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How to Start a Successful Food Blog in 2020 in 6 Steps

Do you want to start a food blog but you don’t even know where to start? Do you collect recipes and want to share them with the rest of the World? Being in business for quite a long time, we know a thing or two and in this free guide, we’re going to walk you through how to start a food blog step by step and make money.

You may decide to start a food blog just as a hobby or perhaps you want to make it into a career: no matter the reason, starting a food blog can be a very fun experience and if you’re serious about it, it can also become a profitable business.

We need to warn you: you need to put in the time and the effort to make sure your blog is off to a great start. And, most of all, you need to be patient and keep going on and on with your project before you can actually make money.

Don’t be fooled by people saying it’s an easy path and as soon as you’ll launch a blog you’ll become rich: you need time, investment, skills, and of course effort. But we promise that making money with a food blog is feasible and it’s rewarding, whether it’s going to be your main job or just a side hustle.

So, if you’re ready to learn how to start a food blog that can (eventually) make money, then this guide is for you.

How to start a food blog in 6 steps

In this guide to starting a food blog, we’re going to walk through the steps of how to start a food blog based on our decennial experience as bloggers and also our twenty years of experience in marketing.

Let’s dive into our ultimate guide on how to start a food blog.

1. Pick a Niche

Nowadays, starting a successful generic food blog can be extremely hard because the competition is stiff and there are numerous well established generic blogs out there. We highly recommend picking up a niche within the food blogging topic and stick to it.

Many people do a big mistake that you want to avoid at any cost: they pick a niche they don’t know just because it’s trendy. Sooner or later, they can’t cope with content to write because they’re not engaged with the topics and so the food blog doesn’t grow or ends up being closed.

When you start a food blog pick a niche that goes perfectly with your own passions, interests, expertise: this will keep you focused and will make you stand out from others.

People are looking more and more for different angles, so it’s your opportunity to shine!

2. Pick a Name

Choosing the right name for your food blog is crucial and it surely defines your brand and what you write about.

Take for example the clever and fun name of The Foodellers, aka the website you’re browsing now: by reading the name you already know what’s our focus and our expertise.

Picking a name for your blog shouldn’t take that long if you already know what’s your niche, what’s your main topic, and what you want to communicate to your readers. These are the few things to remember:

  • Keep it easy to remember and write;
  • Consider the niche you’re entering and see if anything comes to your mind;
  • Consider specific words within your niche and see if you can use them to create a catchy name.

In the past, it was common to use your own name or a combination of your names when starting a food blog but today it is better to pick a specific name, very well linked to your niche and the subject of your writing instead of linking the product to your name (unless, of course, your name is Christine Teigen!).

Make sure you have a few ideas in mind because it may be hard to find the exact domain name you’re looking for and you may need an alternative.

Once you’ve chosen your name, pick up your matching domain name on NameCheap or Domain.com. If you go for Bluehost (see below) as your hosting provider, you can pick up a name directly with them and includes in the configuration of your blog.

3. Find a reliable web hosting

Here comes to the tech piece: once you’ve your domain name and your idea in mind, you need to find a reliable web hosting.

Hosting is the space where your food blog will be parked, where you’ll publish your content, and that allows your blog to go online and be seen. There’s a myriad of web hosts out there, and everyone has more or less opinion on what’s the best. So do we.

There are two different types of web hosting providers one can choose:

  • Managed hosting
  • Unmanaged hosting

A managed hosting is ideal if you’re starting with your food blog because you leave the provider every single technical aspect, so you can just concentrate on producing content and growing your brand.

If you’re a tech person or you have a developer by your side, you can go for an unmanaged hosting: in this case, you’re in charge of everything from a technical standpoint, from configuring the servers to install WordPress.

If you’re looking for a managed hosting, we recommend Bluehost that offers free domain name for the first year, free SSL certificate included to guarantee your privacy, and WordPress installed on your space.

If you prefer unmanaged hosting, DigitalOcean is our choice: it’s designed for developers and it’s highly customizable, so if you have an expert by your side you won’t have any problem at all. The Foodellers is hosted on a DigitalOcean server, and we can’t be happier.

If you go for BlueHost, you’ll be guided step-by-step through the process of getting WordPress installed on your food blog; if you go for DigitalOcean, it will be your responsibility to get WordPress up and running, following the recommendations from the hosting.

4. Install a WordPress theme

At this point. whether you’ve chosen a managed or an unmanaged hosting, you’ve installed WordPress as your preferred CMS. A CMS is a platform where you will be writing posts and sharing content.

WordPress is the common choice for bloggers, but also brands and businesses: at this point, it holds a 50% to 60% share of the global CMS market and its success depends on how easy to use it is, how flexible it is and how much SEO friendly it is.

Your WordPress is just a blank canvas and it’s up to you to pick the best design for your upcoming food blog. There are thousands of themes for WordPress, some are free and others are paid, so you need to evaluate a few things when picking yours:

  • Design: your theme should reflect your personality and also the content you’re going to produce. It should be aesthetically pleasant, easy to understand and navigate, and includes all the features you want;
  • Responsiveness: your theme has to be able to adapt to different viewing experiences, so that no matter if your readers are visiting from their computer or their phone, they will always have a pleasant browsing experience;
  • User friendly: the previous points led to this one, which is crucial. A WordPress theme for your food blog should be easy to manage your end, should not waste your time, and allow you to make changes in just a few clicks. You may avail of a web developer, but you should also be able to change minimal things yourself without consulting others.

