Would you like to build a food blog or website but don’t want to publish recipes? This article will show you how.
Building a food blog without recipes is possible. You can publish kitchen appliance reviews, user information for kitchen equipment, general food-related how-to posts, ingredient deep-dives, restaurant reviews, recipe reviews, meal plans, or occasion focused articles.
In case you’re wondering whether it’s at all possible to build a successful food blog without recipes, the answer is “yes”. In fact, there are extremely successful food blogs that do not publish their own recipes.
Look at this website that was recently for sale on Empire Flippers:
As you can see from the description, the site’s focus is not on recipes, but on best-of articles and culinary gadgets. With $30,000 in monthly income, I would say the concept works. And the website was created only in January 2018! Good luck trying to achieve this kind of growth with a recipe blog.
Another successful food blog without recipes is Kitchen Sanity. They are publishing a lot of review articles, which are great for affiliate income. At the same time, they are monetizing with Adthrive, a highly profitable ad network, which accepts websites only if they generate at least 100,000 pageviews per month.
Great Affiliate Income + Great Ad Income = Killing It.
On Kitchen Sanity, you’ll find articles on general food prep, on cookware, on appliances, and on coffee and tea. No recipes.
By the way, if you’re wondering why they have extra sections on coffee and tea, you’ll find the answer in my article on how to start a coffee blog. (Short version: The coffee niche is a great place to be in.)
Having established that creating a food blog without recipes can actually work, let’s look at different kinds of blog posts that you can publish:
1. Kitchen Appliance Reviews
Kitchen equipment reviews are great from a monetization perspective because you can include affiliate links to the appliances you are reviewing.
KitchenApplianceHQ by Jeff Campbell is a well-done example of a website that focuses on kitchen appliance reviews. As Jeff reports on his main website Middle-Class Dad, the site already generates $1000 per month in passive income a good year after launch, even though Jeff’s attention is split between several websites.
Of course, you don’t have to review only “kitchen” appliances but could also go for barbecue equipment or outdoor cooking appliances for camping trips.
If you would like to see more examples of blog posts that review kitchen equipment, you can find those in my article on Food Blog Post Titles.
2. Kitchen Equipment How-Tos
With kitchen equipment how-tos, you are choosing a more informational route and teach readers how to use kitchen equipment.
You will typically find less competition on Google for these types of posts because they are not as commercial. However, since most of your how-to articles will be directed at readers who already own the equipment, equipment how-tos won’t be as profitable as product reviews.
Someone who searches for “How much water is needed for pressure cooking?” probably already owns a pressure cooker, so an affiliate link to pressure cookers won’t bring you many sales.
3. General Food-Related How-To Post
Even aside from kitchen appliances, people have countless food-related questions. How should you store various foods? How do you perform certain cooking techniques? How do you prepare specific meats or vegetables for cooking?
You can address these questions with blog posts like:
- How to Cut an Onion without Crying
- How to Steam Without a Steamer Basket
- How to Keep Half an Avodaco Green
- How to Store Chinese Rice Cake
The more you niche down, the easier it will be to rank.
4. Ingredient Deep-Dives
With an ingredient deep-dive, you teach all about a particular food product. An example would be the article What is Fleur de Sel, and How Is It Used? by The Spruce Eats.
In my free Ultimate Food Niche Guide, I go into more detail on ingredient deep-dives and provide further examples.
5. Restaurant Reviews
If you intend to run a locally-focused blog, you can try different restaurants in your region and write a review about your experience. Restaurant reviews will probably not work well if you have a global audience unless you go for extremely high-end restaurants in major cities.
6. Recipe Reviews
Okay, recipe reviews do have something to do with recipes. But the beauty is that you don’t have to come up with your own! Instead, you review famous recipes that others have invented.
The Kitchen has a whole collection of recipe review articles.
7. Occasion Focused Articles
With occasion focused articles, you provide culinary help for a specific event. One way of doing this is by aggregating the best recipes for a specific occasion from across the web.
- 12 Unconventional Christmas Meals That Are Better Than A Roast
- 3 Menu Ideas to Impress Your In-Laws
You would then link-out to suitable recipes, describe the dishes and explain why they are ideal for the occasion.
But you can also provide occasion-specific tips that are not centered around recipes. You could, for example, write posts like:
- What to Look for in a Restaurant for Your First Date
- Which Wine to Serve When Your Boss is Coming for Dinner
Again, you can find additional examples for occasion focused articles in my Ultimate Food Niche Guide.
8. Meal Plans
A meal plan is one more way you can aggregate recipes by other food bloggers. Create a meal plan for a week or so, link out to recipes for each meal and create a master shopping list, which contains all ingredients for all recipes that you link to.
Now that you’ve seen various ways of food blogging without recipes, let’s take a look at why building g a food blog without recipes can be a good idea:
- Recipes are challenging to rank for on Google. The competition is fierce. Unless you already have an established food blog with high domain authority, you will need to niche down very far to rank your recipes anywhere near the top. By focusing on food-related articles other than recipes, you are making it easier for yourself to rank on Google.
- Recipes are not easily monetizable. While some of the bigger food blogs have made their recipes’ ingredients lists shoppable, for most recipe bloggers, ads remain the primary income source. Pinch of Yum additionally has a related-equipment section with affiliate links underneath their recipes. However, since the reader is first and foremost looking for a recipe and not for kitchen appliances, I wouldn’t expect these affiliate links to convert as well as, for example, in kitchen appliance review articles.
- Recipe articles take a ton of time. You need to develop the recipe, test it several times, buy the ingredients, spend a lot of time on photo shooting (and money on photo equipment), and, in the end, still write the blog post. If you invest those same resources into non-recipe articles, you may see a higher return on investment.
That being said, there are also disadvantages of building a food blog without recipes:
- Recipes tend to do very well on visual social media such as Pinterest and Instagram, so you may be missing out on traffic sources if you don’t publish any.
- If you DO manage to rank for recipes on Google, they can bring insane amounts of traffic. Big recipe blogs attract tens of millions of visitors per month. Achieving these kinds of traffic levels without recipes may be challenging, to say the least.
- Coming up with content ideas may require a bit more work if you don’t go down the “obvious” recipe route. But once you start exploring different options, you will see that there is an endless sea of topics to write about. If you need more inspiration, take a look at my article on food blog post titles.
Lastly, if you’re considering starting a food blog, make sure to read my free Ultimate Food Niche Guide. It covers everything you need to start and build a successful food blog (even without recipes), including content strategy, traffic generation, monetization, and the technical setup.