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There may be a short, somewhat reliable answer to this question for basic bloggers, but food bloggers are an entirely different matter. In addition to writing each post, you’ve got the cooking to think about, which ups the ante and makes it difficult to estimate time costs precisely.
Just because it’s hard to come up with a reliable answer to the question, however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother thinking about it – especially if your intention is to generate revenue via your food blog.
According to iBlog magazine’s 2015 industry report, nearly 6 out of 10 bloggers earn less than $2500/year from their blogs. That’s around $200/month, which is great if you’ve spent an hour on your blog. But according to the same report, even the least rigorous bloggers spend as much as 15 hours per week working on blog posts. That’s basic bloggers who are spending most of that time writing and promoting.
You, dear food blogger, are doing way more than that. You’re developing new recipes and testing them, styling food photos, and maybe even recording tutorials.
But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you limit yourself to working on your food blog 5 hours/week. Let’s also assume you make the average $200/month. That means you’re paying yourself $10/hour, which isn’t bad considering you’re doing what you love.
But what if you spend more than 5 hours each week toiling over your blog? Are you happy with earning $5/hour doing what you love? $1/hour? At what point would you feel like you were being taken advantage of doing the same work for another boss?
Okay. Maybe that’s not what you wanted to hear. Maybe what you came for was a definitive answer to the question: How much time should I spend writing these posts for my food blog?
But like so many questions that we pose to Google, there’s no strict answer to the question. There’s only you, your blog, your time, and your expectations.
Before trying to decide how much time you should dedicate to each post, I’d recommend taking the time to research not what other bloggers are doing, but what you’re doing already.
Have you ever treated your blog like a job, clocking in as you start new tasks and clocking out when you’re done? If not, consider starting there. It’s always better to make decisions from a place of knowledge, and self-knowledge is the most critical of all.
This coming week, record your blog-related activities and get a sense of how much time you’re already spending on your blog posts. Don’t forget to include:
- Creating recipes
- Testing recipes
- Writing posts
- Editing posts
- Promoting posts
- Responding to comments
- Taking photographs/videos
- Editing photos/videos
- Uploading photos/videos
Back in 2013, Lindsay at Pinch of Yum wrote a post sharing exactly how many hours she spent working on her food blog during one week (while on vacation no less), and the numbers are staggering. Don’t be shocked if you come away from your week of clocking in feeling underpaid and overworked.
But, also, don’t be dismayed if you discover that you’re working your fingers to the bone for peanuts. Food bloggers are, at heart, entrepreneurs. You’ve got the skills. You’ve got the will. But it takes time and a commitment to work through the lean stretches to gain a following as notable as Pinch of Yum.
Learning how much time you’re already spending on your food blog may encourage you to find new ways to streamline your processes, which can also speed up your blog’s success. If you’re not sure how to do that, get in touch. We’ve had plenty of experience helping food bloggers launch their careers with websites developed to make at least a part of your process easier and less time-consuming.