Whether it’s as a money-making side-hustle or simply a passion project, learning how to start a food blog is an ideal way to share your love of food with the world.
Maybe you’re a talented chef or a master baker looking for a way to show off your culinary prowess or help others learn how to cook delicious recipes. Maybe you consider yourself something of a foodie and you’re interested in creating a food review blog.
Whatever the case may be, you’ll discover everything you need to get started in this complete guide.
Step #1: Pick a name for your blog
The recipe for the perfect food blog name combines three key ingredients:
1. Descriptive and Unique
The descriptive part of your name is keyword that tells your audience (and, to a lesser extent, search engines), what your blog is about.
For example, the WP part of WPLift.com lets you know that this is a blog about WordPress. The Easy Recipes part of a blog called EasyRecipies101 lets people know that this is a blog about easy recipes.
The branding is the part that makes your site unique. For example, the ‘Lift’ part of WPLift helps distinguish us from other WordPress-themed blogs just as the 101 part of EasyRecipies101 would help set you apart from other sites offering easy recipes.
2. Short and Memorable
You want people to remember how to access your blog so that they can come back to you time and time again. Keeping things short, sweet, and catchy will help do that.
This is especially true when it comes to selecting your domain name. Readers should be able to recall your website address off the top of your head.
Finally, you need to be sure that the name you’ve chosen is actually available to register as a domain name.
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The easiest way to check if your preferred domain is available is simply to type it into your browser and see what comes up. Alternatively, you’ll find that pretty much every domain registrar will have a domain-checking tool available for you to use, or you could even use one of the many popular domain-name generators out there which will come up with a name for your site that meets all three of these criteria.
Step #2: Register your domain name
Now that you’ve found an available domain name, it’s time to go ahead and register it so that you can use it on your blog.
When choosing where to register your domain, it’s important to look at the long-term costs involved. Many companies will offer great introductory deals such as $1 domain names, only to significantly increase the cost once your first term comes to an end, so be sure to look at the true cost of your domain after the special deal runs out.
If you’re looking for recommendations, we love Siteground for their long-term affordability, commendable customer service, and the fact that you can combine domain and web hosting into one cost-effective, high-performance package.
Other popular options include:
How to Set up Your Domain Name
For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going to register a domain with Name Cheap, but most registrars operate in the same way.
Click in the search box on the homepage and enter your preferred domain name.
Click ‘Search’ and the website will work out whether the domain name is available and present you with some options.
As you’ll see here, our domain is available as a .com as well as with several other extensions. You might want to buy multiple domains (such as .com, ‘net, .tv etc.) to stop other people from using them.
After sailing past the upsell options, simply click ‘check out,’ then confirm your order.
You’ll be asked to register the domain with either your personal information (name, address, email, and possibly telephone number) or that of your professional contact information if you’re running your food blog as a business.
You’ll see in the image above that we selected to add domain privacy to our plan. This is especially useful if you’re using your personal details to register your blog as it keeps those details private.
Step #3: Select a web hosting provider
Next, you’ll need web hosting, which essentially means you rent space on the hosting company’s server to host all of the files, media content, and other key components of your blog.
Again, you’ve got countless options to choose from here.
Bluehost and Siteground are both top hosting companies and are two of only three web hosts officially recommended by WordPress. Both are equally as good, though today, we’ll stick with Siteground for this guide.
How to Select a Web Hosting Package
Choosing the right hosting plan can seem complicated at first. With Siteground, for example, you get four different hosting options right from the word go.
For this tutorial, we’ll go with managed WordPress hosting as it’s going to make life much easier.
Managed hosting is essentially the same as regular web hosting except most of the hard work involved in setting up your blogging platform is done for you.
Even once you’ve selected which type of hosting you want, you’ll then have to pick a package.
If you’re just starting a food blog for the first time, the lowest-priced, entry-level package should be sufficient. You can always upgrade once things take off.
Select that package then, and on the next page, you’ll be able to connect that package to the domain you just registered.
Finally, register an account, add in your payment details and you’re good to go.
Step #4: Install a CMS
A Content Management System (CMS) is a tool that does exactly as its name implies. It allows you to manage all of the posts, pages, media, and other content that make up your food blog.
It’s simple to use, is flexible enough that you can do just about anything with it, and means that you maintain complete control over your site in a way that you don’t with third-party platforms like Medium and Blogger.
