So many of us already love food and eating, but internet connections and smartphones have made food content – from Instagram-worthy epicurean shots to blogs overflowing with mouthwatering recipes – more popular than ever. And since the pandemic hit, demand has only grown (remember when everyone was baking bread?).
If you’re a food blogger who’s just getting started and you’re on the hunt for a great WordPress recipe plugin (or if you use one already but aren’t crazy about it), you’ve come to the right place to learn how to become a food blogger.
With WordPress and a dedicated recipe plugin, you don’t have to know the ins and outs of website development. You just need a little bit of WordPress and search engine optimization (SEO) know-how to get started, build a food blog and start impressing readers with your creations.
Let’s get into it!
Is food blogging worth it?
When considering how to become a food blogger, one of the most obvious first questions is, “Is it worth it?” (Translation: “Can you make money this way?”) And the answer is: it’s most definitely worth it. Food blogs are among the most popular blog niches, sharing the lead with lifestyle and travel blogs.
According to Rank IQ’s analysis of more than 800 blogs (all of which earned over $2,000 per month and/or had over 50,000 sessions each month), food blogs were the most popular.
They were also the biggest money-makers, raking in the highest median income of all the top blog niches. On average, the food bloggers analyzed earned a little more than $9,000 per month (most of which comes from ads, not affiliate programs, a good tip for when you’re ready to monetize your food blog). Some earned much more than that, though – as much as $25,000 per month.
What does it take to become a food blogger?
You can’t figure out how to become a food blogger without recipes – a lot of them. Yes, high-quality food photos go far on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, but if you’re going to build an entire blog around your love of food, recipes are what you need to load it with. The Rank IQ study found that recipes are what are most successful on food blogs, too, pulling in a majority of a site’s traffic.
Here’s what you need to think about to decide if this is the right type of blog for you:
Do you have a focus or theme for your blog?
Aside from blogging about food, what’s the focus of your content? Is there a specific cuisine or style of cooking that you want to showcase?
Maybe you want to share your Italian grandmother’s recipes or the healthy, tasty meals you prepare to trick your little ones into eating nutritiously. Perhaps you love to grill or you prefer food experimentation and science.
Are you a good multitasker?
There’s a ton that goes into how to become a food blogger, and it goes far beyond sitting behind a keyboard and tapping away. Here are just some of the hats you have to wear:
- Content editor
- Digital marketer
- Customer support
Even if you hire some people to help out, you’ll still have quite a bit to do on your own. If you have your heart set on being a food blogger, ensure that you have the energy, resources and time to devote to it. And if you don’t, think about how you can clear your schedule to make room for it.
Is your budget in good shape?
Before you tackle the steps for how to become a food blogger, you need a budget to support it. As a foodie and home cook, you know that cooking isn’t an inexpensive hobby. Specialty ingredients, quality equipment and website costs add up. Plus, you’ll have to buy a solid camera to take those gorgeous and perfectly-imperfect food shots. The good news is that if you can afford everything you need, ordering from Amazon means you don’t even have to venture out to get it.
How to become a food blogger
You’ve narrowed down your niche, left plenty of space in your daily life to devote to the food blog and you have a savings account just waiting to be spent. It’s now time to talk about how to become a food blogger step by step.
1. Learn how to use all that equipment you bought
And no, we don’t mean figure out how to use your new Instant Pot (though you’ll probably want to do that, too).
- Learn the ins and outs of your camera, whether that’s a brand new DSLR or your trusty iPhone. (And if you’re buying or bought a DSLR, think about the lenses that will make your food shots look their best.)
- Gather and get familiar with photography tools: diffuser/reflector, foam boards, lighting, tripod, etc.
- Research and buy editing software.
- Invest in additional storage – those recipe photos are going to take up a lot of space!
As you can see, finding out how to become a food blogger goes far beyond knowing how to cook and having a portfolio of crowd-pleasing recipes.
2. Pick a name for the blog (and buy the domain name)
There are all sorts of food blog names ranging from the direct to the cute and clever. When choosing your blog’s name, keep these three must-follow tips in mind:
- Make it catchy – it doesn’t have to be super-creative, but it does have to be easy to remember and recall.
