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 got your food blog up and running, but now it's time to start making some money from it. Trust me, this part is going to be a blast!

Whether you're a newbie or a pro in the food blogging world, these monetization methods will help you take your blog from a hobby to a full-blown business. Let's dive in and explore each one in detail.

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

When it comes to recommending affiliate products in the food blogging niche, there are a variety of options to consider. Here are some different kinds of affiliate products that you can recommend:

  • Kitchen gadgets and appliances: These can range from blenders and food processors to air fryers and instant pots. They're popular among food bloggers as they make cooking and food preparation easier and more efficient.
  • Cookbooks and recipe guides: Recommending popular cookbooks or recipe guides can be a great way to earn affiliate income. These can be specific to different cuisines, dietary restrictions, or cooking methods.
  • Specialty ingredients and spices: Many food bloggers like to promote unique ingredients and spices that can enhance the flavor of their recipes. This could include items like gourmet salts, exotic spices, or specialty oils.
  • Meal delivery services: With the rise in popularity of meal delivery services, recommending these can be a convenient option for your readers. These services deliver pre-portioned ingredients and recipes right to their doorstep.
  • Food and drink subscriptions: Subscriptions like monthly snack boxes or coffee subscriptions can be an exciting and recurring way for your audience to discover new and interesting food and drinks.

By recommending these kinds of affiliate products, you can provide value to your readers while earning a commission for any purchases made through your affiliate links.

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 opportunity for food bloggers to monetize their content and earn passive income. However, as with any marketing strategy, there are pros and cons to consider.

One of the main advantages of affiliate marketing for food bloggers is the potential for high earnings. By promoting products or services that are relevant to their audience, bloggers can earn a commission for each sale or lead generated through their affiliate links.

Another benefit is the flexibility that affiliate marketing offers. Bloggers can choose which products or brands to promote, allowing them to align with their personal preferences and values. This can enhance their credibility and build trust with their audience.

On the flip side, affiliate marketing may require a significant amount of time and effort to be successful. Bloggers need to research and select the right affiliate programs, create compelling content, and continuously track and optimize their campaigns. Additionally, there is always the risk of promoting products that may not meet the expectations of their audience, which can damage their reputation.

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 offer both advantages and disadvantages for food bloggers. On the positive side, display ads can provide bloggers with a source of income. By allowing ads to be displayed on their websites, bloggers can earn money through ad impressions or clicks. This can help them monetize their content and support their blogging efforts.

Additionally, display ads can also help bloggers increase their visibility and reach a wider audience. When ads are strategically placed on the website, they can attract the attention of visitors who may not have otherwise discovered the blog. This can lead to increased traffic and potentially more opportunities for collaborations or partnerships.

However, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks of display ads as well. Some visitors may find ads distracting or intrusive, which can negatively impact their overall user experience. Additionally, displaying too many ads on a blog can make it appear cluttered and unprofessional.

In conclusion, while display ads can provide food bloggers with a way to generate income and increase their visibility, it's essential to strike a balance and ensure that the ads do not compromise the overall user experience or the blog's aesthetic appeal.

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.

Digital products to sell on a food blog:

  • Recipe eBooks: Create and sell digital cookbooks with a collection of your favorite recipes.
  • Meal planning guides: Offer downloadable meal plans and grocery lists to help readers plan their weekly meals.
  • Cooking video tutorials: Provide access to exclusive video tutorials where you demonstrate cooking techniques and share tips.
  • Online cooking classes: Offer virtual cooking classes where participants can learn how to prepare specific dishes or cuisines.
  • Printable recipe cards: Design and sell downloadable recipe cards that readers can print and use to organize their favorite recipes.
  • Food photography presets: Create and sell presets for photo editing software to help food bloggers enhance their food photography.
  • Menu templates: Offer downloadable menu templates that readers can customize for their own events or gatherings.
  • Nutrition guides: Provide digital guides that educate readers about nutrition and offer tips for maintaining a healthy diet.
  • Exclusive access to a private community: Offer a membership program where subscribers gain access to a private community for food enthusiasts to connect and share ideas.
  • Customized meal plans: Provide personalized meal plans tailored to individual dietary preferences and health goals.

