You love everything about food.
Cooking, experimenting with new recipes and cuisines, loving a specific cuisine, if you relate to any or all of these, starting a food blog can give you a full-time income source or an additional side income.
Someone once asked a question. What if we don’t cook, but love to only eat, you can still start a food blog and curate the recipes by collaborating with home-based chefs and other food bloggers.
Think of this post as a complete guide to learn how to start a food blog that makes money step by step. All you need is interest, effort, a little financial investment, guidance, and patience. And there you’re owning a great food blog.
How to Start a Food Blog That Makes Money
Owning a food blog goes beyond just posting flavorful recipes. From optimizing your blog for your audience, marketing and promoting it to honing your photography and videography skills, a good amount of goes into it before it starts delivering name, fame, and money.
But don’t you worry! This post will hold your hand and walk you through each step in setting up a great food blog.
Here are nine steps you need to follow and ensure before you start your food blogging journey:
1. Decide a great name for your food blog
Trust me, the first step is the hardest of all. I have seen my blogging students taking weeks (even months) coming up with a name that connects to their heart and spirit. Finding a perfect name for your blog might be tiring. But once you get it right, it will boost your confidence like nothing else. While you are at it, keep in mind that your blog name must three criteria:
- Short and easy to spell
- Easily memorable
You can choose your name by thinking of the aim of your blog, why you started it in the first place, or your mission statement, even your personality or specific choices. You can also gather words that describe your personal self, your lifestyle, or your cooking style. Here are a few original examples of food blog names that you might find interesting:
- The Kitchen Adventure
- Bread Crumbs
- Cookies N’ Jams
- Festive Flavors
- Mad with Masala
Once you shortlist a few good names for your food blog, look them up in domain registrars like Namecheap, Godaddy or Name .com
Remember the following when you buy the domain name
- Avoid a name that looks similar to someone already has. For example buying, “mycrazyfoods.com” is a bad idea where there is already a food blog under “crazyfoods.com”
- Prefer getting .com extension
- Avoid hyphens in the names.
- Buy your domain for 5 years if you’re serious about your blogging journey.
- Avoid numbers in the domain name.
Domain Registration Tip: Don’t fall for the trap of free domains that come with blog hosting. It’s mostly free only for the first year. The second biggest trouble a blogger gets into is blocking their domain name with the hosting. In case you’re not happy with a blog hosting service, you got unnecessary hassle to move your domain as well. Keep the domain registrar and blog hosting service separate.
Question: Does a keyword-based domain work better?
No, it doesn’t make a difference. In fact, catchy names perform better as they get audience’s attention. Optimization makes more difference in ranking your food blog as compared to a keyword based domain name. Feel free to buy a domain that you love.
3. Choose the best blog hosting site
To understand this better, imagine it like this. If your domain name is your blog’s house address, your web hosting site is your house locality.
While a good domain name makes it easier for people to know where you are and reach there, a hosting provider gives your blog a place to live and be found easily (online, of course).
Picking an affordable, secure and reliable hosting site is the base of a successful food blog. A food blog is rich in media pictures and content. It has to have lightning fast loading and a good blog hosting service serves that purpose.
Recommended Best Hosting Sites for Food Blog – A2Hosting | Mochahost | Inmotion Hostting
4. Write the first 10 posts
A part of the setting-up process is getting the initial content ready for your food blog. You can’t just launch your blog with just two posts or worse: zero content.
Having a minimum of 10 posts published on your food blog will give the readers an idea about what your blog is about and what they can expect from it.
According to Orbit Media, an average blog post is 1,269 words long and the average time a blogger takes to write a post is up to 3 hrs 55 minutes. So, put in all your efforts and create the best quality content.
Considering the above stats, let’s presume to invest 5 days if you have to write 3 posts every day and use 1-2 days to edit and optimize them.
