One of the questions that Robyn and I get asked the most is “How do you turn your food blog into a business?” and then the obligatory “How do you make money from a food blog?”. Both simple questions, with a myriad of answers.
When I (Adele) first started out, it wasn’t like it is today. We’re talking almost 10 years ago. Facebook wasn’t really a ‘thing’- there were no business pages, all of our marketing came from super smart (and back then, simple!) SEO and in person events, and the goal – for me personally – was to simply make some money on the side, and to be my own boss when the time was right.
So, where did I start? Some background…
I bought a camera. A big fancy one…and I had no idea how to use it. I took photos of flowers, sunsets, my dog; and then turned to food.
Mind you, the photos were horrendous:
But at the time, I thought “WOW! I did that!” and not letting lack of knowledge or practice stop me, I started sharing my creations on my personal Facebook profile, in an album, aptly named ‘Food’
My friends and family offered encouragement of course. They were probably being too nice to say otherwise, but lets face it- if they had of told me otherwise, I would have kept going anyway!
From Facebook, to Website
I started off with a really basic Weebly website. It was a great platform to begin with, albeit limited. I was posting my photos and recipes, writing semi-regular blogs, and sharing fun things.
The website went through a number of evolutions…
And I then started working on and released my first ebook on that site – ‘Vegie Head Vegan Essentials’ for $7.
My designer and I had no idea what we were doing. We didn’t know how to automate the selling or delivery of the ebook, or even what platform it was meant to be sold on.
It took 6 months of guesswork before Vegan Essentials was launched. And it sold well- enough to cover my costs, the design work, and then some.
At this point, I was still working a full time job, but my love of my own brand was growing and I wanted to dedicate more time to it. I dropped to 4 days a week and then took the plunge and invested in a WordPress site. We’re all grown up now!
And so are my photos (thank god)
An evolution, and tears
After slugging out 4 days a week, I dropped to 3, then 2 days, before ultimately pulling the pin and being full time self employed.
It was terrifying. There were many tears. That fear was unlike anything I’d ever felt before- deep and dark, and the voice that told me I couldn’t, and I shouldn’t- was louder than ever.
But that Monday morning, when I woke up free as a bird and my own boss, was the best day of my life, and that feeling was unparalleled.
From the new website site, I’ve launched multiple ebooks, a published book, eCourses, programs and online memberships.
I’ve run workshops, spoken at events, written for and featured on numerous print magazines and newspapers, and everyday is a new adventure.
So, back to the original question “How do you turn a food blog into a business?” – firstly, some worldly advice.
It takes time
Everything good does. Patience is necessary in this business, as you’ll find out when you have to wait for websites to be made, eBooks to be finished and your audience to grow.
You’ll never stop learning
From discovering a new cooking technique, to learning how to photograph properly, to coding a site, to sending out your first newsletter…you’ll never stop. So be open to the learnings.
Be prepared to make mistakes
Because you will, and that’s ok. You’ll fuck up grandly, and then you’ll never make that same mistake again.
Don’t give in
If this is what you really, truly want, then don’t let the little voice stop you. Don’t let the trolls slow you down. Don’t listen when someone says “You can’t do that!”.
And now, where to start:
Put everything – I mean EVERYTHING – on some big sheets of paper. Write down all of those dreams, thoughts, feelings and start to piece together how they’ll work long term
Set some realistic goals in a realistic time frame
I’ve heard it before (heck, I’ve said it before!) “I want to make a million dollars by xyz”. Fun, right?! Sure. Realistic? Probably not. I hate to break it to you, but it’s a lot harder than people think. Aim for it definitely, but don’t pin all of your hopes and dreams on that figure.
Work out who your ideal customer is and what they want
Who is she or he? What do they desperately need that only YOU can give them? How can your message or service help them?
Figure out your POA (Plan of Action)
What website platform will you be using? Which social media platform will you focus your attention on? How often will you be blogging/vlogging/promoting?
How can you monetize and leverage your work and worth?
Advertising? eBooks? Online courses and programs? Affiliate sales?
There’s no right or wrong with this. This is your business and your chance to create the lifestyle that you want. Comment below on how you got started, or how you’re going to get started- we’d love to hear from you!
P.S Check out this video that I made a while ago on this topic:
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