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

There are several pros and cons to consider when it comes to selling digital products as a food blogger. One of the biggest advantages is the potential for passive income. Once you create and launch your digital product, such as an e-book or online course, you can continue to make sales without much additional effort.

Another benefit is the ability to reach a wider audience. By offering digital products, you can connect with people from all over the world who are interested in your niche. This can help you expand your brand and increase your visibility in the food blogging community.

On the flip side, creating and selling digital products can be time-consuming and require a significant investment of resources. Developing high-quality content and designing attractive materials takes time and effort. Additionally, there is a learning curve involved in setting up an online store and marketing your products effectively.

Lastly, it's important to consider the potential for competition. The digital products market is saturated, especially in the food blogging industry. Standing out from the crowd and convincing people to choose your products over others can be challenging.

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

An email newsletter can be a valuable tool for food bloggers to monetize their blogs. By building a loyal subscriber base, you can leverage your email list to generate income through various means. Here are a few steps to help you monetize your food blog with an email newsletter:

1. Offer Exclusive Content: Provide your subscribers with exclusive recipes, cooking tips, or behind-the-scenes glimpses into your culinary adventures. By offering valuable content that is not available on your blog, you can entice readers to sign up for your newsletter and keep them engaged.

2. Collaborate with Brands: As a food blogger, you can collaborate with brands and promote their products to your email subscribers. Partner with food-related companies, such as kitchenware manufacturers or specialty food producers, and feature their products in your newsletter. This can include sponsored content, product reviews, or even exclusive discounts for your subscribers.

3. Affiliate Marketing: Another way to monetize your food blog through email newsletters is by incorporating affiliate marketing. Recommend products or ingredients that you genuinely love and use, and include affiliate links in your newsletter. When your subscribers make a purchase through these links, you earn a commission.

Pros and Cons of Email Marketing for Food Bloggers

Pros:

  • Direct Communication: Email newsletters offer a direct line of communication with your audience, allowing you to build a personal connection and establish trust.
  • Increased Engagement: Subscribers who receive your newsletters are already interested in your content, making them more likely to engage, share, and visit your blog regularly.
  • Targeted Advertising: With email marketing, you have the ability to segment your audience and send tailored content or promotions to specific groups, ensuring higher conversion rates.
  • Cost-Effective: Compared to other advertising methods, email marketing is relatively low-cost, making it an ideal monetization strategy for food bloggers, especially those starting out.

Cons:

  • Email Deliverability: Ensuring that your newsletters land in your subscribers' inboxes can be a challenge, as spam filters can sometimes redirect legitimate emails to junk folders.
  • Building a Subscriber Base: Building a substantial email list takes time and effort, and it may require implementing various strategies to attract subscribers.
  • Content Creation: Producing regular and engaging content for your newsletters can be time-consuming, especially when combined with your blog and other social media platforms.
  • Unsubscribes and Spam Complaints: Some subscribers may choose to unsubscribe from your newsletter or mark it as spam, which can affect your overall email deliverability and reputation.

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

Selling consulting services can be a great opportunity for food bloggers to monetize their expertise and knowledge in the industry. There are several pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to offer consulting services.

One of the main advantages of selling consulting services is the potential for additional income. By sharing their insights and offering personalized advice, food bloggers can charge a fee for their expertise, helping them to diversify their revenue streams.

Another benefit is the ability to build a strong reputation as an industry expert. Consulting allows food bloggers to showcase their knowledge and skills, establishing themselves as trusted authorities in the field. This can lead to increased visibility, collaborations, and opportunities for partnerships.

However, it's important to consider the drawbacks as well. Selling consulting services requires time and effort, as it involves one-on-one interactions with clients. This can be demanding and may take away from the time available for creating content or other revenue-generating activities.

Earn More Money From Your Food Blog

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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

Now that you know all the different ways you can make money from your food blog, I have one more tip for you:

Try using multiple methods to make money!

Diversifying your income streams is the best way to protect your blog's future.

If you promote affiliate offers, use display ads, and sell your own products, you won't be heavily affected if Amazon reduces its commission rates again.

By taking this multi-tiered approach, working hard, and planning carefully, 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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