Starting a food blog is not as easy as you might think. You must be passionate about food and cooking and enjoy teaching others your favorite recipe.
It requires being dedicated and having a genuine interest in cooking.
How to start a food blog might feel overwhelming in the beginning, but you don’t have to let it be.
There are a few steps to follow, and I will guide you through them in this post.
Even if you have never created a blog before, this guide is to help you simplify all the processes so you understand all the steps in great detail.
From picking an ideal food niche to monetizing your traffic, this guide is your one-stop answer to how to become a food blogger. Without further delay, let’s get into the details…
How to Start a Food Blog
If you’re considering starting a food blog, this guide is for you.
Consider this as the beginner’s guide to food blogging with everything you need to succeed.
I will break down all the steps in a simplified version. So, even a beginner would be able to digest it.
Let’s dive in…
Choose a Niche
Technically, food is a broad niche that consists of a wide range of subtopics. You shouldn’t create a food blog without knowing your target audience.
If you want to become a food blogger, a successful one, the first step is to identify your ideal target audience.
There are too many blogs (more than 600 million blogs out of over 1.9 billion websites) and approximately 4.95 billion internet users.
If you don’t narrow your food blog topic, you might compete with 600 million blogs. And 4.95 billion internet users are not your target audience.
What you need is just a tiny fraction of this internet population.
You need to research where your ideal audience resides, what type of cuisine, taste, food preference, presentation, diet, etc.
You must figure these things out before starting a cooking blog.
So, how do you find your ideal audience and narrow your niche topic?
How to Research Your Audience
We’re going to break this section into two parts.
The first part will discuss brainstorming, and the second section will discuss the essential steps to choosing your food blog topic.
Creating content for your food blog will be much easier if you follow through on this section and take action on the things I shared here.
Let’s get into it…
Brainstorm Your Ideas
There are many food and cooking blogs today, but getting your audience right will give you an advantage over your competitors.
First, brainstorm food blogging ideas that resonate with your person and passion.
If you want to start a location-specific food blogging, create an international food blog, cuisine-specific, health food blog tips, diets tips blogs, recipes, etc.,
Your option will determine the approach and strategies to build and promote your food blog.
For example, do you want to create a budget food blog where you run a minimum possible marketing budget?
Or do you want to create a cuisine blog that discusses international recipes and delicacies?
Now, here are the types of food blog examples you can start today.
4 Types of Food Blogs
- Recipe Blog – You can create a food blog that discusses how to make dishes with step-by-step instructions on what types of recipes to include. This type of blog involves giving instructions, taking original photos, and demonstrating your clear understanding of the processes. This type of blog is mainly run by passionate food bloggers – people with vast experience in preparing rich delicacy food.
- Cuisine Specific – This cooking blog focuses on a particular region, culture, or tribe and its food. For example, a West African cuisine blog will discuss Fufu, Rice, Groundnut Stew, Pounded Yam, Tapalapa Bread, etc. If you’re more into American Cuisine, you’re more likely to discuss Cobb Salad, Jerky, Fajitas, etc…
- Healthy Food Tips and Advice – This type of food blog doesn’t necessarily teach how to cook or prepare food ingredients; instead, it focuses on giving tips on how to eat well, nutritional advice, and information on good meal planning. It is more professional health advice on healthy living through the food we eat than how to cook the food.
- Location-Based Food Blog – This blog mainly reviews and shares real-life experiences in restaurants, eateries, unique food places, recipes, ingredients, and food types. It’s about guiding other users to the best food places within their locality. You’re helping people save time and sharing your experience with a nearby restaurant.
How to Validate Your Niche
It is enough to brainstorm your idea or the niche; you must validate your chosen topic for profit. After all, part of the reason you’re starting a food blog is to make money from it.
How to start a food blog and make money will never be possible without niche validation.
And this is not about brainstorming or guesswork; it is about working with user and marketing data.
And the best option here is keyword research…keyword research is the starting point for all successful internet marketing businesses.
Without keywords, you’re running a blind business.
