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How to Start a Food Blog: Turn Fun With Food Into Income!

16 Mins read

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

There are few blogging topics out there as essential as the popular food blog. We all need to eat, so there will always be someone out there in need of a new recipe, cooking hack, or money-saving tip.

Have you noticed just how much demand there is for this kind of content? Well, then you’re probably wondering how to start a food blog!

Anybody can start a food blog. Whether you’re an admired chef, great at following recipes, or the pickiest eater out there, we all have something food-related to share with the world.

This epic guide for your food blog covers everything from website hosting to content creation in one place!

How to Start a Food Blog


Should You Start a Food Blog?

There is no perfect answer to the question of who makes a great blogger.

On the one hand, there are the pro writers who know everything about SEO, marketing, and coding. Do you check off these boxes? Then great! You definitely have the potential to make a skillful blogger.

But when it comes to niches such as food, there is more to it than just blogging knowledge. Figuring out how to start a food blog? You’ll have to learn about the food and the blog!

To get started with a good food blog, you need to have passion for something in the diverse world of eating, cooking, baking, or food presentation.

Have you grown up loving to bake bread? Or maybe family recipes are your speciality? No matter where that love or passion comes from, creating a site about food content could be in your future.

The perfect food blog will combine a few aspects. First, you have to have the time and energy to invest in your blog. Second, you’ll need to be eager to share your food-related knowledge with the world.

Do you have both of these things? Then read on to find out how to start a food blog!

What a Successful Food Blog Looks Like

If you’ve ever looked up a recipe online, then chances are you’ve come across a food blog or similar content.

What content appeals to you? Deciding how to start a food blog often comes from being exposed to similar blogs.

A lot of food websites aren’t so much blogs as they are online cookbooks. There is undoubtedly a market for the online how-to-cook or bake guides, but a food blog takes on a different form.

Successful food blogs combine informative content with personality and experience. You may get some viewers who follow your step-by-step guide to making the perfect lasagna, but will they want to come back? Probably not, unless they need to make the lasagna again!

Let’s take What’s Gaby Cooking as an example of a successful flood blog.

This food blogger incorporates a handful of essential elements into her site. She posts her personal meal plans, including recipes that are easy to follow, and even a recipe index!

What’s Gaby Cooking has than just direct food-related content, though. She also features a “Culinary School” section on her website that is filled with essential kitchen tips, from knife skills to the basics of veggies.

In addition to her blogging skills, this food blogger has also branched off into podcast creation and YouTube videos.

Not a fan of reading a recipe on your computer screen or tablet? Now you can listen to Gaby explain the process right from your speakers.

Food Blog example
Image courtesy of What’s Gaby Cooking.

The combination of practical information, recipes, and lifestyle content help to make Gaby a one-stop shop. She can teach you any recipe you want, but she can also help you ensure that your kitchen is perfectly organised and let you know what is missing in your food-loving world.

Successful food blogs like Gaby can teach us a lot. In comparing What’s Gaby Cooking to other food blogs, we can see a few common traits. They include:

  • Attractive photography or video content of food
  • Personal explanations of why a recipe is worth sharing
  • Step-by-step guides on cooking/baking
  • Content beyond just preparing the food
how to start a food blog
Image courtesy of Unsplash.

The Importance of Visuals

One crucial element that cannot be stressed enough is attractive images or videos of food. Nobody will look at a text-only recipe and decide to create a meal. People need to see what their outcome should look like to determine if it’s something worth serving!

Video content is another good idea. Some people who are looking to learn how to make food have different learning styles. By offering photos, videos, and text, you can ensure that each reader will find something useful.

Learning how to start a food blog will also require you to learn more about how to take good pictures and videos. Fortunately, many phone cameras are high quality and can do most of the work for you!

In terms of creating content beyond just simple food preparation, this can include creating dinner party atmospheres, serving drinks, and simple dining etiquette. Some bloggers include this sort of information directly in their recipe posts, while others will produce entirely different pieces.

How to Get Started

By clicking on this guide, you’re already well on your way to starting a food blog!

However, one important thing to consider when deciding to start a food blog is if you have enough time to commit right away.

Many future bloggers fall into the trap of getting interested in a topic and doing a lot of research, only to put off the actual content creation until a later date.

Commit to getting things done as soon as possible to make sure that your passion and excitement stays. The longer you wait, the more that excitement fades.

You don’t want to look back six months from now and remember that you had plans to start a blog and managed to forget about them altogether! A part of learning how to start a food blog is deciding if it’s actually right for you.

How to Start a Food Blog: Step By Step


Step 1: Decide on a Sub Niche

As you’ve probably already gathered, there are a lot of topics that you can choose from when learning how to start a food blog.

Deciding which content niche you decide on for your site will be a personal decision. Only you know where your real expertise lies, but there are a few things that might help you sway in one direction.

