How to Start a Food Blog
Do you have a craving to start a food blog, but aren't sure where to start?
You’ve come to the right place!
Food blogs are one of the top two highest-earning blog categories and have the potential to earn around $9,000 per month on average.
With that said, the remaining step-by-step content will teach you how to start a food blog, show you how to create your content strategy, and explore the best ways to promote and monetize your blog.
Ready to dig in?
Pick Your Food Niche
Picking your food niche sounds simple, right?
Well, there are over 600 million blogs on the internet right now and many of them are food blogs.
If your niche is too broad, then you risk being drowned out by your competition in search engine results.
By narrowing your content to a specific niche, instead of competing with millions of other blogs, you can find your target audience more effectively and increase user engagement.
What exactly is a food niche?
• Recipe blog
• Trending food blogs (vegan, gluten-free, diet, etc.)
• Cuisine-specific blogs (Italian, Mexican, Chinese, etc)
• Food and drink tasting
• Cookbook review blogs
• Food photography
• Food plus travel blogs
I mean, the list goes on.
The best thing for you to do is pick the type of food you want to blog about that has a high search rate with low competition and stick with it.
How do you find your niche?
How do you find the perfect food niche that won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth?
Here are some things to consider when deciding on your food blog niche:
• Find your passion
• Identify the search intent of your audience
• Research your competition
• Explore your goals
• Pick the right keywords
• Test your blog
Examples of food blogs
Let's use The Minimalist Baker as an example food blog:
It offers simple recipes that use a minimalistic approach for its website design.
The website uses a symmetrical arrangement of written content that makes its functionality easy to understand and readable.
The food niche that this example has chosen is vegan, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened recipes.
Finally, their website was built using a WordPress custom theme and they promote their cookbook as a source of passive income.
Let's explore another example:
The Recipe Rebel is a family-focused food blog. It is a recipe website that encourages readers to modify the food recipes according to individual taste.
The website design is quirky, likable, and easy to understand. That’s one reason why this website has such a successful food blog.
Additionally, the food theme this website has chosen is Instant Pot, slow-cooker recipes, and easy dinners.
They built the Recipe Rebel using WordPress custom themes and the primary income of the blog is ad revenue and sponsorships.
However, written blog content isn’t the only important part of blogging.
It would be best to understand the technical side of website design as well.
You need to understand how to pick the right website hosting company or hosting provider for you and your niche.
How to Pick the Right Web Host
Every website needs a web hosting company. You need a provider that can store and power your new blog.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right web post for you:
• Know what you need from a reliable web host
• Understand the subscription period and your budget
• Check for server reliability and uptime guarantees
• Confirm the host's refund policy
• Understand the different upgrade options
• Verify the host's features
Web hosting services help work to keep a stable storage space for your website.
Web hosts offer more than just data storage. Hosts store data on hardware called web services, and what that does is allow for easy maintenance and access for website owners.
That means that you share server space and resources such as RAM, CPU, storage, and bandwidth with other renters.
Shared hosting is usually the cheapest and most common type of hosting.
For a new food blog, it might be the right choice for you.
Here are a few great web hosts you could choose from, however prices vary:
• Network Solutions
• Web Website Builder
Additionally, WordPress offers hosting, so if you choose WordPress for your CMS there's really no need to purchase separate hosting for a WordPress site.
To summarize, the amount of storage space can sometimes vary depending on which plan you choose.
However, a business plan includes unlimited space.
Pick Your Domain Name
Choosing a domain name is one of the most critical decisions you will make as a blogger. A domain name is your website's address.
It is a part of a larger naming system often referred to as DNS that lets users put in a combination of words instead of a set of numbers, such as code.
Here’s some good advice on picking the best domain name for you:
• Choose your domain carefully
• Incorporate target keywords
• Make sure your domain name is easy to remember
• Avoid double letters or hyphens
• Keep your domain name short
• Be unique
A domain name can either make or break your brand. In fact, did you know that there are over 600 million domain names registered right now?
That means you have to put some serious thought into your domain name. Because there is a high likelihood your blog name may not be available.
Sign Up for the Right Content Management System
Let me quickly mention that there is a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is a service that helps you build your website using WordPress software and managed hosting all within your browser.
WordPress.org is a source where you can actually install WordPress itself.
To become a successful food blogger, you need a content management system. A CMS is for creating, managing, and optimizing your customers' digital user experience.
A CMS is a software application that allows people to collaborate in editing, creating, and publishing digital content such as web pages, blog posts, and other website content.
If WordPress isn’t something you’re interested in signing up for, there are other great content management systems that could fit your needs better.
