How To
16 min read

How to Start a Food Blog

Soniya Khubchandani

June 2, 2022

"In the childhood memories of every good cook, there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot, and a mom."

Barbara Costikyan

A food blog is one of the best ways to spread your passion for cooking and food. It also helps you connect with fellow foodies who love to cook, share recipes, or just check out mouth-watering photos of yummy food.

According to a recent study, food bloggers earn $9,169 a month, and brands are ready to pay big bucks to reach this group. No wonder it's a great time to be a food blogger!

There are thousands of food blogs on the internet — with new ones being created every day. Yet despite this large number, there is still plenty of room for new blogs to find their own slice of the pie and establish themselves as go-to resources in their niche.

If you're looking to start your own food blog and join this growing community, then read on. In this article, we're going to walk you through the steps of how to start and run a successful food blog that attracts readers and earns money.

Here are some amazing food blogs:

Before we dive into the details of setting up a food blog, here are some famous food blogs examples across the globe:

1. A Sweet Pea Chef: This food blog offers a one-stop destination to find healthy food inspiration for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as cooking videos with a heavy focus on meal preparation and less cooking time. It's all about living a healthier life through wholesome food and clean eating.


Monthly website traffic and engagement for A Sweet Pea Chef
Source: SimilarWeb



2. Budget Bytes: This website is dedicated to showing people how to cook inexpensive, healthy, and tasty meals. It also has an app where users can easily search for recipes on their phones. Their target audience is someone looking for quick, easy, and budget-friendly recipes.

Monthly website traffic and engagement for Budget Bytes
Source: SimilarWeb



3. My Baking Addiction: It's a baking and desserts blog filled with hundreds of easy-to-follow recipes, tutorials, and inspiration. It's a site that celebrates all things sweet.

Monthly website traffic and engagement for My Baking Addiction
Source: SimilarWeb



4. Cookie and Kate: It is a whole food, vegetarian recipe blog focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Here, fitness enthusiasts can find seasonal recipes, vegetarian cookbooks, and healthy dessert tips.

Monthly website traffic and engagement for Cookie and Kate
Source: SimilarWeb


The key factors to start a food blog

Now that you are ready to start your food blog, there are a few things to consider:

  • A niche: Decide what kind of food blog you want to run. Is your blog all about Chicago-style hot dogs? Or do you focus on vegan recipes for people who want to lose weight? While there's nothing wrong with being general, narrowing down your content helps your visitors know what to expect from you when they follow your blog.
  • A domain name: This is the address people use to find your blog, like "yummyfoodblog.com". You can buy one from a host or a separate domain registrar.
  • A host: This is the place where you'll house your blog and manage your content. It keeps your blog up and running so that people can visit it. WPEngine is a fantastic hosting solution that will keep your site’s uptime high and load time fast.
  • A theme: Your theme will determine what your blog looks like when people read it and interact with it, so pick something functional but also visually appealing. Some great themes can be found on Themeforest.net.
  • Software for creating content: This is where you can create content for your blog. Blog posts go here before publishing them on the web, and they're where all the magic happens!

Let's take a closer look at each of these factors.

1. Choosing a food blog niche

Choosing the right niche for your food blog is one of the most important factors. Maybe you want to write about paleo-friendly recipes (it's the most popular diet right now) or about vegan recipes for introverts (a unique combination of two popular topics). Or maybe you just want to write about your grandma's famous stuffing recipe.

Choose a niche that you are passionate about. It is a crucial step because blogging involves creating a lot of content. If you're passionate about the niche you choose, you'll be able to keep up with all the writing and sharing required to run a great food blog. If you’re not passionate about what you’re writing about, it will get old fast and you won’t reach your goals. 

