If you’re something of a foodie, who loves to share recipes and cooking tips, then starting a food blog could be an excellent idea for you. Not only can it be a fun and fulfilling way to share your passion for cooking, but if you successfully grow your site into a business, it can end up being a viable career choice. Combining your love of food and cooking with our easy to follow food blogging tips will make it far easier to achieve success.
Step One: Branding
Before you undertake any practical steps in your site’s creation, you need to solidify all your ideas. Firstly, think about is what makes your site different from the myriad of other food blogs out there – what makes it memorable? Your site needs to fit into a specific niche and have a unique selling point to make it stand out from the crowd. If you love baking, focus your food blog entirely on that. If you have a funny, conversational tone when writing, then that can be part of your branding. Having these decisions set out before you get started on the practical aspects of the project will save a whole lot of time for you in the future.
Step Two: Name and Domain
Start to consider what exactly you should name it. Your name will be your target audience’s first introduction to your site, so getting it right is super important. It needs to encapsulate what your blog content will be about, plus place it within its niche. It also needs to be snappy, easy to remember, and unique enough that it’s easy to find. For more detailed information on choosing your name, check out this piece.
After you’re happy with your name, you need to register your domain to claim it. While you can set it up for free, it tends to be worth investing in your own domain name. It makes your site immediately seem more professional and resemble a business rather than a hobby.
Choosing a domain can be a little tricky, as there are many hosting provider options to choose from. Have a look at your options before you settle on one. For more information on different web hosting options, check out this piece.
Step Three: Build Your Blog
After registering your domain, you need to decide how you’re going to create content for your site. A popular choice in terms of blogging software is WordPress. It’s fairly intuitive to use, plus makes creating an attractive and professional-looking website easy. You can check out this piece for more details on WordPress.
When building your site, you need to consider the fundamental structure of your site. For example, you’ll likely want an About page, a Contact page, and some sort of easy to navigate archive for your past posts. If you’re struggling with your web page’s structure, it’s well worth asking for help. Getting fresh eyes on your site can help make it more clear as to the best structure for maximum user-friendliness.
Step Four: Create Some Content
Before you launch your food site, it’s a good idea to have some high-quality food content in your locker. After it launches, you’ll likely be extremely busy trying to get its name out there and reach your target audience. Having some blog posts already written and ready to go will save you some potential future stress.
Already having a pre-written selection of blog posts can also help you decide exactly what it is you want to write about. Having a selection of types of posts, you can fall back on if you lack inspiration will help you break out of writer’s block. Some great jumping-off points for food writing include stories about cooking, ingredient-focused posts, recipes, reviews of tools and favorites. Check to see which style of post people are reacting best to. By paying attention to this information, you can tailor your site to better suit your audience’s preferences and therefore boost its popularity.
Step Five: Utilize a Posting Schedule
One of the essential facets of success is consistency. If you want people to come back to your site, you have to make sure there’s something for them to come back for. While posting every day is likely not necessary (and can lead to writer’s burnout) having something new for people to read at least a couple of times a week is a great way to grow your audience.
If you’re struggling with your posting schedule, a great way to build one is based on different types of posts. Think of your post cycle as a one-month period, then consider your posts within this timeframe. For example, you could include one family recipe per month. You could have favorite ingredients of the month at the end of each month. You could then integrate a tool review, an ingredient spotlight, a technique tutorial and a baking post around the set pieces. Already you’ll have set yourself up with six high-quality post ideas for the month, which will keep your readers engaged and help you build up a wealth of great food content.
Step Six: Find Your Audience
There are two main ways to draw readers to your site. The first is through search engine optimization, and the second is through social media. The key to maximizing your food site’s growth and readership is a combination of these two.
Search engine optimization is a method of ensuring your site and posts appear higher up on the results page of Google. This means that if somebody uses the internet to search for, say, a chicken casserole recipe, your relevant page will appear higher up on their list of search results, making it more likely they’ll click your link.
Search engine optimization (sometimes called SEO) can be achieved through a multitude of different tactics. One of the biggest and most important is the use of keywords. You can find popular search terms relating to your content through tools such as Google Analytics. Once you have this information, you can then ensure your posts include these keywords – particularly in their titles, subheadings, and introductions. By having these keywords in your posts, you’ll ensure people who search for them will easily find your site.
