hey guys, welcome on my blog. I’m still thinking on what to write about.
But I found this amazing article on how to start a food blog, that I’m going to paste it below for you guys. So just to be clear about this, I didn’t write it my self. It’s written by Katie from cookieandkate.com/. This is the URL if you wanne check it out cookieandkate.com/how-to-start-a-food-blog/
Here it is guys:
Want to start a food blog but don’t know where to start?
I know how frustrating it can be to deal with technical stuff when you really just want to share that killer recipe. Whether you want to start a cooking blog, or you want to become a more successful food blogger, I hope these tips will ease your technical troubles.
Ready to start a beautiful food blog? You have two options:
Hire a web designer to do it for you. I recommend my friends at Wooden Spoons Kitchen. Custom designs usually cost thousands of dollars.
Do it yourself. I’ll explain how to build your own self-hosted WordPress website below. It will cost you as little as $3.49 per month in hosting, plus the cost of a theme (free to $130). You can do this!
Please note that this page contains affiliate links. I only link to products I trust and wholeheartedly recommend. Thank you for your support.
Start your own food blog: the basic steps
Here are the basic steps to set up a beautiful and functional self-hosted WordPress food blog that is all yours. Your blog will have your own domain name and your own distinct look. Take your time and be thorough for less trouble down the road and a greater shot at success.
1) Name your blog and buy a matching domain name.
Domain names are short, memorable and typically end in .com (yourblogname.com).
Cost: free with Bluehost or around $15 per year elsewhere.
2) Find a reliable web host.
Start your own food blog
A web host stores your website and makes it accessible to the world wide web. In other words, your website “lives” on your web host’s servers.
Cost: $3.49 to $15 per month.
3) Install WordPress.
WordPress is top-of-the-line, industry standard blogging software.
4) Install a WordPress theme.
Your WordPress theme will determine the look, feel and functionality of your website.
Cost: free to $129.
5) Set up Google tools.
Google offers invaluable tools and services like Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools and Feedburner.
6) Install WordPress plugins.
WordPress plugins extend the functionality of WordPress in certain areas. For example, one of my recommended WordPress plugins helps prevent spam comments.
7) Start blogging!
Publish those recipes, stories and photos.
Cost: hard work!
Step 1: Name your blog and buy a matching domain name.
Coming up with a name for your new blog might be the hardest step. You can start brainstorming by coming up with a short mission statement or by listing words that describe your cooking style, your lifestyle, etc. Throw in your name and/or your dog’s name. 😉 Talk it out with friends. There are tons of great names out there that aren’t yet taken, I promise!
Characteristics of an ideal blog name
Easy to spell
Once you have some potential names in mind for your blog, you’ll need to check their availability. Since .com is the standard domain suffix, keep trying potential names until you find one that is available in .com. Don’t resort to hyphens or other punctuation marks to make it work!
Here’s a handy domain name checking tool from Bluehost. Enter your desired domain name, hit “Check domain” and it’ll tell you if your domain name is available. If so, snatch it up quick!
Once you have picked your perfect domain name, you can get it for free with your BlueHost hosting plan. (Or you can buy it for around $15 a year at GoDaddy and connect it to your web host later.) Buy it quick, before someone else does!
Step 2: Find a reliable web host.
You’ll want to start with an affordable shared hosting plan that offers one-click WordPress installation. I recommend Bluehost for beginners and Liquid Web for big blogs. I know this hosting stuff sounds complicated, but pick one and power through! Your food blog awaits.
The best web host for new food blogs:
Bluehost web hosting
BlueHost: Affordable, reliable, easy to set up, 24/7 customer support. Food bloggers seem to have better luck with BlueHost than GoDaddy (I cannot recommend GoDaddy hosting based on personal experience). Bluehost’s “starter” plan is about as cheap as hosting gets. Click here to get started with BlueHost for as low as $3.49 per month and get a free domain name!
With Bluehost, like all the other inexpensive hosts, you’ll pay for your plan upfront. Don’t worry, though—if you for some reason aren’t happy with Bluehost or decide you want to go to a different host later on, Bluehost will refund the months that you don’t end up using their service. (Domain fee excluded, which you’d pay for elsewhere anyway.)
Head’s up: Purchase your hosting through any of my links to Bluehost and you’ll get a rare discount on their standard rates. No promo code required!
Here’s how to get the most from your Bluehost plan:
Choose your plan: I recommend the starter plan, which is the least expensive and offers everything you need to get started.
Choose your term: In order to get your free domain name for a year (a $15 savings) and a significant discount on your monthly rate, you’ll need to pay for at least one year of hosting upfront. Feel free to choose a longer term if you’re serious about blogging and want to save more money, but one year is a great start.
Choose your add-ons The only add-on I would choose is “Domain Privacy Protection,” which will make sure your personal address is kept private. Otherwise, your personal information will be available to marketers and the public at large. (Be safe!)
Liquidweb web hosting
Liquid Web: Liquid Web has been my web host since I started getting over 2,000 visits a day. I love Liquid Web’s customer service—I can call them any time of day and a knowledgable person will answer the phone within 60 seconds. Plus, if you start with the least expensive shared hosting plan and your blog starts growing like crazy, you can easily upgrade your plan. Click here to get started with Liquid Web for $14.95 per month.
Step 3: Install WordPress.
This part should be pretty easy. If your web host is BlueHost, here’s how to install WordPress on BlueHost. If your web host is Liquid Web, here’s how to install WordPress on LiquidWeb.
Once you’ve installed WordPress, go to Settings > Permalink Settings page and change your permalink structure to “Post name”. Hit save. Now it’s time to make your blog look pretty.
Step 4: Install a WordPress theme.
Now we’re getting to the fun part! Your WordPress theme will determine the look and feel of your site, so pick a good one.
What to look for in a WordPress theme
You want a theme that is:
Well designed. Your theme should suit your aesthetic and offer the features you want. The theme should also be coded by someone who knows what they’re doing.
Responsive. Responsive designs are built to provide an optimal viewing experience for your visitors, whether they’re visiting from their computer, phone or tablet. That means your visitors won’t have to pinch and zoom just to read your posts—your text will already be a legible size.
