5 Real Ways To Sell Recipes Online – And A Bunch of Fake Ways

I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

I’ve been a recipe developer for decades, but I’ve only actually been making money developing recipes for the last three years. You see, I have always loved to cook and have always loved to do things my own way, so developing my own recipes was natural.

There are so many lists on the internet about ways you can make money selling recipes online, and honestly, most of those ideas are rubbish. I don’t want you to waste your time or become discouraged, so let’s talk about how you can honestly make money online as a recipe designer.

So, how can you make money selling recipes online? There are just five proven ways to make money selling recipes online:

  1. Become a Food Blogger
  2. Sell Recipes To A Food Blogger
  3. Publish A Recipe Book
  4. Publish Recipes in Magazines
  5. Enter and Win Online Recipe Contests

There a lot of other ideas being sold out there, but I’ve personally never known anyone who made even good side-hustle money with those ideas. We’ll dig into those not-so-good-ideas later, but first, let’s talk about the real ways to make money selling recipes online.

Making Money On Your Recipes Online By Starting A Food Blog

First, I want to make it clear that Food & Recipe Bloggers are not making money selling recipes to individual cooks. I see lists of ways to make good money selling recipes to individual cooks, but, honestly, I call BS.

Food Bloggers get traffic to their website by providing free recipes. While those good folks are visiting the blogger’s website, the blogger makes money by showing them ads and offering them other products that they are willing to pay money for.

Starting a Food Blog is a long-haul kind of project. You’re not going to make much money from your recipes for quite a while. It’s going to take at least six months to start seeing any income, and maybe over a year of steady content creation.

I’m not trying to discourage you from monetizing your recipes with a food blog. As a matter of fact, my wife and I do just that with our Keto Recipe & Education Website – AdvantageMeals.com.

On our website, a good recipe with heavy traffic can make us twenty bucks or more every month, year after year. If you have a hundred recipes doing that, you are soon making real money with your recipes online.

Our blog has been very good for our family, and it might be the right food business idea for you as well. Read my article about Food Blog Businesses for more info.

Selling Recipes Online To Food Bloggers For Money

If you want to make money from your recipes faster and without the constant pressure to produce new recipes regularly, then one option to consider is selling your recipes to other online business owners with established food blogs.

To be successful with this, you need to have good and unique recipes and also take beautiful pictures of not only the finished products but also the preparation process.

Really, to be a great recipe developer, you also need to be a good food photographer { Click Here to learn more about Food Photography >>> }

There are two primary ways to sell recipes & related photos to food bloggers.

#1 – You can sell recipes in groups designed to get content creators and blog publishers together.

#2 – You can work as a freelancer with a single Food Blogger to create multiple recipes.

Selling Recipes In Blogger Groups

There are a number of groups on Facebook where bloggers and recipe designers connect. My favorite is VA for Hire and Pinterest-Friendly Content for Bloggers.

In a group like this, you’ll find Recipe Developers offering a new recipe with preparation and finished pictures as Semi-Exclusive Content.

Semi-exclusive means that they are going to offer the recipe and pictures to three to five food bloggers and each of those bloggers will get some exclusive finished product images.

In these groups, most recipes sell for $25 to $50 to each of the semi-exclusive purchasers. That means that the Recipe Developer is going to make between $75 and $250 for each recipe and associated pictures. That’s not bad side-hustle money.

Those who are working it really smart keep one of the semi-exclusive sets for their own food blog and they offer the rest of the picture sets to two to four other food bloggers.

By keeping a set for themselves, they can build their own food blog, get Google to recognize their published recipes as the original one by publishing first and still make some immediate money on their recipe.

I have never sold recipes this way, but I have bought some this way.

Selling Recipes as a Freelancer To A Single Food Blogger

You can probably make more money per recipe selling in a group like I talk about above…but not every recipe is going to sell and you’ll still have put in all the time regardless of a sale.

By working as a Freelance Recipe Developer for an individual food blogger you will probably make less per recipe, but maybe not on average.

For example, if you make ten recipes for the blogger groups and sell just five of them for $100 each, then you’ve made $500 bucks.

On the other hand, if you made ten recipes by request for the one food blogger that you have a long term relationship with, they might pay you between $50 and $100 per recipe. The upside is lower, but the downside is safer.

There are three ways to find freelance gigs with individual Food Bloggers, and I’m going to list them in the order that I suggest that you use them.

  1. Start by offering recipes and blogger groups as we talked about above, and form a long-term relationship with food bloggers that you know, like, and trust.
  2. Find work on a freelancer/gig site like UpWork.
  3. Reach out to Food Bloggers who offer recipes similar to what you like to create and ask them to start working with you.

Blogger Groups To Sell Recipes Online

Starting in Blogger Groups allows you to practice your new skills and offer your recipes at lower prices to start. As you get feedback and learn more, your prices just keep sliding up.

Eventually, you’ll have a few people who ask you to have the first crack at every recipe you make, and those are the first ones you ask about an exclusive agreement.

