8 Tips Food bloggers can make money on Instagram

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So, you’ve put much time and effort into making your food blog a success. You might also have your fans, but wouldn’t it be cool if you could find alternative ways to make money? Use Instagram!

As a visual platform with a strong focus on images and videos, Instagram has quickly become one of the most preferred social media platforms among internet users who perceive visual information better than texts or audio. 

Since people eat first with their eyes, Instagram has great potential for food bloggers of all sizes.

Why do food bloggers choose Instagram?

Around 80% of influencers consider Instagram as the top social media platform for brand collaborations as there are many ways to monetize your account, no matter how many followers you have. For food bloggers, here are three main reasons to choose Instagram for making money.

  • Instagram is one of the fastest-growing platforms: The number of people who use Instagram is constantly growing. The community has surpassed 2 billion monthly active users and the user base is predicted to grow in the future. With the variety of engaging features, Instagram remains one of the fastest-growing social media channels and it has the most engaged user base, especially in the food niche.
  • Food brands market their products on the platform: Food has become a hobby for many people who identify themselves as “foodies,” so it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most profitable Instagram niches. Moreover, Instagram’s own data makes the case that users are passionate about food on the platform: 58% of users have a strong interest in food & cooking and 36% feel more inspired to try new things related to food.
  • In-app business-friendly features help to make money: Instagram has a wide array of features for a creator to monetize your Instagram following. Clickable links, interactive Instagram Story stickers, creator profiles, and in-app checkout are just a few features that help food bloggers market their services or products, establish a connection with fans, or even sell on Instagram. 

Now that you know about Instagram’s potential for food bloggers, you might want to know how profitable this platform can be, right?

In this case study you need to have a lot of followers, read our article on How many Instagram followers do you REALLY need to start making money in 2022?

How much money can food bloggers make on Instagram?

You might be wondering: What is my potential income with the help of Instagram? The short answer is unlimited!

Obviously, your income depends on two main factors: account size and engagement rate. The more followers you have, the more money you can earn. 

However, there’s no need to have a solid Instagram following to start making money on the platform. As specified in the recent report by HypeAuditor, Instagram micro-influencers who have 1-10k followers earn an average of $1,420 while mega-influencers with over 1M followers can expect to receive $15k:

When it comes to different categories, an influencer in the food & cooking niche can earn an average of $2,163:

Want to find a real example? Let’s take a look at Tiffy Cooks, a successful food blogger with 991k followers who teaches her fans how to make money on the platform.

Long story short: Tiffy makes 45-55k per month, according to her income report. Pretty good, huh?

If you’re ready to monetize your Instagram following, read about the best eight ways for food bloggers to make money on Instagram. Let’s dive into it! 

1. Create content pieces for food companies

People upload around 95 million photos to Instagram daily. Doubtless, visual content is the primary communication tool for users, brands, and bloggers who have an Instagram presence. 

As a food blogger, it’s more likely that you know how to take appetizing food photos that make a viewer’s mouth water. For brands, collaborating with food bloggers means an opportunity to spread the word about their products or services and create content pieces for their Instagram feeds. 

Thus, both big and small food companies turn to food bloggers. As a result, any blogger can sell photos on Instagram and make money. 

Case in point:

With the idea to highlight the versatility of their cold-brew products and reach a wider audience, Chameleon turned to Lightricks’s Popular Pays platform to find relevant niche influencers who could develop a library of content for them. 

The company worked with 89 food bloggers who made 276 pieces of content. Not only did Chameleon get fan-made visuals for its profile, but the company also raised brand awareness among its target audience. 

Any Hughes, also known as @foodandwine on Instagram, is one example of a creator who has partnered with Chameleon. As a micro-influencer with 3k followers, Any is still a good photo creator whose images get likes and comments:

This photo aligns with the brand’s identity, so it’s no wonder that Chameleon Coffee uses this visual on its business profile to increase brand loyalty and trust:

Food companies constantly seek out user-generated content for their profiles, so food bloggers of all sizes can find an opportunity to make money when creating content pieces for brands in the niche.

2. Promote your digital cookbook

We cook daily. Food plays a significant role in our everyday lives, so people seek out delicious recipes to cook something new and tasty. As a food blogger with a loyal following on Instagram, you can make money selling a digital cookbook that doesn’t require much time or effort to be launched.

If your followers like your recipes, it’s high time to publish a cookbook and start promoting it among potential book buyers–on your Instagram!

For example, Instagram creator Ashley Renee is a successful food blogger whose recipes are in demand. Better known as Messy Eats on Instagram, Ashley has 521k followers on this platform and she actively uses it to sell her keto diet cookbook.

The Messy Eats ebook contains selected recipes and the food blogger writes about it in the bio section to help both visitors and followers learn more about her digital product and therefore turn interested users into customers:

To help people buy easily, this food blogger uses the link in the bio to direct users to the Eatery where they can read about digital cookbooks and buy books.

To make money with your ebook, it’s important to talk regularly about your cookbook in posts and spark interest in it. You can do this by scheduling many themed posts in advance.

Messy uploads videos that showcase her yummy food and invites followers to find a recipe in her ecookbook, just like in the example below:

3. Review local restaurants and cafes

Practically every restaurant owner knows that when food bloggers write reviews and recommend it to their followers, the restaurant’s reputation benefits. 

Today, people trust peer recommendations over brand content. In fact, 98% of people read online reviews for local businesses. Hint: local restaurants and cafes want to get unbiased reviews from popular Instagram influencers in the niche.

