Do you enjoy creating your own recipes? Is kitchen experimentation something you love? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be able to get paid for your recipes. After all, there’s a reason Food and Drink continues to be a hot category on Pinterest!
Tons of people are looking for great recipes to create and feed their family… or just looking for ways to cook better. The good news for you is that you can get paid to meet their needs. It’s a win-win! Here are seven different ways you can earn money by meeting that need.
1. Start a Food Blog
What do you get when you combine your delicious recipes with beautiful food photography and a sprinkle of storytelling? A food blog of course!
Now, you aren’t going to start rolling in dough just because you set up and start a blog. Blogging takes time, dedication, and commitment. But, it’s a great way to reach people with your recipes and share your cooking voice with the world. It can also be a way to have a lot of fun, come up with new ideas, and do some excuse-free experimenting in the kitchen!
When you write your blog posts, make sure you optimize them for sharing. This means Pinterest graphics, recipe cards, and more. You’ll also need to set up an email list and offer a freebie that your readers will love. Your email list will become your new best friend as you learn how to make it valuable for your readers while also making money for yourself.
Spend time on other food blogs and take note of what you love and don’t like about each. This will help you develop the perfect strategy for your own blog. (Don’t copy them – use the other bloggers for inspiration!)
Remember that copyright infringement is a crime. Do not steal other people’s content (including pictures). Treat other bloggers like you’d like to be treated and be respectful of them. Lean on the side of including attribution even if you aren’t sure you need to, just to avoid any problems.
Decide on your target audience — your ideal readers — and create content that helps them. This encourages them to keep coming back. Of course you can always pivot your blog as you learn more and figure out what you’re most passionate about. But, it’s a good idea to know who you are creating content for before you spend a ton of time producing anything. (This is called positioning.)
2. Become a Freelance Recipe Developer
Where do brands and magazines get many of their recipes? From a recipe developer. Many companies are willing to pay for original, tasty recipes. While you may occasionally find a position listed on a blog or job board, you will likely need to pitch your ideas to companies.
Make sure to study a site or magazine in-depth before pitching. You want to make sure your recipes align with the values of that business. For instance, if you love developing recipes for baked goods and you rely on flour and sugar, those recipes won’t be a good fit for a Paleo or Keto site. Know the common terminology and what types of recipes people are looking for before sending in a pitch.
As a freelancer, you are your own boss. You won’t have someone looking over your shoulder making sure you get your work submitted on time. But, your reputation is key. Do good work, and make sure you meet your deadlines. This increases the likelihood of being able to work with the same company again.
3. Make a Cookbook and Sell It on Kindle
Do you have enough recipes to create our own cookbook? Thanks to the self-publishing platform on Kindle, you can make your cookbook dreams a reality.
As you work through creating your cookbook, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Kindle formatting needs to be done in a certain way. If you aren’t sure how to do this, hire someone to do it for you. You can find someone on Fiverr!
- Great covers help sell more books. Again, you can hire someone to design your cover for you if design isn’t one of your strengths.
- Use the right keywords in your book description. Your book description is how your book gets found, so make sure you use the kinds of things your ideal readers will be typing into Amazon when they would ideally find your book.
- Make your cookbook easy to use. Include a clickable index and break your categories up so they make sense to readers. Whenever you write a book, write with your reader in mind.
- Decide about pictures. Not all cookbooks have pictures. But, many do. People really like seeing images of what they’re cooking is supposed to look like. Beautiful food images inspire people to try new recipes. Decide if your eBook will have pictures or not. If you do include pictures, make them shine.
Two resources to help you get your cookbook to market:
4. Enter a Contest
Recipes have huge earning potential in contests. And there are plenty of contests out there! You can find listings of contests at Contest Cook or Cooking Contest Central to help you find the perfect place to submit your award-winning recipe.