- Recipe Posts – Write 3-5 recipes posts
- List posts – A cool and useful list like 15 Breakfasts That Get Ready Under 10 Minutes
- Write about your favorite dishes or cuisines
- Write an interesting lesser-known secrets post about cooking tips
- Interview 2-3 Food bloggers. Talk about their best recipes and tips
This content will be powerful enough to get you great attention right at the launch of your food blog.
5. Write Essential Money Pages
Another important step that you should not ignore or save for later is writing essential pages. While you are setting up your blog, take time and write important and necessary pages of the blog. These pages include the About Us page, Contact Page, Disclaimer page, Start Here & Contribute page.
Adding these pages to your food blog will help visitors and followers get useful information about the background of the blog or get in touch with the person behind such a great taste!
6. Design Your Media Kit
You got to think about money from Day 1. Having a media kit at a prominent place on your blog attracts advertisers and see your sponsored posts and reviews pricing. It allows you to share your site stats, goals and audience.
Recommended – How to Create a Media Kit to Attract Advertisers
7. Design your blog
Your content is ready. It’s time to design your food blog.
A good design is the key to hook a visitor’s attention and give the first impression. Especially for food blogs, the design speaks a lot.
Keep it simple, neat, and attractive. Right from the colors and fonts you use to the pictures and videos you might add to the blog, all of it should be consistent and go along with your overall identity and image of the blog.
- Design the logo: Make sure you design a simple and powerful logo that is visually appealing and conveys your brand identity and image perfectly. It must also be minimal, unique, and easy to recollect. Stick to one or two colors only.
Bonus Tip: For a food blog, it will be better if your logo is capable of appealing to a craving or making a viewer hungry.
- Select a theme/template: You can choose to go with Blogger or WordPress to start a food blog. I recommend WordPress because of the features and options it has. Over 70% of the blogs use WordPress as the preferred blogging platform. If you’re someone who loves super easy stuff and can do with minimum features, go aead with Blogger system and templates. None of these blogging platforms requires much coding knowledge. With basic learnings, anyone can manage them well.
What to see when choosing a theme for your food blog design?
Prefer a niche food blog template over a generic template. Food blog templates and themes have a specific recipe and rating-friendly layout that helps with readership and conversions.
Stick to minimal color scheme of 1-2 colors. Since food blog will have massive colors from food pictures and videos, keep enough white space to let your content stand out.
Get your blog optimized for speed. Feel free to hire a WordPress or Blogger expert if you have to.
- Hire a designer: If all this still seems overwhelming and hard to do, fear not for you can always hire a designer to make the job easier for you. Fiverr.com has a pool of web developers who can set up a blog under $100 within 4-5 days. Hire a developer only when you’re ready with your content and logo.
Recommended – Best Blog Design & Layout Guide
7. Add monetization ways
Monetizing your blog can seem like an exhausting task especially when you are just starting. But with proper homework and hard work, you can monetize your food blog to easily make up to $1000 minimum per month. While it might not be possible in the very beginning, you can work it out on your way through.
A few ways to monetize your food blog are to add advertisements, add banners and sell space, do sponsored posts, affiliate marketing (selling someone else’s products and getting a commission for it), write reviews, email marketing, selling cookbooks (both electronic and physical), membership subscriptions, and many more.
Reader’s choice: Mini Guide – How to Make Money Blogging to Earn $2000+ per Month
8. Optimize your blog
Optimizing your blog for search engines is another important step while you set up a blog. What is the use of having an A+ blog with tasty recipes and great pictures if people are not going to look at them or try them out? Optimizing your blog will help your food blog rank in search engines, drive traffic and get more conversions and subscribers.
A few important things to do for blog optimization
- Add essential plugins such as SEO Plugin, Shortcodes to format your post for better appearance, image optimizer, spam filter.
- Optimize for speed and faster loading. Each page of your blog must load within 3 seconds.
- Configure Google analytics and Search console for data and traffic insights.
