As a chef or culinary enthusiast, you can create or invest in passive income ideas to boost your revenue. Some passive income streams can stem from your hobbies or interests and earn good money in the long run for an upfront effort. Depending on what you are passionate about and are able to do, there probably is a passive income idea you can undertake as a chef to make more money on the side.
How can chefs earn passive income? There are many passive income-earning opportunities for chefs. As long as you are passionate and knowledgeable in something (in the culinary world or otherwise), you can turn it into a passive income source. Passive income sources that may be ideal for chefs include blogging, podcasting, creating niche sites, selling eBooks, affiliate marketing and more.
In this post, we look at six possible sources of passive income for chefs. Most of them are beginner friendly, and can be highly lucrative with time, effort, dedication and skill. For more details about each idea, feel free to click on the images or the orange button to see the guides on our site. The more successful passive income streams you have, the more income you make as a chef. Let’s dive in.
You have probably already seen this one but we are not talking about traditional blogging methods. The goal is not to blog about your day, but about things people are actually searching for in search engines related to topics that interest you. Blogging can be an excellent way of earning a passive income as a chef. In fact, there are food bloggers who make thousands of dollars monthly blogging about food (source). You can create a food blog about topics that interest you, or share food ideas like recipes, cooking lessons, preparation tips etc. Once you increase traffic to your blog and establish an audience, you can monetize it and make money from it. With quality content and the right strategies, a monetized food blog can help you earn over $1,000/month (source).
Building a blog and getting it to the monetization stage is not easy. You will need to upload quality content frequently to generate traffic and grow your audience. With the right strategies (like the ones offered in Income School’s Project 24), you can turn your blog into a passive income source that earns thousands of dollars every month. Some of the ways you can monetize your blog include placing ads, affiliate marketing, selling digital and physical products etc. With the knowledge gained from your first blog, you can create other food blogs from existing niches in the food industry, monetize them, and earn more passive income. For more information about how you can make passive income blogging, check out our blogging guide.
Cooking is such a visually appealing trade and video is an incredible medium to share your culinary passion with your audience! As a chef, sharing your cooking tips in the form of videos is an incredible passive income opportunity. There are people who prefer to watch food preparation as opposed to reading a recipe. Moreover, having a YouTube account is a great way of showing your culinary skills to many people around the world. With the right niche, content, and a few strategies, you can monetize your YouTube channel and earn over $1,000/month (source). For example, you can start a YouTube channel that teaches people how to prepare pastries, home cooked meals, healthy foods, just choose a niche you love or specialize in. Make sure to let your personality shine and make people want to follow you, otherwise it’s easy for food-content to become a commodity (you will just be providing another recipe among others).
Building a successful channel is not easy, especially in the food niche. You need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4k hours of watch time within the last 365 days for your channel to be eligible for monetization. You can learn these and other tips of turning your channel into a passive income stream from the Project 24 course. Having a food blog and YouTube channel enables you to make more money passively. Definitely check out our YouTube for passive income guide for more details about YouTube as a passive income stream.
Podcasts are still gaining in popularity. As a chef, you can record podcasts, post them for your audience to listen to, and make money. Many celebrity chefs record podcasts and make lots of money from them (source). With the right strategies and content, you can build a successful podcasting business that can help you make thousands of dollars every month (source). You can record and post podcasts that teach people about different recipes, preparation methods, cooking courses or provide interviews with other chefs. Once your content starts to generate traffic and your audience grows, you can monetize your podcasts and earn a passive income.
Building a podcast business is not easy. Getting your podcast to the monetization stage requires you to create time off your busy schedule to record, edit, post, and promote your podcasts. With the right content and a few more strategies you can learn from Project 24 that includes a course on podcasting, you can earn good money. You can monetize your podcast by placing ads, affiliate marketing, selling products and more. You can also earn income through membership fees and donations. For more details about podcasting and how you can earn a passive income from it as a chef, feel free to check out our guide.
4. Selling eBooks
You can earn a decent income off selling eBooks e.g. recipes, cooking courses, ingredient breakdowns etc. The best part? Creating and making eBooks available for sale is actually very easy and can be made highly passive. You can choose to create your own eBooks (e.g. if you want to share your own recipes) or, you can outsource the services of ghostwriters to do the work for you. All you need is to identify a niche topic, write popular content or the kind of content you would like to read, and promote it to your audience once you are ready to sell your book. So long as your content is compelling and you have an active audience willing to purchase your content, you can earn extra monthly income (source).
Platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allow you to write, upload and sell your eBooks fairly easily. You can also sell it on your own website using the eCommerce widget Ecwid to make more money in the process (since there are no commissions on your sales with Ecwid). If you choose to have your eBook written for you, you will need some financial investment to have your book written, edited, promoted etc., once it is completed, uploaded, and starts selling, you can start to enjoy passive income. Check out this guide for more information about how you can make passive income from eBooks. That guide also contains a short video demonstrating how to make an eBook for free.
5. Creating Niche Site
A niche site is another passive income idea ideal for chefs. It is typically a blog designed to serve a specific audience or answer specific questions about a niche. As a chef, you can create a niche site that offers information on a niche in the food industry, monetize it, and make money from it. For example, instead of blogging about ‘Indian Food Recipes’, you can target your niche further to “Spice-Free Indian Food Recipes” or “Healthy Indian Food Recipes.” That way, your content attracts an audience that is more targeted, reducing competition from other blogs on search engines.
According to Project 24, if you can grow your audience and hit 30k views on your page every month, you should be earning $1,000/month from your niche site (following their methodology). A successful niche site can actually earn over $7,000/month following the Project 24 method after 24 months (source). It’s important to remember your audience visits your site to search for information about a specific topic so it should offer quality content that is well researched and clear enough to appeal to your audience. With a sound audience, you can monetize your site (through ads, affiliate marketing, selling products, sponsorships etc.) and start earning passive income. For more details about niche sites and how to build one that earns passive income, please check out our guide.
6. Affiliate Marketing
As a chef, you can promote and sell products (e.g. cooking products, kitchenware, ingredients etc.) to your audience. Your audience can be on just about any platform from a blog to YouTube, a podcast, niche site or other. You earn a commission on sales made through your link. With the right product and marketing strategies, you can earn good income as an affiliate marketer (source). For example, you can promote and sell things like kitchenware, cookery, ingredients, kitchen products, cook books and more from affiliate programs (like Amazon Affiliates, Commission Junction (CJ), Affiliate.com, PeerFly etc.), and earn a commission on every sale made through your links.
Although affiliate marketing sounds easy and lucrative, it requires time, patience, and expertise. To become a successful affiliate marketer, you have to identify a viable product (one you actually use and like is best), promote it to your audience, and create content about it. As an affiliate marketer with a large audience, your audience trusts you so it’s important for you to promote products you are well knowledgeable about or use frequently as a chef (or other niche you choose to cover). For more details about affiliate marketing as a passive income stream, please check out our guide.
How much passive income can chefs make? How much passive income you make depends on the type of stream you are able and willing to do. Some passive income streams are more demanding to build (time and money) so it’s important to choose a stream you will enjoy. You can combine two or more streams (e.g., monetized blog, YouTube channel and eBooks) to earn more passive income in the process.
Can I earn passive income after retiring from my chef career? You can earn passive income after retiring. Some online ideas include blogging, creating niche sites, running a monetized YouTube channel, or podcast. You choice may depend on what you are willing and able to do.
How long would it take before I start earning income passively? Every passive income stream offers unique periods before you can start earning passive income. Generally, the amount of time it takes before you break even depends on your individual effort, choice of niche, location of your business, skill, motivation and execution among other things.