This food blogging guide seeks to demystify the process of starting food blogs successfully. We will deal with all aspects from creating the food blog site to how you can make money food blogging.
Remember that to setting up a food blog requires you to learn some simple technical skills. You will learn this below.
Introduction To Food Blogging That Gets You Paid
So you want to learn how to start a food blog and make money with your blog but you don’t have the slightest idea on where to start? I understand you, six years ago, I was where you are! I was more frustrated than you are. This was before I met Greg – The Free Blog Starter who helped me set up my food blog (It is making up to $35,000 per month) and ever since I have devoted my time helping people like start food blogging and earn a living. (That is what we do here)
I know how it feels when you really want to publish your food posts whether they are awesome recipes, or cooking guides for the world to read, but the information available on the internet is some sort of mix-up.
Whether you want to learn how to start a cooking blog (general food blog), recipe sharing blog, or even create a food blog that covers a specific topic like healthy eating, I will put everything for you in simple and straightforward way.
Shall we get started building our food blog?
Ready To start Your Own Food Blog?
There are 3 key ways (that have worked for others) of how to become a food blogger depending on your appetite for technical stuff.
Here are the 3 fundamental ways you can use to create a successful food blogging site:
Free Basic Set Up: We are on a mission to help every passionate writer out there start a blog and learn how to monetize it. You can actually make use of our free blog set up services.
If you are looking for a free set up service, this option will work for you. Get started with our free WordPress installation service.
The only downside of our technical blog service is that we will only set up your food blog using free themes and plugins.
You will have to deal with other customizations using our free guides. (Security, Backups, Optimization, Speed).
Premium Food Blogging Starter Kit (Save $1500):
Our food bloggger kit will help you get started with your food blog faster and easily. No need to waste thousands hiring a web designers plus blog maintenance services. You get everything under one simple package.
This is an advanced kit where our team will create a premium food blog for you using a premium WordPress theme.
We will also secure you blog and set up backups for your blog.
This service is for people who are serious about setting up food blog with intentions of making money. With our bloggers kit, you will get everything below for one simple price ($599):
- WordPress Installation
- Blog Logo Design
- A Premium Food Blog Theme (Unique Design Set Up For You) – ($200 Value)
- iThemes Security Pro Plugin – ($197 value)
- BackupBuddy Plugin – ($197 Value)
- 1 Year WP-Rocket Plugin – ($99 Value)
- 1 Year Fully Paid Maintenance Plan ($700 Value)
- Basic Initial SEO Configured
- 101 Learning WordPress Videos – ($200 Value)
- Unlimitted Answer Requests ( We will answer all your questions)
Cost- $599 One Time Charge.
Do It On Your Own:
This is the core of our food blogging guide. In this guide, I will show you how to set up a food blog on your own, all the plugins you need, and how to become a successful food blogger.
This is your time to get technical- although we have simplified everything for you! I will teach you everything I have learned in my 6 years of food blogging in this guide.
Also, make sure you join my email list – we will send guides and tips (plus offers) on how you can grow a food blog (any other blog) to an 8 figure income blog per year.
Ready to build a food blog on your own? I Know you are, but before I do, let me clear up some misconceptions.
The Truth Nobody Telling You About Running a Food Blogging Site
Be warned that these are the kind of bloggers who want just to make some money with you and you ain’t getting any successful.
Here are some of the things they won’t tell you. Don’t get me wrong! They might be telling you some truth, but not the hard truth. But ‘truth shall set you free’
I am gonna disappoint you, better get ready. Ooops! I want you to get prepared psychologically so that you can succeed.
– It Takes Money To Make Money: Blogging will cost you money. Yes you can start a food blog for free but you will have to spend money eventually. If you want to earn a serious income blogging, forget about free things BUT only spend money on the most important stuff. I can tell you from experience!
– The Entrepreneurial Mindset: You can to have an entrepreneurial mindset to make money with your food blog. You have to learn the art of selling.
– You Have To Standout: To become a successful food blogger, you must be unique. Don’t do different things, but do things differently. If you are starting just another food blog, please don’t!
