Recipe for Success: How to Start Your Food Blog Today
If you're a foodie, you probably think there's nothing better than reading about food, cooking food, and eating food. I used to think that, too, until I discovered how much fun it is to connect with people by writing about food. If you're passionate about food and want to share your gastronomic opinions with the world, a food blog could be a fun project—or maybe even the first step to a career in culinary writing.
Unsure of where to begin? Here’s everything you need to know to get your food blog started today.
The Nitty Gritty
Decide on Your Purpose
The first step in starting any blog is deciding what your purpose is. Do you want to use your blog as a springboard for launching a career as a writer? Or do you simply want to have a creative outlet and share your recipes with friends? Or are you trying to break into the food scene in your city? There's no right or wrong answer to this question—but having some sort of purpose in mind will help keep you focused later.
Choose Your Niche
Food is an incredibly broad category, and there are a lot of food blogs out there. So, deciding what kind of food to write about and what angle to take will narrow your focus and help your blog stick out from the crowd.
The best way to choose your niche is to figure out what you’re most passionate about in the foodie world, be it gluten-free desserts or bacon-based recipes. For example, Novella Carpenter created her blog, Farm City, because she was interested in urban farming and wanted to share her experiences learning to raise vegetables and livestock in her inner city backyard.
And don’t feel like you have to be an expert on what you choose to write about—you can create a blog around something you want to learn. Julie Powell, of Julie and Julia fame, was not an expert in French cooking when she started her blog, but her goal of mastering the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook one recipe at a time is what made her culinary journey appealing.
Figure out what you’re most interested in spending time learning more about, and your passion will spread to your readers.
Choose a Title
Now that you’ve decided on what to write about, it’s time for the fun step of picking a title. An ideal blog title will be short, snappy, and give people an idea of what they can expect from your blog.
Start brainstorming by thinking of words and phrases related to your topic, and then try playing around with the words and using puns or rhymes to create a catchy title. It may talke a bit of brainstorming to find the right fit. Once you have an idea, do a quick Google search to make sure another blogger isn't using the same name.
Here are a few examples to inspire you:
For even more creative examples, check out this list.
Decide on a Blogging Platform
The last step in getting your blog up and running is deciding what platform you will publish it on. There are a lot of free and easy-to-use platforms to choose from, and it’s really a personal choice, based on which features work best for you. Check out our guide to help you figure out which one will best suit your needs.
Cooking Up Your Content
Photos are Key
Any blog post can benefit from quality photos. But in the food blogosphere, photos are especially important because people want to see the mouth-watering creations you're writing about (as well as key stages of the cooking process—part of the fun of cooking lies in seeing food transform before your eyes!).
As great as Instagram photos on your phone are for everyday things, you'll want to use an actual camera to get the highest-quality photos for your blog. A DSLR is a great option, so if you’re hoping for food-blog fame, it might be worth adding it to your Christmas list this year. Otherwise, many high-quality point and shoot cameras will do just fine.
No matter what kind of camera you use, you’ll want to pay attention to basic lighting and composition, and make sure the background is clutter-free. It’s generally best to avoid using your camera’s flash (it gives off harsh shadows) and instead shoot photos in natural daylight (such as streaming in through a window). You can check out more food photo tips here.
Find Your Unique Voice
If food blog audiences simply wanted recipes, they could find them in a cookbook. The joy of reading a food blog is reading the writer’s description and opinions on the dish she’s making. So don’t hold back from sharing your thoughts on what you’re cooking and eating. Let your personality shine through and think about how you talk to your friends about food as you’re writing. You may not have a clear voice right away, but as you keep writing, you’ll develop your own style.
Tell a Story
Food blogs are about far more than the actual food on the plate. Food writer Claire Stanford once observed that, “Food writing is writing about life through the lens of food.” It’s a good principle to keep in mind as you’re writing up a blog post.
Think about the story behind what you’re cooking or reviewing, and find your storytelling angle. Are you whipping up a batch of soup from a recipe that was passed down from your great-great-grandmother? Sharing the family history and rituals behind the recipe would be a great angle to draw readers into your experience.
Launching a food blog is like learning to cook: challenging, a great learning experience, exciting, sometimes a little messy—and ultimately, very satisfying. So, what are you waiting for?
Photo of woman blogging courtesy of Shutterstock.
Nina Tamburello is a freelance writer and communications assistant. When she’s not reading about food, following food trucks or trying out new restaurants, you can find her traveling, learning French, or watching cheesy ‘80s crime dramas and plotting her escape from Boston’s brutal winters.More from this Author