What is food blogging

Food blogs: advertise in a very authentic way

Food bloggers should be as individual and authentic as possible. At the same time, their business model is often based on product placements. How does it work?

The internet is full of food blogs, pages on which people regularly devote themselves to the topic of food. Most food blogs are of medium interest. Some are actually well-made sources for recipes and all kinds of food-related stories. Food blogs now play a not unimportant role along the food value chain. Because bloggers create food trends, they put ingredients and products in the limelight and they constantly draw attention to food - not least as an online advertising platform. It is obvious that the food industry and the food retail trade have a keen interest in getting the creators of food blogs to be as friendly as possible towards the company.

Clicks decide whether it's worth it

How independent food bloggers are from companies could be a quality criterion - after all, a blog should be authentic. Or is that asking too much if a blog is supposed to make a little money in addition to interesting recipe ideas and great photos? "In my opinion, the problem these days is that food bloggers have to deliver way too much for what is ultimately left over," explains blogger Torsten Kluske, who runs the Besserbissen blog. “As a food blogger you are a cook and a baker, a food stylist and a photographer at the same time. A lot of know-how, professionalism, time and work are associated with this. You go to customers and offer yourself or are asked to advertise their products. You explain how many clicks you have per day or month and then receive a corresponding remuneration. ”This is the case with many blogs that are not just a hobby, but are also supposed to make money. Product photos are naturally next to other photos. Product placements are rarely labeled as advertising or paid content, even if a professional business is behind the food blogging.

"It has to be a perfect match"

One of the biggest in this business is Alexandra Palla. The Viennese entrepreneur runs her own food blog and also a PR agency that specializes in talking about food. She explains how the food blog business works: “It's incredibly important that the company get together with the right blogger. It has to be a perfect match. There are blogger relations agencies that recommend testimonials regarding reach, affinity and personality. The blogger becomes an influencer and opinion leader through workshops, product placements and test reports. This also defines the amount of the fee. That ranges from 500 to 5000 euros, depending on how a product is presented. The work of a food blogger goes far beyond a blog post - to campaigns. ”The more profiled a blogger is, the more accurately it is possible to select the right customers. "With my special topic, I rule out a lot of collaborations from the start," explains Eva Schwaighofer, for example, who blogs about sugar-free nutrition and Pilates under the title Individualists. “In general, I don't focus on collaborations with companies. Only if it has added value for me and my readers. ”Personal added value is what counts if blogging is to become a profession.

"There are easier ways to make money"

Earning money with a food blog, or even making a living from it, is not child's play. "You should think twice about whether you really want to do that," says Catrin Neumayer from the Cooking Catrin blog. “There are easier ways to make money. You have to invest a lot of time in advance work, think about topics and your own visual language, stand out and network with other bloggers at the same time. ”Running a blog with purely commercial goals seems to be an impossibility. This is also how Torsten Kluske sees it: “You should run a blog out of passion, because a blog is a great opportunity to shape your ideas and to use it as a public diary.” Alexandra Palla gives the following advice to budding food bloggers with on the way: “Find your own topic. Blog because you are interested in passion and journalism, not because of the money. First define your profile, give yourself characteristics, think about how you appear and what you want to convey. "

Advertise authentically and individually

A food blog stands for hard work and lively customer contact. Blogs should also convey authenticity and passion. Working as a journalist at the same time, but living off the “perfect match” with the right companies. How does that work? That sounds about as complicated as frying a watermelon until crispy. How paradoxical the demands on food blogs are is shown every year by an event organized by Alexandra Pallas' own agency. Palla has been behind the Austrian Food Blog Award for several years - even if it bears this name for the first time this year (2017). In previous years it was called the AMA Food Blog Award. The AMA, more precisely: Agrarmarkt Austria's marketing channel, has withdrawn from the award. The new partner in the competition comes from another point in the food value chain. This year, Billa, the Rewe Group's supermarket chain, is on board as a partner. At the Austrian Food Blog Award, food bloggers are honored on behalf of the food retail trade. Palla also knows that there are different types of food blog: “There are two trends: the indomitable, critical one and the one that is drawn more towards entertainment. That would also be shown by the blogs that were able to convince the juries at the Food Blog Award in recent years.

Alternative business models

Whether bloggers are more journalists or the extension of marketing departments depends entirely on the blog in question. A clear separation is not exactly common in the industry - even if there are blogs, which are free of product placements, and which do not live from the business proximity to the food industry. If you want to make a living from blogging, but want to remain independent of influencer marketing, you have to find other sources of finance.

Catrin Neumayer, who now runs her blog Cooking Catrin together with her husband and a student, has achieved it: “We do a lot of job content, shootings and off-blog topics and use the blog as a figurehead. The blog is the basis from which more and more has developed and around which everything else has been spun: cooking studio, radio broadcasts, workshops. ”It looks very similar with individualist Eva Schaighofer. She also offers workshops and trainings. Her blog serves as an advertising platform for her. Torsten Kluske also sees his blog as a business card. Companies can book him as a chef.

Living from blogging is difficult

Really making a living from running a food blog seems difficult. What seems to be important for this is to emphasize again and again how authentic and individual the blog articles are. Many successful food bloggers diversify their offerings and also offer their nutritional knowledge offline, in workshops and seminars or in cookbooks. In order to make a living from blogging about food, it is helpful if your own blog is not the only source of income. Or: In order to be able to make a living from blogging, one shouldn't have to live from blogging. Difficult business.