Blogging is an incredibly rewarding venture you can do as a creative hobby, a side project, a side job or as a full-fledged career. How do you get started? Here are the basics of picking a niche, getting your domain and how to learn from other more experienced bloggers.
If your passion is food, then you'll never run out of things to talk about. I can give 100 people the same 7 ingredients and they'll prepare them 100 different ways. The possibilities are endless!
I have enjoyed growing my food blog, Very Veganish, over the past few years. It's been a creative outlet for me and much, much more.
If you're reading this post, then you've probably already been thinking about starting a food blog. Maybe you've been thinking about it for awhile now. Well, I'm going to give you a breakdown on the first few steps you can take to get started.
So, how do I start a food blog, anyway?
Step 1: What's your niche?
You need to determine what you want to blog about. Vegan comfort food? Vegetarian? Paleo desserts? Plant-based? Travel food? Food for kids? Or, a whatever comes to your mind and skillet kinda food blog?
It’s best to have a solid food blog niche of what you want to share before you get started. If you can narrow it down, it will be easier to attract the kind of readers you want. If people aren’t sure what you’re going to share, they will be less inclined to follow you for more than just one recipe.
If you're running low on ideas for a niche or aren't sure how to pick a niche, here are almost 100 food blogging ideas for a niche website.
Step 2: Choose a name
Brainstorm and write down a few blog names that you like and would feel proud sharing with someone in person. Look up online to see if the name is already taken by searching for the domain name, Instagram account, Facebook account, etc. with that name.
Make sure the name all smooshed together without spaces doesn’t look overly weird or spell something inappropriate or just something you don’t want people to associate with your brand.
Make it easy for people. The shorter, the better. My best advice on the name? Just pick one! Don’t overthink it and stall your progress because you can’t decide. In the end, the name you choose will have minimal consequence. It’s your content that matters most.
Step 3: Reserve your website name and social media
Once you’ve chosen a name, reserve that name online. Buy the domain name, set up an Instagram account, Facebook business page and Pinterest account. They will just be shells, but you can always fill them in later.
Try to get the account name to read exactly the same across each platform, this will help with brand recognition and make it easy for people to find you. If you can't get the exact name or it's too long, then try to shorten it or add an underscore in between words. (If you chose a short name and did your research ahead of time, this step should go smoothly).
Step 4: Get hosting and WordPress
Once you have your name sorted, you'll need to sign-up for website hosting. This will allow your domain name you've purchased to "live" on a server somewhere. This service runs anywhere from $3-$10 a month. There are many hosting companies to choose from. Take a look and compare to see which is best for you. These are my favorites:
- WPOpt - affordable, excellent customer service (Charles is the best!), super fast speeds and you can have multiple niche sites on one plan. See current pricing.
- SiteGround - offers competitive rates and is known for their excellent customer service. See current pricing.
Whichever you choose, make sure to choose hosting that is suitable for WordPress websites. Most of these companies will install WordPress.org (AKA self-hosted WordPress) for you, so you can get started even faster!
Step 5: Draft your first blog post!
Once you have WordPress installed and your website is hosted, you can start writing! Draft your first blog post and get it published so you have something on your site right away. Don't worry about making it perfect. Introduce yourself, share why you're blogging and hit publish!
Congrats! You're officially a blogger! <imagine glitter and cheers and fanfare>
How to learn from experienced bloggers
How do you get thousands of readers? Monetize your blog? And, what in the world are analytics and page views?
You can start googling each of those questions and learning as you go. Or, you can learn straight from the powerhouse blogger couple duo of pinchofyum.com. They earn each month with their food blog more than most people earn in a whole year.
I met Bjork and Lindsay from Pinch of Yum at the Blog Elevated conference in Galveston a few years ago. They were such a sweet couple, so willing to listen and generously share whatever knowledge they had.
"A rising tide lifts all ships”, I remember Lindsay saying in one of her sessions. Their philosophy is that there’s room for all of us to grow, teach and flourish, so why not share what works?
That’s why they created Food Blogger Pro, an online course that covers how to do this thing called food blogging, from start to finish. A recipe for blogging, if you will. It covers everything you could possibly need to know about how to be a food blogger.
Excellent for beginners, as it walks you through everything from A to Z.
Food Blogger Pro has been an invaluable resource to me over the years. I especially love how, no matter what my question is, there’s either a video or a chat that I can turn to for answers.
The monthly calls are my favorite resource for members. They cover a variety of topics, all of which food bloggers specifically need help with and give you a chance to ask questions directly to Bjork and Lindsay.
Whether you have a food blog already or are thinking of starting, I cannot recommend Food Blogger Pro enough. I wish I had been around when I first got started. It would have saved me a lot of headaches!
Here’s the thing: they only open registration every once in awhile. So, if you get there and it's closed right now, then sign-up for the wait list.
Looking for a FREE option to learn? Check out the Food Blogger Pro Podcast. It's totally free and full of inspiration and lessons. I especially get a lot out of the podcast episodes where they interview successful food bloggers.
So, tell me! What do you want to blog about? What questions do you have? I'll do my best to answer them in the comments!