Choose your niche for your food blog
Source: Blogging Wizard

You also need to pick a niche that will perform well in terms of search traffic and competition level. To help you make this decision, use Google's Keyword Planner tool and see what types of search volume these keywords get each month. If there are thousands (or millions) of searches per month related to these keywords, it might be worth pursuing as a food blog idea. You’ll need to learn how to do proper keyword research, and keyword intent to be successful in organic search results

Lastly, pick a name that represents what you're going to be writing about. If it's grandmas' famous stuffing recipe, try something with grandma or stuffing in the title; if it's vegan recipes for introverts, try something with vegan and introvert in the title.

You need to find a niche that both interests you and will perform as well.

2. Picking a domain name

Once you finalize the name of your food blog, the next thing you'll need is a domain name. It will be your website's address on the internet. Your domain name can be anything, as long as it is available. (Just don't use spaces or special characters.) You can buy it from a domain registry service like GoDaddy or Namecheap, or sometimes you can buy it through your web host.

When choosing your domain name, consider the subject of your blog. It can be specific or general, like "Eggs Benedict Recipes" or just "Great Recipes." It could also focus on a particular theme or audience, like "Recipes for Kids" or "Vegan Recipes." You might also consider including your own name: "Samantha's Favorite Recipes."

But, don’t be afraid to get more creative than that with your name. Some of the biggest brands in food online have unique names: SmittenKitchen, Just A Pinch, Serious Eats, The Kitchn, Damn Delicious, and more. Your name doesn’t have to have keywords in it to be very successful. 

Your domain name must be easy to pronounce since you want people to remember it and come back to it again and again!

3. Choose your hosting and platform

When you're looking to start a food blog, choosing a hosting platform that will help you get the most out of your site is important. Since there are several different options out there and it can be confusing to decide where to begin, let's compare three popular platforms:

  1. WordPress - One of the most popular hosting platforms is WordPress.com. It's easy to get started with and offers a ton of plugins (like Yoast SEO) that make it easy to optimize your content for search engines. WordPress also has themes, which can be used to customize your website's look. If you're not very tech-savvy, you may find it challenging to get the hang of. One of the advantages of WordPress is that it can be cheaper long term than other options because the WordPress software is free and you can install it on a hosting account like Namecheap with a cost of around $5/mo.  

    WordPress is the most used blogging platform on the web for a good reason. It comes out of the box more SEO friendly than any other blogging platform and can be set up as a professional level food blog. With modern block editors and professional food blogging themes are plentiful.

  1. Wix: Wix is another good option for a food blog. It's free, and their drag-and-drop interface makes it super easy to use—even if you're not very tech-savvy. The disadvantage of Wix is that it has fewer plugins than WordPress, which means there are fewer ways you can customize your blog with them. But they have themes that work well for food bloggers, so if you go with Wix, it’s best to choose one of those themes as a starting point!

  1. Squarespace: It also has nice-looking templates and is easy to use, but it doesn't let you customize your pages very much, so if you want to do something like add interactive widgets that communicate with other websites or allow people to buy things from you, Squarespace probably won’t be able to handle it. Some of these things can be worked around by creating links that take people off-site to complete transactions or perform actions, but this adds an extra step for your users and reduces their satisfaction with the overall experience.

Finally, choose a platform that meets your needs and works for you in the best way possible.

4. Designing your site 

Now that your niche, domain name, and hosting provider are set up, it's time to design your site and start creating content for your food blog.

First, choose a simple theme that showcases your photos and recipes but doesn't distract from them. A grid layout is best for this.

Once you've chosen a theme, you'll want to ensure the site is easy to navigate. Figure out the main pages you want — recipes, posts on ingredient pairings, restaurant reviews — and create links on the homepage that lead visitors to those pages. The site should be clutter-free to make it easy for people to find what they're looking for.

Before posting recipes or other content, create an "About Me" page. Think of this as an elevator pitch for your blog: Who are you? Why are you starting this blog? What's your approach to cooking? The goal is to explain why they should trust your expertise and follow your blog regularly.

Encourage visitors to sign up for email updates by offering them a free recipe or special deal that only subscribers get access to. You can do this through MailChimp or Constant Contact if you don't have an eCommerce website yet.

