Learning how to start a food blog and make money cooking your favorite foods is one of the most rewarding and fun things you can do online today. If you have been on Twitter or Facebook lately, then you have probably come across cooking videos or pictures classified as food porn. Food blogs as of late are all the rage, judging by these cooking videos. What many people don’t realize is that starting your own food blog is not as hard as you may think. Of course, while it requires a ton of work, it is well worth it in the end.
So, want to learn how to create a food blog?
Read this blog post in its entirety to find out!
Essential Tools Needed to Start A Food Blog
Before you can even begin creating your own food blog, there are a few items you are going to want to have on hand to ensure the success of your blog. Some of the tools that are essential for success include:
1. A Good Camera
Whether you plan on taking recipe pictures or how-to cooking videos, you are going to need a pretty decent camera. While a webcam or cellphone camera will do the job at first, I highly recommend in investing in a DSLR camera. The picture quality of a good DSLR camera is what will set you apart from the competition. DSLR cameras tend to take higher quality photos than most cellphones are capable of. However, the price of a good DSLR camera can vary from hundreds of dollars into the thousands.
For my personal pet food blog Petfoodio.com, I use a basic Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera with a Fotodiox Canon EOS Macro Extension Tube Set meant for taking up close pictures of whatever treat I am capturing. Keep in mind, this camera ran around $580 but to be honest, I look at it as one of my most important business investments.
However, if price is an issue, don’t worry about sticking with your cellphone or webcam at the moment. There are plenty of ways that you can edit a photo taken with a webcam or cellphone using Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to enhance the quality of the pictures take. Keep in mind, while these tools will do, I highly recommend considering investing in a DSLR camera in the future.
2. Good Lighting
While a great camera can enhance the quality of the pictures you take of certain foods, what can truly make or break a picture is the lighting. You ALWAYS want to have great lighting with a picture to show off every quality of the food being captured. While you can use standard lighting kits such as this, if you have a DSLR camera, I highly recommend looking at power lights specific to your camera. They are not as bulky as most lighting kits and can snap on right onto the lens of the camera.
The one I personally use for my pet treat blog is the Chromo Inc CI55000230 Macron Ring 48 LEF Power Light. It is a great light I use to light up the treats I take pictures of without all of the bulkiness of traditional light kits.
3. Cooking Equipment
What is a food blog without cooking equipment? Of course, most of us already have cooking supplies that we use on a daily basis in our homes. However, if you have the cash to invest in better looking cooking equipment that will look good on camera, don’t hesitate to do so. Also, invest in simple white plates such as these for picture and video use to help make whatever you cook pop on camera.
How to Make a Food Blog: Step-By-Step
Step One: Create a Blog
The first and most obvious step to creating your own food blog is of course creating your blog. There are a variety of ways to do this and you don’t even need prior website building experience in order to do so. You can find website building platforms such as WordPress, Squarespace or Wix that allow you to build a a free and simple website in just a few steps. However, most of the sites that you can build with these platforms tend to produce cookie cutter websites, each one looking identical to someone else’s. The best way to ensure that you have a blog that not only looks different, but is unique to your future brand, is to build your own WordPress blog completely from scratch.
Luckily for you, there are plenty of free online courses that will teach you everything you need to build a WordPress blog from choosing the right theme, to adding content to making a unique menu. The best training program that I recommend is from Wealthy Affiliate titled: Building Your OWN Niche Website. This program takes you step-by-step on how to build your own niche site (in this case a food blog) and how to personalize it to your own brand.
Step Two: Figure Out Your Food Niche
The problem with starting a food blog is the fact that food is generally a broad niche. You cannot make every type of food in the world. The best thing that you can do is to narrow down your niche to a singular topic such as Italian food, cakes, cupcakes, breakfast foods, etc. Once you have this niche figured out, it will become easier to plan out what type of content you will be posting to your food blog and how to properly target the right audience.
Step Three: Content Creation
The most important step to creating your food blog is the content. Your content on your blog will be the lifeblood that eventually will lead to you earning money in the end. There are different types of content that make up a food blog such as:
1. Recipes-most food blogs consist of these types of content. Recipes can vary in type from long posts detailing the cooking process for your audience, a short introduction with the recipe listed at the end or a series of pictures with the details of the recipe throughout the post. If this is the type of content you wish to go with, make sure that you are ready to detail every step of the process of whatever recipe you plan on preparing. I highly recommend taking as many pictures as well so your audience can see for themselves how a recipe is supposed to look throughout every step of the process.
2. Videos-this is one of the most popular ways food blogs chooses to showcase its content nowadays. Video tends to convert better than written word alone and thus is the most successful. Of course, while you can have a blog with nothing but videos, I highly recommend adding some content to each post with a video, detailing what is in the video and of course listing the actual recipe so your audience can refer back to it as they make the recipe for yourself.
