Are you a foodie? Do you want to start a food blog? Today you will learn how to become a food blogger.
Today I’m sharing an interview with Sarah and Laura from Wandercooks, a food blog with over 5,000,000 annual views. They created their blog to inspire readers with fresh new food ideas gathered from their favorite Asian, European and Australian cuisines.
Wandercooks is a food blog currently making $150,000 AU (about $110,000 US Dollars) using only part-time hours.
Today’s interview answers questions like:
What is a food blogger? How much money can a food blogger earn? Do food bloggers make money? What are the benefits of becoming a food blogger? Where do food bloggers get their recipes from? Where do food bloggers get their traffic and visitors from? What equipment is needed to become a food blogger? What makes a food blog successful?
Today’s interview will get you started and maybe even introduce you to a new way to make money from home.
If you want to start your own food blog and learn how to become a food blogger and get paid, this is a great article to get you started.
Related content on how to become a food blogger:
How to become a food blogger
Give us some background about yourself and how you got started. How long have you been blogging?
We are Sarah and Laura, we have been together for 8 years, married for the last 2 years and blogging for 7 years!
When we first met, we both had jobs in graphic design and marketing and we loved to cook. We challenged ourselves to cook a different meal every night in our first 6 months of living together. It was then that some family and friends said we should start a blog.
Wandercooks started in 2015 just before we traveled the world for 12 months. We visited 35 countries and over 100 cities, cooking and learning about different cultures and local cuisines as we went.
When we got back to Australia, we started our own graphic and web design business and let the blog grow with it.
We made the leap to go all-in with Wandercooks in January 2021 last year, when we had grown it to support us full-time.
Since then, Wandercooks has blossomed and now reaches over 5.25 million views annually.
How much money can a food blogger earn? How much do you earn?
At the high end, we know a lot of food bloggers who make over a million every year.
Wandercooks currently earns over $150,000 AU. This is nearly three times the median salary for a food blog, which is currently around $57,000 AU, according to ZipRecruiter.
However, one thing we should keep in mind is that our food blog should support both of us, not just a single income.
What do you love about being a food blogger?
There are a few key areas that we love as a food blogger.
Flexibility of time – We work when it suits us. That’s currently part-time Monday through Friday, so we’re essentially semi-retired. It’s important to us to make sure we have time to spend with family and friends. It also means that we have time for daily walks or to go out into nature and not sit in front of a screen for hours.
Cook – Although it is obvious, learning cooking as a skill is even better than we expected. Knowing how to put together great dishes is a game changer – not only does it save us money because we can make restaurant-quality meals, but they taste so good that we just nod in delight all the time – haha!
Keeps the cost of living low – Working from home without having to commute saves us SO much money and time every year. Some items, such as phone and internet bills, can now be covered under business expenses to save money there too.
refresher training – Blogging requires you to be very well-rounded in a wide variety of skills. The same skills can be applied to so many other areas of your life – both personally and for other business opportunities.
teaching others – It is so rewarding to be able to teach others the skill of cooking and teach them about other cultures. Their excitement and fun making their own meals never gets old!
Enabling us to travel from our own kitchen – Although we haven’t been able to travel lately, it has been great to recreate dishes from our favorite places around the world and relive the memories in the meantime.
Supporting our FIRE goals – We are currently using the additional revenue from our blog to reach our FIRE goals of paying off our mortgage and living on passive income.
Where do you get your recipes from?
Big question. Most of the recipes we have learned or discovered during our many travel adventures.
This was usually done through a mix of couchsurfing (or cooking surfing as we liked to call it) where we stayed with the locals and often cooked a dish from Australia, then they cooked and taught us one of their favorite dishes.
Most of our Australian recipes, such as pavlova and curried sausage, come from dishes we grew up with and learned from our mothers.
Others are still adaptations where our 7 years of recipe development experience allows us to research and improve recipes before putting together our unique take on a dish. Because we cook in a wide variety of cuisines, we often look to parts of the recipe that we can simplify or adapt, such as simpler techniques, ingredients, modern equipment, or substitutions to appeal to our audience.
What exactly is a food blogger? Can you elaborate on the type of blog posts you write?
