How to Get Paid to Eat by Being a Food Blogger
The other day a friend of mine said to me "I wish I could get paid to eat". Keep in mind, he's skinny (enter blank stare here). I'm not by the way. I quickly responded to him, "YOU CAN!" I said enthusiastically. I told him to start a food blog and start reviewing local dishes and restaurants. Give your own thoughts on taste, presentation, service, atmosphere, price, etc.
But, the key to getting paid to do it? Eyeballs. Followers. To become an influencer with regard to something like food and restaurants, you don't have to have a culinary degree or be a chef, you need eyeballs. You need a brand.
How do you get the eyeballs? Website traffic.
How do you generate website traffic? Google.
How do you get found on Google? SEO. Search engine optimization.
How do you optimize your website or blog so you get found on Google?
1. Write, write, write! Create content like: a breakdown of lasagna's in your area, top 8 taco joints with a summary of each, interview chefs and restaurant owners, opinion piece about home delivery and how it effects food quality, bring people with you and get their reaction and write about how it is the same or differs from yours, etc.
2. Next, learn to title and headline pages based on what people are searching on Google. Want to what they are searching? Go to Google and start doing to searches and see what the auto recommendations are that Google shows you. That's it! And always include the city or neighborhood, county or area that you are working in.
3. Make sure you are creating 2-4 posts per week between 750-1000 words per post and include 2-3 really good photos. I recommend taking your own photographs (with your phone is fine!). Also, create original graphics like a chart of chips and salsa qualities at Mexican restaurants.
4. Categorized your blog posts based on cuisine and $$ ratings.
5. Ask for feedback and opinions from website visitors and social media interactions. Track traffic and responses using Google Analytics.
6. Don't stop. Be persistent and consistent. Do this for 2-3 years solid or even longer. You have to love the grind and be willing to be patient while you do grind. If you keep going and keep working at creating great content, you will see it pay off!
7. Revenue opportunities: Look for websites and publications that would find your content valuable - editors, publishers, etc. You could work as a contractor or be hired full time! Talk to restaurants about advertising on your site. Look for local food events to get involved in, speak at, etc.