Tips on How to Start a Successful Food Blog

Starting a Food Blog: The Basics

Before making any practical attempt to start a food blog, there are several very important points you have to carefully consider. These points apply to every blog, in fact, on any subject, not just food blogs. The reason they are so important is that many of them are one-off considerations and can not be taken in to account or amended in any way at a later time. To paraphrase a saying often applied to marriage: "Begin blogging in haste and repent at leisure." Do make some time therefore to sit down with a notepad and pen and do some serious thinking and planning, as described on this page - your chances of blogging success may very well depend upon it.

The Most Important Thing: Starting a Successful Food Blog

Always remember, no one starts a successful blog of any type...

They cause it to become successful by following such as the tips and guidelines included below...

Successful blogging requires knowledge, time and effort - be aware of that from the start if you want to know any chance of success...

Can you Cook? Do you Know a Lot about Food?

If you are writing an article on a topic which you don't know much about, it is often possible simply to research the subject in detail and publish a very effective and informative piece. This does not apply to blogging and it is important to know this. Blogging is a long term undertaking. You will be required to write authoritatively and well on your subject, on a regular basis, in the long term. While you will of course be able to research the material for certain posts and forever be learning about your blogging subject, it is imperative that you have a solid grounding in it before beginning your blog.

Your food blog need not necessarily be about the act of cooking. It could of course equally be about food shopping, choosing food products wisely, or anything else connected with the food industry and eating in general. Remember, though, that food and cooking is one of the most popular blogging subjects of all and you are going to have to be good...

Choose a Very Precise Subject for your Food Blog

The word niche is one which is often applied to blogging. A niche is simply a very defined aspect of their wider topic which a blogger has identified and will attempt to exploit in terms of Web traffic and possibly making money. It is imperative to try to focus your food blog subject very precisely in this way if you are to know any realistic chance of long term success. For example, starting a blog on, "How to Cook," is not a good idea. The competition in the search engines is likely to be in the hundreds of millions and obtaining any traffic at all from this so important source will be nigh on impossible. However, "Easy Beef and Steak Recipes for Beginner Cooks," is a far better defined subject and much more likely to draw that organic traffic. Remember, however, to make sure that the subject is one which you can write a lot to and that the information you hope to share is likely to be of interest and value to Web browsers.

What if I Run out of Recipe Ideas for my Food Blog?

It is very unlikely that anyone starting a food blog involving recipes will have enough recipes of their own creation tucked away to last them indefinitely. You should always be on the lookout for new recipe ideas and ways of developing new recipes of your own and there is no end to the number of ways in which this can be achieved.

Try watching TV cooking shows and consider how you could adapt a featured recipe to suit your own style and the nature of your blog. Come up with two or three basic recipe ingredients and search Google using the name of these ingredients and the word recipe for further ideas which you can adapt. Borrow cookbooks from family, friends, or your local library and again embelish what you find. Running out of recipe ideas, in the modern world, should never be an excuse for failing to post to a blog which has been well thought out in the first instance.

Choosing a URL and Hosting Platform for your Food Blog

When you have chosen the precise subject nature and title for your blog, it is time to get it up and running. The first thing you will have to choose is a hosting platform. This is not something which should be chosen lightly as different blog hosting platforms have different terms and conditions as to what you can incorporate on your blog and some will require fairly advanced Web technical skills. An excellent choice for blog hosting in most respects is Blogger, Google's blog hosting platform. It requires only limited technical ability, the help provided is extensive and when the stage is reached (not yet!) of monetising the blog, it incorporates not only Google Adsense but very simple ways of linking to relevant Amazon affiliate products.

When you have joined Blogger or any platform, you will be required to choose a URL for your blog. This should be similar to the title and again very focused with regard to your niche subject. In relation to the mythical, "Easy Beef and Steak Recipes for Beginner Cooks," one idea for the part of the Url you are to determine may be, "easy-beef-steak-recipes-beginners."

Begin Posting to your New Food Blog

When you have created your blog, it is immediately time to begin making posts. One tip in this respect is to try to have three posts ready to make immediately. Although on an ongoing basis posting two or three times a week is quite sufficient, making three posts immediately will help to convince initial visitors to the blog that you are serious about adding to it and make them more likely to either follow it or return to it at a later date.

Particularly where your blog relates to providing recipes or some other form of instructional cooking, quality photographs are essential. Make sure that you have a good photograph visible at the top of every blog post. This is what will catch a visitor's initial attention and is the thing most likely to get them reading and keep them reading.

