Food is such a popular topic. Sites like Pinterest and Instagram are filled with the latest images and recipes, while countless food bloggers create recipes on a regular basis. What’s more, people are always searching for new recipes – ones that look and taste amazing.
If this area interests you, then I’m going to show you how you can get paid to write recipes. And yes, there is money to be made, despite all the competition. After all, people do vary in the type of recipes that they want.
Earning Money Directly
There is high demand for recipes and many sites publish at least one new recipe every day. Most sites don’t have the resources to write that many, so they outsource some of the work.
This means that you can make some money by pitching articles to different online (and offline) publications. These don’t just have to be food-focused either. Instead, many more general publications will offer recipes some of the time.
A good first step is just to look for places that publish recipes. Many of these will offer details about how you can submit and what they’re looking for.
In most cases, you’re going to have to pitch a recipe first. When you do that, there are a few key things to remember.
- Be respectful and courteous. Being overly aggressive won’t help you get accepted and many people just won’t want to deal with you.
- Match your pitch to the publication. Many publications will have a focus – such as plant-based recipes or home style Make sure your pitch or recipe matches this concept and the types of ingredients that are used.
- Look at what is already there. Companies often repeat similar themes and types of recipes. Even so, you don’t want to pitch a chocolate cake recipe (for example), a week after they’ve just published one. Instead, pay attention to what has been published and make sure you’re offering something different.
- Be accurate and prompt. Make sure that your pitch is correct grammatically and that you reply to any communications quickly. The same is true when you’re writing the content as well.
With so many food sites, there are many different places where you can submit recipes. Some of these will pay per article, while others may offer contests instead.
For example, the site Taste of Home has a section where you can see current recipe requests and submit recipes. It’s unclear whether you get paid or not – but, the brand is powerful, so it might be worth it just for the exposure.
You can also earn money from the site Recipay, although this follows a crowdfunding approach and the potential income is relatively low.
The site Contest Cooks also highlights current recipe contests that are out there. Some will pay if you win, others offer exposure. But, they’re often worth trying out.
You can also publish on revenue-sharing sites, where you earn a percentage of ad revenue that your recipe generates. Those sites typically don’t pay much but they are an interesting alternative if you don’t want your own website yet.
Writing Recipes For Yourself
Of course, getting paid to submit recipes isn’t the only option. Many people turn to blogging instead. This is partly why there are so many food blogs out there.
This approach is an indirect way to make money. So, you’re not getting paid for individual recipes. As a result, your income may be less predictable – but the long-term potential is higher.
Over time, making money with a blog has become easier, while the number of companies that pay for recipes has decreased. This means that blogging works better for many people.
Having a blog gives you more flexibility too. It lets you write about recipes you’re interested in, rather than what is going to sell. You can also write other content too, such as articles and even provide information about your personal life and nutrition views. This style is something many people enjoy.
There are also some powerful tools to help you create a recipe or food-related site. For example, there are plenty of recipe plugins and gallery plugins for WordPress. These help you to create a site that simply looks amazing.
So then, how do you make this idea work?
Affiliate Marketing And Ads
When you build your own site, there are multiple ways to earn money. Some people turn to affiliate marketing, where they promote external products and earn a commission.
This works well for food-related topics, as there are many cooking affiliate programs out there. You could also promote cookbooks in the same field or ingredients that people may need. For example, many cooks have products that they recommend, ones that are much better than conventional brands.
If you get enough traffic, you can also make money with ads. Many cooking blogs do this, as it allows you to focus just on your recipes. By doing so, you don’t have to think about your promotions within your content.
And, of course, you can do both. Bloggers often do, especially as their traffic grows.
Selling Recipes And Books
Selling your work is a natural extension of food blogging. For some people, this involves producing a physical book – which takes considerable time and energy, along with a good publisher.
But, food bloggers often start smaller. For example, some will produce eBooks that compile some of their best recipes. Such products could be sold directly on the site or through a program like Kindle Direct Publishing.
You might also create something smaller again, especially if you’re just beginning. This might include a short PDF that only contains 20 recipes. A product like that is easy to promote on a site. You could even create one to give away and use it to get people on an email list.
Regardless of what you create and how you sell it, demand for recipes and recipe books is high – especially if you have a passionate audience. So, there is money to be made.
Sponsorship And Other Opportunities
As your traffic grows, a food blog opens up many other doors. Some writers find themselves approached by companies who offer free products or payment for posts on specific topics. Likewise, a blog will sometimes attract people who want to pay you for a guest post.
Such patterns only get more common as your traffic increases.
Having a popular blog also makes it easier to sell recipes to other companies. So, you could still pitch recipes to various sites, even if you are growing your own blog and brand.
Find Your Niche
Unless you’re extremely lucky, making money simply in the field of ‘recipes’ is too broad. So, you need to narrow your focus. After all, people rarely look for general recipes. Instead, they search for recipes that fall into specific categories.
Choosing an area to focus on has many benefits. It can decrease the competition and help you stand out. This also lets you attract a passionate audience.
What’s more, some niches are incredibly popular, while others simply don’t have much representation. This provides you with much more potential than just writing general recipes or food articles.
If you’re blogging, having a niche is important for another reason too – people get emotional about their food.
For example, you could post a series of vegan recipes and gain many blog followers. But, even just posting one meat-based recipe would lose you many of those people, some of whom would be angry at your choices.
A similar thing happens with audiences who focus on clean eating or on a specific diet approach. If all of your recipes fall into that field, you can develop a passionate audience. But, if even a few don’t, you’re likely to get much less traffic.
Research, Research, Research
To find a niche, you need to research. This includes looking at what competition is out there and who is publishing in the field.
You also need to think about how you want to make money. So, if you’re planning to submit to other publications, how many are there in your field? If you want to create a food blog instead (or as well), what related affiliate programs are there? Likewise, if you want to publish a cookbook eventually, are there many high-quality ones now? If so, do they sell well?
All of this information can help you figure out what field might work for you. You can also use tools like Google Trends to look at what’s popular. There are also many different directions that you can consider, including the following:
- Clean eating
- Organic food
- Healthy cooking (you’d have to define what you mean by healthy)
- Vegan or vegetarian
- Low-carb and/or ketosis
- Weight loss
- A specific cuisine or type of cooking (e.g. Italian, Greek, comfort food)
- Blunt and honest (e.g. Thug Kitchen)
Some of these niches can also be combined or narrowed down further still – so the options are endless. But, having a specific focus can play a major role in your success.
And, of course, consider your own interests. If you’re passionate about a specific type of eating (like a ketosis diet, for example), going in that direction may make sense, regardless of the competition.
Overall, the income potential from writing recipes is considerable. Which way works best for you will depend on your passions and how much time you want to put in. But, with so many successful writers in this field, it’s clear that the style can work well.
As a writer, you have an in-demand talent that can be used to earn you TONS of money online. You can earn money freelance writing, for sure, but it's still just trading dollars for hours. Personally, I recommend starting your own website! Information is the currency of the internet, so why not leverage your talents to build yourself a serious online income! Learn how to create your own blog-style website and make money through advertising.