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.
Let's take a brief look at what points we'll be looking at:
- Choose your niche
- Do a competitor research
- Pick a great name
- Get a domain and a hosting
- Create the actual blog with WordPress
- Choose The right WordPress Theme and Plugins
- Select Your Marketing Toolbox
- Define Your Strategy
- 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.
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!).
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
Picking a name for your food blog is more important and often more difficult than you may think. The name of your food blog should also be unique, in part because you need a unique domain name, and in part, to make it easy to remember. Try to come up with a food blog name that is:
- Easy to spell
- Possibly indicative of what your cuisine is
Since the name of your food blog will likely be your domain name, it should be relatively short and easy to spell. That way, it makes it easy for readers to remember and to navigate back to your website.
Your blog's name should include one or more of the following things:
- Your name
- Your location
- Your niche
- Food terms, sayings, or puns
Combine these elements to create a name that is specific to your blog and the content you'll be sharing.
Coming up with a catchy name can be hard, but there are a few tricks you can use. One is alliteration, using the same first letter multiple times. For example, if your name is Leah and you live in Los Angeles, it could be something like LeahLovesLAFood. You could also incorporate food puns, sayings, or other quippy jokes that are short and easy to remember.
4. Get a domain and a hosting plan
Once you've come up with a name, you need to check to see if the domain is available. If a website already exists with that name, you'll have to change the domain or come up with a new name idea altogether.
If the name you came up with is available, you can now purchase it or get it for free with a hosting plan of your choosing.
You can choose to buy your domain name and then shop around for a web host; however, make sure to select a hosting provider that is reliable, secure, and yet cost-effective.
A web host is a server for your website, so you have to take this step for your blog to appear on the internet.
Fill out basic account information, and then choose the 36-month plan – if you're serious about starting a blog, this is a pretty short time frame, and it also offers the cheapest price.
We do recommend choosing a Domain Privacy Protection as it will prevent your personal information, like your name, address, and phone number from being visible to the public on the internet.
For your own privacy and safety, it's well worth the 99 cents per month for this protection. The other extras are unnecessary, however. We recommend that you uncheck the other add-ons and save your money.
Complete your purchase and you're onto the next step in building your website!
5. Create the actual blog with WordPress
WordPress is probably the most popular blogging software and website creation tool today – most bloggers use WordPress. It's incredibly intuitive and easy to use, and it's free with so you're already well on your way.
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 choices you'll see around is the managing panel called CPanel (we also operate with it).
Let's go over the steps in case you got yourself a hosting plan with cPanel.
How to install WordPress in Cpanel
- 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.
- Find an click on the option WordPress Install
- 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!
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 the same look (as it used a softwae called Softaculous).
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
Now that you officially have a website, it's time to make it look good! WordPress themes help you figure out what the website will actually look like, and there are a lot of themes to choose from. Some themes come for free, but for a better looking website, we recommend investing in a premium theme.
Choosing a good theme has many benefits. First, you want your website to look good and reflect your style and the tone of your content. But more than that, a theme can affect how your website performs outside of its visual appeal.
Premium themes ensure that the website is functional and responsive, which is vital to people being able to navigate your blog. A responsive theme will also transition well to smaller screens, like smartphones. Having a high-quality theme is also important for SEO purposes. Low-quality themes often have coding issues, user issues, or errors that will prevent Google from showing your site in search results.
Since you want people to see your blog, we recommend getting a premium theme. There are a few well-designed, user-friendly themes that we recommend especially for food bloggers.
Recommended WordPress Themes for Food Blogs
- Foodie Pro Theme from StudioPress
- Divi builder from Elegant themes
RECOMMENDED: How To Choose The Right WordPress Theme
Explore these themes or other premium themes and purchase your favorite – be sure to read reviews to learn how it performs. Once you have a theme, install it by following these instructions:
In WordPress, click "Appearance" on the left side panel. Click "Add New". Click "Upload Theme" and choose the theme you purchased. Click "Install". Click "Activate" to make the theme live on your site.
Now that your theme is installed, you can start adding content to your website!
If you want your website to perform its best, it's worth installing some plugins as well. Plugins are tools that add extra features to your site. Some are free, and others are paid.
There are endless plugins that you can look into, but we'll recommend a few for food bloggers:
Yoast SEO: SEO is complex, so to learn more, you should do research, but a good start is installing the Yoast SEO plugin. This will ensure that your content is optimized for search results.
Social Sharing Plugins: There are plenty of these to choose from, but all food blogs should have a social sharing tool. This makes it possible for readers to easily share your blog posts on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on.
Tasty Recipes: If you're starting a recipe blog, this plugin is for you. This makes it easier to format recipes, and makes it easy for others to share them.
Tasty Pins: Pinterest is a commonplace for food bloggers or people searching for recipes. This plugin helps share your posts and pictures to Pinterest with links back to your website.
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.
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:
9. Start blogging!
You now have a fully running website, complete with a theme, plugins, and analytics – so get posting! As always, share quality content, and you are sure to find an audience. Promote your food blog on social media, with hashtags, or through other free channels. Learning how to write for SEO can help your blog posts rank even better, but focus on quality and have fun with your new food blog!