3. Standard Blog postings-This is an option most food bloggers use if they would prefer to share their love for a certain type of food rather than cooking it. It is pretty standard and needs to follow basic content creation rules: choosing a keyword to target, creating a post that is minimum 500 words targeting the keyword naturally and adding pictures here and there. This content creation method can be used to share recipes you have found in your niche online or to list the benefits and disadvantages of a certain food. This content creation method is perfect for those who are new to online food blogging and do not know what type of creation they want to go for in the end.
Step Four: Set Up Social Media Profiles
The best way to share your content from your food blog online with an audience is to share it across various social media platforms. There are certain social media platforms that are a food blogger’s best friend. These platforms include:
1. Facebook-with over 2.23 billion users monthly, Facebook is a great way for you to build a loyal following to your food blog. You can either use your own personal profile to share your content with friends, family and even those who like your content. However, the best way to utilize Facebook to your advantage is to create a separate page based on the brand of your food blog. This page can be used to share everything from your food blog from recipe videos, recipe picture or even written content from your site.
What is phenomenal about Facebook is the fact that you can “boost” the posts from your Facebook page, which is another way to say paid advertising and reach more people you would have never been able to reach otherwise.
2. Instagram-Instagram is perhaps the birthplace of the rise in popularity of food porn. Instagram is perfect to use if you plan on taking pictures of the various recipes that you prepare or plan to make videos of the preparation process of recipes. It is a great way to grow an audience fast and also includes options of advertising which can build your audience even faster.
What is great about Instagram is the fact that you can utilize specific hashtags within your niche to get your pictures or videos in front of people who are currently looking for pictures under those hashtags.
3. Pinterest-Pinterest is the hub for recipe pictures. Most people look at Pinterest as a forum for food and that is somewhat true. While you can gain a ton of traffic from Pinterest in as fast as 30 days, for long term success, you need to understand how to use Pinterest correctly. In order to use Pinterest correctly, stop worrying about gaining followers first. Remember, Pinterest is an experience and a community. Build your reputation throughout the community by pinning other people’s stuff, not just your own. Make sure to pin things that are relevant to your own food blog. So, for example, if you are starting a vegan food blog, pin images from other blogs related to a vegan lifestyle. The more pins you have on your profile from other sites, not just your own, will show that you are an active member of the community and more people will be more inclined to follow you in the process.
4. Twitter-Twitter is the perfect way to get a post viral in a hurry. However, Twitter is a finicky place. Things happen in real time there and unless your post contains a definite wow factor, it isn’t likely to bring in a large group following. I recommend using Twitter sparingly. Have your audience follow your profile there so they can follow you in real-time in your cooking endeavors. However, don’t look at it as your main monetization method.
How to Monetize a Food Blog
Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways to monetize a food blog today. After all, the end goal for every food blog is to make money. While it may take some time before a blog makes money, there are ways that you can make sure a food blog is profitable in the end.
1. Google AdSense
One of the most common ways to monetize a food blog today. Google AdSense, while not highly profitable at first, over time can earn you a nice chunk of change every now and then. To utilize this monetization method, all you have to do is sign up for a free Google AdSense account and add niche specific ads into the content you publish onto your website.
Mot ads only pay a few cents per click, so don’t go looking for a hefty paycheck unless you are able to get more of a payout from certain ads or have millions of followers to your blog on a monthly basis.
2. Sponsored Posts
This is a monetization method that blogs with a large audience utilize often. Instead of linking to your own content within a blog post, you are paid to promote a product or service by a company or someone else. Sponsored posts are the perfect way to ensure long term credibility within your niche. All you have to do is find brands to work with and that you love to help sponsor your posts. The price range for these types of posts varies based on the company and the products you will be promoting.
3. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is perhaps one of the most powerful ways that you can make money with a food blog today. Affiliate marketing works almost the same as sponsored posts, but you would have to find products via affiliate marketing platforms such as eBay or Amazon that you would then promote within your blog posts rather than going through an actual company. When someone clicks on an affiliate link within your post and buys the product you are promoting, you earn a commission from it.
This is a great monetization method because you can find a variety of niche specific products that you know your audience will love. The more quality affiliate links you promote and the more you promote them organically, you can build up a nice income from your food blog.
4. Sell Your Own Products
Thanks to the rise of self-publication, it hasn’t ever been easier to create your own products to sell on your own blog. Whether that is creating your own cutlery, cooking equipment, t-shirts or cookbooks, you can easily begin selling your own products to make decent money from your blog. Of course, when creating your own products, you want to make sure that you stick with niche specific items such as meal plans, cookbooks and other cooking necessities that your audience will need.
Hopefully by the end of this post you have learned how to start a food blog and make money in the process. Remember, creating a food blog can be a lucrative endeavor, as long as you do it correctly. If done right, you can create your own niche for your food site and specialize in that niche while making money at the same time. However, keep in mind that starting a food blog is a long and painstaking process. You will not see overnight success. But keep at it and I guarantee you will see rewards in the future.
Check out my personal food blog here if you need ideas on how to create your own.
Have you started your own food blog? If so, do you have anything you would like to add to this post? Let me know in the comments section below.