Want to start a food blog but don’t know where to start? Whether you want to share your delicious Irish Beef Stew recipe, post your review on that bakery that you frequent, or help people transition into a Keto diet, I have prepared a beginner’s guide for you on how to start and create your food blog. Read on to find out more.
1. Choose Your Niche
As of 2022, there are more than 500 million blogs on the internet, and a huge portion of those are food blogs. Therefore, in order to stand out among the heavy competition, we recommend choosing a specific niche. By focusing on a particular one, it will be easier since you won’t have to compete with a lot of blogs, and it will be easier to target a specific audience and hopefully engage them.
To give you an idea of what niche to focus on, here are some examples:
You can run a blog that focuses on a specific diet, such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, Paleo, plant-based, and others. People are always looking for a diet-friendly version of their favorite recipes, so you’ll definitely have an audience for this.
B. Fitness / Nutrition
You can also focus your food blog on fitness and nutrition. You can list recipes that are diabetic-friendly or anti-inflammatory, among others. You can also create meal plans for someone trying to build more muscle or share low-calorie foods for someone trying to lose weight.
C. Budget-friendly recipes
There are tons of people looking for cheap and easy meals to create at home, especially with the rising cost of goods nowadays, so this is another niche that has a lot of potentials.
D. Recipes from your culture
Another great food blog idea is to focus on a specific cuisine, such as Indian, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Greek, and others. It’s great especially if you have a passion for your own culture, and you can share your passion with other people with your recipes as well.
Who doesn’t love desserts? Share your love for sweets with a dessert or pastry-oriented blog. Alternatively, you can also do a sugar-free version of a popular dessert, to target an audience that might be looking for a healthier alternative.
F. Coffee or Tea
Drinks are technically food as well. Share your passion for your favorite drink by having a blog focused around it. You can share recipes, and the history of the drink, or review popular new drinks. And speaking of reviews…
G. Food Review
Review blogs are extremely profitable types of blogs. This is because a lot of people rely on others’ reviews first before trying out a new place or item. To start, you can share your reviews or opinions on particular restaurants, food shops, or bakeries. It helps if you can even narrow down your reviews, for example, focusing on restaurants in a particular location.
H. Recreating popular foods
This is a much more unique take on food blogs and is one that is rising on the trends. You can create articles on how to recreate particular fast food dishes or coffee shop drinks at home.
I. Food Photography
While this might not be related to cooking or recipes, food photography is another way to showcase your love for food, as well as for the arts.
2. Build Your Branding
After deciding on the focus of your blog, you can now think about your branding. Think about how you want your logo design to look, as it is usually the first thing your audience will see when they visit your site. Don’t forget to consider the font, colors, layout, and style of photos that you’ll use on the blog as well.
Another important aspect to consider is the style of writing that you’ll use or your “brand voice”. Do you want to use a warm and friendly tone? Or professional and knowledgeable, like a coach? Do you want to just provide recipes, or do you want to share a personal story behind the food?
All of these make up your brand identity, which in simpler terms is the “image” that people will associate with you when they see or read your blog. Having a strong brand identity is important since it helps people easily distinguish your blog from others. It also builds an emotional connection with your audience, as well as sets the foundation for your blog to grow in the future.
3. Choose Your Blogging Platform
To show your food blog in the world and make it visible on the internet, you’ll need to have it hosted online by a web hosting company. There are tons of blogging platforms available that you can use for this. You also have the option to go for a hosted or a self-hosted site.
Hosted sites such as Wix, Blogger, and Squarespace are good low-cost options. They are easy to use especially if you are a beginner since they usually have everything you need to set up your blog. You won’t have to worry about the technical details such as hosting and maintenance of your site as they will deal with it.
The cons though are that they have a lot of limitations and restrictions in regard to how your blog will look and function, and how much money you can make from your blog. You also won’t own your domain name unless you pay extra for it (for example, it will show as www.website.wix.com, instead of www.website.com).
On the other hand, a self-hosted site like WordPress.org is a great option if you want to be truly in charge of your food blog. With self-hosted sites, you have the freedom to design and layout your website with anything you want. You can use various plug-ins and themes to improve your site and add whatever functionality you want. Monetizing your blog is also easier with self-hosted sites, as they won’t have any restrictions to ads compared to free sites.
However, self-hosted sites definitely cost more compared to free-hosted sites. You have to pay for your domain name and hosting fees, and for the premium plug-ins or themes that you use. You are also fully responsible for renewing your domain name, arranging the hosting, updating plug-ins, etc., which may be difficult if you are not particularly tech-savvy.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to both hosted sites and self-hosted sites. But if you are serious about building and eventually monetizing your food blog, I recommend using WordPress.org.
