Last Modified:
December 30, 2021

how to start a food blog

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A food blog is an interesting business plan that can lead to great opportunities to get free products and make money online. 

According to recent statistics, over 25% of WordPress bloggers make a full-time living from their blogs, with food bloggers earning a median monthly salary of $9,169 – a number that continues to grow with each passing year. 

If you harbor a love for cooking and are considering creating a food blog, these are encouraging statistics indeed. 

And the best part is that starting a food blog is a pretty straightforward process, even if you’re not a very technical-minded person. 

All you need is a step-by-step guide outlining your strategy and the right tools for building, growing, and monetizing your blog – which is exactly what this article is about. 

In it, you’ll discover how to start a successful food blog, complete with the actionable tasks you must take each step of the way – from deciding the focus of your blog to choosing your niche, finding the perfect blog domain name, and much more. 

Editors Note


This guide is extremely DETAILED and explains everything you need to start a Food blog. I’ve been at this blogging stuff for over 8 years and have built a business making $20,000 per month, so I have a lot of helpful advice for you newbies out there.

If you get stuck or need advice, I HIGHLY recommend that you get my 100% FREE blogging course by clicking here. If that doesn’t help please contact me directly and I’ll help you out for free.

How to Start a Food Blog in 10 Steps:

If you just need someone to walk you through the process of setting up your blog quickly and easily, check out step 5.

As someone who loves food and cooking, you may be considering starting a food blog as a way to express your creativity and have an easy way to share your ideas with the world.

But, there are many other reasons why you might want to start a food blog.

  • Get Free Products: As a food blogger, you will likely get tons of free products from brands that want you to try them out and recommend them to your audience.
  • Make Money: As your blog grows, you’ll be able to monetize it in different ways and start receiving passive income from all your efforts.
  • Build a Following: You can use your food blog as a way to create a community around your passion. The more engaging content you post, the bigger your following will grow.
  • Share Experiences: Some amateur chefs simply want to post pictures of food and recipes to share their passion for cooking with the world. 
  • Grow a Community: A blog is a great way to grow a community of like-minded people around the food/cooking topics you love.

Step 1: Decide the Focus of Your Food Blog

The food industry has become saturated over the last decade, which means that if you want to create a profitable business, you need to start your food blog with a purpose. 

That’s why your first step is to determine the focus or direction of your new blog. 

Overlooking this important step will ultimately lead to failure so take the time to brainstorm a few ideas that are possible ways to position your new blog in order to give yourself the best chance of succeeding. 

For example, your focus might be to build a community for aspiring chefs, be collaborative, or be a moneymaker, and so on. 

Here are a few examples of possible directions for your food blog to help you get started:

  • Food News: One way to go is to share the latest news about the food industry.
  • Reviews: You can review cookware, dinnerware, bars, cafés, or restaurants, etc.
  • Chefs’ Careers: You might choose to follow the careers of chefs in your niche.
  • Dining Recommendations and Criticisms: Alternatively, your blog could be used to recommend places to eat (and avoid) in your area.
  • Share Recipes: You can use your blog as a platform to share all your favorite recipes, ingredients, etc.
  • Cooking on a Budget: You might focus on teaching people how to cook scrumptious meals without spending a lot of money.

Step 2: Choose Your Niche

Once you’ve chosen the focus of your blog, the next step is to pick your food niche. 

As previously mentioned, the food industry is saturated, and if you want to stand out and ensure success, you need to choose a niche that you’ll specialize in. 

A niche is simply a specific topic around which you’ll create content. This includes blog articles, as well as YouTube videos, social media posts, email series, and various other types of content.

The niche you choose will likely depend on the type of food you love cooking. 