Here are a few ideas of common sub niches for food blogs:

  • General cooking or baking recipes
  • Specific cuisines for cooking or baking
  • How to shop for food
  • Restaurant guides/reviews
  • The basics of cooking or baking
  • Food history
  • Food for wellness (healthy recipes, diabetes-specific recipes, etc.)
  • Child-specific recipes
start a food blog
Image courtesy of Unsplash.

The general cooking or baking recipes seem to be the most common since anyone with the ability to follow a recipe can create them.

In order to decide on your niche when learning how to start a food blog, it can be beneficial to start from a wider lens.

There’s certainly a need for these types of broader blogs, but you’ll want to make sure that yours will be unique and worth visiting before you move forward.

Cuisine Specific

Another common choice is to take on the task of a food or baking recipe blog and make it cuisine specific. For example, you could master dozens of Italian recipes and only post about those. Italian food lovers will know that your blog is trustworthy for that specific style of food.

Food Shopping

Food shopping is another niche that many people forget is an option. Food shopping isn’t as simple as wandering into a shop and buying what you need. There are tips and tricks to be learned about when things are in season, how to find reasonable prices, and more.

Restaurant Guides

Restaurant guides and reviews are another reader and writer favourite. These come in handy for readers who are travelling to a new city and want to try out fancy or exotic restaurants. You can decide to travel the world or just stick to your home city to do this!

The best part about creating restaurant guides or reviews is that you don’t need to know as much about cooking or baking. All that you need is a good eye for food and some excited tastebuds!

Food History

Things like food history or the basics of cooking are great niches to help the readers who lack some background knowledge on baking or cooking. Not everyone has grown up in a food-loving home, so you can help them fill in the gaps!

Wellness Food

Wellness food is a much-needed category, too. People who have dietary concerns like diabetes, or even people trying to find healthier recipes for weight loss may not have all the information they need to learn on their own.

Group Specific

Creating a blog that is specific to a particular group (like individuals with health-related concerns) can be especially beneficial if you deal with the same needs. Readers may find your struggle informative and will enjoy sharing your journey with you!

food bloggers
Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Finally, we have the child-specific food blogs. The massive blog niche of “Mommy Bloggers” has made waves in the blogging community, especially over the past decade.

So many parents out there want to know what’s best for their children, and learning how to start a food blog for this audience is a great way to contribute!

You could create a food blog that is specific for families. Child-specific recipes can take on many forms. It’s possible to go for a broader niche, or focus on smaller things like school lunches or even recipes that you can make with your child.

Picking Your Niche

Picking a broad niche, or just making a blog with a focus on food that covers other topics (like travelling or lifestyle) can be done. This is even easier if you already have an online following or social media presence. But you may find yourself overwhelmed with topics or too many readers who only stick around for one element of your blog.

One of the downsides to choosing a smaller, more constricted niche is that you may find yourself running out of things to write about.

These blogs can be helpful as you may have less competition, but just make sure that your brand leaves some room to branch out as needed.

No matter what sub niche you choose, you can often expand or change your focus later. But you may find yourself with a dedicated following that comes to you for your knowledge on one specific subject, and it’s important to tailor your content to what people are responding to.

Make sure that you listen to your readers!

Step 2: Get a Web Host and Domain Name

Choosing a domain name and a web hosting service are the first steps that you’ll take to actually get started on the technical side when learning how to start a food blog.

A web hosting service provides you with website maintenance. They help to make sure that your website is always online (with many services advertising 99.9% uptime).

Not only does a proper web host give your content a home online, but it also ensures that everything is displayed quickly for new and returning site visitors. This includes images, videos, interactive elements, and general content.

Some blogging platforms won’t require that you purchase a web hosting service. However, the host is incredibly important when learning how to start a food blog.

Most bloggers don’t have an in-depth understanding of server maintenance and the coding that happens behind-the-scenes, and that’s okay! When you go with a web hosting service, you won’t have to stress about those things. That will help you save more time for actual content creation.

Bluehost is one of our top picks for a web hosting service. This platform offers a variety of hosting plans that can easily be upgraded. Check out this video tutorial by Bluehost to see how to combine website creation with web hosting.

While in this stage of starting a food blog, you will also have to choose a domain name and register it.

The domain name is the title of your website. It is what people will search when trying to find your food blog, and it will also be used for marketing purposes, too. So, it’s important that you pick a good one!

Bluehost domain
Image courtesy of Bluehost.

When deciding how to start a food blog, your domain name should try to incorporate at least a few of the following elements:

  • Be related to your sub niche or inform viewers what topic they can expect to see on your blog
  • Have some element of personalisation
  • Be short and easy to spell

Everyone learning how to start a food blog may struggle with this. Let’s take a moment to go back to What’s Gaby Cooking because this is a great example of a good domain name.

