If you are a talent in the kitchen and you want to share your culinary thoughts with the world, you are probably thinking it’s time you start your own food blog. It’s the digital age, after all.
The good news is starting a food blog isn’t a difficult task. If you Google food blogs you’ll see plenty of others who are already sharing their wisdom and it has never been easier to get involved. Blogs are an affordable, simple way to spread your message.
Furthermore, food blogs can be outrageously lucrative. So, without further ado, here’s our step by step guide to starting a food blog in 2019.
1) Choosing your content management system (CMS)
Before you can pen a single word, you need to have a platform in place to actually build, manage and add content. There are plenty of options, such as Blogger, Drupal, and Joomla, but by far the most popular is WordPress. WordPress is a global CMS with 60% of the market share. And it’s for good reason – the platform is perfect for blogging and features many customizable functions and templates.
Being able to code or having design skills is a plus when using WordPress, however, as you can still build and customize your ideal blog site without touching a single line of code or being able to design in Photoshop.
2) Choosing your domain name
It sounds like a simple step, but this is the name that will help establish your brand. It’s the name that will appear in Google searches, on your shared blog links and so on. Typically, most domain names end in .com but there are other options if you’d prefer a .org, .co.uk.
Your domain name should reflect your blog’s personality and topic, and be short and catchy. And you’ll need to make sure the domain is actually available to use – a simple domain checker. Google will do the job.
Once you’ve picked the winning name, you’ll need to register it officially. Some hosting providers (which is a paid service) that hosts your blog will also include domain registration as part of the package.
3) Choosing a hosting provider
Now you’ve got your domain now set, you need to find a host. SiteGround or Bluehost are great options for those starting out. Their easy to use website set up includes the WordPress install, plus you get domain name thrown in. As your food blog grows, you can upgrade your hosting package to provide more features and more power (basically improving the performance of your website).
4) Choosing your blog theme
Once you are all set with your hosting provider and you’ve installed WordPress, you can begin to think about what your blog will look like. WordPress comes with a range of themes to choose from, all of which are suitable for blogs, and they also have a theme library for more options. As well as the actual design of the template, pick one that is responsive (adapts to different size screens – you want your site to look good on mobile) and comes with good support in case you experience any technical issues.
You can always change your theme after you’ve chosen one.
5) Choosing the right design
Once you’ve got your theme, you’ll need to think about how to make it as visually appealing as possible. Good food blogs often rely on powerful imagery to bring the blog to life. There are loads of easy to use tools to help you design good web images, such as Canva, and Shopify’s Hatchful to create an appealing blog logo – getting your logo right is vital as it is the first impression your audience will see.
6) Choosing your content
Once your site is looking how you want it, you can begin to start thinking about what sort of content you’ll be posting and when you will post it. Come up with your content ideas, create a schedule (whether it’s daily, weekly or less frequent) and stick to it.
Ultimately, your content will determine the success of your food blog, so think about the style of voice and make it as personal as possible. If recipes and tips are included in your blog, make sure ingredients and instructions are clearly marked in a list and so on.
Always add an image to your blog. The feature image is the one that will be displayed on your blog page (and if you share the link on social accounts), but don’t be afraid to add more images in the actual post. If your blog is a food recipe, take an image of the final masterpiece.
Last few tips: be original, authentic and don’t forget to use a search engine optimization tool like Yoast SEO to make sure you are findable on Google and co.
7) Choosing helpful tools
We just mentioned an SEO tool above, but there are plenty of tools you should add to your blog site to get the most out of it. Google’s tools Google Analytics and Google Search Console are no-brainers. You need to know how your blog is performing and what traffic you are getting, right??
One of the best things about WordPress is the plugins that work to expand its functionality. Plugins such as Akismet (filters out spam comments), social sharing plugins (to make it easy for your audience to spread the love), WordPress Related Posts (to show similar posts to your audience at the end of each blog), Jetpack (your all-in-one plugin for security and performance) and WP Rocket (for a faster, better performance website) are all good options.
Go to ‘plugins’ on the WordPress dashboard and search for the plugin name in the ‘add new’ section. Find the plugin you want and click ‘install now’, followed by ‘activate’.
8) Choosing how to promote your blog
Lastly, you need to get people to read your blog. Given the importance of social media channels these days, you should be publishing your content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so on. You could also install a WordPress popup builder, like Elementor, to capture your audience’s information (name and email address) or promote your best content.
If you start building an email list, you can begin sending out regular email communications to bring traffic to your site. Here’s a handy guide on making sure you send good emails without spamming your contacts.
If you’ve completed these steps you’ll be ready and raring to go to start posting on your new blog in 2019. What are you waiting for? Get publishing with those recipes, food photos and more. To learn more, learn more tips for food blog success.
About the author:
Michelle Deery is a freelance professional copywriter for Heroic Search. She is a marketing enthusiast and has been writing content online sharing her tips and tricks for over seven years. You can find her on Twitter.