How to successfully create and run a food blog

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food blog
food blog

If you like to cook (and/or eat) and want to share your passion with others, you can create a cooking blog. When creating it, not only the content matters, but also its structure and how you manage your blog in the long term. Read on to find out how to create a cooking blog step by step.

At the heart of a cooking blog: the love of food

Food, preparation and presentation are big topics of conversation on websites and social networks. As well as top chefs showcasing their wacky new culinary creations, many private individuals showcase their kitchen skills. Homemade creations are no less delicious or of lesser quality. Healthy, diverse and conscious eating is an increasingly important issue in our lives. And as with many subjects, we turn to the Internet for inspiration, insights, and the discovery of new possibilities .

What does it mean to create a cooking blog?

When starting a food blog, you want to focus on a topic or niche that you are truly passionate about and based on a lot of personal experience . Presenting vegan cuisine when you like to eat meat lacks credibility and will not be sustainable in the long run. Passion is one of the main forces that drive any food blog.

Another important factor is the creation of high-quality content . “Eating by sight” as the old saying goes, applies even more to cooking blogs. To ensure smooth operation, you’ll want to use a content management system that allows you to focus on the content and not have to deal with technical issues.

Important skills to create a cooking blog

Speaking of programs and technology, you don’t have to be a programmer to create a blog . There are dozens, if not hundreds, of blogging or website building kits that walk you through the setup and design process. You don’t need any programming knowledge to get started with them. Combined with other useful blogging tools that help you find stock images, create graphics, optimize text, etc., you can launch a professional cooking blog pretty quickly.

Food blogging combines personal vision with aesthetics, which means you’ll need some extra skills (aside from using technology). On the one hand, it is important that you enjoy making new dishes and preparing meals, that you like to be creative and that you want to try new things . On the other hand, you must have or be willing to develop the ability to produce high-quality photos . Food blogs don’t rely on stock images. You will have to manage your product photography . For inspiration, check out product photos from restaurants and cafes .

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The ability to write good content is less important when it comes to a food blog. However, you will need to be able to explain the recipes in an easy to understand way , which takes some practice. It’s best to start with quick and easy recipes that contain just a few steps and ingredients.

Can you make money with a cooking blog?

The short answer is yes. In principle you can make money with any blog , even a food or cooking blog. But if money is your only motivation, you are likely to fail. Financial success is never guaranteed when blogging, and this applies to all types of blogs, whether you write about travel or fashion.

To make money blogging , you’ll need to get and keep a large number of readers . Here are several approaches that will help you grow your audience. Once you have an audience, there are several methods to monetize your blog:

  1. Sponsorship and cooperation – Look for cookware and bakery manufacturers, grocery stores, and other businesses that can send you free products that you then promote on your blog. Sometimes payment comes in the form of products. Other times, a brand may pay you to mention their product in your blog post. It is important to know that the promotion of sponsored products is considered advertising and must be indicated as such. When collaborating with brands in this way, make sure the company or product matches your own brand (keyword: credibility ).
  2. Ads: You can offer areas of your blog as advertising space. Banners and other advertising formats can be automatically integrated and valued through advertising platforms such as Google AdSense. You receive a small compensation for each click.
  3. Affiliate marketing – A little more subtle is the integration of so-called affiliate links, although these must also be marked as advertisements. In this case, you add links to stores, partners, products on your blog and for each click (or purchase), you get paid. Using a unique identifier, it can be clearly assigned that the user came via your cooking blog.

The application of the measures described above will depend on the blog manager or CMS you use.

How to make a kitchen blog – the right CMS

Before you start selecting the CMS for your cooking blog, you should know the differences between the various offerings. There are classic web page providers, which may include a blog function, but are otherwise intended for more static content , CMS providers – content systems for implementing web pages, blogs and shops -, and blogging software. pure for posting images and text. The differentiation is not so clear. For example, you can use WordPress to also create a web page.

Take into account the following functions or characteristics when deciding on a blogging system :

  • How advanced is your programming knowledge? What part of the blog do you want to design yourself?
  • How important are design templates and/or your own design elements?
  • What features or page types do you need?
  • How important are extensions to you (for example, the possibility of adding a web store)?
  • What monetization or marketing options do you have?
  • How much money should a website or blog cost ?

