How To Start A Successful Food Blog (& Make Money)

Food blogs are blowing up.  If you just spend some time on Pinterest, you will see how many posts are being shared that discuss this one thing: food!

Having seen the huge success food blogs are enjoying right now, today I’ve decided to check out some of the top players in the “food blog” game and see why and how they are making such a huge splash online.

If you’re interested in starting a food blog, below I’ll walk you through how to start a food blog and also how to use make money with it.

If you’re an aspiring food blogger, you’re exactly where you need to be.

Here’s what I’ll be discussing below:

  • How to pick your food-topic
  • What you need to start blogging
  • How to install a WordPress theme
  • Which food blogging plugins you need
  • How to write/create your founding pages
  • Where and how to research topics and recipe ideas
  • How to start blogging regularly
  • How to get traffic to your blog
  • How to make money with your recipes

how to start a food blog online

NB: If you’d like to learn how to get started with affiliate marketing, I’d like to show you how I build my own affiliate websites (no sign-up required).

What To Blog About (Picking Your Food Niche)

To start your food blog, you need to have an idea of what type of content you are going to be writing.

The important thing is not to go super broad but rather keep it specific. Let me explain:

  • Vegetarian Food” is not a good topic,
  • Vegetarian Main Courses” is OK,
  • Vegetarian Food For Pregnant Women” is perfect.

Let me tell you why:

“Vegetarian Food” is way too broad. You will find yourself competing with established sites, and it will take you forever to break through the competition.

“Vegetarian Main Courses” is good because you’ve started to dig down a bit. There’s much less competition for that term, and if you establish an authority in that niche, you can make a good business out of it.

“Vegetarian Food For Pregnant Women” would be the perfect niche to go into because you are targeting a particular niche with a particular audience.

By choosing such a targeted niche, you know who your customer is and what to write about and if you become the go-t0-source for such information, your food blog will be very profitable.

Keep in mind that there is no reason as to why you shouldn’t branch out to other keywords once you get a foot in the door.

It’s much better to narrow down and then open your focus rather than targeting a big niche but never manage to breakthrough.

What You Need To Start Food Blogging

how to become a food blogger

A Computer

Obviously, it would be best if you had a computer to blog on.

This goes without saying, but if you could have your own computer, where you will be free to work as long as you want, it will be best.

A Smartphone Or Camera

After studying many successful food blogs, one thing that was certain was that their biggest asset and the most appealing feature was high-quality photos of the food they are talking about.

Just a few years ago, you would’ve had to go and buy yourself a digital (expensive) camera to take photos with, but I am willing to bet you have a smartphone, and as you know, smartphones take some great-looking pictures.

You’re still going to need to edit the photos you take, though, and for that, I suggest one of these products:

  • PicMonkey
  • Photoshop Lightroom
  • Canva <- My favorite

How To Start A Food Blog

i am a food blog
A popular food blog, I Am Food Blog

Now that you have everything, it’s time to start your blog.

All you have to do is pick a domain name and get some hosting. You can do this independently with services like BlueHost or NameCheap or you can use another platform which I personally use and get started for free; SiteRubix.

SiteRubix is a free website builder that will have your WordPress blog up and running in no time.

I always recommend beginners start with a free service because you never know if you will actually enjoy blogging about food.

I don’t want you to invest money unless you are sure about it.

If you’re certain you want to blog, then go to BlueHost and buy a domain + hosting package; if not, check out SiteRubix.

Install The “All In One SEO Plugin”

This is very simple to set up and it will prepare your site properly for search engines to find your blog and rank your content.

You probably can do without it but since it’s free and brings in huge benefits, it’s best if you install it.

You can download the plugin from here.

Select A Theme For Your Blog

WordPress themes give you site life.

Since we are starting a food blog here, I suggest you make sure it’s filled with colors and eye-catching imagery. Like this:

themeforest food blog templates

Do not make it dull or just black and white.

Also, make sure you have a mobile-optimized theme. Most of your readers will be coming in through mobile so it needs to look amazing on mobile.

There are free themes available that will look great on mobile phones and tablets and you can also find premium ones; I use a premium theme from ThemeForest.