You instantly know what this blog is about just on first glance. You expect it to be food related and filled with cooking guides.

Incorporating Gaby’s name also adds an element of personalisation, and ensures that she is front and centre when thinking about the blog.

Finally, What’s Gaby Cooking is short, sweet, and easy to pronounce. It may also inspire readers to wonder what Gaby is cooking next.

For example, my name is Meghan. Let’s say that I decide to make a food blog and have a niche of restaurant reviews. I may consider something such as:

  • What’s Meghan Eating?
  • Restaurant Reviews with Meghan
  • Dine Out With Me

All of these put an emphasis on food, the writer, and the sub niche (restaurant reviews) and would fit the blog and feel appropriate for readers.

Do you have an idea for a domain name in mind? GoDaddy is one of the most popular international domain registry platforms out there. You can search up your ideal domain name to make sure it’s available. Within a few simple steps, it can be yours!

Do you have no idea where to start in choosing a domain name? GoDaddy also allows you to type in keywords relating to your blog. The domain name generator will show you what similar domains are available.

Check out the below tutorial to find out how to make sure that you take full advantage of GoDaddy’s domain registry services. They also offer web hosting if you’re pleased with their options!

Step 3: Install WordPress

Regardless of your familiarity with starting a blog, we’re sure you’ve heard the name WordPress before. This common and convenient blogging platform has been around for ages and has helped create thousands of successful blogs around the world!

Bluehost Food Blog
Image courtesy of Bluehost.

There are various reasons that a future food blogger will want to choose WordPress. Here are some of the main reasons:

  • It’s free
  • It’s easy to learn
  • It allows for customisation
  • It makes SEO simple and easy
  • It allows for various plugins
  • It’s secure
  • It’s great for various types of bloggers, including food bloggers

Sound too good to be true? Fortunately, it isn’t!

While WordPress is free, there are a few additional costs that may come along down the road. This includes the option to purchase premium WordPress themes and other plugins, but you can still use WordPress without ever spending money.

Are you all set to install WordPress? You can take a look at their thorough guide here. For a visual guide, check out this tutorial on installing the blogging platform:

Your domain name and web hosting platforms can easily be transferred over to WordPress or another platform if you decide to move your food blog down the road.

Here are some other options for places that you can start a food blog if WordPress isn’t for you:

Step 4: Find the Right Theme

Are you tired of the technical steps that food bloggers must take to set up shop? Fortunately, you get to start playing around with your creative side when you get started on the WordPress themes step.

The right theme is essential in making sure that your food blog site is appealing and personalised.

The theme of a website is the overall design of the website. Though, more specifically, a WordPress theme is the collection of files that you use through the site’s builder to customise it.

Whichever theme that you choose will contribute to the vibe that it gives off to each passing viewer or dedicated reader, and combines elements of style, design, and site content.

There are various WordPress themes that you can choose from when building your site. They also allow you to customise them to fit your unique needs and preferences.

A few good themes to start off with include:

  • Astra
  • Soledad
  • GridLove

Sometimes a simple theme that allows maximum customisation is key. This can be especially true if you want to incorporate various photo-based elements of your own.

Here are some of the common elements that many food blogs share when it comes to themes:

  • Image-based themes with photos of food
  • Light or bright colour schemes
  • Contrasting colours
  • Iconography of food

For some food bloggers, you may decide to go with one of the themes that need no changes. This is great, too! However, you will want to make sure that there are enough unique elements to set you apart from the competition.

Watch this easy-to-follow guide on WordPress themes to get a better handle on installing one.

If you haven’t found the right WordPress themes for your blog, then don’t fret! You can always hire a professional website designer to create a unique theme for you. This can be costly, but worth it down the road.

Step 5: Write Useful Content

You’ve made it past most of the technical and design steps! This means that you’re well on your way through your journey of how to start a food blog.

This is where you finally get the opportunity to flex your food knowledge and share it with the world. Writing good content for your site can be the hardest part for some while coming naturally to others.

It’s always recommended to plan ahead when it comes to writing useful content. You want to have a clear plan for what you want to release and when you want to release it.

Of course, plans can change. You may find a new recipe that you feel the need to post write away. Though, we do think that a quick list of upcoming posts will help guide you on your way.

Your very first post is one of the most important things you’ll ever write. You want it to capture the essence of your blog, you as a food blogger, and what readers can expect in a future post.

The first thing that you release will depend on your sub niche. There are a few steps that you can take to make sure that it’s successful for any niche.

Ensuring that SEO is implemented in every post, and especially your first is key.

Implementing SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is how people find your blog on the internet. For example, if someone searches “How to Cook a Turkey” on Google, and you have a post about cooking turkeys, you’ll want it to be a top result.