A typical food blog has a particular niche of recipes that appeal to a particular group of people. This could be anything from certain cuisines like ours to diet related (think vegan or keto) or even blogs for certain appliances (like Instant Pot or airfryer).
The main focus is on recipe posts – this would make up over 90% of food blog content on average.
Other post types may include roundups (aka listicles) where there may be 10 recipe ideas for using up a particular ingredient, such as cream or egg whites, etc.
Finally, basic or informational messages can be an in-depth description of a particular ingredient or technique. An example of this is our post on learning three ways to cook sushi rice.
How do you make money as a food blogger? Sponsored posts? Show ads? Affiliate Marketing?
Currently, the bulk of our revenue comes from display advertising, followed by affiliate marketing through Amazon, ebooks, and the occasional sponsored post.
While display ads are most popular among food bloggers, it’s important to diversify your income and not put all your eggs in one basket.
For example, revenue from display ads can be cyclical and seasonal, so this means you’ll earn the most in December, and it could fall to about HALF of that revenue in January. So it’s important to be prepared or have other streams supporting you during the lower months.
Other income ideas could include online courses, products, workshops, live events, freelancing your video/photography skills, or earning social media income from platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
How do you get readers and visitors to your blog?
We built our readership by using our food blogger keyword research system (search engines) from our Eat Your Words ebook.
Before doing keyword research, we posted all the recipes that came to mind and our traffic hovered around 70,000 page views per month. Then we discovered keyword research. We’ve revised ALL of our posts and increased our traffic by 600% in 2 years to now over 600,000 page views per month!
If we ever started a new blog again, keyword research would be at the top of our list! It helps us select recipes that we both know our readers will like AND that people are also searching for in Google.
While keywords can help grow organic traffic, this isn’t all.
Writing for the reader is just as important. When people land on your site, you want them to really enjoy and learn from the content they read so that they come back.
Our goal is to make sure everyone who cooks our recipes gets it right every time. The posts are packed with information, too — they include tips, variations, substitutions, process photos, and a video on how to make the dish. Everything they need is there.
What makes a food blog successful?
Keep in mind that your readers are number 1. Every comment you get is an opportunity to help and engage with your readers. You will learn the areas of cooking that are most difficult for them, or shortcuts they love. Everything you learn from conversations will help you then provide better recipes and content.
Consistency and hard work are next. To grow your audience, you need content! This can only happen if you understand what to do and keep doing it! Showing up week in, week out sets an expectation for your readers, but it also keeps your skills up-to-date. That way, the content you publish will be the best in the selected topic. If hundreds of other people have done the same recipe, what sets yours apart?
Finally, it is about the intentionality of your work. We are continuously refining what we call 1% improvements every day. That way you work smarter, not harder. Focus on each improvement before moving on. For us, our best example was learning keyword research, which has allowed the blog to support us full time.
What tools or equipment does a food blogger need?
While there are a few things that can help you on your blogging journey, these have had the most impact on our growth:
Camera: We use a Canon 6D with a 100mm macro and 50mm lens for most of our food photography shots.
Telephone: I’m currently using my Google Pixel 3 with the Cinema FV-5 app to create our “hands and pans” overhead recipe videos.
website hosting: Good website hosting makes all the difference. Current popular food blog hosts include BigScoots and WPOpt.
Courses and e-books: These resources can provide the information needed to really complete all the skills needed to be a food blogger.
What are some other tips for starting a food blog?
Be proactive and learn everything you can.
Unless you’re outsourcing from the get-go, you’ll have to wear a lot of hats. Writer, photographer, videographer, recipe developer, social media manager, business manager, project manager, website and graphic designer. Sometimes you’re all that in one day – so take the time to break down each of those roles and find out what that looks like for you.
You learn very quickly what you love, what you are good at and what you hate. This helps build out what you can do and then outsource when you’re ready to balance the workload with your growth.
For us, that was hiring technical support for the site to make tweaks beyond our knowledge or hiring a virtual assistant to help manage our socials as needed.
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This post How I Make $110,000 a Year
was original published at “https://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2022/03/how-to-become-a-food-blogger.html”