Optimized for search results. This goes along with the last couple of points, because a well-designed site will naturally rank higher in search results than a site built on a theme that is full of errors. (Want to know if you potential theme has coding errors? Run its URL through the W3C’s markup validation service. You don’t have to understand what all the errors mean, but know that fewer errors are better than more errors.)
User friendly. Find a theme that offers built-in design options so you don’t have to edit code to change basic stuff. These features will save you a ton of time. Your theme should make it easy for you to change your logo, color scheme, etc.
Backed by great support. When you experience technical issues, a responsive support team and/or community forums are invaluable resources.
My bottom line: You can start with a free theme, but I recommend that you pony up some cash for a premium WordPress theme from a reputable provider. The time and headaches that you save down the road will make it money well spent.
Recommended premium WordPress themes
I originally built this blog on a basic, free WordPress theme (Thematic) and customized it extensively myself. In February 2014, I launched a redesigned website that is responsive. Read on for how I did it:
My blog is built on The Genesis Framework by Studiopress. I believe that Studiopress offers the most gorgeous, functional themes available. Most of the themes are responsive, which is a big plus! Their community forums are helpful, too. My site is built on the Magazine Pro Theme, which I’ve customized extensively, but any of their responsive themes would be a great start. Check out Genesis themes, available for a one-time fee of $59.95 and up.
Foodie Pro Theme is a fantastic Genesis theme for food bloggers. It was designed specifically for food blogs. After seeing how nice my friend’s new blog looks right out of the box, I wish I’d gone with the Foodie theme. The built-in recipe page template is a huge plus. Check out Foodie Pro Theme, available for a one-time fee of $129.95.
Tips for designing a user-friendly food blog
When you’re tweaking the settings on your WordPress theme, keep these points in mind. You want to make sure that your blog is easy for visitors to:
Navigate. Keep your blog design clean and uncluttered.
Become followers. Place prominent links to your RSS feed, email subscription option and social media on every page.
Comment. Don’t require CAPTCHAs or ask them to login first.
Share your content. Provide social media sharing buttons at the end of each post.
Step 5: Set up Google tools.
First, set up a new Google account and email (Gmail) address for your blog. Create a new Gmail account here.
Once you have a Google account, log in and set up the following tools:
Google Analytics: helps you track blog traffic. (Note: install the tracking code in your WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin settings.)
Webmaster Tools: makes sure your website is up and running. (Note: install the tracking code in your WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin settings.)
Feedburner: allows your visitors to subscribe to your posts by RSS or email. Also helps you keep track of your subscriber numbers.
Step 6: Install my recommended WordPress plugins.
Each of these plugins provide valuable features that might not automatically come with your theme.
Recommended WordPress plugins for food blogs:
AddThis: I use this social bookmarking plugin to add a Facebook like button, Pinterest’s Pin-It button, etc. at the bottom of each post. If you don’t use AddThis, use a plug-in that provides similar capabilities so it’s easy for visitors to share your posts.
Akismet: Filters out spam comments without requiring CAPTCHA. Nobody likes CAPTCHAs.
Easy Recipe: Formats your recipes for search engine optimization. This plugin will help your recipe’s photo show up in the search results, for instance, and we all know we’re more likely to click on those links, right?
jQuery Pin It Button For Images: This plugin makes it really easy for your visitors to pin your pictures by adding a “Pin It” button as a hover effect. It’s super simple to set up!
WordPress Related Posts: I use this plugin to display related posts at the end of each post. I customized the display myself, but they offer several templates that look nice. I like this plugin because they determine which posts should show up where on outside servers, instead of mine, which means that it doesn’t slow my site down.
WordPress SEO by Yoast: SEO is a complicated, multi-faceted beast and this plug-in will help you make sure you have covered your bases. You will need to take the time to go through all the steps and set it up properly, though. Be sure to use it to set up Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. It will be worth the effort!
Step 7: Start blogging!
Now you’re ready to start publishing posts on your new food blog.
More resources for food bloggers on Cookie and Kate
Essential Resources for Food Bloggers
Food Photography Tips
My Top 20 Tips for Food Blogging
Search engine optimization (SEO): Following SEO best practices will help your posts rank well in search results. Recommended resources include Moz’ SEO: The Free Beginner’s Guide, Onextrapixel’s Complete Guide to WordPress SEO and Bake Your Day’s SEO For Food Bloggers Guide.
Recipe attribution: Always cite your sources and give credit where credit is due! Learn more about recipe copyrights and attribution etiquette from the Food Blog Alliance.
How to make money with a food blog: Kiersten of Oh My Veggies wrote an extensive ebook, titled “How to Monetize Your Food Blog,” that covers everything from ad networks, affiliate links, sponsored posts and more. Includes ad setup tutorials and a media kit example. Worth every penny. Click here to learn more and purchase for $15.
Questions? Please leave them in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to answer them.
some of the replies whe have seen about the blog
December 10, 2012 at 4:33 PM
Wow thanks so much for putting this list together Kate. I’ve been thinking about moving over to a self-hosted wordpress blog for awhile but it’s definitely overwhelming, so I appreciate all the tips you’ve added. Thanks 🙂
January 1, 2013 at 9:17 PM
I’m in the process of starting up my own food blog and this helps SO much – thank you!!!
January 10, 2013 at 9:08 AM
You’re welcome, Christina. I’m glad you found it helpful!
January 9, 2013 at 9:46 PM
What a helpful post, thanks! I have learned a lot and know it will help as I make the switch from Blogger to WordPress. Pinned this to have it close at hand to read again!
January 10, 2013 at 8:20 AM
I’m so glad you’ve found the post helpful, Holly. Hope your transition to WordPress goes well!
January 22, 2013 at 5:26 AM
Thanks so much for this Kate! Great wise words from the voice of experience! I just started my blog (for fructose free recipes), and have already decided to switch from blogspot to wordpress (the site isn’t live yet though). I have forwarded your suggestions to my website guy… 🙂
February 1, 2013 at 2:14 PM
You’re welcome, Jynni! Food blogging can be so tricky to figure out alone so I’m glad you found my tips helpful. Please let me know when your blog goes live. I don’t know much about eating a fructose-free diet!