Here are a few WordPress alternatives:
A WordPress theme is the dominant style of your website. This includes graphics, style sheets, and code.
Themes can control the overall outlook of your website even down to hyperlink colors.
WordPress is a superb choice for new bloggers because it offers many free themes and premium themes to choose from.
If you are choosing not to use WordPress for your CMS, WordPress alternatives have their own form of themes that you can choose from.
Additionally, the average cost of a premium WordPress theme is around $57.54.
However, some themes could cost more depending on their functionality.
Here are a few tips for choosing the best theme for your food blog:
• Consider your budget
• Make a list of features you want your theme to have
• Choose a responsive theme
• Keep color in mind
• Consider choosing a premium theme
• Don't pick a theme with hard to read font
• Test your themes out thoroughly
Once you’ve chosen the best plan for you, you can install plugins on your website.
As shown in the image above, please keep in mind that to be able to install plugins for your blog, you will need to choose and buy WordPress Pro.
WordPress has the most compatible plugins; however, other CMS platforms may have these same plugins available to you.
Here are a few great plugins for a new food blog:
WP Recipe Maker is a plugin that allows you to create the best-looking recipe pages for your food blog.
These columns are pre-designed with basic SEO but are completely customizable for you to create any recipe for your selected niche.
Yoast is a helpful WordPress plugin that helps you with optimizing your posts for keywords and phrases.
Yoast SEO can recognize related keywords, synonyms of keywords, and other keyword forms.
That allows you to write more naturally and makes it easier to improve your content for viewers and search for engine crawlers.
Recipe Card Blocks is another great recipe plugin that includes Schema markup. This lets search engines and social media networks show information about your recipes.
This method increases clicks and shareability. Recipe makes it easier to grow the audience of your food blog.
You will also be able to pick your favorite recipe card style. Right now, there are 4 different styles with more styles promised in future updates.
Did you know that there are 8.5 billion searches a day, and most of those searches take place on a mobile device?
Most pre-made themes for your website will already be mobile-friendly, however, to double-check you may want to take the following steps:
• Use a responsive theme
• Optimize your website page speed
• Avoid unnecessary pop-ups
• Avoid clutter web design
• Test and retest
Google has a free tester you can use to check your mobile friendliness. Just type “web page speed tester” into Google, place your link, and Google will let you know if your site is optimized for mobile.
Additionally, the latest search engine optimization data found in 2022 shows that mobile sites that take more than 5 seconds to load have a 70% lower mobile session rate than those that load in under 5 seconds.
Create Your Content Strategy
If you're new to the blogging scene, you may have heard about content marketing, but aren't sure exactly what it means for you.
A content strategy is a plan that you come up with that helps you create the best kind of content for your blog.
This type of content can be written, visual, or audio as long as it attracts and engages your target audience.
Here are some of the best practices for creating a content strategy:
• Choose a content management system
• Pick your content preferred type (blog, video, podcast, ebook, tutorials, etc)
• Brainstorm content ideas using free tools (such as AnswerthePublic)
• Publish and keep track of your metrics
Here are a few other suggestions for a good content strategy:
Find your audience
Knowing what your audience is searching for is vital when planning a content marketing strategy.
If you don’t know who is searching for what in your blog niche, then you won’t know what type of content to create around what subjects, questions, or topics.
Considering that 89% of people go online to find recipes, recipes are the most popular form of content.
With that said, it would be an excellent strategy to create recipes that many people are searching for, with low competition.
You can do this by using easy keyword research methods.
Alternatively, here are some actionable steps you can take to find your audience:
• Use social media
• Search through discussion forums
• Google search for competitors
• Read blog comments
• Engage with your existing audience
• Keep track of your metrics using Google Analytics
Blog post scheduling
Will you be creating your own content or using an article writing service?
If you will be creating your own content, you need to know how to write a blog post and how to create your blog posting schedule.
Successful methods consist of:
• Going over your blogging goals (two to four times per week is an average amount of content to publish)
• Mapping out your schedule
• Deciding on what days you will be writing and set a due date for publishing
• Staying consistent
• Measuring your results
By creating a blogging schedule that fits your needs and publishing your content consistently, you can boost your:
• Organic traffic
• Newsletter subscribers
• Social media shares
• Conversion rates
Build your thought leadership
You may have heard of the term thought leader but aren't sure exactly what that means.
A thought leader is someone who is trusted by an audience because they are considered authoritative and influential in their industry.
To be considered a thought leader by your audience, you need the following:
• A unique perspective on a topic or solution to a problem
• Identify your channels of engagement
• Consistently work towards your goals
How do you achieve thought leadership?