Having an eye-catching theme is essential if you want your site to stand out from the crowd.

Congratulations! As of now, your website is designed and ready to go live.

 

3 essential ingredients for a successful food blog

Content is the backbone of your blog. It's the breath of life. Your content brings users to your site and determines whether they will stay or leave for good.

Now that your blog is up and running, it's time to start creating content. This process can be challenging for many people. It's hard to come up with ideas when you don't know if your topic will be interesting to other readers. Follow these steps to ensure the blogs you create will attract actual visitors and get noticed.

1. Select a recipe

Select a recipe for your food blog
Source: Unsplash

While it might be tempting to jump right in and begin documenting all your favorite recipes, we suggest starting with one recipe that stands out from the rest. 

This recipe must be unique and exciting enough to draw readers in but not so complicated that it will take you forever to make or write about. It also helps if the recipe is seasonal and fits with the time of year. If you post in season, your recipe is more likely to be shared and get attention, especially if it’s unique.

For example, if you want to start writing about healthy smoothies for breakfast, springtime is a great time to start posting—people are ready for lighter fare after a long winter of hearty meals. 

And finally, don't try something new for your first post when writing about it—choose a recipe you have made before.

2. Gather all the ingredients

Gather all the ingredients as per your recipe
Source: Unsplash

Once you have selected your recipe, make sure you have all the required ingredients. 

If the recipe calls for six eggs, but you only have five, you will need to make a quick trip to the store before you get started. The last thing you want to do is begin cooking only to realize that you're missing something important halfway through! 

Also, make sure you have an idea of what recipes you'd like to post in the coming weeks so that you can plan your grocery shopping accordingly and ensure that you have all the ingredients on hand.

3. Take lots of photos

Take photos at each step during cooking a recipe
Source: Unsplash

Taking beautiful pictures of your food is essential for writing a food blog. If you want your images to look as clean and professional as possible, here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Use natural light whenever you can, and avoid using flash.
  • If you need to use a flash or lamp, try diffusing it with an umbrella or other soft material.
  • Don't use a timer; have someone take the photo for you, so it comes out looking more spontaneous and less staged.
  • Take photos of all the ingredients before cooking, each step in the recipe, and the final product (plated).
  • Consider getting a tripod that fits your phone size if you're using a smartphone camera. It will help keep your pictures from becoming blurry.
  • To create your own backdrop, purchase sample tiles from a hardware store in different patterns and colors that suit your taste and preferred style for photographing food (i.e., bright or dark). 
  • You can also buy cheap wooden crates at craft stores to create your own rustic look, depending on what kind of vibe you want.

At this point, you have everything you need for your blog - the recipe, ingredients, and pictures - it's time to put everything together in a blog format.

5 easy steps to create your first food blog

1. Create a compelling headline

Your headline is the first thing readers see when they land on your post, so make sure you understand how to write compelling headlines! Make sure to choose something specific and includes a keyword, like "How to Make the Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich" or "How to Pick the Perfect Bottle of Wine." You can even go with something more emotional, like "The Perfect Yet Easy-to-Make Grilled Cheese Your Kids Will Love." Just don't go too crazy with it! You want your headline to be unique without turning off readers or sounding strange. Give them enough information that they know exactly what they're getting into when they click through.

2. Write an intro like a mini-story

Let's talk about one of the best parts of blogging: writing your intros. In the world of food, there is so much to choose from, and every recipe has its own story. Maybe you tried a new comfort food after you got dumped, and it was just what you needed. Maybe you had the most incredible meal on your honeymoon and have been trying to recreate it ever since. Maybe you were handed down a recipe that's been passed down through generations and generations of your family, and you've been dying to share it with everybody else.

The intro is where you get to tell that story—and it's also where you get to set the tone for your entire recipe post! It's a good idea to start with a short anecdote or an interesting fact that relates to your topic and explains why it's important to you. The more personal your intro is, the better!