– Photography Skills: Photography and photo editing is an important skill you have to learn. Your pictures should be clear and attractive.
– Technical Blogging Skills: You have to learn some technical skills including but not limited to – hosting, website optimization, troubleshooting, manual plugin and themes installtion and upgrade among other thing you will learn along the way.
– It Is Not An Overnight Success: Making money food blogging is not an overnight thing. You will have to work on it.
– Determination and Hardwork: A lot of guides won’t tell you how you will spend the better part of the day writing posts, editing, and promoting them online. Most will talk about working 4 hours a week! That is BS! Blogging is not an easy task. It takes hardwork, determination, and running lots of promotions to earn good amount of money off your food blog. But don’t worry each step at a time.
I thought it is great to clear these misconceptions so that you can get started food blogging with the right mindset.
I believe time is the most valuable resource that we have and hence you shouldn’t waste time setting up a food blog if you don’t have what is takes to grow it to become a success.
Enough with these. Forgive me for taking too much of your time, lets dive into how to set up a food blog.
Links To Starting a Food Blog Guide
1. Decide On Blogging Topics
2. Come Up With a Catchy Food Blog Name
3. Select a Reliable Blog Hosting Service
4. Install and Configure WordPress
5. Design Your Food Blog
6. Install Necessary Plugins
7. Configure Social Accounts
8. Set Up an Email Marketing Service
9. Create Content That Sells
10. Learn How To Make Money Food Blogging
We have packaged everything you need to know to start a successful food blog here.
1. Decide On Food Blogging Topic
I advise people looking to create a food blog (cooking blog websites- as some may call them) to first think critically on what they want to blog about and asses the impact the blog will have on their readers.
Many new food bloggers coming up each day are starting food blogs and after one or two years they fail miserably. If you are trying to build a food blogging website without a clear focus the following W’s of food blogging, then you are destined for a fail.
– Why: Outlines the reasons why you are starting a food blog.
– What: What you be blogging about? What is you primary focus?
– How: How will you be a better food blogger? How will your food blog standout?
– When: In blogging ‘when‘ is critical. You must execute your blogging strategy in a timely manner.
I recommend that you think and research about the main topics of your food blog even before you start find a name for your food blog.
Remember that choosing blogging topics beforehand will make the process of starting your blog easy.
So go out there and look what other successful food bloggers are doing and ask yourself what can you can do better. Once you have come up with great blogging topics (or at least have made up your mind on the area focus) now you can proceed to the next step on how to create a food blog name.
TIP: For starters, Do not start a general food blog – It will overwhelm you and you might end up not growing your blog to become a success.
2. Choose Clever Food Blog Names
Note that on this section title reads ‘choose clever food blog names’ – This is because you should try to come up food blog name ideas, from which you will pick the best name amongst the food blog names you have noted down.
This is the second step in setting up a food blog successfully. You need to come up with an attractive and catchy food blog name. This is a name that your users will relate your blog with.
When coming up with food blog name ideas, you actually don’t need to waste time using food blog name generators. You need to be creative. Always remember that creativity is key to food blogging success.
Here are 4 considerations when choosing a food blog name.
Keep It Short and Simple – Don’t go for a long name. I would advise that you don’t go beyond 3 words.
Don’t Focus On Keywords – Focusing on Keywords will only make your work hard. Don’t fall for the misconception that keyword domains are better. Infact, for Keyword domains that are not authoritative, most search engines will not rank them well. If today, was 6-10 years ago, a keyword domain would be your first bet.
Find a Brandable Name – Blogging is a business. This means that branding your food blog won’t be an option. You need to come up with a name that can represent a brand. If you are not able to come up with a good name, you can use your name – for those who don’t mind using personal details. Furthermore, blogging is a personal affair. What are good blog names?
Relevance – How relevant is the name you want to use for your food blog? To come relevance blog names, brainstorming is the best technique. Invest your time in coming up with unique food blog names instead of spending time hopping from one food blog name generator to another.
