We’ve researched the top-earning food bloggers and discovered that although they employ limited income strategies, they earn substantial revenues.
So, how much do food bloggers make? Read here to find out, alongside their income streams and other goldmines they can use to drastically scale up revenue.
Are you a food blogger? This post is aimed to help every food blogger regardless of their current website traffic or social media following. It’ll also provide details on a new way of earning recurring revenue with membership programs through MealPro App.
How much do food bloggers make a year?
Whilst some food bloggers earn over $1 million annually, others may see little revenue from their blogs.
We analyzed many food bloggers to understand how much they make, estimate how much they can make, and the factors that push revenue up or down the scale.
We discovered that traffic and monetization strategy are the two most important revenue determinants.
Some blogs have less traffic than others but earn a higher income due to superior monetization strategies. Hence, studying every income stream carefully before employing or discarding it is essential.
Certain income streams take up much of your time without attracting the revenue of other less demanding monetization strategies, as we’ll explain soon.
While reading how much popular food bloggers earn is helpful motivation, you’ll also benefit from knowing how much food bloggers can earn, especially when they employ alternative solutions - like memberships using MealPro App.
10 popular food bloggers and their earnings
1. Tiffy Cooks: $45–55K per month (2021). From ads, brand deals, merchandise, affiliate links.
2. The Clean Eating Couple: $150,000+ in 2019. From ads, affiliate links, sponsored posts, eBooks.
3. Stephanie’s Sweet Treats: $4,739.88–$9,296.88 per month in Q1 2022. From Amazon affiliate, brand sponsorships, coaching, ads.
4. The Midwest Foodie Blog: $64,270 in Q1 2022. From Ads, affiliate links, eBooks, sponsored posts.
5. Cookie and Kate: Undisclosed. From affiliate links, ads, eBooks, freelance photography
6. Pinch of Yum: $95,000+ in November 2016. From affiliate links, ads, freelance writing.
7. Bowl of Delicious: $4,259.50 in Q1 2016. From ads, affiliate links, sponsored posts.
8. Stephanie’s Sweet Treats: $128,000 in 2022. From brand sponsorships, affiliate links, ads.
9. A Sassy Spoon: $17–21K per month in 2022. From ads, coaching, brand partnerships, affiliate links
10. Piping Pot Curry: $5,110.36 in August 2018. From ads, affiliate links.
What are the most popular income streams among food bloggers?
From the list above, we can identify the following income streams as follows:
- Display ads
- Affiliate links
- eBook sales
- Brand deals
- Sponsored posts
Surprisingly, membership programs are still to be added to the most popular list of income streams, even though they are among the most lucrative (based on our case studies), and the few taking advantage of the programs have seen a jump in their food blogger salary.
But why is that?
Well, membership programs haven’t always been a very effective income strategy (until now). High churn among subscribers and the demanding level of work for creators made membership programs less rewarding and less attractive than they are now.
With the creation of MealPro App, bloggers have found their pain points acknowledged and the opportunity far more incentivising, and you’ll see why later in this blog.
Comparing income streams by revenue
Most food bloggers earn more through display ads than any other income stream.
Here are two examples to give you an idea of how different revenue channels contribute to a food blogger’s salary.
1. Tiffy Cooks
As you can see from the table, one of the most successful food bloggers, Tiffy Cooks, earns a gross income of $45–55K per month. This money comes through four different channels, with each one raking in the following percentages:
- Website ads: 50%
- Brand deals: 35%
- Merchandise: 10%
- Affiliate links: 5%
The blog generates a larger portion of her income. She hasn’t revealed any monthly traffic figures, but with 1.5 million followers on Instagram alone, you can expect traffic to be pretty impressive.
Don’t let this figure scare you, though — you don’t need millions of monthly visitors to start generating significant revenue from your blog; you just need to employ the right monetization strategy to increase your food blogger salary, which we’ll teach you.
2. A Sassy Spoon
- Ad revenue: 52%
- Blog coaching: 22%
- Brand partnerships: 25%
- Affiliate marketing: 1%
Overall, most of the highest-paid food bloggers get the bulk of their revenue from display ads by networks like Raptive, Mediavine, etc. However, if you only focus on the popular income streams, you won’t exploit the full monetary potential of your website.
