Niche Guides / Food

How to Monetize a Food Blog and Serve Up a Profit

Learning how to monetize a food blog properly is a crucial part of turning your passion for cooking into a full-time business. Here's how:

By Andrew Fiebert Updated

So, you've learned the basics of food blogging - now it's time to make some money!

Monetizing your food blog can be incredibly fun and rewarding.

Whether you're just starting out or already a seasoned food influencer, these monetization methods will help you turn your blog into a full-time business.

Let's dive into each method and see how you can start making some cash from your passion for food.

Why You Can Trust Our Food Blog Monetization Guide

Lasso is installed on over 8,000 websites, including many food blogs.

Our team has built multiple 7-figure blogs in a wide range of niches.

We have hands-on experience working with founders to grow and monetize their food blogs.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the best monetization method for food bloggers because it hits the sweet spot between time investment and earning potential.

Affiliate marketing is a form of advertising where a publisher (the site owner) links to a product in their content and earns a commission from the advertiser (the affiliate program) if readers click on that link and make a purchase.

TIP: With all monetization methods, the rule of thumb is the easier it is to accomplish, the less money you can make, and vice versa.

Also, since you can add links to your existing content, it’s the perfect method for beginners. You’ve already written content, so you’ve already done the hard part.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Food Bloggers

There are various kinds of affiliate products that can be recommended in the food blogging niche. Some of these include:

  • Cookware and kitchen gadgets: These can range from high-quality pots and pans to unique tools that make cooking easier and more efficient.
  • Cookbooks and recipe guides: Recommending popular cookbooks or helpful recipe guides can be a great way to earn commissions.
  • Food subscriptions: Subscription boxes that deliver gourmet ingredients, snacks, or meal kits can be appealing to food enthusiasts.
  • Healthy eating products: Promoting products such as blenders, juicers, or meal prep containers can cater to health-conscious readers.
  • Culinary classes and workshops: Partnering with online cooking schools or local culinary workshops can provide valuable learning opportunities for your audience.

Once you’ve identified which products will solve problems for your readers, you need to sign up for their affiliate programs.

You should start by joining the Amazon Associates affiliate program.

Most physical products in the food niche will be available on Amazon, and the conversion rate on Amazon is insane.

Yes, Amazon’s commission rates are rough, and they only offer a 24-hour cookie duration, but the conversion rate makes up for it. Plus, you’re nearly guaranteed to get accepted into their program.

For products that aren’t available on Amazon, just Google “[Product] affiliate program,” and you’ll find their program’s signup page.

To save you some time, here are a few of the best affiliate networks for food bloggers:

  1. Instacart

    Instacart

    Commission Rate: $2 - $10 Per Lead

    Cookie Duration: 30 days

    Same-day grocery delivery and pickup service bringing you fresh groceries and everyday essentials. With the Instacart shopper program, customers shop online with their favorite local grocery store.

  2. Drizly

    Drizly

    Commission Rate: 3% - 15% Per Sale

    Cookie Duration: 10 Days

    Drizly works with local stores so you can shop their shelves using your smartphone or computer to order beer, wine, and liquor at the touch of a button.

  3. Grubhub

    Grubhub

    Commission Rate: 5% Per New Customer Sale

    Cookie Duration: 30 Days

    Grubhub helps you find and order food from wherever you are. Find restaurants in your area that can deliver or offer pickup.

TIP: We maintain a database of the best affiliate programs. Click here to see the best food affiliate programs.

Once you’ve been approved for the product’s affiliate program, the program will give you your affiliate link, and you can start inserting it into your content.

Inserting links into WordPress

How To Monetize A Food Blog With Affiliate Marketing

To add your link to your content, go to your post editor, highlight the relevant text, and insert the link.

Here are a few best practices for adding affiliate links to your WordPress blog:

  • Add links where it’s helpful. Adding too many links to your blog posts is just like adding too many ads; it’s annoying. Add links to product titles, images, CTA buttons, and the first time you mention a product. That’s plenty.
  • Disclose your links. Every blog post with affiliate links should have a disclaimer at the beginning, and every CTA or product image should also.
  • Use direct sales language. When you are writing your call to action, be direct. It’s not rude to say, “Check the price” or “Buy this product today.” Being too passive makes you look unconfident.