You must be aware, however, that there are many people who do not want to read a whole page about your breakup, honeymoon, or your grandmother. It’s harsh, but it’s true. This is the primary reason that most food blogs now include a “Jump To Recipe” link at the top of the post. It’s so those who aren’t interested in having to scroll to find the recipe can simply click and be taken there. Accommodate your readers by including one on your posts, too. If you don’t, many will simply leave and remember not to come back You only have one first impression; take advantage of it. 

3. Write the body of the post

When it comes to writing the body of a blog post, your goal is to create a story about the recipe you're featuring. In your introduction, you shared your recipe and explained why this recipe is so awesome. Now it's time to show off that awesomeness!

Start by talking about the first time you made this recipe. Was it for a holiday gathering? A summer barbeque? What was everyone's reaction when they tried it? Did they ask for the recipe?

Next, share specific tips and tricks you've discovered about making this recipe. For example, if you're sharing a recipe for an easy-to-make pasta dish, you might share tips such as "use fresh tomatoes" or "I found that adding lemon zest to the sauce gives it an extra kick." Share any other insights that could help your readers make a great meal.

If the tip or trick you’ve discovered about making this recipe is helpful at all, it should be included in the recipe notes, as well, so that those who print your recipe will have them. 

Mention any tips you have for people trying it out for themselves, and answer potential questions they may have—how do you know when a cake is done? How do you avoid over-mixing? Does it matter if I use whole milk instead of 2%? Readers love this kind of detail!

Again, you should make these tips prominent in the recipe notes. You don’t want people trying your recipe, attempting substitutions you know won’t work, then coming back to your blog to complain that your recipe doesn’t work. 

Finally, conclude by encouraging readers to try out the recipe themselves. This is also a good place to include some kind of call-to-action (CTA). For example, if you have another similar recipe on your blog that pairs well with this one, direct them there next ("If you enjoyed this pasta dish, try my Easy Chicken Alfredo Recipe!").

Need help on this step? Try using Copy.ai to write a blog fast!

4. Write Recipe Details

To make your recipe blog posts as helpful as possible, include details on ingredients and methods. Write out the exact measurements of ingredients you use, then give them in a separate list to make it easy for readers to print and use with minimal hassle. You should also include variations or substitutions that you have tried, along with how they turned out.

It can be helpful to include nutritional information at the bottom of your post so that readers who are tracking their food intake can easily reference your recipes. This information can be added as a chart or simply included in the post's text.

You may also choose to add an FAQ section of your post to answer any questions readers might have about the recipe or ingredients. This is a great opportunity to use Yoast FAQ Snippets if you’re using WordPress. It will help your blog bring in traffic from the FAQ items via Google’s “People Also Ask” and “featured snippet” sections in search. 

5. Add a short conclusion

Now that you're done making your recipe, it's time to add a little conclusion.

At the end of your blog, let your readers know what they could add to improve this recipe. Do you think it would be good with a pinch of cayenne powder? Do you think it would be better served with some fresh herbs on top? Feel free to let that come through in your writing. You know your readers the best, so feel free to speak directly to them.

Then, give them an idea of how long this can last in their fridge or freezer. Mention if they can freeze the extra portions and reheat them after freezing. If you can, give them specific instructions on how to do so (e.g., heat for 10 minutes at 350° F). It's important for readers to understand how long the food will last because it will help them determine if they want to make it for a party or just for themselves and their family for dinner one night.

Finally, end your blog post with a well crafted call to action! A blog post is never complete without asking something from your readers. Ask them if they tried any other variations of this recipe or if they have any suggestions for next time you make it yourself.

How to attract visitors to your food blog

Source: Brian Yu

The first step to building a readership is posting consistently—at least once a week, but preferably more often than that. Consistency shows your readers that they can rely on you to read something new and exciting every time they check in. Even when you're busy with other things in life, making time to keep up with your blog is essential if you want it to grow.