No matter how many followers you have, it’s more likely you have a restaurant or a cafe in your neighborhood that wants to cause a buzz around its products or services with food bloggers’ reviews. This means a great opportunity to stop by, check a new place, and make money – after all, some restaurants and cafes may see getting positive reviews from niche influencers as something worth spending on.

A good example of this monetization option is Leyla Kazim who has founded a food blog in London called Cheap Eats, that reviews local restaurants and cafes to help readers find a good place to dine out on a budget. Check out how its reviews look:

The above-mentioned review should inspire food bloggers how to write informative reviews that help readers choose a local place and motivate local businesses to turn more for more reviews. This review is a good example for the following reasons:

  • It is short yet sweet
  • It has a geotag that informs readers about the location
  • It includes restaurant positions and prices
  • It tags the restaurant’s profile in the caption

4. Create food courses or cooking classes

When people follow niche influencers on social media, it’s more likely that they find your content problem-solving and engaging. 

Once you understand the cooking problems your followers face, it’s high time to write and sell food courses or cooking classes. After all, it’s another way to make money on Instagram and grow your income.

Another creator, Eunice Arreza, demonstrates a great example of monetizing her hidden talents with the launch and promotion of a cake decorating course. Sharing videos of her “knife painting” cake decoration techniques on Instagram, Eunice has raised high interest in her skills, so she has a course that reveals all tips and tricks.

To help interested followers purchase cake painting courses, Eunice shares a unique discount code and adds her Sellfy store link in the bio section that goes to her website: 

When Instagram users tap on the link, they visit Eunice’s website, where she tells readers about her Palette Knife Floral Cakes (PKFC) Basic Course. The food blogger also lays a bet on the fear of missing out effect, so she occasionally offers time-limited discounts for potential customers:

5. Sell custom merchandise

Given that you’re already maintaining a publishing channel with a loyal following, many food bloggers are brand owners without realizing it. If people visit your Instagram account and follow your profile, this means your content aligns with their interests, so they are more likely to be interested in merchandise that reflects your personal style.

In short, you can create and sell custom to make money on Instagram. Internet users love merch these days, and many of them buy it to support their favorite opinion leaders. It gives you an opportunity to raise brand awareness and diversify your income.

To sell your merch on Instagram, pay close attention to its promotion. Your fans should know about your merchandise and writing about it in the bio section is the best way to inform your followers. For instance, one food blogger has a separate IG profile for his foodie merch, so he writes about the merch and tags this second handle:

At the same time, the blogger wears his merch in visuals for the main feed to give a sneak peek of how his t-shirt design looks in reality. It sparks interest and attracts potential buyers.

To grow interest in your products, showcase your merch when creating content for your channel. For example, you can wear a t-shirt with your logo or use unique cooking equipment. The more people know about your merch, the more potential buyers you can acquire which means making money on Instagram.

6. Feature brands’ products in your recipe

With the huge spike in ad exposure, when an average internet user sees more than 5,000 ads each day, brands seek out authentic ways to promote their products among potential customers and many of them turn to niche bloggers for brand endorsements.

As a food blogger, you may receive offers from brands to try their products when cooking your meals, feature these products in recipes, and tell about your experience in Instagram posts. This strategy gives brands a good way to market their products in a natural way while you get an opportunity to make money on Instagram. 

One food blogger who specializes in vegan cooking collaborated with an alternative sweetener company Whole Earth to spread the word about its brown sugar replacement and help the company increase IG reach. Not only did Cherie share a delicious recipe that contained Whole Earth’s sweetener, but she also put the product in the background to raise brand awareness and recognition.

7. Share special discounts

During the discovery phase, when buyers seek out potential products, 60% of online shoppers show interest in discounts and promo codes.

Thus, another great way to make money on Instagram is to work with relevant businesses in the food niche, promote their products in your posts, share exclusive promo codes to influence purchase intent, and get paid for your promotion.

Since brands want to boost sales, they are more likely to find niche influencers and assign unique promo codes to measure performance. 

Whether you have a fixed price for brand endorsements or get a commission if someone buys with your code, you still get a chance to provide your followers with useful information and make money on the side. 

Back in 2016, Greek food blogger Maria Koutsogiannis was one of the first food bloggers who gave this monetization strategy a try:

8. Get started with food affiliate programs 

There’s no need to have a solid Instagram following or wait for brand collaboration offers to make money on the platform. With a growing number of food affiliate programs, food bloggers of all sizes can sign up for affiliate programs, promote food-related products, and start earning more.

For instance, Kathryn Muehlberger posted an informative visual that tells more about the benefits of the affiliate program and wrote a short caption that guided users on how to find the affiliate link.

Obviously, using each post or Story to tell followers about your affiliate partnership isn’t a good idea as people seek out handy information first. But you can use the bio section to help interested users find your affiliate link with ease.

If you still want to boost web traffic and promote your affiliate link, use any link-in-bio tool that allows users to create custom landing pages and share multiple links in one custom link, just like another food blogger did:

It’s time for food bloggers to make money on Instagram

Instagram sees a huge amount of growth, so this platform will stay popular among visual learners who prefer consuming visual content. 

With a growing number of users who show interest in the food industry in-app, Instagram remains an ideal place for food bloggers who want to interact with an engaged fan base and monetize their followings. Not only does it have all features to grow your influence, but it also offers actionable ways to make money on Instagram.

Whether you choose to collaborate with food companies, sell merch, or find buyers for your digital cookbooks, there are many ways to make money as a food blogger on Instagram.

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