Selling Recipes on Freelancer or Gig Sites

Finding work on Upwork or something similar is a fine way to go, but you’ll be competing with some people who are not really Recipe Developers. Instead, they are content thieves who are selling other people’s content.

To be clear, there are real Recipe Developers on these freelancer sites, but you’re going to be working hard to be found on there as one of the real Recipe Developers.

I think it’s worth doing, but it’s more work finding good gigs than working in the Blogger Groups.

Reaching Out To Individual Food Bloggers To Sell Recipes Online

This is my last option because it’s the hardest, though it might end up giving you the greatest reward.

Our Food / Recipe / Nutrition Blog gets over 100,000 page views a month during our busy season, and the emails from people wanting to do business with us are nuts. Honestly, we don’t open most of them, and we’re a big site, but not a huge one.

If you decide to try this route, be picky, and build that relationship over time. If you love a specific food blogger’s content, build a relationship by commenting on their recipes on their website and on Pinterest.

If Angela and I recognize you from your comments on our recipes and from seeing you share our content before we get a comment or email from you asking about being a Recipe Developer for our site we are much more likely to respond.

The online community is huge, but ‘doing business’ is still about personal relationships. Don’t send form letters to every blogger you find. Instead, authentically reach out to the creators that you know and love.

Publish a Recipe Book To Sell Your Recipes Online

In general, people don’t buy individual recipes anymore, but people do still buy recipe books. However, not many people buy general cookbooks anymore.

Instead, people buy very specific cookbooks that are very unique. Moreover, usually these cookbooks solve a very specific problem.

We’ve sold a lot of copies of our No-Cook Keto Cookbook, and it doesn’t get much more specific than that or solve a more specific problem. We made a cookbook of recipes for people who want to try the keto diet but don’t want to cook.

We’ve also sold that cookbook as a downloadable on our website, which means that our margin on every book sold is nearly 100%.

If you don’t want to build a website and audience, then you’ll be selling your cookbook on Amazon. Now selling on Amazon isn’t a bad idea.

On Amazon, you’ll be making a lot less per cookbook sold, but you’ll have WAY more people looking at your cookbook.

The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook has been a best seller on Amazon for as long as we’ve been doing our keto recipe site, and it’s still selling books every month. I honestly don’t know how much they’ve made from that book, but it’s not peanuts.

Publishing your own recipe cookbook is the #3 best way to sell your recipes online because we know from personal experience that it can work with a Food Blog and an established audience.

Without those advantages, I’d suggest that you really think about what niche and need you are going to be filling with your new cookbook.

Publish Recipes In Magazines For Money From Home

Okay, this is honestly a much tougher haul. I promised to always shoot straight with you, so you should know that I’ve submitted a few recipes to magazines and I’ve never had one accepted.

However, I do know people who have had recipes accepted and been paid fifty to one hundred bucks.

If you want to try this, Google for “Magazine Recipe Submissions” and give it a shot.

Enter Your Recipes Into Online Recipe Contests For Money

I think of this as more of a fun hobby than a business.

Lots of publishers have recipe contests because it’s a great low-cost way to get content and page visits. Even A Taste Of Home has lots of recipe contests.

Still, if you are a really good Recipe Developer, you’re going to make more money by entering recipe contests than by trying the fake ideas for selling recipes online below.

Fake Ideas for Selling Recipes Online To Make Money

I’ve seen a number of articles that offer over a dozen ideas to sell recipes online. Sadly, most of those ‘ideas’ are focused on selling recipes to individual cooks…

…now is the time to get really-real and honestly-honest.

The internet is full of free recipes, and no significant number of people are buying single recipes. Sure people are still buying cookbooks, but they aren’t lining up to give you $5 for your grandmother’s cookie recipe.

Any idea to make money online by selling recipes that depend on individuals giving you money for your recipe are mostly BS.

Sure, it happens but not very often and not often enough to make it even a viable side-hustle.

And yes, you could sell thousands of copies of your favorite cookie recipe if you have thousands of fans who love you already. Patrick Mahomes (Yes, I’m a Chiefs football fan) could sell thousands of cookie recipes, but I could not.

So when you see a list of ideas for selling recipes online that includes sites like Etsy, Reddit, Fiverr, or even selling individual recipes from your own website you should run away.

That is just not the world we live in.


Your unique recipes can make you a nice income, but recipes alone are not enough.

You need to have unique recipes, unique niches, and you must have good photos of your recipes if you’re going to make money from them.

Then you have to decide if you’re personally better prepared for the long-haul work (like starting your own food blog or creating a recipe book) or the immediate gratification of creating a recipe and selling it to others to use on their food blogs or in their magazines,

Both are good answers, so you just have to decide what works best for you!

I know from personal experience that you can make money from home as a Recipe Developer and there are lots of ways to go about reaching that payday.



With over 15 years of experience starting, running, and growing home-based food businesses, Stacey is the #1 home-based food business coach in America. Stacey is the author of the Advantage Meals: By The Numbers Book.

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