Create Your “Founding Pages”

First things first; Every blog needs its foundation to be strong so you can spend your time building content on a solid foundation that will make it easier for you to succeed.

Here is what you have to do to set up your blog properly from the start:

These pages are a must-have for every blog:

Contact Page: This is where you will display your contact info so whoever needs to reach you can do so.

About Page: This will tell the world exactly WHY they should listen to your advice.

Privacy Policy Page: This is a bit more technical, and it is used for legal purposes. The good thing about this is you do not have to write it yourself. I use this privacy policy generator. It’s free, and all you have to do is tick some boxes. Once you’re done, you can easily copy/paste this onto your blog.

Where & How To Get Food Blog Ideas?

Easy, from everywhere.

Any magazine you see, blog posts titles, Pinterest pins, or any other header can give you enough ideas to write for yourself.

I would also look at question sites like Yahoo and Quora to see what people ask about your particular niche.

If you spend just 30 minutes doing some research, you will find 100s of ideas that will keep you busy writing for months.

Also, do a bit of keyword research. This will show you what people are searching for on search engines.

Start Publishing On Your Food Blog

All is left to do now is to simply write your content. If you have blog post title ideas already, then this step shouldn’t take be a problem.

I suggest you publish at least 2 blog posts a week with a minimum of 1200 words. Don’t worry; once you get going, this will be easier than it sounds.

My tip for being consistent is to write 1200 words a day without fail. Writing 7000 to 8000 words will be enough for you to publish 2 awesome blog posts in 1 week and schedule one for a later date.

Don’t get discouraged, though. At first, nobody will be reading your content but in time, your traffic will get bigger and bigger (we’ll discuss this soon).

In the meantime, keep writing, learning, and publishing.

If you do this, it’s a must that you will have traffic. FOR SURE! 100% guaranteed!

How To Get Traffic To Your Food Blog

Obviously, you are going to want readers on your blog. Readers are the lifeline of your blog and without them, you will never get anywhere.

It’s not easy to build a following and a readership but it’s very possible; if you know how to do it right.

Food blogs are trendy right now so you can rest assured that there is an audience out there for what you want to blog about. It’s just a matter of finding them.

Following are some ways you can drive to traffic to your new blog:

Use Social Media (Super Important For Food Blogs)

food blogs on Pinterest

Visuals are very important for blogging, especially food blogs where you want to communicate ingredients, recipes, and the final product through photos.

For visual content; social media is key to everything.

I suggest you start a Pinterest and an Instagram account at first (Facebook & Twitter can come later).

Whenever you publish new content, make sure you create images that are SUITABLE for the social media channel you are trying to promote on.

No, an Instagram image is not good for Pinterest and a Pinterest image is definitely not good for Instagram.

Get a free account with Canva and create your images on there. It will show you what types of images you will need on all the different social networks.

Use SEO

Remember when I told you to install the “All In One SEO Plugin”? If you did, your job here is half done already.

The plugin is generating all the meta keywords and titles search engines need to show your content in their search results.

All you have to do is just keep writing content that is unique and informative and slowly but surely, you will start getting more and more traffic through your growing rank.

Guest Blog On Other Food Blogs

One thing food bloggers do a lot is guest blogging on each other’s blogs which are a highly recommended way of spreading the word about your blog.

When you guest post on other blogs, you are using their already established readership and directing it over to your site by providing information that you think they would like.

Here are some tips on how to guest post effectively.

YouTube Celebrity Chef?

I don’t do video marketing but if you feel confident about it, then maybe you should start a video blog on YouTube as well.

Most major food blogs use video a lot since you have to actually show the food and proper instructions.

If you want to be a food blogger, I really suggest you try this. You can also guest post on other people’s channels for more views.

Whenever you write a post, it’s ideal to have a YouTube video that goes along with it showing exactly all the instructions.

This will give you 2 pieces of content that can rank for the same keyword and in case you haven’t noticed, YouTube videos usually rank very high in Google.

Start Your Email Marketing Early

Always, always start collecting emails from day one if possible. Get yourself a free account with MailChimp and you will be able to house your first 500 subscribers for free.

