Want to learn how to make money online with a food blog? I might be able to help with that!
You see, every now and then a new niche comes along and absolutely dominates the internet.
Each one is slightly different, but over time you start to notice the common strategies and ideas that work for each one equally.
Right now food blogs are huge… and they're only becoming more popular.
People are beginning to wake up to the enormous opportunity of blogging as a way to make money online and replace your full time income.
If you're a long-term Make Money Online Blog reader, you'll know the best way to make money blogging is to blog about something that you love. This way you are far more likely to see your blog through the to the money making end.
Well, it seems there are lots of people taking their passion for food and building successful food blogs out of it. You can too.
There is an enormous opportunity here to be successful but, in actual fact, it’s also an incredible chance to share your knowledge, get creative and help inspire people along the way.
So today I’m going to show you some really important things you need to know before you jump in.
If you follow these tips you’ll save a lot of time and valuable energy.
This is a big one so grab a cuppa and warm up your scrolling finger!
Overview of how to make money with a food blog
Here's a quick overview to whet your appetite:
- Research stage – choose your niche, topic and point of difference.
- Setup stage – (the slightly technical but easier than you think bit). Create your Wealthy Affiliate account to register your domain name and web hosting, and install WordPress as your blogging platform. Choose a theme/template and tweak until you're happy.
- Learning stage – As with any new venture, there are new skills you'll need to acquire, proven strategies and techniques to learn to help make your food blog successful and profitable. The Wealthy Affiliate training will help you avoid the common pitfalls, saving you time and money in the process.
- Content creation stage – Hint: it's all about helping people.
- Promotion stage – promote the heck out of your food blog and make it famous.
- Bonus making a difference stage – This is where we look at how a simple food blog can become your platform to share your message and make a big difference.
I’m going to give a rough overview of all of these stages in the hope that it encourages you to do further research and really make a solid plan for your new food blog.
1. Research stage: choosing a topic for your food blog
You may think the topic of your blog is food, but you'll need to get a little more specific here.
What kind of food gets your passions stirred up? What new twists can you add to spice up traditional recipes?
As more and more people start blogging as a way to make money, it’s a lot less likely that you will see much success with blogs that are too broad. It's best to focus on a sub topic you can build a brand around and become an authority on.
All food blogs seem to have one thing in common: they have unique selling point, a new and fresh angle.
This is super important and will make the difference between having an unknown blog or standing out above the noise. It's what makes your food blog different from all the other food blogs out there.
Even better is when you mix that unique angle with a personal story and journey.
One of my favorite examples is Naturally Ella; a delicious looking healthy food blog with a great back story. Erin had a fall out with fast food and frozen food after her father had a heart attack and, her food blog was born.
Everything she does is natural and vegetarian infused with her own personality and taste and, as a reader, it’s easy to see her passion for food oozing through every blog page and image!
The main thing you want to ask yourself at this stage is: What can I add to the conversation? What will make my food blog unique and stand out from the rest?
Think about things like:
- What do I love about food?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- What blogs inspire me and how can I be better/different from them?
- What fresh and new angle can I take to stand out?
- How can I help my readers?
- What is the purpose of my food blog?
It's really gonna help you in the long-term if, before you start thinking about how to make money with your food blog, you are clear on your chosen topic and branding.
These types of questions will keep you from straying off the path and you'll reap the rewards from your blogging efforts a lot sooner than someone who's all over the place.
Remember, right now you don't need to know all the ins and outs, just a general direction at this point just to get you started.
And please don't worry if you're not quite sure exactly what niche to go into yet, there's a community of bloggers here where you can bounce ideas around and get feedback and support at every step of your blogging journey.
2. Setup stage: hosting your food blog
Once you’ve decided on what you’re going to write about you then need to actually set up your blog.
Every good, professional blog needs these three elements:
- A unique domain name
This is the .com or .net thing that people type in their browsers in order to find your blog.
- A reliable web host
This is where all of your files, content, images, etc. are stored. When people type in your domain name it looks up your server and shows them your blog.
- A blogging platform like WordPress
This is the thing you login to in order to write your posts, upload images, etc. Once you’ve purchased your domain name and web host you can install WordPress for free with just a few clicks.
Don't worry, this is not as technical as it sounds (it's just a few clicks.)
But there are a few options for you to consider:
1) The free option:
Free blogging platforms like SiteRubix means your food blog can be live and kicking in the next couple of minutes.
Instead of owning your own paid domain (i.e. myfoodblog.com), your blog will be on a free sub-domain (i.e. myfoodblog.siterubix.com)
2) The standard self-hosting option:
Most bloggers choose third party sites like BlueHost to register their domain and host their blog. You can check the availability fo your preferred domain and host your website on an annual basis.
3) The Wealthy Affiliate option (recommended):
More than a basic web hosting service, Wealthy Affiliate is the best place to set up a blog and make money.
The way I like to explain it is, it's the ultimate online business center where all the tools, training and community support you need to run a successful and profitable blog are in one place.
