How To Make Money From A Food Blog In 2019
Food is big business; obviously, we all need to eat it to survive, but aside from the eating, growing and manufacturing, food is a hot niche to get into and food blogging in particular is very lucrative and offers potential to earn some seriously large sums of money.
There are many food bloggers making high 6 figure incomes and some, even making 7 figures a year from food blogging….yes, that right, some food bloggers are earning over $1million a year from their food blogs.
The other point worth noting, is they all started just where you are now, a passion for food and a desire to write share their passion an d creations.
An Example Of How Much You Can Earn As A Food Blogger
Husband and Wife team of Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom, started the Pinch of Yum food blog, where they used to post their sites monthly income reports (they have since stopped posting the reports).
In November 2016, when they were still posting their income reports, they earned $95,197.34 and a total for the year, December 2015- November 2016 of $802,144.55. They now earn over $1million.
As I said, serious money.
There are many others earning well over $100,000 each year.
Learning how to start a food blog has the potential to drastically change your life.
Let’s Get Started With Your Food Blog
If you already know the technical side of setting up a Website, you can skip ahead.
What You Need
While you can create a free food blog on the various free platforms available, it is not recommended, for various reasons, which I won’t detail here, as that is a seperate topic, but to create a food blog, where you can make money, requires some investment, although it is only a minimal amount.
The basics of what you need to create your food blog are:
- A Domain name
- A Webhost
- A Blog platform
- A Blog theme
Choosing A Domain Name
A domain name is the name of your site, like the one here on this site, Dollar Skool. The Domain Name is a unique name that identifies your site and is associated with its Web address, the URL for example, dollarskool.com. Domain names come with a variety of extensions, some examples include:
- .co.uk and various others.
A Domain Name ending in .com is the most popular. Unfortunately, .com domains are the most popular and with almost 2 billion websites, getting the specific name you want can be very difficult, especially, if you want something short. Don’t fear though, you can simply go to GoDaddy and enter the name you want and it will tell you if it is available or not. It will also show you if it is not available, it might be available with a different extension, like, .net or some other variant.
My advice is, unless you really want to target a specific geographic audience, like Australia, try and find and use a .com Domain Name. If you can’t find your particular on, you can make it longer, for example, if you really wanted katescooking.com, but find it is not available and your name is Kate, you may be able to register something like kateshomecooking.com, or something along those lines. Just think of a name and don’t fixate if you can’t get it, you can make variants of it, that will be just as successful.
You buy your Domain Name from a Domain Registrar; I use GoDaddy, they are one the largest and best for buying your domain name. Alternatively, you can also buy it from SiteGround, listed below for hosting. If you choose SiteGround, it will make things a lot easier, if you are not tech savvy as you wont have to change DNS servers to redirect to your SiteGround hosting.
Choosing A Webhost
A Webhost is where your website will live, on a server provided by the Webhost. I use and recommend SiteGround. To find out more on all the reasons why I recommend SiteGround, you can read my SiteGround Review.
SiteGround are recommended by WordPress, as one of the best Web hosts in the World.
SiteGround offers different types of hosting, including shared, WordPress, cloud, and dedicated plans, as well as many other specialised plans. Customers benefit from free Cloudflare CDNs and SSL certificates. And their shared plans are packed with features.
SiteGround’s servers are rock solid and fast. I’ve never had a single problem with uptime from them.
Another important area SiteGround excels at is customer service, something that is sadly lacking in other Web hosts.
Why How Fast Your Website Loads Is Critical To Your Success
A critical factor for your Website to rank highly in Google is that it loads fast. There are tweaks you can make to your site to help with this, but, no matter how much you tweak your site, if your Web host is slow, your site will also be slow?
Typically, a Website hosted by other companies can take up to 20 seconds to load. People don’t wait 20 seconds for a page to load, they click away. You miss a visitor and Google takes notice of how slow your site is and the lack of engagement, because people close it before it finishes loading. This affects people visiting your site and also prevents you from rising up the search engines, compounding the problem. It is like a vicious circle, that will stifle your success.
The exact same site on SiteGround, will load in less than a quarter of that time, preventing these problems.
Choosing Your SiteGround Hosting Plan
SiteGround has three plans and you can sign for any of them with a great discount through the link below.
- The StartUp for people with one website that are starting now
- The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites and the SuperCacher that greatly improves WordPress website speed
- The GoGeek plan is perfect for people with e-commerce and larger sites
StartUp – good for hosting 1 low traffic website that doesn’t use WooCommerce or require lots of server resources or storage. However, this plan is easy to outgrow and you may end up with CPU overages once you start getting decent traffic or run resource-hungry plugins. I would personally never use this plan, since GrowBig is not much more and comes with more features and server resources. StartUp is really only for those wanting to host a site that they have no desire to grow or earn from.
GrowBig – allows you to host multiple websites with twice the server resources of StartUp (resulting in faster load times). It also includes all 3 levels of caching (static, dynamic, memcached) which also results in faster website load times. Double the storage space, on-demand backups, and staging. Definitely worth the extra cost and the one I recommend. It is also the plan I use for this Website.
GoGeek – semi-dedicated hosting and is about 4x faster than regular shared hosting plans. Good for people who want a super fast website but don’t want to pay $80/month for their cloud hosting. Priority support gets your questions answered faster.
Choose your plan and get a Special DollarSkool Discount for the first 12 months, saving you 70% off the Normal Hosting Price.
If you need more help, Siteground has great support and will guide you though the entire process while you are setting it up.
Choosing A Blog Platform
This one is a no brainer, you should be using WordPress; it is the most popular, supported Blog platform available. You don’t need to do anything about getting this, as it comes with a simple installer from SiteGround, that makes it easy to get started.
Once again,, your can use SiteGround support to help you get everything up and running.
Choosing A Blog Theme
Blog theme – this handles the appearance of your site and provides its distinctive look and functions. You can use free themes, but it is much easier to use a commercial one. I get all of my themes from Envato, they have the best most professional themes available, with great service.
This handles the appearance of your site and provides its distinctive look and functions. You can use free themes, but it is much easier to use a commercial one. I get all of my themes from Envato, they have the best most professional themes available, with great service.
Envato has almost 1,000 WordPress themes to choose from, even ones specifically for food blogs, so there is sure to be something there that will suit your style and look that you want.
When choosing your theme, aside from the appearance, there are a couple of additional qualities you need to make sure your chosen theme includes, these are:
- A Responsive design – Responsive designs are built to provide an optimal viewing experience for your visitors, whether they’re visiting from their computer, phone or tablet. That means your visitors won’t have to pinch and zoom to read your posts—your text and content will automatically resized for the user device.
- SEO optimised – As with the speed of your Webhost, a theme optimised for SEO is essential to help with rising in the search engines.
- User friendly – Unless you are already familiar with WordPress, you need to get a theme that has some form of what is often called a page builder. This is simply a tool inside your theme that helps you make changes to the appearance, without having to learn to code it yourself.
- Theme support – When you experience technical issues, a responsive support team and/or community forums are invaluable resources. Many of the larger themes have a great support base, with literally thousands of users, so chances are, any problem you may have has already been discussed and resolved by someone else.
Plugins give your site specific features and functions. There are literally thousands of plugins, most of which you won’t need.
Plugins can be installed directly from your WordPress Admin page at the click of a button. The good thing is, many of them are free, including all of the ones I recommend.
Below are the ones I recommend as a minimum when you get started.
- Wordfence – An essential WordPress security plugin that provides free enterprise-class WordPress security, protecting your website from hacks and malware.
- SG Optimizer – Comes free with your SiteGround hosting and greatly improves the load speed of your Website.
- Rank Math SEO – An SEO optimiser, that greatly assist you with creating SEO friendly content.