- Conduct thorough keyword research to optimize each blog post and every page for maximum targeting. This is the prime step that gets you ranked in search engines.
Recommended – Download Blog Onpage Seo Optimization Checklist
9. Launch your food blog
Once your blog is all set up and ready to be out there, it’s time to announce and start building your audience. People will not just randomly come across your blog on the web on Day 1. You need to make people look in the early days.
- Write first promo: When you launch your blog, you would want to announce it to the world. Write a short, crisp and simple letter announcing your blog and the vision behind it, what the readers can expect, and ask for a feedback or suggest from their visit. Send this letter to your best 25 contacts. Use facebook, Linkedin, Emails or Instagram to find these good contacts.
- Write the first email: Some of the early visitors will be kind of happy enough to subscribe to you. Writing the first email to your first set of subscribers is important for both sides. For you, it gives you a chance to make your best first impression and for the subscribers, it will give them the reason to decide whether they must stay or not. You can send a welcome email and even give away something. Do thank in your email and tell them what you plan to do this month on the blog.
A few food blogging tips for you to make the blogging journey easier:
Be your authentic self
Write and post about what you love even if it is pineapple on pizza! Don’t be afraid to show your personality. You will always have people who will love you for you.
Make yourself accessible
Being an owner of a food blog, people might hit you up often with doubts about recipes or even feedback on how dishes turned out. So when that happens, make sure you are easily reachable on social media or other platforms and replying all the comments coming on your blogposts.
Invest in food photography
Well-lit and attractive photos will help you go a long way. Take pictures that urge the viewer to develop a craving or try out a recipe immediately! Think of taking a photography course or tutorials. You can use online courses at Udemy.
Make your posts easy to share
If someone loves your recipe, they might want to share it with friends and family. Make that job easier for them by adding social media buttons (do add email and whatsapp) on your posts. Having a floating vertical social share bar have been working better than sharing options at the end of the posts.
Always cite sources and inspirations
Doesn’t matter if a famous food blogger has inspired your recipe. What matters is that you give credit where it is due. Citing your inspirations or image sources will help build credibility among your audience.
NEVER post recipes that you can’t stand for
The ultimate goal of your food blog is to share tasty recipes. But if you are going to share recipes that don’t work or has major flaws, your followers are going to be disappointed. Nobody wants that, right?
You may also like: 9 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog in 2021
Best Food Examples
1. Trevor and Jennifer Debth- Show Me The Yummy
Source of income: 55%- advertising, 40%- own video workouts, 5%- affiliate programs
Income per year: $5 million
2. Lindsay and Bjork – Pinch of Yum
Source of income: 50%- advertising, 20%- sponsored posts and affiliate marketing, 30%-other blog
Income per year: $10.5 million
3. Liz and Tyler- The Clean Eating Couple
Source of income: 43% advertising, 25% sponsorships, 30% affiliate marketing, and 2% products
Income per year: $150,000
4. Jamie Silva- A Sassy Spoon
Source of income: 54% advertising, 25% sponsored posts, 20% services and 1% affiliate marketing
Income per year: $117,336
5. Jenna- Butternut Bakery
Source of income: 16% advertising, 56% sponsored posts, 23% services, 5% affiliate marketing
Income per year: $94,752
6. Meeta- Piping Pot Curry
Source of income: 94% advertising and 6% affiliate marketing
Income per year: $61, 320
7. Cheryl Malik- 40 Aprons
Source of income: 81% ads, 6% sponsorships, 10% services and 3% affiliate marketing
Income per year: $374,700
Deciding to start a food blog is a huge first step in itself. Pat yourself for that!
But actually starting one is where the trouble starts. But all that trouble is worth it if you end up setting up a highly functional blog that makes a six to seven figure income, makes you loved and popular around the world.
With the above-discussed steps, I hope that you find the process of setting up a food blog less troublesome and more fun!
Got questions? Ask me in the comments.
Already have a food blog that can make more money? Put it in the comments for review.