HOW TO START A FOOD BLOG
You love to cook. You have some great recipes. People around you love your food. Sometimes people from far who heard about your recipes through your friends want to learn how you create such yummy food. And then, some people come to you and suggest that you should start a food blog. But you have no idea how to start a food blog .
How did we guess that? We went through the same.
We had a collection of hundreds of recipes lying in notebooks, and newspaper clippings. Some were inspired from other great Chefs, some were truly original.
We decided to start a food blog in December. We had no idea how to. Is it the same with you? Ride along.
We are working on a series of posts dedicated to helping you bring out your best. This is the first in that series basically an overview. We will post more detailed posts over next few days/weeks on each of the following steps. Subscribe to our site, to be the first to know how do we build a great recipe blog.
So lets get started..
Step by step guide to starting a food blog
We know how frustrating it can be dealing with technical stuff at times when you just wish to share that killer recipe. Whether you would like to start cooking blogs or you just wish to become a successful food blogger, these tips will definitely ease all your technical troubles.
First of all have an assessment of what you already have? This includes recipes that you have, pictures of food you may have taken. Any tips and tricks you may have learned over time. Get them all at one place. The basic content for your recipe blog is now ready.
Now you are ready to start a food blog..
You have two options:
- Hiring a web designer/developer who will do it on your behalf
- Doing it on your own (Yes you can .. )
Option one is expensive and it may mean hundreds of Dollars of upfront expenses (or 40,000 – 60,000 Rupees). We know because we explored this options. Most of us are not ready yet to invest such an amount.
So lets look at the option 2. This needs effort and patience, but the rewards are truly amazing.
START YOUR VERY OWN BLOG: THE BASIC STEPS
Here are the steps for setting up a functional and beautiful self-hosted food blog which is all yours:
- Name your food blog and then buy a matching domain name. ( $10- $14 )
- Find a very reliable web host. (A huge range $3.49 per month to $21 per month. that equivalent of Rupees 200 -Rupees 1300)
- Install WordPress. (Free )
- Install WordPress themes. (Free to $ 75)
- Set Google tools. (Free)
- Install WordPress plugins (Free to paid, generally $ 10-30)
- Start blogging (Well.. free)
STEP 1: Name your food blog and then buy a matching domain name.
Coming up with unique names for your new food blog may be the hardest part. You can start by brainstorming and coming up with short mission statements or by word listings which describes your lifestyle and cooking style. You can also throw in your own name or that of your pet and also talk to friends to find the great names out there which have not yet been taken.
How do you know you have an good food blog name? The Name should be:
- Easy to spell
Once you have potential names in your mind for the food blog, you will then need to check for their availability.
Once you pick your perfect domain`s name, you can then get it for free with your BlueHost hosting plan(see next step) or Pay for it at GoDaddy or other hosts.
While selecting a Domain name, do a check on various social networks to find out if the name is available. I very near future you would want to set up a Facebook page , A Twitter account,
STEP 2: Find a very reliable web host.
You will wish to start with affordable shared hosting plans which offer one-click WordPress installations. Bluehost and Dreamhost are recommended for beginners. The best web hosts for the new food blogs are:
(1). BlueHost: This is a reliable, affordable, easy to set up and 24/7 customer support web host service provider. Food bloggers normally have better luck using BlueHost than GoDaddy
Here is how to get the most out of your Bluehost plan:
- Choose your plan: The recommended plan is starter plan. This is least expensive plan and offers almost everything that you require to get started.
- Choose your term: To be able to get free domain`s name for one year as well as significant discounts on your monthly rates, you will have to pay upfront for at least a year of upfront.
- Choose your add-ons: The best add-on to choose is the ‘Domain Privacy Protection’ that ensures your personal address infromation is always kept private or else your personal information shall be available to the public and marketers.
(2). DreamHost: This is a the leader in vps hosting, shared web hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud storage, cloud computing and WordPress hosting. They have a great customer service you call/email them at all times. A knowledgeable person shall answer your query very quickly. In addition, in case you start with the least expensive shared hosting plans and your blog begins growing like crazy, you are able to upgrade your plan easily.
STEP 3: Install WordPress.
This is a part which should be easy. In case BlueHost is your web host then it will be quite easy to install WordPress. Once you have installed WordPress on your food blog, go to Settings, then the permalink Setting page and change the permalink structures to “Post names” before saving. Now it is time for making your food blog look pretty.
STEP 4: Install WordPress themes.
Now we are getting closer to the fun parts. Your WordPress themes will determine the feel and look of your site thus you have to pick a nice one. What to search for in a good WordPress theme:
- Well designed. The theme ought to suit your aesthetic while offering the features which you want.
- Responsive. Responsive designs have been built to provide optimal viewing experiences for the visitors, whether they are visiting from their phone, tablet or computer.
- Optimized for the search results. This goes together with well-designed WordPress because well-designed sites will rank higher naturally in search results than sites built on themes which are full of errors.
- User friendly. Find themes which offer built-in designs options so that you do not have to edit codes in order to change basic information.
- Backed up by great support. In case you experience a technical issue, responsive support teams and a community forum are invaluable resources.
Recommended WordPress themes
- The Genesis Frameworks by Studio press. These are the most gorgeous and functional themes that are available most of which are responsive.
- The Foodie Pro Theme is a great Genesis theme for the food bloggers since it was specifically designed for food blogs
Tips for designing user-friendly food blogs
When you are tweaking the setting on the WordPress themes, keep the below points in mind so as to ensure that your food blog is easier for visitors to:
- Navigate. Always keep your blog designs uncluttered and clean.
- Become followers. Place very prominent links to the RSS feed, email subscriptions option and social Medias on each page.
- Comment. Do not require CAPTCHA codes or ask the visitors to login first.
- Share your content. Provides the social media sharing button at the end of every post.
STEP 5: Set up Google tools.
Firstly, set up a new account with Google and an email address for your food blog. Once you have created a Google account, you should log in and then set up the below tools:
- Google Analytics: These helps one to track blog traffic.
- Webmaster Tools: These tools makes ensures that your site is running.
- Feedburner: This is a tool which allows the visitor to subscribe to your posts by email or RSS. Also helps you in keeping track of the numbers of your subscribers.
STEP 6: Install recommended WordPress plugins
Each of the plugins provides valuable features which might not come automatically with your themes. The recommended WordPress plugin for the food blogs are:
- AddThis: This is a social bookmarking plugin that is used to add Facebook like buttons and Pinterest Pin-It button at the bottom of every post. In case you do not use AddThis, then make use of a plug-in which provides same capabilities so that it is easy for the visitors to also share your posts.
- Akismet: This is a WordPress plugin which filters out the spam comments without the need of CAPTCHA codes.
- Easy Recipe: This is a WordPress plugin that formats your recipe for the search engine optimization. It will help one`s recipes photo to show up in search results.
- JQuery Pin It Button For the Images: This plugin will make it really easy for the visitors to pin your images by adding “Pin It” buttons as a hover effect.
STEP 7: Start blogging.
Now you are ready to start publishing your own posts on this new food blog.