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How to Start a Food Blog from Scratch

Written by Stelian Subotin on in Tutorials 3 comments

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In the last decade, blogging has been rising unlike any other web-trend. WordPress, both as a hosted and self-hosted version, has been the CMS of choice for 48% of Technorati’s Top 100 Blogs (statistics). Blogging varies from topic to topic and covers generic topics like fashion and design to very specific niches and topics that people are passionate about.

While there are infinite topics to write about and many ways of starting a blog, in this article we’ll cover the process of starting a food inspired blog.

It has been reported that almost 90% of people who browse the internet, go online to look for recipes (data) which makes the rise of food and cooking blogs unquestionable. Follow us with this guided and detailed walkthrough on how to create a food-inspired blog from scratch.

In order to get started with your blog, you need to have a few things:

  1. Content Management System

  2. Domain Name

  3. Hosting Provider

  4. Blog Theme

  5. Additional Plugins

  6. Branding Identity

  7. Knowledge & Help

We’ll get started with providing a detailed explanation for each of these steps. This guide is suitable for all levels of experience, so if you’re already familiar with some of the steps, you can skip straight to what’s new for you.


1. Content Management System

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While there is a pool of options to choose from when talking about content management systems, in my experience there’s no better experience than going with WordPress.

There are two ways of going for WordPress, the hosted version (WordPress.com) and the self-hosted version at WordPress.org. Both of those versions have benefits and drawbacks, but I would recommend going for the self-hosted version because of the infinite customization possibilities, smaller long-term costs and the big variety of available plugins. Even if you’re a beginner or have no experience in designing and building sites, you’ll be able to follow the steps below.

Once you’ve decided to go with WordPress, you need some hosting and a domain name. We’ll tackle those next.


2. Domain Name

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A domain name is the address people use to find your website. Google.com or WPZOOM.com are examples of domain names.

There are some key features found in all good domain names:

  1. Easy to spell
  2. Memorable
  3. Short (if possible)
  4. Descriptive
  5. Lacks details (no need to provide exact details in the domain name).

In order to register a domain name you have to follow through with some of the registers available, such as:

  1. GoDaddy
  2. Namecheap
  3. name.com

Domain names start at $1 and upwards, a typical .com domain being around $12 nowadays at most registrants.


3. Hosting Provider

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A hosting provider is necessary for hosting your data, and interlinking with your domain name. Some key features to look forward when in-search of a hosting provider, are the following characteristics: secure, affordable & fast.

Obviously, combining those features without racking up the pricetag is pretty hard, but we’ve got some good options covered. WPZOOM has partnered up with a few of the top hosting providers out there to get you the best deal, which is why you should consider heading over to this page and grabbing one of the coupon codes available.

Installing the self-hosted version of WordPress is an easy job and with most hosts can be done in a couple of clicks (in cPanel, find the Softaculous widgets  – contact your hosting support to guide you through cPanel). You can also watch our 7-minute video tutorial and learn how to install WordPress.


WordPress Food-inspired Themes

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Foodica

Foodica is the perfect choice when it comes to food-inspired blogs, magazines and recipe websites. Six colour schemes, a beautiful featured slider and carousel and WooCommerce integration is what will really help you stand out. There’s also a Theme Options Panel, Recipe Shortcodes, Advert placement zones and much more.

The theme comes with 1 year free of professional support, extensive documentation and updates. Back this up with a 14 day money-back guarantee and you’re set with the best deal you can get.


Delicious

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Delicious is a free theme for WordPress that is for the food lover, restaurant or cook within you. It features a basic but classy design with the default features offered by WordPress.


Food & Cook

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Food and Cook is a more grungy-kind of theme that comes to bring a different feel to a default WordPress theme. It also is adjusted for mobile devices, its layout being responsive adjusted. It is designed for food recipe websites, bakeries or cooking related websites.


Food Park 

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Foodpark is another modern-looking designed theme. It uses skeleton framework for grids with minimal CSS. The stylesheet is generated using SASS. There is no options panel with this theme but it does have the Customizer, core feature of WordPress.


Helpful Plugins

WP Ultimate Recipe 

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WP Ultimate Recipe is a user friendly plugin for adding recipes to any of your posts and pages. Your visitors will love WP Ultimate Recipe. They will be able to adjust the servings, print the recipe, find other recipes using a specific ingredient, share your recipe.

Features:

  1. Use shortcodes or the “Insert Recipe” button to add multiple recipes to any of your posts and pages.
  2. Ingredients, course types, cuisines and ratings are all taxonomies related to your recipe. This means that you can display these in a nice tag cloud widget.
  3. Add photos to any step of the recipe.