In short, we think you should also consider diversifying your income streams, like a membership program (via MealPro App) for a secure and diverse income.
Why food bloggers ignore membership programs
We’ve identified four main reasons why membership programs aren’t common among food blogs, as outlined below:
- Most are yet to learn about the huge income potential of membership programs.
- The high cost of developing custom apps. (MealPro App eliminates this with its white-label model.)
- Lack of awareness about these new low-touch, high-tech solutions.
- Presumptions about the technical difficulty of integrating membership apps. (This is true for many apps but not MealPro App, as seen in this master class.)
The various income streams for food bloggers
We can’t properly answer the question “how much do food bloggers make?” without studying the various income streams. What you’ll notice is that all of the bloggers we analysed used more than one income stream. Which is what we would recommend for stability.
Creating membership programs
Although a membership program isn’t on the list of the current most popular food blogger income streams, we think it will be in the near future.
For example, Taylor Stinson, founder of The Girl on Bloor, scaled their membership from zero to $2,000 / month in just six weeks.
Fun fact: There are food bloggers making $250K+ per year from their memberships, with relatively little overheads in terms of their time, content production, etc.
As a ballpark — based on our customers — we estimate people with 50K to 100K followers on Instagram (or another social platform like TikTok or Facebook) should be looking to get to between 250 and 1,000 members pretty quickly after launching their app.
That’s $1,500 to $6,000 recurring monthly income (based on $6 per member), with relatively little monthly overheads once it’s all set up.
People with 500K+ followers on Instagram (or another social platform) should be looking at at least 1,000 to 3,000 members minimum, amounting to $6,000 to $18,000+ monthly.
However, it can be a lot more with an audience that size. Again, with relatively little costs involved in servicing these customers — as is done using our software and your recipe content — there are no limits to your income as a food blogger.
There are different means to embed meal planning into your membership website, but we believe MealPro App is the most specialized and simple to set up.
How much do food bloggers make through eBook sales annually?
Food bloggers make anywhere from under $1,000 to hundreds of thousands annually selling cookbooks and eBooks. However, this depends on many factors including audience size, marketing strategies, etc.
The beauty of selling eBooks is the simplicity. Put your most popular content into an easy to read format and promote it to your audience.
The drawback is that they are usually a one-time purchase. How many among your thousands or millions of followers will buy five times a year, for example?
This is where membership models thrive — monthly payments amount to an impressive sum over the lifetime of a membership. If you’ve already got content written for your eBook, why not repurpose it as a meal-planning membership to generate recurring revenue?
Food bloggers that are brand ambassadors usually promote a lot on social media, particularly Instagram. However, their blogs are also active mediums of promotion.
So, how much do food bloggers make on Instagram? We’ll answer this question in a separate post (coming soon).
Make sure you have enough time for brand sponsorships. This mistake some food bloggers make prevents them from exploiting their blog’s full monetary potential.
For example, you can find a food blogger, with modest traffic or followers, signing an annual contract to promote a particular brand on their blog — thus, becoming a brand ambassador.
It’s not as if becoming a brand ambassador isn’t lucrative or rewarding. Still, you can maximize your productivity by investing effort in less time-consuming income strategies for the long run. You may be busy speaking at gigs or creating promotional brand content, while another food blogger works half as much but earns a fair amount more.
The drawback of brand partnerships
Brand partnerships can also be tricky as they are generally based on your following. What if you suddenly get shadowbanned by a social media platform? The brand you partner with may not renew your contract as you are less relevant to the consumer.
What if an unanticipated event hampers their ability to pay you as usual? Brand partnerships can be fickle and are, therefore, unreliable.
A membership, on the other hand, is a more secure monetization tool. Your members won’t leave simultaneously. Even if your business suffers churn, it’ll happen gradually, allowing you time to stop the tailspin.
Secondly, fulfilling partnership contracts require substantial time investment on your part. If you have the time to invest, becoming a brand ambassador can be great for your personal brand as well as your revenue.
But the difference is; a membership platform requires less time and effort in the long run, and you can continue with any brand deals you’d like. So why not double up and do both?
The reason we urge you to focus on the most profitable income streams is to make the most out of your time and effort.