Listed below are a few examples of different types of niches that you can focus on with your new food blog: 

  1. Family Meals / Meal Planning
  2. Pro Chef Career Path
  3. How to Sell Food to Make Money as a Side Hustle
  4. Exotic Cuisine
  5. Budget / Casual Dinners
  6. Veganism
  7. 5-Minute Meals for Busy Professionals
  8. Scrumptious Snacks for Toddlers
  9. Food for Pets
  10. Recipe Ingredients
  11. Food Prep / Quick Baking Recipes for Kids
  12. Reviewing Cookware / Dinnerware / Restaurants
  13. Cooking for One
  14. Paleo Diet Recipes
  15. Cocktail Recipes
  16. Low Carb Meals / Workout Snacks
  17. Batch Cooking / Baking / Freezing
  18. Gluten-Free Recipes
  19. Salads / Desserts
  20. Fun / Party Food

As you can see, there are many different niches you can choose from. You can even combine two or more niches to create your own unique niche.

Step 3: Choose Your Blogging Platform

Once you’ve decided on your niche, it’s time to choose your blogging platform. There are hundreds of platforms to choose from, both free and paid. 

You have the option of choosing between self-hosted software or hosted options like Wix, Blogger, Squarespace, etc. 

I recommend going with the self-hosted option as it comes with a lot of advantages.

WordPress, in particular, is a great option for a self-hosted blogging platform. It’s free and open-source software (FOSS) that is easy to install and use, and the platform is among the most popular ways to build a website, including food blogs. 

Why Choose Self-Hosted WordPress?

  • It’s very easy to get started, you can install the software with one click
  • You are given full control of your web domain
  • You can monetize your blog in any way you choose
  • Self-hosted WordPress blogs are extremely fast and Google loves them
  • You have full customization capabilities to make your blog unique
  • There are thousands of plugins that let you extend your website’s functionality
  • There is ample support from developers and a large community of users

In contrast, free or hosted blogging platforms come with many drawbacks. For instance, most free platforms have slow loading speed and Google doesn’t rank them as well as premium ones. 

Also, free web hosting does not allow you to monetize your blog effectively. You can’t add supported features to expand your site’s functionality, and if something happens to the host platform, you’ll lose all your content.

Furthermore, it’s hard to get people to trust your website or blog when using a free blogging platform. Your domain will be something like “MyAwesomeFoodBlog.Squarespace.com”, as opposed to simply “MyAwesomeFoodBlog.com”. 

Step 4: Decide Your Domain Name

Before you can officially start your food blog, you’ll first have to decide what you’re going to name it. 

Although this may seem like a simple step, it’s important to take your time with this because the name you choose is going to define your brand and distinguish your food blog from all the rest. 

So, you must choose wisely. And to help you do that, I’ve written a detailed guide on how to choose a domain name.

Here’s a quick look at what you need to consider when deciding on a name for a new food blog:

1. Choose a “.com” Domain Name.

There are many different domain extensions to choose from, including .com, .org, .net,  .us, .co, etc. 

There are also some creative domain name extensions designed specifically for food blogs, such as .food, .chef, .cooking, .organic, and various other domain name extensions that fall under the food/drink categories. 

But, it’s important to choose .com for your domain name as this is the one the web is built on, and it’s what your audience will most readily remember. 

2. Purchase the Domain Name Separately From the Host Provider. 

If someone were to hack into your hosting account they could potentially transfer your domain name over to their own hosting. 

If this were to happen, it would be very difficult to reverse and could be a huge security issue for you. 

So it’s best to purchase your domain name separate from the hosting provider. Of course, if you are just getting started with your very first site, you can skip this step for now and move on to the next one.

3. Choose a Broad Domain Name.

Stay broad with the name you choose. If you make it too narrow, you’ll run out of things to talk about on your blog. On the other hand, making it too broad will make it harder for you to build an engaged audience for your food blog. 

So, for instance, instead of calling your blog “GlutenfreeCookies.com“, you might consider something like “GlutenfreeParadise.com“, which would allow you to focus on a wider range of topics and treats besides just cookies. 

4. Keep It Short and Sweet.

Keep your website domain name between two and four words. Don’t use long words that are hard to spell and avoid using any special characters or foreign words.

5. Use Alliteration.

Alliteration is when you use two or more words that either start with the same letter or sound the same. 

For instance, you might have a website name like “Damn Delicious”, “Smitten Kitchen“, or “Freezer Fiend“.

6. Add Extra Words: If all else fails, and you still can’t get the name you want, simply add more words like “the“, “with“, “club“, “hub“, etc. For instance, if you wanted a name like “Dessert Dome”, you might consider “The Dessert Dome “, instead.

