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The Complete (and Easy) Guide to Starting your own food blog

The Complete (and Easy) Guide to Starting your own food blog

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In today's article we'll show you how you can kickstart your dream of launching a food blog in 2020 in 9 easy steps!

The new year is finally here, and this means new beginning for many people and their dreams. If your dream was to be a food blogger someday, and help people bring deliciousness in their life, this might be your chance.

All you need to do is read our easy tips, and you can have your own food blog right away!

Food blogs are one of the best possible blogging niche due to their wide variety of sub-niches and great earning potential. Moreover, cooking is quite a popular hobby, and it's something many people can relate to in real life (as most of us cook on a daily basis and we often browse the web for recipes and ideas)

If you are an aspiring food blogger, this article will help you kickstart your project with minimum efforts. You don't need much except enthusiasm, a nice idea, a very small investment, and a couple of hours in order to follow the advice you'll find here.

Let's take a brief look at the steps you'll need to follow in order to create your recipe blog.

HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN FOOD BLOG

From a practical point of view, there are steps you should perform when you create any kind of blog. We've tried, however, to gather additional tips and tricks, specifically designed to help food bloggers.

Steps to create a food blog

Let's take a brief look at what points we'll be looking at:

  1. Choose your niche
  2. Do a competitor research
  3. Pick a great name
  4. Get a domain and a hosting
  5. Create the actual blog with WordPress
  6. Choose The right WordPress Theme and Plugins
  7. Select Your Marketing Toolbox
  8. Define Your Strategy
  9. Start blogging!

1. Choose your niche

Before you can create a food blog, you need to decide what kind of content you're going to post! If you have little to no experience in the kitchen, fear not. There are plenty of food blogs that share restaurant reviews, food product reviews, or even try cooking recipes from an inexperienced perspective!

Figure out what you're most interested in food and what kind of content you want to share. You can share original recipes, reviews, recount your experience trying recipes – the list goes on.

Many food blogs focus on a very specific niche of food and dive deep on that topic. This could be all baked goods, all foods from a certain culture, or even all one type of food, like an all pizza based food blog!

You could also run a local food blog, where you try all the best food in your city and target local followers and readers. Another option is a travel blog, where you try food in your travels around the world! There are endless opportunities for topics – you just have to find the right one for your blog.

The Minimalist baker, for example, is a blog that focuses on plant-based cooking with minimal number of ingridients. They were one of the pioneer in that niche and therefore, had a much better chance creating something that stands out from the crowd.

how to create niche food blog

Ideally, your food blog topic should be somewhat unique. If there's nothing to set your food blog apart, it can be harder to compete with food bloggers that already have a huge audience or thousands of posts. Try to make your food blog unique so that it stands out!

2. Do a competitor research

Many people think that competitor analysis and research is an activity reserved for fortune 500 companies, and small businesses do not need them.

This is a very misleading and dangerous notion, as an oversaturated market can be just as bad for a small business, as it would be for a big corporation.

Therefore, your second task after deciding what niche you want to specialize in, is to do some research.

Let's say you want to focus on authentic Italian recipes and you live in the USA. Start by creating a list of kewords related to this topic - you can think of a few keywords, like "authentic italian recipes" "italian pasta recipes" etc. then go to the tool Ubersuggest (it's free!).

[ubersuggest kewyord tool]

Generate a list of related keywords and then use Google to do some digging. If you Google "authentic italian pasta recipes" how many blogs you will find out? Are they old, established blogs with a lot of posts going back trhough the years? Do they have well-developed social media with lots of followers and engagement etc.

There is also a tool called Similar Web, whose free version will still allow you to gain some valuable information in regards to the competitors in your niche.

If you find yourself in a niche where the competition is quite overwhelming, maybe it's best to reconsider if there is another niche you'd like to explore.

3. Pick a Great Name for Your Blog

The next logical step is, of course, to think of an interesting and unique name for your food blog. Choosing a good name for your blog is crucial, because once you brand yourself, it's rather difficult change that in the future.

Also, just like your recipe niche, the name will help you distinguish yourself from the crowd. Remember that your blog name will constitute (fully or partially) your domain as well, so keep this in mind when you go through ideas. A good name usually covers the following criteria:

  • Unique
  • Memorable
  • Easy to spell
  • Possibly indicative of what your cuisine is

If you don't know where to start, you may think of ideas related to:

  • Your name (Sara's kitchen)
  • Your location (Kentucky Baked Chicken)
  • Your niche (Dumplings and Tea)
  • Food terms, rhymes, sayings, puns (Bake and Destroy)

Of course, you can also combine one or more of these elements with something else, the important thing is to keep the above-mentioned rules in mind.