Some (like the Great American SPAM® Championship) must be entered first at your local fair, so make sure you read the requirements in detail. For instance, there are often limits on how many ingredients your recipe can include. Many require you to use a specific brand (and amount of a specific product), so always follow the directions to improve your chances of winning.
Also, double check the deadline and give yourself time to create your recipe. You need to have time to prepare it at least a couple of times so you can make sure it’s a winner. Follow all submission guidelines carefully. Some will require just the recipe, while other contest ask for pictures.
And if food photography is what you enjoy more than recipe creation, there are also contests for that! Most of these are on social media and require you to use specific hashtags to enter.
5. Submit Your Recipe or Food Article to a Magazine
Want to see your recipe in print? Do you have a brilliant idea for an article that’d be a great fit for your favorite magazine? Many magazines pay for upon publication. Here are some examples: (all rates mentioned were at the time of publishing and can change at any time)
- Cooking Light pays $50 and sends you a T-shirt upon publication
- Taste of Home often has contests you can submit a recipe to for potential to win prizes
- Cuisine at Home pays $100 for published cooking tips
- EatingWell pays $1/word for articles that meet their publication guidelines
Don’t sit on your ideas, get them out there and see what happens. You never know – one article in a food magazine might be the start of a productive freelance writing career for you.
This is like being a freelance recipe developer because you’re submitting your individual work for publication, but it’s not really the same thing. If you have a prize-winning pound cake recipe that you’re submitting, magazines will love it. Then, if you enjoy the process of writing and being published, you might want to do more of it, in which case you’d become a freelance writer or recipe tester.
6. Sell Your Recipe
Do you have a recipe that is always the hit of the party? Are you always asked for your recipe for your signature dish? Maybe you’ve figured out how to simplify a technique or ingredient that throws others for a loop.
Some people are willing to pay for recipes, especially if they’re that good!
You can sell your recipe on Craigslist, Facebook, or even on sites like Fiverr (ie: for $5 I’ll send you this delicious recipe!)
A few tips about selling your recipe:
- Make sure it’s tasty. Spend time in developing the recipe and have a variety of friends and family members try recreating it from your recipe. This way you know you have everything developed properly and that it tastes good. No one wants to pay for a crummy recipe.
- Pictures sell. If you’re planning on selling a recipe, you need a really compelling picture (or two) to go with it. Consider adding a step-by-step picture tutorial to increase the perceived value.
- Don’t overcharge. There are plenty of places to find recipes for free, so keep your pricing reasonable.
- Write a great description. Why should someone buy your recipe? Your description needs to be well written, and show why it’s worth the money. Is it an award winner? Do the kids all scarf it down? What makes this recipe worth paying for?
- Use common ingredients. People are more likely to buy a recipe if they don’t have to search for other uses to use a specialized ingredient. Keep your ingredients reasonable in terms of price, and common.
- Solve a problem. Do you specialize in helping busy moms get dinner on the table quickly? Are you the star at making multiple meals at once so you can freeze them? Think of a problem your audience has that you can solve with your recipe or a recipe collection. Package them in ways that make sense and help your buyers.
7. Start a YouTube Channel
For many people, cooking from a cookbook is so old-school. Many cooks today want to follow along with a video instead of reading from a book or even reading a blog post.
If you have camera skills, you can start creating recipe videos. Then you can post them on YouTube and start your own channel. It’s like creating your own cooking show, entirely on your own terms!
You can create a variety of video types and see which ones you enjoy the most. You also want to pay attention to which ones resonate best with your target audience. After all, if people aren’t watching your videos, you won’t be able to monetize your channel as easily.
For your videos, you can try filming yourself making the recipe as you provide commentary. You can also create a video that just shows a quick process of it being made, with only your hands showing. Look online for food videos that you enjoy, and use them for inspiration.
Two resources to help you monetize your new YouTube channel:
Hopefully these strategies inspired you to dust off your recipe collection and put it to work for you. Which one are you going to try first?