Welcome back to our Make Money Blogging series!
In our last part of the series, we talked all about monetizing your food blog with affiliate marketing. We covered the best affiliate networks and programs to join, and went through some realistic examples of earning money from your food blog.
If you haven’t read part one of our food blogger series yet, you can do that here!
In part two of our food blogger series, we’re going to talk about a few other ways that you can make money from your food blog. Affiliate marketing is probably one of the most popular options, but it’s not the only option.
Here are the top four ways to make money as a food blogger:
Creating and selling your own products/services
Running ads on your blog
We already covered affiliate marketing extensively, so now we’re going to talk about sponsored work, selling your own stuff, and running ads on your food blog.
Let’s get to it!
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.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A FOOD BLOGGER – SPONSORED POSTS
Sponsored work is one of the most fun and flexible options for bloggers. A sponsored post is simply content that you create on behalf of another business or brand, in order to promote their stuff. It could be a blog post, a video, an Instagram post, a podcast episode etc.
The company that you are partnering with for the project is the “sponsor” because they are compensating you for promoting their product or service. When you create the sponsored content for the company, you will be promoting THEIR stuff to YOUR audience, and that’s what makes the partnership valuable.
How can you get started with sponsored posts on your food blog?
FIRST: THE PITCH
To land a sponsored post, you have to pitch your idea to the company you want to work with. I highly recommend keeping a running list of potential partners and their contact information. I personally just use an excel spreadsheet to store the company name, a link to their site, and their contact email.
Today, I want you to come up with a list of 10 companies that you’d like to work with on a sponsored post. It should be a company that has something valuable to offer your audience, because this promotion is actually about your readers, not about you.
So, if you’re a food blogger that writes about a gluten-free lifestyle, perhaps you could pitch to companies that sell gluten-free products. If you’re a food blogger that writes about the best places to eat in your city or state, perhaps you could pitch to local restaurants or food trucks. If you’re a food blogger that writes recipes, perhaps you could pitch to companies that sell spices, cookware, or dishware.
Your “pitch” is the email you send that company, letting them know you’d like to partner with them on a sponsored post. Don’t email a company and ask them for free stuff, because that is tacky.
Instead, come from a place of service.
Let the company know that you have a food blog and an audience that is interested in XYZ (whatever that company does or sells). Tell them your ideas for the post and how this content can positively impact their business or brand. You can access my free 7-page pitching guide in my resource library HERE.
Sometimes the business will offer you free stuff, other times they’ll agree to a paid collaboration. But there is not usually any need to talk about money in the initial correspondence. If they respond and show interest, then give them a price for the sponsored post that makes it worth your time and promotional efforts. Some people choose to do the first few sponsored gigs for free, but I highly recommend including a price for your services sooner than later.
Working for free is NO BUENO.
Keep in mind, that pitching to companies for sponsored posts is a numbers game. The more you put yourself out there and apply for opportunities, the more gigs you will land. So, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a response or approval from every company. Rejection and radio silence are just part of the process.
You can also join sponsored post networks and apply for gigs through their platform. My favorite sponsored post network is called Activate and they make it super easy for bloggers to connect with brands in any niche.
Did you know…
Most companies will allow you to use your own affiliate links to their products within your sponsored posts? This means that you can get paid to write a sponsored post AND use your affiliate links in that post to promote that company’s products and/or services…. This can lead to double the income with very little extra effort.
In other words, it’s a brilliant business strategy. So, pitch to companies that have good affiliate programs. If you want a massive list of affiliate programs for food bloggers, head back to part one of this series HERE.
SECOND: SET YOUR TERMS
When you land a sponsored gig, you’ll need to agree to terms for the project. Make sure you have a clear understanding of expectations for both parties: what content you’ll be creating, where you’ll be promoting it, what your time frame looks like, and how much you’re charging for the feature.
Your sponsored work is more than just a product review with a bullet list of pros and cons. Your sponsored posts should tell a story and bring your recommendations to life.
Let the brand know from the initial conversation that you’re creating content that matters to your readers, content that influences and motivates your loyal audience. Because of this, you’ll need certain concessions to create the best content possible. You might need sample products for your pictures and testing, you might need a comped meal to give an honest review of a restaurant, etc.
Jot down some notes about the stories you’ll be telling and the message you’ll be driving home when you promote this product/service/business. Use those notes to help you gauge what you’ll need from the company (sample products, comped meals, hosted stays, etc).
THIRD: FOLLOW THROUGH
The most important part of your sponsored collaboration is your follow through. Do what you said you were going to do, and if possible, go above and beyond for the sake of your good name. This will help you to land more, higher paying, sponsored posts in the future.
Do your very best work, as if your job depends on it (because it does). If you agree to five posts, make sure you complete those five posts. If you agree to a specific deadline, make sure your requirements are fulfilled by that deadline. Take good pictures, edit your content, communicate with your collaborators.
If you want to make money as a food blogger, you have to build a reputation of someone who creates quality content and works well with others.
Of course, some things will happen that are out of our control. So, if you can’t complete your assignment on time, just be sure to communicate clearly with the company you are working with.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A FOOD BLOGGER – SELLING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS
When I recommend this idea to food bloggers, they usually tell me that it could never happen. The idea of creating and selling their own stuff is either “out of reach” or it’s the last thing on their mind.
But it shouldn’t be!
Think about your audience and what you could offer them that has real value. You might have to get creative and think outside the box, but that’s okay.
Some food bloggers sell recipe books, like the team over at Pinch of Yum. Others sell training manuals on starting your own restaurant or food truck. Others create and sell useful kitchen tools and appliances that make life easier.
Ever seen those giant watermelon slicer tools or those vegetable spiralizer things that make zucchini noodles? Yeah, I guarantee some brilliant food blogger is coming up with these tools and making their fortune from them right now.
You are capable of so much more than you realize!
Think about creating your own line of food products. Or starting your own food box subscription or local catering service. The process won’t happen overnight, but with a little time and effort and strategy, you could absolutely make money from selling your own products or services and promoting them on your blog!
The sky is the limit.
MAKING MONEY FROM ADS
A lot of food bloggers run ads on their website. They earn money from the website views and ad clicks that result from their website traffic.
There is nothing wrong with running ads on your site. In fact, it’s a relatively easy way to earn passive income from your blog. The downside is that your income relies heavily on traffic, so you won’t see a lot of revenue from those ads if you don’t have any traffic.
For tips on building your website traffic, check out this article!
Google Ads is where most new bloggers start, you can sign up here.
When you have over 10,000 monthly page views on your blog, you can make the switch to the Monumetric ad network.
And when you have over 25,000 monthly sessions on your blog (about 30,000 monthly page views), you can upgrade to the premium network MediaVine.
These are just (3) of the many options of ad networks. You’ll want to do a little research to determine which one is right for you.
Running ads on your blog isn’t the right fit for every blogger. So, don’t feel like you “must” do this just because every other food blogger is doing it. I don’t run any ads on my own blog, and probably never will. My focus is on user experience and promoting very specific products and services that I LOVE and believe in. Ads just aren’t my thing … and if they aren’t your thing, that’s okay too!
Find the combination of revenue streams that work for you and roll with it.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Now we know that you can make money as a food blogger pretty darn easily. It won’t come without work, but nothing good comes for free anyway, right?
Keep in mind: when you’re a blogger, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. It’s best to have income flowing in from a few different places. So, do some affiliate marketing. Do some sponsored posts. Create something awesome and sell it to your audience.
There are so many fun and flexible ways to make money as a food blogger!
I hope this article has been helpful. If you enjoyed these tips, please pin this post on Pinterest!
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