If you’re thinking of starting a food blog, then start today – these “newbie-friendly” steps will have you ahead of 99% of food bloggers right outta the gate.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to…
…pick a domain (and host it)…
…and start producing top-tier food blog content.
By the way, in case you’re wondering…
…yes, the world really does need more food blogs.
Interestingly, we all just can’t seem to get enough of these wonderfully inspiring, incredibly creative internet offerings, especially when they’re infused with awesomely beautiful photos.
And, the best part, creating a blog that’s better than 99% of the competition shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. Let’s get started…
Step 1: Get hosting
I can’t stress enough how important it is in food blogging to have a brandable name.
Clever blog titles seem to have become a prerequisite to success (see: iHeartEating.com, DrizzleAndDip.com) in this industry, and in general, follow these other domain suggestions:
- unique, catchy
- clearly about food/cooking
Go to Bluehost and get your domain for free. Try and get a “.com” rather than a “.biz” or anything else, but if you have to, “.net” and “.org” are also acceptable.
(I’ve secured a free domain and the lowest price with Bluehost here)
Then, you’ll need hosting. To understand how domain name and hosting work, think of your domain as a book (a book on spec, which you haven’t written yet) and your host as the publisher. Hosting carries a monthly fee, sort of like rent (you could think of hosting as renting space on the internet).
Bluehost is the ultimate, especially for new bloggers who need a domain name: you get a free domain plus fast, reliable hosting for less than $5 per month. They even have a handy tool for checking to see whether your chosen domain name has already been taken.
So, with one quick visit to Bluehost, and after signing up for an account you’ve already accomplished half the “techhie stuff” that’s impeding your progress towards getting your recipes online in your very own food blog. Thanks, Bluehost!
Also, don’t sign up for all the extras they try and stick you with, like Domain Privacy Protection or Search Engine Jumpstart. Not necessary.
Step 2: Install WordPress
Another reason to go with Bluehost is their wonderfully easy system for installing WordPress, the software that runs most blogs in the world. It’s free and once you’re logged into your Bluehost account you’ll see step-by-step instructions for getting started.
When you’re inside your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see a “WordPress” icon. Click on that, then fill out your credentials, and boom…have you WordPress installed.
Go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin, put in your username and password, and you’re ready to start blogging.
Step 3: Become an authority blogger
First and foremost, having a passion for food, cooking and recipes is pretty much a given…one thing to remember is that a very specific blog is going to be far more successful than one that tries to cover a huge topic. Therefore, a blog on “Cooking Better On Paleo” is better than a blog on “Healthy Recipies”.
If you’re n expert on some aspect of cooking then stick with that, become the authority on that niche and not only will you have added some value to the world but the search engines will love you for it, too.
Mix in a wide variety of media for your site: high-authority guest blogging, interviews, podcasts, contests, “how-to” tutorials, high-resolution pictures, etc, etc. Host influencers by networking with other food bloggers who have loyal, cult followings.
“The primary requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite.” — A. J. Liebling
…and I’d add to that the primary requisite for blogging about food is good pictures.
Food is so darn visual.
Take a look at Pinterest, where food photographers show their wares in dazzlingly gorgeous food-photo collages. This should be you.
In fact, you should use Pinterest to promote your blog, as well.
Start an account, upload your best food photos & recipes, start pinning other people’s food photos and recipes and you’re on our way. Prepare to spend way too much time browsing Pinterest boards, as it’s highly addictive (hey, it’s part of being a food blogger).
More ways to get great content? Like I said before, you want to host influencers and experts.
One of the best way to host influencers is by putting on an “expert panel”. Ask 10-15 food bloggers the same question on Twitter, than publish their answers on your blog (you can actually embed their tweets on your blog).
Then, hit them up after the content goes live, and they’ll be happy to share your content because they were featured (it’s the classic ego-bait technique).
Other than photos, there are lots of media you could add…diagrams, charts, videos…even curated content (not yours originally but cherry-picked from around the Web) is valuable to your readers if it’s done right. Just keep it interesting and entertain your readers.
Although there is a seemingly endless hunger out there for more and more food blogs, its important that you make yours better than the rest in every way that you can. By choosing the right niche and concentrating on that, you’ve already mastered an essential component of success…actually becoming “the authority” on a particular topic.
Always be unmistakably “top-notch”. Photos, secret niche recipes found in an old cookbook in your grandma’s basement, advice from expert roundups, etc, etc – it’s all gotta be top-notch.
And, finally, your content should:
- add value
- be authoritative
That’s a wrap. Enjoy your food blogging adventure.
PS. How does this innocent-looking blog make more money than most doctors and lawyers?
Simple: I found the right coaches. You might want to know more here.