How To Make Money With A Food Blog
I started blogging about 12 years ago and I remember my first check was a whopping $15! Woop woop!!! I was so excited! I was officially a “blogger”. Two years later, I make enough income to replace my full-time job! I get to blog & do what I love for a living! But the journey wasn’t easy and it took years to build. Blogging is not for the faint of heart. You can make a decent income from blogging, but you must treat it like a business. Work it daily and commit to it like you would a career. I have outlined some of the things that worked for me below! I hope they work for you too!!!
Pick a Great Name!
This is by far the hardest part. There are so many fabulous blogs out there! Spend some time browsing through them. What makes them different and unique? Once you decide on a name, make sure you do your research to ensure you don’t copy someone else’s. There are a lot of blogs out there and you’d be surprised how many are similar. You can also check godaddy.com to make sure it’s available.
Pick a Topic
I would recommend you try to stick to a specific topic (cooking, baking, DIY, crafting). Trying to do all of these on one blog is difficult. Not that it can’t be done, just that most successful blogs are topic specific. They do one thing and do it very well.
Pick a Domain
I use godaddy.com and search until you find a domain name that is available (green ones are open, red ones are taken). Try to use at least one of the keywords you would like to be found in the search engines for. My blog is a southern food blog, so “baked” and “south” both come up in searches.
Get Web Hosting Package
BlueHost is one of the most popular hosting companies out there. They offer an easy way to get up and running with your blog on WordPress. Bluehost has free domain name registration, is amazingly affordable, and is the perfect place to start.
Install a WordPress Theme
I used a Hello Darling theme. It is a pre-made WordPress template built on the Genesis Framework. I had Deana Garretson with Domestic Chicky, implement it for me. She is fantastic, and is always available to help with questions, updates, etc. I had originally started the blog on Blogger and she converted the site to WordPress, which in my opinion is a much better platform. I would recommend starting with WordPress from the beginning, because migrating from a blogspot site to wordpress is a huge pain and you can lose content. But thanks to Deana, that didn’t happen to me! She was also able to save all of my pins from Pinterest!
Set up Google Analytics
Set up Feedburner
Now for the Good Stuff!!! How to Make Money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First let’s start with some basic terminology:
PPC – Pay Per Click. This means you get paid when people click on your ads, not when they are displayed / viewed.
CPM – Cost Per Mille. “Mille” means 1,000 so you get paid a rate for every 1,000 displays / views of an ad.
“Above the fold” – part or all of the ad can be seen without scrolling down the page.
The first thing you should do is sign up for Share A Sale!!!
You can add afflilate links to your site that will generate income from sales. Search for merchants that would appeal to your readers and add them to your sidebar!
Then find an Ad Network
Ad Network: “An online advertising network or ad network is a company that connects advertisers to web sites that want to host advertisements.” There are a ton of Adnetworks out there. I started with Lijit which is now Sovrn and then moved to The Blogger Network. I’m now with Mediavine
Here are some other Ad Networks to look at:
Google’s AdSense is one of the largest and perhaps the best known display advertising network. This platform allows publishers to monetize standard display ads, mobile and video, and search results as well. It’s free to sign up for AdSense and the program will accept the smallest of publishers provided they meet certain quality guidelines. AdSense also integrates smoothly into other Google products (such as DFP) and generally pays publishers monthly for revenue generated the previous month.
Amazon Associates is the affiliate marketing program offered by the world’s largest online retailer. Web publishers who sign up for the program (no minimum traffic requirement) can display on their sites custom banner ads and text links that point to Amazon category or product pages. The publisher then receives a commission from each click through that results in a sale.
Amazon has one of the largest affiliate networks on the Internet, boasting 1.6 million sellers and countless products. While their commission rate is on the low side (starting at 4%), publishers get a cut of everything that a shopper buys during the first purchase.
I will go into more details on Food Photography in a different post. But in the meantime, you should invest in good equipment. Here are my favorites!