This post contains affiliate links.
If there is one topic we get asked to write or speak about more than any other here at FBC, it's how to monetize a food blog. It seems a lot of you have the topic of monetization on your minds!
We've kept our eyes open for a Canadian resource or expert who would be willing to share their techniques to earn a full-time income from their food blog but it's a tall order! The truth is the Canadian food blogging scene is not as developed as that in the US. Our population is smaller, there are very few Canadian ad networks, and blogger/brand collaborations are still in their early stages compared to the US market.
And despite what many may think when they start blogging, reaching that magic half a million or a million page views per month level takes a lot of hard work. Food bloggers who make a full time living from their blogs do so because they treat it as
a full time job a full time business. But that doesn't mean we all can't earn some income from our blogs if we choose to!
So it was with great interest that we read Kiersten Frase's new e-book, How To Monetize Your Food Blog. Kiersten owns the very successful vegetarian food blog, Oh My Veggies. She not only earns a full-time income from it, but she has grown to the point where she now employs seven people! It was an eye opener - one we felt was worth sharing with all of you.
Here are some of the topics Kiersten covers:
- ads (both ad networks and selling direct ads)
- affiliate programs
- sponsored posts & working with brands
- selling products
- freelance work (and using your blog as a portfolio)
- media kits
- how to set up an ad network waterfall (great detail here!)
- tracking your income and expenses
- a guide to most all of the major ad networks (with pros and cons)
- a sample of her media kit and rate card and an excel spreadsheet to help you track your income
Kiersten explains a lot of the terminology (what the heck is a CPM, an RPM, a PPC, backfilling, house ads, passbacks or an ad waterfall anyway??) behind ads. She starts with the basics of ads and moves on to more complex topics like ad waterfalls and ad servers but she takes you step by step and it never feels overwhelming.
She covers sponsored posts and working with brands, including examples of her rates (and more importantly, how she was able to justify them), tips on how to approach brands or turn product review requests into paid writing opportunities. She goes through other topics like text links, brand ambassadorships, twitter parties and more.
And of course she covers off selling products like e-books, freelancing with photography, recipe development (including rates!), book deals and writing for hire.
Besides all of the great information presented in an easy to read format that we thought you'd all find useful, three things that really stood out to us were:
- Kiersten's emphasis on the fact that if you do want to earn a significant income from blogging, you really do need to treat it like a business.
- Her emphasis on monetizing in an ethically responsible way while respecting your reader (we loved this!)
- The sheer amount of hard work that goes into earning a full time income from a blog - it ain't easy!
The book is written with a US audience in mind with US tax references and most of the major US ad networks listed (many of whom work with Canadian bloggers). But there is more than enough specific information relayed that isn't country dependent to make the $15 cost a very good investment. After having read it from cover to cover, we wouldn't hesitate to spend the $15 again.
Bottom Line: How to Monetize Your Food Blog sells for $15 and it's packed full of information that we think will be new and extremely helpful to many of you based on the questions we regularly field. And even if you consider yourself fairly advanced at monetizing, we're pretty sure you'll find some new ideas or opportunities here.