Or, take it a step further by creating product displays.

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You can create displays manually using the post editor to add links to images and buttons.

However, it can be time-consuming to create these displays and keep them updated if you’re doing it all by hand.

Luckily, monetizing your blog with affiliate links is simplified when you’re using a tool like Lasso.

Lasso makes it super easy to add links and product displays to your posts. You can add product displays to posts right from the post editor; no coding is required. It’s as simple as clicking your mouse three times.

You can also automatically import product info from retailers like Amazon. Just paste the link into the Lasso dashboard, and Lasso will populate the display with the product title, image, and price.

With all of this, remember to follow the guidelines in the affiliate program’s terms and conditions. Amazon, in particular, is pretty stringent.

But everything Lasso does is compliant with Amazon Associates’ TOS, so you never have to worry about being booted from the program.

That’s just scratching the surface of what Lasso can do to help you monetize your food blog. If you’re ready to start making a serious affiliate income from your food site, sign up for Lasso today.

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Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons for Food Bloggers

Affiliate marketing can be a great way for food bloggers to monetize their content. By partnering with brands and promoting their products, bloggers can earn a commission for every sale made through their unique affiliate link.

One of the main advantages of affiliate marketing for food bloggers is the potential for passive income. Once the initial content is created and the affiliate links are in place, bloggers can continue to earn money from those links long after the post has been published.

However, affiliate marketing can also have its drawbacks. Some readers may be put off by what they perceive as "selling out" or being too promotional. It's important for bloggers to strike a balance between promoting products and providing valuable content to their audience.

Overall, affiliate marketing can be a valuable tool for food bloggers to diversify their income streams and partner with brands they believe in. By carefully selecting the products they promote and being transparent with their audience, bloggers can successfully navigate the world of affiliate marketing.

2. Display Ads

The second best way to monetize your food blog is with display ads. Ads are the internet's favorite monetization method, but they have severe drawbacks.

How to Monetize a Food Blog With Display Ads

Monetizing a food blog with display ads couldn’t be easier.

First, choose an ad network to join. Networks have traffic requirements, so here are the best ad networks to join based on your site’s page views:

  • 100,000+ Visitors per month - Raptive
  • 50,000+ Sessions per month - Mediavine
  • < 50,000+ Visitors per month - Ezoic

NOTE: WordPress is an open-source software found on WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a premium blogging platform, but you never need to pay to install WordPress on your website, even if it’s self-hosted.

Once you’re accepted to an ad network, follow their instructions to integrate their ads into your site. They will have documentation for every type of content management service (WordPress, Joomla, Ghost, etc.).

If your chosen ad network has a dedicated accounts manager, they will guide you through getting their ads on your site.

And… that’s it. Let the ads run and wait for your deposits to hit your account.

TIP: Optimize your display ads for user experience by using your chosen network’s software settings or talking to your account manager. Keep the ads in the sidebar and footer whenever possible.

You’ll make a lot of money in the long run if you put your readers ahead of quick profit.

Display Ad Pros And Cons For Food Bloggers

Display ads can be a great way for food bloggers to monetize their websites. They provide a relatively passive income stream as they pay based on impressions or clicks. This means you can earn money even when you're not actively creating new content.

However, display ads can sometimes clutter up your website and make it look less professional. They can also slow down your site's loading speed, which can be a turn-off for readers. It's important to find a balance between earning money from ads and providing a good user experience.

Additionally, the income from display ads might not be as high as other monetization methods like sponsored content or affiliate marketing. It's important to diversify your income streams to ensure you're not overly reliant on one source of revenue.

Overall, display ads can be a valuable tool for food bloggers to generate income, but it's essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully to make the best decision for your website and your readers.

3. Digital Products

Selling your own digital products is a great way to increase your earnings per visitor in the food niche.

A digital product is anything you can sell on your food blog that the customer will receive via download.

