I could have started my website about anything - in fact, I did.
Does the name "Castle in the Mountains" say Keto recipes to you? Probably not. It certainly doesn't to me.
I wanted to make one of those super cool "lifestyle" blogs way back in the day with sections on decor, DIY, personal finance and the like.
I imagined myself doing tutorials on "Upcycling" curbside finds and thrift store jeans. I thought I would spend my days making my own soap in a straw hat near the rustic backyard beehives and tending overflowing flower gardens I only kept in my imagination. (We have a teeny backyard)
( This posts may contain affiliate links that allow me to earn with no cost to you) - See, affiliation disclaimers are one of the things you need to learn when starting a site...
Back to reality....I needed this to work.
My interests were all over the place. As a woman with an MBA in finance, I probably could have started a site about how to turn your pennies into dollars by day-trading your way out of debt (don't try this, it's a joke).
But, I didn't. I started the Keto WOE and realized that my cooking hobby could come in handy to help people who were trying Keto too. So I started sharing recipes and it stuck. This wasn't just a creative outlet for me, it was important work that would help me stay healthy and help my family stay afloat.
I don't think there is a better subject for home cooks to get their feet wet in the online entrepreneurial world than food blogging.
Think about it:
You already cook everyday.
You have the equipment to cook and bake food already.
If you are reading this on your phone and have a laptop to boot...you have all of the technical equipment you need to start.
The startup investment is LOW and the results can be eaten for dinner.
You learn the in's and out's of the tech side of things as you go.
It's a win/win.
But WHY would anyone want to start food blogging?
I can't speak for others but here were my motivations: Health, wealth and love.
My recipes are healthy and help people lose weight. I earn a great living with my successful food blog. And, I love experimenting with whole food and low carb / Keto Recipes. My recipe blog has helped me become a better cook.
Beginners need to start with the understanding that you will not get rich overnight. But you can start adding to your monthly income when you launch by adding ingredients to your affiliate accounts, by making digital product sales.
What are all of these blogging terms? Don't worry, you'll learn. But don't wait around until you think you know everything about blogging to start your wordpress blog.You can't learn it until you start...this in one thing I know for SURE.
1. Cooking is my hobby:
I hesitate to call anything except my love for good food a "passion". To be honest saying something is your "passion" sounds like an over used pitch and more than a little squicky.
I don't get hot and bothered by cooking - but I really enjoy it.
2. I love trying new recipes and sharing them with others.
I love teaching and learning in equal measure. I KNOW I am a boss in the kitchen and I love to share that talent with others. I am not bothering to humble brag here- I mess plenty of things up.
BUT, cooking, baking and recipe development is a strength I naturally happen to possess. .
If you are a seasoned chef this might be a great fit for you. Even a novice can show their journey from burning water to making their first Filet Mignon. (People LOVE fails to boss babe stories)
3. I knew I could support my family with a food blog.
I am not talking about getting rich quick but I knew that if I put in the work, a food blog could support my family and help us build a secure future. I had been following others that did it, there was no reason that I couldn't.
I live in an expensive state and commuting to work was a strain on our quality of life. (Picture careening over icy mountain passes all winter and being away for 12 hours everyday).
No one EVER had clean socks and the house was a mess. I never had time to get a haircut and we were always too tired to go on any kind of vacation even though we had some resources.
Jobs in my town were not high paying but when I finally stopped commuting (to be closer to home)- I was stuck in low paying, dead end pursuits instead. Sure I was home more often but I could no longer tell myself that I was "happy" to just barely get by. I am not one of those people who tell myself being poor will be rewarded "later". It won't.
I was getting to old to "just get by" and was worried that my life was going in that direction for too long.
Our lives changed overnight:
It happened, my husband lost his corporate job.
Our insurance was gone overnight and the blog idea was sealed. I had been thinking about, researching it and following the blog elite for YEARS before the simple necessity for financial independence came to a head all in one day.
I had done the research, already had a domain name, had found a mentor and bought his course, attended workshops, made a content strategy and figured the amout of monthly, full-time income we would need to make this work to support everyday life.
I knew we had 10 months of savings before I would have to go back to the corporate world if it didn't work (and those icy mountain passes).
It took 6 months to make our first $75.00 from Amazon Affiliates.
The next month we brought home $800.00 in ads revenue from Ezoic. The very next month I was accepted into Mediavine and made $1,500 in ad income from the site. The next month it doubled. And so on from there...
Although our income no longer doubles monthly and some seasons are better than others, we make an excellent living writing about food. And, when we want to travel we don't have to ask permission from anyone.
4. I enjoy learning new things.
The landscape is always changing as technology advances. A food blog isn't just about food chemistry, cooking and writing.
It's also about SEO (search engine optimization), social media, keywords, massive competition, marketing, food photography, organization and the list goes on. I suggest becoming a part of a community if you are interested in starting a website with financial goals, there is just TOO much to learn on your own.
Think of it as investing in YOUR business.
5. Blogging about food allows me to connect with other like-minded foodies.
My favorite part about having a food blog is connecting with others who love food as much as I do. I have made some amazing friends from all over the world who I would never have met otherwise.