If you stil feel stuck, try using this blog name generator. Remember, whatever name you pick, it needs to be at least somewhat in your domain. This means that once you thought of the perfect idea, you also need to see how it will look together.

A very lond domain is highly discouraged, as it can be tougher for people to type it. Same goes for strings of letters that look illegible; make sure you write down your domain and it looks something like this

www.manchestertoughestchef.com

perhaps you should reconsider. Good example of domains are

  • www.allrecipes.com
  • www.yummly.com
  • www.tasty.com
  • www.delish.com

etc.

4. Get a Domain and a Hosting plan

Now that you're done with the hard part - inventing a unique and creative name - it's time to register your domain for it (and of course, a hosting where your blog will be hosted).

First of all, you need to check if the domain you chose is available. Go to the registrer you chose and find the page where you can register a domain. For example, ours is here.

Open type the domain in; if it's available, you can go ahead and register it, alongside with the hosting plan you chose.

If the domain is not available, however, you have two alternatives - you can slightly change the domain or you can choose a different extention.

For example, if your blog name is Nonna's bakery and the domain you chose is www.nonnasbakery.com you can try to remove the "s" or go for a different extention - .org .blog .io etc.

There are many new extentions which sound really great and you can even create some word play with them (i.e. www.marleyand.me) however, people are used most of all to the .com

As for the hosting, this is where your site will reside for the time it's live in the internet. The web hosting is usually purchased for a period of time, starting usually from one month and going up to 36 months.

PRO TIP: If you're serious about starting a blog, choose the 36-month plan – not only it's always the cheapest option, but it can also give you a slight boost in authority.

We also recommend selecting additional protection under the form of Domain Privacy Protection - an option that will prevent your personal information from being visible to the public on the internet.

After you complete your domain and hosting purchase, you're ready for the next step - actually build your site!

managed wordpress hosting

5. Create the actual blog with WordPress

Using WordPress isn't a must at all; indeed there are other site builders you can choose. WordPress, however, is decisevely the most popular option (the CMS is currently powering 1/3 of all internet websites!)

Not only is the platform free to start with, but it's extremely intuitive and super user-friendly. Even if you've never used it for a single second, it will take you mere weeks to get used to the interface and start using the CMS with ease.

When you choose a web hosting for your WordPress site, make sure it has an easy option for WordPress installation. One of the most popular options for installing WordPress is simply through the managing panel called CPanel (we also operate with it).

Let's go over the steps you need to take if you are using a hosting provider that offers cPanel (and that will be most likely the case).

How to install WordPress in Cpanel

1.Login to cPanel according to the tutorial of the hosting you chose - for example, in our case you need to login to your account, then select the hosting plan you've just purchased, then click on "Login to cPanel" button.

how to login in cpanel

2.Find an click on the option WordPress Install

Install wordpress

3.A new window will open and you will be able to see an assisted automaticinstallation of WordPress. You're now only a few clicks away from your blog being ready!

how to install wordpress automatically

All you need to do here is:

  • Select the domain you've previously bought from the drop-down menu Choose Installation URL
  • Choose your blog name and tag (you can change them later, by default it will be written "My Blog" and "My WordPress Blog"
  • Choose username, password and administrator email (a pro tip: do not use admin as your username and choose a strong password; this is a good security breach prevention)
  • Click on install

Voila! You have now your WordPress blog ready to use. Keep in mind that the way cPanel looks may vary, but once you got to the installation window, it's pretty much the same layout.

If your hosting by any chance doesn't offer an easy option for installation (or you can't find it) the easiest thing you can do is contact the support, and ask them for help.

6. Choose The right WordPress Theme and Plugins

Once you're done with installing your WordPress blog, it's time for the next step, which is quite fun - you'll need to choose your theme or what your blog wll look like!

If this is your first time time dealing with WordPress themes, we'd highly recommend that you read our extensive [guide on how to choose the right WordPress theme for yourself.]

Choosing a proper WordPress theme is a crucial element for success. First of all, the theme will define how your blog will look - and you want it to look as best as possible according to your concept.