November 11, 2013 at 3:51 AM
Oops! I forgot to come back and let you know when my blog went live. Only 9 months late…
November 13, 2013 at 10:09 AM
Glad it’s up! I love the header!
kelly rae says
January 23, 2013 at 4:08 PM
I’m in the process of re-creating a blog that I initially started in 2010 and quickly abandoned because it was “too time-consuming.” I read your blog regularly and really appreciate these tips. Thanks so much!
February 1, 2013 at 2:06 PM
Thanks, Kelly. I’m really glad you found my tips helpful. Blogging can be so overwhelming, I know!
February 20, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Hi Kate and Cookie!
I feel like this comment forum is one big friendly family of bloggers (established and up and coming). I am in the process of switching my little blog from Tumblr to a domain/web hosted/wordpress platform just because you inspired me! I can’t wait to re-launch my baby, and I hope you will see it one day!
Keep doing what you are doing! 🙂 🙂
March 8, 2013 at 4:26 PM
Thank you, Bailey! Please let me know when your new blog is up and running. I’d love to see it!
March 18, 2013 at 6:20 PM
THANK YOU!!! My friends and family are getting so tired of hearing me talk about wanting to blog, but not doing anything about it, because, gosh I just didn’t know where to start! No more excuses.
March 19, 2013 at 1:55 PM
You’re welcome, Mollie! Be sure to send me a link to your blog when it’s up and running!
Christina Joy says
March 25, 2013 at 12:12 AM
I’ve been sitting on the fence for awhile when it comes to whether or not to start a pro-health, pro-food, pro-recovery (I’m a former bulimic) blog where I can say whatever I want and post a plethora of breakfast photos without getting judged. You’ve inspired me to get serious about it. Also, did I mention I want to cook every recipe on your blog? Like, all at once. Nom.
March 30, 2013 at 4:29 PM
Thanks, Christina! Best of luck with your blog. Let me know when it’s up.
April 16, 2013 at 3:59 PM
Thank you!!! I am about to migrate over to a self hosted WordPress site and you just made two of my decisions so much easier- I’m going with Elegant Themes and Liquid Web!
April 16, 2013 at 7:23 PM
You’re welcome, Kim! Hope the two work great for you.
Kim DeBerry says
April 25, 2013 at 5:18 PM
Thank you SO MUCH for the useful information! I spent hours upon hours researching this over a year ago to start a blog, but my mother fell ill, so the blog was put on the back burner. I’m now having to re educate myself on the best way to go. Hopefully your suggestions will save me more hours upon hours of research! Thank you again!
May 9, 2013 at 9:51 AM
Thank you so much for all of the info. I’ve often started to look into the process of a self-hosted site and SEO optimization, but I quickly get overwhelmed by the time and commitment. But I put so much time and effort into my blog, that it seems like it’s the time to really put full effort in.
I currently use the free WordPress, with a purchased domain name (so my site does not end with wordpress.com) and a few upgrades. Do you know, or have you seen a good guide on switching to self-hosted? I’m curious to what extent I can transfer my existing content and whether there are risks to transferring.
May 10, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Hi Johanna, I’m glad you’re thinking about switching to a self-hosted wordpress blog. You should be able to make the switch without losing your existing content. I think the risk lies in losing SEO value for your posts at their current URLs. You’ll want to make sure your old URLs redirect to your new URLs. I just did some research and it looks like you can pay wordpress.com to redirect your URLs for a year for $12 to $13. Seems worth it to me! Here are a couple guides you might find useful: http://mashable.com/2011/02/09/move-blog-wordpress-com-org/ and http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-properly-move-your-blog-from-wordpress-com-to-wordpress-org/
June 2, 2013 at 9:47 PM
Kate! I found your lovely site through the Horchata guest post you did for TurnTable Kitchen (I have almonds soaking in my fridge as I type this). I decided to sit down and dig through your blog as I wasn’t familiar with it. Oh. My. Gawd! What an amazing job you’ve done at compiling helpful tips for bloggers. As an off-again-on-again blogger I’m trying to get back up to speed and stick to a content schedule in the coming months. I just wanted to say Muchas Gracias for taking the time to put together such thorough posts!
June 12, 2013 at 2:01 PM
Thank you so much, Jenn! So glad you appreciate the tips. xo.
June 10, 2013 at 11:07 PM
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, Rollie
June 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM
Hi Rollie, hope you can find a domain you love soon. Great question about recipe attribution, and yes, there are definitely laws to consider. If you are not making any changes to the recipe and the recipe is available online, proper etiquette would be to just link to the original recipe. Here’s a great post that goes into more detail about copyright laws, etc.: http://foodblogalliance.com/a/recipe-attribution/
June 12, 2013 at 10:02 AM
This is amazingly comprehensive! I’ve started my own blog with the help of this guide; thanks Kate! If you have a chance, check it out and let me know what you think. I would love any feedback 🙂
June 12, 2013 at 1:03 PM
Hey Suzanne! I’m so glad you found the guide helpful. Your blog is super cute and I love the clean white layout! Terrific recipes, too. I have one little suggestion, one that I am going to incorporate in this guide, but that would be to change your permalink structure. I’m hesitant to suggest it to you now since it may cause problems, but if it does, you can easily switch it back. Go to your wordpress settings and click permalinks, then select “post name” and save. Check your blog and click on some old posts to make sure the links work. If not, you can go back to your permalinks setting and change them back to what you have now, day and name. I only suggest doing this because your posts are more likely to rank higher in search results and be clicked without all the extra stuff in your URLs. I hope it’s easy to do! Better to change it now than try to fix it later.
July 2, 2013 at 2:32 AM
Oh. My. Gawd! What an amazing job you’ve done at compiling helpful tips for bloggers.
July 11, 2013 at 5:03 PM
THANK YOU OH SO MUCH! I stumbled across this post when searching “Food blogging for Dummies” (don’t laugh) because I’ve finally decided that yes, I actually do want to take this blogging thing seriously. I’m not ready to jump from blogger yet, but I sincerely appreciate all the tips and “behind the scenes” glimpses you’re providing. You have made this so cut and dry that I’d be a fool not to move forward with this. Thank you for taking the time to cultivate more food bloggers out there. Definitely subscribing to you as soon as I hit “post comment”. 🙂
July 11, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Great info. I have a blog already but you guys suggested some plugins I was unaware of. I will definitely be adding them…thanks!