7. Think of the Concept: To help you brainstorm ideas for your food blog name, try to think of the concept around your food blog. Ask yourself what it could be branded as and how it could grow in the future. This will help you think of great ideas for names when you open yourself up to possibilities of where your food blog could go.

8. Use Name Generation Tools: If you find yourself still stuck, there are plenty of free online tools that can help you come up with a great domain name. Some of the tools I like to use include Lean Domain Search and Instant Domain Search.

9. Don’t Buy a Domain Name: You might find a name for your food blog that you’ve fallen in love with, but it’s on offer for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Don’t be tempted to buy it. It’s not worth it at this point. Rather, look for a different name or variation of that name that is available for purchase at the regular price and use that money for creating content to grow your new blog instead.

10. Don’t Get Stuck Here: Most people obsess so much over getting the perfect domain name that they never move past the stage. Avoid falling into this trap. This should be a reasonably fast decision and there’s no need to spend more than a couple of hours on this task. Pick a name that you are happy with, and move on to the next step. 

Examples of Popular Food Blog Names

To help you jumpstart your own brainstorming process, here are a few examples of food blogs that are already out there, with a short explanation of why their domain names make sense.

1. Love and Lemons: This blog name comes from the fact that the creator, Jeanie Donofrio loves making vegan seasonal food, often finished off with a squeeze of lemon.

2. Closet Cooking: This website’s name uses alliteration to make it more memorable and easier for the food blog to stand out.

3. Green Kitchen Stories: This domain name was chosen to express that this food blog has a strong focus on healthy vegetarian recipes.

4. Minimalist Baker: This name explains the type of blog this is. Here you’ll learn how to create savory and sweet dishes requiring 10 ingredients or less and 30 minutes or less to prepare.

5. Budget Bytes: This name makes it clear the value this website provides for planning meals on a budget, shopping wisely to keep the grocery budget low.

Step 5: Buy Your Domain Name and Hosting

Once you’ve chosen your platform and domain name, your next step is to actually purchase the name and hosting.

Your domain name is the online address or URL that visitors will type into their browsers to visit your food blog. For example, the domain for the food blog Serious Eats is “SeriousEats.com“. 

Together with your domain, you also have to get a domain hosting account. This is a service that will host your website files on their servers and ensure that your food blog can always be found by visitors online.

I’ve created a walk-through to help you through the process of purchasing your domain name and hosting.

Below is a YouTube video and screenshots showing you the exact step-by-step process.

First, click this link to visit Bluehost and follow along with the tutorial below: 

Step 1:  If you haven’t yet, click on this link and you’ll be brought to the WordPress Hosting page that you see below.

Step 2:  Next, you’ll be brought to the hosting plan page.  You could choose to get a “Plus” or “Choice Plus” plan, but honestly, that’s not a requirement.

The Startup plan is the cheapest at $3.95/month through my link vs. the normal $8.99/month. This plan has everything you need including 50GB of webspace (plenty of room for your files), a free domain for a year, plus other standard features like a free SSL and a secure WordPress install. 

Feel free to browse a bit to decide the right plan for you, but rest assured that Basic will work just fine if you want to minimize your investment.

Step 3:  After clicking into the plan, you’ll be brought to the next page where you will type in your new domain, or you can just choose “I’ll create my domain later” if you haven’t decided on one yet. The domain is the URL people will type into a browser to view your website in the future. 

Step 4: Once you submit, the next page will ask for all of your information. That will start with your account information, which is self-explanatory.

Step 5:  Next, you’ll have to input your Package Information. This is to choose how long you want the plan to go for. My advice is that you choose 24 months to get the discount and save some money, but you can go as low as 12 months if you want.

Step 6:  Next you’ll have to choose what “Package Extras” you want. You can scroll over “More Information” to understand what each of these items is, but here is my own advice.

I would get the “Domain Privacy + Protection”, this makes it so that no one can tie your name to the domain name you create. To me, the only other one worth considering is “Codeguard Basic”. The other two I wouldn’t personally get. But choose what is best for you.

