Monetizing Your Web Traffic
For those that have an insatiable appetite, creative vision, and a willingness to share their culinary experiences to the world, a food blog is one of the best outlets. While you’ll find countless food blogs that are merely hobbies, some people actually make good money from them. Yes, that’s right! It’s possible to make money doing the thing you love. However, money doesn’t always come easy and this is especially true with food blogs.
The key to generating a steady income from your blog is having enough user engagement to warrant advertisers the desire to display ads on your site. User engagement comes from continued visits to your food blog through various outlets, social sharing of content such as your blog posts or recipes, RSS feeds, email newsletters, etc. As a part of this you must properly manage your blog, update it regularly, have quality content, and of course have a focus on organic traffic through SEO. If you want to monetize your food blog, you must capitalize on those visitors. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there to help you do that. Let’s take a look at some of them right now.
One of the easiest ways to monetize the traffic from your food blog is through ad networks. The good part about is there is many ad networks to choose from. The hard part is choosing the right one that’s best for your specific blog. Here are a few to check out
1. Google AdSense
Google AdSense is a popular advertising service that you can use. The way it works is Google pays advertisers to display their ad copy for web users. This is all based on various keywords and cookies set up by the advertisers. From there, Advertisers pay you when users click on the ad or learn to seek more information about the ad displayed. Furthermore, partner sites get a share of the income generated as well.
2. Gourmet Ads
Gourmet ads is an online platform specializing in food and wine advertising. They give brand solutions with their large network of food, recipe and cooking websites. Here, advertisers and publishers can easily reach their targeted audience and publishers can monetize their content.
Swoop is a quality ad network who’s goal is to improve user experience. To do this they use search targeting that provides your readers with their preferred content. Furthermore, Swoop only provides highly engaging content that users actually enjoy compared to the annoying ads many websites spam you with. This is all monitored through Swoop’s quality control which takes it upon themselves to ensure that every campaign stands for integrity. Yes, even yours.
Like Swoop, AdThrive is a quality ad network that displays high-quality, family friendly ads. Also, they help you set up Double Click for Publishers (DFP) once they’re hired on your blog. These just display ads that analyze your site and tell you where ads perform best. They even go in and do all the set up for you. Take note that AdThrive has a waiting list so it might take a bit of time, but don’t give up!
Does your food blog get a lot of impressions? If so, then you might want to consider using Sovrn for your ad network. As a bonus, they’ll give you some nifty audience analytics like gender, age, average household income, family size and ethnicity for you to explore.
Another great way to monetize your food blog is through affiliate programs. Essentially, these work when you refer a product through a chosen affiliate program and a customer then makes a purchase. Then, you get a commission just as a salesperson would. It’s quite easy and there are many options out there. Here are a few to look at.
1. Amazon’s Affiliate Program
Amazon Associates is probably the most popular affiliate program out there. With this, you can refer a food related Amazon product (kitchen knives, aprons, wood spoon etc.) and if your readers make a purchase, you get money.
Skimlinks is a plugin you can get for your blog that scans your content for products and service links and turns them into an affiliate link. So, for example, if you were going to promote a Cuisinart electric kitchen knife, Skimlinks grabs that word and adds on an affiliate link to it. Then, if someone buys it, you get a commission
Hopefully, you can use some of these strategies to monetize your blog and start earning income for your passion project.