There’s a blogging niche for just about every topic, with some topics dominating the popular interest moreso than others. And people flock to certain niches as they come into fashion. Speaking of fashion, sometimes niches evolve to take on new meanings. Fashion has become lifestyle, has become travel—you get the idea.

While some niches are trendy, others are timeless. The perfect example is the niche of food blogging, which seems to never quite go out of style thanks to a super receptive audience of hungry patrons. Everyone’s gotta eat and many flock to the internet to seek out information regarding how to do it with regards to certain dietary restrictions, allergies, and ideas for improving on dishes you already know.

Thanks to the popularity of food blogging (both in terms of available resources and audience size), those with specific dietary needs and preferences don’t have to settle—they can consult the blogosphere to empower the creation of a meal that tastes amazing regardless of what restrictions they have.

Let’s go through the process for how to start a food blog, starting with the all-important why.

Why Start A Food Blog

It seems clear as to why someone would want to read or follow a given food blog… but why start one?

The decision to start a food blog ultimately comes down to passion and drive, as any type of blog takes a considerable amount of energy to maintain. To get a little more granular, consider these reasons for starting a food blog:

Whatever your motivations, let’s dig into specifically how to start a food blog.

How to Start A Food Blog

There are 4 major steps for how to start a food blog:

How to Start a Food Blog: Research

Though people love them as a rule, food blogs are a dime a dozen at this point.

Try to think of ways to make yours stand out from the pack while you’re working through the initial steps for how to start a food blog. It’s best to pick a very specific niche, as a food blog that covers too wide of a variety of topics will have a hard time holding attention and a hard time driving traffic from search engines.

Food blogs with a unique niche angle tend to perform better on the SEO front because when people search for a recipe or cooking technique that they’re interested in, they are usually searching with very specific terms that general blogs can’t deliver with authority. Picking a niche and weaving in your story will make it all the more compelling to follow over time.

Food Blog Sub Niches

“Food blog” is a very all-encompassing term.

A food blog is a blog that documents anything from recipes that the author wants to try or experiment, restaurant reviews, or even a journal-style delivery about a person’s life choices. A blog is a personal thing—there’s no right or wrong content focus.

Here are some suggestions for sub-niches of food blogging:

Questions to Ask Yourself When you Start a Food Blog

While you’re thinking about the concept during the initial steps for how to start a food blog, these questions can help you make a decision:

A great way to all but guarantee your success? Find a gap in the market. Before you start setting up your food blog, you have to get your branding and unique selling/value proposition down pat to help guide you through the many decisions you’ll make over the long-term.

How to Start a Food Blog: Setup

Once you’ve figured out what to write about, keep the momentum going by starting the setup for your food blog.

Elements of a Professional Blog

If you’re creating a blog for an audience, you’ll want to make sure that your setup is undertaken with a level of professionalism. Here’s what you’ll need to convey your status as a food blogging boss:

WordPress Themes and Plugins

After you’ve gone through basic web host, domain, and WordPress setup, it’s time to focus more specifically on how your blog will look.

Without going into excruciating detail, you’ll start by:

Selecting a WordPress Theme

You can choose from both paid and free options. There are many themes that cater specifically to food blogs. When you just getting started, don’t overthink the theme. If you’re new to blogging, it’s ok to start with a free theme and change it later on. Here’s how to install a WordPress theme.

A popular premium theme used by many food bloggers is the MH Magazine theme from MH Themes.

MH magazine theme for food blogs

MH magazine theme for food blogs

Installing Plugins

Plugins are codes that you install on your WordPress website to add a particular type of functionality. WPMU DEV shares a list of basic, must-install plugins for any WordPress blog.

If you’re planning on starting a recipe food blog, you’ll want to consider the variety of recipe plugins available. These plugins help showcase your recipes in a way that makes them stand out, improving readability while some also include built-in SEO benefits.

WordPress recipe plugins

WordPress recipe plugins

Here are three other types of plugins to consider for use when you start a food blog:

SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of increasing website traffic quality and quantity through search engine ranking efforts.

