3 Vital First Steps for Starting a Food Blog

How many articles on “How to Start a Food Blog” have you read?

They typically start out with the exact same steps:

  • Pick out a domain name and buy it
  • Buy hosting
  • Install WordPress and pick a theme
  • Start blogging

 
The mechanics of each of these are covered in detail in Food Blogger Pro training site.

Sounds simple enough, right? Just try following those steps and let’s see what your blog looks like in six months. Most likely, it looks very similar to hundreds of thousands of other food blogs. And you have a disappointing trickle of visitors. You’ve put a lot of work into it, now what do you do?

A successful food blog does not look like every other food blog. It doesn’t sound like the others. And you can bet the blogger created a clear vision before starting, using the following 3 steps:

1) Plan the “Big Picture” for your blog… before you buy or build anything.

  • From your own viewpoint. What is your blog to you? Why are you blogging? What effect do you want to create?
  • From your reader’s viewpoint. What is your blog to them? What brings them back again and again?
  • Need help getting clear on your “Big Picture?” Download our Food Blog Planning Worksheet here. And read “How to Create a Food Blog that Stands Out.”

2) Pick a domain name wisely

    The name you pick is important! It should convey what your blog is about. That name should attract the exact right readers for you – through a search engine or a first time visitor’s instant reaction.
    There are two main types of food blogs:

  • A Story / Lifestyle blog.
    This sort of blog often relates incidents or espouses a philosophy. It paints a picture and draws the reader into the experience. And it may include recipes. The domain name may evoke imagery or emotion appropriate to the storytelling.
    (example: ThePioneerWoman.com describes life and events on a ranch in Oklahoma. Plus there are many recipes, usually including the events and opinions around cooking and serving each recipe.)
  • A Niche / Resource blog.
    This is commonly how-to oriented. It gives directions and recommendations. It may provide resources such as what to buy and were. Or step-by-step how to create or plan something. The domain name typically includes “keywords” that name the specific niche.
    (examples: CleanFoodCrush.com gives recipes, meal plans, and instructions on how to eat clean, unprocessed food. SimpleGreenSmoothies.com similarly gives healthy, easy to make smoothie recipes and plans for a 10-day detox using these smoothies.)
  • Can a blog be both types? Of course!

Another article that may help you pick that perfect domain name is asweetpeachef.com/food-blogging-resources/how-to-pick-a-domain-name.

Found that perfect domain name?
Now go buy it!
I get my domains from Godaddy.com

3) On paper, lay out the major sections of your website.

    There are the main content pages / posts that contain the heart of your blog and convey your primary message. These might include:
  • Recipes
  • Restaurant Reviews
  • Product Reviews
  • Travel Stories
  • Opinion / Philosophy
  • News
  • What else? Maybe you have something truly unique….

 
There are also pages that every blog should have:

  • About
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Service
  • Category Pages

Once you map out your blog structure, you’re ready to start building. The best guide for actually building your food blog is Food Blogger Pro. You’ll find detailed video tutorials and a community for answering all your questions.
Spring-2016-Banner-728x90
Will this structure change? Most likely. But start blogging with no structure, and you’ll get … chaos. And visitors will leave.

Laying out your site on paper helps you stay focused, structured, and efficient. It will be easy for your readers to navigate. And you know what? It can turn your site into a major reference for your readers. That means that when they want to browse for a good recipe, or a new restaurant to try – it’s your blog they go to first.

What will your blog be like in six months? Most likely it will be growing steadily, and progressing in the direction of your vision. You’ll think back to when you started it and be oh-so-glad you took the time to plan.