Step 7:  The next step is Payment Information, which is self-explanatory.

Step 8:  And the last step of signup is to confirm that you read and understand the Bluehost Terms of Service, Cancellation Policy, and Privacy Notice. Click the check button and then click “Submit”.

Step 9:  Next you’ll be prompted to create an account and password. This is the information that you’ll use to log in to the Bluehost platform to manage your site and account info.

Step 10:  At this point, Bluehost puts you through a short questionnaire to better understand your scenario. You can answer all of these questions, or click “Skip this Step” on the bottom. If you’re a newbie, I advise you to answer the questions as it’ll help your onboarding experience.

Step 11:  After you’re done with that you’ll be advised to choose a theme. For now, you can just choose to use a free theme. You can always replace the theme later if you’d like.

Step 12:  From there, you’ll be brought into the backend of WordPress in the admin panel. This is where you’ll manage your site from. You can add posts/pages as you see fit, but when you’re ready click on the blue button that says “Launch Your Site”.

Step 13 (Final):  Your blog is LIVE. Just go to a browser and type in your domain name. Once you do this, you’ll be able to access your website!

Congrats! You officially have a website. 

Now on to the next step. 

Step 6: Choose and Install a Theme For Your Food Blog

Once you’ve got your basic website setup, it’s time to choose a theme for your new blog. There are thousands of themes to choose from, but you want to choose one designed specifically for food blogs. 

As an alternative to choosing a WordPress food blogging theme, you might use a WordPress recipe plugin that adds recipe builder functionality to any theme, turning it into a food blog. 

However, while using food plugins together with a generic theme might offer more flexibility, it also makes setup a bit more complicated. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend it for beginner bloggers. In such a case, a purpose-built WordPress food blogging theme is the way to go. 

It will come with a wide range of built-in features and functionality specific to food blogging, including things such as: 

  • Recipe Builder: This feature allows you to display your recipes and ingredients in a layout that is easy for your visitors to view.
  • Gallery and Video Support: This allows you to upload stunning visuals and instructional videos to keep your audience engaged.
  • Advanced Search Function: Allow visitors to search using recipes and ingredients so they can quickly find what they need on your blog.
  • User Registration/Login Functionality: This feature will allow you to create a members-only section so you can build a community around your food blog.

You also need to consider the following factors before choosing the best theme for your blog: 

What to Look for In a Good Theme: 

  • Speed: You want a theme that is built for speed so you can maintain a fast-loading website. 
  • Beautiful Design: Choose a theme with beautiful templates and layouts that will allow you to showcase appealing videos and images of your food. 
  • Mobile Responsiveness: The theme you choose should be mobile-friendly and look good on all devices.
  • Full Customizability: Make sure you have the ability to customize your theme to make it look and feel exactly the way you want.
  • Well-Established Brand: Choose a theme from a well-known brand like Themeforest, Thrive Themes, StudioPress, Envato, etc. 
  • Online Reviews: Opt for a theme with lots of positive ratings and reviews from users online. 
  • Reliable Support: Check out the theme’s support options to ensure that you’ll be able to get assistance anytime you need it. 

Food Blog Theme Options for WordPress

Now that you know what to look for in a great theme, here are a few food blog themes to choose from.

1. Braise – Recipe & Food Blog 

This theme is designed with all the features you need to showcase your food creations in a captivating way. 

There are pre-designed templates for cooking, baking, cookbooks, recipe cards, and much more. 

This means you can have your blog up in no time by simply using one of the templates and swapping in your own content and images. You also get to use all the images that come with the theme free of charge.

2. Dolcino – Pastry and Cake Shop Theme

This theme is highly customizable and comes with an extensive admin interface. It also offers quick one-click import of demo content and requires no coding knowledge to build beautiful, responsive, and retina-ready pages.

3. TinySalt – Personal Food Blog WordPress Theme

Creating a food blog is a piece of cake with the number-one selling TinySalt theme. It comes with 12 predesigned demos, and all you need to do is select a demo, import it to your site with a single click, and you’re ready to go. 