Don’t overcomplicate your life and at least at the beginning go for something simple and easy to manage.

These are some of Premium WordPress Themes you can choose for your food blog (): they are all customizable, easy to use, and easy to install.

We recommend using one of these three top food blogging WordPress themes:

FoodiePro is one of the most chosen themes for WordPress and it’s perfect for food blogs (hence, the name): it’s easily customizable and it comes with full support and full installation. Check out Foodie Pro Theme, available for a one-time fee of $99.95.

Daily Dish Pro is another food theme for WordPress and it’s perfect for your first food blog. Check out Brunch Pro Theme, available for a one-time fee of $99.95.

Brunch Pro is yet another possible option, a lighter theme for food blogs and food magazines. Easy to use and to read. Check out Brunch Pro Theme, available for a one-time fee of $99.95.

5. Choose the best plugins for your food blog

Once you’ve chosen your hosting, picked up your domain name, and installed your WordPress theme, you need to equip your blog with the best plugins for WordPress.

A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that make your WordPress works or just enhance its functionality. They can be installed directly from the WordPress dashboard and can be easily managed from there.

These are the basic plugins we recommend for your food blog:

Yoast SEO to optimize your food blog to better rank in Google results. Bear in mind: this plugin won’t change your effort with SEO, it will just help you a little bit.

WPForms to create easy forms (for email sign-ups, contact requests, etc)

You then may need these plugins for better customization:

Tasty Recipes: this plugin will help you format the recipe in an easy, SEO optimized, and user-friendly way. It’s a paid plugin but if you want to get serious with your food blog, this is a well worth choice.

Tasty Pins: this plugin is designed to optimize images for SEO and for Pinterest. It’s easy to understand and very user friendly. Even if it’s a paid one, we highly recommend it!

Nutrifox: if you want to show calories and the nutritional value of your recipe on your food blog, this is the plugin to use. You can avail of a free trial, and then purchase the plugin.

Based on your “business model” and your needs, you may need other plugins that you can find here.

6. Start Blogging… almost!

Once you’re done with all the setups, you’re truly ready to start blogging! But first, you need to fully customize your theme to be sure it will represent you, your brand, and your content in the best possible way.

Start from the homepage of your food blog and design it in WordPress by including at least the following things:

  • A call to action to direct visitors to different pages of your food blog
  • Pictures that clearly makes people understand what you do
  • Latest articles you’ve published.

Do not forget an About Me page: you don’t necessarily need to write 2000 words to explain who you are and what you do but make sure to help people understanding why they should follow your food blog and why your blog is unique. You don’t need to go personal if you don’t want, just make sure people have a reason to visit your blog.

Last but not least, create a Contact Page with an email address to reach you at and links to your social media accounts.

These are the steps to get a food blog up and running: once you’ve your food blog, you need to create content and make them visible.

How to Become a Successful Food Blogger

To make sure your food blog will succeed, you need to do the following things:

  • Plan your food blog content strategy, create a content calendar, and stick to it;
  • Pick up the social media you want to use to promote your content, based on your strategy and your goals;
  • Promote your food blog on your preferred social media;
  • Start building an email list;
  • Decide how you want to monetize your blog and implement your choices.

The Best Way to Grow Your Food Blog

Growing a food blog is complicated and requires dedication and time: that’s why we strongly recommend you enroll in Food Blogger Pro to learn how to start, grow, and monetize your blog. The program has been designed and launched by two food bloggers and it costs less than $1 a day, payable on a monthly or yearly basis. What does the Food Blogger Pro include?

  • Unlimited Access to 300+ Training Videos
  • Private Community Forum
  • Monthly Live Q&A Calls
  • Monthly Happening Now Video Updates
  • Advice from Industry Experts
  • Discounts on Recommended Products

You can cancel your membership at any time!

Food Blogging Frequent Questions

Is it too late to start food blogging now?

It’s never too late to start a food blog BUT you need to know that these days getting traffic is hard, growing an audience is hard, and earning an income from food blogging is not a quick game. So you need to think to your “Why” when starting a food blog (this list of books for freelancers may be a good starting point to define your why), what are you bringing to the industry, and why people should read your content.

How many recipes do you need to start a food blog?

On average and depending on your topic, you should start your food blog with 10-15 recipes so readers have something to read. After that, it’s up to you to create a schedule and add several recipes a week at least for a few months.

What makes a food blog successful?

A good food blog gives suggestions, solves a problem, and it’s authentic.

Does food blogging really pay?

There are a lot of myths about making a living by food blogging. It is possible to make money with a food blog, but it requires strategy, time, and a goal. So if you want to monetize, you need to decide what model you want to use whether it’s advertising, affiliation, or partnerships. It goes without saying that food blogging really pays if you invest time and you know what your end result has to be.

Can I start a food blog in a simpler way than this?

You can. You can use a service like Weebly, just to name one, to create your site and get everything ready without knowing absolutely nothing about WordPress Themes and technical stuff.

Starting a Food Blog is amazing!

If you’ve read all this guide, you’re ready to start your food blog and bring your passion in front of thousands of people.

If you feel confused and overwhelmed by all this information, get in touch with us: we can help you set up your blog or plan your editorial calendar, or even shape your strategy to make sure your blog will be a success!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

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About the author
Giuseppe Milo
Giuseppe is an award winning photographer. He's been featured in many websites and magazine such as Lonely Planet, National Geographic, The Huffington post and many more.
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