How to Start a Scrumptious Food Blog
As someone who is either passionate about cooking or can talk about food for hours, you’ve probably been told to start a food blog. Yet, while culinary folks are experts in the kitchen, you may not always feel as confident about expressing yourself online.
Creating a blog can be inexpensive and easy to do with the right tools and strategy. In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to start a food blog and the different ways in which you can begin to make money from food blogging.
How to start a food blog
Research topic ideas
Setup the essentials
Design your blog
Create amazing content
Optimize for SEO
Make it mobile-friendly
Spread the word
01. Research topic ideas
Before you break into the vibrant world of blogging, you’ll first need to decide on the type of food blog you’d like to write. You can choose from a recipe format blog, to food or restaurant reviews, food and travel, food photography or anything else.
Depending on your personal preference and expertise, you’ll also want to figure out the right niche for your blog. With so many inspirational blog ideas to consider, you may want to settle on a subject matter that will resonate with both your goals and interests.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to emulate restaurant recipes for home cooking and share your trials and tribulations along the way. Or that you’ve tried and tested just about every vegan meat alternative with the objective to guide others on better meatless experiences.
Focusing on specific niches will help you build authority in your area. As a result, you’ll be able to confidently churn foolproof content that will equally engage and satisfy your audience. If you're considering how to make money blogging and eventually earn a living from it, be sure to compare the profitability of various niches.
Additionally, conducting keyword research to help identify new blog topic ideas is also another important step in investigating what audiences are looking for and which topics show greater promise or potential.
Once you’ve established the right direction for your blog, you’ll also want to see what others in your field are doing to help elevate your own brand. Take some time to research your competitors’ blogs and browse their social media channels. Pay attention to detail, from web design to marketing strategy, and learn what they're doing or not doing enough of in order to improve your own blog strategy.
02. Setup the essentials
You don’t have to be a technology wiz in order to create your own website. With many professional features at your disposal, getting started can often be just a matter of identifying the right online tools.
Choose your domain name: Brainstorming names for your blog and a matching domain name to go with it is an essential part of shaping your brand and online presence. Think of your domain name as your online address that visitors will need to find in order to access your offerings. Therefore, you should consider choosing a domain name that is short yet descriptive, memorable, easy to say and spell. Make sure it’s available by doing a quick search online. Alternatively, you can turn to online tools such as the Wix Business Name Generator to help you come up with the perfect name, based on best practices for naming a business.
Get a web hosting server: You’ll need a web hosting platform in order to make your website visible on the internet. Wix offers free web hosting that is both secure and reliable, plus it’s automatically set up once you’ve published your Wix website.
03. Design your blog
Think about what you want to express in your design. Let every element of your blog work to enhance your unique brand identity using a defined visual language. Take advantage of different fonts and website color schemes to set the right tone and evoke your message.
Among an impressive array of blog examples, there are several conventions in design that are worth sticking to. A healthy foods blog, for example, might be better represented by leafy illustrations and neutral colors over the neon bright hues more commonly seen in processed food ads. Alternatively, a blog about retro desserts could be nicely paired with a vintage website font.
You’ll also want to grab your readers’ attention with mouth watering images by implementing expert food photography tips. After all, appetite is palpable through the lens.
When it comes to designing your blog logo, you’ll want this little graphic mark to help complement your culinary theme. Create your own logo in order to increase your site’s brandability, making it instantly recognizable. Make sure to feature it on your blog as well as across other branding assets, such as your social media channels or site’s favicon.
When customizing your template or designing your site, keep in mind that the design of your blog is the first mode of communication with your audience. Make sure that the site is organized with intuitive website navigation and clear information hierarchy.
Create a great experience for your users using a flow that makes sense and is easy to follow, with all the crucial information conveniently placed above the fold. Utilize web design in the telling of your story, from beginning to end.
04. Create amazing content
The heart and soul of a blog is its content. When starting a blog, your first thought goes to the writing: How will you describe your food to someone who’s never tasted it before? At the core of creating amazing content, you’ll want to consider these important points:
Develop a content strategy to run your blog like a well oiled-machine. Determine what your blog's core objectives are - from driving more traffic to the site to amassing a mailing list. In addition, identify who your target market is and what interests them most. Once you establish these two points, you'll be much better equipped to produce great copy that meets yours and your audience's needs.
Make an editorial calendar so you can plan how often you’ll publish new content and whether you’d like to create more than one type of content - visual, audio or text. An editorial calendar is a very handy management tool for scheduling your blog posts and tracking and measuring progress, especially if you have different authors or contributors involved.
Write original and engaging content that will help readers resolve a question or issue, encouraging them to come back for more. Structuralize your blog posts with a captivating intro to hook their attention, followed by body text where you’ll showcase the bulk of your knowledge. Consider inserting evergreen content, which allows your blog to stay relevant over time with minimal maintenance.
Add visual content to make a greater impact on your readers’ overall engagement, including photographs, videos and illustrations. Visuals are faster and easier for people to process over text and play a powerful role in reading comprehension.