How to do Keywords for Niche Validation
Brainstorming aims to help you narrow down your choice and put you on the map of what truly resonates with your passion.
Now that you’ve discovered where your capability and passion lie, it’s time to analyze and validate your ideas.
Let’s start with a free keyword tool – the Semrush keyword tool.
Semrush keyword tool is a free tool but with limited access to its data. If you want more keywords and marketing data, subscribe to a Pro subscription plan.
The Semrush pro plan gives you access to more SEO and marketing data that let you do more and achieve a lot.
Subscribe to Semrush via this link, click on Keyword Magic from the list, and enter your seed keywords.
You can join a list of keywords based on the number of ideas you’ve got from the brainstorming exercise.
Do not worry if something doesn’t make sense to you at this stage; the main point is to get enough ideas or niches to evaluate your best option.
Let’s assume from your brainstorming list you have decided to start:
- A review food blog
- American cuisine
- Diet food blog
- Budget food blog
- A food blog for travelers
- Local restaurant food blog
- Cake making
- Drink and beverages
- Specific food – Pizza, Potato Chips, Donuts, Oreo Cookies, etc.
- Recipe and ingredient-making blog, and more
As you can see, our list can go on and on and on…but the better you narrow it, the easier it is to get off to a good start.
The next step is to enter your list into the keyword magic and run an analysis of each keyword.
Here are the metrics you should be concerned with at this stage:
- Search volume – based on your target location or worldwide.
- Keyword trend – Is it trending upward or downward?
- Cost per click – Keyword market value
- Keyword variations – to get more ideas
- SERP Analysis – To analyze search competitors
You need to go through all this data to analyze your chances of starting a food that will be successful.
You don’t want to waste your time, energy, and money on a project that won’t live for another day.
This is why you must do keyword research before you start to write a food blog.
Here is a more comprehensive post on using the Semrush keyword tool for market research and niche validation.
And here is a more step-by-step video tutorial on using the Semrush keyword tool.
Choose Your Blogging Platform
Let me save you some time here; WordPress remains the blogging platform to beat. Several content management systems exist, Blogger, Wix, Tumblr, Ghost, Drupal, etc.
But if you want a blogging platform with great community support, more tools to expand and bring your creativity to life, user-friendly, and optimized for SEO, go for WordPress.
WordPress is constantly updated, and new features are added to it regularly. Currently, more than one-quarter of the internet is powered by WordPress.
However, regardless of the blogging platform, you need branding and a blog you have complete control and ownership over.
This is where registering your domain name and hosting comes in.
Register a Domain Name.
In one of the sections above, I discussed choosing a food blogging idea or niche. The lesson in that section will be useful in choosing your blog name.
You can name your food blog after the niche, give it your name, or do something unique. Whatever you do, remember this rule:
- Keep it short and simple
- It should be memorable
- Easy to spell and say on the phone
- Make it under two or three-word maximum
- And niche relevant
After that, you need to register the domain name. Except you’re bidding on premium domain names, it only costs between $9 to $15 for a year of registration.
Get Web Hosting
Web hosting is what makes your food blog visible on the internet. That’s where your blog files and content lives.
There are several web hosting providers today; Namecheap has been hosting this blog since 2015.
And I never for a moment regretted the decision.
NameCheap has different hosting plans suitable for beginners, intermediates, and seasonal marketing professionals.
You can start for as low as $2.18/month, which is affordable and offers high-quality hosting services.
The entry hosting plan allows 3 websites, 20GB of storage space, and a free 1-year domain name registration on selected TLDs.
Here are the core Namecheap web hosting features:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited SSD storage on selected hosting plans
- Free SSL certificates
- Namecheap Supersonic Cdn (content delivery network)
- 1-year free domain name registration
- Free Whois guide
- Built-in cache on EasyWp
- Automatic backup
- Cloud hosting facility
- cPanel features
Install Plugins and Themes
Now, this is where you get into the technical stuff on how to start a cooking blog for beginners. You may wander here if you’ve never written a food or blog.