September 11, 2013 at 7:11 PM
Hi Kate (and cookie!),
I just wanted to thank you for this invaluable information. It gave me the confidence I needed to know that starting a blog was actually feasible and the information to actually go through with it! I don’t know what I would have done without you ( :
September 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM
You’re welcome, Sami! I’m so glad you found it helpful. Thank you for commenting!
September 18, 2013 at 4:12 AM
Hi Kate, thanks for the great tips!! I’m starting a food blog and honestly I was pretty lost until I saw this post :’ ).
October 25, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Thanks for your guide, I just started a food blog on blogger and now switching to wordpress. I found this page while searching how to select a good theme. Unfortunately I have already purchased godaddy hosting 😦 Is there any problems with that?
October 25, 2013 at 11:21 PM
No, your hosting shouldn’t be a problem! If your traffic grows by a lot, you might want to switch to Liquid Web or another host, but GoDaddy will be fine for now.
The Edinburgers says
October 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Great guide for newbie food bloggers. A lot of people would assume most of these are a given but a good reminder and very useful for the less tech savy among us 🙂 Cheers!
Kripali Angle says
November 6, 2013 at 12:32 AM
HOW DO I START A FOOD BLOG? This was something I just didn’t know. One click and I need not look any further! You have provided all the information I was looking for. All my doubts have been clarified and now soon I shall start my food blog. Thanks a lot 🙂
November 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Great article! I was wondering why you do not recommend godaddy for food blogs? I am in the process of working on migrating my blogger site to my own domain name and have it through godaddy.
November 19, 2013 at 1:49 PM
Hey Jordan, great question. I don’t recommend Godaddy hosting because their customer support is terrible. My site slowed down considerably (due to increased traffic) and their support staff wouldn’t tell me why. It was really frustrating. I have heard better things about Blue Host, which is why I recommend them as an inexpensive option.
Phillippa Cannon says
November 20, 2013 at 12:00 PM
I found these tips extremely helpful when setting up my food blog. I am also sharing it with a friend who wants to start blogging. Thank you so much for the great and easy to understand advice.
November 20, 2013 at 3:13 PM
Glad to hear it, Phillippa!
December 18, 2013 at 7:39 AM
Hi Kate, I seem to have stumbled upon your blog whilst looking for food photography tips for blogging and it’s great! 🙂 I have to say it’s come a bit late though, as – after weeks of resarch – I’d finally decided to go with wordpress.com (but with my own domain name and email address) as I’m completely new to blogging and haven’t a clue about the technical side of things. I still haven’t got anything up and running, because I’m being extra cautious about getting things right from the start, but can you please tell me why you do not recommend wordpress.com and prefer a self hosted wordpress.org? I’d really appreciate your advice!
Many thanks, Mandy (UK)
December 18, 2013 at 7:56 PM
Hi Mandy, great question! You can certainly set up your blog on wordpress.com. WordPress.com has some limitations, like you can’t install Google Analytics (I haven’t checked on that in a while). The nice thing about a wordpress.org blog is that it’s all yours. If you’re not tech-savvy, though, wordpress.com will be fine as you start your blog. Hope that helps!
Mandy Parrett says
July 9, 2014 at 10:02 AM
Hi Kate, so sorry I’ve only just re-visited your site and seen your reply to the comment I left AGES ago! Thanks so much for getting straight back to me (maybe I didn’t check the ‘notify me of reply’ box!) 🙂 In the end I did go with a self-hosted wordpress.org blog…I obviously didn’t mention that I’m the queen of indecision too! I used a very straight-forward theme and haven’t needed to do any css coding or html stuff – phew! I’m now wondering whether I need to include an RSS Feed though. I have an email subscription form, but I’ve heard that an RSS feed can increase traffic to a blog?! Do you have any thoughts/suggestions?
Many thanks in advance,
July 19, 2014 at 3:47 PM
Mandy, I’m sorry, your comment got buried and I just found it again. Yes, I absolutely recommend offering an RSS feed. Your readers will have different preferences for how they keep up with your blog. Some people prefer to keep up with blogs by mail or facebook, and others (like me, hi!) prefer to follow via RSS. You can set yours up for free at Feedburner. It’s one of those set-it-and-forget-it features.
Mandy – The Sticky Fig says
July 25, 2014 at 7:00 AM
Thanks so much for your advice, Kate. I’ve read that Feedburner is a bit outdated and can cause problems (have you encountered that?) but I shall definitely look at it again. I like the idea of ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ – that’s me with all technology! 😀
Thanks again 🙂
July 30, 2014 at 12:56 PM
I don’t know if Feedburner will be around forever, but it has worked fine for the past 4+ years for me! You might look around for alternative RSS feed services if you’re worried about it.
December 27, 2013 at 3:01 PM
What an amazing post! I’m thinking of transitioning from Blogger to WordPress.. Just got to figure out how though! But these tips are really amazing 🙂
December 29, 2013 at 2:32 AM
I could not have stumbled on this post at a better time. Am about to start a food blog and these tips are really helpful. Thanks alot and keep up the good work.
February 25, 2014 at 7:36 AM
just transitioning this rocky food blog journey after a frustrating blogger site. I don’t understand:
Once you’ve installed WordPress, go to Settings > Permalink Settings page and change your permalink structure to “Post name”. Hit save.
not sure how to get to settings. is this from the wordpress site? I am using blue host and have created URL. any help would be appreciated. Thanks
February 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM
Heather, I’m sorry you’re having trouble. Did you follow BlueHost’s instructions on how to install WordPress on your new site? If so, once you have installed WordPress, you’ll need to log into your site’s WordPress admin to change your permalink settings, theme, etc. Once you’re logged in, look at the options listed in the black lefthand sidebar. If you hover over “Settings,” you will see an option labeled “Permalinks”. Click on that and you can change your settings as I instructed above.
February 26, 2014 at 1:13 AM
Thanks so much. that was easy (of course) there was a problem logging into wordpress, but just had to reset my password. Still working my way down the to do list. Thanks for all the great info.
February 26, 2014 at 3:11 PM
Glad you got it straightened out! Best of luck with your self-hosted blog!
