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How to write recipes
Abs @ Payhip

How to Write Recipes: 5 Things to Know

Last updated: October 12, 2022

These days it’s not too difficult to write recipes and load them onto a blog or website. But if you plan to write and sell recipes online and make money from downloads it pays to spend time perfecting your craft.

Learning how to write and sell recipes online is about more than creating tasty dishes that people can recreate for themselves. Presentation matters. 

Payhip simplifies the process of uploading recipes, presenting them for sale and getting paid immediately for every download. That bit’s relatively easy. So let’s spend a bit of time looking at how to make your recipes as appealing and helpful as possible.

How to Write Recipes

1. Choose Your Recipes Based on Your Audience

Choosing recipes has a lot to do with knowing your audience. It isn’t just deciding what flavors and style of cooking they might prefer, it’s also about their lifestyle and skill levels.

To reach a mass market, simplicity is often best. If you’re selling recipes for weeknight suppers, thirty minutes or so might be all people have to spend on preparation and cooking. Shortcuts and cheats are always popular. Busy people love one pan meals.

The same applies to ingredients. The more you can focus on the things most people have in their store cupboards the more online recipes you’re likely to sell.

Try not to overcomplicate your recipes with too many steps or ingredients. Consider what you can leave out without compromising the result.

Remember, the aim isn’t to show off what a talented cook you are, it’s to make everything as accessible and appealing as possible.

2. Gather Basic Information 

Always specify the number of servings and give an estimated cooking time. List the ingredients clearly so that people can check that they have everything they need.

Try to base your recipes around the quantities that people typically buy ingredients in, such as whole tins, whole or half packets. This helps to simplify things and avoid waste.

Be precise with your ingredients and be consistent about whether you’re using metric or imperial. It’s a good idea to highlight any potential allergens and whether there are alternatives that can be used instead.

3. Refine The Cooking Method

Simple, logical steps that are foolproof and easy to follow are what you’re after. Because you know the recipe well it’s easy to assume that people will always understand what you mean. If onions need to be finely chopped rather than just ‘chopped,’ spell it out. And then be clear about whether you are just trying to soften or to brown the onions when you cook them.

List the ingredients line-by-line in the order they appear in the recipe. This makes it easier to follow. And always get somebody to test your recipe to identify any missing steps or instructions that need clarification.

Finally, think about things that people are likely to get wrong and pre-empt them with a warning. 

4. Refine the Language

Write your instructions in a friendly and approachable way. If you want to write and sell recipes online it’s best to avoid any ‘cheffy’ terms that people might not understand. ‘Cut into matchsticks’ rather than ‘prepare a julienne.’

Take a bit of time to write an appealing title and description of your dish. You can use this as a summary on your storefront to get readers salivating and eager to click the download button.

5. Provide Nutrition Information

This is certainly something to consider – particularly for family meals. There are online nutrition calculators that you can use to provide the data, although it’s probably a good idea to state that any values are just a guide or an estimate.


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Write and Sell Recipes Online – Other Helpful Information

Once somebody’s tried one of your recipes you want them to come back and try another. Or maybe pay to download an entire recipe book. It pays to invest time in being as helpful as possible.

Think about what else people might like to know such as whether the dish can be frozen, how long it will keep in the refrigerator, what drinks would complement it (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and whether any of the ingredients can be substituted.

Once you’ve put together a collection of appealing recipes there’s no easier way to sell them online than with Payhip. The process is simple and the ‘free forever’ option means there’s no upfront cost.

Check out our in-depth guide on selling recipes online, and happy selling!


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