In 2020, many food blogs are money-making machines. In my food blog profitability analysis, I estimate the most successful food bloggers to make upward of $8 million per year.
That’s nice to hear, but what if you want to start a food blog today? Do you still have a shot, or have you missed your chance?
It is not too late to start a food blog in 2020. Competition has increased, but demand remains high. Moreover, today’s food bloggers have many guides and tools at their disposal that the food bloggers of the first hour did not have.
The key to finding success is to make use of these advantages and approach your food blogging strategically. To help you with that, I have created a free, 12,000+ words, ultimate guide to the food blog niche.
Competition in the Food Blogging Niche Is Increasing
Yes, competition in the food blogging niche has been increasing over recent years. However, this phenomenon is not specific to the food niche. As the internet matures, blogging, in general, is becoming more crowded.
That has been the case ever since blogging became a thing in the early two-thousands, and I have already read doomsdays scenarios about the upcoming death of the blogging industry as early as 2011.
But instead of the blogging industry dying, the opposite has happened: As blogging became more mainstream, it has also become more profitable. I have analyzed this effect in detail in my article on The Future of Blogging.
Why You Can Still Succeed With a New Food Blog
Here’s why you can still succeed with a new food blog:
1. Demand for Food-Related Content is Overwhelmingly High
The demand for culinary content is overwhelmingly high.
In the food blogging space, top platforms receive vast amounts of attention, not only on the blogs themselves but across blog-associated social media channels as well.
- The Relish platform (which includes Relish, Simply Recipes and Serious Eats) reaches 80 million home cooks monthly.
- Skinnytaste boasts more than 17 million unique visitors per month.
- The Recipe Critic attracts more than 10 million readers per month, as well as more than 11 million Facebook followers, 300,000 Pinterest followers, and 100,000 Instagram followers.
- According to their media kit, Food & Wine gets 9.1 million unique visitors and 27 million pageviews per month. Not to mention their 6.6 million Twitter followers, 3.2 million Instagram and 2.4 million Facebook followers.
- Natasha’s Kitchen receives more than 7 million visitors per month.
And this is just a small selection of online platforms that are killing it in the food space. Traffic numbers in the food niche are simply staggering.
With this kind of demand for food content, you only need to get a tiny piece of that monstrous traffic pie to make an excellent living off your food blog.
2. New Niche Opportunities Are Constantly Evolving
The food niche has seen many trends become popular in the past decade. The vegan community, the Keto diet, slow cookers, and meal replacement shakes for busy professionals, to name just a few. And successful blogs have been created around all of them. For example:
If you can take advantage of a new food trend before others do so, you’ll face overall lower competition and have the chance to establish yourself as an authority in that specific food subniche before it becomes mainstream.
To jumpstart your idea generation process: According to Food Network survey data, 2020 culinary trends include pellet grills, Taiwanese cuisine, old-school pastries, and new generation multi-cookers.
Personally, I think that in-vitro meat (lab-grown meat) could be an up-and-coming niche to go into if you’re patient enough. Just imagine having already established your blog as an authority in the in-vitro meat sector when (and if) half of the earth’s population switches from real animal-meat to in-vitro meat.
3. Competition on Google Varies Between Sub-Niches
When it comes to Google rankings, not all new food blogs are treated equally.
Ranking for recipes on Google with a new food blog is difficult. In my ultimate food niche guide, I give the example of “Ziran yangrou”, which is the Chinese name for a specific mutton recipe from northern China but still yields an English-language result on Google.
However, ranking for informative niche terms is much easier. If you do some solid keyword research, you can actually find keywords with decent search volume that even a new blog can rank for.
Three random examples:
- Do tea bags go bad – at the time I write this article, the first two results are blocked by very authoritative sites, but numbers three and four could easily be taken.
- Indian vs Thai Curry – unexpectedly, most places are taken by strong domains, but there are also new sites in between, which shows that you have a shot. The snippet is actually taken by a site with a domain rating of only 4 out of 100.
