Want to start a food blog but unsure how to begin? With over 600 million blogs online today, many of which host recipe and food inspiration, the idea may be pretty daunting at first. But don’t worry; we’re here to help you get started!
Whether you’d like to get creative with blogging as a hobby or grow it into something large-scale, here are eight simple steps on how to make a food blog from scratch; from how to find your niche, to how to create unique content and promote your blog.
Finding your niche is an essential first step to creating your online food blog. By discovering where there’s a gap online, you’ll compete with fewer blogs, and appeal to your audience more efficiently. Remember, friendly competition is often inevitable, but you still want to stand out.
So, where to begin? You’ll have noticed that people’s food interests are always changing, which means finding a niche is achievable. Ask yourself – what can you bring to the table? Whether you want to explore how-to guides, specific cuisines, or eco-friendly cooking, it’s important to figure out what you’re passionate about, so you don’t lose interest, and continue to enjoy blogging.
Here are some tips to help you find your niche:
- What are you into? Think about the foods and styles of cooking you love.
- Research other food blogs out there to find out what your competitors are doing.
- Consider which problems aren’t already being solved by food blogs – what else can you offer?
- Carry out keyword research to understand what others are searching for and the keywords you should target. Try free online tools such as Google Trends, Google Adwords, and Ubersuggests.
To stand out in any market, you’ll need a clear brand identity to make you recognizable. So when starting from scratch, it’s worth considering the core values of your brand, your target audience, and how you want people to interact with you.
Try the following to get started on the right foot:
- Think of a name and a logo that people will recognize/remember.
- Make sure your tone of voice appeals to your target audience and communicates your brand values.
- Think about how you want others to talk about and view your brand.
Once you’ve established your brand identity, it’s time to select your domain name.
But what is a domain name, and how do you choose one?
A domain name is an address you type into a browser that is unique to a specific website. Getting your domain name right is important, as it’ll affect your website traffic and your rank on search engines – so choose something memorable and unique that’s relevant to your niche.
There are various domain registrars you can buy domain names from, including Domain.com. You’ll be asked to pay an annual fee to register your domain, and this usually costs around $10 to $15 per year.
The next step is to sign up to a blogging platform, otherwise known as a content management system (CMS). This is where you will manage, create and edit all of your content, with different templates to customize your food blog and get creative.
Here are the three top website builders we’d recommend for starting a food blog:
Squarespace is one of the most popular website builders available amongst bloggers, small businesses, and creatives – and for good reason! With prices starting at $16 per month, it offers beautiful templates, as well as effective SEO tools to help surface your blog.
Perfect for everything from blogging to creating online portfolios, Wix is straightforward and easy to use. Prices start at $16 per month, and it’s an intuitive site builder packed with beginner-friendly features and templates.
One of the most simple to use website builders out there, Weebly is full of apps and features to help you grow your blog, with over 800 design templates to choose from. Prices start at around $6 per month.
When it comes to signing up to your website builder, you’ll be asked to select your monthly price plan, and enter your details and domain name before you can start customizing your blog. Then the fun begins!
According to a recent study, 75% of website credibility comes from design, so getting this right is important when starting a new blog. It all begins with selecting the right theme, which will dictate the overall look, feel, and style of your blog.
You want to find a theme that’s visually pleasing, intuitive, and user-friendly, so it’s easy to navigate.
Once you’ve chosen a theme through your builder, you can start to personalize the text, images, menus, and navigation bars. This all works a little differently depending on which builder you choose, but many offer drag-and-drop customization, which lets you design a web page easily and move content around.
Here’s some info around how customization works on our favorite website builders:
- Squarespace comes with a modern and minimal interface that feels clean, with easy editing options. It has a drag-and-drop builder, but it’s more section-based, which takes some practice to get used to.
- Wix is easy to customize, and you can drag – and drop – your content anywhere on the page. Although you can’t change templates after publishing, the functionality to move content around means you still have more creative freedom.
- Weebly has a cool selection of simple themes that respond on mobile, although the drag-and-drop customization is slightly more limited.
Oh, and if you’re struggling to find the right theme for your site, we’ve got you covered. We’ve pulled together our list of the top 10 food website examples on the net to get you inspired…and probably hungry, too!
Ready to add more functionality to your site? Website builders allow you to install apps in various areas, including social share icons, email marketing apps, and recipe makers, which will make your blog even more dynamic.
Squarespace offers apps such as Mailchimp and sharing apps, whilst the Wix App Market has hundreds of integrations to choose from. Whether it’s major site components like Wix Stores or smaller apps like the Pinterest Pin It button app, Wix has you covered. Weebly also offers a wide selection, from traffic-boosting apps to Weebly’s in-house apps, such as FAQs sections and call-out boxes.
When you start to create pages, begin with a homepage, an ‘About me’ page, and a ‘Contact me’ page with some details about yourself. The homepage needs to capture the attention of visitors instantly, so take your time on this one!
It’s also important to come up with a content strategy and posting schedule, to give yourself structure and consistency. You can find topics to blog about by doing keyword research on Google Trends or Google Adwords, to see what other bloggers are writing about.
What next? Marketing your blog in the right way is vital for growth and success, so we’ve rounded up the different strategies available to you:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Focusing on SEO will help boost your rankings in online search results and make it easier for visitors to find you – try starting with keyword research, and go from there. Many website builders also offer built-in SEO tools, which are worth exploring.
- Social media marketing: Over 52% of online brands are discovered via social media and it’s important to start building your presence across key channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok), updating accounts consistently, and engaging with followers.
- Email marketing: Try using an email opt-in tool to get email addresses from your readers and create a unique list to reach out to. If you plan to monetize your blog and sell products or services to readers, this will help you in the long run.
Food blogging is more prominent than ever and it can be an exciting, profitable way to channel your passion online. With a little effort and commitment, we hope you’ll be able to start a successful blog that you enjoy creating.
Can’t wait to get started? Here’s a quick look at those 8 key steps on how to start a food blog:
- Find your niche
- Create a brand
- Buy a domain name
- Sign up to a blogging platform
- Choose and customize a theme
- Install apps
- Plan and create your food blog’s content
- Promote your food blog