The 6 Step Plan to Start Your Food Blog Website- this is where you will learn how to start a food blog and become a full time food blogger!
1) Know your voice…
Starting your food blog website is not as difficult as you might think! First jot down some things that you know you want to discuss as a part of your food blog. This will help you narrow down what you are about and help you find your voice. Are you a mom or dad who loves finding ways to go more green around the house? Are you a parent who has a special needs child and you are looking for ways to help the situation through cooking at home? Maybe you enjoy gardening and want to include recipes that feature items right from the garden. The right thing to do is to narrow down WHO YOU ARE and WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER and then bring THAT to the world. You can do this pretty easily with a food blog as the backbone. Just keep your messages focused on what you know. And if you don’t know yet, focus on what you learn and share that. You will become the expert as you share.
2) Pick a Domain Name and Register the Domain
Picking the domain name is probably the hardest step in starting your food blog, but not to worry. If you did step one, you probably have an idea of what to choose as a domain name. I would recommend you try to get a domain name which conveys YOUR message. So it’s important to spend some time on step one and get really clear on who you are and what you will be providing in your food blog. Get creative and try to encapsulate what you envision for the website identity. You could go general (just to be safe) in case you decide to switch directions along the way. But these days, specific niches do reallllly well on the internet, especially with search engines.
Once you settle on the name, the first thing to do is register the domain. There are many companies out there that sell and host domain names, but I prefer Bluehost. And as a bonus, if you get your hosting through Bluehost, you get the domain name for free.
3) Choose a Blogging Platform and Hosting Company
I highly recommend WordPress as your food blogging platform. It’s very easy to use and has many customization capabilities. My recommendation is to use a company like Bluehost to do your hosting right from the start and then you can install WordPress from their install page. There are many WordPress themes to choose from, but their control panel (c-panel) is uniform no matter the theme you choose. So once you get used to it, it’s very easy to go in and add posts to your food blog. Bluehost charges between $8 and $25 a month and they often run specials where you can snag hosting for half off ($3 to $12 a month! You can’t beat that!). They even provide great phone support, and if you need help getting your page up and running, they charge a reasonable fee (last I checked, around $80) to get you going and train you to go into your panel to add posts etc.
You can also go the route of setting up your food blog for free at WordPress.org or Blogger.com. The problem with choosing this option is your design opportunities are limited (there are way more plugins, many of them free, once you pay for a hosted site). And you have no way of holding anyone accountable if they decide to say for example, erase your site.
4) Picking a Theme
Once you are working with Bluehost, and you have WordPress installed, you will need to pick a theme suitable to your food blog. I am using the Genesis Framework with the Foodie Pro theme from Studiopress to design this site. I use this theme for many websites I design and I find it to be the most straightforward and sleekest design around. I like simplicity and the Foodie Pro theme allows me to create a great looking site that is easy to navigate and looks professional. There are many Youtube videos on how to get your site up and running with a Foodie Pro theme as well! There is a one-time purchase of the Foodie Pro theme which comes with the Genesis Framework and last I checked, it runs about $130. You can purchase this theme once and download it to your computer and install it to as many sites as you want to create!
An additional option, depending on your budget, is to hire a web designer to do the design work for you.
5) Providing Content
Okay, your food blog site is built and looking great… now it’s time to share! The best piece of advice I can give you about what and how to write is to be yourself. Write about things you feel passionate about, know your why, and it will come through to your readers. It’s not necessary to start out posting on your food blog every single day… depending on your time commitments, pick a schedule that works for you (once a week, even!), and try to be as consistent as possible. The more content you provide, the more you will be picked up by the search engines and draw the right audience to you!
6) Build Your Community
As soon as you set up your domain name for your food blog, you’ll want to secure accounts using that name on all of the major social media networks. At the very least, I would sign up for a Facebook business page, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. I think associating yourself with Google is a good idea for organic traffic purposes, so I would also snag a Google+ business page. Snapchat and Periscope are also very popular now, but I haven’t started using either one.
Once you’re all setup, I would suggest checking in often and connecting with not only your foodie followers and readers, but other food bloggers that you follow.
*Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I have used all of the products listed above and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that I trust.