- Date : 16/11/2018
- Read: 7 mins
Let us understand this delightfully dynamic profession – food blogging – in a little more detail.
Do you have the deepest love for cooking? Do you treasure the appreciation you get for your recipes? While some of us spend a lot of money buying exotic ingredients and cooking exquisite meals for family and friends, others are making a handsome living out of it.
Food blogging is essentially about documenting what you cook, showcasing it to the world – preferably through an online platform – and working on popularising the same. In the olden days, expert cooks gained popularity through food columns in newspapers or through the cookbooks they wrote.
The new-age food blogger, on the other hand, takes advantage of the booming social media to gain visibility and popularity among potential consumers. Let us understand this delightfully dynamic profession in a little more detail.
Related: 5 Proven ways to make money online
Turning a hobby into a career
It is true that if you do what you love and love what you do for a living, you don’t have to ever work in your lifetime. Consider cooking, for instance. The approach to cooking varies from person to person. Many need to cook every day and it is somewhat expected that they are bored by, or even despise, the thought of having to cook the next meal.
But there are also some of us who think about cooking all the time – how to improvise a dish, what new ingredients to use, what new cuisine to try etc. Provided you have a natural skill for cooking, you can and should give a thought to taking up food blogging as a career.
Of course, you must have a long-term vision and drive to make a revenue-generating enterprise out of blogging, in addition to sincerity and patience. If you spend a lot of time following recipes and cuisines, flavours and textures, and all things culinary, food blogging will allow you to enjoy and earn while doing what you love!
Making money from scratch
While successful food blogging can be a very rewarding occupation, you should be sure in your conviction and approach. You should be ready to treat blogging as a profession, have a vision of its look and feel, promotion plans etc. and should be ready to devote time to it.
Cooking skill, creativity, sincerity, and marketing skill – all these are required if you wish to become a successful food blogger. Once you are sure you have these in place, the basic steps to start and maintain a food blog are as follows:
Deciding on a type – In this era of specialisation, you will be able to attract more followers if you are able to show proficiency in a particular kind of cooking. It could be expertise in a particular cuisine, say Italian or Chinese, or it could be mastery over a particular section of food, such as salads, desserts, barbecue etc.
Deciding on a name – It is a one-time activity but is very crucial. A name once selected will stay with you, so you should put a lot of thought into it. It should be able to generate curiosity and interest in the mind of someone who finds it on the internet.
Building the blog – Once the name is decided, you can buy the domain name and select the web hosting facilities as well as the content management platform. WordPress is a popular and convenient choice for content management, so choose a web host that offers easy WordPress install. Many web hosts also provide the domain name along with the hosting facility.
You will also have to install plugins for comment spam filtering, content sharing, caching etc. Check out food-specific plugins such as EasyRecipe. You should also work on good and relevant themes, photos, and videos for the blog.
Populating content – Once your blog infrastructure is in place, it’s time for you to develop content and upload the same on your blog. You should make sure that the published blog looks good and is supported with quality photographs. You should also keep sharing new posts to ensure that your followers have something new to read each week.
Promoting your blog – You have to bring your marketing skills to the fore and use creativity and resourcefulness to drive your food blog ahead of the competition. It’s good to use social media share buttons and Pinterest Rich Pins, but you should also have a detailed social media strategy and should be both consistent as well as interesting in your promotions. For example, you may put out attention-grabbing teasers about your next recipe, but you must also maintain consistency in the photo watermark, use of logo, tonality of content etc.
Monetising your blog – All the above steps will take your personal pastime from your kitchen to a global audience. Once you have a good following you have to think of ways to monetise the blog. This could be through advertisements, affiliate programmes, sponsorships, or other techniques. These steps are discussed in further detail below:
How to monetise your food blog
To monetise a food blog, it is imperative that your blog enjoys a decent footfall and has a large number of followers. This ensures that you have a good reach and can act as a good broadcasting platform for advertisements, brand affiliations, and sponsors.
Here are some popular ways to monetise a food blog – or any blog for that matter:
Advertisements – once your blog starts to entertain a steady stream of visitors, people and organisations will approach you for advertising spaces in your web pages. You will, of course, be paid for it. With increasing traffic in your blog, you will be able to attract bigger corporates with larger advertising budgets. As a food blogger, you can sign up with Google AdSense or other display ad networks and start earning through the ads they place on your webpage. You can even bypass them and deal directly with advertisers.
Affiliate programmes – You can start recommending products on your blog and influence your visitors into buying them. For example, visitors may be able to buy a particular brand of olive oil by following a link on your blog page. Bloggers generally sign up for affiliate networks such as ShareASale, Commission Junction, Clickbank etc. or approach companies through their websites.
Sponsorships – Once you gather a significant number of followers, you may be approached by companies to write about them in exchange for money. For example, you could accept a cutlery brand as your sponsor and promote their products. Sites such as Tapinfluence can help you find sponsors for your page.
You can also earn money by selling digital products (such as e-books on cooking), online cookery classes, introducing subscriptions to your blog, etc. Of course, you have to apply your marketing and finance skills before you can use any or some of these monetising techniques.
Prominent Indian food bloggers with revenue insights
The food blogging scene in India has picked up in the last few years and people are getting richer and more famous due to their cyber stardom.
If you often find yourself cooking up a storm in your kitchen, you could consider making a profitable career out of your passion. You simply need to present and promote your culinary creations to gain popularity in cyberspace. With increasing patronage, your revenue will also increase – if you cash in on your popularity smartly and intelligently. Food blogging is, therefore, a good way of mixing business with gastronomical pleasures.