A month ago, I decided to create a new food blog. I had other blogs where I would post 2 or 3 times and forget about it… This time I promised myself I would take it seriously, and it has been a blast!
Blogging has become a huge part of my life! It is really rewarding to share recipes that are dear to me and get positive feedback from my readers. I gives me fuel to keep blogging! Even when I’m exhausted after a double shift at work, I still set my alarm to wake up early the next day to test recipes or take photographs for the blog. Oh yeah… When I first started – with my grandma’s recipe for beef stroganoff – I thought it was okay to take the pictures at night (as I used to cook in the evening, after work). As I started studying – there’s LOT of studying involved in the process of creating a blog – I learned that the best food pictures are taken during the day. As you can see in the pictures below, daylight makes a HUGE difference in the quality of your pictures!
Photo taken at night with an iPhone 5S
Photo taken during the day with my Canon Rebel T3 and 55mm f/1.8 lens
People think that blogging is easy. It is not! There is way more stuff involved than just cooking and writing a blog post. There is learning photography, learning some coding (I’m usually obsessed with improving how the blog looks and even had to save my blog from disappearing completely once!), learning Google Analytics to better understand my audience, managing Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Linkedin), remaking a recipe 5 times until I think it tastes and looks perfect and so much more!
There are also a lot of expenses involved in a food blog. Is it possible to have a blog for free? Yes! But if you wanna take it seriously – and especially if you want to eventually have some income from it – you will have to spend some money. Below are the expenses I’ve had during this first month. I went a little overboard with buying photography props, but that’s just my shopaholic self not controlling herself lol! You can totally do fine with what you have at home! You can also start with a point-and-shoot camera. But as your photography skills grow, you will eventually crave a better machine. I started with my iPhone camera, went to my Canon SX40 HS (which is a point-and-shoot) and eventually switched to the one I’m using now, a Canon Rebel T3. Luckily, my dad had just bought it for him some months ago. I knew he wasn’t using it, so I just asked him to switch cameras with me for a few months… (I probably won’t ever return it! muahahaha Just kidding, dad…) . Anyway, my point is: don’t go spending over a thousand dollars in a professional camera that you won’t know how to use. Start by learning the basics of photography with your point-and-shoot or even your phone camera! I only got the Rebel T3 because my dad had it and wasn’t using it! :-)
One think I do recommend you spend some money at is host your blog at Blue Host (or another hosting company of your choice). Not only you get to have your own domain but you can have full control over your website. Blue Host has rates as low as $3.95 a month! That is a really small price to pay if you’re serious about your blog and building an online presence. :) I plan on writing a post on how to start a food blog at some point, whenever I have some more knowledge on the subject so I can really help people that want to start a blog but don’t know where to start!
Blue Host $152.19 (3 years of hosting for oliviascuisine.com)
WPML $29.00 (wordpress plugin to enable two languages)
Food Blogger Pro $1 (online resources for food bloggers)
Williams Sonoma $42 (photo photography props)
Target $23.87 (food photography props)
Marshalls $227.00 (food photography props)
BH Photo $159.69 (55mm f/1.8 lens + table tripod)
Amazon $19.95 (Tripod)
That’s actually a lot of money, and I’m not even accounting for the groceries! But I’m really invested into making this blogging business a career someday! :) It won’t probably happen overnight, but I don’t care. Because at the end of the day, I’m not doing it for the money… I’m doing it because I love it!
But, since I’ve mentioned the money part, let’s get to it… Some people start monetizing their blogs after one or two years, once they already have an established traffic. I decided to do it from the beginning. Why? I don’t know! I was just overly excited with the amount of traffic I was getting – over 5000 in my first month? That’s is a lot for someone like me! – and decided to try and apply for Google AdSense. And I got approved! Yay! As you can see, it hasn’t been a fortune, but it is something! I made almost $8 through something I love doing, so I feel accomplished! :)
I also became a Kitchen Aid, Amazon and Blue Host affiliate. What does that mean? It means that if I post a link to one of their products/service and someone buys it, I get a small commission. I only promote products/services that I use and love! I wouldn’t compromise my integrity over a small commission on a crappy product. If I think something is amazing, I want my readers to use it too, and that’s why I promote this product. [I haven’t earned anything through these programs yet! But I think they are great affiliate programs for Food Bloggers.]
So this is my 5 cents on food blogging so far. I consider myself a baby food blogger and I still have a LOOOOT to learn! But I haven’t felt that excited about something in a long time. So I invite you to keep reading my posts and come with me through this awesome ride while I get better at this blogging thing! And, if you’re a newbie blogger like me or someone that wants to start a new blog, please feel free to email me so we can exchange experiences! Blogging can be scaring at the beginning, especially with all the amazing blogs out there. But everybody has their own voice and there will always be people willing to read what you write! Again, if you need some words of encouragement, I’m here for you! :)
Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of them and buy the products, I will receive a small commission. However, all the opinions in this post are mine. I don’t post affiliate links for products I don’t absolutely love! :)