But it’s all good and straightforward. Installing WordPress plugins and themes is as easy as downloading, uploading, and activating.
To get started quickly, let’s install a few basic plugins. Most WordPress food websites have these plugins installed and activated.
- All-in-one SEO – for on-page SEO optimization
- Yoast SEO – WordPress optimization SEO plugin
- JetPack – A multipurpose WordPress plugin.
- WP Rocket – speed and performance optimization plugin
- Akismet – To protect against spam comments
- Recipe Card – Simple recipe card maker
- WP Recipe Maker – Upload and organize recipes with templates
Search for the best WordPress food blog plugins to find more relevant plugins. You will discover more helpful plugins for your purpose.
Install WordPress Food Theme
If you try to learn how to design a food blog, you will probably have to deal with codes.
This might not be a good option since you’re not interested in learning code as a profession but in creating and becoming a food blogger.
There’s a faster and simplified approach to having your blog design ready in minutes without ever dealing with code.
WordPress themes make it effortless to design professional-looking blogs without touching code.
There are endless options today, both free and paid. On WordPress.org, there are over 5,000 themes that give you endless possibilities for blog design.
But you can’t possibly go through over 5,000 WordPress themes to find the right pick? That would probably be overwhelming and tedious.
To help you break down your options and based on my experience, here are the best WordPress food themes.
Divi by Elegant Themes is a premium WordPress theme and page builder.
You can drag and drop elements from its visual editor to bring your creativity to life. It makes creating any web page design and layout easy without being a developer.
And when you design your web pages with Divi, you can see the changes in the front end in real time and make adjustments as you wish.
You have over 200 design elements you can drag and drop and over 2000 custom layouts to fit your website design and brand image.
- Divi Yearly – $89/yr (unlimited websites)
- Divi Lifetime – $249 (One-time payment unlimited website)
WP Astra Themes
Astra is an intuitive, visually appealing, lightweight, and SEO-optimized WordPress theme.
It comes with hundreds of customizable starter templates that allow anyone to build professional blog design quickly.
And the best part, WP Astra is free.
But if you want more control and features over your blog design, Astra has three premium plans suitable for all categories of businesses.
- Astra Pro (unlimited websites) – $47/yr ($227 for a lifetime deal)
- Essential Bundle (unlimited websites) – $137/yr ($677 for a lifetime deal)
- Growth Bundle (unlimited websites) – $187/yr ($937 for the lifetime deal)
Award-winning theme developers, Cyberchimps themes are known for speed, woocommerce ready, responsive, and compatible with most WordPress plugins and page builders.
You can get started with the free responsive themes quickly.
Like Astra, Cyberchimps also offer premium options which give you more features, support, and control over your theme design.
- Personal (1 website) – $23.50/yr ($139 for a lifetime deal)
- Business (3 websites) – $33.50/yr ($199 for a lifetime deal)
- Pro (100 websites) – $48.50/yr ($299 for a lifetime)
You can install these themes from your WordPress admin dashboard (except Divi). To do this, go to Appearance, click on Themes, and click “add new” on the next page.
In the search box, type Astra or Cyberchimps. Whichever is your choice, install and activate. You can begin customizing your blog thereafter.
Create a Content Strategy
Content is the most important aspect of online marketing. It is the reason people visit your blog.
The quality and consistency of content production also play a vital role in retaining and getting new readers.
You must plan your content strategy to fit your busy schedule and keep your blog fresh.
To learn how to write a food blog, follow these content plans
- Research content keywords in advance.
- Create a spreadsheet for your keywords.
- Organize keywords based on content ideas.
- Create content outlines before writing. It helps speed up the writing process.
- Research and analyze your competitor’s content strategy
- Analyze the SERP for your target keywords
- Optimize content for multiple related keywords.
- Organize and structure content to make reading easy.
- Use visuals – images and videos. Take original photos of ingredients, recipes, dishes, food, etc. And use original video illustrations.
