Hi everyone, happy Friday! I am coming to you with a post today to help address a question I am constantly asked, “How did you start your blog? Can you help me get started?”.
And the answer is yes, I can definitely help you!I am here to give you all that I know, and hopefully help you create a beautiful blog of your own. Starting a food blog can be intimidating, especially if you are not starting off with a background in this kind of thing (I definitely did not have one), but I promise you that there are only a few simple steps you need to take!
Here are my two cents, PLUS info on everything that I am currently using on my blog. I hope this helps! <3
Identify yourself (and your niche)
- The first thing you need to do is pinpoint what you will be blogging about: recipes, lifestyle tips, fitness, fashion, etc. Or just a simple personal blog! All up to you.
- It took me a while to figure out my niche, and now (2016) is when I realize recognized what both I and my readers love from this blog. I now blog about simple & mostly oil- gluten- and refined sugar- free vegan recipes.
- Think of a name for your blog– something that resembles who you are!
- Make sure it is unique and one you won’t get sick of. This is your brand, you have to love it!
- Cross check the name online to be sure that no one else has claimed it.
- Obtain your domain– this is free when you host with Bluehost.
- They also have a domain checker so that you can see if anyone else already your name.
Find a Website Host
I use Bluehost and recommend it. The startup plan is only $3.95 a month, and is perfect for you, especially when starting out — free domain, email, term of your choosing and add-ons of choice 🙂
- Choose your plan–I used the “Plus” plan, but I suggest you start where you feel comfortable. The starter is the most affordable, so I say to start small and work your way up if anything!
- Create your domain— choose wisely, this will be your branding! You can choose to purchase a domain or enter one your already own.
- Enter your account information.
- Select your package— Bluehost offers an “anytime money back guarantee”, so if you purchase a package but decide to cancel before it ends, they will refund you the difference.
- I started with 12 months, and I suggest you do the same just to see where this takes you.
- Add ons— I suggest you use the Domain Privacy Protection, which is the only one I purchased.
- It is useful as it prevents private data from being displayed publicly.
- Billing info— self-explanatory 🙂
If you’re still not too sure about this commitment, I suggest that you try a free webhost like Wordpress.com– a low to no cost option and is actually where I started at sweetsimplevegan.wordpress.com.
- I use WordPress on Sweet Simple Vegan as it is easy to manage + no messy codes.
- It is a free blogging software, easily installed through Bluehost.
- Log into your Bluehost account >> Select Hosting >> Select cPanel
- Scroll down to Website Builders >> Select WordPress >> Select Install
- Select your domain and check it, agree to terms, then boom, DONE.
- You’ll have a username, password and login URL
- *I suggest you bookmark your login URL on your computer for easier access.
Get Creative & Make It Pretty 🙂
- Choose a Theme!
- I worked through Studio Press, they have a ton!
- You can find free themes on WordPress, or purchase themes through their site.
- I purchased the Foodie Pro theme by Shay Bocks.
- Another option is to hire a web designer, but I did not as they can get really pricey.
- Consider developing a social media to help support your account.
- I started off on Instagram, and it is definitely one of the driving forces to this blog.
- It is fun to show your readers an insight into your raw, daily life, and it is also another tool to keep everyone engaged, if you are not blogging everyday.
- You can also use social media to make new friends, connections, sponsorships, etc.
- People are more likely to discover you in any of these outlets, and that is a great thing to consider. Get your name out there, it is worth it 🙂
- I would advise that you try and create posts that are unique to each outlet, to give people an incentive to follow you on them all.
- If you are starting a food blog, people first eat with their eyes! You definitely do not have to start with anything fancy, but high quality photos do make a difference.
What I use:
- Minimalist Baker Food Photography School
- 130+ Video tutorials/14 Courses. Not necessary, but a great resource!
- Lighting: I use natural light + an inexpensive Lighting Reflector/Diffuser Kit
- Props: most of my props have been sourced from secondhand stores (such a goodwill), home goods, and Ikea! Nothing fancy, just keep it simple 🙂
Create A Logo
- Your identifying symbol/image. It’s not too necessary in the beginning, but I definitely think it’s something to be looked into.
- Head to my blog post here to read on how I developed my logo.
- If you don’t want to head there, then I will share here that I used Little Guy Logos, and recommend them based on the result of my logo 🙂
Be Consistent, and Create a Schedule
- What days will you write, photograph, edit and publish? This will depend on your own personal schedule.
- Minimalist Baker has a great Editorial Calendar Tips blog post I highly suggest.
- Creating a consistent weekly schedule will help you keep organized and sane!
- Nutrifox Nutrition Label Generator
- If you are starting a food blog, the addition of nutrition facts will bring your recipes to the next level! It was always highly requested when I began blogging, but I did not know where to start. I discovered Nutrifox through the Food Blogger Pro podcast and it was exactly what I was looking for.
- Sign up with Google Analytics to track and assess your growth.
- Invest in headshots, these will come in handy.
- Don’t just take a simple photo, have fun in the process and make sure they are representative who you are, make them unique 🙂
- Don’t be afraid to seek inspiration and knowledge from others!
- Collaborate with other bloggers!
- Browse the internet, connect with others on social media, subscribe to other blogs, etc.
- Play off of different ideas that may work well with your page, or to help you find/develop your own umph on your blog. The possibilities are endless, but sometimes it takes a little spark of inspiration to get you going.
- Enjoy the process, and make sure that you are doing something that you truly love.
- For a while, I made blogging a chore, a task that I had at the back of my head all day that I had to do. I lost sight of why I started blogging to begin with, to share my passion for health and all things vegan! Once I regained light of that, I was able to rediscover my passion, and blog for the joy of it and nothing more <3
I hope that this post was of some use to you! Please leave a comment below if you have any suggestions, add-ons, or simply to let me know if and how this post helped you! xo
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post, however, this page contains affiliate links, which simply means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!