March 7, 2014 at 9:54 AM
I had been thinking about moving my blog over to a self-hosted WordPress blog for a while and I read a lot of advice posts similar to this one, but for some reason yours really stuck out to me and gave me the push that I needed to switch over. I’m not the most technical person, so I’m still learning the ropes, but I couldn’t be happier with my new website and everything WordPress has to offer! Thanks for sharing your advice and amazing recipes!
March 10, 2014 at 1:13 PM
Thanks for commenting, Isadora! I’m so glad you found the tips helpful. Your blog looks terrific. Gorgeous header!
March 12, 2014 at 5:27 AM
Oh my God! You don’t have a clue how helpful this post is for me! Thanks a lot! (Love your blog BTW)
KATE (WHAT A GREAT NAME!) says
April 1, 2014 at 7:09 AM
JUST STARTING A WEBSITE AND A SMALL FOOD BUSINESS. I WANTED TO START BLOGGING ABOUT COOKING AND LOVE YOUR WEBSITE AND ADVISE. DO YOU HAVE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ORGANIZING MY RECIPES SO THAT I CAN PUBLISH THEM FOR PRINT??? THANKS AND WOULD LOVE YOUR INPUT
April 2, 2014 at 1:48 PM
Hey Kate, do you mean that you want to organize your recipes for a printed cookbook? I’m sorry, I’ve never done that. If you want nice printed books with pictures, I think blurb.com can help you do that. Or you could also search for “cookbook template” for a more do-it-yourself approach.
April 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM
This is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your tips!!
April 23, 2014 at 11:06 AM
You’re welcome, Lindsay!
April 25, 2014 at 9:22 AM
Thank you so much for this post! I started a blog on blogspot several months ago and I am planning on moving it to wordpress and paying for a domain name. I have been putting it off because it sounds overwhelming but your step by step guide makes it seem so easy!
April 26, 2014 at 2:30 PM
Adriane, I’m glad you found my guide. Good luck! You can do it!
Five O’clock Shallots says
May 4, 2014 at 9:49 PM
Kate – thank you very much for this comprehensive guide. It was really helpful in thinking and creating my blog. The pulgin recommendations have been so helpful! Thanks again and keep up the amazing job you’re doing. It’s inspirational.
May 7, 2014 at 9:25 AM
Hi Kate –
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,
May 9, 2014 at 10:11 AM
Hey Leah! Great question. I have only been to one blog conference (Alt Summit) and it wasn’t designed for food bloggers. I went with the goal of hanging out with my blog friends and making more friends. I didn’t learn a whole lot from the sessions, but that wasn’t my goal anyway. I can’t comment on the other conferences, but I would say that more than anything, it’s just important to meet other bloggers in general. You don’t necessarily need a conference for that but it can be a good way of doing it.
May 16, 2014 at 2:14 AM
Hi.Ive tried to create a blog but can’t here. Please help me
May 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM
Hey Kevin, I’m sorry, but you’ll need to be more specific in order for me to try to help you.
June 2, 2014 at 4:23 PM
This was really helpfull thank you!
DM Du Jour says
June 13, 2014 at 9:08 AM
Thank you Kate for the tips. I’ve just start blogging and need all the help I can get. I’ve heard so many good things about Studiopress and their Genesis framework. I should give them a try. Love the layout of your blog!
June 14, 2014 at 7:43 PM
Hi, thanks for all your information. I want to start a food blog soon but I am not really familiar with any blogging sites apart from tumblr as in the customisation. do you think I should learn WordPress or continue using tumblr and move on to my own domain name after that? I am really confused
June 17, 2014 at 11:43 AM
Hey Nathalie, that is a great question and I’m afraid I don’t know the answer for you. If tumblr is working for you, you can totally keep your blog on tumblr. My only suggestion would be to buy a custom domain name so your blog’s URL is easier to remember.
June 17, 2014 at 11:46 AM
If you want to get a domain name, here are tumblr’s instructions on how to set it up: http://www.tumblr.com/docs/en/custom_domains. If you buy your domain name at GoDaddy, here’s are GoDaddy’s instructions: http://support.godaddy.com/help/article/5413/configuring-your-domain-name-to-work-with-tumblr
June 16, 2014 at 9:08 AM
I’ve been reading a lot of posts about starting a food blog lately (as I have really been wanting to take the plunge), and I really enjoyed how you broke everything down. It certainly helps give me the extra “umph” to get one started! But at times, I find the more I read the more I confuse myself on which path to take – buying your own domain name or simply starting one for free on a blogger.com or wordpress.com. Since I would be such a newbie at this, which do you suggest? Is it difficult to switch over to a more “serious” platform if you started from a free one? How often do you or should you post? How did you come to find your voice? How often do you create new recipes? I’m sure these questions are becoming overwhelming for you just as they are from me! But I would love to get your insight and to hear from your experiences. Thank you!
June 17, 2014 at 11:34 AM
Hey Heather! I would use a custom domain name regardless of where you choose to build your site. Transitioning from a free service to self hosted can be a bit tricky but not terribly so. There are guides out there on how to do it. If you’re really serious about starting a blog, I would recommend going with a self-hosted blog. With a self-hosted blog, you can install plugins like Easy Recipe, which will give your recipes a better shot at showing up in search results. BlueHost is $7 a month, so that is pretty cheap. You can post anywhere from one to three times per week, or even once every two weeks—just be consistent about it. Some bloggers think that posting as frequently as possible is the only way to make it, but I grew this blog to the point that I could quit my job with just one post a week and solid SEO practices. My voice is just, well, my real-life voice, but I developed my posting style through trial and error, over time. Good luck!
July 8, 2014 at 9:14 AM
What wordpress theme did you choose for your blog?
July 8, 2014 at 9:21 AM
Never mind. I see it is there.
July 11, 2014 at 1:43 PM
Such an amazing blog for starters!
I started thinking about food blogging a few days back and have posted a few recipes.. I started researching more and now thinking of moving to WordPress.. But I am so overwhelmed, I mean there are such amazing blogs out there, including yours, so beautiful and neat and clean.. god, I feel busted 😀 But thanks, for such an informative blog.. love your blog…
July 16, 2014 at 12:50 PM
Thanks, Manasi! I understand your intimidation. Don’t let it stop you from trying to make your blog the best it can be!