4. Choose Your Domain Name
Your domain name is the name that you’ll use for your blog. It’s essentially your brand name. It’s important to choose one that fits your overall brand identity and is unique and memorable. I also suggest choosing a name that is short and easy to pronounce and spell, as it’s easier for your audience to remember.
After choosing your domain name, you’ll need to purchase and register it, especially if you are using a self-hosted site.
5. Pick Your Web Hosting Provider
Likewise, if you’re using WordPress.org, you’ll need to find a web hosting provider as well. There are various options such as Bluehost, Dreamhost, and Hostinger. You can compare the features each option has and choose which one will work best for your website needs.
6. Create Your Blog
Now that we have the technical stuff out of the way, it’s time to focus on the content of your blog. Here are some tips on how to ensure that your food blog is top-notch:
A. Provide high-quality content
No matter what niche you are focusing on, it’s important to produce engaging and useful content for your audience. Don’t just write about stuff that they can easily find from other sites, make sure your content is useful and comprehensive.
Let’s say you are reviewing a coffee shop. Don’t just say, “This shop is good!” and call it a day. Go in-depth on why. Do they have a huge option for food? Do they offer customization on their drinks? Do they offer healthier alternatives, such as providing sugar-free syrup? Do they have comfortable seats? Is their service fast? These are just some samples, but you get the idea.
The writing style matters a lot as well, so make sure your content is readable and free from grammatical errors and is written in an engaging way that makes the reader want to keep on reading.
Now, you may be ready to write a high-quality article, but how long should your article be? It really depends on your niche and your audience, but a good rule of thumb is around 1000-2000 words. Since you are starting out, you can try different post lengths at first, and adapt to which one is more successful with your audience.
B. Use high-quality photos
As the well-known quote goes, “We eat with our eyes first”. No matter how delicious the food might be, if it’s presented in an unappetizing way, it won’t get the attention of your audience. Using high-definition and high-quality images is a must for your site. Make sure the shots are also well-lit and colorful.
You can also try experimenting with a more creative way of presenting your food, such as playing around with reflection, perspective, splashes, and others. This might take a lot more work and creativity, but your audience might enjoy a more dynamic way of food presentation.
C. Think of SEO and keywords
Optimizing your blog for SEO is key for it to rank high on search engines and get more traffic to your site. Especially if you are just starting your blog, it’s important to get people to actually see your site. Therefore, you can’t just write about random topics. You should do keyword research first, so you can see the keywords or topics that your target audience is looking for.
From there, you can strategically plan out the content of your blog, and make sure that your blog articles can answer the questions that your audience is looking for. There are tons of keyword research tools that you can use, so make sure to check those out as well.
You should also add the keywords in the article itself, or in the headings and subheadings to further optimize your content. But don’t just stuff your article with keywords! The important thing to remember is that your article should be relevant, useful, comprehensive, and readable to your audience.
The title of your blog article matters as well, as it decides how relevant your article is for the searches. Aside from making the title sound interesting and catchy, you should also make it more SEO-friendly by adding your keyword to it. For example, you can use the title “10 Best Cheesecake Shops in Brooklyn, New York” instead of just “Best Cheesecake Shops”.
There is still a lot of SEO optimization that you can use as you go along, but for now, you can use these tips to start your food blog.
D. Stick to a posting schedule
Decide on a day and time to post your articles, and do your best to stick to that schedule. If you have a posting pattern, it’s easier for your audience to remember and anticipate your next posts. It’s also important to produce content consistently, as Google prefers sites that post regularly.
One tip that I have is to prewrite a bunch of articles before making your website live. That way, you have some sort of a “buffer”, meaning you have articles that are ready for posting so that you are not rushing to write new content. You should also do content planning in advance so that you have ample time to prepare and create your article.
7. Promote Your Food Blog
Even if you are creating awesome articles, and using the right keywords and SEO strategies, getting organic traffic will still take a lot of time. Therefore, you can use different marketing strategies to promote your blog.
One of the ways to do this is through social media. Choose a platform where your niche is much more suited, and create an account there. Consider your target audience, their age, and their preferences, to decide on which social media platform to use.
For example, if you are running a food photography blog, Instagram will be a great match for you since it also focuses on photos and visual aesthetics. If your audience skews younger, Tiktok might be a better option for you instead.
If you have the budget for it, you can also use ads on your social media platforms to promote your blog. But if you do not have the budget, you can just use your social media accounts to let your followers know when you are posting a new article, and after a few days or weeks, remind them that you posted in case they missed it.
You can also use email marketing as a way to promote your blog. It’s an effective way to connect with your audience and keep them coming back to your blog for more.
Creating a food blog requires time, effort, patience, and creativity. It can also get very overwhelming, especially as a beginner since you now have all this stuff to do and to think about. This is just a starter guide, but I hope that you got some ideas and help on how to start your very own blog.
I hope these tips help you and if you have any questions, just ask away in the comments.