How to Start a Food Blog

So you want to start a food blog? Congrats! We couldn’t be more excited for you. 😊

We’re guessing you’re here because you probably have a million questions like:

  • How do I start my blog?
  • How do I get a URL?
  • What are the elements of a successful food blog?

And if that sounds like some of the questions floating around in your head, then you’re in luck!

We’re Food Blogger Pro. πŸ‘‹ We’re in the business of helping food bloggers start, grow, and monetize their food blogs, and we’re excited to help you along this process too!

Starting a food blog can be one of the most rewarding, motivating, and exciting ways to share your ideas and recipe content with the world wide web, and we hope that this page will help you along the way.

Let’s start simple:

πŸ₯‘ What is a Food Blog?

A food blog (also known as a food site or recipe site) is a website in which the author publishes recipes, writes about food, reviews restaurants, and/or talks about their favorite food products.

Some popular food blogs you may have heard of (or cooked from!) are:

the Pinch of Yum food blog homepage

There aren’t any true “rules” to what you can and can’t publish on a food blog, so that means you can make it what you want! Maybe you want to make a blog all about your favorite vegan recipes. Maybe you want to talk about recipes in books. Or maybe you want to have more of a blog that covers recipes and other lifestyle content.

Regardless of your blog’s focus, the tips and strategies you’ll find on this page will be relevant to and helpful for you. 😊

πŸ€“ The Techy Elements of a Food Blog

The good thing about starting a food blog with this guide is that you don’t need to be a Tech Wizard in order to do it!

If you’re a visual learner and would prefer to watch some videos that show you each step you need to take to have a food blog up and running in just a few minutes, we have a FREE course available for you! It covers everything you see on this page (and more).

Watch how to start food blog in our FREE “Setting Up Your Food Blog” course:

Otherwise, let’s dive in!

There are three important tech elements you need to decide on when starting a food blog:

  1. Hosting: You can think of this like a house –– your website needs somewhere to live on the internet!
  2. Domain: The fun part! This is the name of your blog and what URL someone will type into a search bar to find your website. For example, our domain is foodbloggerpro.com. 😊
  3. CRM: This acronym stands for Content Management System, and it’s the tool you’ll use to actually publish content on your site. As an example, think about the operating systems for a phone (iOS) or a computer (Windows). The CRM we recommend for all food bloggers is called WordPress, but more on that in a bit.

The first two will require a fee, and the CRM will be free!

Let’s take each step-by-step, shall we?

Hosting

There are hundreds of different hosts that will help give your site somewhere to live on the internet. If you’re just starting out, we like and recommend SiteGround.

Their set-up process is really simple, and you can take care of your hosting, domain, their prices aren’t too expensive for bloggers who are just starting out, and WordPress installation all through them!

SiteGround site tools page

Others in our community also like and recommend:

Domains

In general, your food blog’s name should be memorable, easy to pronounce and type, and something you really love.

When selecting your domain name, consider the following:

  • Is the domain available as handles across social media channels? If you’re planning on promoting your content on social media, you may want to verify that the handles are available for consistency across platforms. For example, you can find Food Blogger Pro across all social media channels at @foodbloggerpro.
  • Is the .com version of your domain available? While there other top-level domains (that’s just the way a URL ends!) like .co or .blog, we really love URLs that end with .com because they’re easiest to remember!
  • What’s the general vibe you’re trying to convey with your blog? Are you publishing family recipes? Vegan recipes? Drink recipes? Maybe your domain/blog name can convey the focus of your food blog.

To help you with these questions, we really like tools like Domainr and Namechk.

As for actually purchasing your domain, we recommend doing that through your host so it’s nice and simple for you. For example, if you choose SiteGround as your host, you can purchase your hosting plan and your domain name at the same time! Simplicity for the win!

CRM (We Recommend WordPress)

While there are a few popular CRMs on the market these days (Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, to name a few), we highly recommend WordPress for your food blogging needs.