There are other methods of search engine optimizing your food site, too. Things, like including a certain amount of internal and external links, having a well-worded summary for your post, utilizing subheadings and including images, can all help guarantee that search engines will favor your site and make it more accessible to the public.
The other important aspect of blog growth is through careful use of social media. Social media is amazing for finding new readers for your site, so it’s super important to have active accounts across different platforms. Your site should have a presence on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook in order to maximize your reach. Make sure you’re promoting each new post to boost social shares and increase your readership.
At least in the beginning, and likely throughout your journey, promoting your site is just as important as high-quality content creation. Ensuring you have both of these is the most basic key to success.
Step Seven: Reach Out
One thing that makes creating content unique from other forms of media is its sense of community. Make sure you’re using this to your best advantage in terms of reaching your audience and growing your blog.
Placing your food site as a part of the wider food blogging community will make you appear more relevant and in-touch. Reach out to bloggers you admire through social media and share your favorite food bloggers in a post. Try to find food writers on a similar level to you – if you’re just starting out, find other beginners. You could consider collaborations with these newbies in order to mutually benefit both sites by sharing your audience. This type of networking is an important blogging tool both in the beginning and throughout your journey.
Step Eight: Maximise Engagement
Getting lots of clicks is one thing, but finding and retaining a loyal and engaged readership is the best way to turn your site into a success. One of the essential means of doing this is through consistent and high-quality content.
Interaction is key, so having an open dialogue with your readers is a great way to keep them interested. Make sure to reply to your posts on social media and consider having a forum section on your site for more open conversation. Things like FAQ based posts can help your readers feel even more connected to you and your blog. You should also consider tools such as email lists. Having your readers subscribe means they’re far less likely to forget about you amidst the sea of online content.
Another fun way to boost your audience engagement is through contests. Consider things like giveaways to mark blog milestones, where your readers must share their favorite of your posts in order to enter. Making your readers feel like they’re a part of something bigger is one of the best ways to keep them engaged, and is really what makes content creation unique.
Step Nine: Earn Money
After you’ve implemented these steps and your food site is up and running, you can start to consider turning it into a viable business. There is a huge variety of ways to earn money through writing.
Selling ad space is a proven way to monetize your blog. However, some writers choose not to do this, as it can look too busy and mess with the overall aesthetic. Ad revenue is based on blog traffic, so at the beginning, any income you earn from this will be fairly low, too.
Another popular form of blog monetization is through affiliate links. You can use a tool which helps you earn money when you generate clicks. For example, if you recommend a particular type of kitchen knife, you can include a link to the product and earn a small commission on any purchase made through that link.
Once you’ve got a successful site up and running, you can consider other ways to make money. Sponsored posts can generate a large income, although they tend to be reserved for the top tier of writers. Similarly, the biggest ones can turn a profit through selling merchandise or even through public appearances. Remember, although these things may happen for you eventually, they’ll be very far off. It’s better and more realistic to aim to generate a small, consistent income with the potential for growth rather than aim for superstardom without putting in the work.
Top Tips For Starting And Growing A Food Blog
- This should be the primary driving force behind your blog. You need to have something to say and to say it in an engaging, fun-to-read way. The other aspects of successful blogging can be learned over time, but passion can’t. It’s what you need right from the beginning in order to run a successful food blog and potentially grow it into a business.
- Growing a successful blog that you started from scratch requires a lot of time and commitment. One of the biggest reasons for blogging failure is giving up. The first few months of running a blog will be extremely difficult and with little reward. You have to commit for the long term in order to reap the benefits.
- Knowing the practical aspects of blogging like web hosting, website design, programming, and visuals can be really helpful. But these things can also be outsourced if you want to focus primarily on the blog content. Make sure your blog looks like a successful one.
- In the beginning, you’ll need to spend a huge amount of time promoting your blog. This can be done through social media, through search engine optimization, and through reaching out to the wider blogging community. Make sure you set aside plenty of time to spend on promotion, as there’s no point having a fantastic blog if no one ever sees it!
What do you think of our guide? Let us know your tips in the comments below!