Blogging helped the web to grow quickly with the fantastic work of Google. But when people start thinking about food blogs, they think immediately about recipes and how to cook, that’s not wrong with this. But, there are also lots of things that people can learn from these blogs, and of course, they should be related to the food.
Today, I’ll show you how to start a food blog and make money. As you can see, I started with the blog creation and not the money-making. There is nothing wrong when people earn extra income when helping people.
The real problem is to start a blog only for money and that’s not only a mistake. But, after some time, the blogger will give up because of that.
Blogging is a passion first, and I hope that everyone understands that. I have some food blogger friends and not all of them succeeded for many reasons, including, easy things that people forget. But the others are doing a good job and they are in the right way.
I’ll come back to that later in this article. But, the main idea is, if you want to create your own food blog and succeed, you have lots of things to understand and work.
Now, let’s talk about you, the next food blogger woman, or, man who will succeed, but if she/he follows my tips and advice. I’ll organize everything by topics and that will make things easier to understand. The first thing that I want you to understand, is that everything needs hard work and I used “hard” because no other word can replace it in the meaning.
As in the real life, things need work, and few are those who succeed by chance. You don’t have to wait for your chance, but you should work and that’s not a rocket science after all.
You have to learn more about food
That’s right, even if you’re a well know food expert, you will find new things and ideas to learn every day. That’s the nature of food, it’s a dynamic hobby and job that changes every year and that’s relative.
You will get lots of people asking for some special cooking traditions, from around the world, and how to do this or that, and of course, you have two options. The first one is to search for these questions and work on them.
Then, you will win the love of the people and they will thank you for that. At the same time, you can bring more traffic when you diversify your food recipes and makes them global.
The second one that I never wish for you, is to lose those people who come to find help. I recommend a high-quality membership community, with professional food bloggers and they teach everything to succeed, it’s called Food Blogger Pro and you can take a look at them.
You need WordPress (really)
If you want to succeed as a food blogger, you need an easy to use blogging platform that comes with powerful tools, and WordPress is your perfect choice. WordPress uses the most optimized and SEO friendly post URLs, and that’s why WordPress blogs are successful (if they have good content).
Actually, the WordPress software runs on over 70 million websites in the world, and the majority of them are blogs. But also, WordPress is a powerful content management system used by popular websites. You can read What is self-hosted WordPress blog.
WordPress lets you create a food blog with lots of functions. All you have to do is to install a few plugins and it’s done. If you want more about WordPress installation, there is a great hosting that offers pre-installed WordPress with a free setup, and even, a free domain name.
Create the right blog categories
Before starting everything, you have to set your main categories to publish a post on them. The blog categories are not only topics, but they will help search engines to understand your blog content and categorize it in the right place. Google, for example, will not recognize very special recipes that are known in some regions.
So, you can help by allocating that post to the appropriate category, and you can use a few tags to help even more. At the same time, use fewer categories as possible, you will add them to your main menu and you have to reserve their place, let’s say less than 7 categories is fine.
I highly recommend creating WordPress categories for “Breakfast”, “Lunch” and “Dinner”. What I see is that lots of food blogs actually lose very important SEO benefits when they neglect these categories. Millions of people search for specific recipes, and they type phrases in Google like “breakfast food ideas”.
Even if you have the best recipe with lots of content, you will lose some benefits because the post is not categorized under “Breakfast” topics.
If you want to post about your country’s food traditions, for example, create a category for that, and make sure to never end with categories with one or two posts. That looks unprofessional and it can affect your SEO.
Protect your food blog from copiers
Even if you are in the beginning, your recipes and posts can be copied by bad people without your permission. That’s a big problem in general, and it’s not special for food bloggers. However, you can protect your blog with a few tips.
First, make sure that your feed posts will be shown as a summary and not full content. That’s easy to set up, just login to your WordPress dashboard and click on “Settings”, then “Reading” and check the “Summary” option as the following screenshot example.
Now, all your feed posts will be shown as a summary in a few lines, and it will never affect your content’s SEO. At the same time, you can get some helpful links from those copies. In all cases, Google is going to neglect all the copied posts, but in the beginning, you need to protect your content.
Second, add your blog URL in your feeds, you don’t have to do anything if you’re using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. The option is there under “SEO”, and the “RSS” as the next screenshot.
The plugin itself is configured for better SEO and it’s the best one. As you see, the box contains a predefined code that will show your post and blog links when someone copies them from your feeds.
