What Food Bloggers Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing

food bloggers

These days a lot of people are claiming to be “food bloggers” after they took a picture of the food they eat and post it to social media. But little do they know that there are others out there who take food blogging seriously and some even made it their career. Sounds interesting, right? Eating good food while making money but how does one do that?

For those who are interested in making money while enjoying all sorts of food, becoming an affiliate marketer can help you in so many ways.

Affiliate Marketing and Food Bloggers

You may not be completely aware but affiliate marketing has been around for many years but it took a different turn when internet came into the picture. Remember those Avon ladies who go out of their way to promote products? How about those Tupperware parties that your mom used to attend? That was basic affiliate marketing back in the day. The internet changed the game for many affiliates and a whole new trend in this industry was born.

Affiliate marketing for food bloggers means you sell or promoting a product as provided by a third party. A link will be given to you that you can use on your post. Affiliate cookies are then dropped on your visitor’s computer once they visit your site as well as the merchant’s. Once a sale has been made through you, you are then given a commission.

There are a few ways in which a food blogger can get paid as an affiliate. This gives you the option on how you would like to get paid.

  • Pay Per Click – is the most basic marketing programs and among the most popular ways of earning money online. This is done when an affiliate gets paid for each visitor that they refer to the merchant’s page whether they have made a purchase or not.

There is also Pay Per Performance which is one of the most lucrative in terms of affiliate marketing. The affiliate is paid only when an action is completed or when a visitor has made a purchase. Under this type of marketing, you have Pay Per Sale and Pay Per Lead.

  • Pay Per Sale – the affiliate gets paid after a sale is done. So when a visitor that you have referred completes a purchase on the merchant’s site, you are given a commission or percentage based on that sale.
  • Pay Per Lead – this is when companies (or merchant) are looking to grow or expand their business through generating leads. The affiliate’s job is promoting the company and helps them expand their customer list. Once the affiliate is successful at promoting, he or she is then paid by the merchant.

Where to Sign Up as a Food Blogger Affiliate?

There are plenty of affiliate programs to sign up to in order to become an affiliate. As a food blogger, you can definitely promote anything you like ranging from different food products, utensils, etc. Here’s where you can find them:

  1. Amazon Associates – is one of the best affiliate programs that you can find these days. It’s easy to use especially if this is your first time to join as an affiliate. You are paid each time a sale is made. Each time someone clicks on the link you have provided and makes a purchase, Amazon will then give you a commission from it.
  2. Sovrn – is an affiliate program that is favorable for food bloggers. This is basically an ad network that works on Cost Per Thousand or CPM. What does that mean? This means that they pay you each time an ad is viewed. The viewer does not have to click on anything so you can make money too which makes it even better. However it is important that there are ad views by the thousands otherwise you will not get paid.
  3. Google AdSense – this is a very good affiliate program to join if it’s your first time as an affiliate. Why? For one it is owned by Google and two, you can join easily. However the only downside with this program is that there isn’t much going on for food bloggers and there are a few, the click rates are kind of low. But if you are into technology or products that aren’t food-related then this is the best place to go and sign up to. Of course there is nothing wrong if you want to check this out too.
  4. Yellowhammer Media – this is another great network affiliate that you can join in. Signing up is easy and the CPM rates are excellent (although it’s not as high as Sovrn) however there are a few things you might not like with Yellow Hammer. One is that it is not optimized to be mobile-friendly so you really have to log on in a computer and two the analytics are not as much. This does not give you the metrics to see which ones work and which ones don’t. The payout is also small and you have to create an invoice so you can get paid.
  5. Gourmet Ads – works similarly to Sovrn and Yellowhammer but they only display cooking related ads and food. It’s easy to use but it could have been better.
  6. ShareASale – is one of the biggest affiliate networks that you can find that offers a wide variety of items to promote. Signing up is easy and you get a commission for every sale you have generated. They also offer a selection of tools you can use to earn more money as a food blogger.
  7. Swoop – is specifically made for food bloggers/blogs. This is program allows you to place a code in the header of your site and they will insert an ad within your content. It could be a recipe or article that matches your post. You can also choose what ad to display plus it is non-invasive and a really good way to help you earn money each month.
  8. Rakuten – is a place for thousands of advertisers who can make use of the latest ad styles so it does not look spammy in an affiliate’s blog or website. Signing up is a breeze and Rakuten has high click-through rates compared to other merchant companies that food bloggers will surely enjoy.

