespace or WordPress, you'll need to upgrade your plan or install a plug-in to add e-commerce functionality to your site.
6- Sell an Ebook or Meal Plan
Starting with an ebook might be a low-cost approach to stress-test your idea if you want to sell a physical cookbook. You won't have to worry about distribution either, because you can sell digital downloads straight from your website or through a marketplace such as Amazon. Sally McKenney of Sally's Baking Recipes, for example, made an ebook version of her print cookie cookbook that sells for 99 cents. Unlike the print cookie cookbook, which has over 75 recipes, this one only has eight.
Lauren Fit Foodie, meantime, sells virtual cookbooks as well as monthly recipe and meal instructions on her website. She uses Linkpop to link her online business to her Instagram page. There's also the option to package the ebook and physical edition so buyers may have one in the cupboard and one on the move!
One of the best things about ebooks is that there are so many additional content possibilities if you want to keep a collection of recipes for a physical book. It can also be scaled more easily. The number of resources required to sell one ebook is the same as the amount required to sell a thousand ebooks.
You could have a knack for food photography and wish to develop a list of food photography tips. You might also be a professional food stylist who specializes in innovative plating. The plating and styling procedures might be included in your booklet. You could even write an ebook to educate other food bloggers on how to monetize their blogs, similar to how the team behind Pinch of Yum developed a side company around the same concept.
7- Sell a Physical Cookbook Online
When most food bloggers decide to produce a cookbook, they collaborate with a publisher and distribute it through outlets like Barnes & Noble and Amazon. This is an option, but you may also self-publish a physical cookbook and sell it through your website.
You'll be in charge of promoting the book on your own, but you won't have to look for a publisher, you'll be able to keep all of the profits, and you won't have to bother about inventory storage or shipping. When a cookbook sells, the print-on-demand service prints and sends a copy to each of your clients.
Garrah Carter, the founder of the health and wellness firm BirdFoodie, created and sold her cookbook, The Power of the Plant, through the e-commerce store on her website.
There are various print-on-demand book providers to select from if you prefer this way.
8- Offer Memberships
Consider making some recipes or meal plans available just to subscribers. This might contain your most recent recipes, a collection of dishes you don't usually publish (such as sweets), or our weekly meal plans. You may either charge a small monthly fee for membership access or create paid tiers based on the sort of material you provide.
- Tier 1 at $5 per month: Weekly meal ideas that have been carefully prepared.
- Tier 2 at $7 per month: Weekly meal ideas and one cooking video are provided to help you improve your culinary abilities (past videos have taught knife skills, how to make marinara sauce, and how to make hot sauce from scratch).
- Tier 3 at $15 per month: Tier 1 and 2 access, including a monthly group video chat where you teach others how to prepare a certain meal or develop a skill.
9- Create Courses
Creating video courses is another option to supplement your revenue from your food blog, and the sorts of courses you may produce and charge money for are truly endless. What's the catch? Because there is so much free information accessible on YouTube these days, be sure your consumers will gain actual, concrete value from your course.
You might create video courses that include the following:
- Bring aspiring chefs to the next level
- Teach individuals how to prepare specialized foods, such as soups, sauces, and spreads.
- Teach cooking skills such as cutting, frying, and baking to chefs.
- Assist ambitious entrepreneurs in making money from their culinary blogs.
- Teach food styling or photography abilities.
10- Stream Live Cooking Classes
Nonna Nerina and her granddaughter Chiara Nicolanti show viewers how to make pasta from a kitchen in Palombara Sabina, a tiny village 40 minutes west of Rome, Italy. Nonna Live, their company, delivers live virtual culinary experiences. Customers pay for each class to learn how to create meals like Sorrentino gnocchi and pesto lasagna.
You might be able to accomplish something similar. Individuals can sign up for lessons, or you can connect with businesses to arrange culinary workshops for groups.
Phase 3: Take it to The Next Level 🌲
Your food blog company is booming: you have a large following, a long email list, and maybe even a few cookbooks under your belt. But you're still on the lookout for the following step. Selling branded kitchenwares, such as tools, aprons, or even table settings, is one way to keep your business expanding. You can even go down the road of developing a specific culinary item, such as a marinara sauce that you'd like to bottle and sell.
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11- Sell Products Online
Do you always recommend the same mixing bowls, or do you have a favorite apron that your grandmother made? Consider making and selling physical goods that you know your audience would enjoy. You may always offer a selection of selected things directly from your shop if you don't want to build your products.
Kim'C Market, for example, provides superior, natural Korean cuisine and housewares. The company has a blog where it discusses the significance and history of popular Korean foods.
12- Sell Packaged Goods
Another alternative is to create food products that you can sell on your website. This may be a seasoning blend you created, a flavored oil, or the ideal spicy sauce to match with your mac & cheese.
Nonna Live, for example, sells Grandma's Gold olive oil as a monthly subscription. The Herbivorous Butcher sells vegan meats and cheeses made in small batches. Sweetapolita is a store that sells a variety of rainbow sprinkles.
Get Creative and Cook What you Love
A food blog is a difficult job that demands a significant amount of effort, trial and error, and dedication to your trade. To observe consistent improvement over time, you'll need to remain inspired, be creative, master new abilities, and attempt a variety of things.
As with the ancient adage “write what you know“, start by cooking the dishes you return to week after week—the ones you've been preparing for years and that everyone enjoys. Those recipes will lay a solid basis on which you can begin to establish a following and raise the finances you need to expand your business. And it is a genuine *chef's kiss.
1- Here are 12 different methods to make money from your food blog:
2- Host display ads on your site
3- Use affiliate links
4- Leverage email marketing
5- Write sponsored posts
6- Set up brand deals
7- Sell an ebook
8- Sell a physical cookbook online
9- Offer memberships
10- Create courses
11- Stream live cooking classes
12- Sell products online
13- Sell packaged goods
You totally can—it just takes a lot of effort, time, and trial and error.