August 2, 2014 at 9:22 AM
Thank you so much for posting this useful information! I am just starting to set up my blog and this guide has been invaluable and made the whole process much less intimidating. I was thrilled to find a resource that broke down the process in an easy step-by-step manner.
August 4, 2014 at 10:59 PM
Thank you for letting me know, Kelly! I’m so glad you found the guide helpful. Love the name of your blog!
August 6, 2014 at 11:40 PM
Thanks for the tips!
Really awesome… I’m starting my food blog too
Daphne Newman says
August 8, 2014 at 4:15 PM
Thanks for doing this pre work, your sympathy to how very overwhelming it is, is refreshing and I have been working on this for months so your support is fabuloso! Trying to understand the technical background lingo for all of this gets frustrating and fearful.
Is the foodie theme you speak of considered a one page blog? I have looked at those considered one pagers in wordpress but they still seem to have all the tabs and other pages too. I am fine with that but just trying to find the easiest way to start so not to get too overwhelmed with creating more than I can handle at the beginning.
Thanks for your insights!
August 13, 2014 at 2:02 AM
Hi Daphne! No, Foodie is a full-featured theme. I don’t think you’ll want to fit all of your recipes on one page forever. You can install any theme and keep the bells and whistles to a minimum, though. Those demo themes are just built to show you all of the theme’s capabilities. You don’t have to use all of the features!
Maria Ang says
August 14, 2014 at 5:52 AM
Thank you for giving me the “push” to blog.
Kindness with food is the theme of my blog.
I believe sharing this concept might ease the tension among humans.
August 20, 2014 at 10:59 AM
You’re welcome, Maria. Best of luck with your new blog!
August 19, 2014 at 12:48 PM
Thanks for this great advise, I found a link to it on pinterest-yay social media! I just started a wordpress, got my own domain and a friend is hosting-but there is still so much to do. Great content, put me at ease and gave me some great ideas!
August 20, 2014 at 9:41 AM
Thanks, Mika! Good luck with your new blog!
sedef ozturk aslan says
August 20, 2014 at 8:27 AM
I want a blogname.com blog not a blogname.wordpress or blogmane.tumblr.com blog.
Which steps should I take.
Can you please give me some ideas.
August 20, 2014 at 9:34 AM
Hi Sedef, blogname.com is a domain name, so you need to first buy a domain name. You can check their availability and purchase a domain name at godaddy.com. Then you’ll need to set up the domain name so it directs your traffic to your site. That will depend on your blog’s platform (e.g. if you’re hosting your blog at wordpress.com, look up wordpress.com’s instructions on how to do so).
August 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM
Thank you for an extraordinarily generous post! I’ve been held back by fear for the past 2+ years and am finally mustering the courage to start a food blog. Reading this post was my first real step. Thank you!
Dylan Pritchard says
September 3, 2014 at 12:10 PM
Great article! My colleagues and I are starting a food blog at the moment, but we also plan to expand it on food-related themes as well. I see we have missed a couple of the plug-ins which are recommended here, mainly Easy Recipe. Is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress?
September 3, 2014 at 4:26 PM
I am running the latest version of WordPress with Easy Recipe, no problems! Easy Recipe can be a bit of a memory hog, but I haven’t been able to find a better option. The recipe formatting is really essential if you want to give your recipes a shot at showing up in search results.
September 8, 2014 at 9:07 PM
Love this post! I have one question that I’m hoping you can answer. Should I use wordpress.com or wordpress.org? I’m kinda confused about the difference and reading articles online hasn’t helped me much. It seems like wordpress.org is better if you are hoping your blog becomes well known and successful. I’d love to know what you recommend! Thanks!
September 11, 2014 at 8:47 PM
Hey Rachel! That’s a great question. WordPress.com is a fine place to start, but you’re going to run into limitations eventually. With that system, your blog is hosted on wordpress.com—or in other words, your site lives on wordpress.com. WordPress.org is different. It’s the source of WordPress software. They don’t host websites, they just offer software that you can install on your own host (the key phrase being “self-hosted WordPress installation”). The benefits of a self-hosted website include full ownership and unlimited capabilities. If you’re serious about blogging, self-hosted WordPress is the way to go. Bluehost makes it really easy to set up (I have more details and tips in the above article). Hope this helps!
September 13, 2014 at 3:41 PM
Hi Kate. Similar question to others… I have been running a WordPress.com site for a year now and it’s becoming nicely established. You mentioned that if one’s interested in monetizing eventually, you can run into limitations with WordPress.com. What sort of limitations? I’m basically wanting to know whether it’s possible to press on with the site I’ve built up, or whether it would be essential to move to WordPress.org eventually anyway. Also, when do you know it’s a good time to monetize… any clues? Thanks in advance.
September 16, 2014 at 10:26 PM
Hi Susan! Your site is beautiful. I haven’t verified that this is still the case, but last time I checked, wordpress.com lacked some pretty basic SEO settings. I really believe your site will receive more search traffic if you can customize your meta descriptions and use a recipe formatting plugin. Actually, there are so many recipes floating around on the internet that I’d say that using a recipe plugin is downright necessary. Beyond SEO, I think wordpress.com will be fine unless you have some fancy design features in mind, in which case you may not be able to accomplish them on wordpress.com. With wordpress.org, the sky’s the limit, as long as you can find a plugin or a developer to get the job done. Some bloggers suggest monetizing right away, but I didn’t want to ugly up my site until I felt like the pay would be worth it. I think I waited until I had a few thousand visitors per day.
September 16, 2014 at 10:34 PM
Kate, thanks so much for your lovely compliment and your reply in general – it’s really helpful. I’ve since learned you can pay WordPress.com to transfer all your information over to a new WordPress.org site, so it’s something I’ll definitely consider. Thanks again.
September 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM
Thanks for the info, just created my first site, fingers crossed
September 18, 2014 at 5:56 PM
Good information. I really like it. Thank you very much.
