How to Make Money as a Food Blogger How to Get from Free Content to Paid Content

How to Make Money as a Food Blogger

This How to Make Money as a Food Blogger: How to Get from Free Content to Paid Content post includes affiliate linksWhen I find a great product or service, I like to share it with my readers. Sometimes I use affiliate links so I can earn a commission for my recommendations. Thank you for your support!

How to Get from Free Content to Paid Content

This week on Confessions of a Food Blogger, I am exploring how to make money as a food blogger through free content.

Wait, what? Make money through free content?

Yep, that’s exactly what I mean. If that doesn’t sound right to you though, it might be because you’re not thinking about your food blogging content as a funnel. In order to get paying clients – whether they’re consumers of your recipes or brands looking to establish a partnership with you — you need to first build trust. And the best way to do that, is to let them get to know you through free content.

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How Offering Free Content Builds Trust

I recently shared a quote from Melanie Perkins, co-founder of Canva:

How to Make Money as a Food Blogger  How to Get from Free Content to Paid Content

I love this quote because it illustrates the point that I am making well. So well in fact, that it describes exactly what happened to me when I started using Canva several years ago to build content for my food blog.

As a beginner food blogger, I was reluctant to sign up for too many pay-for services. I was — as many of us are — unsure of how I was going to pay for them. But fresh content is critical in the blogging space, especially when it comes to social media outreach. And I needed a way to create engaging, inspiring content efficiently.

How Canva Hooked Me with Free Content

I had heard mention of Canva among my food blogging friends, so I decided to hop on a try it out.

Canva, unlike many online platforms, offers free access to its basic platform. This differs from a free trial in that it gave me plenty of time to experience the product without having the pressure of signing up for a pay-for account.

Over time, I became more skilled at the platform and the imagery I was creating for free was helping me grow my food blog. Between my increased skill level and my blog’s growth, I not only knew I wanted access to more tools, but I could afford them. So, within a few months, I upgraded from the free plan to a paid subscription.

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Would I have done it anyway? Maybe. But the likelihood that I would have recognized Canva’s capabilities and understood how they could grow my business would have been lower. And I might very well have moved on to something else had the free tier been limited or I had felt the pressure of signing up for a subscription plan.

How to Use Free Content to Engage Your Own Clients

When I saw Melanie’s quote, it brought this strategy home for me and made me think about the ways that it can be used to grow a food blog. In other words, how can I (as a food blogger) think about free content as a means of growing paying customers?

Here are three of the ideas that I came up with. They’re easy to do – and perhaps you’re already doing them – but thinking about them in a different way may help you to build a revenue stream that you hadn’t already thought of.

Consider the recipes that you offer for free an advertisement for the cookbook you want to write. Your followers will be far more likely to buy a book from you if they already have a strong sense of your cooking style and recipes.

If you’re considering cooking classes as a revenue stream, free cooking tips and tricks are a great way to introduce your following to your knowledge base and experience.

If you’re looking to build brand partnerships, consider getting their attention with some free mentions in your social media efforts. Showing them how you can connect your audience with their product is a great way to introduce yourself as a potential partner.  

About Confessions of a Food Blogger

Kate Friedman is the creator of Herbivore’s Kitchen, a vegan food blog, and Confessions of a Food Blogger. Confessions of a Food Blogger is an informative resource for food bloggers (and, actually all bloggers) that provides helpful articles, online courses and tips and tricks for starting, building, marketing and managing a food blog.