How We Made Our First $100 from Food Blogging

We have a bit of a different blog post for you today! And it’s all about how we made our very first $100 from food blogging.

Who is this “we,” you ask? The Food Blogger Pro community and the team here behind Food Blogger Pro and our sister companies.

a photo of a desk with a computer, keyboard, mouse, and notebook with the title of this article, 'How we made our first $100 from food blogging'

We say it a lot, but every food blogging journey is different, and it’s really hard to compare one blogger’s story to another.

We all have different responsibilities in addition to trying to grow our food blogs. Some of us have full-time jobs. Others have kids or pets or other family obligations. We live in different countries where we rent or own our own houses. Some bloggers work on their blogs on the weekends, while others can spend a bit more time producing content.

That’s why it’s impossible to compare the growth of one blog to another; there is so much happening behind-the-scenes that impacts the way and the speed at which a blog grows.

So why are we talking about how we’ve made our first $100 today? To show you just some of the ways that bloggers have made it work.

Your first $100 is a huge milestone, and there are so many different ways you can achieve it. Here are just a few ideas:

How Food Blogger Pro members made their first $100 from food blogging

Our Question of the Week on our Member Dashboard a few weeks ago was, “How did you make your first $100 from food blogging?”

Here’s how Food Blogger Pro members responded:

A graph showing how Food Blogger Pro members made their first $100 from food blogging

Ads were the most popular way that our members made their first $100. And it makes sense! There are a lot of ad networks that work with bloggers to help them add, track, monitor, and optimize the ads on their sites. It’s also a relatively passive way to make some money from your food blog –– you place ads on content you’ve already produced, and your site will earn revenue when a reader sees or clicks the ad.

Another popular way that members made their first $100 was through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is relatively simple –– you join an affiliate program for a product or company you really love, you promote that product or company in blog posts or on social media using your affiliate link, and if a reader purchases through that link, you get a commission!

Amazon is probably the most popular affiliate program for food bloggers, but there are affiliate programs for just about any kind of product or service, like high-powered blenders. Even Food Blogger Pro has one!

That said, there is a bit of art to effectively using affiliate links.

For example, Q4 (aka the last three months of the year) is a great time to promote products and companies using affiliate links because readers are already in “Buying Mode.” With the holidays right around the corner, perhaps you publish a roundup of some of your favorite products using your affiliate links. A common form of those are gift guides (here’s a great example from Jessica at How Sweet Eats).

Some other popular ways that our members made their first $100 is through cookbooks (either a deal they got themselves or by contributing to a cookbook), sponsored content (both on their blog and on social media), and product sales.

All of that being said, 31.25% of respondees said they haven’t monetized their blogs yet. So if you’re in the same boat, you’re definitely not alone. Hopefully you got some ideas from what you’ve read so far, and if you’re looking for even more ways to monetize your site, be sure to download our free ebook, “16 Ways to Monetize a Food Blog.”

How our team made their first $100 from food blogging

The team behind Food Blogger Pro (and the other TinyBit companies) are made up of bloggers, business owners, cookbook writers, and creators, and we wanted to see how they ended up making their first bit of income from their food businesses:

Mine was through affiliate income! After launching my blog, I also started sharing recipes on my YouTube channel, and I always included Amazon affiliate links for any tools or equipment used for the recipes. As some of those videos got really popular, my affiliate earnings started to increase.

–– Leslie, The Baker’s Almanac

For Well Vegan, we started out focusing on meal plan subscriptions. Then we got tired of maintaining them! We didn’t do ads or affiliate income for several years.

–– Katie, Well Vegan

My first $100 on Pinch of Yum came through a combination of display ads and affiliate marketing for blogging-related products. You can read about our first money-making experience here, and you can see how our income changed over the years by checking out our income reports!

–– Lindsay, Pinch of Yum

Mine was through sponsored content on my blog! I established a bit of a relationship with a brand I really loved on Instagram (tagged them in photos where I was using their products, used their hashtags, DM’d with them a bit, etc.), and then I eventually reached out via email to see if they’d be willing to work with me. They said yes! And my first sponsored content contract was for $100 for a sponsored post on my blog.

–– Alexa (it me), Fooduzzi

It’s important to point out that when we all made our first $100, our blogs were, in the case of everyone but Lindsay, still are side hustles. So that first $100 was no small feat –– it was a result of working strange hours, photographing recipes on the weekends, and putting in the work to reach that goal.

Hopefully this post showed you that there are so many different ways to earn that first $100 from your food blog. If you haven’t hit that milestone yet, don’t lose hope. Try some of the strategies we talked about above and see what feels natural to you and your blog. We’re huge fans of diversifying income here (aka not relying on just one source of income when monetizing a blog), so feel free to experiment and adjust as needed.

If you have made at least $100 from your blog already, we’d love to hear about your first monetization experience in the comments as well: How did you make your first $100 from food blogging?

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