I get this question all the time: can you actually make money as a food blogger? Well, today I want to break down some fundamental facts about making money blogging in any niche (even the foodie niche).
This is one of my favorite topics because, come on, who doesn’t love food? And getting paid to share your love of food is even better! So, if you’re a food blogger that wants to level up your game and increase your income, let’s get to work.
Here is how most food bloggers make their money:
1. You can promote and sell food-related products/services through affiliate marketing.
2. You can promote and sell food-related products/services through sponsored posts.
3. You can create and sell your own food-related products and services.
4. You can run ads on your food-focused website.
Our blog posts contain affiliate links. These don’t cost you anything, but they allow us to continue running this site and providing free content for our readers. Full disclosure here.
In this two-part series, we’re going to break down these monetization options and show you some great affiliate programs and sponsored networks that you can join to start making money from your food blog this year.
Bottom line: you can make money as a food blogger, and this series is going to show you how.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A FOOD BLOGGER (WITH AFFILIATE MARKETING)
Affiliate marketing is simply promoting products for a business that you are associated with. If you’re a food blogger, you will most likely be promoting food-related products or services for those businesses.
And here’s how it works:
First, you’ll apply to join an affiliate program that fits in your niche (in this case, the food niche). Then, you’ll promote products or services for that program using a unique trackable link that they provide. You can usually share this link on your own website, your social channels…anywhere that your audience spends time.
Keep in mind that when I’m referring to your “niche” in this article, I’m just referring to the content you write about and the audience you have established. If you’re reading this article, you’re most likely trying to establish an audience that is interested in food-related content. This might include content like recipes, specialty diets, health, meal prep, best places to eat in your city, or food from around the world.
You DO NOT have to put yourself in a box and “niche down” to be successful. But you DO want to write about specific things that are helpful to your specific audience. If you do this, they will know to come to YOU when they want to read about those particular topics. This will help you build a highly engaged audience that loves your work and trusts your recommendations.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AFFILIATE NETWORKS AND AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
Terms can get a little confusing in the blogging world, so let’s take a quick minute to break this down.
Affiliate networks and affiliate programs are actually two different things, and it’s important to know which is which.
An individual affiliate program is a program that a single company runs on their own platform. That company works directly with their affiliates, providing the tools that you need to be successful and the payments for your commissions. Amazon Associates is an example of an individual affiliate program, because you work directly with them on their platform and you get paid through their platform.
An affiliate network is a platform that contains a pool of several affiliate programs that you can join. Affiliate networks act as a bridge between you and the affiliate programs that you join. The network provides the tools that you need (like your affiliate links) and they provide the platform to receive payment for your commissions. After you join an affiliate network, you also have to apply to the affiliate programs that you’d like to use within that network.
Both options are great, and there is nothing wrong with joining individual affiliate programs and affiliate networks. You can and you should join both.
When you get approved by an affiliate program, you’ll gain access to a special affiliate link for the products you can promote. When someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. It’s as simple as that.
So, let’s cover the best affiliate networks and programs that every food blogger should join.
** Please note: This list is for informational purposes only. All content below is subject to change at the discretion of the affiliate program owner.
This is one of my favorite affiliate networks for bloggers. You can join the AWIN affiliate network HERE. There is a $5.00 screening fee to join the network, but the fee is refunded to you after approval.
Here are just a few of the programs you can join and how much you can earn from each of them within this network.
Martha and Marley Spoon // $25 commission per sale
Dinnerly // $10 per sale
Coffee.org // 8% commission per sale
Eat With // 7% commission per sale
Muscle Food // 7% commission per sale – UK only
Hamilton Beach // 6% commission per sale
The Whiskey Barrel // 5% commission per sale
Remember, you’ll join the AWIN network first, and then you’ll apply to the affiliate programs you want to join in the network.
You’ll search for programs to join in your AWIN dashboard here:
And then you’ll click the button to “Join Program” here:
When you apply to join the program, you’ll have to agree to the program terms and select the primary promotion method you’ll be using. I personally select my website. You also have the option to “add a message” to introduce yourself and share why you want to join the program.
Take a quick minute to complete this extra step because it will speed up the approval process.
You can join the Share-a-Sale network HERE. Some of the highest paying affiliate programs are available in this free network. It has thousands of great programs to join, especially for food bloggers!
Here is a big ol’ list of affiliate programs in the network. Again, focus on the ones that can bring the most value to your readers.
Pinch of Yum // 50% commission per sale
WP Tasty // 30% commission per sale
Eat Cleaner // 25% commission per sale
Food Blogger Pro // 20-40% commission per sale
Snack Nation // 20% commission per sale
Little Spoon // 15% commission per sale
Fun Bites // 15% commission per sale
Farm Foods // 15% commission per sale
Balance of Nature // 15% commission per sale
Katz Gluten Free Food // 10% commission per sale
Go Raw Honey // 10% commission per sale
Grills N Ovens // 8% commission per sale
The Gerber Store // 8% commission per sale
WeeSprout // 5% commission per sale
Simply join the Share-a-Sale network, apply to the programs that you want to join, and then start promoting your affiliate products to your audience.
