How to promote a cooking software?


I have a hard time getting visitors to my site where I sell a cooking software for Windows. I'm still improving it by SEO (especially the english version is far from perfect) but suppose that will pay back only later.

I wrote a lot of foodbloggers and there have been very few responses at all and most are not eager to write about the tool (although I got some good feedback). I don't know the reason but I suppose a desktop app to manage recipes offline without ads makes no sense for them.

I started to add the software to some of the bigger shareware sites which usually get some hits the first day when the software is listed very high in the news. But this drops soon with the listing on the page.

On the positive site, sales are not that bad in relation to the low number of visitors. But this can't stay that way forever I suppose.

I can't afford to spend too much on marketing though. Maybe there are marketing avenues especially in regard to the niche I do not see yet.

Marketing Strategy Promotion

asked Aug 25 '11 at 21:25
167 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • By the way checked out your site its quite attractive. No interest in a cooking solution but its a very inviting site. – John Bogrand 12 years ago
  • Where is the link to your software? – A. Garcia 12 years ago
  • I found it through a link in Amenti's profile. – John Bogrand 12 years ago
  • You could go and establish yourself as an expert here: Barisonzi 12 years ago
  • @John Bogrand Thanks. :) I wasn't sure if the direct posting of a link would be appropriate here so i didn't. – Amenti 12 years ago
  • Could you create an app for smartphones? It would be easier to have the phone next to you while you cook, than a laptop or computer. – A. Garcia 12 years ago
  • Ding ding dign. @A.Garcia has the answer to your real problem. Look at the iPad cooking apps. They are gorgeous, cheap, and come prepopulated with recipes from the most trusted sites. Part of your problem is that this type of app might be hitting the wrong market. Having said that - I'll give you some feedback below. – Chris Kluis 12 years ago
  • @A. Garcia I'm working on it. :) Maybe you are right and this will get the ball rolling. – Amenti 12 years ago

5 Answers


First off, congratulations for developing the product.

Now, what you need here is focus. First things first:

  • Who is your target audience? Anybody with an internet connection? Maybe middle age housewives in developed countries? It is very difficult to generate traffic to your website if you don't know who your target audience is, and what their browsing habits are. Those who do go to your website, do you ask them how they found you? Do you know which site they came from?
  • You didn't mention this, but is your product unique? Who are your competitors? How is your product different? How is it better than the good ol' recipe book?

Also, the vast majority of online consumers are in the US, Europe (specially the UK), Canada and Japan. If the English version of your product is "far from perfect", you are already giving away a big chunk of that market. Remember also that people who use recipes to cook expect and demand very precise and accurate information. How are they going to trust your app if the language is not polished?

Foodbloggers are a good way to promote your product, but they are constantly bombarded by people like you trying to use them as a marketing platform. Before you ask for a favor, you may want to contribute to their blogs, by leaving comments and send them relevant information. Then, you ask for the favor. Don't put the cart before the horse.

The fact that sales are not bad in relation to visitors is a good sign. I would use those revenues to market the product. If you don't reinvest your profits, you'll never grow your business. And yes, this means spending money, maybe a lot, in marketing. The "build it and they will come" philosophy is a very dangerous one in business.

Good luck.

answered Aug 26 '11 at 00:08
A. Garcia
1,601 points
  • Thanks. Most visitors come from Google or Ask. Many are in search of a specific recipe, conversions here are very low. People who search for a program convert much better but I really neglected the english market until now as I did just realize looking into Googles keyword tool. There are a lot of competitors. Most of them look very dated though (on Windows at least), like an "Excel for cooks". I'm not sure yet I'm fit to do the kind of social marketing you propose being a totally unsocial coder and all ;) but I understand its value and I'll try. – Amenti 12 years ago
  • Maybe you could add some testimonials from real customers. Also, I would make it very clear the problem that the product solves. Social marketing takes time. You may wanna hire somebody to do it for you, maybe a company or even a marketing student. How about a homemade video explaining why you developed the product? People are hungry for authenticity. – A. Garcia 12 years ago


Conversion item

  • Add the price to the main pages - no one likes clicking add to cart to see the price
Marketing Idea

  • Do a recipe contest
Here is how I would promote it:

  1. Submit a recipe
  2. Auto-convert to blog post
  3. Run a monthly contest for most page views in a month for a post
  4. Give that person special recognition and a copy of the software

If there is a file type they could use to import the recipes from each post - you then provide a means for people to use other people's recipes.

answered Aug 27 '11 at 05:54
Chris Kluis
1,225 points
  • Good stuff. Maybe you could also play the "Made in Germany" and "German Engineering" brands to your advantage (I am assuming that you are German). Also it wasn't 100% clear to me how your product works. Does it come preloaded with recipes? Viewers usually spend less than a minute to figure out the website, and if not, they just leave. Good luck. – A. Garcia 12 years ago
  • @A. Garcia Yes, I am german. To be honest I never would have thought using that as an advantage. :) I really have to overhaul some of the texts if it isn't clear what the program does. Thanks for the info. – Amenti 12 years ago
  • I like the ideas a lot (and you are right about the price I suppose, I'll fix that). – Amenti 12 years ago


How much content do you have on your marketing website? One cheap way to get interest is to start writing relevant articles. So, for example, how you cooked a kick-ass dish... and what your software did to help that. There's always the time-tested "Top 5 Tips"-style articles you can write as well, although honestly I'm not sure how much people still enjoy them.

Once you have a few articles written and up on your website, promote, promote, promote. Don't spam, but find blogs, or reddit-like sites of related interest and promote the articles to them. Offer to guest-write blog posts on other blogs, using your articles as proof of your abilities.

None of this costs any money except for your time. If you have a spare couple of hours, I think it's worth a shot :-)

answered Aug 25 '11 at 22:57
66 points
  • I think the advice is sound but I'm not sure I'm an engaging enough writer for that. Boring articles will lead nowhere I suppose. Maybe I should look for outside help. – Amenti 12 years ago
  • Well at least give it a try! No-one is born a journalist, you have to practise to improve. If you don't have any budget at the moment, and doing it yourself will save $100, I'd strongly advise sitting down for the two hours it'll take you to churn them out. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. How's this for a plan: go and find a few articles that you find engaging, and try to write in their style. Start off by being a straight rip-off, and gradually make them more and more unique. Finally, write an article from scratch. Good luck! :) – Tom 12 years ago


Apart from blogging, you could also go to the top two or three forums where your target clientele likes to spend time. Become a regular part of the community. Contribute. Over time you'll have opportunities to develop relationships and spread the word about your tool.

answered Aug 25 '11 at 23:09
Miguel Buckenmeyer
482 points


Have you consider having a Freenium version that is possibly limited by the number of recipes that it can store, or only store recipes with 5 ingredients or less, or some other limitations.

And then publicised it extensively via blogs, youtube videos, give copies away to cooking school.

answered Aug 27 '11 at 07:33
144 points

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