If food is your passion, and you want to share it with the world, it’s time to learn how to start a food blog and make money. Because that just makes things a bit sweeter!
But what kind of food blog should you start?
What do you specifically need for a successful food blog? What mistakes should you avoid making with a food blog?
Launching a food blog doesn’t take long if you have a plan in place.
And I hope with this post you’ll have a better idea of the perfect “recipe” for a successful site.
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product or service, and decide to purchase it, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All recommended products and services are based on my positive experience with them. For more information, please read my Disclaimer.
How To Start A Food Blog In 10 Steps
There are 10 key steps to starting a successful food blog that makes money.
When you think of it in steps – or a checklist of key activities – you’ll find it easier and faster to create your food blog.
Just be aware, that you will make mistakes and technology may stump you a bit!
Don’t lose heart… we’ve all made blogging mistakes.
I’ll try to share with you some tips to make things a bit easier if you’re a complete blogging beginner.
1. Determine Your Food Blog Niche
This is the toughest part of starting a food blog. However, it’s also the most important part.
Once you have figured out your food blog niche, it will be easier to choose your blog name, brand your site, choose a theme and create content for readers.
So let’s get started in the first step of how to start a food blog.
How do you choose the perfect food blog niche?
Ask yourself these questions:
- What am I really good at doing when it comes to food?
- What can I help others learn how to do very well in the kitchen?
- What problems can I help people solve when it comes to food?
- Is there a cuisine that I truly love (you may want to focus on one type of cuisine)
- Am I good at creating recipes and do I have the photography skills required for beautiful food shots?
- What topic can I write about for an extended period of time and never feel bored?
Choosing the perfect food blog niche means not going too broad (food blog) and not going too niche (Spaghetti blog). Instead, you want to go into the middle – Italian cuisine for families.
And not all food blogs have recipes. Some are on food topics that go beyond recipe ideas. For example, you may be a cookbook reviewer. Or you blog about the history of food.
Answering these questions will help you narrow down to a topic that you’re truly passionate about.
| READ MORE: How To Choose The Ideal Blog Niche For Your New Blog
2. Research Potential Food Blog Names
There are thousands of food blogs out there. So you’ll need to research to see if your preferred blog names are already taken.
Here are a few key things to research:
- Do a Google search to see if the name is being used by somebody else
- Check the .com URL in Domain.com (has an easy tool for domain searches)
- Social media handles
Make sure the blog name you’ve chosen is one that will work with your blog niche and for many years to come.
Changing your blog name in the future is really tough. It’s why I’m stuck with my lifestyle blog being “Suburban Tourist”. Don’t make the same mistake I did!
Narrow down your preferred name to the top one that you love.
| READ MORE: How To Choose The Best Blog Name For Your Preferred Niche
3. Choose A Hosting Provider For Your Food Blog
Now that you have your preferred domain and blog name chosen, it’s time to purchase the hosting.
I recommend a self-hosted WordPress site (not WordPress dot com) because you’ll need to have enough functionality to add a theme that works well with recipe plugins.
Here are my two recommended hosting providers:
- NameHero: A quality mid-range budget hosting provider with great up-time and fantastic customer service. (RECOMMENDED!)
- BigScoots: A quality hosting provider with excellent customer service and fast server speeds.
Your chosen hosting provider is where you can purchase your domain as well.
This can make it easier to set up your domain-based email.
Get in touch with your hosting provider’s customer service for help with the SSL certificate setup so your site is secure (Https).
| READ MORE: How To Start A Self-Hosted WordPress Blog
5. Choose A Food-Focused Blog Theme
There are many themes out there.
However, you’re going to need one that works well with recipes and food topics.
Here are some that I love that work well for a food blog:
Limoncella – Restored316
A Kadence Child Theme that has gorgeous, styled recipe cards and fine details.
This is a theme that will make your blog look like you’ve had it custom- designed.
Rosemary – Restored316
A Kadence Child Theme that works well with lifestyle as well as food blogs.
It’s got a great layout and options for foodie bloggers – and I highly suggest creating a freebie that includes your TOP recipes (that sign-up form is perfectly placed on the home page).
CheerUp – ThemeSphere
This is a very easy-to-use theme that has a food blog demo that you can import and set up easily. I’ve used this theme for years for my lifestyle blog (with a different layout demo).
Despite it being an older theme, it still works great. I recommend it for beginners. Just don’t use the slider (it will slow down the site).
Check out my SuburbanTourist.ca blog to see how it looks!
6. Develop Your Blog Branding
This is such an important step to starting a food blog.
You want to stand out from others, so you’ll need to create a few things:
- Develop a blog logo
- A brand colour palette
- Choose your fonts
- Develop a photography style
- Write your blog’s mission and values statements
Your blog brand guide will include info on all of these elements.
With food blogs, remember that visuals are highly important.
Warm colours – yellow, orange and red are associated with food, as are shades of green (healthy food). Consider your colour palette wisely to reflect your food blog niche.
Also, consider what your photos will look like.
Usually brightly lit, colour-rich images do the best as they look appetizing.
Create a set of rules as to what photos will look like including any presets you’ll regularly use.