Populate the Side Bar of your New Food Blog

The side bar of your food blog is where you will include a whole host of information for the benefit of visitors to your blog. This is where you will ultimately seek to include the majority of your revenue generating tools but it is far more important, in terms of generating interest, that you include sections which are helpful to your visitors and not simply a way of trying to part them with their hard earned cash. Include link panels to other sites of similar content around the Web. Include an easy way of accessing the historical posts on your own blog. Try to include pictures which can be made to serve as links as ways of attracting attention. Be sure to take the time to explore in full your options for populating your blog side panel, as this will appear every time your blog is viewed, regardless of upon which post a visitor lands. The tools which Blogger offers in this respect are very impressive!

Only Now is it Time to Monetise your Food Blog

Be honest, have you been wondering why this page has not yet covered the hugely important subject of how you are going to make money from your new food blog? There is a very good reason for that and it is extremely straightforward. The reason is that in order to make money from a blog, in any of the applicable fashions, you have to have blog visitors to make that money from. In even more simple terms, in order to sell a product, you firstly have to create an attractive sales platform.

Imagine that you are walking down the street in your hometown or city. Whether it be the smallest town or the biggest city makes no difference. You find yourself passing a store/shop where the front display area is empty, the window is unclean and all you can see is a huge, poorly written sign taped in the window, reading, "Buy my Stuff! It's Really Good!!" Will you even bother to go in and take a look around???

Of course you won't...

There are any number of ways in which it is possible to monetise a blog but without doubt, the two most popular are by using Google Adsense and selling extremely relevant products on Amazon. If you already have accounts with those companies prior to starting your blog, this will allow you to include the relevant material from the outset. If you don't, however, you will have to apply and both sites will take a look at where you are intending placing their ads/products prior to accepting you as a member/affiliate. This is another reason for getting a decent blog operational before making such applications.

It is imperative when monetising a blog that you be sensible and do not over-populate your blog with too many products for sale and especailly not ones which may be deemed to be irrelevant. Offer only products for sale which are likely to be of use to people interested in the subject of your blog and show don't tell people why they should buy them and how they will prove useful. This means including products in a post which will assist people to prepare your recipe, or products in the sidebar which are extremely relevant to your style of cooking overall. Irrelevant or poorly featured products will not sell.

Link Building - The Basic, Initial Steps

Links to and from related sites around the Web is imperative to online success. It is always a good idea to provide links in the text of your blog - or in dedicated link panels in the side bar - to other sites that your readers may well find of interest. Even more important, though, is obtaining backlinks to your blog from other sites around the Web.

The most powerful backlinks of all will come when other bloggers and Webmasters find your blog and its posts in the search engines and choose to link to it as a service to their own readers. With the best will in the world, however, this will take time. In the short term, therefore, you will have to legitimately obtain your own backlinks.

In most instances, it will prove advantageous to link in this way to each individual post of your blog (each will have its own URL). The easy way to do this on each occasion is to submit the link to social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon and Delicious. It is vital to note, however, that these sites should firstly be explored to see how they operate. In order to stand any chance of making yourself and your links popular upon them, you will have to be an active part of the community, interacting with others in the expected manner in each case and not simply submitting your own links.

Always Leave Visitors to your Blog Wanting More

When someone lands on your blog, it is imperative that you not only satisfy their requirements on that occasion but that you make them want to come back again for more information. Obtaining regular traffic (followers) for a blog can be essential to its long term success. In this very vein, therefore, and by way of leading by example...

If you are serious about creating a food blog which stands a good or even better chance of success, mull over the tips included above, think about how you can apply each of them to your own personal creation and how you can take the food blogging world by storm!

More by this Author


Do you have a food blog? Are you considering starting one? Please let me know below if you found this page to be helpful... 24 comments

BRIAN SLATER profile image

BRIAN SLATER 5 years ago from Nottingham Uk

Excellent information Gordon for those wanting to go this route.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thanks, Brian, for your visit and comment. Maybe you fancy trying it yourself...??


Judy HBerg profile image

Judy HBerg 5 years ago

Great job Gordon. You've provided very practical information and excellent resources. Looking forward to future installments!


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thanks, Judy. Food is my favourite subject to write about so I'm looking forward to adding to this page.


Russell-D profile image

Russell-D 5 years ago from Southern Ca.

George, of my 160 blogs, children's poems and children's stories gather the most readers. Next are the few recipes I've posted; oddball suggestions such as Recipe de “Chapulines”, the grasshoppers from Oaxaca, Mexico. Another big reader number is Sambar, from Southern India. After that comes a story on Halvah. How do your Hubs rate? David Russell


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

David, thanks for your visit and comment. You have 160 blogs? Wow! How do you possibly find the time to maintain them all? I have a few blogs - all on food. Like many bloggers, I have started others over a long period of time which didn't work out and it came time to realise it was time to move on. I have one food blog which is hugely successful. It is Number One on Google of more than 300 million for a variety of related searches and I generate huge amounts of traffic daily. The revenue from a number of sources is also fairly good. The techniques which I employed are those featured - and still to be featured - above.