September 30, 2014 at 12:17 PM
Hi Kate! Just a few quick questions about hosting. I’m planning on starting my own pescetarian food blog, and am a bit confused about hosting. I’m leaning toward BlueHost, but I’ve read that you (and several other successful bloggers) switched to Liquid Web after your blogs started to take off and gain more viewers. Why did you decide to switch? How easy was it to switch hosting services? Would you recommend just using Liquid Web from the get-go? I know it’s a bit pricier, but I’m willing to pay for the best. Thanks!
September 30, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Hey Bonnie, if you want the best and want hosting that can easily scale as your blog grows, go with Liquid Web. BlueHost is good if you want economical hosting to start off with, but you won’t get Liquid Web’s level of performance or support. Liquid Web’s support might be the best part—I can call them and someone knowledgeable will answer the phone in under 60 seconds. You just can’t get that with economy hosting plans.
Chef Jay says
October 2, 2014 at 9:19 AM
Thanks for sharing this. Is WordPress really that different from blogger in terms of getting a lot of traffic for your foodblog? I’m quite hesitant in getting my own domain name for now since I’m not sure how much my blog will grow. How much did it cost you total to create your wonderful blog?
October 2, 2014 at 1:34 PM
Hey Jay, it didn’t cost me much money to create this blog because I’m pretty tech savvy, but it took me many, many hours to put it together like this. Domain names only cost about $20 per year. I haven’t checked blogspot options lately, but if you want to grow your blog, you need to be on a platform that allows you to use recipe microformatting (I use a WordPress plugin for this) and allows you to edit important on-page SEO factors, like your page title and meta description.
October 6, 2014 at 11:07 PM
I just started blogging. Once I have the site and everything up, whom to approach for :
would i be needing the above ?
Please help. Thanks again.
October 8, 2014 at 1:27 PM
October 10, 2014 at 12:37 AM
Hi Kate, im writing from Kenya just to appreciate what you’ve shared on setting up a blog and the comments, plus Cookie and Kate is super!! Hope to set up by end of this month.
Thanks again. Di.
October 10, 2014 at 9:56 AM
Diana, thank you very much! Best of luck with your blog!
Marsha Powell says
October 10, 2014 at 1:20 PM
Wow! Lots of great information. Unfortunately, I’m really not that tech savvy. I started a blog on blogspot (address is above). I’ve tried to promote it and even started a facebook page. But, I’m going nowhere. My husband and I are on a fixed income, so paying others is something that really can’t be done. I want to be able to connect with other bloggers. I’ve been adding their blinkies, so maybe that would help? Anyway, thank you for the information.
October 13, 2014 at 7:58 PM
Hi Marsha! I have found that the best way to connect with other bloggers is to leave thoughtful comments on their recent posts and connect with them on twitter. Good luck!
Ramazan Recber says
October 14, 2014 at 4:58 PM
Your website very beautiful…
I am waiting my website thank you…
October 16, 2014 at 12:59 AM
I love you website!
And this post is so helpful as I am trying to start my own food blog. It gave me a lot to think about and provided a lot of guidance!
I do have one question, is there any plugin or website that I should go to in order to add the copy right sign or information to my blog? I’m currently using wordpress.com
October 17, 2014 at 3:35 PM
Hey Andy! I’m pretty sure you should be able to find a “footer” area in your widgets section. You can probably add a text widget to the footer section with a simple copyright statement. I’m not a lawyer, but I believe it could be as simple as, “© Your name 2014. All rights reserved.”
Jamie Dunn says
October 21, 2014 at 11:22 AM
Thanks for the tips and all of the links! Very useful. I’ve been wanting to start a blog and I know enough coding to make a basic website. Hopefully starting a new project will help me work on my design skills without being too frustrating! :]
October 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM
Good luck, Jamie! You can do it!
October 25, 2014 at 6:16 AM
This is a great post. I have made it step 4. I went with bluehost, and a free theme and am now stuck and not sure where to turn. My blog is to share recipes with family and friends. I have a full-time job so don’t have time to spend hours on it. I work all day on a computer so hard to do it through the night too. This leaves the weekends and holidays. There are some features I would like and I don’t know if I can’t do them with the free theme or if I just can’t figure it out. I want a page that has the picture of the recipe and when you click on the picture it takes you to the post with that recipe. I am thinking about buying the foodie theme from studio press. Do you know if this is something they would be able to help me with if I purchased a theme from them? How is the support from Studio theme? Can you actually talk to someone on the phone or is it all on-line? Thank you. I love your site!
October 25, 2014 at 1:31 PM
Hey Kim, I totally understand your frustration. I know that Foodie offers a built-in recipe index like you are describing. Here is an example of their default recipe index on my friend’s blog: http://saltedplains.com/recipes/. Studiopress support is all online and I generally have better luck asking for help in their forums than asking Studiopress. Good luck!
November 4, 2014 at 2:38 PM
Hey this info is great, i just have one question. I want to start out a free test blog to get the feel of it all. What site do you recommend I use to begin with?
November 5, 2014 at 12:20 PM
Hey Ahlam, I’d try wordpress.com!
November 10, 2014 at 4:00 PM
Very well written help on how to start a food blog. Will let you know once my site is up :). Thank a ton!
November 10, 2014 at 6:44 PM
Glad you found it helpful, Ana! Good luck!
November 12, 2014 at 5:59 PM
Hi there, I am trying to start my own blog and i have found that yours is very helpful. Thank you. I am, however, on a pretty tight budget getting this started and paid for my domain and theme and then went to try and install it and it wont let me. it wants another $49 to do it for me and there is NO option to do it myself. Please help?
November 18, 2014 at 4:46 PM
Crystal, I’m sorry I didn’t answer your question sooner! I was out of the country. If you installed WordPress on your server, you should be able to download the theme to your computer as a .zip file and then upload the .zip file on the Appearance > Themes page. Can you do that? Let me know if you need more help. You shouldn’t have to pay $49 for them to install it.
November 15, 2014 at 11:51 AM
Thanks for these tips, Kate, I have just started blogging myself and found these about the easiest to follow that I could find and have followed pretty much all of them!