Most search engine users barely make it past the first page, so being at the top of the results is the best way to drive your site hits. So, how can you ensure that you get there?

SEO is incredibly complicated and uses algorithms and diverse factors when deciding what takes it to the top. While becoming an expert on SEO is hard, it’s simple to get the hang of the basics.

The most important SEO element is choosing a long-tail keyword for every post you write. The “How to Cook a Turkey” example could be a great long-tail keyword, as this is something people will naturally type in a search bar.

Now that you know more about what SEO and long-tail keywords are, you may feel lost on how to find out which ones are the best. This is a common concern and starting point in researching how to best use your SEO tools.

The most simple way to start looking at trending keywords is with Google Trends. You can see the interest of each potential topic, as well as related topics to inspire your next keyword.

For example, check out the following photo. These are the results when searching “food blog” into the search bar. Based on this, you may consider writing something on vegetarian cuisine, or perhaps explore Disney food blog ideas.

how to start a food blog: analytics
Image courtesy of Google Trends.

Once you’ve decided on your long-tail keyword, you’ll want to incorporate it into your post a handful of times (remember, over-optimisation is a thing, too.) Make sure that it fits naturally as to not be distracting to the reader.

Secondary keywords are another important element. They don’t have to be as prevalent as the main keyword, but they can still make or break your ability to come up in search results.

While keeping SEO in mind is a must for writing posts, it still shouldn’t take away from your ability to write good content. Fortunately, that’s where SEO plugins come in handy!

Tools like Yoast allow you to look at your SEO metrics while writing, making sure you’re staying on track. These plugins will show you how good you’re doing at making your posts SEO friendly.

Watch this video for a better idea of how Yoast can change your SEO confidence.

Another thing to consider when you write useful content is making sure that it’s social media-friendly.

A social media-friendly blog post is something that you can see people sharing online. For some bloggers, Instagram is essential. This is especially true with travel or fashion blogs.

An interesting fact regarding social media and blogging use is that 69% of bloggers report using social share buttons! Make things easy to share and lead by example by sharing it yourself!

When it comes to food bloggers, you may find that Facebook is your best option. This is partially due to the main audience of Facebook. Though, it’s mostly because Facebook makes it easier to share longer posts.

Start at least a few social media accounts to go along with your blog so that you can share your content with potential followers. One great recipe can get shared by thousands of Facebook accounts. This will work as an easy advertisement for your blog while also sharing your thoughts with the world!

How Do Food Bloggers Get Paid?


Hopefully, by this point, you are feeling more equipped to start a food blog! While we’re sure you’ve got the content creation and website building down, it’s likely that you’re wondering how to make money from your site.

There are four main ways that food bloggers can make money. While you may find other methods, these four are the easiest and most reliable:

  1. Putting advertisements on your blog
  2. Affiliate marketing
  3. Sponsored posts
  4. Publishing an eBook

AdSense

The most simple way to put advertisements on your website is to use Google Adsense. All of the technical aspects are already taken care of, and you can simply install the program on your blog.

Image via Google Adsense.

You make money through advertisements whenever somebody clicks on your ads. This makes earning revenue easy, even if you don’t have thousands of faithful readers!

Affiliate Marketing

Next up, we have affiliate marketing. This is a very smart way to make money through food blogging. It’s easy to incorporate into posts, and readers will benefit from it, too!

Affiliate marketing is when you post links to products online. When someone buys the product by clicking on your link, then you will receive a share of the profits!

Amazon’s Affiliate program is a great place to start your affiliate marketing journey. The next time you publish a post, consider what products you’ve used. Can you find a similar product and recommend it to your readers? Then everyone will benefit!

Affiliate Links Food Blog
Image courtesy of Amazon.

Another route you can take is sponsored posts. This is when a brand or company pays you to write about them or their products. For a food blogger, this may look like a cooking product company paying you to use their pots and pans in a sponsored post.

Sell an eBook

A creative way to monetise your blog that is more specific to food bloggers is making a recipe book. This can be sold as an eBook or a hard copy, but eBook publishing is far more simple and cheap for bloggers. Take a look at the how-to video on self-publishing below.

Final Thoughts on Starting a Food Blog


Learning how to start a food blog takes dedication. You can’t just snap a few photos while baking cookies and call it a day!

Before you start your food blog, you’ll want to come up with a plan on the following concepts:

  • Choosing a sub niche
  • Building the actual blog
  • Creating content
  • Deciding what to write about
  • Optimising for SEO
  • Marketing your blog
  • Monetising the site

This may all seem daunting to a new blogger. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to take a long time to master the art of blogging – it just takes dedication.

So, get out there and start a food blog today. You never know about the great success you’ll enjoy until you give it a try!

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How to Start a Blog & Make Money in 2020 - A Beginners Guide