The different layouts in the demos can be combined to create your own unique layout and there are 32 blog variations for you to choose from, including Grid, Classic, Masonry, and List layouts. 

4. Gourmand – Restaurant, Bistro & Chef Theme

With this easy-to-use theme, you’ll be able to create a mouthwatering food blog with spectacular pages and remarkable features designed specifically for chefs, bistros, restaurants, and anyone else looking to start a food blog.

5. EasyMeals – Food Blog WordPress Theme

This is the perfect theme for personal or community food blog websites. It has all the features you need in one convenient place, including a powerful admin interface, a large collection of templates, and a range of practical shortcodes including Social Share, Pricing Table, Product List, and Highlight shortcodes. 

You can also customize each page to your liking by switching colors, fonts, or dragging and dropping different elements onto the page, including videos, text, images, etc.

Step 7:  Create Essential Pages and a Logo

Every website needs essential pages, and the same goes for a new food blog. Listed below are some of the pages you absolutely must have on your site, but you can add more depending on your needs.

  • About Page: This page provides your readers with information about you, such as who you are, why you started your blog, and the value they can get from it. You can include an image of yourself on this page. And make sure you use a style and tone of voice that lets your foodie personality shine through. 
  • Contact Page: On this page, you need to add all the information your readers might need to get in touch with you. This includes your email address, phone number, social media profiles, or Skype, etc. Choose whatever makes sense for your audience. You might also include an FAQ section on your Contact page with all your most commonly asked questions.
  • Privacy Policy Page: A Privacy Policy is essential for every website. On it, you must include text that explains exactly the type of information you collect from your users, as well as how you use that data. There are plenty of services online to help you create an ironclad privacy policy, including this one.
  • Create a Logo: At this point, it’s also a good idea to create a logo for your food blog. There are many different ways you can go about this, especially if you have graphic design skills. But I am a big fan of using this free logo maker. This intuitive platform will guide you through the process of creating a high-quality, unique logo for your blog even if you have zero graphic design experience.  

Note: If you require high-resolution logo files, you can pay a minimal amount to access the files and a few other things that will help you with your branding efforts.

Step 8: Begin Blogging

Once you have your essential pages in place, it’s time to start blogging. As a food blogger, there are tons of things you can blog about. Inspiration is everywhere, but to make things easier for yourself, simply take your main topic and divide it into subcategories. 

So, for instance, if your niche is exotic food, then you might break it down by the different countries or regions you intend to cover. Alternatively, you might break it down by type of meal, e.g. lunch, dinner, snacks, party food, etc.

Here are a few ideas and writing categories you might consider:

  • Welcome Post or Series: You can write articles on why and how you started your food blog.
  • List Posts: Create lists of resources your readers will find useful, such as “Top 10 popular food blogs”, or “25 food bloggers you should follow this year”, etc.
  • How-to Guides: Create in-depth how-to posts that answer many of the commonly asked questions in your space. For instance, you might create guides on “How to plan meals for your family for the whole month”, or “How to batch cook and freeze meals in advance”, etc.

These are just a few ideas of the types of posts you can create. You can also have the following:

  • Checklist articles
  • Holiday treats/seasonal food articles
  • Problem and solution posts (e.g. 
  • Personal stories
  • Interviews with chefs
  • Latest industry news
  • Raving about your favorite places to eat

… and so on.

It’s always best to stick with the niche you’ve chosen and write cooking/food articles around that topic, as well as informational content that will help to attract a bigger audience and keep them engaged on your blog. 

Important Note: Make sure you get at least 10 blog posts written prior to promoting anything on your new blog. The reason for this is that it will make your new blog look more populated. It will also help to give new visitors to your blog enough variety to appeal to different tastes and make them want to come back to read more. 

Step 9: Promoting Your Food Blog

Now it’s time to spread the word about your new blog. Here are a few ways that have been proven to be extremely effective for promoting food blogs.

Tell Friends and Family

Start with your friends and family. Let everyone know about your blog and ask them to visit it and read your posts. Ask them to share your blog with others in their own networks, and encourage suggestions on how you can make improvements that will help you create better quality content and bring even more people to your site.

