Do you hate scrolling through multiple pages of the recipe blogs before getting to the actual recipe? The recipe bloggers know that some people hate it but they still put their recipes at the bottom of the page.
There are multiple reasons why recipe blogs make your scroll so much and we will talk about them in this blog.
Difference Between A Typical Blog And A Recipe Blog
Although they have almost the same length, the main difference is the content they are offering.
For a typical blog, regardless if they are talking about personal finance or travel, what the audience wants to read can be spread throughout the blog.
However, for a recipe blog, some audiences only want to jump right into the recipe without going through all the non-recipe content.
Example Of A Recipe Blog Page Breakdown
Here is an example of a recipe for a Baked BBQ Chicken.
You can see that before the recipe appears, there is a lot of filler content and ads. I did not include the comments section as it will make the page even longer. For one recipe, there are 1,663 words, 11 ads and 4 affiliate links.
Why Do Recipe Blogs Place Their Recipes At The Bottom?
There are three main reasons why recipe blogs are so long, making you scroll through the background stories behind each recipe.
Business Model Of Recipe Blogs
First, running a website isn’t free and it can be extremely costly when you get a lot of traffic. You need to pay for hosting, domain costs, website design, copywriting and more. If there is a team behind the website, you need to make sure you have enough cash flow to pay them.
Next, some websites are businesses and they need to turn a profit. Here are some ways to monetize a blog.
- Affiliate and referral links
- Sponsored posts
- Events – Online / Offline
There can also be newsletter sign-ups or a lead magnet (e.g. free recipe book) to create an email listing.
The email list collected will allow the business to market things like exclusive courses or cooking equipment to you.
The longer the blog post, the more real estate there is for placing ads and affiliate links, newsletter sign-ups, lead magnets. When the reader scrolls through the long blog post on their way to the recipe, they will view ads and might sign up for the newsletter or buy things via the affiliate links.
If the recipe is located at the top, there will be a significantly lower amount of real estate to monetize the content.
Successful Recipe Blog Example
This recipe blogger is making multiple six-figures annually from her brand. She monetizes her recipe blog via advertising, affiliate and sponsored posts. She receives an estimated 600,000 – 700,000 unique visitors a month.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is essential to a website’s traffic. It determines whether a website appears on the top few results when searching for a keyword (e.g. spaghetti recipe). A blogger tried placing her recipes at the top and noticed that her pages decreased in the search results ranking which will directly affect the traffic and income of the website.
Recipes Are Generally The Same
A recipe for spaghetti is similar between all recipe blogs except for a few differences in timing or ingredients. What a recipe blogger can do is to write stories, specific tips like ingredient replacement or common mistakes/problems regarding the dish to differentiate themselves from all the other blogs covering the same recipe.
Everyone will be using the phrase “Teriyaki Chicken Recipe”, but only you can personalize it with your own story and tips.
The post can also contain various keywords that make their specific recipe blog post more relevant. Before writing a blog post for a recipe, the writer can search for common questions people ask or problems people face when cooking that dish. They can do that via several tools like AnswerThePublic, Keyword.io, Google keyword planner or even the Google search bar autocomplete to look for keywords.
Examples of questions and problems include
- How long to cook spaghetti?
- Can I replace canned tomatoes with fresh tomatoes?
- Do I need to add oil/salt to the pasta cooking water?
- Can I freeze my spaghetti sauce?
- Spaghetti without tomato sauce/paste
- Bronze cut vs Teflon cut pasta
Time Spent On Recipe Blogs
If a reader only jumps straight to the recipe or if the recipe is located right on top, it might affect the amount of time spent on the website. Also, a reader might leave immediately after getting the recipe.
Source: The Ad Store
Some metrics might affect whether the recipe appears on the search results. If the metrics do not perform, there might be a chance that the recipe might be ranked lower or not even appear on the first page of Google results.
The metrics affected are
- Bounce rate – Whether the reader leaves immediately after visiting the page or visit other pages of the website
- Time on page – Time spend on the recipe page
- Session duration – Time spent on the entire website
Fans call the stories authentic, relatable and intimate while non-fans call them irrelevant and a waste of time.
The stories and tips not only help in SEO and monetization, but they also build a connection between the audience and the writer. Those who like to read through the whole content tend to build a long-term relationship with the recipe blog and return for more recipes.
It might surprise you but some people actually like reading the stories and other content before the recipe. They are not here just for the recipes but also to be part of the community.
These individuals will comment with the questions and how much they love the recipes and also share photos of them trying out the recipes.
How I Think Recipe Blogs Should Monetize Their Content
Ads are an easy way to monetize content by just plugging some code into the website.
However, I think that ads interspersed throughout the post are very distracting and make the browsing experience unpleasant. Especially the audience that read the content will also feel irritated. Site owners are also unable to curate the ads so the ads might be irrelevant to their audience. Even if ads are inevitable, I think site owners should control the number of ads throughout the post and not let them appear every 1 – 2 paragraphs.
Here are some ways I think recipe blogs can make use to monetize their content.
Affiliate And Referral
They can share relevant products regarding the recipe. This adds value to the audience instead of just spamming ads between paragraphs. Muffin recipes can have affiliate links to baking trays and ovens or air-fried chicken wings can have affiliate links to air fryers. Affiliate and referral links should be clearly labelled and disclosed at the top of the post.
Working with brands and products the blog owner personally trust, they can write sponsored content using products or equipment from their clients. These sponsored posts also provide value to the audience as the content and the ad portion is coherent. Sponsored posts should also be clearly labelled and disclosed.
Jump To Recipe Buttons
Source: Bowl Of Delicious
Jump To Recipe buttons provide a choice to the different groups of audiences. This function can satisfy both groups, those that want to read the stories and those that want to jump right into the recipe.
However, although this option provides a much better user experience, it potentially can reduce the amount of income via ads as lesser people will scroll through all the ads.
The ads served within the recipe card are potentially more relevant and has a higher clickthrough rate as audiences tend to pay more attention to the recipe portion.
Although a typical blog and a recipe blog have similar word counts, they differ in the type of content they offer (throughout the post vs just the recipe). There are reasons why recipe blogs make us scroll so much. It is part of their business model and it helps with search engine optimization and community building. Removing excess ads and rethinking how recipe blogs monetize their content can help their audience have a much better experience.