How To Start a Blog
One of the questions I get asked a lot is how did you start a food blog? Well this has been such a learning experience from the start (and I’m still learning new things to this day!) but there is SO much information that I wish I had known from the beginning! First and foremost you want to have a vision of what direction you want your blog to go in whether it’s recipes or something entirely unrelated. If you are starting a food blog you should ask yourself what your focus will be. Will you be sharing healthy recipes, dietary specific recipes, are you more of a baker and want to share sweets or maybe you want to share a wide variety of recipes? Having direction is important so that you have a platform to build great content on and readers will ultimately know what to expect.
Now that you’ve decided on the focus of your blog, you need to give your blog a name! Think about this really carefully because once you’ve committed to a name for your blog, it is really difficult to change it down the line once you’ve gained a solid readership. It is possible, of course, but trust me, it’s much easier in the long run to know your direction from the beginning! Your blog’s name should be memorable, yet descriptive – something unique that represents you and what you are all about.
Now let’s start your blog!
Step 1: Select a domain name and get registered
Selecting a domain name is super easy! You want something short, sweet and easy to remember, preferably one that ends in .com. Yup this is your very own web address! First you’ll need to make sure that the name you want is available. Bluehost makes it super easy to set up a domain name and best of all it’s free! Other places like GoDaddy charge up to $15 for domain names so I highly recommend starting your blog with Bluehost.
See how simple that it is? Now that you have your very own domain name you’ll need to get set up with a hosting provider!
Step 2: Find a reliable hosting provider
Choosing a hosting provider might just be the single most important thing you do for your blog. This is essentially your website’s “home” and in order for things to run smoothly you’ll want to find a host that is reliable with a great support system. My blog is currently hosted by WPopt whom I strongly recommend for more experienced bloggers, but for blogs that are just starting out I highly recommend Bluehost! They’re super affordable, easy to set up and offer 24/7 customer support. Click here to get started with Bluehost for just $3.95 per month! That includes your free domain name as well!
I mean you really can’t beat $3.95 per month! One thing I will note is that you are required to pay for 36 months up front, BUT the great thing is if you decide to cancel at any time, you’ll get a full refund of the remaining months that you didn’t end up using. This is by FAR the best deal you will find for any hosting site available!
I know all this technical stuff can be pretty overwhelming, but that’s why choosing a great hosting provider is so important! They’ll be the ones who store your website’s data and handle all the behind-the-scenes stuff which not only makes your life easier, but your blog’s too! Trust me. There is nothing worse than your site being down and feeling absolutely helpless on how to fix it. Bluehost is always super responsive and will make sure you blog runs smoothly!
Step 3: Install WordPress
Once you set up your registration with Bluehost (or whatever hosting site you choose) you’ll need to install WordPress which is the blogging software you’ll use to bring your new site to life! Wordpress is extremely easy to use and even easier to set up! If you do go through Bluehost, feel free to check out this tutorial with step-by-step instructions that can easily help you get started. They can definitely explain all this to you much better than I could!
After following the above video, you should now be logged into WordPress – yay! Navigate through your dashboard and take the time to learn the various settings and functions. It may all seem confusing at first, but I promise you’ll get the hang of it in no time! Trust me….this is coming from the most technologically-challenged person ever so if I can learn how to use WordPress, you definitely can! 😉
Step 4: Time to make your blog pretty!
YAY you officially have a blog! Exciting right?! Well now is the fun part – time to make your blog all pretty! To begin you’ll want to choose a well-designed WordPress theme which will set the whole tone of your design. There are several free ones you can choose from if you’re on a tight budget, but I highly recommend investing in a premium WordPress theme to avoid any issues on down the line. Free themes tend to have zero support with them and aren’t the greatest quality so if you’re serious about starting a website, spending a little money is honestly worth it. Here are some of the premium options you can choose from:
+ The Genesis Framework – This is one of the most well-known reputable themes WordPress has to offer. It’s easy to customize, has a great support forum and has a large selection of themes to choose from that are mobile-responsive!
+ Elegant Theme – Elegant offers pre-made templates that are easy to use and fully mobile-responsive which is so important these days! Along with Genesis, it also offers a money back guarantee so you really have nothing to lose.
+ Foodie Pro Theme – Ah one of my personal favorites! This is a Studiopress theme specifically created for food bloggers. It’s a little pricier than other themes you could choose from, but it really is super beneficial with easy customization, a built-in recipe template and, best of all, it’s mobile responsive!
If these are all too overwhelming for you then you could always hire a designer to create a custom blog design. A simple Google search will lead you to tons of fabulous web designers, but I can only refer you to those I’ve personally worked with and highly recommend. I absolutely loved working with Shay Bocks (she specializes in Foodie Pro!) and my current web designer Melissa Rose Design is literally one of the best designers I have ever worked with. Custom designs are of course quite an investment, but this is an option you could go with!
Well you are now ready to start food blogging! Please don’t let all this information intimidate you, it really is super easy and totally worth it in the end 🙂 For more information, feel free to check out my Resources page here. Hope you found this helpful and congrats on starting your new site!