2013 was an incredible year. My 2013 was a great year. I got engaged, signed an agreement for a cookbook, and photographed and wrote a complete cookbook in 5 months. Then, I quit my corporate job, moved to the suburbs, and saw my blog grow four times.
In March of this year, I had a sudden realization. My food blog was making me enough money to pay all of my bills. It wasn’t easy to balance everything when I worked 9-5. I was tired, cranky, and exhausted. I was juggling too many jobs. I started considering what it would be like to quit my full-time job and focus on my blog. Being able to produce quality content daily instead of only on weekends. It was the path I chose: Become an entrepreneur. I can do it all myself.
It takes a lot of work to do it.
My food blog isn’t a hobby. It’s not my work. Sally’s Baking Addiction is my world. Every day I am grateful to be able to do what I love. Thank you. And thank you again. Then a million more. If you weren’t there, I wouldn’t be sharing your recipes with you.
What is a Food Blogging Career?
When I tell people about my job, I get many strange reactions.
Excuse us, what are you doing?
I am a food blogger. I create recipes, take photos, and then post them to a website.
I don’t understand. What do you sell? Your blog.
Yes, it is. But it’s so much more.
Still waiting to get it.
I provide content for Pinterest and get paid through my blog’s advertising.
Ah, I see it now.
People often get it when I mention Pinterest. There’s more to food blogging than just posting recipes online.
- Connection: The constant connection with your readers is the first thing. Without a connection with readers, what is a blog? Although I may only have the time to get to know some readers, I make every effort to be as attentive as possible.
- Recipe development: Testing, retesting, and finalizing until I have the best recipe. This is what I love!
- Food Photography People eat with their eyes! My food blog has grown because of the importance of food photography. I have taken every photo in this blog and my cookbooks. I am proud of my photography journey and still have many things to learn. This Food Photography Basics article includes my current equipment.
- Videography – Recipe videos are the hot trend right now, and they won’t go away. The key to food blogging success is the ability to set up, shoot, and edit videos.
- Social media marketing: With all the social media (Pinterest, Facebook pages and groups, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Instagram stories, and IGTV), it feels like a full-time job. Updated in 2019. If you have the budget, I highly recommend hiring!
- Questions, Comments, and Emails: It is important to answer comments, questions, and emails because it shows that there is an actual person behind the blog.
- Writing Blog Posts, I work hard to make my content interesting, personable, and understandable.
- Cookbooks Many food bloggers also write cookbooks, including myself!
Food blogging is not all sunshine and smiles.
- It is a 24/7 job. Finding a work/life balance can be difficult.
- Everyone may not love your recipes, but they will let you know. We all have different tastes, right?
- Everyone may not love your photography, but they will let you know.
- Some may only love your style of writing.
- Food-sharing websites will reject your photos.
- Before you can find the perfect combination of ingredients, you will need to make 10 vanilla cakes.
- There will be 207 photos of dark chocolate cookies, and they will need to look better.
- Others will steal your content and all your hard work.
- You will spend a lot of time washing dishes.
- The weather channel will be your guide, hoping to catch a sunny day when you can shoot an apple pie. You see only rain.
- Understanding SEO. (Still don’t)
How do food bloggers make money?
How can you make money if you are publishing content for free? There are many ways to make money through food blogging. Each depends on your business model. Here are some:
- Display Advertising
- Brand sponsorships
- Affiliate Commissions
- Selling products, eBooks, or cookbooks
Display advertising is my #1 income source. It also pays for my staff, website hosting, email hosting, and equipment. Domain renewal, advertising campaigns, workshops, conferences, and other business expenses. You should never underestimate the importance of user experience when deciding how many display ads to show.
While working with brands can bring in a few extra dollars, this is dependent on how your business runs. I only work with a few brands, which is how my business operates. It is important to publish organic content on my terms. It’s not that it can’t be a natural match. Other bloggers have done this very well. I prefer to limit my brand partnerships. Do you. (I’m not an expert in working with brands or reaching out to them, so this is a bad example!
A product can also be sold or recommended by you. Silpat baking mats are a great option. I have an Amazon affiliate link and included the link in some recipes. Although I do not endorse this brand, I will gladly work with them. This product recommendation earns me a small amount at no additional cost to the buyer. It’s a small amount, but it can add up. It’s not a good idea to sell or recommend a product. That’s big.
Many food bloggers/food photographers/food videographers make money by photographing/video recording for other bloggers/brands. Isn’t that amazing? Offer your services as a food photographer or videographer to bloggers and brands you admire.
Food Blogging Expenses
There are a lot of expenses because I own the business. You’ll need to make substantial investments if you want your blog to become a successful career. Things I didn’t even imagine, like. An increasing electric bill because I’m at home baking during the day. And while I thought I would be saving money by not having to commute to work, I still go to the grocery store 100 times per week.
- Monthly website server
- Tech support monthly
- Website Designing
- Props for food
- Bakeware & kitchen supplies
- Camera & lenses
- Lighting equipment
- Photography/videography editing software
How did I get to this point?
Many new bloggers send me emails asking how I grew my blog overnight. The truth is, I didn’t. My writing and pictures were embarrassing at the beginning. They weren’t nearly as sophisticated as those who had been food blogging for longer. My baby blog was often compared to the “big leagues,” and I felt awful. It’s not fair to compare apples and oranges. It motivated me to keep working hard.
Because I spent enough time on it, I have improved my photos and recipes. Making mistakes, learning, improving, and learning again. I am a perfectionist. This work has allowed me to be featured on social media.
Keep going. Ask questions, go to books , make mistakes, and enjoy the process. You can find more helpful blogging advice in my creating a quality content post and how you can start a food blog post.
It cannot be easy to blog about food. It can be overwhelming to learn what to do and what not to do, deal with technical issues, come up with content, understand your camera, gain readership, develop recipes, etc. It is easy to get lost in all the details. These are some ways to keep your feet on the ground:
- Have fun. Take a break from blogging to do something with your family, friends, or loved ones. Go on a date, have a nice meal, or go to a bar for a drink. You’ll feel refreshed, and your blog will not go anywhere.
- Exercise. Although it may seem cliché, exercise can help calm nerves. I am an active person, not because I love baking treats, but because it is something I truly enjoy and have done since I was a young child. It’s great to take the dogs on a walk or run if I make a mistake in the kitchen.
- Time for yourself. With a child or pet. You will feel more grounded if you have a moment to disconnect. Your phone, email, and computer should be turned off. Take in the simple pleasures.
- I love it. It’s a joy to be in the kitchen and share the experience with others, both online and physically. I remind myself of why I blog when I feel overwhelmed by it. Sharing my recipes makes me happy. I stop blogging when it becomes a chore.
My last piece of advice
Be patient. A food blog can only make a living with a large audience. Before you sell your product, build it. Don’t be obsessed with money. Instead, focus on publishing quality content, interacting with readers and bloggers, and learning about food photography. If you put your mind to it, the money will follow.