How to Start a Food Blog
A Step by Step Dummy Proof Guide
As a foodie, you have a lot to share with the world…
You are constantly experimenting in the kitchen, going out to eat at the best and trendiest restaurants in the area and searching for the perfect ingredient to every dish.
Your friends and family likely seek you out for your opinion about what foods to serve, or more likely, constantly ask you to bring one of your special dishes to the next family get together.
Yep, there is no doubt that you’re a foodie, so why not share that passion with the rest of the world using your very own food blog.
While it is true that there are thousands of other blogs about food, most of them don’t have the personal touch of someone who is truly passionate about what they eat.
People like you know that eating is an experience, and not just a way to get the nutrients you need to survive, and that will shine through on your blog, appealing to a large audience.
Of course, you can’t build that audience if you don’t get your blog started off correctly, and that is just what I can help you with. I am a blogging expert, and have helped hundreds of people just like you take their passions and build them into beautiful blogs.
In addition to just sharing your love of food with the world, you can actually make some real money in the process!
If you follow this guide, I’ll walk you through the process of creating a beautiful blog, building an audience and becoming one of the best foodie sites on the web.
This isn’t just another generic ‘how to start a blog’ site… Everything about this guide is written specifically for food focused sites made by foodies just like you.
In addition to this guide, you can also sign up for my free newsletter which provides top notch information about blogging so you can keep your site at a level of excellence your fans will appreciate.
If you’ve never run a blog before, don’t worry, it really couldn’t be any simpler.
You don’t need to know a single line of code or have any technical experience. I’ll walk you through step by step to help get your site up and running fast so you can start sharing your passion for food with the rest of the world.
How to start your own Food Blog in 3 Easy Steps
If you’ve got 10-20 minutes to burn while your next great meal is cooking in the oven, follow these three steps to get your food blog registered and off the ground. Really, it doesn’t take any longer than that! Just follow these three simple steps to get started:
1. Choose and Buy Your Domain – Your domain, or URL, is the actual address of your site. You want to choose something related to food, which is also very easy to remember, like ethiopianchef.net. In addition, make sure you select a site that has a .com or .net extension available as those are the easiest to remember for your visitors. Once you have the desired domain name in mind, move on to step two.
2. Sign Up for Hosting – Web hosting is the service where your site will actually be stored. This is great to have once you start getting lots of visitors. Anyone who visits your site will retrieve all the content through the hosting company. I always recommend Bluehost for hosting because it is so easy to use. Signing up takes just moments, and they let you register your domain on their site as well. Their service is also very affordable so you don’t need to invest much at all to get your food blog started. They offer excellent 24/7 customer support if needed. [Disclosure] BlueHost gives me a small commission for my referral and it doesn’t add anything to your cost. This helps me continue to provide lots of free information for bloggers.
3. Install WordPress – Finally, you need to install the actual software that will run your website, which is called WordPress. WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world, and it is exceptionally easy to use, even for those with no previous experience. From your Bluehost control panel, you can have WordPress installed in just one simple click.
I’ve found that it is easier to follow these steps if you can actually see them being done. With this in mind, I’ve created a simple video that will walk you through each of these steps so you can see how it is done yourself. Watch this video, and then follow the link, which will bring you to BlueHost where you can purchase your domain and hosting.
Tips for the Beginner Food Blogger
While you certainly have the passion and knowledge to become a world class food blogger, you need to make sure you get your site going in the right direction from the very first day. The following simple tips will help you to do just that:
• Choose the Right Theme – The theme of your site is what gives it the look and feel that you want. More will be said about the theme below, but for now just know that having a theme that compliments your personal style is essential.
• Have Plenty of Recipes – For almost all good food blogs, having a section for recipes is very important. It gives visitors a reason to come back again and again, and also encourages user interaction which is essential for any good blog.
• Don’t Overdo the Recipes – On the other hand, you don’t want your site to be filled exclusively with recipes (unless that is what you’re going for). Recipe posts should account for up to 20% of your posts.
• Go Local – While your food blog is certain to attract a global audience, don’t be afraid to post about local restaurants or food topics. This will build a nice audience in your local area, and can also be valuable to anyone who may be traveling to the area from out of town.
• Encourage Comments – The best way to build up visitors is to keep people engaged. The best way to do that is to allow them to comment on your posts and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas. When they comment, make sure you respond to them so they keep coming back for more.
• Images are Essential – When you’re talking about food it is impossible to do it justice with just the written word. Make sure you are posting plenty of pictures along with what you write.
• Be the Expert – Remember, you are running this site because of how much you love food and how good you are at preparing it. Don’t be afraid to portray yourself as an expert in this area, it will give your site more credibility.
• Consider Attending Foodie Events – If there is ever a grand opening of a restaurant or another food related event in your area, make sure you attend it and then post about it. Once your site gets popular, you can actually get exclusive invitations to these types of events.
