When I first wanted to start a food blog, I knew it would take hard work and dedication. While working in digital marketing, I managed blogs and the social platforms of several clients. I realized the amount of work and tedious attention to detail necessary to make a blog successful but it wasn’t until I got into it myself that I realized it was A LOT OF WORK.
Once I was finally ready to take the plunge and go head first into this whole food blog biz, I handled it like I handle everything in life – I goggled the hell out of it! So here are some helpful resources that helped me get me started. Hope this help you too!
1. Choose a Blogging Platform
Yes, you can use Tumblr, Squarespace, Blogspot, pretty much any of them but the one I recommend the most is WordPress. A few people have asked me the difference of WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Let me try my best to explain the two.
- WordPress.com: This version is free but not flexible. Sure, it’s very easy to use and setup however you will be limited as to the type of customization you’d want in order to personalize your site and make it your own. Also, if you’re looking to monetize your blog, you won’t be able to do it on a WordPress dot com domain. Your domain will look like this: blog.wordpress.com. You won’t have full control over your actual blog on this platform.
- WordPress.org: This version is self-hosted, not free but gives you full control of your entire blog. From monetizing to uploading your own themes, you will be able to use this platform with more flexibility than using WordPress dot com. All you would need to do is purchase a domain and a hosting service. This is what I have and what you’re looking at as we speak. :)
2. Choose a Hosting Service
Once you choose a domain name, you’ll need a hosting service which is basically a place for your blog to live on the Internet. You pay a monthly or yearly fee depending on your hosting service and how much space you’d need. A lot of bloggers choose BlueHost, GoDaddy, or SiteGround when they first start but they were epic fails for me. My site crashed and it was just an overall bad experience for me.
As soon as I switched to WPOPT, it has been nothing short of AMAZING! From customer service to site performance, I’ve had 0 complaints about WPOPT hosting. They respond fairly quickly to support questions. Not to mention, the price is beyond inexpensive no matter your traffic. Trust me on this, go with them from the beginning, it’s SO worth it. You won’t have to jump from host to host. Check them out. I highly recommend them.
3. Choose a Blog Theme
Now it’s time to decorate your new home! Installing a blog theme is easy and fun once you’ve found one you like. You can either choose a free theme or choose a premium one made specifically for food blogs. There are several themes on the market that a quick Google search can find for you. The one I currently use on this site is Brunch Pro Theme by StudioPress. This theme you see before you is completely customizable, super easy to setup or migrate and lightweight.
While I did hire a developer to make it truly my own, you can still DIY this whole thing yourself. I know there a lot of free/inexpensive themes out there but hear me out. Getting a site that is fully functional and lightweight is the smartest thing you can do for yourself. If a site is too heavy, full of plug-ins, and too much code, no one will stay on your site. This happened to me initially. I purchased a $30 theme and I was constantly receiving complaints that my site was slow or I would notice that my page views would remain very low (because obviously if it takes too long to load, you’ll just find another site to visit).
Having a slow site affects metrics like time on site/bounce rate, your ad revenue, and overall user experience. You want traffic! Traffic is what pays the bills (most of them anyway). When photos are optimized, your WP theme is light, and the flow/journey for your readers is seamless, your audience will grow. Trust me, invest early on, you will grateful you did it. Read more about resources here.
If you’re interested in learning more about blogging as a business, click here to sign up for a 5-day email course on how to make money as a food blogger. Coming in January 2019!
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