With the help of my Mom and Dad, I sort of learned how to start a food blog at age 11, but started blogging more seriously four and a half years ago. Since then I’ve learned so much, loved it more and more, and let my creativity flourish. This is something I’ll be doing for years to come because it’s worthwhile to me. It doesn’t matter if it makes money or not: I’ll do it anyway, because I love it.
If you’re out there somewhere dreaming of your own food blog (or really any kind of blog), don’t wait. Blogging is fun. If you’re writing about something you are passionate about, you will love every minute. It’s so easy to start a blog (I’m not kidding, you could have a fully functional blog up and running in 10 minutes). So there’s no reason to wait. Get out there and do it.
If you’re ready, then it’s time to learn how to start a food blog!
Note: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you’re planning on buying the product anyway, I would really appreciate it if you’d click on my link! It costs you nothing extra but will help me pay for college (you have my promise that I won’t use it for any shady drug dealing). 🙂
Step 1 of How to Start a Food Blog: Pick a Name
Decide what you want your website to be called. Once you have a name, search if it’s available. Just go to GoDaddy and type your desired name into the search bar provided. It will tell you whether or not the name is available.
Step 2 of How to Start a Food Blog: Sign up for Hosting and Create Your Blog in Ten Minutes
Getting started on your blog does initially cost something. You have to buy hosting, which costs between $3.95 a month and $5.95 a month. I’d recommend Bluehost because it’s what I know, it’s unbelievably easy to use, and they have good customer service (I recall one phone call in which the rep and I went round and round: “Wait, I want to transfer my domain name. No, not add it to Bluehost. I want to transfer. No, I don’t know what transfer means. Wait, what will happen if I do this? Can’t I just transfer it?” They were very patient).
So, click here to go to Bluehost and check it out. Then follow the instructions below to create your account (and your blog)!
- Click the green button that says get started now.
2. Enter your domain under the spot that says new domain. You’d want to enter it all as one word. So if you want your blog name to be The Fantastic Foodie, you would enter it as thefantasticfoodie. The domain you choose should be available because you have already checked it on GoDaddy in step one.
Then click next.
3. If your domain is unavailable, this screen will appear. You’ll have to pick a different domain in order to make it work.
4. Once you’ve picked a domain that is available, you’ll be taken to a page that looks like the below screenshot. Then just start filling in the blanks.
5. At this screen, you’ll have some options to choose from. Don’t just skip over this area or you’ll end up paying more than you have to. For the account plan, you can go with a 12 month, a 24 month, or a 36 month package. Each successive package costs less per month, but if you’re not sure if you want to keep blogging long-term, it would be better to go with a short-term (perhaps 12 month) package.
The other options that are automatically checked are unnecessary but useful. The Domain Privacy Protection will keep your name and address from being displayed to anyone who searches your domain. This is useful if you really want to protect your privacy, but definitely not necessary.
The Site Backup Pro will automatically back up your website for an extra $24 a year. This is useful, but again, you don’t need it. You can manually back up your site and save the money.
SiteLock will increase your website’s security, but I don’t think this is necessary either so long as you have a good strong password for both Bluehost and your WordPress account. Also you can download a “limit login attempts” plugin later to further protect your site. Obviously this doesn’t do nearly as much as SiteLock will do, but I currently run several blogs, all without SiteLock, and I have had no security issues. Again, though, this is up to you.
6. Enter the remaining information, including your credit card info, and check out. You should be taken to the home back office of your Bluehost account.
7. Here in your account manager, scroll down to the area under website where you can see a button that says Install WordPress. In this screenshot it’s in the fourth section down. Click the Install WordPress button.
8. It will take you to this page. You should then click the green Install button. Installation should be free, so if you end up paying you’ve clicked the wrong button.
9. You will then be taken to another page where you’ll have to select your domain from the dropdown provided (sorry, no screenshots for the next few steps). Click submit after selecting your domain.
10. On the next page, click show advanced options and enter your website title. For example, if your domain name is The Fantastic Foodie, you would enter The Fantastic Foodie as the title.
11. Enter your username next. You could use your first name, a nickname, or your full name. This is just the name you’ll use WordPress with and also the name that will appear under all of your published posts.
12. Enter a secure password. This will be your WordPress password.
13. Agree to the terms and conditions and click Install.
14. You’ll then be redirected to another page where your WordPress will download. They will offer you some themes you can buy, but this step is not necessary yet. Once WordPress is installed (it will tell you), type your domain into the search bar. So if my website name is The Fantastic Foodie, I would type thefantasticfoodie.com into the search bar at the top of the page.
After typing in your domain with .com after it, type in /wp-login.php. So in the end your domain will look something like this: thefantasticfoodie.com/wp-login.php. Press enter and wait for the page to load.
15. The newly loaded page will look like the below screenshot.
16. In the boxes provided, enter your username and password. This would be the username and password you just used when you installed WordPress.
17. Press Log In. You’ll be taken to your WordPress dashboard, which looks like this:
So now you have created your blog. Next I’ll teach you how to make it look pretty with WordPress themes!
Step 3 of How to Start a Food Blog: Upload a Theme to Your New Blog
The good news is, I have created a video on how to do this. Just watch the following video to learn how to add a theme to your WordPress blog. Below are also some links to some free themes that I really like. They would be good themes to get started with just to see if you like blogging. However, it is true that a free theme will never be as professional or high-quality as a paid theme, and because it isn’t coded as well it won’t be as great for SEO (and, thus, you won’t show up as well in google search results–the food blogger’s bread and butter). The themes I’ve used for this blog and my other blogs have all been paid themes from StudioPress. Below the list of free themes, you’ll also find a list of all the paid themes I’ve used on this blog and my other food related blogs.
PAID THEMES I USE/HAVE USED ON THIS BLOG
All of my paid themes are from StudioPress. Click the link to go to the website.
Currently using: Divine Pro.
Have used: Lifestyle Pro, Minimum Pro, Ambiance Pro, The Daily Dish.
Others I like: Modern Studio Pro, Foodie Pro, Swank.
What I love about these paid themes is that they are all very customizable and that they are all html5, which means that they are mobile friendly. Some free themes will not show up as well on mobile phones as these paid themes, and free themes won’t be as fast. Just something to keep in mind.
If you do end up purchasing one of the five themes I mentioned above that I’ve used before, go ahead and email me with any setup questions! I know all five of those themes like the back of my hand and would be happy to help with stylesheet editing or any problems you might have. You can contact me here.
So anyway, now that you’ve picked your theme, on to the video!
Now your theme is uploaded and you are ready to write your first post and start blogging! Yay…you just learned how to start a food blog! And don’t worry, I plan to write another post in the future detailing how to get your blog up and running, how to build traffic, and finally, how to start earning money.