Cooking channels are very popular on YouTube. And why not? Everyone needs to eat, and many people feel like they need instructions on how to cook well. I don’t have a cooking channel, but I have a series called “3 Ingredient Recipes” that I’ve uploaded weekly for 2 years (we’re closing in on our 100th episode) and I’ve learned a few things about presenting recipes and food on YouTube.
- I’m assuming you have a filming process, but if not…PREP EVERYTHING! There’s nothing worse, when I’m editing, than sitting through the moments while I’m searching for a spoon or an oven mitt or something. It wastes time on both ends of filming, so have every single thing you think you could need on-hand before you film.
- Look for what’s trending, food-wise, that week or month. Raindrop cakes and unicorn smoothies were big for a very short amount of time, so they would have done well during that window, but will seen passe afterward. Don’t chase trends, but make sure you know them if you want to take advantage of them.
- Evergreen search terms I’ve found are:
- Chicken recipes
- Spaghetti sauce (my highest-monetized video is a spaghetti sauce recipe)
- Vegan recipes do very, very well and vegan viewers love to have good, new content. HOWEVER, they can be very critical if you’re using things that aren’t certified as vegan or may be dodgy in terms of whether they’re vegan or not, so make sure you’re 100% animal-product free in your videos
- Put the whole recipe in your description box. It sounds counterintuitive, but the whole recipe will include many more search terms than a basic overview would, so you’ll make your content much more searchable
- Cut out the unneccessary parts. I don’t mean instructions here, but we don’t need to see you chop 500 scallions in real time. Fast-forward and montage works really well when showing all the steps, and most cooks can see the beginning and end of a process (slicing onions, for instance) without seeing the whole process
- Get some nice dishes. Seriously, all my plates are a light green, which is lovely in person, but it can make my food look really kind of off sometimes. (I still haven’t done this yet…good reminder to myself)
- Eat the food you make. I don’t know how many times I’ve forgotten to do this (the puppets I cohost with “eat” the food, but people know they don’t really taste it) and I get called out on it by viewers. They want to know you like the food itself
- Take requests! People have dishes they want to make, but they won’t ask unless you ask them, and they’re SO HAPPY when you make a dish they asked for
- Mix it up! Keep to a theme (we do only recipes that can be made with 3 ingredients), but if your recipes are all over the map, people won’t know why they’re going to you instead of just using the search bar
With some preparation and strategic thinking, your cooking channel can not only be a joy to create, but also gain an audience who appreciates all that you do. So get to cooking, eating, and YouTubing!