Talking about videos, you don’t have to be a video editing guru to make quality videos today. Many tools exist to create high-quality videos that won’t cost you your bank account.
Let’s dive in a little…
How Do Food Bloggers Make Video
Using your smartphone camera is the simplest way to make a food blog video.
Most high-end phones today come with a high-resolution video camera you can use to record beautiful moments.
And if you’re on a good budget, you can get a professional camera set like the Sony AR7VI mirrorless camera. Or the Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR.
After shooting your food videos, you may need to edit them to make them perfect for viewers.
This is where a tool like invideo.io can help you make the best cooking videos for your audience.
You can add overlay text, subtitles, call to action, remove background noise, edit scenes, add background music, etc., and upload to YouTube directly, share on the web, download, or share with other team members.
To learn more about invideo.io, read my extensive review and first hand experience here.
Promote Your Content
You need to build an audience and drive traffic to your blog content. Without readers, even the best content will go unnoticed.
There are countless ways to build an audience and drive traffic to the blog, but you don’t want random stuff that won’t make a difference.
Here are proven content promotional methods you should try.
Most of your audience will come from search engines, especially Google. This is why you need to invest in food blog SEO.
It is not a complicated process if you don’t want it to be. Here is a detailed guide on driving SEO traffic to any blog.
Social Media Marketing
For most food blogs, social media marketing is one of the best traffic channels. You must be active on Instagram and Pinterest, as these are image-heavy platforms.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are also important. Don’t spread yourself so wide that you lose focus and waste too much time on social media.
Create your account, and gain more followers by sharing interesting content consistently. Respond to comments, engage with your audience, and build community.
You can gain traction and audience faster by collaborating with other food bloggers and influencers in your niche.
You can collaborate with related food bloggers if you feel uncomfortable doing this with a direct competitor.
For example, if you blog on the keto diet, you could meet with Atkins diet bloggers. Do you get the idea?
Create a Youtube Channel
YouTube can be a great source of exposure for food bloggers. And being the second largest search engine, you should be on YouTube.
As you create cooking, recipes, and food videos, upload them to your YouTube channel for more exposure. Get viewers to subscribe and consistently add more video content.
Make Money from Food Blog
It’s time to make money from a food blog. Even if the idea of how to start a food blog is just a passion, there’s no shying away from making money from your efforts.
If you want to learn how to make money from a food blog, here are 4 proven methods.
Affiliate marketing is ideally the best way to make money for a food blog. There are lots of affiliate programs for food bloggers.
And they pay a decent commission to compensate for your effort.
Your job is to drive traffic to the vendor’s website, and when the user makes a purchase, you get a commission.
Here are some food affiliate programs to check out.
If your food blog generates substantial traffic, you can try your luck with display advertising.
This is a number game, and you should only think of it if you’re generating at least 10,000 sessions per month.
Otherwise, you may not make much from the program.
Sell Your Food Blogger Cookbooks
If you have built an audience that trusts your expertise and loves your content, writing and selling your cookbook can be a great additional revenue stream.
You’re expanding your teaching and reach via another channel in books. It can be in prints, digital books, videos, etc.
Brands will come into your inbox asking for sponsored post deals. This will begin to happen when your blog becomes popular and authoritative.
The amount you charge for sponsored posts depends on your blog value, traffic number, SEO strength, audience engagement, etc.
You can charge anywhere from $100 to $20,000 for a sponsored post. It all depends on a variety of factors, including influencer status.
If you want to take your cooking lesson to the next level, you can organize seminars to teach people how to make certain dishes.
This is a great way to attract an audience within your locality to your brand. And make consistent income from seminar fees and product sales.
Conclusion…How to Start a Food Blog
Starting a food blog is easier today; you can become a food blogger with the proper knowledge, tools, efforts, and guidance.
Also, as with many businesses, it requires dedication, passion, and consistent commitment to grow and manage your food blog.
If you’re looking for a one-stop cooking blog for beginners guide, this is one you should consider.
I have given you all the information to start a food blog and make money.