Categories: HOW TO

How To Start A Food Blog – 7 Simple & Actionable Steps

So you love to eat and want to share your great recipes with the world? To do this, you may want to know how to start a food blog and get connect with other foodies. There are a couple of ways to get started.

First, you can hire someone to design and set up your food blog Or, you can install WordPress in 5 mins and do it yourself. Doing it yourself is definitely less expensive, but there are some steps you should follow when starting a food blog.

An Overview on How to Start a Food Blog

If you are going to start a food blog, then it is a good idea to start with a WordPress site.

WordPress is a content management system designed for blogging and provides a wide variety of choices in themes and other design elements for your blog.

You will need a catchy, unique domain name and a distinct look for your blog. One of the great things about WordPress is that it allows you to scale up your site as your business grows. For your best shot at success as a food blogger, follow these steps:

  • Create a unique and catchy domain name and buy it. Do not host your site on a free blogging site.
  • Find a reliable hosting service where you can host your site and it is accessible worldwide.
  • Install WordPress. This is truly a no-brainer if you are going to be blogging.
  • Install the right WordPress theme. There are many themes available for free on WordPress and some are even specifically designed for creating a food blog. Start with a free theme and then as your blog grows, you can purchase a premium avada wordpress theme if necessary.
  • Set up Google tools. Google is the monster among search engines and provides some great tools for managing your website.
  • Install WordPress plugins. These are designed to enhance the functionality of your WordPress site.
  • Start blogging. Once your site is set up, you can start posting those great recipes.

This is a quick overview of what it will take to start a food blog. There is a little more to each step, so let’s take a closer look.

#1. Naming Your Blog And Buying The Matching Domain Name

The single hardest step in this entire process may be coming up with a unique and catchy name for your food blog. You can begin by coming up with a short mission statement and then brainstorming names that seem to meet that mission. Or, you can develop a list of words which describe your lifestyle, cooking style, your personality, etc.

Try throwing in your dog’s name or the name of your favourite stuffed animal. Discuss the name with your friends and then pick one. There are certain characteristics that all good blog names have in common. They are memorable, short, descriptive, and easy to spell.

Once you have a couple of possible blog names, you will need to ensure they are available. Add a .com to the end and then do a Google search. If your name does not come up, it is available. You can also check with the domain name search sites such as Whois, to see if that name is being used with another domain extension such as .org or .us.

It is best to use a name that is not being used anywhere at all. Once you find it, either buy that domain name through your hosting service or through a domain purchase website.

#2. Use A Reliable Hosting Service

The next step in starting a food blog is to find a top 10 hosting companies in India. Yes, it is possible to begin blogging using one of the free websites such as Weebly or Blogger, but this is not recommended.

When you use a free service, you do not own the content on the site. The blogging or website service can dictate what can and cannot be said and can even suspend or completely take down your site if you violate their standards.

When you have spent a great deal of time building a site and a loyal following, you certainly don’t want it suddenly taken down.

Hosting your site with a web hosting company will cost you, but it is relatively inexpensive. You can find reliable hosting services for around Rs.239/month.

For instance, here is an example of the basic hosting packages offered by BigRock.in (To know more about its plans and features, take a look at BigRock hosting review)

You will probably choose a shared hosting plan since these are the least expensive. Expect to pay for your hosting services upfront, but they all offer money-back guarantees if you are not happy.

You will be offered a variety of plans. Since you are just starting out, you should go with a plan that provides free emails, unlimited domains, unlimited bandwidth, and good customer support. You may want to pay for extra domain privacy protection if it is not included in your package.

Best part, here’s how you can buy hosting from BigRock

  • Step 1. To get started, click here to go to BigRock website.
  • Step 2. Choose a web hosting from under the “Hosting” tab
  • Step 3. Select a web hosting plan by clicking on “Select Plan”
  • Step 4. A pop-up window will open up. If you have a domain, click on “Yes” and enter it or to create a new domain select “No”.
  • Step 5. Next, enter your Domain Name. Check or un-check addons (SiteLock or CodeGuard) and click on “Continue”
  • Step 6. Check your order summary, enter the BigRock Promo Codes in the given box and click on “Proceed to Payment” to buy your hosting package

#3. Install WordPress

As one of the top blogging platforms, once you choose your hosting service, you can install WordPress. You can do this through the cPanel or control panel of the service. Installing WordPress is free and all you need to do is follow the step-by-step instructions to get it up and running on your website.

If you have purchased web hosting from BigRock then here is a video on how to manually install WordPress on Bigrock in 5 minutes.

#4. Install A WordPress Theme

The next step is selecting the right WordPress theme for your food blog. When it comes to how to start a food blog, choosing the theme is one of the most important steps. As mentioned earlier, there are many WordPress Themes available so consider these factors when you make your choice.

  • Responsive – Choose a responsive design which means the theme provides your customers with their optimal viewing experience. It does not matter if they are visiting from their phone, laptop, or their tablet, the site appears the same on each device. This means your visitors will not have to zoom or pinch to read your posts. The text will automatically be a readable size.
  • Well-designed – You should try and use a free theme when you start, so you get time to build your audience and create a following. This does not mean you have to settle for any WordPress theme. Do some research and select a theme that meets your goals for appearance and aesthetics. It should also offer the features you need.
  • Optimized for search results – A well-designed site that typically ranks higher in the search engine results indicates that it is seen by more people. Ensure your site theme has no errors. You can check this by running the theme’s URL through one of the validation services available online.
  • Backed by great support – Choose a WordPress theme that has great support in case you run into technical issues.
  • User-friendly – Search for a theme that offers built-in design options so you do not have to know the code to make changes. This will save you a great deal of time, especially if you are new to blogging. Any theme you choose should make it easy to change the color, logo, font, etc.

As you set up your WordPress theme, keep these factors in mind:

  • Make your site easy to navigate. Keep it clean and uncluttered so your visitors can easily find what they need.
  • Encourage your visitors to follow you. Place links to your email subscription options, your RSS feed, and your social media pages.
  • Suggest sharing. Provide sharing buttons for all your social media sites and place them where your visitors are sure to see them.
  • Commenting. Make it easy for your visitors to comment on your posts. Do not add CAPTCHAs or logins before your visitors can comment.

#5. Install Google Tools

There are several tools available from Google which help with managing and growing your site. These are Google Analytics, Google Analytics (Webmaster Tools), and Feedburner. Each comes with step-by-step instructions if you Google them.

#6. Install WordPress Plugins

There are some WordPress plugins that can help make your site take off. If you use a free theme, some of these features may not be available.

  • AddThis is a social bookmarking plugin. It automatically adds a Facebook Like button, a Pin It button and other social media share buttons.
  • Akismet is a great plugin for filtering out spam comments.
  • Easy Recipe is a wonderful plugin that helps format recipes so they are enhanced for search engine optimization.
  • jQuery Pin It Button For Images is a plugin that makes it easier for your visitors to post your images to Pinterest.
  • WordPress Related Posts allows you to display other related posts at the end of each new post.
  • WordPress SEO by Yoast is a plugin that helps you set up your site so it is optimized for the search engines.
  •  
    Also, website backup is important. So, choose an appropriate plugin for accurate and timely backup of data and files.

#7. Start Blogging

There is a holy trinity of food blogging. This is a combination of wonderful writing, gorgeous food photography, and solid recipes. Your visitors must be tantalized and intrigued by your posts and want to stay and continue reading. Plus, it will boost your on-page SEO.

  • Gorgeous Food Photography
  • While you do not necessarily need an expensive camera to take food pictures, you do need to know how to take the best food pictures possible.

    You can find many tutorials and other resources on how to take good pictures, but the two most important hints are to style the food so it appears appetizing and doesn’t use the built-in front flash.

    Begin by checking out some great food sites and looking at their food images. Pick one or two images you really like and figure out how to reproduce them. Consider the food, of course, but also, check the shadows, lighting, and how the food is composed.

    Pay close attention to how the light hits the food and where the shadows fall. Is the shadow soft or harsh? Is the light hard or diffused? Are there highlights on the food?

    The more you look at great food pictures, the more you will understand how they are created.

  • Wonderful Writing
  • This may be the most important and the most difficult aspect of how to start a food blog.

    Take some time and plan your posts. You will have to create fresh content frequently, so think about what you want to say and how to say it. Content must be relevant to your readers or they will not stay.

    Try and solve a problem or provide them something they need. This may be a little easier for a food blogger since most visitors are searching for new and exciting recipes and that is what you are providing. Write often because the more you write, the stronger your distinctive voice. The more you do it, the better you will get at it.

    You will also have to read all the time. Visit other successful food blogs and read their posts. Offer to share their content on your post, but be sure and get their agreement before doing so.

    You should not only read recipes and cookbooks but also food-related articles and other pieces. It is even helpful to read things that are not food-related. It all helps develop your writing ability. You are working to build a relationship with your readers, so it helps to know how to write to attract and keep their interest.

  • Great Recipes
  • There are several basic rules about writing a recipe, but the tone and the wording are both important.

    Try and tell a tale when you write down your recipe. The basic rules include always listing the ingredients first and in the order, they are used. It helps to write out words like teaspoons and tablespoons to avoid confusing your readers. Always be precise.

    For example, use dark brown sugar, not light brown. There are some great sites that can help you write recipes like a pro.

    Before you post a recipe, be sure and test it to ensure it is correct. You may find it difficult to find the time, but this is an important step. This can be the difference in creating a top-tier food blog or just a recipe site.

    When you are learning how to start a food blog, you may find yourself testing a recipe two or three times before you post it.

Conclusion

When it comes to the basics, starting a food blog is not rocket science. Successful food blogging is all about building trust with your readers so they try and share your recipes.

Creating energized and helpful posts and providing recipes that you know will work, and your visitors will keep coming back for more.

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