Cooking is something you love, right? Do you also enjoy sharing your recipes with others? Then why not make some money out of it?
Even if you can’t make a living out of it instantly, here are some perks it can give you.
If you start monetizing your cooking videos, some of your kitchen expense becomes a business expense, therefore you can save taxes on them. Similarly, dining out could become business research.
Moreover, you can collaborate with brands down the line and get to try their products before it hits the market.
Here is how to start with the journey.
On this page
Niche it down
Instead of creating just-food videos, focus on specific audience segments. This will make you an authority in the area.
You could, for instance, create an app for amateur cooks. Because these are the people who absolutely require someone to guide them through. And you could be the one that takes them through the journey.
Or maybe you could create an app geared toward fitness freaks. These are the people who constantly hunt for healthy recipes. If you are sincere in creating such videos, you can easily win their loyalty.
Even an app exclusive to a cuisine, like Chinese, Italian, Indian, Thai, Mexican, or whichever locale you are from.
Buy Your Equipment
You need a good camera to film your videos. If you want to make use of your mobile camera, it is fine, but make sure your camera is at least 12 MP.
Then you will need a tripod to hold your camera in place while you cook. Well, do you plan to hold your camera while cooking? I don’t think it’s a good idea.
Then think of the cooking equipment, like the utensils, ovens, stoves, knives, gloves, or apron. You can either use what is already there in your kitchen or buy them.
Learn Video Editing
Learn video editing. You will need this to add voice-over, background music, text, captions, trim unwanted footage, and much more.
Earn Your Following
You need some viewers, just as every other business needs its customers. YouTube is the right place to cut your teeth. You could also use other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to promote your content. Make sure you direct them to your app, where you have complete control.
Understand Your Audience
Ask for feedback and take it as positive criticism. Communicate with your viewers. Encourage them to request recipes and make sure you address them. Host live videos to talk with your viewers.
A connection is essential to building a rapport with your audience. This is the reason why world-class chefs like Gordan Ramsay and Emeril Lagasse have their own streaming apps and YouTube channels despite cooking on TV shows.
Building the App
Ultimately, your aim is to earn money through your recipe app. Now there are different ways to build your app.
- Code yourself (Not a good idea–you should rather focus on cooking)
- Outsource It (That’s quite expensive)
- Go for a SaaS OTT platform (this could be your best bet)
Once you have decided on one of the three methods, make sure your app has the following features so that you can run your business smoothly.
What Features Should Your Recipe App Have?
There are two types of features every app has. The first one is the features for admin (i.e.) you and the second one is the features your end-users (i.e.) audience use.
Let us first look at the features you need as an administrator to run your video business seamlessly.
1. Upload and Organize Videos
You must be able to upload your videos, either one at a time, or upload them together and schedule their publishing.
You must also be able to distribute the videos to your social handles from your app.
Moreover, you should be able to upload recipes as documents or PDFs for your viewers to download.
Watermarks not only protect your video from piracy but also help you to subtly brand your videos. So you must be able to watermark your videos from your app.
You must be able to add captions. This not only takes your content to a global audience but also makes it accessible for those on mute.
Did you know that 92% of mobile viewers watch videos on mute?
You must also be able to categorize your videos (for example vegan, breakfast recipes, dessert recipes, high protein recipes) and showcase them to your audience accordingly.
You need to understand how each of your videos is performing. This is not restricted to the number of views. This also includes watching time, video completion rate, devices used to watch videos (iPhone, Android phone, TV, PCs, etc), and demographics of your audience.
You need this information to continuously improve your content and create a better experience for your audience.
3. Live Streaming
This is one of the most important features you should have. This feature lets you connect with your audience.
Moreover, you should also be able to stream your older videos as live streams. This makes sure the videos are resurfaced over time and don’t just sit there idly.
Also, you must be able to create sub-admin accounts for your employees/ family members so that they can help you to handle comments, manage users, or maybe even upload videos and check reports.
4. Easy Ad Integration
You must be able to insert ads easily on your videos. It could either be google ads (Adsense and AdMob) or with any other ad server you have integrated with using VAST and VPAID tags or even hosting your own ads (uploading advertisement videos by yourself). You must be able to manage ads as campaigns to ensure you meet your agreement with advertisers.
You must be able to offer lessons. After all, your viewers want to learn to cook from you. What better way than to offer it as lessons? For this, you must be able to set up lessons, add ebooks, and set up payment for your courses.
Say multiple courses, each at a fixed price. Or bundling some of them together at a discounted price. It’s all up to you.
You must be able to send emails, push notifications, and in-app messages to keep your users informed about your new videos, upcoming videos, or live events. This not only improves engagement, but also builds a bond with your audience.
Now let’s analyze the features your audience will need:
1. Seamless Viewing
Nobody likes it when their video takes forever to load. At the same time, compressing the videos is a trade-off on quality.
The videos must be adaptively encoded based on the viewers’ network and device capability.
You would have noticed this feature on YouTube. You can switch the bitrate based on your requirement. But this should also happen automatically without the viewer changing it manually.
2. Download for Offline Viewing
Of course, you must be the one to decide this. You must be able to enable or disable downloading for your videos. If you have enabled it, your viewers must be able to download it and view it on your app anytime.
3. Continue Playing and Customized Watchlists
Your viewers may be interrupted by something while watching your video. They must be able to continue watching from where they left.
In addition, they may want to re-watch a video just before they start cooking it. In such cases, they must be able to add it to watchlists or playlists.
4. PIP Mode
Your player must be able to float while your viewers are browsing for additional information on your app. Picture-in-Picture (PIP) is not just a nice-to-have feature it is a must-to-have feature as it lets your users discover additional content in your app and keeps them hooked.
How will you make money from your recipe app?
There are so many ways to earn money from your recipe app. Let’s break it down one by one.
1. Your Videos
You can place ads on your videos. Sell premium videos for a fixed price or bundle them. You could also charge your users a monthly or annual subscription.
For cooking videos, placing ads have proven to be the best monetization method.
2. Affiliate marketing
You can partner with brands and endorse their products, like cooking utensils, food products, or anything that is related to your video.
3. Sell your own merchandise
You can sell e-books, physical books, long-shelf-life food products like taste makers or pickles (make sure you align with the government food safety policies of your locality), or goodies like apron, gloves, and more on your website and apps.
4. Online Courses
As we discussed earlier, you can sell cooking courses online. You can create a course once and keep earning from it.
Those who enjoy cooking can put their talent in good use with a recipe app.
Apart from making money, you can also improve your cooking skills, video making, and marketing skills.
Furthermore, you will become healthier through conscious cooking.
Above all, you’ll have the satisfaction of making people eat delicious and healthy food.