Secondly, themes usually affect to a great extent how a WordPress site performes. Their coding, their features and their customization options are very much related to performance and speed, so this is not a matter that should be treated lightly.

Usually, paid (premium) themes are more feature-rich and better developed. This should come as no surprise - after all, almost all freebies in the internet are either limited in functionalities or more basic when it comes to design.

Of course, you can also go for a free theme, but if you have a serious project in mind, be prepared that it might not be able to offer very extensive set of features.

If you search around, you will find several well-designed, user-friendly themes that are specially created for recipe and cooking blogs.

foodica wordpress theme

In fact, we have even an article dedicated to

RECOMMENDED: The Best WordPress Themes for food blogs

Make sure to research this topic extensively and get the best theme for your blog!

Once you've chosen your theme, follow this easy guide on how to install your WordPress.

Next, you need to get some plugins that can help you boost your site. Plugins are additional features added in WordPress to allow extra functionalities which aren't there by default.

There are many, many plugins that you can look into (the WordPress free repository alone reports more than 60K) , but here are some you can start with:

Yoast SEO: While SEO is a rather complex topic, there is a plugin which can help you simplify things and that's the Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin allows you to set many of the basic things you need for proper optimization and they also have a very good blog which features amazing SEO tips. It's one of the oldest and most popular options when it comes to search engine optimization.

Shareaholic: You know how most blogs have social media sharing options - either as a floating bar or below/above the articles? This is what this amazing plugin does - it helps you distribute your content by facilitating visitors to share it online.

Tasty Recipes: If you've chosen a theme not spcifically designed for a food blog, this plugin will save the day! Tasty recipes makes it it easier to compose recipes, and format them in a presentable way.

Tasty Pins: Pinterest is the ultimate place where many people search for recipes. Don't miss the opportunity to give people the possibility of pinning your delicious content in Pinterest!

For further and more detailed list of ideas, you can also visit the link below:

RECOMMENDED: The Essential list of WordPress Plugins for Food Bloggers

7. Select Your Marketing Toolbox

Once your website is up and running with all your great content, you'll need some help in order get to the right people, and also, to see how it performs and where things can be improved.

Analytics tools are amongst the most important in your toolbox, considering that you need to monitor how you're doing and adjust the strategy, if necessary.

The most basic thing you should absolutely have is Google Analytics. Google Analytics will help you understand pretty much everything about your traffic - where it comes from, what is your demographic, how long do they stay on your site etc.

All of this will help you better understand who you're addressing (your target audience) and therefore, create content more suited to them.

Also, if you see that people don't stay much on your site, it's a pretty clear signal something isn't quite right and you need to investigate what it is.

Along with Google Analytics another good tool to monitor is Google Search Console – this offers more performance metrics and ensures that your website is running well, and the pages are recognized by Google.

You can also look into the popular tool for behavioral monitoring - Hotjar. Hotjar will help you understand what people are doing on your blog by offering recordings of their behavior on the page - where they click, if they read the texts through etc.

Finally, email marketing is an essential channel for bloggers. While this is too much of a big topic to be explored in one paragraph we've put together a proper guide for email marketing for beginners. Feel free to check it and make sure email marketing and list building are included in your plan!

8. Define Your Strategy

Again, this may sound like an activity reserved only for big companies, but the truth is you need to know what you want to accomplish. Strategically speaking, if you don't have specific goals in mind, it will be much more difficult to decide what is the right marketing approach for you.

For example, many bloggers choose to kickstart their blog by producing a large amount of content and distribute it to the widest amount of channels they can. The big volume helps them speed up through the initial phase and get in a quicker manner to the position of an authority figure (if they produce quality content of course!).

In order to define your marketing strategy, it's strongly advised that you get a deeper understanding of digital marketing. There are many resources online, but we've selected a few that we consider most useful and practical for users with less experience:

Beginner's guide to content marketing

Beginner's guide to SEO

The complete Social Marketing Guide for bloggers

120 Marketing Tactics for blogger' success

9. Start blogging!

Congratulations - you are now a proud owner of a food blog! Follow the best pracices of web design, create inspired and high-quality content and keep educating yourself when it comes to digital marketing.

Never forget that blogging requires love, passion and patience just as any other enterprise, so give your project the time it needs and you will soon see the fruits of your hard work!

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