• Keep your content relevant
• Maintain a social media presence
• Create content that is useful and engaging
Creating written content isn’t the only type of content your food blog should consist of. You need audio, visuals, and video.
Here are a couple of content tips to get you started:
Take appetizing photos
One major part of food blogging is images. You can describe your recipe, but if your images don’t match your content, then your audience may lose interest.
Here are a few tips for taking appetizing pictures:
• Don't feel confined to your kitchen
• Take pictures from different angles
• Remove clutter around the dish
• Use prop colors to complement the food
• Learn how to create the best lighting
Use long-tail keywords
You may already have a general understanding of keywords.
Keywords are words you put into your content that help Google's search crawlers index your information. This helps Google share content with users.
Long-tail keywords are similar to traditional keywords, but they are more targeted. For example, a keyword may consist of "restaurants".
It offers a ton of results, but the results are broad. A long-tail keyword example would be, "Italian restaurants near me that deliver."
Long-tail keywords have a lower search volume rate, but conversion rates are higher because the user knows exactly what they are looking for rather than just entering a vague term.
In fact, studies suggest that new food blogs can achieve more SEO success by writing blog posts using long-tail keywords with less competition.
Long-form content is a piece of content that is anywhere between 1,000 and 7.500 words long. Actually, long-form content is the preferred content length for experienced food bloggers.
Food bloggers use long-form content because it improves SEO.
While SEO varies on many factors, experts agree that long-form content directly affects higher search rankings.
Once you have figured out how to make high-quality content for your food blog, the next steps are to publish and promote it.
Here are a few ways this can be accomplished:
• Understand it takes time
• Publish often
• Social media is key
• Use catchy headlines and titles
• Guest posting
Blogs can take anywhere from 6 months to a year before you will see SEO results, so it’s good to have a general understanding that blogging takes a lot of time and effort before you can expect success.
It’s important to publish content at least 3-5 times a week and maintain a posting schedule. Use catchy headlines that grab the reader's attention.
You can also reach out to other bloggers in your niche to consider guest posting.
Social media is an enormous factor in promoting your content and you should use your target audience’s preferred platform.
With that said, let’s jump into social media marketing and what that means for your food blog.
Social media marketing
Sharing food on social media has the advantage of being naturally appealing. In fact, at least 75% of foodies use Facebook or Instagram to help them decide what to eat. And 31% of people confirm that they use a recipe after having found it on Facebook.
Additionally, here are some steps you can take right now to market your food blog on social media:
• Make your content easily shareable
• Focus on visual content
• Offer useful content
• Publish on the right days for your niche
• Collaborate with other influencers
• Share your blog posts on social media
• Post on subreddits
• Reach out to influencers
Ways to Monetize Your Food Blog
Let's be honest here, many people want to start blogging because blogging can be a great passive income resource.
Here are the best ways to monetize your food blog:
If you're interested in selling a physical cookbook, you can begin with an ebook. Ebooks are low-cost and less stressful to create than a physical book.
You also won't have to worry about any type of distribution because your ebook is digital. You can sell your ebook using Amazon's Kindle Publishing.
To create a book cover, you can use Amazon’s built-in cover creator, or Canva to help you easily create a digital ebook cover.
Most food bloggers get their income stream by hosting display ads on their blogs.
Google AdSense is the most well-known ad provider in the market with millions of bloggers already using it.
However, the only way you'll make money with ads is by driving traffic to your website. Driving traffic can be hard work, but there are some fairly easy ways to accomplish it.
Here are some tips to do this:
• Use Pinterest food photos and incorporate your blog link
• Take pictures of food and share it with a backlink to your blog
• Optimize your SEO
• Build your audience
Email marketing is a great way to keep your audience engaged with your brand and drive traffic to your website.
The more traffic you have, the more money you can make from display ads.
The best way to do this is to create a weekly newsletter that shares a weekly roundup of your recipes or blogs.
To begin, you can create a mailing list using MailChimp.
Many bloggers take advantage and sign up for affiliate programs such as the one Amazon offers.
Affiliate marketing is a marketing arrangement where an online retailer pays a commission to an external website for traffic and generates sales from its referrals.
Here are some affiliate marketing programs you can sign up for right now:
Now You Know How to Start a Food Blog!
Food blogging is a lot of hard work, but with enough passion, time, and effort, your blog can be successful!
You just need to understand the best practices for SEO, how to write a fantastic blog post, and how to promote your content.
That’s a ton of information to take in. Do you need a little help?
We got you! Schedule a call with one of our experts today!
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