Get yourself a free account with MailChimp and you will be able to house your first 500 subscribers for free.

As an incentive you should also try to include a “reward” you would offer to any subscriber like a free ebook but even if you don’t have it yet, still include a form in your sidebar and/or content.

Once you get going, it’d be ideal to write a short ebook to give away (ideally 5000+ words), but you can also group your most popular posts and turn them into a pdf, which you will be able to give users as a free giveaway.

How To Make Money With Your Food Blog

how to make money with a food blog

Let’s look at what we’ve accomplished here so far here. We’ve got:

  • a blog online that is ready to receive customers,
  • a kick-ass theme,
  • plugins installed,
  • founding pages online,
  • tons of content published,
  • an ever-growing flow of visitors per day!

Awesome!!! Things are about to get exciting now.

Now that your content and promotional methods are bringing you traffic, it’s time to start monetizing your blog.

Don’t think you need thousands of people to make money from your blog. Even 50 readers a day can be enough for you to turn a part-time income from your blog.

It’s all about how you monetize:

Affiliate Marketing

My favorite way of monetizing blogs is affiliate marketing.

I will talk about other options further down but first, let me explain to you what affiliate marketing really is because if you’re a newbie blogger, this is where you want to start.

Affiliate marketing is the business model that lets you earn commissions on products you sell but did not create yourself.

Let’s say your food blog is about “vegan recipes for athletes”, you can find and sell an eBook, online courses, or anything else related to your niche.

But not just that. When you are mentioning products you use to cook your recipes (like a blender, for example), you can link to a blender that can be bought from Amazon.

A quick look at Amazon shows that the average price of a food blender costs around $70-$100.

That will give you a commission of about $4 – $6 per sale. That might not look like much, but if you manage to sell 100 blenders a month, that is already $400+ revenue from ONE product.

And remember, there are plenty of more products that are associated with “food”:

  • Cutlery
  • Ovens
  • Ingredients
  • Blenders
  • Appliances
  • etc…

Amazon also offers gourmet foods and ingredients that you can sell. The possibilities are endless here. You just have to think outside the box and figure out how to sell products.

For more information about this, you can see my guide on making money with Amazon and also join this free 10-day affiliate marketing course.

Affiliate marketing can make you a huge income on its own but wait, there are more ways you can make money with your food blog.

Sell Your Own Product

You can also easily create products that you can sell yourself and keep all the profits.

You can write a book or design a training course that will appeal to your audience and sell them independently.

Once you’ve mastered this, you can also get other affiliates to promote your products.

Again; the possibilities are endless.

If you’ve gone through “the hard work” of building your blog properly, written great content consistently and now you enjoy a flood of visitors each day, you are looking at a possible six-figure income blog!

I have a guide on how to sell your own digital products here.

In Closing + Free Training

What you’ve just read is one lengthy blog post on how to start a food blog (and make money with it) but obviously, there is much more you need to learn by doing.

Although we covered a lot of what it takes to build a successful blog here, we didn’t cover everything.

For that, I would like you to try this free 10-day step-by-step course.

It will show you all you need to know and do to start your very own (successful) food blog, and it’s all free.

I also have another guide here showing you how I make money with my websites, I’m not into food blogging, but my method is so simple, it can be applied to any topic.

wanna learn how to make money with affilate marketing?

3 thoughts on “How To Start A Successful Food Blog (& Make Money)”

  1. This is huge. Thank you. My two favorite domain names are taken, still thinking… Quickest question – when I use a person’s recipe but adapt it a little (or don’t) are there rules about citing the recipe/chef? Thank you so much

    Reply
    • There are no official rules, but it’d be ethical to cite the source and mention you did modify it a bit + provide a backlink to the original recipe on their website.

      Hope this helps.

      Reply
  2. I adore your blog!! My blog is only 8 months old so I’m definitely going to read through all of this tips – can’t wait to implement some of your advice!

    I wanted to ask if you have attended any conferences with other bloggers and how important you think this is to grow your network. I am looking at the Alt Summit this June, the Food Blog Forum in Asheville in August, IFBC and the Big Potluck later this year. Any thoughts? Thanks so much

    Reply

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