Now there are probably a couple hundred posts out there that will tell you exactly how to start a food blog, how to market it, how to increase your traffic and how to make money from it, but there are not many out there that tell you how to make money blogging with low page views.
How to make money blogging with low page views
You know what, I can’t tell you why you should start a food blog, but what I can tell you is why I started a food blog.
I never had any real intentions of starting a food blog. Nope, never. What I did have was my website for my business (Omni Nutrition LLC) where I offer online, over the phone/Skype or in person nutrition consulting and/or meal plans for clients. In addition to these services I started doing group nutrition seminars at local gyms and I would bring my homemade protein bars for them to try to show them how easy it is to make healthy and tasty foods.
After that initial seminar I got so many requests for the recipes that I started an additional page on my business web site where I would post all of the recipes and photos to go along with them. And there unknowingly would be the beginning of my food blogging career.
The photos were awful, taken with just my camera phone, I knew nothing about staging photos or that I should probably shoot in natural light. I didn’t even know that you could make money from food blogging. I don’t even think I had an Instagram, Facebook, or twitter account for my business.
It was one day when my workout buddy and now blogging buddy Erica aka The Crumby Cupcake told me she was going to start a food blog and that I should make one too. She already knew that I had my little one on my business website because I would make her be my taste tester and I was hers LOL. With a little help and a shove in the right direction we were off!
We both started with just buying a domain name and getting hosting with wordpress.org through godaddy and using free templates. We both later purchased customized blog layouts.
It wasn’t until a few months ago that I really started to get serious about food blogging. This was mainly due to the fun and inspiring time that I had at the Food and Wine Conference this past June where I met a bunch of amazing bloggers.
So I decided it was time that I stepped up my game! I bought a real camera (Cannon 70D) and lens (50mm 1.4), I bought some food photography ebooks, and my boyfriend just got me an amazing light box for Christmas that I can’t wait to try!
Since starting my food blog it has opened up so many opportunities that I never knew existed. Not only do I get to create and post healthy and delicious recipes for my clients, but now I have been given the opportunity to create sponsored content (either in the form of product or money), review amazing restaurants and trendy shops, and I even get paid to write articles for HealthyWay.com. With my food blog and social media I have been able to reach and help a bigger population than I would have been able to with just my business website.
With this extra influx of cash I have been able to do some traveling that I have had on my bucket list that I would not have been able to otherwise. This truly has been a blessing. I have made life long blogging friends and have had some amazing experiences that no one can take away from me.
I’m not going to go into deep detail on how to start a blog because there are so many in depth blog posts out there, but I’ll give you a quick run down.
- First you need to think of what you want to blog about and then think of a name that corresponds with that. Have a few in mind because the next part is where it may get a little tricky
- Buy the domain name to your blog. You can search many different places to buy a domain name, I ended up choosing GoDaddy. Remember when I said have a few in mind? Chances are that your first pick may not be available and if it is it may be expensive. Also when you go about choosing a name, check to see if the corresponding names on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are available too. This becomes important when you try to brand yourself.
- Decide where you want to host your blog: blue host ($3.95/month), host gator Godaddy and MidPhase.
- Choose which platform you are going to host your blog on. Most blogs are on WordPress.org and Blogger, or you can blog for free on wordpress.com but there are limitations to this.
- Pick a layout/template for your blog. There are many free templates out there. You do not have to buy one. I used a free template for a while until I was making money and could justify spending money on my blog.
- Make sure you have an about me page on your blog where it clearly states how someone can reach you. It will be hard to get opportunities for sponsored work when someone happens upon your blog if they can’t find a way to get ahold of you.
- Make useful content that your audience wants to read. If you promote yourself as a “healthy food blogger,” try to have most of your recipes and content with healthier recipes or posts that are catered around eating healthy and living a healthier lifestyle. If you start to go overboard with posts that are outside your scope you may start to lose followers.