WordPress.org homepage

Why? Well, we wrote a whole blog post about it! It’s definitely worth a read, but here are the highlights:

  1. WordPress is huge. In fact, it currently powers 43%… of the entire internet. 🀯 So you know it’s trusted and supported.
  2. WordPress is flexible. It’s an open-source software, so you can modify your site to your heart’s content! Not only that, because of this, developers and designers make it easy for non-techy folks to make changes and customize their own sites through the use of plugins and themes. Speaking of…
  3. WordPress plugins and themes give your blog additional functionality and features. There are free and premium versions for both, but if you have an idea for your website, chances are there’s a plugin or theme that can help you make it happen.
  4. WordPress is relatively easy to use. Even if you’re not a tech-savvy person, you don’t want your CRM to hold you back from sharing your thoughts, ideas, and recipes! Most hosts have a one-click WordPress install button, and from there, you just need to spend some time getting used to it.

And remember, WordPress is free to use! So it’s really a no-brainer in our opinion. πŸ˜‰

Purchasing Your Hosting and Domain

If you’re using SiteGround, you’ll want to check out their WordPress hosting plans. If you’re a brand new blogger, the StartUp plan should work great.

the hosting plans on Siteground's sites

Once you select your plan, you can register your domain. If you’ve already researched to make sure your chosen domain is available, you can just type that in here.

a screenshot of the domain registration page on Siteground

Then you’ll follow the rest of the steps to set up your site, making sure to choose WordPress when prompted to select your CRM.

We also recommend purchasing Domain Privacy so that your personal details (name, address, etc.) aren’t publicly available after you purchase your domain. If you skipped it during the sign-up process, you can purchase it by following these instructions.

🎨 Themes for Food Bloggers

Themes are website designs that make your blog look and act differently. There are a ton of different WordPress themes ranging from free to premium, so it’s really just a matter of finding one that suits you and your needs.

A good place to start, especially if you’re a brand new blogger, is the WordPress Theme Repository. There are nearly 10,000 free themes for you to browse and choose from there, and you can filter the themes by subject, features, and more.

the filters available on the WordPress theme repository

Other premium themes (i.e. the themes you need to pay for) have additional support and features. In terms of popular premium themes, our community really loves the ones from Feast Design Co. since they’re designed specifically for food bloggers.

πŸ”Œ Essential Plugins for Food Bloggers

Remember when we talked about plugins? You can think of them as the apps on your phone –– WordPress plugins give additional functionality to your site just like apps give additional functionality to your phone.

There are a few plugins that we consider essential for all food bloggers because of the impact they can have on the usability of your site:

A Recipe Plugin

Recipe plugins are great because they allow you to publish recipes in a visually-pleasing and user-friendly way. They also send important information about your recipes to search engines (like Google!).

We wrote a big ol’ post about the importance of recipe plugins and how to choose the right plugin for your blog that you can find here.

A Google Analytics Plugin

How do you know how your posts are performing? Which of your recipes are resonating most with readers?

These are some of the questions that Google Analytics, a free tool from Google, helps you figure out!

First, you’ll need to set up Google Analytics for your site. Once you have your tracking code, you can add it to your site using a plugin like Monsterinsights.

An SEO Plugin

If you’re just starting out, you may not know what SEO means –– and that’s okay! SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the process of optimizing your content for search engines.

Search engines (like Google or Pinterest) want to produce the very best content for their users, and SEO is the process of making your content better for those users.

Yoast SEO is our SEO plugin-o-choice because it’s powerful, easy to use, and trusted by millions of other WordPress site owners.

There’s a free version and a premium version that has a few more features, but it’s a solid plugin that will help you in your SEO efforts.

And! If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, check out this post for our top SEO tips for food bloggers.

Even More Recommendations!

Check out this episode of our podcast, The Food Blogger Pro Podcast, with our WordPress Support Expert, Andrew Wilder about his top plugin and tool recommendations for food bloggers:

πŸ† How to Run a Successful Food Blog

This is what we’re all about here at Food Blogger Pro!