- Tasty Recipes – Formats your recipes for search engine optimization (SEO), adds star ratings, creates print-friendly recipes, and more. This plugin will help your recipe’s photo show up in the search results, and we’re all more likely to click on those links, right? This is a paid plugin but I believe the functionality is absolutely worth the cost. (You won’t need this, if you buy a theme that already includes some form of recipe formatting, or plugin.
Now You Are Ready To Start Food Blogging
So now, you are all setup and ready to go, so where do you start?
As you are probably already aware, there are a stack of food blogs out there, just like there are a stack of blogs for just about every other topic you can think of.
DollarSkool itself is a new blog in a highly saturated area, but that does not need to stop you, or me from sharing our passion, knowledge, experience, or creations.
Keys To Successful Food Blogging
A Love For Cooking
Now, you don’t need to cook to be a successful food blogger, you could build your site around other people’s cooking, but I won’t discuss that aspect here. This post assumes you want to blog about your own food creations. That being said, you should have a passion and enjoyment for food and cooking. It makes it much easier, as you will be blogging about a topic you love.
Pick A Niche
As stated, there are a lot of food blogs on the Internet, so you’ll need to find a way to make yours stand out. A good way to do this is to pick a niche, such as vegan food, quick meals and desserts, what to do with leftovers, or even outdoor bbq, the choice is yours. Make sure your niche is versatile enough to provide consistent content potential.
Your niche does not have to be unique, you have probably watched cooking shows, where the chef is showing you how to cook something that you have seen on a dozen other cooking shows. Jamie Oliver has made a fortune showing people how to cook roast chicken. Now you don’t have to be a Jamie Oliver, but you can recreate existing dishes, just give it your spin. As well as showing how to cook a roast chicken, also show how to use the leftovers in a quinoa, spinach and cranberry salad for example.
Create Stories And Interesting Content
Your food blog is more than just an online recipe book. Your blog should contain interesting content in addition to menu instructions and helpful tips. Stories help your readers connect with you on a more emotional level, as you describe your first experience baking bread, or share memories of helping your mom in the kitchen as a child. While you shouldn’t lose sight of the “food” aspect of the blog, little insights into your personal life help your readers connect with your more personally.
Take Great Photos
People eat with their eyes. Taking great photos help to enhance your blog posts, and including pictures of your finished meals help encourage readers to try the recipe themselves.
There is a skill to good photography, but it has got much easier thanks to modern mobile phones, which now are almost camera like in their ability to take great photographs and videos.
Many food bloggers regularly use their mobile phones to capture their food creations and post to their blogs.
To shorten your learning curve, do some research on how to frame and setup your photos, luckily, there are plenty of videos showing you exactly how to take great foodie photos.
Another important aspect of great foodie photos is lighting. Lighting is one of the most critical aspects to taking good food photos and this too is cheap to achieve. You can get some cheap, professional style photographic lighting setups for as little as $50. If this is too much for you at the moment, you can make do with natural light and/or some cheap works lamps.
Consistency With Your Food Blogging
Like most blogging niches, food blogging requires you to regularly create new content to stay relevant and feed your audience. Updating your blog frequently with new recipes, reviews and products is mandatory to keep your readers engaged. Updating your blog regularly will also help you increase your rankings in the search engines.
Don’t get discouraged, if at first you don’t get many views, or subscribers, as it does take time for you to be found online; if you stick with creating high-quality posts with pictures and recipes, your readership will increase gradually.
Don’t Blog In Isolation
It can get lonely at there, especially when you first start, but it doesn’t need to be. Blogging itself, can be a social network; not in the form of facebook, but in the context of a group of like minded people, with a common interest and passion.
Just like people who have a hobby, they often don’t like to do it in isolation, they like to reach out, communicate and associate with like minded people, with the same interests.
Once you have mastered some of the skills of blogging, you can reach out to other bloggers in your niche, in this case food bloggers and offer to do guest posts, link to their sites and posts, mention them as inspiration for your creations.
Many bloggers are willing to interact and offer advice and help you on your journey.
