How to Start a Food Blog – Beginners Guide to Setting up Your Blog, Themes & Plugins
If you are a keen cook and like sharing your recipes you may have wondered how to start a food blog before. It’s a great way to share your love for cooking with others, document and improve your skills over time, help readers find the perfect recipes and even earn money along the way.
To create a successful food blog you will need a few skills to succeed, obviously the first one is being able to cook! You will also have to be able to write well, documenting your recipes and method in an easy to follow way is essential and finally, having good photography so you can show off your finished recipe will help your blog to find more success – people love looking at and sharing great photos of food on sites like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
Starting a new blog can be a daunting thought if you do not know a whole lot about blogs, hosting, domains and so on, so that is why we have put together this guide to help you. We will walk you through the process of registering a domain and purchasing hosting, install your blog software and getting it to look just how you want it.
Register a Domain Name & Hosting
To get started with your new blog, you will need to pick a domain name and signup for a hosting account. For this, we recommend BlueHost – they offer reliable and very easy to use hosting and include a free domain name with each hosting plan. Signing up is really easy, head over to the site and you can then pick your plan. We recommend the “Starter Plan” which will suit most new sites.
After you have clicked your chosen plan, you will need to pick your free domain name. Simply enter your choice in the box on the left:
If your chosen name is available, congratulations – all you need to do now is confirm your name and address details so they can register your domain name. Confirm your chosen billing plan and enter your payment details.
After that you will receive an email which confirms your signup and will have your login details so you can move on to then setup your blog.
Once you have your login details, login to the BlueHost control panel and locate the “Website Builders” section and click the “Install WordPress” button to get started.
One the next page, click the “Install” button.
One the next page, your domain will be shown, click “Check Domain” and then “Install Now”
Once that has finished you now have your brand new blog installed! You can click “View Credentials” to see your blog login URL and you will also receive an email with links to your new blog and the admin page link.
Click the Admin URL link and you can login with your username and password and get started writing your blog posts.
Pick a WordPress Theme
Now comes the fun part! You will need a “theme” for your new blog, a theme is basically how your blog will look so you will need to pick an attractive theme which will fit your blog’s purpose. Luckily we have reviewed many different blog themes here on WPLift over the years so we know which companies provide the best themes with great support ( this is important should you need any help setting up or customizing your theme ).
Many WordPress theme companies provide themes which are tailored towards food blogs so here are our recommendations for getting a great looking theme so you can show off your recipes in style.
Our number one pick for WordPress themes is ElegantThemes – they are one of the largest theme providers who offer 87 different themes for one price – $69 gives you access to all their themes and new themes released. They have loads of great blog designs so you can choose one which suits your food blog and you can change it as often as you like. Their themes are all really well designed and their support is top notch so you will never be stuck if you have questions or need help with your blog design.
Recommended Theme : Divi.
Divi is a multi-purpose theme which allows you to create many different types of blog, it has a built-in drag and drop creator so you can change your site however you like by just moving elements about on the page, changing colors and so on.
StudioPress themes are another company which are one of the largest and have been around for many years. Their themes are built on top of a framework called “Genesis” which makes it very easy for beginners to manage their site. They make a number of great looking blog style themes which would be perfect for food bloggers.
Recommend Theme: Foodie.
Foodie is a beautiful blog theme for food bloggers with a nice clean design, 6 different layout options, featured images so you can show off your food photos and lots more.
WPZoom has a gorgeous clean food blog theme: Foodica. The theme comes with recipe-ready posts, a beautiful image-heavy homepage and is responsive for mobile and tablet devices. It’s also WooCommerce ready. Foodica is used by Marley Spoon, Lizzie King, Kitchen Swagger.
ThemeFurnace is my own personal theme company, we have been around since 2011 and have released 16 themes which you can purchase for a one-off price of just $49. We have a number of blog themes which would suit food blogs – all our themes include color customization, social media widgets, hundreds of fonts to choose from so you can get your blog looking exactly how you like.
Recommended Theme: Stacker
Stacker is a Pinterest style theme for showing off images in a neat grid layout, you can choose how many columns of posts to show on the homepage and it all resizes down beautifully so it looks great on mobile phones and tablets.
Once you have a theme picked for your blog, you are all set to start blogging but if you would like to add some extra functionality to your site, there are a number of handy plugins you can use which are aimed at food blogs. Here are some recommended plugins for food blogging:
WP Ultimate Recipe
WP Ultimate Recipe is a free plugin for adding recipes to your blog, you can insert photos, step by step instructions, ingredient lists and so on and it will help you in the search engines as it uses microdata so your posts will show up in Google Recipe search.
Yummly Rich Recipes
Yummly Rich Recipes is another free plugin for displaying recipes on your food blog, It will also format your recipes to appear in Google recipe search results. It includes lots of formatting options and copy and pasting of ingredients so you dont have to input each one individually.
The free Recipe Card plugin lets you create recipes on your blog that readers print out, save and review on your site. It has lots of layout and color options so you can customize the look of your recipes, you can also add nutritional information for ingredients.
Pinterest Pin it Button
Pinterest will be a great source of traffic for your food blog, People on Pinterest love building up collections of great photos and there are many recipe boards which could drive traffic to your blog. Pinterest Pin it Button is a free plugin which will add a Pinterest button when someone hovers over one of your photos – a great reminder to add it to their profile.
Instagram is another social media site you can use to promote your blog, posting regular high quality photos and linking to your blog in your profile should help to build your audience. You can then use the free plugin Instagram Feed to display your photos on your blog.
Now you have your food blog up and running with the technical aspects out of the way, there are some extra steps you can take to improve the overall quality of your recipe blog posts. In this section we will list some resources which will help you take your blog to the next level.
Food Blogger Pro
Food Blogger Pro is an online course which will teach you about all aspects of running a food blog – they have over 300 videos, a help forum and many other resources to help you grow your blog. It is aimed at people who are not necessarily techies to provide guidance all aspects of growing your site.
Tasty Food Photography eBook
Photography is one of the most important things for your food blog ( after your recipes of course ), in this eBook you can learn how to take great photos of your finished meals. It is packed with technical tips, lighting tips, advice for composition and tips for editing your final photos.
- Food Blogging 101 – A Great post for those new to food blogging.
- 150 Links for Food Bloggers – A great resource post jam-packed with great links.
- How to Start a Food Blog – More great tips and resources for food bloggers.
- The Serious Eats Guide to Food Photography – A guide to taking great food photographs.
- 7 Beginner Tips for Improving Your Food Photography – More excellent tips to improve your food photography.