How To Start A Food Blog And Be Successful Doing It
I’m going to guess that you have a passion for food and reading blogs. Am I correct? Those are the two things that pretty much every food blogger has in common with one another. So if I was correct with my guess, then you are already on the right path. And once you finish reading this article, you’ll know exactly how to start a food blog and can be on your way to sharing your delicious food adventures and recipes with the world.
Why You Should Start Blogging
Still on the fence about whether you should do it or not? Don’t worry, there’s no peer pressure coming from this direction. But I will, however, provide a few good reasons why you should really consider it:
Document your experiences with food – Making a good food blog can take both a lot of time and energy. But when it’s all said and done, you can go back and see everything you’ve done throughout all those years of cooking, eating, and blogging. Is that not rewarding enough?
Make new friends – Connecting with people online is usually synonymous with blogging. Sure, you might meet a couple trolls or haters here or there, but there are also lots of good, friendly, informative out there as well. Sometimes food bloggers will connect with one another to share recipes or restaurant suggestions. There are even events and organized get-togethers that are formed so people can socialize and share each other’s best dishes and recipes.
Receive discounts and freebees – When food blogs start to gain a lot of attention and popularity, businesses will notice this and offer them free gift cards, merchandise, food discounts, or other incentives. This way bloggers can promote the business and products to their followers. It’s basically a win-win situation.
More reason to experiment in the kitchen – Creating and maintaining a food blog will give you an extra reason to invent new recipes and ideas. You can’t write about the same chicken pot pie recipe every week, even if it’s something you love.
STARTING YOUR FOOD BLOG
Hopefully you’re convinced now and ready to get your feet wet. Follow the steps below and you’ll be up and running with your own food blog before you know it!
Build The Foundation
Your very first step towards creating a food blog is to find a hosting site. There are many services to choose from to host your site, so it’s really up to you how much you want to spend, or you can even find some free ones. Some good paid hosting sites are Bluehost, Hover, and Goddady. These allow you to have more control over your blog and have your own personal domain name.
As far as free sites go, the most popular ones are currently Blogspot and WordPress. These are great for someone who doesn’t want to invest money yet and is still relatively new to writing blogs. They are easy to setup, as all you need to do is follow the instructions and pick a template. You can always move your blog at a later time to a better hosting site if you wish.
You’ll also need to decide on a blog name during this process. This can be tough for some people, so my advice here is to write out a bunch of names that you like. Your blog name should reflect your subject matter, relate towards your audience, and be unique. Please refrain from using a generic name like “My Food Blog”. Plus, I’m sure it’s already taken.
Tell Your Stories
Since you are writing a blog and not making a picture book, you’ll need to fill your mouth-watering food pics with some intriguing content to keep your readers engaged. For example, if you went out to a fancy restaurant with your old college friends, you can talk about the restaurant, funny stories that happened with your friends, or anything else related that could interest your readers.
When posting recipes or food that you prepared yourself, you can add a story on how you obtained the recipe, or why you decided to prepare this particular dish. Or mention how much your friend or spouse loves it. However, try to avoid excessive writing or rambling on about irrelevant events though. A good food blogger has the right amount of context to supplement their pictures.
This also doesn’t mean that you should treat your blog as a diary or journal. Keep the drama and sad stories out of your food blogs. You don’t need to pump out blogs on a daily basis either. Maybe once or twice a week at most is enough to keep your readers coming back for more without overwhelming them at the same time.
Take Good Pictures
Yes, you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures of food. So if you don’t have a smartphone yet, you might want to purchase one unless you don’t mind bringing your camera around with you at all times. Having a smartphone also allows you to add filters to your pictures and instantly upload them onto your food blog. Filters can do wonders to photos, and you would be doing your food pics injustice if you didn’t take advantage of them.
Or if you really want to make your pictures look professional, invest in a SLR camera and take some photography courses. I’m sure not everyone has that much time or money to invest in a new project like a food blog. The alternative to this is to take good pictures by learning from others. You can find tons of well-shot pictures of food on sites such as TasteSpotting, or just browse social media sites like Instagram or Facebook. If you were to look under the hashtag “foodporn”, I’m sure you will see more beautiful food pics than your eyes and stomach can handle.
It’s safe to say that about 90% of your pictures should be solely food. You can throw in a group pic of you and your family at the restaurant you just ate at, but please avoid posting the increasingly popular “selfie” pic. People come to food blogs mainly to see pictures of scrumptious looking food, not of someone taking a picture of themselves in front of a mirror.
Communicate With Your Audience
Once you start to gain visitors and followers, try your best to respond to the comments and questions they post on your blog. If you completely ignore everyone, chances are you’re going to lose a lot of followers. Take some time to communicate with them, and keep an open mind when responding. You may not always agree with them, or they might even be annoying at times. Since everyone can view your comments though, try to keep poised and positive.
Another great way of connecting with your audience is by conducting contests and giveaways to your followers. If you are willing to invest in gift cards to give away or something of value, this will be a sure way to attract the attention of your readers. I’ve read food blogs where the author asks everyone to post a comment and talk about their favorite dish to cook and why. The best comment is then chosen by the author and the winner receives a gift certificate to a restaurant or a recipe cook book. These are just some of the many ways you can interact with the internet community to bolster your food blog popularity.
Social Media Is Your Best Friend
Never underestimate the power of social media. When your blog is ready to be seen by the world, sign up for sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and any others that you know of. Then you can start linking your food blog to these pages, which gives readers more ways to connect with you than just one. That way when you write a new post in your blog, you can just go on your social media pages and inform all of your friends and followers with a simple link. And since most of these sites are free to sign up for, you have nothing to lose!
Check Out Other Food Blogs
There are tons of food blogs on the internet these days. Some of the most popular ones have millions of followers and generate lots of revenue, while others might have zero followers and looks as if it was made in five minutes. To give yourself some guidance and ideas on how to make your blog better, check out some of the better blogs that are available. Pay attention to the design, content, commenting system, topics, and other aspects that stick out. See what strategy and techniques they use to draw in more visitors. But don’t copy someone else’s blog entirely, as you want yours to be unique and catered towards you.
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