Hey everyone! Jess here to share with you my tips for monetizing your blog. In case you don’t know me, I am the founder of Paleo Grubs. I started blogging as a complete newbie less than a year ago, and now I am blogging about my passion and make a living doing it.
The below methods are the ways I use to make money with Paleo Grubs. I will take you through different monetization methods for food bloggers, as well as share some of my earnings stats with you and how you can apply my strategies to grow your blog revenue. So sit back, grab your favorite munchies and enjoy!
Food blogging is not all about the money, but it definitely is a strong motivating force. Learning how to properly monetize your blog is important, and something to keep in mind as you take a long-term vision of your venture. Here I’ll show you a number of ways to show yourself the money and make this viable.
First Things First: Make a Blog Worth Visiting
Before you make your first dollar with your food blog you’re going to want to fill it with great content. It sounds logical enough, you definitely can’t put the cart before the horse, but you’d be surprised how many bloggers just want to try to make a fast buck. What I did was remember the movie Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner, and change it up a bit: “If you build it, the money will come.”.
Great Content, Added Regularly – With so many different food blogs out there you’ll need to do something to set yourself apart from the crowd. Luckily there are a lot of not-so-good blogs out there, so if you supply awesome recipes, with good writing and pictures, you’ll rise to the top.
Mouthwatering Pictures – The quality of your pictures will be a big boost to your site, both in terms of getting people to your site, and keeping them interested once they’ve arrived. It can’t be overstated, so spend plenty of time perfecting your pictures.
Helpful Answers – There are many questions surrounding food, and your visitors are likely to ask you some. You can either make posts that answer them, or answer direct questions in the comments section. If you don’t know the answer, find it, your visitors will appreciate that you took the time.
Affiliate Programs: Get Commission
Affiliate programs are a great way to earn some solid income from your blog, and there are plenty of food related products out there that will give you a healthy commission for promoting them. Ultimately you will only want to represent products or services that you believe in, because that will give your voice the power it needs to get others excited about it too.
ClickBank – This is a source for digital products, so your visitors will be able to download and start using them immediately. The nice thing about ClickBank is that many product owners will share a chunk of the purchase price with you as your commission.
Amazon – Amazon doesn’t give you the high commission rates you find at ClickBank, but because it’s Amazon you open yourself up to larger and more frequent purchases. It’s easy enough to recommend cookbooks from Amazon, and the bonus is you’ll get commission paid on anything else they add to their cart during checkout.
CJ Affiliate – This is a way of registering at once site and having access to hundreds of different retail and online shops. You’ll recognize some of the big brands here, and this site is a way for you to apply with them, get accepted, and start earning commission from the sale of their items.
Advertising Programs: Get Paid for Clicks
Advertising is one of the set-and-forget ways you can plug into your first money online, and these days ad networks do most of the heavy lifting for you. Places like Google, Bing, and Yahoo all have tons of traffic, and their business models rely heavily on advertising revenue. They really want to send send visitors to the right places and collect a modest fee along the way. The best part is they’ll share this revenue with you and it all happens automatically.
Google AdSense – This is 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. Basically you register as an AdSense publisher, copy and paste your special code into your blog, and Google will begin showing relevant ads to your visitors. The thing I love about AdSense is I don’t ever have to think about it, but I get paid every day from it.
BlogHer – Sorry fellas, this one is for the ladies. 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.
Chitika – This is a similar network to AdSense, but it is linked to Yahoo. You register as publisher and they’ll put ads on your site that should be of interest to your visitors. It could be food related ad, or a weight loss ad, or something else they’ve previously shown an interest in.
Developing an Email List: Direct Marketing
Once you have a steady flow of regular and repeat visitors, you’ll want to start collecting their email addresses so you can send them emails all at once. There’s the right way and the wrong way to do email marketing, and surely you’ve seen examples of both in your inbox. To make this work there are a few things to keep in mind:
“The Money Is In The List” – Hang around Internet Marketing circles long enough and sooner or later someone will tell you that the money is in the list. This means that building a list of people that are passionate about a specific topic, in this case the Paleo diet, and presenting them with related products that you recommend.
Give Something for Free – This is a great way to take away the resistance people have of giving their email address. A tips list or other goodie can be exchanged for an email. You could also just ask nicely, if they like you they’ll want to hear from you.
Provide Tons of Value – You’ll want to overdeliver when you send messages out to your email list. Prove to them that it was worth giving their email address out, and make it so they won’t banish you to the spam folder. Provide the same quality in your emails as you do on your site.
Establish Credibility – Send out enough helpful emails so that you show that you’re not just spamming them with everything under the sun. When they finally do get an email from you that showcases a new product, they’ll know it’s something they’ll want to check out.
Making Your Own Product: From Affiliate to Owner
Making your own product is one way to cut out the middleman, and also allows you to get your own band of affiliates out there promoting your product. This is a more advanced technique, so you’ll want to wait until you’ve got some clout, and you sense a demand from your followers that they want something more from you.
Make a Downloadable Recipe Book – Assemble your best recipes, along with their amazing pictures, into a recipe book. Keep these recipes off of your blog so they’re exclusive to the book. Of course the better and more comprehensive your book, the higher the price you can ask.
Make a Downloadable Guide – Once you understand the ins and outs of the your niche you can condense what you know into a guide that can help newcomers to to your niche to get the handle on it even quicker. You could also consider adding this guide as a bonus for buying your recipe book.
Do a Joint Venture – Team up with another food blogger or bloggers and come up with something over-the-top. When two minds get together it creates an even bigger mind, and the sky really is the limit when you start coordinating a joint effort.
Just getting started? Take a look at my resources page. It has all of my favorite blogging tools and services that I use everyday and recommend to anyone just getting started or trying to grow their blog.