Do you love cooking? Have you ever considered learning how to start a food blog?
I’m going to guess that if you are reading this article, you love to cook. And you probably also love to read food blogs and discover new recipes to try on Pinterest.
Sound about right?
Well, did you know that you can actually make money just by having your own food and cooking blog? Believe it or not, a lot of people just like you are making money from their blogs about cooking.
So how do food bloggers make money?
- Sponsored content from brands
- Display advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling ebooks and other shop items
- and more
This is a real thing, and it’s a real opportunity for anyone out there that has a passion for food and sharing recipes.
In fact, it’s 100% feasible to start making a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars per month within just a few months of launching your blog, no matter what your topic is.
Even if cooking is just a side hobby for you, you need to give blogging a shot. It can truly change your life, plus…it’s actually so much fun.
The money is just the icing on the cake (see what I did there?).
I can already hear what you’re saying…”But I know nothing about how to start a food blog!”
Stop. This is actually way easier than you think.
In fact, what if I told you that in less than 15 minutes, you could be up and running with your very own food blog?
I hope you’re ready to rock, because I’m about to walk you through the exact steps for starting your blog through a hosting company I’m a huge fan of called HostGator (every site needs hosting in order to run).
Don’t worry- I’m going to keep things as simple as possible. This tutorial is designed for the non-techie.
Why HostGator? Well, in my experience, they are the best all around hosting company for new bloggers in terms of performance and cost. They’ve also got a great infrastructure to accommodate your blog as it grows, which is really important. And because of how awesome they are, we decided to become affiliates for them.
That means that with our exclusive 30% off coupon code for you in Step 6, HostGator’s the best bang for your buck, bar none.
So, are you ready to get started pursuing something awesome? Open HostGator in another tab so you can follow along with me.
How to Start a Food Blog in 10 Easy Steps
Step 1: Choose Your Hosting Plan
By opening the link above, you should land on a page that has three hosting options to choose from (Starter, Standard, and Business).
Assuming this is first time you’ve ever tried to start a food blog, there’s no need to go with anything other than the Starter Plan. It’s the cheapest plan and has more than enough resources for a brand new website.
This is a Managed WordPress hosting package; meaning it was built and optimized specifically with WordPress in mind. It makes your website faster, secure, and more reliable.
It costs slightly more than a traditional web hosting package, but the extra cost will save you a headache down the road. More on that later.
Step 2: Choose Your Domain Name
Once you hit the “Buy Now!” button, you’ll be directed to the order form. The first item on the list is the most important one: your domain name!
This is the one and only name for your website, so give this some thought.
It can be tricky coming up with a name that isn’t already claimed.
Tips for choosing your domain name:
- Stick to just .com endings. Don’t bother using .biz, .info, .org, or any other endings.
- Make your domain name simple and easy to remember.
- Leave out numbers, dashes and anything else other than letters.
Step 3: Enter Your Hosting Plan Information
This step determines your approximate initial cost to start your blog. It should be noted that HostGator offers a 45-day money back guarantee.
No matter how much you spend, if you end up deciding that blogging isn’t for you within the first 45 days, you can get your money back, no questions asked. (Hence why blogging is an amazing opportunity to start your own business at a relatively low cost, with zero risk involved).
In order to lock in the biggest discount, I recommend taking advantage of one of HostGator’s 36-month hosting plans.
It greatly reduces the overall cost of your blog, and you can typically get prices lower than $5.00/month (even lower when they’re running special promotions).
I mean what other business can you honestly start for less than that? None.
You’ll also need to set up your HostGator Security PIN which you’ll use to access the back end of your site. Write this down somewhere safe.
Step 4: Enter Your Billing Information
A pretty straightforward step. If you can’t figure this part out, maybe this whole online business thing isn’t for you. ?
Step 5: Choose Add-ons That You Want
Fortunately, most of the add-ons that HostGator offers are already included in the price of the package. The only question is whether or not you need to tack on a SSL certificate (click here if you want to learn more about SSL certificates).
That being said, the answer to that question is yes (you should add one).
Browsers are now displaying a small warning to users, when they first visit a site, if it is not secured with a SSL certificate.
There’s no better way to scare someone away from your site than a browser telling them they’ve landed somewhere unsafe.
If money’s tight, you can forego this option till a later time, but I do recommend adding it now (there are also technical headaches that can be avoided down the road by getting one now).
Step 6: Enter Your Coupon Code
Having been around the blogging circle for some time now, we’re privy to insider information about when blogging platforms will be offering sales, discounts, or new coupon codes.
As such, we’ve negotiated a special discount for our readers that will never expire. By using BTOP42 at checkout you’ll save 42% off any hosting package, no matter the length.
That being said, we want you to save the most money. If we see (or you know of a HostGator coupon code) that could potentially beat our deal, we’ll add it to the list below.
Some confirmed HostGator coupon codes to try are:
rsosaveaw2new – up to 53% off.
SNAPPYW579 – up to 56% off.
Step 7: Review Order Details and Submit
Once you’ve completed all the steps above, go through and make sure everything is the way you want it.
I won’t include a screenshot since everyone’s checkout page will look slightly different based on their choices.
You’ll also notice that there are a few other free perks: 24/7/365 Phone, LiveChat, Email Support and, again, the 45-day money back guarantee if you decide blogging isn’t for you.
Once you’re all set, go ahead and hit “Checkout Now!” and let’s get rolling.
Step 8: Install WordPress
Oh wait, you don’t actually have to. That’s one of the perks of purchasing a Managed WordPress plan.
As far as blogging platforms go, WordPress is in rare company. In fact, WordPress sites now comprise more than 30% of the entire Internet. You could go with a smaller platform like Tumblr or Blogger…or you can go with the content management system (CMS) chosen by:
- New York Post
- USA Today
If those sites use WordPress, I think its safe to say you’re choosing the right blogging platform.
In the meantime, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the HostGator Customer Portal.
Click around from tab to tab and learn where everything is.
Although you won’t need to check in here frequently, it does contain important information about when products may expire, allows you to setup email accounts, and is the go-to spot if you need to upgrade your hosting as your blog grows!
It’s also a good spot to get technical support if necessary.
Step 9: Log Into Your WordPress Admin Dashboard
Once your WordPress site goes live, you’ll get an email confirmation message from HostGator giving you the info for where to access your WordPress login, your username, and a randomly generated password to sign in (you can change this later).
Your WordPress Admin Dashboard can be found at http://yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin/ (Hint: You’ll need to place your domain in the URL).
And that’s it! You’re all set up and ready to go with your new site.
Step 10: Monetize Your Blog
As you may have suspected, this is the hardest part. And to be perfectly honest with you, it’s going to take time.
If you just got done with the steps above, your initial focus should be on customizing your blog, creating content, and growing your audience, all before you start thinking about making money. To get you started I’ve put together the exact blueprint for you to follow to make your first $1,000 blogging.
Furthermore, here are a few parting tips I have on how to start a successful blog:
- Start learning about the different ways to monetize your blog. Choose the ones that sound interesting to you and start digging deeper into those topics.li
- Make sure you’re writing in a way that’s easy to read. What do I mean by that? Be conversational, use short paragraphs, and use short sentences. Oddly enough, this is way harder than it sounds, especially for new bloggers. The way you learned to write in high school and college is not the way you want to write for your blog. I can’t stress that enough.
- Your content needs to help people solve a problem. If it doesn’t do that, then it better be entertaining. If you aren’t doing either of these things, you’re going to have a hard time getting readers to stick around.
- Use social media to promote your blog posts. I recommend starting with Pinterest. Check out my comprehensive Pinterest guide.