Food Blogging is not an easy task, especially if you’re looking to really grow your traffic and think about generating income.
Dave and I are learning this on a daily basis.
- How do I promote my blog with no budget?
- How do I make sure that Google shows my recipes?
- How do I put advertisement on my page and how does it work with those affiliates?
We realized quickly that there is lots of stuff to do next to “just” creating recipes.
For many of those questions you can find answers on various blogs or by just trying. But of course going that route often takes a lot of time and effort, because the information you need is scattered around the internet, incomplete, outdated or wrong.
Thus, sometimes it just makes more sense to pay a few bucks for good, compressed content that deals with your specific problem instead of searching around the net for hours.
Below you’ll find a list of products for Food Bloggers that we bought. There are probably more alternatives out there, but these were the most interesting to us. With some we were happy and impressed, others….not so much!
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links and we will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. So feel free to 😉
For Everything around Food Blogging
Food Blogger Pro has tutorials for everything.
- Getting Started (setting up a domain, WordPress tutorials, etc.)
- Building Traffic (Social Media, Google Search, etc.)
- Generating Income (Advertising, Affiliating, Creating an own product)
- Food Photography
- Photo Editing
Apart from that it also has a very active community forum where you can ask any questions that haven’t been answered yet (and actually get answers).
It’s $1 for the first month and then $25 per month. You can cancel any time you want. It’s a little bit of an investment, true. But its a huge time saver! We think it’s more than worth it, especially if you are new to blogging. I binge watched all the videos and wished I had decided to join earlier.
You can join Food Blogger Pro here.
Howie’s opinion: Very recommendable for both beginners and advanced food bloggers.
For Food Photography
That was the first ebook we purchased. Why? We didn’t get accepted at Foodgawker and Tastespotting. And to be honest, we didn’t deserve to be accepted either.
This is what our score looked liked at Foodgawker with our first submitted recipes in July:
Accepted 0, Declined 7
We then decided to buy Tasty Food Photography. In short, it explains fuss free what to watch out for when taking photos and how to edit them afterwards. I just read a couple of chapters in an hour or so and my photo quality increased a lot.
Our Foodgawker score from August to December 2014:
Accepted 20, Declined 5 – BAM!
The eBook costs $19. You can purchase it here.
Howie’s opinion: Very recommendable, especially if you have trouble to get accepted at Foodgawker.
We also bought the book “From Plate to Pixel” but in my opinion it was a little too complicated. I’m going to give away our copy for free, in case you’re interested.
For Traffic Generation
You might have seen in some traffic reports of ours or other food bloggers that the main traffic source is Pinterest. Dave and I checked out many Social Media Channels to see if we could generate traffic and build a following.
We found that Pinterest is the most effective, much more so than Facebook, Twitter, google+, YouTube, Reddit, or forums. We put effort in all those channels, but clearly Pinterest is the most powerful channel.
On the third of November I started to really focus on Pinterest. As you can see there is an immediate improvement of traffic from Pinterest visible.
I was on fire and wanted more. So I purchased Pinterest For Food Bloggers. In short, it explains how to set up your Business Pinterest account and how to optimize Pinterest for your website. Apart from that it offers very little insight on how to grow your following.
In my personal opinion, the book doesn’t keep the promise to explain (well) how to grow traffic through Pinterest. Probably all the content in the book is accessible in the FAQ from Pinterest. It’s way too basic and doesn’t contain any strategic advice. I didn’t learn anything new.
The eBook costs $12. You can purchase it here (in case you want to buy it anyway).
Howie’s opinion: Not recommendable. The content is ok, but you can find similar and for free easily on the web. For example here.
SEO is a vague topic for many people. Still, there are some steps you have to follow in order to make it easy for Google to rank you.
If done right then Google search will eventually become your highest traffic source, even beating Pinterest.
We’ve been following the SEO rules as well as possible since the beginning of our blog and it’s starting to pay off. Below is a graph of our traffic coming from Google.
In December I came across SEO For Food Bloggers. In a nutshell this book gives you a good overview of what to look at if you want to have your blog up to speed for Google. Nothing less and nothing more.
If you are not familiar with terms like title tags, breadcrumbs or internal links and if you don’t know how to optimize a blog post for SEO, then this eBook is definitely worth it. If you already know about that stuff, then not so much.
The eBook costs $29. You can purchase it here.
Howie’s opinion: Recommendable for beginners who want to set up their blog correctly. Not necessary for bloggers with SEO experience. 29 bucks is quite expensive.
For us this book was rather a confirmation that we’re on the right path.
How to Monetize your Food Blog
Since I wanted to tackle the topic of monetization in January I started gathering more information about how to earn money with a food blog. As you might know from our income reports up ‘til now our only revenue stream comes from Adsense (ok, and a little bit from Youtube Ads).
To sum up, How to Monetize your Food Blog lays out the most common ways of how to make money with your blog: ads, affiliates, sponsored posts, selling products and freelance work. Most useful to me was the info on monetizing via ads.
What I really like about the book is that the author presents a few numbers. For example she says she makes $100 per 10.000 pageviews on ads. We make around $10. So I know that this is a low hanging fruit and should be improved immediately. We’re missing an important opportunity otherwise.
The eBook costs $15. You can purchase it here.
Howie’s opinion: Recommendable! The book contains a good chunk of useful information and definitely saved me a couple of hours searching around the internet for similar answers. It also helped me to set priorities about what monetization channels should be tackled first.
So, is it necessary to buy any of these products in order to have success in food blogging? No, probably not. But if you don’t already bring a decent amount of online marketing and/or blogging knowledge with you, you can save a ton of time and you’ll probably grow your blog quicker and better in the long run.