With more than 600 million blogs on the internet and 2 million new blog posts published every day, it’s no surprise there are more than 31.7 million bloggers in the United States alone.
On my podcast, Become a Media Maven, I spoke with Cari Garcia. Cari left her day job in healthcare during the pandemic to launch her new career as a full-time food blogger.
You can follow Cari on Instagram at @FatgirlHedonist and @FatgirlHedonistLife. Her blog is FatGirlHedonist.com, family-friendly recipes with a Latin twist.
How to Become a Fulltime Food Blogger
1. Start a Hobby or Side Hustle
For Cari, food blogging started as a hobby when she was stressed out with work. She started dragging her friends to weird restaurants in South Florida, and even had them “eating ribs out of some guys’ trunk in the hood”, but the ribs were amazing!
Her friends told her to start a blog.
“I needed a hobby, so I Googled, “how do you start a blog” and the rest is history,” Cari said. “My last straw was having a patient spit on me who was COVID positive, then tell me to go back to my country. I was like, “I don’t get paid enough for this.”
That’s when Cari took figured out a way to monetize her hobby of 12 years and work from home writing blog posts and posting to social media platforms.
2. Tell People Your Plans
Cari handled social media management for a local cookie shop years ago, so thought she could do that again since there was so much overlap between social media management and blogging.
“I just threw it out there,” she said. “I posted an Instagram story that I was taking on social media management clients and the people just poured in.”
For the next few weeks, Cari met with restaurant owners and marketers to launch her own business. Soon, she was making more money than she ever would have as a social worker in healthcare just managing social media.
“I told myself if I can get enough clients where all my bills are paid, I’m done. I’m quitting,” Cari said. “When I had met that threshold, I put in my two weeks’ notice.”
3. Never Stop Learning and Educating Others
Cari said when you work with food on social media, you need to have a level of expertise when it comes to photography. Now, you need to do videos and create Instagram reels as well as TikTok videos.
You can take a pretty picture, but do you also know how to edit the picture, how to edit videos, and how to work with your clients?
Because restaurant owners and managers have a lot on their plate, this is more than most can handle. To see what photography equipment Cari uses, click here.
“It’s like outsourcing something that is going to end up paying for itself because it’s going to bring people in the door,” Cari said. “Now I’m managing the social media for six businesses total.”
4. Diversify You Income
Managing social media for restaurants isn’t Cari’s only source of revenue.
She also makes money from sponsored posts on her blog in addition to sharing affiliate links and earning a commission.
5. Build Your Personal Brand
What’s made Cari successful is practicing what she preaches. It all started with her using her personal Instagram which built her a following in the industry. So when she decided to monetize it, her audience was already there. She already had the know, like, and trust factor.
“You have to build your personal brand,” Cari advises. “When restaurants go to my page, they see my photography and video portfolio. So when a restaurant reaches out to me, they know they’re gonna get the same quality of work.”
6. Celebrate and Share Successes
Cari had two reels from early February 2022 that went viral. One has over 7 million views.
“It’s a keto cheese wrap, but it was over a month old when it went viral,” Cari said.
Sharing stories like this will pique the interest of other chefs and restaurant owners who want to get more attention with the help of food bloggers and people like Cari.
7. Just Get Started
Cari says anybody can do this. It’s just a matter of being committed to doing it. Yes, you have to spend time and money to make a business work. It takes hard work to become a full-time food blogger.
The first step is to start slow and treat your creative outlet as a side hustle. Here are 12 important things you can do to start having multiple revenue streams with more free time as the owner of a successful blog.
- Take an online course to learn more from people who have their own food blogs.
- Keep track of your page views when you have a blog name, WordPress theme, and web host.
- Publish your first blog post with your first recipe.
- Start building an email list.
- Educate yourself on affiliate marketing to make affiliate income.
- Learn more about food photography for food videography for things like your YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Instagram accounts.
- Contribute some guest posts to other websites.
- Create a media kit.
- Pitch yourself to become a brand ambassador for a product or service in the corporate world.
- Study your Google analytics to ensure you’re showing up in search results.
- Always be networking with other food bloggers, travel bloggers, and lifestyle bloggers for helpful tips and friendships.
- Don’t stop until you’ve finished your first year of hard work, skipped lunch breaks, and late nights. Your new dream job could be just one month away.
Eventually, you will become a successful food blogger with a profitable business.
For more on my interview with Cari, listen to it here on the Become a Media Maven podcast.