Aneta @wolfgoesvegan says
November 16, 2014 at 4:39 AM
Dear Kate! This is the most useful and organized info about setting up a blog that I have found out there! I followed almost all of your advice about plugins (some have still to be installed) and your guide helped me sooo much! A bow and a thank you! PLUS: Your pics are wonderful:) xxx
November 18, 2014 at 4:27 PM
Thanks, Aneta! That’s really great to hear. Best of luck with your new blog! Love the name. 🙂
December 5, 2014 at 4:32 AM
Hi, Like everyone else wanting to start a blog the whole tech side is overwhelming… Im in the UK and found the Foodie style blog template however I’m confused to wether this is suitable for UK users or will I come up with issues.. Also is this a word press theme, im so not technical. sorry
December 5, 2014 at 1:11 PM
Hi Natalie, I’m not aware of any issues that you might experience in the UK with the Foodie theme. You might want to double check with the Foodie theme people, though, to be sure.
Anuj Dwivedi says
December 5, 2014 at 6:08 AM
Hello , With the help of your tutorial i just setup my blog but not getting subscribe button like you will you please tell me what plugin you used for that its look really attractive
December 5, 2014 at 1:10 PM
Hi Anuj! I use the “Genesis eNews Extended” plugin. It looks good out of the box, but I tinkered with my CSS to make mine look the way they do.
Anuj Dwivedi says
December 5, 2014 at 9:34 PM
Thanks for telling me the plugin name. Rest I will manage my self I have one more question to you. As this website is just not about recipes. I want to publish your Interview In my website as I found your Blog best in this niche will you please allow me to do this ?
I want to start my Food Blogger section with your Interview
December 11, 2014 at 5:11 PM
Hey Anuj, please feel free to email me your interview questions. I’m pretty swamped with the holidays but I’ll do my best!
Anuj Dwivedi says
December 11, 2014 at 10:59 PM
Thanks and I will mail you my question today and want to say one more thing no doubt you are good cook but as a person you are awesome 😀
December 27, 2014 at 12:41 PM
Thank you so much for this! Great help. Have been wanting to take my passion for food further and actually start my own business. I am excited to start the new year on a new project! Thanks again!
January 3, 2015 at 1:44 PM
Do you have a backup of your blog? In case the BlueHost server crashes?
This just occurred to me, but I’ve never seen any reference to people doing that
Happy new year!
January 11, 2015 at 10:37 PM
Hey Sami, yes, I do! I use a service called Vaultpress. A free option is Comcure, I’ve heard good things about it.
January 4, 2015 at 8:20 PM
Hi Kate! I’m in the processing of starting my own food blog and I just wanted to let you know that this post has been extremely informative. Thank you so much!
I’ve been looking around and comparing different web hosts and am still trying to pick one. A friend suggested just hosting with wordpress.com directly, but I’m assuming that’s not a popular option with food bloggers simply because of the limited features? Or in other words you’d have to pay a pretty decent amount for a business plan in order to get things like the unlimited space and custom site address, support, etc. Am I thinking along the right lines here?
Also, another question for you, if you start with one web host (say Blue Host) is it possible to later switch to another (say LiquidWeb)?
Thanks so much!
January 11, 2015 at 10:09 PM
Hey Cassie, I’m so sorry I didn’t answer your questions sooner. Yes, wordpess.com has limited features and that’s why I recommend self-hosted WordPress sites instead. Yep, you can definitely switch hosts later on. Liquid Web was very helpful in transferring my site over when I made the switch.
January 11, 2015 at 10:11 AM
Kate, Just want to say thank you for writing this post. I pinned it awhile back and it really helped me launch my first self hosted blog. I seriously don’t think I would have found studiopress on my own and the previous themes I tried left me in I’m-having-trouble-coding tears. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise!
January 11, 2015 at 11:47 PM
Hooray, glad to hear that, Alexia. Best of luck with your new blog!
January 13, 2015 at 3:37 PM
This is an awesome post. Thanks so much for pointing me in the right direction. I set my blog up about a month ago and am still very new to food blogging. I have a lot of web experience in general but this was still a great guide for the easiest way to create a website without a headache. Now I’m addicted to Foodgawker.
Thanks again and really appreciated all of your tips!
January 14, 2015 at 4:21 PM
Glad to hear it, thanks Shawn!
January 26, 2015 at 12:11 PM
I love the look and feel of your blog. Can you tell me which fonts you use? I’m setting up a site to show off my writing portfolio.
PS: Your recipes are delish! I found you a few months ago looking for asian slaw. Now, I’m using you as benchmark for blog design.
Sarah P says
February 9, 2015 at 8:08 AM
Thank you for sharing this insight, Kate! Your post really helped me get started with my site. I especially love the google analytics tools and all of the flexibility of wordpress!
February 10, 2015 at 10:59 AM
Thank you, Sarah! Glad you appreciate it. Best of luck with your new site!
Adhar Budhraja says
February 20, 2015 at 4:21 AM
What a helpful post, thanks! I have learned a lot and know it will help as I make the switch from Blogger to WordPress.
March 6, 2015 at 2:25 PM
This was very valuable information! Thank you so much for sharing, very insightful on the whole blogging process 🙂
March 7, 2015 at 12:10 AM
I needed to take a minute to thank you. Your guide convinced me to go ahead and finally start my own blog. I wanted it to look professional from day 1 and I must say that it has been a great hit ever since I launched. Your guide has helped me incredibly much, and I am so grateful you put it together for people like me. Keep up the awesome work.
Thanks again and greetings from Germany,
March 8, 2015 at 11:16 AM
Thank you, Lynn! I’m so glad to hear it. Best of luck with your new blog! I can see why it’s a hit, it looks fantastic!
March 8, 2015 at 11:36 AM
Hi Kate! I just wanted to let you know that this post helped me so much in starting my food blog/website! I am still trying to figure out some kinks here and there, but thank you so much for these instructions. If you have any tips on how to create multiple tabs/get a design for my header, that would be really great 🙂 Thanks so much and I love your blog!
اكلات حواء says
March 19, 2015 at 1:55 PM
thank you very much 🙂
March 22, 2015 at 7:03 AM
Wow! Thanks so so much for all your help ! That’s great it’s really very overwhelming at the beginning !! lots of information and things to do to start a food blog . But the way you put it together is extremely helpful . Hope I can launch my site soon !!
Thanks again you are awesome!!
March 22, 2015 at 11:37 AM
Thanks, Yossra! Good luck with your new blog!
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