That’s chitterling sushi if you were wondering…
Making money blogging seems new and innovative, but when you talk to people who do it, a good part of their income (advertising aside) likely comes from freelance work.
That’s why this post I ran across via The Kitchenista is especially important to freelance wwriters…as important as sites like UpWork can be, sometimes, having a strong blog or social presence is the best advertising possible. It not only showcases your work, but also lets bigger brands (the people willing to pay) know that you can attract and maintain an audience.
Back to the article…It covers a food Blogger named Mallory who’s making a great living ($150K+) doing what she does. I don’t know her race, but it’s a pretty safe assumption that she’s White, or at the very least, if she isn’t, is a rarity in the paid blogging world. It’s an article you should definitely review if you’re looking to earn as a freelance food writer, but it left me asking the question…While there are plenty of amazing Black food blogs out there, does that potential $150K+ yearly potential income hold true for them too?
My guess is (as usual), it depends.
Food blogging is a personal space. People fall in love with you and your lifestyle just as much as your recipes. That means race will play in different ways for you…are you a Black face in a vegan world (if you’re showing your face at all)? Are you bringing Ghanian food to a broader audience? Are you teaching Black millenials how to cook healthy soul food on a budget?
Factors like your food, your target audience, and who you are will affect your reach. Also, as with all freelancing, you may be offered less for your work because of value perception around race and culture.
The traditional is still important: Mallory (the food blogger in the article) talks of plans to make a quarter of a million dollars this year. That’s a huge deal. The bulk of that I’m sure comes from her $3,500 to $10K article price, and those checks are being written by big brands that want to cash in on her audience. As innovative as the industry is, a lot of the big money comes from old school sources.
That said, the article did bring up some universally useful and important points if you want to get paid for your writing around food.
Networking matters: If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you know that a lot of your traffic comes from more established writers, especially when you’re new. That means it’s important to get to know other bloggers on some level. Mallory even mentions secret Facebook groups…I’m a member of one myself and honestly didn’t realize they were a “thing” that bloggers did in so many other fields. If you get invited to one, try it out. If you haven’t been invited, start one yourself with other bloggers and writers you trust.
Go Niche: Niche is almost always the answer when it comes to developing a loyal following in the blog world…it’s the nature of the Internet. There are so many voices out there saying the same thing, that people are looking for something unique and connected. Beyond great writing and communication, writing for a specific audience is essential to standing out.
Be Personal: “Don’t be a robot,” Mallory says. “I put my family on Instagram. Readers want to see the other side of you — that’s what people relate to.”
I won’t vouch for putting your family on social media, but the advice to be personal is true. If people only wanted detached recipes, they’d be reading cookbooks and recipe sites. Share bits of yourself to add a second layer of connection that goes beyond food.
To be clear, I very much think Mallory’s income is an exception to the rule…at the same time though, I believe (and know) that there are opportunities for bloggers of all kinds to make additional income, especially if it comes in the form of freelancing.