The following table provides an overview of five common blogging service providers and a brief assessment of their most important features:

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wordpress IONOS MyWebsite Plus Joomla blogger.com Tumblr
Audience Blogs and websites for everyone Beginners, advanced and professionals Professional, for web pages with blogs (rarely pure blogs) Beginner, semi-professional Beginner, private use
Easy to use Can quickly become exhausting for beginners Easy More suitable for advanced users Intuitive and easy very easy to use
Design Thousands of templates (may have additional costs) customizable many templates limited possibilities Very limited
Scalability Solutions available for most needs More features in the Pro version Various, but often at extra cost limited options Very limited
Marketing extremely flexible extremely flexible extremely flexible limited options not integrated
costs free or paid From €5/month Free in the basic version Free Free

What content and pages are important for a cooking blog?

When planning the structure of your cooking blog, you need to think about your topic in depth and how you want to present it. Do you plan to use mainly photos and galleries, and step-by-step instructions for recipes? Understanding the type of content you are going to publish helps to plan the structure of your pages . Depending on the strategy you follow with your blog and if you want to optimize your cooking blog for search engines , content formats such as encyclopedia entries or FAQs can be interesting.

In addition to the content, all cooking blogs should include the following pages:

  • About Me – Blogs often have an “About Me” section where you can introduce yourself and your project to readers and potential contributors.
  • Contact – Most CMS or blog systems offer contact forms that can be linked to an email program .
  • Privacy Policy – ​​A privacy policy is required and is often available as a template for collecting, storing, and processing user data. The use of affiliate links must be clearly explained.
  • General contracting conditions and revocation policy : general contracting conditions and revocation policy: if you offer subscriptions or sell things on your blog or in an affiliated store, you must add the general contracting conditions.

One more feature tip: As you post more recipes and stories, it can be confusing for your followers to find your latest content. Structural features like tag mapping and tag clouds next to or below the navigation pane, recipe categorization within the navigation, and well-functioning search are important.

How to create a kitchen blog step by step

Step 1. Search for a topic

Whether it’s a local cuisine, grandma’s homemade recipes, all things cabbage, or a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet: the world of cooking is incredibly diverse. There is something for all tastes. As people become more health conscious , recipes for healthy, quick or meatless dishes tend to be popular. Baking and dessert art can also be featured well on cooking blogs.

Step 2. Choose a name

Your topic or cooking specialty is likely to influence the name of your blog. Keep in mind that the name you choose is usually also the URL of the cooking blog . It should be fairly easy to remember and spell.

Step 4. Install and configure the CMS

Once you’ve chosen your blog software, it’s time to set up the basic environment for your cooking blog. Define page types or templates , navigation menus, and other features (depending on the capabilities of your selected system).

If you run a blog together with other people, you can usually create multiple authors and assign different roles and permissions.

Step 5. Design the kitchen blog

Once the features are on your site, it’s time to add the visuals. Use templates to design the header, navigation, and other areas of your blog. Determine colors, fonts, sizes, etc.

Lastly, you need to think about the style of your kitchen photography . Are there certain shapes and colors that could become a distinctive mark of your blog ?

Step 6. Create quality content regularly

Take time to post regularly on your cooking blog: photos, videos, recipes and texts. If you want to become a true blogger, you can make a (long-term) editorial plan. You can also hire help to edit professional photos and correct your texts or marketing materials.

Step 7. Spread the word

Use social networks , such as Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram to promote your content. And look for forums and communities related to your cooking or food topics to participate in them and link to your content. Blog tools like SEO, affiliate marketing, etc. can help boost your blog and spread the word about your website .

Conclusion: seven tips for a good cooking blog

  1. Follow your passion. Your blog will only be credible and, more importantly, likely to keep going if you enjoy doing it in the long run.
  1. Focus on what’s important. Put your energy into taking great photos and creating delicious recipes, not optimizing or mastering blog technology. There are pros and plug-ins for this purpose, and most of them are super easy to use even for beginners.
  1. Join an active community. Food and cooking are social activities that are nourished by communication with others. That’s why you should dedicate time to forums and social networks to exchange ideas with others.
  1. Allow participation and comments. This is part of the community aspect. Many bloggers allow users to comment on their posts. You can moderate comments to stimulate discussion.
  1. Stay up to date. In the world of cooking, as in social networks, topics are trending and it is worth staying up to date with trends and taking advantage of them.
  1. Try new things. This not only applies to new recipes, but also to formats. A food blog doesn’t have to be just photos and text; videos work fine too.
  1. Track and analyze your success. Either with Google Analytics or with other (free) tracking software: Use the technical tools to find out as much as possible about your site visitors and what content is the most popular. In this way you can analyze the content of your blog and optimize it appropriately.