Funnily enough, food tends to be the subject of my highest traffic Hubs and articles as well. For some reason, my fish and seafood Hubs and articles fare particularly well.

Good luck with all your blogs and Hubs!


Russell-D profile image

Russell-D 5 years ago from Southern Ca.

Gordon, at 82, I'm well retired and write what interests me, reader's invited. My hubs were sometimes in series, 30 weeks of "A La Carte"; Tales Of Food & Drink Digested From 55 Years of International Travel, which each day still months later attracts daily readers, My 15 week series, reporting on the travails of Self Publishing our first children book, "Pop Pop's Magic Chair", drew much thanks for the info. Currently, I'm doing a series on Art Museums We Loved in Europe & Asia. Each has Hub written drew differently, but those who read frequently comment. In 18 Hub months, I've never earned $100 US dollars on Ad Sense, but I didn't join Hub Pages for money, just the fun of writing and testing material to be used in books. Book 2 "The Loch Lomond Monster" now released was helped by Hub comment. You can find both books and soon "Before We Were 5", poems for ages 2 - 5 out this Spring and "Not Yet 8", poems for ages 5 & Up, out this Summer available on Apple "IBooks", Amazon, Ingram and Barnes&Noble E Catalogs + our web site www.booksbyallmeans.com. G - I write for fun and I write for hard, competitive possibilitiesout there in the cold, cold world of commercial book sellers. Any plugs you can offer to your many fans would be tremendously appreciated. Thanks. David


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire

HI Gordon

good hub, really interesting and full of useful tips. I'll use it to start my own blog

Cheers

Tony


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, David

Well, you certainly have travelled the world and seen and done so many wonderful things. I have read your Hub on the Loch Lomond Monster and loved it. A welcome variation on the Nessie theme. I know Loch Lomond very well and will now forever think of Lommie when I visit! I am sure I can certainly share that at least around for you on a lot of my Scottish sites and productions. Good luck with the new book and all your projects.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thanks, Tony.

Good luck with the blog! I hope it works out for you and that this info proves useful.


Russell-D profile image

Russell-D 5 years ago from Southern Ca.

Gordon - thanks. I sent an E-Mail with more Loch Lomond Monster background. Most of it appears on the back cover of the book. Sample pictures of Lommie can be seen at our website www.booksbyallmeans.com. I appreciate any assist you can offer Frank Furlong and myself; we have 2 more books to do this year, after the current being published poetry books, "Before We Were 5", poems for ages 2 - 5 and "Not Yet 8", for 5 & up.

David


tonymead60 profile image

tonymead60 5 years ago from Yorkshire

Hi Gordon

I think you are the font of all knowledge, I am going to have a try at a blog, so thanks for the tips


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, Tony

I am far from that but thanks for the compliment! :)

Good luck with the blog. I hope you have something special up your sleeve and I look forward to seeing it,

Gordon


Jim 4 years ago

Pretty cool stuff! Thanks!


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, Jim. Hope it proves of use to you. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


jake 4 years ago

Gordon,

I dig your style man! Feel like my ten years as a fish monger are about to find a creative outlet. As you can imagine, over the years I've developed or come across some amazing stories, recipes and characters that belong to us all... and I'm ready to share.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, Jake. Sounds that food blogging could be right up your street! I can certainly imagine the ideas you have accumulated. Fish and seafood are my absolute favourite foods. Good luck with it - I hope the info proves useful to you.


Lilleyth profile image

Lilleyth 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

Gordon, you are amazing...


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Wow, Lillethy,

Thank you very much for such a wonderful compliment!

I hope the information is of sufficient use to you to bear out that opinion! :)


ShaamCA profile image

ShaamCA 4 years ago from India

blogging can make a good future if we put in Hardwork and this one seems to be a good idea of starting a blog about foods ..i hope this will reach quickly than technical blogs ;)


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

I hope the work pays off for you, ShaamCA. Good luck and thanks for visiting.


cookaholic profile image

cookaholic 4 years ago from Kent UK

Thanks Gordon, as a newbie blogger this is going to prove very useful information for me..thanks so much for sharing your knowledge


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, cookaholic. I really hope this information is useful for you. I well know what a minefield the blogging world can be so I wish you the best of luck for success. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment.


genuineaid lm profile image

genuineaid lm 19 months ago from USA

Yes, I have a blog http://genuineaid.com but I need to spend more time on it. It's already has plenty of content, but I guess it could use more too :)

By the way good Hub.

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