  • Recipe E-book: A collection of exclusive recipes with detailed instructions and photos.
  • Cooking Classes: Online classes where users can learn cooking techniques and recipes from a professional chef.
  • Meal Planning Guide: A downloadable guide to help users plan their meals for the week, including recipes and grocery lists.
  • Food Photography Course: A course on how to take stunning food photos for blogs and social media.
  • Customized Meal Plans: Personalized meal plans tailored to individual dietary needs and preferences.

A lot of people search for simple checklists and guides related to different topics. They’d happily pay you for them.

Pros and Cons of Selling Digital Products for Food Bloggers

One of the main advantages of selling digital products for food bloggers is the potential for passive income. Once the digital product is created and set up for sale, bloggers can continue to earn money from it without having to put in additional work.

Another pro is the ability to reach a wider audience. Digital products can be easily shared and accessed by people from all around the world, allowing bloggers to expand their reach beyond their local community.

On the flip side, a challenge of selling digital products is the initial time and effort required to create a high-quality product. Bloggers need to invest time in creating valuable content that customers will be willing to pay for.

Additionally, there may be competition in the digital product market, so bloggers need to find ways to differentiate their products and stand out among others in order to attract customers.

How To Monetize a Food Blog By Selling Digital Products

The first thing to do is create your digital product.

Look at which content your audience interacts with the most, and brainstorm digital products to help serve their search intent.

That’s what I did when I created our Ultimate Blogging Guide:

Then, create the product using whatever tools are at your disposal. For example, use Microsoft Word to create an ebook PDF, or Google Sheets to create interactive spreadsheets and checklists.

Next, you have to figure out how to distribute your product. The easiest way to distribute PDFs is by uploading them to your WordPress media library. Then you can give customers the link, and they can download the PDF from there.

Lastly, you’ll have to set up payment processing and order fulfillment. A plugin like Woocommerce can automate most of this, but you’ll have to tie it to a processor like Stripe or PayPal.

Woocommerce can even connect to an email tool like ConvertKit, so as soon as your customer finishes their checkout, they’ll get an email with a link to their download.

TIP: You can still use Lasso to get more clicks to your digital products. Just create a Lasso display with the link pointing to your product’s sales page.

Barring any issues, you won’t have to do anything but watch your bank account grow.

4. Email Newsletter

One effective way to monetize a food blog is by creating an email newsletter. This method allows you to build a loyal audience and engage with your readers on a more personal level. Let's explore how to monetize a food blog with an email newsletter and the pros and cons of email marketing for food bloggers.

How to Monetize a Food Blog with an Email Newsletter

If you're looking to monetize your food blog, one effective strategy is to utilize an email newsletter. By building a list of engaged subscribers, you can promote affiliate products, sponsored content, and your own products or services.

To get started, create a signup form on your blog where visitors can subscribe to your newsletter. Offer a freebie or exclusive content as an incentive to encourage sign-ups.

Once you have a list of subscribers, regularly send out valuable content, promotions, and updates. Make sure to include affiliate links and sponsored content in a way that feels natural and adds value to your readers.

Pros and Cons of Email Marketing for Food Bloggers

  • Pros: Email marketing allows you to directly reach your audience, build relationships, and drive traffic to your blog.
  • Cons: It can be time-consuming to create and send out emails regularly, and there's a risk of ending up in spam folders if you're not careful with your email marketing practices.

5. Consulting and Coaching Services

Consulting or coaching is exchanging your expertise and time for a fee. Your customers need an expert, and you’ve proven yourself to be that expert.

As you become an authority in the industry, people will reach out to you with questions about topics they consider you an expert in.

Now, you don’t have to charge for being helpful, but you should place a dollar value on your time.

As a food blogger, you extensive knowledge of the industry. If a reader reaches out to you asking for help, you should get paid for that effort.

How To Monetize A Food Blog With Consulting Services

Monetizing a food blog with consulting services is similar to selling sponsored posts.

Put a “Coaching” option in your nav bar that goes to a landing page outlining your consulting services and your hourly rate. This will help head off some of the people looking for free advice.

TIP: Again, you can use Lasso to drive more clicks to your coaching pages. Just create a Display with a link to your sales page, and insert it into blog posts.