- How to store coffee powder – the top ranking site (snippet) has a domain rating of only 7.
That means, with a new food blog, you can create a traffic mix of Google traffic to informational posts and Pinterest traffic to recipe posts. With time, as your blog becomes more established, your recipes will start to rank on Google as well.
You can find more detailed strategies for food blog content and traffic generation in my free ultimate food niche guide.
By the way, you can easily run a successful food blog without recipes, as I describe in this article.
4. There’s a Multitude of Media Out There
In some niches, Google is everything. You either get traffic from Google, or you don’t get traffic.
Fortunately, it’s not like that in the food niche. According to my food niche traffic analysis, on average, food blogs get less than half of their traffic from Google.
The food niche is exceptionally visual. As a result, food bloggers see enormous success on visual media such as Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.
During the aforementioned food niche research, I found that Pinterest brings the second largest chunk of traffic to food blogs – 28% on average.
While YouTube probably won’t drive as much traffic to your blog, it can generate significant ad revenue once your audience grows, and you can do sponsored videos as well. Plus, you can add value (and a Google ranking advantage) to your blog posts by embedding your YouTube videos in your blog posts.
Instagram is the most difficult of the three. While Instagram is huge in the food niche, and you can get lots and lots of followers, Instagram makes it hard to direct these followers over to your blog.
But the social network is great for connecting with other influencers and brands, which in turn will help you grow your food blog. Moreover, you can earn significant money with sponsored posts directly on Instagram.
By leveraging the aforementioned channels in addition to your blog, you can grow your food media empire even faster 😊
5. Monetizing Your Food Blog Is Easier Than Ever
One of the key trends I highlight in my article on the future of blogging is that monetizing a blog is becoming easier and easier and easier. Every freakin’ year.
Ten years ago, making any serious money from ads was only possible if you had millions of pageviews per month. Today, you have ad networks like Ezoic, Mediavine, and Adthrive, which can make you hundreds or thousands of dollars per month even if you don’t have an ultra-gigantic website.
In fact, my research on income sources of food blogs has shown that from ad networks like Mediavine and Adthrive, food bloggers generate $18.7 per thousand pageviews per month on average.
That means, with 300,000 pageviews per month, you would be making $5,610 from ads alone!
Making $5,610 from a food blog with 300,000 pageviews per month from ads alone would have been unthinkable ten years ago unless you personally negotiated every ad deal with the advertising brands.
Additionally, with more and more business activity moving online, you have affiliate opportunities today that bloggers could only dream of ten years ago. That is true for all niches, but especially so in the food sector.
Food subscription boxes, online cooking classes, online grocery shopping – these are all relatively new trends that bring massive affiliate profit potential to bloggers.
Moreover, creating your own online courses and memberships is today easier than ever because you have course-builders that do all the technical heavy-lifting for you. As if that’s not enough, buying courses and memberships online is becoming more mainstream, so selling them is getting easier.
6. Setting up a Food Blog Is Easier Than Ever, Too
Do you know how difficult it used to be to set up a blog? When I started my first blog in 2010, I had to spend hours searching forums for PHP snippets if I wanted to do even the slightest modifications to my WordPress website design.
Today, you have WordPress themes that can be customized with a few mouseclicks, and even page builders like Elementor, in case you want to design wholly customized pages. With Gutenberg, you even have a basic page builder built right into WordPress.
I had to spend weeks learning HTML and CSS when I started out. While knowing HTML and CSS still comes in handy today, it’s absolutely not necessary for building a successful blog.
Thanks to modern software technology, you can focus your blogging efforts on the core of your business: actually blogging.
Next Steps To Starting Your Food Blog
As you can see, it is not too late to start a food blog. However, the times when you could just randomly pump out content are gone. Today, you need to approach food blogging with a strategic business mindset if you want to succeed. Read my free ultimate food niche guide to learn how.