Build your blog into a business

“You’re not bloggers. You’re media companies.”

That was my message to a group gathered at the International Food Bloggers Conference last weekend in Seattle. Unlike many news startups, food bloggers enjoy multiple revenue opportunities, because their content is “close to the cash register” in investor parlance. Some of those revenue streams include:

  • recipe development
  • teaching cooking classes
  • professional meal planning
  • catering or food production
  • freelance writing
  • writing or contributing to cookbooks

For many bloggers, their blog is a resume or brochure of sorts. It’s a way to establish their brand and credibility and open doors to new opportunities. Food bloggers also make money with more traditional publishing methods like advertising, sponsored posts and affiliate links. This creates a diversified revenue profile more akin to a media company than a “blog.” (Still not a fan of that term after all these years.)

I wanted to offer this audience a glimpse of the digital media world that I run in, highlighting some points that will hopefully help them think about their own business with a wider angle lens. Hence, the challenge to think of themselves as media companies.

It’s a good lesson for all news startups or anyone who is publishing content on a “blog.” Always be looking for opportunities that extend beyond advertising and sponsorships, or what we would now consider the “traditional publishing model.”

You can view the presentation here. And below is a collection of selected tweets from the session.


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