How To Make Money Selling Recipes

Practically everybody's got hundreds of recipes stashed away somewhere. Why not sell 'em? So why don't you? The right way is to run a small classified ad in any of the tabloid newspapers. You could also try a local newspaper, even put up a little note on the bulletin board in your local grocery store, church, community center or dozens of other places.

If you have something unusual, especially if you offer a package deal like 5-10 recipes for $2.00 or so, you can get quite a few responses, and indeed make a profit. Of course most people try a market a single recipe, charge upwards of $5.00 and end up with nothing to show for their efforts.

Anyone running recipe ads will be guaranteed lots of responses. Promise. No, they won't be from people wanting your favorite recipe. Well, maybe one or two will. Most inquiries will be offers to join a recipe club. Right now this very minute hundreds of people are going through the classified ads getting ready to send the unsuspecting recipe advertiser an offer to join their recipe club, which is another version of an illegal chain letter.

The first thing promoters of this type of scheme will tell you is that every one of their members gets hundreds and hundreds of people to send them one, two, even five dollars per recipe. It won't happen and it's illegal. As I already said very few people will part with $2-$5 for a single recipe, unless you know how to turn lead into gold or something equally exciting. So don't waste your money joining any clubs.

OK, now that you were warned what is likely to happen, it's time to tell you how you can, with a little luck, make money selling recipes. To keep your advertising costs to a minimum you must use classified ads. To compete with the dozens of others offering recipes you have to grab the readers attention. I know of no one who reads classified ads. People just skim through them and stop if they see something interesting.

So the most important part of your classified ad must be the first three or four words Choose powerful words that make your potential customer excited enough to read the rest of your ad.

Note the difference between the two ads on the following page. It's the same recipe but the choice of words in the first is so bland that practically everyone will pass it up. The second should at least spark a bit of curiosity, and get your potential customer to read the rest of your ad.


Delicious easily prepared dessert that your family will love. Send $2 & SASE to Helen A. Smith, 1234 W. Cherry Lane Chicago IL 60629.


Mouth watering sinfully delicious desserts. 5 tempting recipes you'll love. $2 Smith, 1234 W. Cherry Chicago IL 60629.

Write and rewrite your ad to get maximum impact with the fewest possible words Not only will your ad be more effective, it will cost you a lot less to run it as well.

Note the all too common mistakes in the first ad. A single recipe for something that probably can be found in most cook books. Unnecessary words that cost extra money. Nothing left to the reader's imagination. The reader's probably thinking I could call up Aunt Betty and get her Chocolate Torte recipe, besides I owe her a phone call anyway. Such an ad will draw few if any responses.

The first ad implies the recipe is easy to prepare. Usually a fatal mistake in recipe ads. Either the potential customer will think "if it's so easy to fix... it isn't worth the $2, or heck, I don't have the time prepare anything elaborate, I think I'll pass. It's a lose/lose method. Don't use it!

Another mistake is saying your family will love it. The reader may be thinking "You don't know my family." What you should be doing is get the reader to think about what he likes in desserts, without bringing back any bad memories. Since there's no way to know what the reader of your ad likes, stick with general terms. The exception should be the ad's headline (the first three or four words) which should qualify a general type of recipe without getting to specific.

The second ad serves this purpose and also uses a little psychology. How many ads have you seen that say "Don't read this?" It's only human nature that you will want to read it all the more.

Using verbs to describe the desserts probably gets the reader's mind to thinking back to the last dessert he enjoyed, without causing him to remember a specific dessert he may not have liked at all.

Not telling exactly what recipes you'll get will peak curiosity if the price is right. Of course offering 5 different recipes for the same price others charge for one recipe will improve you response rate without really increasing your costs.

Eliminating unnecessary words not only makes the ad more readable, it saves money too.

Finally, don't come across as being cheap. Asking for a self addressed stamped envelope will turn off a lot of potential customers The whole purpose of your ad should be to get inquiries so you can sell additional items. Remember, a satisfied customer is likely to order from you again. The key to making money in mail order is repeat business

Everyone likes a "free gift" so include a bonus free recipe or two.

When responses come in, fill orders daily. Don't wait around to see what the mailman brings tomorrow. Have a collection of additional recipes you can sell ready to go. Make a circular and include with the recipes you just sold. Offer a discount or some kind of special for ordering right away.

Consider selling hard to find kitchen tools you purchase wholesale or cook books from publisher's over stocks. Don't give up if you don't have success immediately, but be smart enough to know when things aren't working.

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