There are no set rules for becoming a food blogger. Many ways can lead to your goal of monetizing your talents and passions! After blogging for almost two years, I am sharing why I started food blogging in the first place, how to become a food blogger, and the growth I experienced so far.
The blogging and influencer business
Blogging is a very new and often misunderstood profession. Having a career in a field that is not even two decades old is not easy to grasp for everyone. If someone asks me what I do and my answer includes “blogger” or “influencer", they often assume it’s a low-effort ‘hobby’ or not a real job. Many don't understand how much work content creation can be!
Though influencer marketing is booming, it keeps on growing every year! In fact, the influencer market will continue its rapid rise to hit $15 billion by year’s end of 2022. Browsing online, and using social media, will expose you to content creators sooner or later! Not only food blogging is popular, some of the most popular topics include lifestyle, travel, and fitness.
For many people, social media and blogging have helped them to monetize their talents! Olivia from Girl With Blue Sails, who was recently featured in Intellifunece's influencer spotlight, utilized the booming blogging business to combine her passions of writing and traveling! Now she successfully inspires hundreds of people, sharing her experiences and travel tips.
Why I became a food blogger
There are many reasons why people decide to become food bloggers. Each story and reasoning is unique, and so is mine. Let’s rewind a little back for context! *VHS tape rewind noise*
Like most people, I learned some of my cooking skills from my parents. I was always fascinated in the kitchen and loved to watch my dad cook during the holidays. (My father is a learned chef who went to culinary school after high school.) While my mom cooked for us almost daily, he took over on special occasions, holidays, and parties.
However, my decision to become vegetarian was what initiated my will in learning how to cook and bake. See, my whole family were meat-eaters. So to my frustration, I often ended up having sides as a meal. Hence, I decided to start cooking for myself! Back then there weren’t as many food bloggers as nowadays, and vegan bloggers were even rarer. I had to teach a lot of things myself, like how to prepare and season tofu properly, so it would actually taste good. (Vegan convenience foods such as plant-based burgers and nuggets were mere fiction back then too!)
When I was around 16 years old, I was meeting friends in a vegan café in Dortmund, Germany. Where a friend introduced me to Instagram. She asked if I had heard about this new app yet, which I denied. She was so excited, and I remember her immediately downloading the app on my phone. Furthermore, she explained that this app is for photographing and sharing your food online. Yes, I was introduced to Instagram as a food blogging platform. As an advocated foodie that was revolutionary to me, as I was already obsessed withwatching and reading food-related content.
The idea of starting my own food blog stuck with me for many years. There were so many things that I love and enjoy about it: food, writing, photography, creating, teaching, connecting with people and so much more! While I always wanted to pursue this passion, I never found the time or resources to stay consistent. I was a teenager, busy with school, facing many obstacles at a young age already, while also figuring out life, and who I am as a person.
I think food is meant to be shared - no matter the diet. As a young vegetarian and later vegan, I always wished for an experienced vegan to take me by the hand and share their tips and tricks with me! Furthermore, I want to prove that you don’t have to miss out on a plant-based diet. So I started sharing my vegan recipes, knowledge, and experience of the past decade with you through The Simple Sprinkle.
When did you start blogging?
I started in 2020. And the truth is, this year changed everything for me! I moved from my home country Germany, to the United Stated of America to start a new life with my husband, who is an American citizen. My original profession was in the tourism business, which got absolutely destroyed in that year. Covid hit just after my arrival postponing the process of my immigration status and many more things. Including other things, I wasn't allowed to legally work, or leave the country.
Even though this was a struggle at times, it gave me lots of free time to finally pursue food-related content creation on a regular basis!
How to become a food blogger
With all this background the true question is: how did you become a food blogger then? Well, the first step in becoming a food blogger is (obviously) to decide to become one.
From there it is totally up to you how to proceed! I did not know a lot about how to run a food blog, or how to grow your traffic. I had minimal marketing knowledge, so I had a looooot to learn in the past years and I am still learning so much every day.
Some start by building a blog, and some start with online classes such as Foodtography School (which I did), or Food Blogger Pro. There is many more classes and workshops like that out there! Most people don't know about how much and what actually happens in the background of a food blog. If you don’t have any clue how to build and maintain a website, how take awesome pictures and content, or what SEO and social media marketing is, I highly recommend taking some classes and workshops!
Steps of becoming a food blogger
In very short, steps to becoming a food blogger include the following:
Choosing a niche! What kind of food blog do you want to run? What kind of content do you want to share with your audience? Once you know, decide on a blog name and stick to it (also make sure it’s available).
Pick your blogging platform. Where are you going to share your content? If you decided on a Website: choose a web hosting provider and domain provider, build your blog, create your first content and launch your blog!
What do food bloggers do?
For many people, food blogging is a strange concept. What are you doing outside of taking a picture of your food and sharing it on the Internet? Most people are surprised to hear about what you do as a blogger behind the scenes. The duties of a food blogger include:
- Website building, development, and maintenance
- Keyword research
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Marketing and promotion
- Social Media Marketing
- Keeping up with online trends
- Connecting with their community and audience (answering comments/ questions, DMs, etc)
- Recipe testing and development
- Updating and editing old posts
- Photography, video, and editing
- Writing and creating content (recipe posts, product or restaurant reviews, sharing helpful kitchen or organization tips, ebooks, etc.)
- Optional: Writing a cookbook, running an email newsletter, cooking streams, hosting online workshops, creating content for magazines, or other food-related Websites
Growth as a blogger and influencer
As already mentioned shortly in the beginning, the influencer market is booming. And growth can be measured in many ways.
The most obvious: in numbers, how many people are visiting your Website, how many followers do you have on social media, how are your engagement and conversion rates developing, etc. This can be a very draining and stressful process. However, with the current trend and push of short videos and a little bit of luck, it may happen quicker than expected!
On the other hand, I think growth as an influencer your growth should also be measured by looking at how your work transformed over time and how it transformed you as a person! Did your skills and knowledge improve over time? What has blogging offered you, and how did it improve your life?
I learned and improved so many skills in the last 2 years. I especially enjoy going back to my old photography every once in a while and seeing clearly how I improved! Blogging has introduced so many amazing people and inspiring creators into my life and allowed me to build and work for the life of my dreams.
No matter what your niche is, growth as a new blogger is a long game. It (usually) doesn’t happen overnight. Keep consistent, stay authentic, don’t give up, and most importantly: have lots of fun!