If you are anything like me, then over the years, your biggest focus for your blog has probably been creating an abundance of content, from product reviews and "how to guides" to lots and lots of recipes. It's something I, and most bloggers, really enjoy doing, and it is often a blogger's favorite thing about blogging.
While I have gotten a ton of benefit from all the different types of content, the part that has paid for itself again and again has been the recipes. I've been able to reuse them in a variety of ways, from creating internal projects like smartphone apps and cookbooks to licensing them to outside companies, which is what I want to talk about now.
Another way of working with external companies that isn't ad based is by providing content and recipes to them.
The general concept is when an outside entity, usually an equipment manufacturer or publisher, wants to use your recipes as part of their product. This is because many manufacturers don't know the cooking aspects, they just know the manufacturing aspect. So they turn to outside sources to provide the "how to" information their customers will need. And that's where you come in, to provide the "how to" information.
There are two ways to provide this content, the first is through a content creation deal, where the company you are working with will retain all the rights to your work. The second is to license the content to them, where you retain the rights but agree not to let others use it for a set amount of time.
Either type of deal is fine, but I almost exclusively license my content. This is so I retain all rights to it, and once the contract is over, I can re-license the content or use it however I see fit. I like to reuse my content as much as I possibly can.
This can take many different forms. Some of the deals I've done include:
The amount you will get paid depends on many factors, including how detailed your recipes are, how badly you want it published, how much time has gone into it, and if you are licensing or selling the content. For licensed recipes, I usually charge between $35 and $250 per recipe for a 1 year license. If they get the rights, then you'll obviously want to charge more.
Some licensing deals I've signed are:
As you can see, my pricing is all over the place, but it is largely dependent on how many recipes I currently have available, and what type of exposure I feel I will get. You can download a sample of the licensing options that I usually send out to prospective clients. I will tweak those guidelines based on how much I want to work with the company, and how busy I am at that time.
Some people will tell you to only provide your content for $XX (usually $100 to $500+ per recipe), but I believe you need to look at your circumstances and whether you are licensing or selling them.
It cost me about 10 hours of time to license 200 of my already existing recipes to a large equipment manufacturer for "only" $25 per recipe. But those recipes were just sitting there on my website, so the $5,000 I got paid (that's $500 per hour!) was just a great bonus. It was also only exclusive for a year, meaning I could re-license them in 12 months to someone else...and I did.
Obviously, if you aren't licensing the content and they will own it, you should look at the time it will take you to do each recipe. But I feel like licensing is a good way to work with many companies who have smaller budgets, while still allowing you to get paid to increase your own assets. Many small companies can't afford to pay what a recipe will cost, so licensing it to them for a few years can be a win-win scenario
Some companies will be interested in how well known you are and the number of your followers, but many just want the content and don't care about your size. So don't feel like you are "too small" to do content creation deals. You may be surprised how often they will say yes.
That said, you can often charge more as you get more well known!
In addition to the money, I almost always get credit as well. This just helps expand your brand, and can drive a small amount of traffic to your blog.
Often a company will try to get you to give up your recipes for free, and I generally recommend turning this down.
Occasionally it is a great opportunity and they are just asking for a couple of recipes, so it might be worth considering. I have given out free recipes a few times, twice to a well-known peers who were publishing cookbooks and another time to a manufacturer who wanted a few recipes for a compilation book. In both cases the goodwill and marketing opportunities, and the ability to increase my "resume", were worth it. But it's something you don't want to get in the habit of doing, especially for larger companies or websites that could pay if they wanted to.
If you enjoy creating content and writing recipes, and you have connections with some companies in your niche, then content creation can be a good way to grow your income. I especially like licensing content, because I'm growing my assets and I can use them in the future, compared to selling content, which is just a one time event.
What type of content creation deals have you found to be successful? Let me know in the comments below.