While we can’t cover everything that’s required to run a successful food blog here (that’s what our membership is for!), we do have some free resources that will help you learn from others and build and grow your site:

Listen to Top Advice About Starting a Food Blog

Every week on The Food Blogger Pro Podcast, we interview successful food bloggers and industry experts in an effort to surface strategies that can help you more efficiently grow and monetize your site. If you’re at the point where you’re ready to start your blog (or maybe you’ve already started and are looking for some next steps!), these are the podcast episodes we’d recommend for you:

Read About Tips and Strategies for Starting Your Blog

When starting a food or recipe blog, there are a lot of decisions to make. From hosting and domain names to figuring out when you’ll actually work on your blog, it’s easy to fall into analysis paralysis in the beginning stages of this process. Luckily, we’ve been where you are right now, and we have lots of advice to share about what worked (and what didn’t) for us:

A Community to Support and Guide You

With a Food Blogger Pro membership, you get immediate access to the courses, lessons, Q&As, and deals that make the process of starting a food blog even easier. Here are a few of our member-only courses that can help you ask you move to start your own food and recipe site.

Graphic of laptop with WordPress logo on the screen

WordPress Deep Dive

Orange background with blue laptop graphic with a checklist and checkmark displayed on the screen

Publishing a Blog Post

Orange background with blue laptop graphic with a recipe graphic displayed on the screen

How to Write Recipes

πŸ€” FAQs About Starting a Food Blog

Out of all of the questions we get asked about food blogging, these are the ones that pop up most often:

What should I focus on when I’m just starting out?

Remember that the core of any recipe site is the content you’re publishing, so that’s what we recommend focusing on as a beginner. Create the very best content that you can, and fill in with the other extras (like video, monetization, and social media strategies) when you can. If your product (aka. your content!) is sub-par, those extras won’t matter very much.

What are the costs associated with starting a food blog?

There are some initial costs you’ll need to consider when starting a food blog:

1. Hosting –– This can range from a couple of dollars a month to thousands of dollars a month as your blog grows. When you’re first starting out, plan to spend $50/year on the lower end to $100/year on the higher end.
2. Domain –– Short, catchy domains typically cost a bit more money (sometimes in the thousands of dollars range!), but most domains that are available these days cost less than $15/year.
3. Ingredients and/or Meals –– Depending on the type of content you publish on your food blog, you’ll need to purchase the ingredients (for any recipes you make) and/or meals (for the restaurant reviews you publish). The amounts can vary wildly from blogger to blogger, but this is the cost that you can control the most!

You don’t need a fancy DSLR camera or props to start a food blog –– start with the gear that you have (even if that’s just a smart phone!) and upgrade if and when you’re ready to.

How can I get paid as a food blogger?

When you’re just starting out, we recommend building up your content

But if you’ve been publishing high-quality content for a while and are ready to unlock some monetization opportunities, there are a lot of different ways to get started.

The key to maximizing the money you can make as a food blogger is to diversify the ways that you’re bringing money in. Some of the most common ways that food bloggers monetize are through display ads, sponsored content, and selling products.

If you’re looking for more monetization ideas, check out our free ebook, 16 Ways to Monetize a Food Blog!

How many posts should I have to launch my blog?

This is one of the most common questions we get! We suggest to just launch, and fill out the content later.

Your blog doesn’t need to be 100% perfect and polished in order for you toΒ start blogging. Things change in this industryΒ a lot, so perfection doesn’t really exist. πŸ™ƒ

But by launching, you’re taking the most important (and most difficult!) step –– creating a place all your own on the internet.

Launch your blog and then focus on creating that top-notch content to start building consistency and an audience.

How often should I publish a new blog post?

This is an easy one: as often as you can publish high-quality content (if you’re a food blogger, that means that your recipes and posts are great, your photos are beautiful, you’re answering the questions your readers have, and your post is a helpful piece of content).

You get to choose what’s consistent and attainable for you, so take a few weeks to figure out how often you can produce that great content and stick to that schedule.

Don’t forget! You can get our course “Setting Up Your Food Blog” for FREE by entering your name and email below: