Coffee, a croissant, laptop and iPad - how to make money with a food blog.

When you visit a popular recipe site, you’re inevitably bombarded with ads. While this is one of the ways to monetize a food blog, it’s not the only way. Learn how to make money with a food blog with or without ads.

I’m sharing the secret recipe for profitability with a food blog – even if you’re a new blogger growing their traffic.

Ads suck. Not only do you need gads of blog traffic, but they also can be a turn-off for site visitors. That can affect your personal branding strategies.

So how can you make money food blogging?

I’m sharing my insights – not only as a blogger but as a food marketer and PR pro – with you! So settle down with your favourite brew, a delicious snack and a notepad, and let’s get started.

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product or service, and decide to purchase it, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All recommended products and services are based on my positive experience with them. For more information, please read my Disclaimer.

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How To Make Money With A Food Blog: 10 Monetization Strategies

Before we jump into ways to monetize a food blog, let’s look at some essentials.

Broad “food blog” niches without a specific focus can be difficult to monetize.

Your readers can leave your site feeling confused and unsure of what your expertise is in. This means you’re missing out on blog traffic.

How do you fix this?

By narrowing down your niche it will be easier to build a community around your blog and monetize it.

Secondly, when it comes to your monetization strategy the key to success is this: diversification.

Choose more than one tactic. However, to make it easier, tackle one at a time!

Now let’s get down to looking at the top ways to monetize your food blog.

1. Monetize Your Food Blog By Working With Brands

One of the top ways to make money with a food blog that isn’t ads is brand collaborations.

I know this from personal experience, as I was often the key contact between food bloggers and brands when I worked in PR.

Brand collaborations can be very lucrative once you’ve got enough blog traffic.

Free Samples To Paid Brand Collaborations

When you’re a new blogger, aim to get at least a free sample.

It’s not really free because it’s still something of monetary value that you’re receiving, so you’ll need to claim it on your taxes for your blog.

But I digress.

A free sample can get you started on the road to doing quality product reviews that result in sponsored brand collaborations.

When you’ve built your blog traffic it’s time to pitch brands for sponsored posts where you do the review of a product and get paid for it.

Here’s what you need to successfully pitch PR reps and brands:

Top food bloggers are earning thousands of dollars for brand collaborations, leveraging their blog traffic, social media presence and email newsletter community.

So start focusing on all three to leverage this monetization strategy.

| RELATED: Key Reasons To Start Growing Your Email List As Soon As Possible

2. Leverage Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the best and easiest ways to make money with a food blog.

If you’re working with a food-related brand that also has an affiliate program, it’s a win-win if you’re doing a sponsored post.

Not only do you get paid to do a product review, but you also have the potential to earn commissions on sales of the product via affiliate links.

Even if you’re not doing a brand collaboration, affiliate links on kitchen tools, food and beverage products and related products can bring a nice semi-passive income.

I say semi-passive, as occasionally you’ll push out an affiliate link via your newsletter or social media.

Work with products you know and love and it will be easy to do affiliate product reviews that convert into sales.

Get a jump start by signing up for affiliate marketing programs. I’ve developed a list of 50 including several that are good for food and drink options:

| READ MORE: A Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing For Blogs

How To Promote Your Affiliate Links To Generate Commissions

3. Create And Sell Digital Products

Wondering how to make money with a food blog with digital products?

Consider how many different things you can create and sell online. Here are a few things just off the top of my head:

  • Self-publishing a cookbook
  • Creating a guide to a specific cooking technique
  • Creating an app for easy recipes for a specific diet
  • Developing a video course series

These are just a few that I quickly brainstormed for you.

Determine the best way to deliver a solution to a problem your readers have. Create it and then sell it on a digital selling platform (e.g. Podia, Sendowl, Sellfy, etc.).

| READ MORE: Unlock the Secret to Profitable Digital Product Sales on Your Blog

4. Create And Monetize Video Content

During the pandemic when his restaurants were closed down, Chef Gordon Ramsey turned to video tutorials.

He partnered with Masterclass and offered a series of cooking classes via videos.

How can you do this with your food blog?

Set it up as a course where you use a drip method to provide the video link.

The best platforms for selling videos as a course are:

PRO TIP: You can embed videos directly to Podia and house them there, bypassing YouTube. This makes it less likely that somebody will share your link with others, resulting in lost profits.