You can search for programs in your dashboard here:
And apply to the programs here:
Similar to AWIN, you’ll have to agree to the terms of the program and explain how you’ll promote the products. Don’t stress over it too much, just introduce yourself and your promotion plan and hit submit.
RAKUTEN AFFILIATE NETWORK
You can join the Rakuten Affiliate Network HERE. I love Rakuten because they have such a huge range of affiliate programs for bloggers in every niche. If you want to make money as a food blogger, this is a great option.
You can and should join all three of the networks that we’re covering today! There are plenty other networks out there too, but these three are my favorite.
If you have used any of these brands or think they could potentially benefit your readers, you should join that affiliate program and start promoting their stuff ASAP.
FarmBox Direct // 15% commission per sale
Bake me a Wish // 10-12% commission per sale
Ooni Outdoor Cookware // 9% commission per sale
Harbor Sweets // 8% commission per sale
See’s Candies // 7% commission per sale
Soda Stream // 5% commission per sale
Wine.com // 5% commission per sale
Omaha Steaks // 5% commission per sale
Gourmet Gift Baskets // 5% commission per sale
Plum Wine // 4% commission per sale
SeaBear Wild Salmon // 4% commission per sale
Once you get approved by Rakuten, you can search for affiliate programs in your dashboard here:
Apply for the program you want to join here:
A box will pop up asking you to read and agree to terms. Read the terms, click the box to agree, and then hit “OKAY.” And that’s it!
Just like every other affiliate network, you’ll apply to your programs, grab your affiliate links from your dashboard after approval, and then share those with your audience.
Here is an affordable legal bundle that contains the legal pages that you need on your blog. These legal pages were drafted by a lawyer and they are an essential protection when monetizing your food blog.
AFFILIATE MARKETING IN ACTION
Now that we know a little more about affiliate marketing and some of the programs that are out there, let’s talk about actionable steps to monetize your food blog.
Example: let’s say you’re a food blogger that writes about entertaining guests in your own backyard. You can join an affiliate program like the Ooni Outdoor Cookware program or the Outdoor Appliance Store program. When you promote their products on your own blog, you’ll earn commissions from each sale made through your link.
How can you promote their products? Perhaps you could write an article about creating a gossip-worthy backyard barbecue and list an Ooni wood-fired pizza oven as a must-have appliance. Or, you could write a pro/con review comparing two different barbecues or smokers (using your affiliate links for both products).
The idea is to write content that features your affiliate products in a positive light and motivates your target market to purchase them, if it fills a need for them.
That same ‘backyard entertainment food blogger’ could also write a series on the best subscription food boxes, the best wine and spirits for weekend parties, easy appetizers for Superbowl, classy intimate dinner party meals, etc.
All of these articles could be filled with appropriate affiliate links that promote high-quality products and services that your audience will love.
The sky is the limit!
Wanna make your first $100 from your food blog this month? Here are a few more ideas!
Apply to join the Martha and Marley affiliate program through AWIN. You will earn $25 per subscription box sale. Promote the service through your blog and social channels. If you get (4) subscription box sales through your links, you just made a hundred bucks. Boom…💥
Apply to join the Butcher Box affiliate program through ShareASale. You will earn $20 per subscription box sale. If you get (5) subscription box sales through your links, you just made a hundred bucks. Boom…💥
A third option: apply to the Pinch of Yum affiliate program through ShareaSale and promote their e-books. The average commission received per sale is $14.50. If you get (7) sales through your links, you just made a hundred bucks. Boom, baby! 💥
Fact is: there is money to be made out there, and food bloggers are just as capable as any other blogger out there. Find a need, fill a need, and get paid. It’s as simple as that!
A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Being successful with affiliate marketing requires a few things.
First: it requires some form of an audience that is interested in the content you share. You don’t need a huge audience. You just need a targeted audience of people that will enjoy or benefit from your stuff.
To grow that targeted audience, I highly recommend using Pinterest. It is the best way to boost your blog traffic and build your readership. This FREE Pinterest challenge will get you started!
Second: it requires some careful screening to make sure the things you are promoting will be truly valuable to your readers.
It’s never a good idea to promote random products just for the sake of earning money. Figure out who your audience is and what they need from you. Then, find products you can recommend that actually relate to those needs.
Everyone that spends time online is technically a consumer, looking for things they want to learn, try, or buy. If you can fill one of these needs, you can make money as a food blogger. The great thing about affiliate marketing is that someone else already created that product or service that fills the “need”. You just get to share it with your readers and earn income from it.
And that’s pretty awesome.
Third: it requires time, effort, and patience. Affiliate marketing (and blogging in general) is not a get-rich-quick deal. In most cases, you won’t start earning income overnight. It can take several weeks, or even several months, to start earning income from your affiliate marketing efforts.
To speed up the process, here are a few things you can do:
– Write targeted content that promotes specific, helpful, and relevant affiliate products.
– Create new content on a regular basis and promote it on your social channels and Pinterest.
– Optimize every blog post using the SEO techniques found in this e-book.
– Get my Affiliate Program Master List that has 800+ affiliate programs to choose from, organized by niche and commission rate.
In part two of this series, we’re going to talk about three other common ways to make money as a food blogger. We’ll cover sponsored work, creating your own food-related products or services, and running ads on your website.
If you found this article helpful, pin it on Pinterest so you can come back to it later!
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