Here’s an example of a brand guide’s photography style visual board, showing examples of what kind of “look” they’re going for:
Bright, well-lit photos look appetizing.
In the late 1990s, Australian food stylist, Donna Hay, started a trend that continues to this day – bright, colourful food recipes on white plates, tables and light, neutral backdrops.
Experiment to see if this works for your food blog. You can also try other darker colours as backgrounds to let your food shine.
PRO TIP: When you’re taking your own photos at home, always do so during the day. Natural light is most favourable. Consider softer light that’s not direct sunlight, as that can result in harsh shadows. It’s best to use a DSLR camera with a good flash (not the built-in one). Read more about how to take great food photos.
7. Set Up Essential Plugins And Key Pages
When you’re starting a food blog with a self-hosted site, you’re going to need key WordPress plugins. These are plugins that will help with how it runs and with a positive site visitor experience.
Plugins to add to your site include:
- Antispam Bee to reduce spam comments
- Wordfence – a free security plugin
- UpDraft Plus – a free backup plugin (if your hosting provider doesn’t provide this)
- WPCode plugin (free) for adding HTML code to your headers and footers
- Pretty Links (free) to keep your affiliate links organized and shortened with “cloaking”
- Tasty Pins (paid) – a pin it button that helps you add Pin Descriptions for your Pinterest pins on your posts
- Rank Math SEO (free) to help you improve your on-page SEO.
Best Recipe Plugins For Food Blogs
If you’re going to be including recipes, you’ll need a plugin for that as well (unless you theme comes with it).
Here are three recipe plugins to consider:
Essential Key Pages For Your Food Blog
Next, you’ll have to add essential pages:
Your About Me page and your Contact page are first.
And then you’ll add the following must-have legal pages:
- Terms & Conditions
Get a lawyer-written legal page template bundle. Free legal page templates tend to be out-of-date and won’t fully protect your blog and you legally and financially.
Read about how to avoid getting into legal trouble – my post about how to legally protect your blog explains this more fully.
For help with your About Me page, get this workbook that takes you through the essentials:
8. Determine Your Categories And Brainstorm Blog Post Ideas
The next step in starting your food blog is figuring out your key categories and coming up with your initial food blog post ideas.
For determining your blog categories, keep it to 3 to 4 categories for your food blog niche.
Next, brainstorm blog post ideas for one of your categories. Over the next little while it’s wise to write blog posts for one category.
This is a “content cluster” that will be easy to interlink.
Here’s how to do it:
- I like to start with a big, juicy (pun intended) blog post – an “ultimate guide” type of post that’s big and broad. Something like “The Ultimate Guide To Baking Cookies”.
- In that blog post, I share a list of tips.
- Each of the tips is a new topic for the additional blog posts that I will write.
That’s it! It makes so much sense to do things things way.
| RELATED: How To Always Have Blog Post Ideas – 50+ Sources Of Inspiration
9. Write Your First Food Blog Post
This is one of the most important tips in this post on how to start a food blog.
Please don’t write your first blog post about yourself and why you started your blog.
Save that for your About Me page.
Instead, tackle that big “juicy blog post”. It won’t be perfect, but it will be your first one.
Read my full post on how to write your first blog post with writing tips.
PRO TIP: Make sure your images are optimized for SEO. Many people use Google visual search to find food and recipe images. Make your blog content super discoverable!
| RELATED: 10 SEO Tips For Publishing Optimized Blog Posts
10. Start Promoting Your Blog Content
You’ve made it through this list of how to start a food blog, step-by-step. Congratulations!
It’s time to launch your food blog!
The easiest way to start promoting your food blog posts is to push them out to your social media accounts.
You may need to modify your content to make this work:
- Share your blog post links on your Facebook page, Twitter
- Do Instagram posts, reels and Stories to attract further clicks on your link
- Promote with videos on TikTok
You’ll also need to promote your content on Pinterest with attractive appetite-inducing pins.
You’ll also want to add your post to a recipe site/app such as Yummly.
If you’re promoting your posts on Instagram with posts and reels, you can always use one of these deliciously good food quotes. Finally, use up to 20 of these 500 food hashtags in each Instagram post/reel to get a boost in visibility.
PRO TIP: Make sure you have a quality premium social sharing plugin such as Social Warfare, that gives your site visitors the opportunity to share your posts to a variety of social media apps and sites.
Starting A Food Blog And Making Money
This is the big question: how can you make money with a food blog?
Monetizing your blog should be a number one priority if you want to turn your blog into a business.
There are several key ways:
- Affiliate links
- eBooks (recipe books, guides)
- Courses (how-to, video courses)
- Sponsored brand collaborations
- Offer services
A food blog can be extremely lucrative!
In my next post, I’ll expand on each so you can create a monetization plan for your food blog.
| RELATED: How To Create And Sell Online Courses As A Blogger
Get Started With Your Food Blog Today
So now you know how to start a food blog – one that’s set up to make money.
You can read my in-depth guide to starting a blog, or take my FREE Launch It: Start A Blog Course (with toolkit).
I hope you’ve found this post helpful and I can’t wait to see what you “cook up” with your food blog!
QUESTION: Now that you know how to start a food blog, what kind are you doing to launch?
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