I hope by now you have already come up with a number clever food blog names. If you are still stuck on what should I name my food blog, you can proceed setting up your food blog and later find close people to you who can help you come up with unique food blog names.
I would advise that you do not focus or spend too much time trying to come up with catchy food blog names. You can you change your blog name on WordPress in future.
Now let get get down to business and start a food blog from scratch. Once you have set up the food blog, I will show you how to create a blog on WordPress successfully (How to write a food blog and make money).
3. Hosting Your Food Blog Online
Now that you are ready to set up a food blogging website on you own, you need a domain name and hosting service.
Food Blog Domain Name: This is the uniquer identifier of your blog. Like the dood blog name, your domain name should be catchy and easy to remember. If this is is your first time to buy a domain name, I will show you exactly how to get a free food blog domain name below.
Hosting Service: To successfully run a food blog, you need to download and host WordPress files online. A hosting service will house all your blog files. Be careful to choose a reliable host as picking a wrong one will crash your efforts of growing your blog. For starters, I recommend you go with Bluehost or Hostgator and later switch to a better managed wordpress hosting service later on when you have gained traffic and your blog is making some money.
For the purpose of this guide, I will use BlueHost. Why?
- They are number 1 recomended WordPress hosting services,
- They are one of the oldest service,
- Their plans start at $2.95 per month,
- They offer a free domain name for every hosting package,
- They have the best support for starters,
- Their plans are segmented into 12, 24, 36,48, 60 months. This is a good way to plan for your blogging expenses. You don’t want to be incurring monthly expenses when your blog is not making any money.
We recommend that you start a food blog on Bluehost. It will cost you between $100 and $140 for a whole year. Remember that for the first year, you don’t expect to have a lot of activity on your blog, why then pay hefty amount for hosting? In the following section, we will deal with how to setup a wordpress blog on Bluehost.
Shall we get started with bluehost wordpress hosting? Click on the button below to start setting up wordpress on bluehost. I will provide image to guide you below.
Setting Up Hosting - Setting Up WordPress On Bluehost
Here are simple steps on how to set up your food blog. From now on, I will assume that you have used the above button to visit bluehost. If you have not yet done it, Click Here. (This will open in a new tab).
1. Your first screen will be like the image below: Click on ‘get started now’ button as shown in the image below.
2. Choose Your Hosting Plan – Either – 12, 24, or 36 months. You can go for either plan shown below but I will select the ‘plus’ package. If budget is an issue, the ‘basic’ plan will work for you.
3. Now that you have decided on the package that can work for you, proceed to sign up as shown below: Remember I told you that you can get a free domain name for your blog? Here is where you create a brand new domain name free of charge.
4. Fill in your personal details. Use your real details here even if you want to start a blog anonymously.
5. Set Your package details plus addons. The only addon you need at this point is ‘Domain Privacy Protection’. The rest can be configured after you have setup your food blog.
4. Enter the card details and click on the submit button. Once you do this, the login details will be emailed to you.
You have successfully purchased the best food blog hosting plan. First, set up your hosting password and proceed as directed to install WordPress for your food blog.
In the next step, I will show you how to install wordpress on bluehost in simple steps.
How To Install WordPress On Bluehost For Your Blog
Bluepost via their easy to use Cpanel, provides a one click WordPress installation. Once you have purchased a hosting service above, proceed as directed below. If not, click here to go back to the last step.
- Access Bluehost Cpanel: – Visit Bluehost Cpanel using this link: Login To BlueHost
- Once logged in, Go to the Website section and Click on Install WordPress.
- Click on the Install Button,
- Choose The Domain To Use,
- Click on the ‘advanced options’ and change your WordPress settings
- Finally click on the ‘Install Now Button’
It is that simple. To use Mojo Marketplace, check out the video below.
Pick The Best Food Blog Design
Best designed food blogs make more money! That is a fact. To design your WordPress food blog, you can make a choice between free and premium themes.
If you choose to go for free food wordpress themes make sure you invest a good amount of time and make a great design.
If you can spare a few dollars (to make your blog look great), read on for
Free Versus Premium Food Blog Themes:
For starters, I would recommend you check out various premium wordpress food blog themes for faster and easy results. Why?
Ease Of Customization: In as much there are free food blogging website themes that look great, most of them are limited when it comes to customization.
Theme Support: To get support for a free food theme, you will have to waste alot of time searching for support from various WordPress forums. On the contrary, most paid themes come with developer support and whenever you have a theme issue, all you need is to contact them, either through the forums or ticketing channels provided on their website.
Updates: Most free themes are not constantly updated while developers of paid blogging themes will release updates and fixes from time to time. In addition, most developers will provide video tutorials and guides on how to use and customize their themes.
Theme Optimization: Later in this guide, you will learn that SEO and perfomance optimizations are two critical elements of blogging success. Most paid themes come optimized for speed and SEO.
Security: Now that you will be using WordPress for your food blog, you will realize that over 30% of the websites are built using WordPress. This popularity comes with various limitations. Free themes may have security loopholes so be careful when choosing a theme for your food blog.
Recomended Premium Themes For Your Food Blog
Here are some of the themes we have used and that we recommend.
1. Divi Theme and Divi Builder: Divi by Elegant Themes comes as a package. It allows you create your own food blog design using a simple drag and drop layout. The good thing about this theme and plugin is the kind of support the developers have for the product. Not a week passes without theme either releasing a guide or a layout pack. If you are looking to build a food blog with unique design, look no further.
You also get a wide number of essential plugins to use in your blog.
2. Foodie Pro By StudioPress Themes: This are themes built of the most flexible and robust framework called Genesis Framework. Studio Press themes are used by the most successful bloggers. Foodie Pro is just one of the available themes, you can buy a different theme and customize it to fit your food blog design ideas. Click here to browse all StudioPress themes.
3. ThemeForest Food Blog Themes: Themeforest provides you with a marketplace for premium WordPress themes. You have a wide range of theme designs to choose from. A good theme for your food blog will cost anything between $40 and $60.
Now that you have learnt how to design a food blog, lets look at the most important plugins you need to install on your blog to extend the theme functionalities.
Installing Necessary Blogging Plugins
Depending of the features of the food blog your are creating, you need to install plugins that will help extend wordpress functionalities. Plugins are essential component of any wordpress website or blog.
WordPress provides a repository of thousands free plugins which you can use on your food blogging website. Here are some of the core plugins you need to run your food blog successfully.
1. Contact Form 7 – Every food blogging site must have a ‘Contact’ page. Contact Form 7 helps you add a simple yet efficient contact form where your blog visitors will be able to contact you.
2. Recipe Plugin: There are a number of recipe plugins available. If you want to share recipes of your food blog, WP Ultimate Recipe is one of the best recipe plugin available for free in the repository. This plugins comes with both the free and paid version based on your needs. I would recommend you start with the free version. Other recipe plugins include: EasyRecipe and Meal Planner Pro.
3. Download Photo Gallery by WD – Responsive Photo Gallery: This is a free gallery plugin. Create more engagement on your food blog by showcasing images and videos. Photo Gallery by WD gives you the flexibility to do this. Your images need to be optimized for SEO. This plugin allows you to add metadata to your images which will help your images to rank in search results.
4. Yoast SEO Plugin: Yoast SEO is a free plugin that gives you the flexibility to optimize your posts and blog pages. Search engine optimization is critical to driving traffic to your blog. To make money food blogging, you need to drive traffic on your blog and ranking high on search engines is the best way to do it.
5. WP Google Analytics: In blogging, it is critical that you understand your blog visitors. This plugin will help track the activity of your blog visitors. These insights are helpful in making your blog a success.
7. Backup Plugin: When running a wordpress food blog, having a backup service enabled is a must. You need to install a plugin that helps you perfom (automate) offsite backups. Free backup plugins include: UpdraftPlus, and BackWPup.
These are most important plugins that you need to start a food blog and make money. Click here to learn: how install plugins in worpdress.
Now that we have set up our food blog designs and installed important food blogging plugins, the next step is to set up social media accounts for your new blog. If you have the social accounts set up, you can skip this step.
Food Blogging Social Accounts
One of the questions I get from new food bloggers is: Which is the best social media account for food bloggers? The answer is simple and plain. All social media accounts can help you create a successful food blog.
As a new food blogger, you might have come across various guides that tell you to open all social meadia accounts. Doing this will only derail you from growing your food blog.
You need to pick one social media channel and focus on it. For food bloggers, I would personally recommend either of the following: Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
I know there are many social media sites that you can use, but these three are the best when starting. Only pick one, create, and master a social media strategy before moving to the other.
I have used all of them to drive traffic to different blogs. Start with a social media account where you can get following easily. If you have more followers on facebook, go with that.
Configure An Email Marketing Service
N0w that you have come up a social strategy and you are ready to start bringing traffic to your food blog, the next step is to think of how you can convert the visitors to subscribers.
Why should I do this? You can only grow a food blog is you have a loyal following. Food blogging for money means monetizing your blog content and selling quality services to your subscribers. Yes! This is one of the ways how food bloggers get paid. The larger the number of serious subscribers you have, the higher chances you have to make money off your food blog.
I will go through a comprehensive list of how to make money as a food blogger below after I have shown you how to set up an email marketing service.
If you need to create smart forms, Ninja Popups will come in handy for starters. The plugin come packed with over 78 optin forms already designed for you.
Using Ninja Popups will cost you only $25 while there are other services that charge $80 plus per month to help you build an email list. For starters, you actually don’t need expensive subscription form builders. Ninja Popups will do the magic as they integrate with Convertkit or Getresponse in single click.
With the best email marketing service set up, now it is time to write great content that will make you money.
Don’t make a mistake most of us have made before! Start collecting emails from day one. You must learn the art of conversion from the very first day of blogging.
Create Content That Sells
When it comes to creating content for your food blog, you need to write blog posts that your target audience is looking for. To start a food blog and make money, you have to solve issues that your audience might be facing. Please don’t just be another food blog.
Here are some of the tips to help you write content that convert:
1. Keyword Research: You want to enjoy free traffic from search engines? You need to write what people are searching for. You are writing for other people to read and investing in a keyword research tool is something you should consider. SemRush is a keyword research tool I personally use when writing articles on my food blog.
2. Quality Over Quantity: As a new food blogger, you probably have the notion that creating a successful food blog is all about writing lots of articles. No it is not! You need to stand out from other food bloggers out there! You need to publish quality posts – say write a maximum of 3 lengthy and highly informative articles. Make sure that every post is 1000+ words long.
3. Promote Your Content: You have to learn how to bring people to your new blog posts. You can’t just write great content and wait for people to come. You have to learn how to promote your articles for more readership. This is where social media strategy comes in.
4. Content Marketing Strategy: You need to come up with an editorial calender to help you with your publishing. I recommend that you select a number of days when you will be publishing your new posts. Remember that growing organic traffic is a gradual process. You need to spend more time marketing than writing. Make sure that every published post reach as many people as possible. Here is a pyramind illustrating how you should run content marketing for your food blog.
How To Make Money Food Blogging
Now you know all you need to know about starting a food blog successfully, in the final step, I will show you how to make money with a food blog.
Since this is quite a lengthy guide, I have moved the post on to a new article – click here to learn how to make money food blogging.
For general tips, we have done a great guide on how to earn money from blog – a lengthy general guide. Make sure you read it, you can borrow two or three tips from there.
Now that you know that you can actually start a food blog and make money, I will recount the steps here, just incase you missed any before we go to the next session.
To create a food blog successfully, you need to:
1. Get a hosting service plus a domain name – Visit Bluehost (free domain name) or Go back to hosting a food blog.
2. Install the necessary plugins
3. Design your food blog
4. Create high quality content
5. Promote your content
6. Subscribe to Free Blog Starters newsletter – If you have not yet done so.
7. Share this guide on how to start a food blog and make money with your friends.
8. Use the comment section to post your responses and ask questions related to food blogging.