How to Start a Food Blog: Part II – Technical & Marketing

Read Part I – The Basics

We’re back with the hardest part of this guide on starting a food blog. Most of us want to get right to the fun stuff like grand opening invitations and glory. But there’s a long journey before exploiting the fruits of our labors. You want a site that draws people in and gets then to stay, come back later and ultimately contribute as well.

This second part of the guide is focused on the Technical and the Marketing. We certainly haven’t reinvented the wheel here as we’ve built this blog. We followed the advice of others and went with our gut as well. When things didn’t work right, we circled back, evaluated, and tried a new approach. On that note, off to the …



1. Webhost & Domain. Copy. Since this article is assuming you’re using WordPress (since it’s dominance in the marketplace, extensibility with themes & plugins, plus the huge dev community out there that can help you move to the next level as you plateau from the technical side), you’ll find that many webhosts have dedicate WordPress hosting or will have whole sections in their documentation dedicated to users trying to get started. Web hosting on the low end has become a commoidty in many terms, therefore it’s hard to make a bad decision here (especially since you’re just getting started out). We use Dreamhost for our site and they’ve been able to handle the load from a few visits per day to a multiple hundreds and more that we see now.

2. WordPress. This might get tricky. Some webhosts have simple web-based tools to help you with the process of installing the WordPress software . Then you’ll need to install a theme (or skin) which is a design layer that adds a layout. Check out Themeforest for some nice designs. Once you purchase one you’ll have to install that too. It’s as simple as heading to the “Themes” section of WordPress and uploading your new file. Then start creating Pages and Posts and learn how to customize and then populate your new site. Some great resources are WordPress Codex and here (The aformentioned Dreamhost has a neat tool called “One Click Installs” which simplifies the installation of many common website software packages including WordPress. It is a great tool if you aren’t much of a “techie”).

3. Email. You should setup an email address that has something to do with your blog. Using a personal email might confuse people and we find it’s easier to get things done when we separate our personal lives from everything else. We’ve found that it looks for professional and legitimate to people and businesses you are contacting. They may not take you as seriously when you are You may even want to setup email with your domain (like This is something that most webhosts have available in their tools and can be setup in a few minutes.

Note: If any of this technical stuff ends up being too much, don’t worry. There are many providers out there who can set these pieces up for minimal costs. The domain name and webhost costs will always be fixed monthly/yearly fees (and the WordPress theme may be a few bucks), but there are millions of site running WordPress and a large community of people able to help.


1. Social Media. You’ve heard of Facebook. You’ve heard of Twitter. No go use them. Everyday. Don’t just comment on your daughter’s first word or what your dog barked at in the park. Keep it on topic with your blog’s topic. When you write a post, share it of course. Ask for feedback and be positive. When someone else writes a blog post, article, etc that you think would be of interest to your potential readership, share it! Find as many similar people writing and sharing about your topic and share their stuff too!

2. Network. You’ve told your friends, family and co-workers about the site and they’ve checked it out. What about everyone else? Find other bloggers i your field and comment on their site. Introduce yourself to people on twitter by searching for those with food interests in your niche. Better yet, go out into the real world and let people know who you are.

3. Guest Blog. Target specific blogs that might have the same readership type that you are looking for. Contact the blogger and find out about writing a post for them. We recommend having an idea for a topic to write about beforehand. This makes your pitch seem more legit. Remember, like with dating, confidence is key.

4. SEO. Search Engine Marketing. What does it mean? Adding content and keywords to your site so that search engines (mainly Google) will think your site is better than others and display your site before theirs in search results. Writing relevant, well thought out and written content and sharing it is always the best SEO, but sometimes even the best might not convince Google’s “algorithms”. Check out sites like SEOMoz or SEOBook for ideas.

5. Photos. Get good with your camera. A decent smartphone variety (like an iPhone or Android device) will usually suffice, but practice with different light, angles and more. Plus practice keeping a steady hand. Pretty food photos become bad blurry photos if you can’t keep your hand still. And don’t feel like you can’t replace bad photos later. The web is a dynamic platform, change is the norm.

Alot of this may seem complicated and over your head. It might be, but give it some time and trust your instincts. Spend as much time as you can going through all of WordPress’s menus and options. There’s alot there. Try different settings and see what works and what doesn’t. Everything we’ve done so far has been a trial and error situation at one point. The more experience you get, the better results you’ll ultimately get. See you in Part III!


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