Woman in a green flowered blouse chopping green onions - how to monetize a food blog.

5. Host A Cooking Workshop Or Webinar

Playing on the video series, you can do a live cooking workshop or webinar.

For this, you’ll need something like Zoom or a webinar platform.

Sell the workshop or webinar and offer your customers access to the live session.

PRO TIP: Once again, Podia has a plan that helps you organize webinars including those using Zoom.

6. Become A Freelance Food Writer

Food writing for magazines, digital sites and even brands is another way you can monetize your blog.

Freelance writing can include food blogging.

One of the best places to look for freelancing opportunities is Pro Blogger’s job board.

What do you need to be a successful food writer?

  • A portfolio of work – ideally published work
  • A rate card

Find out what to charge by checking out the going food writing rates.

7. Recipe Development And Licensing

Are you really good at creating delicious recipes? That actually work?

You can provide services to food brands and magazines for recipe development.

Create a bank of awesome recipes and make them stand out with your own unique style.

Pitch the best recipes to food publications. Make sure your pitch shows why your recipes are a good fit for the publication.

Next, license your recipes for use by brands.

Finally, when you’ve built your position as an expert start offering food consulting services.

8. Sell Premium Content Or A Membership

Another way to make money food blogging is to sell recipes and insider cooking tips.

This can be done with a package or a membership model.

Position it as “insider tips”, and sell your cool solution to make cooking easier, faster, tastier and so on.

This works well if you have a large bank of extra content that can be packaged and sold in premium bundles or monthly content updates.

9. Sell Your Own Merchandise

In this case, I’m not talking about digital products – but physical products.

Consider some of these things you can create and sell as a food blogger:

  • Recipe book
  • Meal planner
  • Kitchen tools and gadgets
  • Branded products: mug, apron, t-shirt
  • Kitchen wall art
  • Food photography prints
  • Spice and seasoning mixes
  • Food products (jams, sauces, condiments, etc.)
  • Custom cutting boards
  • Subscription boxes

10. Ads

I’ve added this last, because, if you must, you must.

There are two ways you can do ads on your site:

  • Display ads
  • Selling ad space

Display ads are through platforms such as Mediavine (the gold standard for most bloggers, but with a minimum of 50,000 sessions/month requirement), Monumetric, AdThrive or Google Adsense.

You can also sell ad space directly if you’re working with a brand.

Have an advertising media kit ready (don’t confuse it with a brand collaboration media kit) including your rates.

PRO TIP: While it’s easy to fall into the trap of having ads all over a post, it does take away from the user experience. Many will leave a site that has pop-up ads and ad placements that impede their ease of use, especially with recipe posts. Test them out on your desktop, mobile and tablet to see if they’re creating a poor user experience.

What Are The Best Business Tools For Food Bloggers?

Since you’re going to be building a food blogging business, you’re probably wondering what tools to invest in for success.

At minimum:

  • A digital selling platform Sendowl is your beginner option, but if you’re it in for the long haul and want to include courses with multimedia options, Podia is your best bet.
  • A media kit and rate card. Get my Neutral Media Kit template for Canva to get you started.
  • Plugins or platforms that help you sell physical products. We love using Shopify, but you can also use other platforms such as Sellfy (both digital and physical products, including print-on-demand products). Woocommerce is a plugin that works if you want to sell on WordPress.
  • Join affiliate programs such as Shareasale, Impact and to get started with affiliate marketing.
  • A scheduling tool such as Tailwind or Later to easily set your social media content on automatic posting.

PRO TIP: The best way to save money for your food blogging business is to do some freelance writing. The overhead for writing gigs is very small (at most invest in Grammarly).

Monetize Your Food Blog Starting Today!

Now that you know how to make money with a food blog, you can start building your monetization strategy.

Making money food blogging can be very lucrative. But you’ll need to focus on building your blog.

These posts will give you some tips on how to boost blog traffic:

And master the art of writing food blog posts that keep readers coming back for more!

Be aware of mistakes keeping you from making money with your blog.

Build your Instagram presence by boosting your posts and reels with these 500+ food hashtags for posts and reels.

And don’t forget to attract followers on social media with coffee quote posts!

RELATED: Writing about food and travel, check out how to start making money with a travel blog.

QUESTION: How are you planning to monetize your food blog?

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