 

Nutrition Facts Label

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This plugin provides food bloggers with the ability to add nutrition facts label to their recipe post(s). This plugin provides image download option or short-codes as possible ways of sharing nutritive insights. It also provides an update facility that adds a nutrition facts label to already existing recipe posts.

 

Schema.org Rich Snippets

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Boost CTR. Improve SEO & Rankings. Supports most of the content type. Works perfectly with Google, Bing, Yahoo & Facebook. It is basically a short summary of your page in the search results of Google, Yahoo, Bing and sometimes in the News feed of Facebook in nice format with star ratings, author photo, image, etc.

 

Features:

  1. It gives search engines only the important & precise information to display in search result snippets.
  2. Rich Snippets are very interactive (photos, star ratings, price, author, etc.) to let you stand out from competition
  3. Helps you rank higher in search results
  4. Helps Facebook display proper information when users share your links on Facebook

 

Easy Recipe

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EasyRecipe makes it easy to enter, format and print recipes, as well as automagically doing the geeky stuff needed for Google’s Recipe View. EasyRecipe makes recipe entry a breeze, with features like cut and paste, auto conversion of your plain text recipe posts, live custom formatting, Google Recipe View formatting and preview button, automatic ratings, conversion from other recipe plugins like ZipList, RecipeSEO and Recipe Card.


Branding & Identity

You’ve made incredible progress so far! With your blog now up and running, let’s look at branding and identity.

If you’re experienced and have understood the importance of web branding and already have a logotype and necessary resources – that’s great to hear, but if you’re just starting out, you’ll probably need some guidance.

While you don’t necessarily need a logo or unique graphics for your website, it never hurts to add that unique feeling to your blog. Below are some really useful resources that might come in handy.

 

Creative Market 

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Creative Market is the place to look for graphics, stock images and logotype mock-ups. All goods are reasonably priced and if you’re just looking for free goodies, they have a weekly-curated list of free digital goods right here.

 

Graphic River

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Another source of graphics that is similar to Creative Market is Graphic River. Its principle of functioning is very similar to the one of the marketplace above, and just comes as an alternative for you.

 

Envato Studio 

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Envato Studio comes to connect freelancers and clients in order to help get their tasks fulfilled. I think this website is great if you are looking for a somewhat affordable logotype design for your blog and you’re not into hiring freelancers on your own or making use of design studios.

 

Shutterstock

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Shutterstock and similar marketplaces come to offer you stock images solutions. While food blogging is all about unique recipes and photos that you take yourself, often times it might come in handy to use some of the quality photos for whatever representative needs you might have.


Support & Help

It’s great that you’ve taken the path on creating your first food-inspired blog. Hopefully the walkthrough above was informative and helpful enough to get started on your own.

While there’s a ton of information and specific tutorials on the internet on how to fulfill a concrete task, we’re still not going to leave you hanging as we’ve got some further resources that will help you improve your knowledge even more by this becoming more and more proficient at what you’re doing.

 

WPZOOM Plugins 

Instagram widget is a must for food blogs! With our Instagram plugin, you can embed your beautiful square photos into any widget area on your site. Our Foodica theme makes a great use of this free plugin, and you can see it live in the footer of the demo page.

 

WordPress 101 Video Tutorials 

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Even if you’re not a WPZOOM customer, you have access to over 20+ high quality videos that describe in detail how your WordPress CMS functions. The outstanding quality and great narration makes listening and watching these videos a breeze, which must be the step one of any beginner out there.

 

WPZOOM Tutorials 

Another page with helpful information is the tutorials page which cover a broad range of topics. While the tutorials board is more useful for new and existing WPZOOM customers (given the theme integration tutorials), a few tutorials might come in handy even if you’re not an active customer.

 

WordPress Customization & Services

If you believe the process of building a blog from scratch to either be too difficult or time-consuming, there’s always a service in check for you to make use of. Existing WPZOOM customers who have just purchased a theme (or the All Themes Package) can make use of the free support included, but if you’re looking for something a little bit more, like plugin installation and theme setup, look no more and check out the offer in place.

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  • Great tips, plugins and themes to open a food blog!

  • Blogging seems to be one of those things everyone tries in the process of jumping start there business, but sometimes it just time consuming. SEO internal, external back linking can be a pain, and just knowing the right methods is the task.
    Blogging or freelance blogging needs to be something that you enjoy in the beginning, and creating the value of blogging to your audience. I love your post good content inside of your blog.

  • 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:)