SEO is a very broad field, and there are several factors that go into fully optimizing a site, but here are a few basic things you can do regardless of your experience level with SEO:

Once you start to get a grip on SEO, go through our WordPress SEO checklist for more advanced fixes. And make sure to check out our article about the best WordPress SEO plugins and this 5 SEO hacks tutorial to boost rankings on your new food blog.

Content Creation

The most important part of your food blog is the content.

Content doesn’t just have to be confined to articles (or text); it can also take the form of photos (graphics, infographics), videos, and audio (podcast). Don’t feel pressured to do all of this at once (or ever) but feel empowered to explore various mediums based on your interests and audience as your food blog starts growing.

If nothing else, focus on these two things:

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When creating content, try to think forward and work your way backward. Many bloggers create content as they go along, which can make them lose momentum (especially if they can’t think of anything to post). Some people suggest creating at least 15 posts before launching a blog so you have enough buffer time to create posts to continually be putting out content before creating any more.

If you know you’ll need help maintaining your food blog once it gets started, consider outsourcing content writing to a third-party. iWriter can be great for just starting out and for those on a budget. If you need higher-quality content and are willing to pay accordingly, WriterAccess is a great solution, which can pair you with US-based, screened writers.

Food Blog Promotion

Page views aren’t everything—follower count is the most important metric to grow.

Consider these three ideas for driving traffic to your food blog:

Social Media Promotion Ideas

On a general note, install social share buttons on your blog to make it easy for your audiences to share your content with their networks. Specifically, here’s what you can do on 4 of the most popular networks for sharing blog content:

A Few Ways to get Traffic/Followers

Besides social media, consider these promotional tactics:

Making Money with Food Blogging

Once you build up some traffic to your food blog, Google AdSense and these AdSense alternatives are probably one of the easiest and most reliable mechanisms for earning money. A great WordPress plugin to help implement this is Ad-Inserter. Ad-Inserter allows you to create ad blocks just about anywhere on your site, A/B test things, rotate between different options, and so on.

Ad Inserter WordPress plugin

Ad Inserter WordPress plugin

Amazon native shopping ads can also be a big win when it comes to making money with a food blog. These ads scan the content of your site, then display similar products (can be food items) on Amazon. Since Amazon converts so well (74% for Prime members and 13% for non-Prime members according to a study by Millward Brown Digital), this can be a killer combination when implemented along with AdSense.

If you want to link directly to an Amazon product, consider Amazon Affiliate for WordPress. This creates an easy GUI to quickly add any product you want from Amazon to your WordPress posts, pages, and sidebar.

Amazon Affiliate for WordPress plugin

Amazon Affiliate for WordPress plugin

Finding a good affiliate in the food space and focusing on ways you can drive traffic to them can be a nice source of additional income. An example? Freshly, a meal-delivery service. Sign up for their affiliate program, throw up some banners in high-attention areas on your site, and take note of the situations where you drive the most sign-ups.

If you don’t like the affiliate method, you could also charge for ad placement on your site. Third-party platforms like Gourmet Ads or BuySellAds make it easy to sell advertising space on your food blog.

How to Start a Food Blog

As a general rule, make sure to pick an affiliate program that will be specifically relevant to your foodie audience. Affiliate programs typically pay large commissions, not just pennies or dollars from a click, so if done correctly, the money you earn can add up quickly.

And last but not least, once you have a solid visitor base, offering sponsored posts can bring in much larger one-time payments. Rest assured, there will always be companies looking for blogs to promote their products on, as well as getting reviews from a food blogger trying their product.

How to Start a Food Blog

A food blog provides the ideal opportunity to unleash your creativity as well as learn—not just with cooking but also with other skills like photography, web design, writing, and social media. Aside from the personal fulfillment it gives, a food blog can also help you to create meaningful relationships and even provide the opportunity to earn money.

If you’ve been through the process, what are your best tips for how to start a food blog? Let us know in the comments!


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