Do you love Food? Do you own a camera? Are you ready to take three easy steps and start a food blog?
If you answered “Yes” to ALL three questions then get ready, in the next 15 minutes you could be showcasing your amazing creations online for the entire world to see!
Figuring out how to start a food blog can be tricky. I love food just like you but I’m not a web guru. My background is in Food Science but the scientific side of me has always been curious to the way things work. So I want to share some tips I’ve learned about starting your food blog with a step-by-step approach. Hopefully this will help guide you through the technical process.
Ready? Let’s get started!
DOMAIN NAME & HOSTING
What name would you like to call your blog?
It seems like a simple question but it can really get your brain thinking. I decided to play it very simple and pick my full name because it was actually available.
I suggest you think about your niche and what direction you want to take your food blog and list a bunch of keywords on paper. Do you love a particular food type? Do you always cook with a particular ingredient or tool? Once you have thought of some potential name combinations head to Bluehost to see if your domain name is available.
Enter a name in the box that looks like this:
If you’re asked to pick your plan level I’d suggest the Starter Plan, which is paid in one lump sum instead of monthly, but it’ll save you quite a bit of cash.
Now you will also need to host your domain name. Think of Hosting like renting space in the cloud to place files that will then display your blog content.
Bluehost has great rates and gives you your domain name for free if you decide to host with them. Win-Win!
Once you’ve completed registration with Bluehost you’ll need to go through the process of installing WordPress.
WordPress is the most popular type of blogging software. It’s what I use for jessicagavin.com. I promise for the non-tech person it is actually quite intuitive and VERY EASY to use. Now just follow along to install it on your new website.
Here’s how: Login to the Bluehost control panel (cpanel) and under the Website section, click “Install WordPress”.
On the next page click the option to “Install”.
Click the “Check Domain” button.
Check the terms and conditions box and then click the “Install Now” button.
Once you get the “Your install is complete!” as seen below, click the “View Credentials” button and you’ll want to make note of the Login URL, Username, and Password. You can change the password to something more personal or memorable later, but you’ll need them for your first time logging in.
Type your Login URL into your web browser. You’ll see a login screen like the one below. Enter your Username and Password you copied down from the previous step.
Congratulations! At this point your website is now live. I’m excited for you, how does it feel to officially have your own food blog? Welcome to the Food Blog club. Now lets make it pretty!
INSTALL A WORDPRESS THEME
Okay, so you are just a few clicks away from sharing your first recipe but before you jump into the kitchen there are a few things you can do to make your blog beautiful.
It’s time to select a theme that best represents who you are! WordPress has tons of free themes to choose from. You can scan through them here. If you’re looking for a premium theme (which I highly recommend), check out these options:
- The Foodie Theme ($99) – I currently have this food blog theme installed on the JessicaGavin.com website. I have a few custom modifications done by Shay Bocks, but I love it! The price includes the framework below and theme.
- The Genesis Framework by Studiopress ($59) – My blog is built on this framework. Themes offered by Studiopress are what I believe to be the nicest and functional themes available. Most of their newest themes also have built in responsive design which means they will work with mobile devices. Their community forums and support are also top notch.
- Elegant Themes ($69) – I think Elegant Themes look pretty and the feedback i’ve read said they are easy to use, as well they have several custom options. Browse around and see if you like their designs.
RECOMMENDED WORDPRESS PLUGINS
There’s so many plugins available for WordPress, below I have compiled a list of the top plugins I have installed on my blog.
- Askismet – Protects your blog from comment and trackback spam.
- Pinterest “Pin It” Button – Adds a Pinterest button to your site and gets visitors pinning your content which leads to backlinks.
- WP Ultimate Recipe Plugin – Great plugin that allows you to add the ingredients in a format that Google’s Recipe Search can read.
- WordPress SEO – Very easy to use SEO tool that analyses your content and gives you recommendations on how to better show up in the search results.
- W3 Total Cache – Improves the speed and user experience of your website, no body likes a slow loading site.
- Simple Social Icons – Makes it easy for visitors to share your content by displaying social icons on your pages.
Okay now come up with a blog schedule, whether it be posting once a day, once a week or once a month, be consistent and stick with it. Creating a wildly popular food blog is not something that happens overnight, so don’t be discouraged by this. The reality is that persistence over a long period of time is the key to success.
Don’t stop here, keep trying to improve upon your writing and photography skills. Great dialogue and interesting photos make readers want to share your content and it also keeps your followers coming back for more.
GET VISITORS TO YOUR BLOG
Now that you’ve created a beautiful blog and are showcasing your incredible recipes, let the world see it. Web traffic from the search engines can take awhile to get but a good way to speed things up is to share your recipes with other food enthusiast sites. Here’s a list of websites that I submit my recipes too:
Don’t feel bad if your photos don’t get accepted at first, to this day several of my photos still don’t get accepted but just keep trying to use different photo angles or try and perfect your photo editing skills using Photoshop or Lightroom. I also recommend reading photography tips from experts at TheKitchn.com and Saveur.
Good luck with everything and remember to have fun!
MORE FOOD BLOG RESOURCES
So my 3 step guide has got you started, now if you really want to take your blog to the next level then check out my list of resources for food bloggers that covers everything from camera equipment to monetizing your blog. Click Here