- Take eye-catching pictures. This is so important! You don’t have to have a fancy camera to take great pictures. You can use a point and shoot camera and even the camera on your cell phone to take great pictures. Natural light is always best so try to plan your recipes around this whenever possible. I have sometimes gotten up early before work to make a recipe if I knew I wouldn’t get home before dark so I could have better pictures. If you can’t shoot in natural light you can use things like a light box to help the photos come out better, or you can invest in LightRoom and PhotoShop. I just started with this a few months ago and it is only $9.99 per month and it has made a huge different in the outcomes of my photos, especially if I am shooting at night.
- Once you have your photos edited, create overlays on the main picture to create a Pinterest worthy pin. I use PicMonkey and Canva which are free, but they have upgraded paid versions as well.
- Once you have your post written and spell checked go ahead and hit publish (or you can schedule it to be published at a certain time), but don’t stop there. You could have created an amazing blog post but if no one knows your blog exists how in the world are they going to read it. This is where social networking comes in.
- Social Networking and building up your social media accounts. So now that you’ve hit publish, it’s time to share your posts to your social media accounts. For Facebook, Google Plus and Pinterest I tend to not use hashtags (#) unless it is sponsored content and then I will use #sponsored or #ad plus any additional disclosures that the campaign rules require. With twitter I normally use 2-3 relevant hashtags along with any required disclosures and with Instagram I use 30 relevant hashtags but I put them in the first comment as to not make the description too wordy.
- Join Facebook groups to help network and get your content seen. There are many great Facebook groups out there that bloggers use to help each other get seen and to expand their audience. Plus every blogger started where you are now, so ask questions, find a blogging buddy that is in your same starting point, help each other and learn together. This is what Erica and I did and it is working fabulously!
- So how long do you have to wait before you can apply for sponsored posts? Well that depends on how long you have had your blog, how large of a following you have on social media and how many page views/monthly visitors you have. Most companies have different requirements. Below are some of the places I use to find sponsored campaigns.
- Be organized and consistent. This is something that I still struggle with. Sometimes I will post 3 times in a week and other times just once. To build a bigger following the more consistent you are the better your outcomes will be (at least this has been my personal experience.
- Guest blog for other blogger. Remember those Facebook groups I was talking about? Ask other bloggers if they are looking for anyone to guest post on their blog when they go on vacation or just need a break. This gives you an opportunity to get your content in front of different people and hopefully you will get some new followers out of it!
- Okay there is so much more to blogging that I can tell you about but the number one thing to do is have fun!!! I love to eat and cook so this was a perfect way for me to share my recipes and sharpen my skills. I even started to take up photography which I now love, but am still very poor at hahaha. And don’t compare yourself to others, but become inspired by them and just try to be a better you each and every day. We all started as newbies and are at different points in our blogging careers today.
Below are some useful links to help you into your path to becoming a food blogger (FYI some of these links are affiliate links which means I may make money if you decide to buy/sign up for any of the services—-never forget to disclose if you are receiving anything in return for writing a post or if you have affiliate links)
Places to find Sponsored Blog Posts:
Linqia –this has been my biggest source of income for sponsored blog posts
SoFab (Social Fabric)
Tap Influence This one you cannot apply for campaigns, but they will contact you instead
Things I use to help with social media scheduling
Post Planner I use this to share social popular posts on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. It lets you share posts from your favorite bloggers, Facebook pages, popular posts, and hashtags. You can sign up for $7 a month.
Buffer I use the free version currently. You can schedule 10 posts to twitter, google plus and Facebook (only one account each). They also have a paid version where you can schedule posts to multiple twitter and Facebook accounts (100 vs 10) and you can now schedule pins to pinterest!
Places to promote giveaways
Facebook Groups to Join
Fitness Blogger Support Group (Healthy Recipes too)
If you’re still reading this congratulations you just read 1987 words (it also happens to be the year that I was born!) and I want to say thank you for reading my Why You Should Start a Food Blog post whether you are one of my followers or just someone who happened to find me on Pinterest.
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