One question I get asked a LOT is how to start a food blog. Now, there are PLENTY of resources out there on the internet, but I decided to go ahead and put together a list of the steps that I recommend to friends and family when they ask me this question.
How to Start a Food Blog
1. Choose a Genre
A genre is the category your food blog belongs to. It is usually best to pick and stick to one single food genre or a few closely related ones. For example, my website features Trim Healthy Mama recipes. This also fits well into the low carb, low fat, and keto diets. So that’s what I stick to.
Some other genre examples include baking, desserts, Southern foods, comfort foods, and family foods.
Sticking to one single or a few closely related genres makes your blog easier to maintain and write for and it makes your website more professional.
2. Decide on a Title
Next, decide on a name for your blog. Choose one that is easy to pronounce, easy to spell, memorable, and short. You also want to make sure it fits your chosen genre and doesn’t sound cheesy or too goofy.
You’ll also want to be sure to search the internet, Facebook, and other social media outlets for the same name to ensure that the name you’re entertaining isn’t already taken by another blogger. If it is already taken, start from scratch on brainstorming a title.
3. Choose a Host
Now you need to choose a host where your website will “live.” I HIGHLY recommend my host–Black Chicken Host. They have reasonable prices for the amount of traffic you have. Plus they’re very helpful. If something goes wrong in the workings of your website, you can usually call on them to help fix it.
Once you have selected a host, check if your domain is available via their website (on Black Chicken Host, you can do this by clicking on “My Account”). You want the domain to be simple without any unusual hyphens or numbers. Typically, the domain name is just your website plus .com. For example, my website is TJ’s Taste so my domain is simply tjstaste.com.
If the domain you want is available, you’ll need to buy it (or register it) then sign up for a monthly or annual hosting plan (both done via the host–don’t worry, they walk you through it).
4. Install WordPress
WordPress is essentially the “program” that I use to run my website. It is the best content management system available (at least in my opinion!).
Getting WordPress installed might be easy based on your web host (for example, if you use Black Chicken Host, just ask and they’ll install it for you). If your web host doesn’t do WordPress installs, then you’ll need to do it yourself.
5. Select a Theme
This is a fun part! There are LOTS of different themes out there. You can get some more inexpensive (but often lesser quality) ones via ThemeForest.net.
But the theme I love (and use myself) is the Genesis framework theme by StudioPress. It has LOTS of functionality!
If you go with the Genesis theme, then you’ll want to also buy what is called a child theme. This is handy because this holds the styling and functionality of your blog, saving it when you update WordPress and the Genesis theme (whereas changes might be deleted upon updating if you didn’t have a child theme). I highly recommend themes produced by StudioPress and Restored 316.
6. Design Your Website
Now for some even more fun stuff! After you have a theme and an optional child theme, you’ll need to tweak your theme to create your own unique styling.
There are two ways to go about doing this–DIY it (that’s what I do) or hire someone to do it for you.
The negative about doing it yourself is you have to know about CSS, PHP, HTML…these are basically computer programming languages. If you don’t know these, then your best bet is to hire someone.
To find a designer, simply Google “WordPress website designer.” Pick one that has good online ratings. One that I’d recommend is Mountaintop Web Design.
7. Create a Logo
In addition to the overall style of your website, you’ll also want to create a logo. This food blog is your brand, and every good brand has an awesome logo.
I highly recommend using Fiverr to find and hire a logo designer. Find one that has good user ratings and a creative style that you like.
If you want to go the DIY route with your logo design, a good program to do so is Canva.
8. Add Plugins
Plugins are pre-made tools that you install into your WordPress website to increase functionality.
The most important plugin you’ll need for your website is a recipe plugin. This is how you’ll enter and display your recipes, plus make them functional for readers (printable, containing nutrition facts, etc.).
The recipe plugin I use and most recommend is WP Recipe Maker by Bootstrapped Ventures. There is a free version and a premium version.
Beyond the recipe plugin, there are TONS of other plugins available too. Here are the top three that I recommend:
- Akismet Anti-Spam. This plugin keeps spam comments at bay (because trust me, you’ll get a ridiculous amount of spam comments).
- Grow by MediaVine. This is the plugin that I use to have share buttons at the top and bottom of each post as well as social media follow buttons on the sidebar and the footer.
- Rank Math SEO. This plugin helps me optimize each post for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes.
9. Set Up Google Analytics
One of the most important things you’ll want to do before creating is install Google Analytics on your website. This is critical because it tracks your traffic, demographics, most popular posts, and so on.
10. Get Creating
Last but not least is to start creating content. Share delicious, authentic, original recipes with beautiful photos that you take yourself. Share across social media and watch as the traffic starts to trickle in!
- How to Develop, Write, & Share Recipes by TJ’s Taste
- Free 7-Day Food Photography Ecourse by Two Loves Studio
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide by Google