Thus, search engines will know that they are copied and you get the credits and not them. The WordPress SEO plugin is free, and you can download it from your dashboard, by entering “SEO by Yoast” in the plugins search box.
New and attractive food ideas
As I said earlier, you need to be creative and your own recipes will make the difference if you have them, of course. If not, you can learn from Food Blogger Pro, they are successful and they show you with lots of videos and guides how to do everything from recipes to photography to make attractive photos.
Be creative and search for new food ideas that no one else posted about them. My advice is to use Google search for specific recipes, and if you can’t find the right result on the first page, then, it’s your chance to rank for that recipe. Create a good blog post about it and make things easy to understand.
For example, if you’re using a plant, make sure to search for its different nominations, not all the people will recognize it. So, add their other names in different languages if possible, and you will attract more visitors.
As I said, it’s all about creativity and help. If you offer something good, different, and helpful to your visitors, they will become returning visitors and that’s a success.
Reliable web hosting
The wrong thing that people use is the free hosting, that will give one result, only “fail”. You can host your blog anywhere you want, but when it comes to real traffic and the visitor experience, you will lose all that because the hosting is not reliable and fast. When you start receiving a good amount of traffic, you will notice that things become harder to manage.
Google itself never trust free hosted blogs, that’s the truth, and you can search for that. If you want to create a food blog and succeed, you have to forget the free things and go professional from the beginning.
That doesn’t mean to waste your money with expensive hosting, but to start with the one that suits your needs and makes your blog loads fast all the time. I recommend Bluehost. They offer cheap and reliable web hosting and professional customer support with years of experience.
Be a good photographer and join Pinterest
Believe it or not, a single well-created photo can bring you hundreds of visitors. People look for something good and attractive. If you’re using simple photos that look like the others, no one will share them. A simple Photoshop trick can make things professional and better.
The thing that surprised me is that Pinterest can bring more traffic for food blogs than Google. That’s right and only valid if you’re active on Pinterest groups and you publish periodically attractive photos.
Be active on social media
Pinterest first, then, Google plus, Facebook, Twitter and a few others are what you need. If you have someone who can help you with social activity, that’s great. But make sure to post daily at least, on Pinterest and Facebook.
On Facebook for example, you should join some groups, and create your blog page of course. Ask questions and answer others and be loved, that’s what you have to do.
If you help people with good recipes and attractive photos, they will ask themselves about you and what you’re doing, and they will visit your blog later. At the same time, don’t believe much on Facebook traffic, it’s not targeted as Google and not all the visitors from Facebook are really interested. However, the good traffic amount should bring good results as well.
How to monetize a food Blog?
I’ve kept this to the last because you need to focus on your blog content and forget money in the beginning. Give yourself a few months at least, with periodic posting. Let’s say something more than 6 months will start bringing some traffic from Google.
You can accelerate that through your social media activity and that needs hard work really, and a few people can manage all that at once. So, my advice is to create posts that are helpful with good images and think about people who will read your post. Ask yourself if you’re happy with that or not, and make things better every day.
For the blog monetization, I highly recommend avoiding Google Adsense at the beginning as possible, it will slow down your blog and make it looks as any other low quality and “money-making blogs”. Instead of that, sign up with VigLink and they will monetize your links with affiliate products from big companies.
You don’t have to do anything more than installing their plugin. They pay 75% of the profit to bloggers and they keep the 25%. In the end, they have more than 35,000 retailers and you get easy commissions without doing anything. I’ve created a post about that and you can read: How to monetize a blog without banner ads.
At the same time, you will get a few advertiser when you start receiving a good traffic, please think about your blog performance and speed, and compare it to your visitor’s experience. You don’t need to add lots of banner ads everywhere and forget people. Personally I’ve found that the more ads you add, the more you will lose visitors.
Make things clean and professional, a blog that loads in more than 5 seconds is a big problem to solve. So, speed up your blog.
Affiliate marketing will bring you better results, if you select related and good products to your readers. Recommend what you personally trust and think about people who spend hours searching for quality products.
You can use ShareASale, it’s a trusted network with both, real and digital products and you will find lots of food products to promote. Another post that I recommend reading is how to monetize your blog the right way.
Treat your blog as your best friend, and it will be what you’ve dreamed about. The blog needs lots of work to be different from the others, and you can find thousands of bloggers who blog about food and they share their passions.
But, a few of them succeed simply, because blogging is not easy as people think. It’s not hard at the same time, blogging is something that needs time, effort and passion. If you have them, you will succeed and I wish to see you one of the big food bloggers.