Then, wait for requests to come in, evaluate them, and propose your offer. If the customer accepts, send them an invoice using PayPal or another payment processor, and schedule the call.

Pros and Cons of Selling Consulting Services for Food Bloggers

One of the main pros of selling consulting services to food bloggers is the potential for a steady stream of income. By offering your expertise to help bloggers improve their content, photography, or social media presence, you can establish long-term relationships that result in recurring revenue.

Another advantage is the opportunity to expand your own network within the food blogging community. Working closely with bloggers allows you to connect with other professionals in the industry, opening up possibilities for collaborations, partnerships, and new clients.

On the flip side, a potential con of selling consulting services to food bloggers is the time commitment required. Consulting can be demanding, especially if you are working with multiple clients simultaneously. Balancing your consulting work with other responsibilities can be challenging.

Additionally, some food bloggers may have limited budgets for consulting services, which could impact your earning potential. It's important to set clear expectations and pricing structures upfront to ensure that both you and the blogger are on the same page.

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Food Blog Monetization FAQs

What Is The Best Way To Make Money From Food Blogging?

If you want to build a successful food blog, then affiliate marketing is the best way to monetize it. It’s the least intrusive way to make a lot of money from your site without much extra effort.

Can I Make A Full-Time Income From Food Blogging?

Absolutely! Some food blogs, like Delish and Epicurious get hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. That’s enough for a full-time income for a small team of people.

How Do I Start a Food Blog?

Learning how to start a food blog is the first best way to use your expertise to start an online business.

You need to register a domain, install WordPress, and publish great content. It's a lot of work, but totally worth it!

How Do Food Bloggers Get Paid?

Most food bloggers make money through affiliate commissions and advertising fees. Both of these monetization methods pay out one or two months after the fees have been generated.

Some food bloggers also sell sponsored posts, consulting services, or their own products. In these cases, a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe is necessary.

Is Food Blogging Easy?

Nothing worth doing is truly easy, but that doesn’t mean food blogging isn’t fun.

As a food blogger, you’ll get to go places, try new things, and meet new people. And it will be part of your business! What could be cooler than that?

Is It Worth Starting A Food Blog?

It’s absolutely worth it to start a food blog. Not only can you make a living from it, but you can also build a community and control the conversation.

Once you’re an established authority, people in food-related industries will take you seriously.

Final Thoughts on Monetizing a Food Blog

So now that you've learned all the ways to make money from your food blog, here's one more tip:

Try using multiple monetization methods!

Having different income streams is key to protecting your blog's future.

By mixing affiliate offers, display ads, and selling your own products, you won't be left in the lurch if one source of income takes a hit.

With this strategy, some elbow grease, and careful planning, you'll be well on your way to earning what your food blog truly deserves.

Why You Should Trust Our Food Blogging Content

You may be thinking, "that's all great, but what does Lasso know about food blogging?"

Quite a lot, actually.

Here's why you can trust our process for building a successful food blog:

We've Built Wildly Successful Blogs

Lasso is built for affiliate marketers, by affiliate marketers. We're not gurus; we've walked the walk.

Our team members have built multiple blogs from the ground up, some of them earning over seven figures in revenue.

We put that experience into every guide we write, so you can trust we're giving you a process that works.

We Talk To Food Bloggers Every Day

Lasso's WordPress plugin is installed on over 8,000 websites, including a lot of food blogs.

Our team supports those bloggers every day as they create awesome content and earn lots of money.

These communications give us a bird's-eye view of what's new in the food industry. We take that information and use it to keep these guides as up-to-date and accurate as possible.

We're Super Nerds

We've put a lot of company focus into learning everything we can about blogging, affiliate marketing, SEO, and anything to do with online entrepreneurship.

We attend conferences, collect high-level contacts, read tons of books, and distill all of that information into our content. We pass information onto you that was previously only available to industry insiders.

Earn More from Your Food Blog

Why Lasso Is The Best Affiliate Marketing Plugin For WordPress

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Using a Secondary CTA Button to Improve Your Conversion Rate

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