It can be quite overwhelming to start a food blog in 2021. I remember when I started my blog, it was such a daunting task to begin! Since my technical understanding has always been quite limited I was afraid of not being able to pull it off myself and pushed the project out as long as I could. Once I finally tackled it I realised it wasn’t that hard after all and I am sure you will have the same experience. Starting is always the hardest part.
With this blog post I want to make it a bit easier for you. I won’t give you a million different options that you can use or do. However, I will simply recommend and share what I have done or know what good blogging friends of mine are doing. I will only recommend the best of the best and easiest solutions for you to set up for food blog in 2021.
I also wanted to keep this blog post as shot as possible and exclude all unnecessary information. We will only look at the things you absolutely need when starting a food blog. Before we start off let me introduce you to my personal food blogging online course: Food blogging success! As Austrias biggest fitness food blogger I will be sharing all my secrets on turning your hobby into your dream job. Kickstart your food blogging career with one single course!
Where to host your food blog
Let’s start off with web hosting. Without a hosting provider you won’t have a website. So this is absolutely essential. I know of two hosting providers that are well known in the food blogging niche. One of them I am using myself and the other is was recommended to my highly from a lot my American food blogging friends.
- All-inkl. – If you come from a German speaking country this will be your goto hosting provider. I am using them myself and they have a free WordPress integration through their service, that make setting up your blog very easy. They have a killer customer service that will answer you no matter what time of day. Signing up is very easy and they have very fair pricing! On All-inkl. I have the private plan and it works really well for me.
- Bluehost – This is an internationally renowned hosting provider. It also offers the 1-Click WordPress installation even gives you your domain for free for the first year! It has a 24/7 support team, which I have only heard good things about from my fellow blogging friends. Bluehost powers over 2 million websites world wide and they are very reliable.
Through the web host you will also receive your personal email address. This is something that will make you look way more professional than just using a .gmail or .hotmail address.
Once you have found your web host Bluehost or All-inkl. you can install WordPress. Bluehost and All-inkl. both offer 1-click WordPress installations. Like this you can install it hassle-free on all accounts. Of course you can also code your own website, but since I am guessing you are like me and not the biggest tech-nerd I highly recommend you use WordPress.
WordPress will be the home of your blog. This is the backend where you will be making changes to the design and layout of your website, write your blog posts and be installing plug-ins.
This brings me to the next topic: finding the right theme for your blog.
WordPress themes for food bloggers
The most important choice you will want to make is finding the right theme for your blog. If you don’t want to or can’t code your own website design themes are an awesome solution to have a beautiful website without getting to techy!
When you start a food blog you have to make sure that you choose a theme that reflects being a food blogger. You will want a theme with nice header pictures and blog post previews that already give a sneak peek into the recipe.
In WordPress there are many different themes to choose from. Some are for free and some you need to pay for. I am currently using the Olsen theme, which is a free template. I am not particular happy with it though and had to make a lot of changes in the back-end. So I wouldn’t really recommend my theme for food bloggers. If it wouldn’t be so much work going back and changing everything now I would pick a different one.
If I could choose again I would probably pick one of the beautiful, feminine WordPress templates you find on Blossom themes. These are all SEO friendly, features-rich and easy to use WordPress themes! They even have one very specific one for food bloggers! It’s called Blossom recipe Pro! It’s the perfect theme for food bloggers as it really showcases the recipes well. You can also book their installation and setup service where they set up the entire theme for you. All you need to do is lay back and relax while your blog is being created. Definitely check them out now.
Plug-ins you need as a food blogger
Once you have set up your WordPress you will want to install the most important plug-ins to have your blog running smoothly and optimize for SEO.
Plug-ins can really help to customize the blog experience and improve website speed and search results!
Here is a list of my favourite three plug-ins for food bloggers on WordPress:
- Pin it Button – As a food blogger you will want to encourage your readers to pin your awesome recipe photos to their Pinterest boards. The plug-in will show a pin it button once someone hovers over the picture. This makes it easy and convenient for your readers to save your recipes.
- Yoast SEO – In order to achieve high blog traffic and a good google ranking it is important to optimize your blog posts for search engines. This plug-in will help you exactly with that. Yoast will analyse the blog text and will give you helpful information on what to improve. It’s an absolute must have plug-in!
- WP Recipe Maker – as a food blogger it is absolutely ESSENTIAL to install a recipe plug-in. Not only because it formats the recipe better, but it also helps your blog post to show up higher in search results. You can even add a „jump to recipe“ button in the beginning of the blog post to make it even easier for your readers to find the recipe. I am now using WP Recipe Maker, but I also used Recipe Card in the past which is a bit more simple. I wasn’t very happy though with the search results coming from the Recipe Card plug-in, which is why I changed!
Here is an example of a recipe card I make with the WP Recipe maker:
- 150 g pumpkin
- 70 g coconut blossom sugar alternatively date sirup, Xylit or Erythrit
- 1 tsp pumpkin or gingerbread spice
- 200 g oat flour
- 40 g coconut oil
- 30 g protein powder optional
- 70 g dark chocolate
Cook the pumpkin in a pot. Drain and blend in a mixer.
Add the coconut oil to the hot pumpkin puree in a bowl and stir.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Place saran wrap in a small plastic container and press the mixture evenly into the box. It should be around 1.5cm thick.
Melt the chocolate and spread as a layer over the entire oat mixture.
Place in the freezer for 1h and then cut into 8 or 16 bars.
Keep in the fridge and eat cold.
If you ommit protein powder or use date syrup you will have to use a bit more oat flour.
These are all plug-ins I have installed and find very helpful! Others that I also find very helpful, but that are not food blogging specific, are: Ajax Search Lite, GDPR Cookie Consent, W3 Total Cache, SEO Friendly Images.
More useful tips for food bloggers
Now that you are all set-up you can start writing your first blog posts!
Let me leave you with another word of caution regarding starting a food blog in 2021. As food bloggers we absolutely love our wonderful, colorful pictures. When you upload them onto your website tough make sure to compress the quality!! Uploading huge file sizes will only make your website slow and google doesn’t like slow websites. I recommend to keep your image size under 150kb per picture!
Another helpful tip is to always use your „hero photo“ aka. your best photo from the recipe in the beginning as an eye catcher. Don’t start your blog post with a photo of the ingredients or preparation steps in the process. Start with an amazing photo of the finished dish that will make everyones mouth water!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and will start your own food blog soon!
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Here are some other useful pieces on the topic of how to start a food blog in 2021 for you:
- Tools, tips & tricks for food bloggers
- How to make money as a food blogger
- Basic food blogging equipment