You can create content for brands as per your promotional deals. You’ve also got to remember to leave time to create your “usual” content, which is the reason people follow you in the first place.
Make sure you give the time to stay true to yourself and your personal brand. Without regularly publishing content, even the highest-paid food bloggers will struggle to maintain their readership.
Some of the most profitable food blogs get over half of their revenues from ads. There are many ad networks, with Google Adsense being the easiest to join.
The most popular ad networks for food bloggers include:
- Raptive (AdThrive)
- Glam Media
As great as the income from ads can be, you shouldn’t solely rely on them (or any income stream for that matter) — many things can happen to disrupt your cash flow. You may mistakenly breach a user-agreement policy that can get you booted from the network.
Other times, you might be booted out when traffic falls below a certain level for some demographics.
You can monetize your recipes without relying on ads. As we have mentioned, memberships are a secure source of income, but only when you manage your subscribers properly.
Are you fulfilling your explicit and implied promises to them?
What’s their satisfaction level with your subscription service?
These are the factors that make them stay or leave. If you want to be among the highest-paid food bloggers, you have to satisfy these factors.
Many food and beverage brands offer affiliate programs, with some paying up to 50% commission. Almost all the top paid food bloggers we analyzed participate in affiliate programs; some make thousands of dollars from the commissions.
Affiliate marketing offers a lot of options, and there aren’t too many rules around it. You are paid a commission on what you sell, so it is down to you to bring home the bacon.
The problem with affiliate marketing is that you have to look for and manage all the affiliate marketing programs, which can number in the hundreds before you get enough to earn substantial amounts. In a nutshell, managing affiliate dashboards can be serious work.
Another problem with affiliate marketing is the risk it poses to your reputation among readers. If you over-promote products in your content, you may come off badly and lose some credibility among readers. The blowback effect of this can affect other income streams, like memberships, freelancing, etc., as people start to distrust or lose interest in your blog.
You can’t predict how much you’d make in a month from affiliate marketing — traffic and the number of affiliate purchases determine how much you make. Nonetheless, if possible, you should absolutely do affiliate marketing.
What’s more, if you have a membership platform, you can promote your affiliate products within! A food blogger’s salary increases significantly when they establish multiple income streams.
Food brands can request a mention on your blog in exchange for free products or a fee. Sometimes, they create the content and just want you to publish it, but you should also be ready to create your own promotional content for them as brands value UGC (user generated content) highly.
How much do food bloggers charge per post?
Some people wonder how much food bloggers charge per post. Depending on your traffic numbers and their demographics, you can charge anywhere from $75 to over $1,200 (or even more) for a single post with one or two backlinks.
Brands will naturally pitch offers if your blog attains a certain level of readership. The more influential you become, the more these offers will appear in front of you.
You can also contact food companies and offer to publish promotional content about them. A single mention on your blog can generate a large market for them within your readership.
This is why sponsored content is a popular marketing method among food brands worldwide.
This guide has answered an important question that current and prospective food bloggers are asking: how much do food bloggers make?
Like bloggers in other niches, their earnings vary widely — some make a few thousand dollars monthly, while others make up to $1 million annually.
If you have a substantial following, say 50K or more, you should be looking to make decent money from a range of sources, including a membership program. Contact us for more details on how our software can help scale your revenue as a food blogger.
Frequently asked questions
Can a blogger become a millionaire?
Yes, you can; many food bloggers are millionaires already. Pinch of Yum is an excellent example, with over $90,000 in monthly revenue. Even food bloggers earning $10,000 monthly can become millionaires as their readership, traffic, and membership grow.
How long does it take to make money on a food blog?
Some food bloggers started making about $1,000 within six months of launching a blog. This can be higher depending on how much time you invest in the blog. Unless you already have a substantial social media following, we advise you’ll be working for at least six months before expecting any revenue.
Is food blogging a career?
Yes, food blogging can be a career for those able to gain enough influence to earn a living. Most of the highest-paid food bloggers started their websites as a hobby, with many never thinking food blogging would rake in massive revenue for them.
However, months or years after launching their blog, monthly page views may grow to such numbers that the blog may generate far more income than the owner would make if they were in a corporate job.