• Network with Other Food Bloggers – One of the best ways to build an audience is to get to know other successful food bloggers. Find a few that you love (I’ll recommend a few shortly) and reach out to them. See if they would be willing to let you write a guest post on their site in exchange for a link back to your page.
• Post Often – One of the worst things for any blog is to have weeks between posts. People will assume that it is not updated and never come back. Make sure you plan out at least 2-3 posts per week, especially at first, to help build your audience.
Best Free & Paid WordPress Themes
As mentioned above, the theme is one of the most important parts of your site. A well-made theme will be attractive and inviting so people want to spend a lot of time on your site. There are thousands of themes available to choose from, so take some time to find the right one for your site. The following are some great free options and some great paid (premium) options that are made just for food blogs.
RecipeBook – This is a free theme that functions just like most premium options. It is made primarily for recipe sites, but can be used for general food blogs as well. It highlights images perfectly without distracting from the rest of the content.
OrganicFood – This attractive theme has a fresh natural look that goes well with the subject of your page. There is room for images, recipes, written content and much more.
- StrawberryBlend – If you just want a simple site that highlights your posts without all the extras, this is the best choice for you. It is elegant and attractive without any distractions.
- Healthy Living – This is a beautiful premium theme that is designed to highlight images of foods, while still providing plenty of room for written content. It is a clean design that won’t distract visitors from the information you are sharing.
- Foodie – This is one of the most elaborate food blogging themes on the market today. It offers a beautiful layout, a built in recipe builder and rating system and much more. This is perfect for any food focused blog.
- MyMenu – This is a very nice looking three column WordPress theme that is great for foodies. It is easy to set up and works on any type of device without any problems.
Recommended WordPress Plugins for Food Blogs
A WordPress Plugin is essentially a piece of software that is installed into WordPress to give it some type of added functionality. All you have to do is find the plugin that you want, and click install and WordPress will take care of the rest. The following Plugins were chosen specifically to help optimize your food blog:
• Print Friendly and PDF – This is an essential Plugin for any site that offers recipes or cooking tips. It will make your posts able to be printed in a much easier format so that your visitors can get the most value out of your blog.
• Related Posts Thumbnails – This plugin will show other posts from your site that are related to the one visitors are currently viewing. This helps to keep them on your page, and also gives them a better overall user experience.
• Livefyre Realtime Comments – Comments are what really keep any blog alive, and this is especially true for food blogs. This plugin makes it much easier for visitors to comment, and allows you respond very quickly as well. There are many great features with this plugin that simply aren’t available with WordPress by default.
• Slick Social Share Buttons – No food blog would be complete without the ability to easily share a post on social media. People love sharing hot recipes, reviews or even just pictures of a delicious dish. With this plugin, people will be able to do just that with a single click. Not only do users love it, but this will help your site attract new visitors as well.
• All In One SEO Pack – Most food bloggers don’t want to have to worry about optimizing their site for the search engines. This one plugin essentially takes all that work and does it for you. Once it is installed, you just fill out the required fields with each post and it will ensure your site is set up perfectly to rank with Google and the other search engines.
Great Food Blogs to Network With and Be Inspired By
Following other food blogs is a great way to learn about what works and what doesn’t. It is also a great place to pick up ideas for your next post. Perhaps most importantly, you can reach out to the site owners to interact with them for both of your benefits. The following are some of the best food blogs on the net today, so consider giving them a read and see what you can learn:
• What’s for Lunch Honey – This is a lighthearted blog all about food. The owner of the site a food photographer, so you’ll get lots of ideas on how to take pictures of your food, as well as write about it.
• Two Peas and Their Pod – You’ll love the simplicity of this site. They have a lot to offer including recipes, cookbooks, commentary and more. It is all laid out in an easy to read way that most people love.
• Aggies Kitchen – Aggie’s kitchen has been a leading food blog since 2008. She shares her favorite dishes, recipes and even talks about gardening to get the freshest ingredients. Her blog also covers some food related travel tips, which shows how to incorporate related topics on your blog quite well.
• For The Love of Cooking – This site has a very simple design, yet packs a lot of great information on every page. It is easy to navigate and has a lot of really great posts that are entertaining to read.
• One Perfect Bite – This site is primarily a recipe site, but it really goes deeper than that. It is broken down and easy to find what you want, and has a lot that new food bloggers can learn from.
It should be clear by now that there is a lot of opportunity available for a new food blogger. Remember, you already have everything it takes to be the next big thing in this niche. All you have to do is take that first step and get started.
Don’t worry though, you’re not doing it on your own. I’ll be here throughout the process to help you when you need it. Like food is your passion, blogging is mine and I love sharing my knowledge and experience with others.
If you want to stay up to date with all my latest tips and tricks about blogging in general, as well as food specific blogging, please consider signing up for my free newsletter. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive occasional emails with valuable information.