Social Media

Social media is an important part of any strategy to start a food blog. It’s a great traffic generator, and whether you choose to use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or any of the many other social media platforms, there are a few tips to help you effectively grow your following. 

  • Add Social Media Share Buttons: This will encourage your visitors to share your food recipes, pictures, videos, etc. on their social channels.
  • Enable Pinterest Rich Pins: This feature allows you to display your recipe details directly on your pins, thereby increasing the number of repins you get.
  • Embed Your Instagram Feed: Embedding an interactive social media feed on your food blog will help you get more attention and increase your following.

Paid Ads

Depending on your budget, paid ads can be a great way for you to drive a steady stream of visitors to your new food blog. 

You can start with social media ads, such as Facebook ads or Instagram ads to drive targeted visitors to your blog where you can then convince them to sign up for your email list or read more of your posts.

SEO

Search engine optimization is an effective way to drive targeted visitors to your blog for free. All you have to do is focus on important keywords in your niche or industry, embed them within your content using SEO best practices, and Google will rank your content making it discoverable to the people who are searching for it.

Use Rich Snippets

While on the subject of SEO, you must also use rich snippets on your food blog. Rich snippets are those additional pieces of information that you see together with the meta-description of a listing on Google and other search engines. 

They are a great way to boost your click-through rate, and once you’ve built your food blog, you can add rich snippets to enhance your search engine results. Doing this can also get your website featured on rich cards that only appear on mobile devices.

Guest Blogging

Also known as guest posting, this blog promotion method involves finding other popular websites in your niche with an audience similar to yours and then reaching out to them with an offer to write posts for their blog. 

You can then link back to your own website either in the body of your content or within your bio at the end of the post and this will lead people back to your new food blog.

Step 10: Start Making Money

After all the hard work you’ve put into creating and growing your food blog, it’s finally time to start reaping the rewards. But for you to be able to do so, you must find effective ways to monetize your food blog. 

Here are some of the most commonly used (and profitable) ways to make money from your blog audience and keep in mind that I’ve written a whole post dedicated to how to make money blogging as well.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is where you recommend other people’s products or services and receive a commission for each sale you generate. 

You can join up with affiliate programs like WP Tasty, Home Chef, Vital Choice, and Food Blogger Pro and then search through their products to find recipe books, cooking products, and other things to recommend to your blog visitors.

Create Your Own Cookbook

Another great way to make money from your food blog is to create your own cookbook, whether in digital or physical form. 

You can sell it on your website or larger marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. An example of a website that uses this monetization method effectively is 101Cookbooks.com

This site offers different cookbooks in a wide range of categories that you can also filter by ingredients, season, etc. to find the right cookbook for your needs.

Accept Sponsored Posts

You can charge people to post on your blog (although I don’t recommend this monetization method a lot). 

These days, many people have begun to ignore traditional banners and ads, which is why sponsored content is becoming more and more popular as a way for brands to build trust and credibility with their target market. 

As your audience grows, you’ll be able to help businesses increase their brand awareness by posting creative and engaging content on your site. Just make sure that the content is in alignment with your target audience’s interests or needs, otherwise, you risk alienating them.

Sell Advertising Space on Your Blog

You can also make money by selling ad space on your site. Charge brands to advertise their products or services to your audience.

Selling advertising space directly to brands has many advantages. For instance, you get to keep 100% of the revenue you make compared to working with ad networks that keep the portion of your earnings for themselves. 

Also, by negotiating directly with advertisers, food bloggers are typically able to charge a higher rate. At the same time, you also have the opportunity to build working relationships with advertisers which usually leads to lucrative future ad campaigns with them.

Sign Up for Google Adsense

Yet another easy way to monetize your food blog is to join Google AdSense. Signing up is quick and easy, and once your account has been approved, Google will begin showing ads to visitors on your blog. In return, you will be paid for each ad view. 

Over time, this can create a steady stream of passive income that grows as your blog audience grows.

Of course, there are many other ways you can make money from your blog, but the recommendations above are particularly beneficial for food blogs.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this step-by-step guide on how to start a food blog and make money doing it. If you follow this simple strategy, you’ll have a fully functional and profitable blog in no time.

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