How to Install WordPress
If you chose the managed hosting option, you should find that WordPress is already installed for you and all you have to do is go through a simple wizard to set up your site.
Even if you didn’t, installing it on your hosting can be done in just a few clicks, meaning you’ll be ready to start a food blog in no time.
With Siteground, you simply log into your account and click ‘Start New Website.’
Next, select WordPress from the list of available options and follow the list of on-screen instructions that will take you through the set-up process.
Step #5: Setup Google Search Console & Google Analytics
Once your blog has been created, head over to Google and create a new account.
You may already have a Google account, but it’s often easier to have one exclusively for your blog to keep blog-related and personal emails separately
You can use this account to sign up to two very important free tools:
This monitors your web traffic and will show you important details like how many people visit your blog, which posts are the most popular, and what search terms people used to find you.
At this stage, you might find it helpful to read our complete step-by-step tutorial on adding Google Analytics to WordPress.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is an invaluable tool that helps to ensure your website is running smoothly and properly optimized.
Again, we’ve created a complete Google Search Console guide that you might find handy.
Step #6: Design your website
If you’re using WordPress, the easiest way to design your site is to install a theme and customize it to your liking.
There are countless free and premium WordPress themes out there, including those designed specifically for food blogs.
These help you to control the look and feel of your blog, creating professional-looking site without the need for expert design skills or a degree in web design.
Free vs. Premium WordPress Themes
While free WordPress themes may save you some cash initially, if you want to start a food blog that gets taken seriously, then it’s recommended that you pay for a premium one.
Premium themes tend to come with things like automated updates and customer support which you just don’t get with a free version. They also tend to have more features, are less prone to bugs and errors, and, if you ask us, generally look better.
Not sure how to install a WordPress theme? Here’s our step-by-step tutorial.
Step #7: Install plugins
If there’s a specific feature or function you want your food blog to have, there’s almost certainly a WordPress plugin out there that will provide that function for you.
That said, there are some common plugins that no WordPress food blog should be without.
Step #8: Start blogging
Now comes the fun part – creating your content.
To start a new blog post, log into your WordPress account and choose Posts – Add New.
This will present you with the WordPress post editor which is very intuitive and easy to use.
You can click on ‘Add Title’ to replace it with the title of yor blog post, then simply click where it says “Start writing…” to begin creating your content.
Clicking the small, white arrow in the black box on the right of your screen will bring up a range of options for adding everything from images and media to contact forms, lists, and all kinds of embedable content in between.
When you’re done, you can preview your post to see how it will look to your readers, save it in draft form or publish it directly to your blog. You can even schedule it to go out at a later date which is great if you’re writing a batch of posts at once that you want to spread out over a few days, weeks, or months.
Step #9: Promote your blog
Now all that’s left to do is to get some eyeballs on those posts you worked so hard on to create.
Though your options are endless, the following tend to be the most effective methods for promoting a blog:
Search Engines and SEO
The aforementioned Yoast SEO and similar tools can help you to optimize your content to ensure that, when people search for content like yours, your posts show up in the search results.
Meanwhile, tools like Google Search Console can tell you if there’s anything wrong with the technical aspects of your website that may be hindering your performance in the search results, as well as any relevant solutions.
As a food blog, visually-orienated social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and possibly even TikTok may all be worth your time, though tools such as Facebook and Twitter may still have their uses.
Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach your readers. You can install an email newsletter plugin on your WordPress site and use it to collect the email addresses of your readers.
You can then send a regular email newsletter promoting your newest posts.
Frequently Asked Questions About Food Blogging
With that, you can pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for successfully starting a new food blog.
If this was only ever a passion project for you, then you may be perfectly happy to leave it at that and focus only on sharing your passion with the world.
However, lots of people want to know how to make money as a food blogger, and if that’s your goal, you do have a number of options available to you.
The easiest way to make money from your blog is to build up enough quality content that you qualify for Google Adsense or a similar platform that allows you to earn money by displaying advertisements on your site.
Alternatively, you can make money as a food blogger by packing up your best recipes as an eBook which you sell, or by using affiliate links to direct your readers to relevant products and earn a commission whenever they make a purchase on those products.
For more ideas, see our guide to the top nine ways to monetize your WordPress website, all of which can help you make your new food blog the resounding success you always hoped it would be.