Another simple way to attract more readers is through social media. Post content from your blog every day, especially if it's brand-new! Share links on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

Hashtags are another great way to reach new readers because they make your posts searchable on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Pick hashtags that reflect what kind of food you're writing about, but also think about using hashtags that are popular with bloggers or foodies in general so that your posts are seen by those who might be interested in them! For example, if your blog is about Italian food, use #foodblogger or #italianfoodie as some examples!

If you have everything in order, you can reach out via social media to other prominent experts in the food blogging niche and ask them to look over your post. Explain that you’re just getting started and are asking for advice. This helps you build relationships with top food bloggers. If your content is up to standard, they may post your post to their social media, which gives you a boost in perceived authority with their followers. This is extremely beneficial for you and your site in the long and short term. You can find email or message templates for this specific purpose.

4 simple ways to monetize your food blog

Food blogging can take many different avenues, from serious cooking to lifestyle to artistic expression.

With the right monetization plan in place and a tasty recipe for success, you can pursue your passion and make money simultaneously.

Here are four simple ways you can monetize your food blog.

How to monetize your food blog
Source: Ingmar.app

1. Food blog affiliate marketing

Suppose you use a specific kitchen appliance, a particular brand of cooking tools, or a specific  product in your recipes. In that case, you can include an affiliate link that takes readers to the product page for that item. If the reader purchases through your affiliate link, you receive a commission from that sale.

Also, joining various food affiliate programs can significantly increase your earning potential. If you're just starting, it's worth signing up for a few different ones to see how well they work for you and your content. That way, you can narrow down the list to the best performers.

2. Display Ads

There are plenty of ad networks out there that will pay you to display their ads on your blog. Look for ones that cater specifically to food blogs—they'll be more likely to advertise products and services that make sense for your topic and audience.

Ads are a great way for busy bloggers to earn extra money because once they are set up, you don't have to do anything more than watch the cash flow in. Just a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don't just put display ads on your site randomly. You want to make sure that the ads you run are in line with your brand voice and that they match what you're writing about. In other words, if you write a blog about vegan baking, don't try to run ads for meat delivery.
  • You can also consider running ads for products related to your food blog niche. If you write a lot about cooking with quinoa, maybe think about running an ad for a cookbook that focuses on quinoa recipes.

3. Create sponsored content blog posts

Many businesses want exposure on popular blogs with engaged audiences. You can charge them fees to create content promoting their products or services and feature it prominently on your own blog. 

There are so many different types of sponsored content that it can be hard to know where to begin. From writing blog posts to posting on social media platforms like Instagram, food bloggers have plenty of ways to earn money from sponsorships.

No matter what type of sponsored work you do, it's a great way to add variety and flexibility to your food blogging career.

Just be sure to note clearly when sponsored content is posted on your site, so readers know what they're looking at when they see it. There are FTC guidelines about sponsored content, so be sure to check them out before starting this strategy!

4. How to sell your food blog recipes

If you have particularly popular recipes or are really great at making people go "omg, this is the best thing ever," sell them as ebooks! You can offer them as standalone products or bundle them together and sell them as a collection.

Think of your readers as investors. If they buy into your blog and know they can trust it to steer them towards the best recipes every time, they'll keep coming back.

The best way to do this is by creating a membership section on your site where visitors can sign up for a monthly subscription and access all of your premium recipes. You can also offer some extras like discounts on kitchen appliances from your favorite brands and free printables just for registered members.

Wrapping up

We hope you've found these tips helpful! If you've been thinking about starting your own food blog, we hope we've given you the inspiration and knowledge you need to give it a go.

Remember, food blogging is all about sharing your passion for food. Just be yourself, and don't be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way. Like with any recipe, there are no rules for food blogging. Just have fun doing it!

"Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors — it's how you combine them that sets you apart."

Wolfgang.

Need to write other types of blog posts? Check out our articles on:

How to write a blog post
Writing affiliate blog posts: how to do it
How to write listicles
How to write a blog post about an event
How to turn an interview into a blog post
How to start a travel blog
How to write a comparison blog post
How to write a B2B case study

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