Starting a Food Blog
Yes.. You… Your own blog… Can you see it?
We know you’ve been thinking about starting one… How do we know that? Well, you landed on this page for one, which means that you’re at least a little bit interested in finding out how to start your own blog. :).
Well, you’ll be happy to know that a blog is really easy to set up.
In fact, we can show you on this page if you can stay with us for the next 20 minutes! Deal?
Let’s get started!!
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4 Easy Steps to Starting a Food Blog
Choose a Domain Name
This is where you get to pick what you want to name your blog! Try to come up with as many names and ideas as possible. Try to make it as short, (nobody wants to type in the whole alphabet!) sweet and catchy as you can. You want to make it easy for people to remember.
I would also recommend going for a .com website, as opposed to a .net or .org, it’s just more widely used. You will find that some of the website names you pick, will already be taken and .net and .org ones will be available. You can decide to go that way, but I would recommend a .com, it’s just more common. I know, stupid joke 🙂
After you’ve found the perfect name for your new blog, you need to consider hosting for your blog. The hosting provider is what connects your blog to the internet so people can find your blog. We recommend Bluehost as the hosting provider. They offer really inexpensive hosting plans that are perfect for people testing the waters with a new blog.
There are many other hosting providers out there that offer more expensive plans than Bluehost, but those services typically include more features and increased space for much larger web sites.
- Click here to check out Bluehost’s service plans.
If your ready to move forward with your new blog, make sure to register your domain name! We used Namecheap to register our domain name. Registering a domain name is surprisingly cheap.
- Click Here to register your domain with namecheap.
Setting Up Your New Domain on the Hosting Provider
After you’ve purchased a hosting plan and registered your domain, you will receive an email confirmation with information to log in to your host and set up your domain. It’s called CPanel, but more on that in a bit.
We need to let Namecheap know that we are hosting our domain on Bluehost. We do this by changing the name servers for our domain in Namecheap. To change them, we need to log into Bluehost and click on the domain category at the top of the screen.
At the very bottom right of the screen, you can see the Summary section. This shows your name server accounts associated with your hosting service.
It will look something like this:
The information you need is under the heading “Name Servers”, we will need this info for Namecheap.
*If you feel a little nervous about all the tech talk and you’d be more comfortable if someone did these steps for you, just call the Bluehost customer support number and they will actually complete this process for you on the phone. This is actually how I set up this site the first time because I was overwhelmed at first!!
Head on over to Namecheap.com, login and do the following:
Once you receive confirmation of the change, we can continue with the next section. Don’t worry, we’re almost finished setting up your new site!
Ok, now that we’ve taken care of our domain name and hosting, we need to install WordPress itself.
WordPress is the blogging platform we use and we like it because it’s the easiest to setup, the most widely used and there’s an enormous community willing to help if you ever run into problems. Win-Win all around!
To install WordPress, log in to Bluehost’s CPanel again (using the username and password you used when signing up for their services).
At the very bottom of the screen, look for the WordPress install button:
The install WordPress button is in the website category right above.
You will get the following window:
Once you click Install Now, you’ll arrive at this screen:
It will have “here” link which will take you to your blog login page. Before you can do that though, you will need to check your email for your username and password.
Once you have that, you can either click the “here” link or type “http://www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin” into your browser window.
Well, you now have your own blog!! How does it feel? Wasn’t too hard, right? Now we need to spruce it up 🙂
You have the basic framework for your site and you now need to configure the look of your blog the way you like it.
You do this by picking a theme for your WordPress blog. There are plenty of free WordPress themes, you can find them here.
If you’d rather use a premium theme with lots of features and options to customize, check out the following options:
- The Genesis Framework : That’s the one we use and we like it very much. There are a number of StudioPress Themes available for this, such as the Foodie Theme along with many others.
Additional Resources for Building your Blog
Go Slow! Anytime you learn a new skill it takes time. When I first started, I felt overwhelmed with all the new technology. But guess what, after a few weeks, I started to feel more comfortable and it was beginning to make sense. Just remember, you can do this! Its really not that hard after you learn it! Besides its a really important skill to have in the world we live in now!
I want to offer a few last suggestions for how to take the next steps with your blog. I used these myself. The first was a basic kindle book I bough from Amazon. I used the book on my ipad while I was figuring out the menus in wordpress. By reading from the tablet, I could flip around the book to whatever section was giving me trouble. In fact, I still refer to it today when questions come up:
When your ready to create and self publish an e-book with your own recipes, there is another really great e-book by the same author:
When you’ve created a base foundation for your food blog and your ready to get into some growth strategies, the best place to check out is:
Food Blogger Pro is a really great community with an amazing amount of resources. There is a free podcast which is a must if you’d like to listen and learn from other blogging experts while driving to work, jogging, or just relaxing away from your computer. If you would like more specialized help, Food Blogger Pro also offers a more formal training program to help you grow your new food blog.
Good luck! Let me know how your progressing and feel free to ask me any questions you have. I’d be happy to give you my perspective from my own blogging journey!
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