Be a Successful Food Blogger

Now that you know where you can sign up as an affiliate, what can you do next? Do you have to take pictures of food and call yourself a food blogger now? Not likely.

If you are serious about making a living out of being a food blogger then you must also remember to implement these in your blog:

  • Pick the right niche – of course, food is a niche but do you have a specific food or group of food in mind? Maybe you want to promote kitchen items or tools? Picking the right niche will help you get the audience you need so you must be careful in doing so. Take time and research what you really want to promote, this will give you a better idea on what product to promote, which ones have lesser competition and what products are the best to sell.
  • Your content matters – just because you have a food blog that doesn’t mean you will only post pictures for people to see. Content is king and by king I mean creating a content that will attract people to your site. The content you post must be creative, interesting/insightful/thought provoking content and most of all, original. Once you have a ready content to post, place the link that was given to you by your affiliate program. Integrating them in your post is how you make money. That is why you need to regularly create content that contain these links. It’s your best chance of getting commissions.
  • Don’t spam your blog – yes you want to make money and you want to do it fast. What do you do? Place links in your content everywhere! While that sounds great, it is NOT the best way to go. Yes you need these links to be seen or clicked by people but don’t underestimate the value of aesthetics in your blog. Take time to balance user experience and monetization. Don’t spam your blog with these links as this can erode the trust between you and your visitor. Placing these links in the right content as well as ad banners where they are supposed to be will make your blog look more professional and clean.

It Takes Patience

Although it is true that you can be an affiliate marketer without a blog or website but just like any work, being a food blogger affiliate takes time. It will require you to invest time and effort in order for it to work. Keep in mind that being an affiliate gives you the chance to earn real money so hard work will eventually pay off. Your success lies within the affiliate marketing strategy you choose and remember, this is for the long run. Enjoy what you do and the rest will follow.

5 thoughts on “What Food Bloggers Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing

  1. Hey, nice, so informative. I was not aware of these fact you focused here. I really appreciate your knowledge. This will help new bloggers. The last part of your blog I liked most. We have to be patient. One can definitely go up by keeping these points in mind. Thank you so much for sharing your blog.

  2. This was very helpful, thank you! I do have a question. So if I were to sign up with amazon, do they give me products/ links that I would need to use. Or do I just post links of products that I currently use.

    1. Hi Tyra,

      They have a massive catalogue as you know. For anyone new to their program, I would focus on promoting the products you use the most first up.

      If you’re using ThirstyAffiliates Pro you can search for products within the Amazon Importer, otherwise you’ll need to login to the Amazon affiliate program, then visit the product page of the product you want to promote on the Amazon website and you’ll see a little stripe tool at the very top of the screen where you can retrieve your affiliate link for that particular page.

      You can then insert that into ThirstyAffiliates for use in your posts.

      If using ThirstyAffiliates with the Amazon program, Make sure you’re adding them to a category that is being uncloaked.

      To set a link category (or categories) to uncloak links look under ThirstyAffiliates->Settings, Link Appearance tab down near the bottom of the page.

      Hope this helps you get started!

  3. What precisely is the ThirstyAffiliates service, and how much does it cost please??

    (I am from the UK.)

    Oh. And do you recommend WordPress as the natural site for one’s proposed food blog; I suppose you might because you have a plugin; (there are certain things about the software I find annoying!); or is Blogger just as good; or…. ?

    Anyone recommend other free blog hosts?

    1. Hey Liz, thanks for the questions.

      ThirstyAffiliates is a WordPress plugin for affiliate marketers to organise their links and to insert them into posts. Take a look through the features page, there’s a lot more features to it than just that, but that’s the elevator pitch 😀

      WordPress is great for future proofing. Yes, you can start DIY with WordPress, but in the future, you might want to customise some stuff. There are literally hundreds of thousands of WordPress designers & developers out there and they’re easy to find unlike with other platforms.

      I recommend it over any other content management system, especially for food bloggers. There’s tons of great recipe plugins and tools for folks like yourself.

      See here for a bit of explanation about hosts.

      Hope this helps!

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