We share recipes, cooking tips, travel stories and so much more. It's a wonderful way to connect with others and learn about new cultures and cuisine.
Food Blogs are an easy place to start in the online entrepreneurial space:
Food blogs are hard work, I'm not saying they aren't. But since you'll be cooking anyway, why not start a blog and write about it? People love trying a new recipe and if you can be of some inspiration and help someone with their diet or creating a meal with great food that their family will love, they will read your food blog and come back again and again.
FAQ's and Helpful Tips
Here are some of the most common questions I hear from new potential food blogger friends.
To start a food blog, all you really need is a website (hosting and domain) and some quality content. Think about writing between 25-50 delicious recipe posts with a variety of foods before actually launching. This will help readers and visitors understand that you are a serious blogger that they can trust. Create helpful content that will help readers find answers.
You’ll also want some basic photography equipment, you can start with your phone and add on as you need to. I use some inexpensive backdrops and lights to keep my photos looking nice.
Also, niche down. As in, pick ONE topic and knock it out of the park before moving onto another. For example, lets say you want to start with the Keto Diet - like our blog.
Write a couple of hundred recipes before moving on to another "diet" or type of cooking. People want to know what to expect from your recipes. Post often and post everywhere on social media that you can. But remember to write for YOUR audience first. Meaning, create delicious food and gorgeous photos for YOUR site before worrying about Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
How much traffic is needed for a successful food blog?
Every audience starts out at ground zero. Keep posting quality content to attract more traffic. Google is a kingmaker these days and social media is harder to get traction on unless you are making content solely for social media. The goal in food blogging is to get people to YOUR site. Make delicious recipes and the people WILL come.
How do I get a domain name?
Domain names are easy to register and you can do it through a variety of different companies. But, getting a domain name through your host will be easiest. I have tried three different hosting companies and Big Scoots is by far the BEST. Check out Big Scoots before you even think about any other hosting company.
Do I need a lot of Social Media Followers to start a food blog?
Not necessarily! Just like in the real world, relationships count no matter how many followers you have. Relationships and collaborations are the real key to success.
Social Media platforms are important but don't spend the bulk of your time on them. Spend that time writing blog posts instead.
How can I start a food blog with a full time job?
Starting a food blog is totally doable with a full time job. It will take dedication, consistency and the right strategies to be successful. Set aside at least two hours of your day to work on your blog tasks and keep going until you reach your goals. With focus and hard work, you can make it happen!
Can I start a food blog for free?
Starting a food blog for free is an option, but it’s not always the best option. Or even a good option. If you are serious about blogging, get a self hosted site with a reputable host like Big Scoots.
Free platforms are great for testing out ideas and seeing if blogging is something you could make a go of, but I would recommend investing in your website to take it to the next level. The cost of hosting and a domain name are relatively low and are often the best investment you can make.
So, if you’re serious about food blogging and want to start making money from it, getting a self hosted website is a must!
How Much Money do Food Bloggers Make?
The amount of money a food blogger makes depends on many factors, such as how much traffic they get, the types of sponsorships they find and the services they offer. So, $0.00 to seven figures a year is the answer.
Tired of people answering this question with vague answers? Her is the norm: It’s not uncommon to make between $1,000 -$10,000 per month from your blog (or more).
It takes hard work and dedication to be successful, but with the right strategies, you can make a full time income from your blog.
Food blogging is a great way to share your passion for food and get creative with recipes and cooking tips.
With some dedication and hard work, you can build a profitable blog that will make you some dough while also giving back to people who are looking for inspiration.
Do I have to be a great a photographer to take food blog photos?
No, you don’t have to be a great at food photography. But great photos are a must. You can start with your phone and use free apps for editing/filtering if you want. That said, it does help to have some basic photography equipment if you want to take beautiful photos for your blog. Most food bloggers don't start out as cookbook worthy photographers.
Investing in a few pieces of equipment can go a long way to making your photos look professional.
I recommend getting a good DSLR camera, a tripod, and some lighting equipment to get started. You can start small and buy equipment when you start making a profit.
Aim to INVEST a portion of your earning back into your site to keep it growing. Gone are the days when you could just throw a site onto the web and start making some cash. There is a lot of competition for readers attention for the average food blogger.
How do I even start a website?
Starting a website is actually very easy and can be done in a few simple steps. The first step is to find a good hosting company that offers packages with all the features you need (like on Big Scoots). Once you’ve found your host, purchase your domain name and set up your hosting account.
Then, it’s time to install your content management system (CMS). WordPress is the most popular CMS, and it’s free and very easy to use. Once you have installed WordPress, you can start designing your website. You can either choose a pre-made theme or hire a web designer to create one for you.
Next, install a recipe card app. I LOVE Word Press Recipe Maker. it's easy to make beautiful content with their customization settings.
Finally, start writing content. Keep the content relevant to your recipe- short stories about how grandma loved this recipe or the cafe you were sitting in while you discovered this dish should be one line and move on to the recipe. The web is chock full of memes about how food bloggers ramble.....
If you want to start a food blog now:
If you are thinking about starting a food blog, I say go for it! It's an incredibly rewarding experience that will enrich your life in more ways than you can imagine. Please leave your comments below to become part of the community. Comments, make a community so join in on the conversation!