How To Stand Out With So Many Food Blogs
Let your personality shine. I am not suggesting you need to go outside the traditional food blog or topic, as in the example in the video below, but I have shared this here to show that you can let your personality shine to make a successful food blog. Jenny’s mini cooking show and associated Websites are quite successful, with her youtube channel having 209,000 subscribers.
Now outside you creating something as unusual as this. Don’t be afraid to give a piece of yourself to your audience. If you are particularly pumped about bbq grill burgers, let that come through in your cooking, writing and photos, tell your audience why you love it.
Be Social, Promote Your Blog
If you are already a foodie, you are probably already a member of several facebook food groups, or online food forums (if you are not, search some out and join). After being in these some time, you can post to the group, telling them about your food blog, but be warned, Don’t Spam, you have a good chance of being warned, or worse, banned from the group.
The best way is to say something like:
“I have been so inspired by what I have learned from the members here, to create my own blog. If you get a chance, please check it out and tell me what you think.”
Most people will receive this well and provide you with valuable feedback, which will help you gauge areas you may need to improve, or give you encouragement, by gushing over your wonderful creations.
Use Pinterest To Drive Traffic To Your Food Blog
If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, it is a social network, where people share photos. One of the most popular categories on Pinterest is food, meaning Pinterest is a great place to promote your food blog.
The difference with Pinterest, compared to say facebook is that you don’t have to comment, or go out of your way to interact with people, you simply create, what Pinterest calls ‘Boards’ (focussed topics) and upload a photo to that board.
For a foodie blog, you might create your Pinterest account and create boards for Asian Recipes, Mexican Recipes, Devine Desserts, etc. You post pictures, from your food blog, relevant to the boards you create.
There are blogs that do not do any other promotional methods, other than Pinterest to generate Website traffic and it is a great resource you can use to, so you definitely need to create an account and use it for your food blog.
How To Monetize Your Food Blog
The title of this article is “How To Make Money From A Food Blog In 2019“. What you have learnt so far has taken you from creating your Food Blog, to getting traffic. Now it is time to show you exactly how you can make those 6 and 7 figure incomes from it…. well at least get on your way.
There are several traditional ways of making money from a Blog and these apply to a Food Blog as well, plus a couple of additional ones,, which are detailed below.
Be aware, that you aren’t limited to just one of these methods; in fact, you will make more money from doing a combination of a few of them.
Affiliate Marketing Programs
If you are unsure what Affiliate Marketing Programs are, read my post “Can You Still Make Money With Affiliate Marketing In 2019?”, which will teach you exactly what Affiliate Marketing is.
Affiliate marketing programs are a great way to add a solid income stream with your blog. There are plenty of food related products out there that will give you a healthy commission for promoting them.
I recommend you only promote products that you yourself use, or believe in, as your Food Blog reflects your own identity, which you don’t want to damage by promoting inferior products or services, that may ultimately reflect negatively on you and your integrity and damage the success of your site.
Promoting products you believe in is also much easier, as you are enthusiastic about them.
There are many places you can find affiliate programs to promote, but some of the larger ones are:
ClickBank – ClickBank predominantly promotes digital products and there are many that fit in nicely with the food and recipe niche, from vegan diets, to Keto and Paleo and far more, you can find something here to promote that can provide you with a nice income.
ClickBank commissions can be high, sometimes around 50% or more, so this site is definitely worth exploring, to find something to promote.
Amazon – Amazon doesn’t pay you the high commission rates that ClickBank does, but, it does offer access to thousands of products to promote and larger and more frequent purchases. It’s easy enough to recommend cooking utensils and equipment, plus cookbooks from Amazon, with the bonus being that you’ll get commission paid on anything else the buyers add to their cart during checkout.
CJ Affiliate – This site provides access to hundreds of different retail and online shops, that you can earn a commission from for sales generated from your site. CJ has big brands,, which you will recognize and the site allows you to apply with them, get accepted, and start earning commission from the sale of their items.