05. Optimize for SEO
If you want to get traffic to your food blog, you’ll need to start thinking about how to make it easy to find on search engines. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of optimizing sites to help boost their rankings on search engines like Google or Yahoo.
Now is the time to go back to your preliminary keyword research from the brainstorming phase. While it was initially conducted to formulate topic ideas, it will also be crucial for improving SEO ranking. Keywords are ideas, topics or phrases that define what your content is about. Try and think of what potential readers might type into Google in order to find a food blog like yours. It can be anything from “homemade sourdough bread” to “best restaurant reviews in Chicago.”
There are many other SEO tips and strategies that can improve your site’s organic performance. Some of these include writing SEO-friendly alt text for images, adding links to other articles in your blog, as well as titles and descriptions of each of your pages. A free tool like Wix SEO Wiz will actually create a customized SEO plan for you.
A best SEO practice is to insert these terms naturally into your writing, especially into the page’s headers.
06. Make it mobile-friendly
With so many internet users turning to their mobile phones to find a recipe or catch up on their site, it’s no wonder that having a mobile-friendly website has become an essential step toward starting a food blog.
When creating a mobile version of your site, consider how your website images and text will appear on a smaller screen, and how the blog’s navigation experience will accommodate people on-the-go. The transition may sound complicated at first but all Wix sites are automatically converted into a fully optimized mobile version.
Feel free to make any manual adjustments, ensuring that your readers get the best user experience of your blog regardless of size and device. Keep your paragraphs short and sweet so that mobile users can scroll quickly through them, and minimize page elements so that everything on screen directly contributes to your message. Make sure to add a Back to Top button and a hamburger menu to make mobile navigation effortless.
07. Spread the word
As a blogger, one of your goals is to increase your readership and exposure. There are several low-cost and effective ways to begin promoting your food blog. A few good options include:
Email list: Email marketing is an effective method for reaching your target market and improving overall reader engagement. You can use an email newsletter to stay in touch with your audience and keep them up-to-date with relevant happenings on your side. In order to build a mailing list, invite readers to sign up to your newsletter through compelling calls-to-action, aka CTAs, in prominent and strategic areas of your blog.
Social media: Once upon a time, social media and blogging were considered two separate entities. Today, nearly every successful blogger uses social media as a supplementary marketing channel. With over 3.8 billion social media users around the world, maintaining your presence on various platforms is key to expanding your reach. Use your social media presence to announce new blog posts or launch promotional campaigns, as well as behind-the-scenes activities to drive engagement. Try out different social media marketing strategies to find what works best for you and your audience. Some of the more commonly used tactics include frequent postings, hosting live events, commenting and liking posts within your community with emojis and relevant hashtags, and adapting your content to fit each unique channel.
Network: Forming relationships with other well-known foodies can be beneficial for building your authority in the blogging sphere and elevating your reach. In order to build trust and recognition in the food blogging community, begin by sharing or retweeting other blogger’s posts or leaving meaningful comments on their sites. Show them that you’re credible by engaging with others regularly in a way that’s sociable and genuine. Collaborations are also a great way to position yourself alongside other experts in your field, making you a better blogger and helping expand your reach. One of the most common forms of collaboration is guest posting. This is where you write a post on another person's blog or vice versa. It can open the doors to some new potential readers to your blog or your collaborator’s, thus a beneficial move for both.
How to make money from your food blog
For writers who care about food, starting a food blog can be an easy decision to make. Yet, many also hope that the time invested in their blog might one day pay off. Fortunately there are several ways to monetize a blog and earn money from doing what you love.
Affiliate marketing: If you’ve got a substantial following, then you might want to look into affiliate marketing. It’s a partnership between you and another business in which you agree to market their products or services by recommending them to your audience. You’ll earn commission from any sale generated through an affiliate link. Amazon Associates, ShareASale and the Wix Affiliate Program are among the different affiliate programs out there. You can also reach out to brands you love, such as your favorite cooking gear company, to see if they're interested in a collaboration.
Display ads: One of the easiest ways to monetize your blog is to display advertisements on your site. You’ll need to connect your site to an ads platform, such as Google AdSense or Media.net. Once you’re set up, you’ll want to make sure that the ads on your blog are relevant for your demographics. A car ad, for example, would look out of place on a food blog. Tools like the ones mentioned above, are also helpful for defining the categories of ads that should be displayed on your blog. They design ads to fit your own blog’s unique look.
Start an online store: Consider selling recipes, e-books and branded merchandise on your blog by opening an online store. With your expertise and excellent storytelling, you can think about writing that cookbook you’ve longed to do for your readers. You’ll want to include recipes in your book that aren’t found on your blog to ensure that your readers are really getting something extra for their purchase. Additionally, you can also choose to dropship your merchandise which eliminates the hassle of managing your own inventory, allowing you to streamline the order fulfillment to reliable suppliers.
Sell online courses: Create and sell an online course and expand your reach along the way. As a great online business idea, an online course will not only complement your blog, but can also help you reaffirm your authority in your field.
By Cecilia Lazzaro Blasbalg
Wix Blog Writer