I host all my blogs with Wealthy Affiliate for a few seriously good reasons:
- Wealthy Affiliate offers the fastest, most powerful and secure web hosting in the world. With a full WordPress-integrated website builder, 1400 website themes to choose from, full website health checks, daily backups and full 24/7/365 technical support, be assured your food blogging business is in the best hands.
- Wealthy Affiliate equips you with the best training, knowledge and practical know-how I've ever experienced. Everything you need to know about making money blogging is explained within the easy to understand video training modules and step by step tutorials. Each lesson comes with actionable steps so, even if you're a total newbie, you build your blog as you go.
- Wealthy Affiliate is is the most active affiliate marketing community. Really. How far could you take your blog if you knew you had expert advice on tap? I wouldn't be where I am today without the friendly and helpful Wealthy Affiliate community. It's where you can ask questions, get answers, get feedback and support around the clock.
- Wealthy Affiliate gives you all your online business tools you need to run a successful blog. No up-sells, no spam. Included within your membership are domains and web hosting, website builders, website heath checks, keyword research tools, weekly video training, site comments and site feedback.
Once you've completed your Wealthy Affiliate profile, head over to the SiteRubix website builder and check the availability of your preferred domain and register it.
Once you’ve purchased your domain name and web host you then need to select a WordPress theme that suits your needs. Choose from over 1400 free WordPress themes and click create, give it 10 seconds and you're blog'll be up and running.
Important Note: A lot of aspiring bloggers get stuck at this stage because they don’t want to pay the fees associated with getting their own host and necessary training.
Please remember that compared to a conventional business, the investment required to setting up your online business is minimal and doing it right the first time really will save you time and money in the long run.
It’s important to remember not to dwell on this stage too long because you can always change your theme and tinker with how it looks. Don’t let this part prevent you from getting setup.
When selecting a theme you really need to think about how you are going to be using it and what you want readers to think and feel when they visit. Think about the experience of your readers and tinker with the colour schemes, fonts and sizes etc. until you're happy.
3. Learning stage: acquiring the skills and know-how
This step will put you ahead of 99% of other aspiring bloggers out there.
You see, lots of people have food blogs but aren't making any money…
And it's not because of a lack of work ethic or determination, they just don't have the right know-how.
I personally learned everything there is to know about making money by blogging at Wealthy Affiliate.
Three years ago I didn't have the first clue about how this whole making money with a blog thing worked. But now I feel like an expert.
I have several blogs covering several different niches that make me money every month, all as a direct result of going through the Wealthy Affiliate training and, most importantly, actually taking action on and applying each lesson.
Every aspect of making money as a food blogger is explained in great detail, from the setting up stages, figuring out what to write about, attracting targeted readers to your site, to monetising your blog and earning revenue.
The thing is, there are actually a ton of ways to make money with your food blog which you'll be learning in the days and weeks ahead.
Here's just one way of earning money as a food blogger that's covered in the Online Entrepreneur Certification Course:
4. Content creation stage – be as helpful as you can
When we talk about content creation, we're talking about written blog posts, photographs, graphics, quotes, tools, videos, podcasts, etc.
Many successful bloggers say content is the key ingredient to a tasty food blog.
And it's so true.
So what kind of content ensures your food blog will be successful?
The key here is creating content with a focus on helping people.
The most successful bloggers are those who help people the most, they answer questions and provide solutions, they add value to people's lives through the blog posts, videos and images they create.
Whether it's a cake recipe with a video showing them exactly how to do it, or an easy to follow Thai Green curry recipe with beautiful photographs at every step, share your experience and expertise with your readers and let your personality shine through.
Having a content strategy
Most bloggers think if an idea and write the blog post that same day and wonder why they're not getting the results they want.
This is far too ‘hit and miss‘ for my liking.
There's absolutely no point in spending hours researching and writing an article just to get a quick burst of traffic and nothing else. Instead, start with the end result in mind and work backwards.
What that means is that you come up with a rough plan for your blog in terms of what product you are going to promote or where you’d like to see it in a year’s time. You then work backwards and create very specific content that helps you get you to that position.
Every blog post should play a role in your blog’s overall, long-term strategy.
Take your own photos
Another really important thing to do is try to make as much original, high quality stuff as you can.
For example, if you look at a successful food blog like North Wild Kitchen (2016 winner of the Saveur blog award) you’ll see that the recipes and photos are all beautiful and original.
Google loves this kind of effort, and so do readers.
Remember that unique angle?
When we were talking about deciding on the specific niche of your food blog, we discussed the importance of having a unique angle to make your blog stand out from all the other hundreds of food blogs out there. It's at the content creation stage where the power of your unique angle actually kicks in.
Jamie Oliver went from a nobody to a celebrity seemingly overnight. How did that happen? It was his Naked Chef TV series.
He literally changed the way food is cooked around the world (a bit more on this later). But it all happened due to a unique angle that make him stand out from all the other bland TV chefs of the time.
From your logo to your style of writing, to your niche topic and your emails – try to build a distinctive brand that will make an impression.
4. Promotion stage: getting more blog readers
Before you can ever make any money with your blog to you need to learn the art of attracting targeted blog visitors.
When it comes to a successful food blog you essentially have three ways to get blog readers:
- Google traffic
Ask most successful bloggers and they'll tell you most of their traffic comes from Google. And although it will take time for your new food blog to gain authority and climb the search rankings. You can short cut this process however, using Google's ad program.
- Social media marketing
Sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are perfect for food blogs because they're naturally very visual. Again, there are advertising programs for all of these.
- Traditional media
Most aspiring bloggers don't even consider using traditional media as a way to get traffic to their blog for a second. But it actually works really well. A feature in a magazine or newspaper will still send you a huge surge in traffic and can become a pivotal point in the life of your blog
So how do we actually go about getting traffic from these sources?
Let’s take a look at each one in detail.
Getting your website ranked in Google
Now let me just say this is an area that way too many people get too bogged down with. I see so many aspiring bloggers wasting too much time obsessing over the ranking figures instead of focusing on building their online business through content creation.
Which is totally counter-productive because Google loves content!
If you remember what I'm about to tell you, you'll fulfill over 90% of Google's ranking criteria…
Focus on making your content unique and helpful and you'll do well. Write and create with your human readers in mind and you really can't go wrong.
The other 10%?
Target high search but low competition keywords.
Keywords are basically words or phrases people search for. Using a keyword research tool (like the one included within the Wealthy Affiliate member's area) will show you how many times a particular phrase is searched for each month and how many pages you'll be competing with if you want to target that keyword.
Especially for new blogs, I recommend shooting for keywords with a high search rate but low number of competing pages. As your blog matures and gains more search engine authority you can start going for the higher competing keywords.
I purposefully target keywords for every video I upload and every article I publish. Learning how to do keyword research is the main reason my blogs collectively attract more than 3,000 readers a day (and I'm just getting started!)
Don't worry if I've already lost you at this point! This is just a brief introudcutory overview of the concept of search engine ranking. All of this is explained in detail within the Online Entrepreneur Course with interactive question and answer areas.
Get website traffic with social media
A lot of bloggers out there feel the need to be on every single social media site out there.
This is just not true.
Think about it – we have Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn… the list is endless and forever changing.
So what do you do?
You focus your efforts on what will bring you the most results.
This comes down to a mixture of research and testing. Spend a day looking at the biggest 20-30 different food blogs in your niche and see how they use social media to get more website traffic.
Don’t just focus on followers (those can be faked) but look at the level of engagement, numbers of shares, comments and interaction it generates.
Then set yourself up on these and start testing for yourself. Find out what works and what doesn't and always have your end goal in mind. Once you find what works for you, stick at it, tweak and test and over time you'll be able to target your ads, posts, competions etc. with a laser like focus.
Getting offline to promote your online presence
Don't be so quick to overlook at the more traditional ways of advertising.
Getting your blog in your local newspaper or magazine can change the trajectory of your blog forever. You could tap into a whole new group of people who don't live on social and expand the reach of your blog.
Another creative way to promote your blog, is say your food blog is based around south eastern spicy dishes, and you visit your local Thai restaurants to review them. Make sure you give them your business card and then email them when you positive review goes up. That’s gold for a restaurant, and they’ll usually share it with their social networking pages. Free promo.
This is a great mix of online and offline promotion.
You just need an angle.
5. Bonus stage: make a different with your food blog
We talk about making content useful and helpful a lot here on The Make Money Online Blog, and with a food blog you have an actual opportunity to change people's lives for the better.
According to the World Health Organization obesity more than doubled worldwide between 1980 and 2014.With a population of almost 7.5 billion people, food has now become a major issue for our world.
It's estimated that 41 million children under the age of five are overweight or obese.
And it really comes down to one thing: the way we eat.
Obesity can creep up on you very gradually because of bad eating habits or lack of exercise.
- eating food high in sugar and fat – processed and fast foods.
- eating out a lot – when you're in a restaurant you're far more likely to order dessert and sugary drinks
- big portion sizes – cutting down the amount you eat even by a small fraction can make a difference to your health.
- drinking fizzy drinks– we all know this is basically just sugary syrup and fizz.
- comfort eating – I'm sometimes guilty of this, there's just somethign emotionally comforting about biting into your favourite food.
We all know it's these small, daily decisions we take almost unconsciously that effect our health the most. Sometimes we don't even realise what we're eating is unhealthy because that's just what everyone us is eating.
As a food blogger you can have a voice, an opportunity to share your message and encourage people to eat healthier.
Again, Jamie Oliver is a brilliant example of this. Jamie uses his blog Jamie'sFoodRevolution.org as a platform to raise awareness of childhood obesity.
Jamie Oliver also speaks about the importance of food education, food waste, caring for the planet and ethical buying.
So, if you start a food blog, I encourage you to write about these topics. Through blogging can help to bring about these change and help people eat a healthier diet and live healthier lives.
If I was starting a food blog, I would write about these issues and I encourage you to do the same.
Any advice for someone looking to make money as a food blogger?
I’d really love to know whether you think I’ve missed any key points for aspiring food bloggers looking to make money with their blog. Even if you're not a food blogger, I’d love to hear whether you have any tips for a newcomer who might be reading through the comments for advice. Please leave a comment with any feedback, or anything at all that might be useful.