Advertising is the traditional method most people go to straight away when they are trying to make money from their blog. It can also be a simple, set-and-forget way to make your first money online. Traditional ad networks most people are familiar with include Google, Bing and Yahoo, which all have tons of traffic and their business models rely heavily on advertising revenue, which is how Google makes so much money. By allowing ads on your site, you get to share in this revenue automatically.
Google AdSense – This is obviously the largest Ad Networks and also one of the easiest ways to start seeing the money trickle in and if this is your first blog, AdSense may be enough to get you hooked on blogging.
It is simple to set up, you just register as an AdSense publisher, copy and paste your individual ad code into your blog, and Google will begin showing relevant ads to your visitors. The good about AdSense is you don’t have to think about it, but you earn money every day from it.
Ezoic – This is a different kind of Ad Network, that claims to increase your ad earnings by as much as 50%, which is a big incentive to sign up. While Ezoic is a good option for earning money from ads on your site, your site has to be at least four months old and have 10,000 pageviews each month. This one is probably best investigated, once your site is established and you have been earning with Adsense.
BlogHer – This one is just for the ladies unfortunately. If you’re a woman and you have a high quality blog with beautiful pictures, you’ll definitely want to check out this advertising network. It’s proven to be a big source of income for several female-run blogs.
Start A Youtube Channel
Starting your own Youtube channel associated with your blog is a great way to earn money and drive traffic to your blog.
People love watching recipe videos and there are literally thousands of them on Youtube, because they are so popular and, once you have enough views, you can automatically start earning some good ad revenue from yours too.
Creating quality video, suitable for Youtube is much easier than it used to be. You can create videos now, cheaply with little more than a mobile phone on a tripod and either good natural light, or some cheap artificial ones.
There are stacks of videos on Youtube itself, showing you how to create food and recipe videos, so you will have no problem learning how to get started.
Make sure you create a Youtube channel that matches your Food Blog, in name and appearance as much as possible, with your logo and colour scheme.
Another way to earn money from your blog is via sponsored posts. This can be in the form of having another Food Blogger pay you to post on your site, or via a Sponsored Post about a particular food product or appliance.
Once you have a large enough audience, you can either reach out yourself, or maybe even be contacted by a company to create a post about their product, or incorporate their product in one of your posts. You earn money by negotiating an agreed fee to do so, if you are comfortable with recommending, or using the product.
Many Food Bloggers are also willing to pay to guest post on other sites with a larger audience to expand their brand, which can provide another stream of income for you.
Just as some Food Bloggers are willing to pay you to post on your site, others are also willing to pay you to post on theirs. They can choose to do this for several reasons.
- It can be easier for them than creating their own content
- It can lend credibility to their site, if yours is more established then theirs, with a larger audience
- It can bring in traffic from your reputation
Whatever the reason, it is a win for you, you get more exposure, plus get paid for it.
Create Your Own Recipe Book
Probably one of the most sort after ways to boost the ego and know you have made it as a Food Blogger is to be asked to write your own Recipe Book. Of course you can self publish and be very successful, but for this post, I’ll stick to writing a recipe/cook book for a publisher.
How Much Can You Earn From A Recipe Book?
If you’re a non-celebrity, you can usually make between $10,000 – $50,000. That’s assuming that your book doesn’t sell past your advance. The standard pay for authors is a 15% royalty on the cover price. When all is said and done, it averages out to about $1 per book sold.
Now, if you become really successful like the Guys from BOSH!, you could make a lot more, so keep that in mind for inspiration.
You could also incorporate an eCommerce store with your blog, to sell all kinds of related products. This is easy to do and can bring in a lot of extra money and is something most Food Bloggers aren’t doing (I don’t know why).
What you sell is up to you, but it could be chef’s knives, spices, blenders, etc, the choice is up to you, but you could really add some serious money to your Food Blog by combining it with an eCommmerce store.
Get Started Now
There has never been a better time To Make Money From A Food Blog In 2019 then now, yes, the year is coming to an end, but the sooner you start, the sooner you are on your way to learning, earning and getting the life you lifestyle you want.
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