- Check that it doesn’t already exist as a blog name, domain name or social media account. Aside from impeding on some sort of copyright- or trademark-related issue, you could also create unnecessary competition for yourself.
- Spell and punctuate it correctly! The last thing you want is a blog name with a typo.
All of the “how to become a food blogger” advice in the world won’t matter if people can’t remember or spell your blog’s name!
3. Choose your website builder
When searching around for the right website builder, keep in mind that the best platforms offer the following:
- Options for customization and design. You don’t want a website builder that won’t let you choose your preferred layout, color scheme, etc.
- Support for third-party plugins. The best way to add recipes is with a dedicated plugin, so you definitely don’t want to miss out on that feature.
- Security to protect both your information and that of your users. For example, if you sell anything from your site, you want customer credit card info to be safe.
- Cost-to-performance ratio (optimized for performance, of course).
- Performance-related features, like being mobile-friendly, focusing on UX, having enough bandwidth, loading pages quickly, etc.
Consider Using WordPress
If you want to master how to become a food blogger, we feel that two of the best options to consider for your website builder are WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Here’s a brief breakdown of the differences between the two builders:
- WordPress.org: This open-source builder is recommended for those with mid-level tech skills who want as much flexibility as possible with their website. WordPress.org is free, but you’ll have to pay for a website host, like Bluehost, and you’ll be completely in charge of your site.
- WordPress.com: This website builder comes with managed hosting, so you don’t have to find your own host (or worry about doing almost anything with backend WordPress). It’s best for newbies and those who care more about cooking and connecting with an audience than coding and troubleshooting web hosting issues. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to upgrade to the Business plan in order to add third-party plugins.
4. Add dedicated plugins
Once you’ve chosen your website builder, you can start thinking about which food blog-specific plugins to add. While some plugins may come with your theme, niche ones like those for recipes probably won’t. That’s where a tool like WP Recipe Maker comes in.
WP Recipe Maker has features that are specifically helpful to rookie food bloggers. For example, the plugin is user-friendly, optimized for speed, and comes with customization options and a dedicated support team. Here’s an example of what your recipes can look like:
WP Recipe Maker has built-in SEO functionality, too. By providing recipe metadata, the right information will appear as rich snippets in Google. If you choose a plugin that doesn’t ensure this, you won’t be able to compete in search engine results. (Your recipe’s featured image won’t populate, either.)
The best part is that you can get these SEO features with the free version of WP Recipe Maker. And when you’re ready to upgrade, you’ll be rewarded with even more. That means you can figure out how to become a food blogger without paying for more than you can afford when starting out.
Here are more features the WP Recipe Maker plugin offers:
- Adjustable servings
- Calories and nutrition information
- CTA button to jump to the recipe
- Equipment and ingredients needed
- Images and videos for instructions
- Overview of the recipe
- Print the recipe and/or generate a shopping list
- Unit conversions
P.S. Remember how we suggested that you use either WordPress.org or WordPress.com? This plugin can integrate with either web builder. (Just remember that you’ll need the Business plan if you go with WordPress.com because that’s the tier that allows you to install third-party plugins.) Essentially, you get a rich framework to add recipes the correct way to WordPress.
Learning how to become a food blogger goes hand-in-hand with the WP Recipe Maker plugin. Interested? Get it here!
5. Add content, build your brand, have fun!
Getting all of your ducks in a line when it comes to your website is great, but one thing you can’t forget about is content. The last thing you want is to publish an empty blog, right?
Before launching, get a few of your old favorites or brand new recipes together – and the rest of the blog content to go along with them (photos, introductory stories, etc.). You can publish all of the blog posts at one time, then adjust the published dates so it looks like they’re staggered.
You don’t just want to know how to become a food blogger, either. You want to build your brand, too. To do that, continue posting excellent recipes and blog content on a consistent basis. Stick to a schedule so that your subscribers know what to expect. They may even plan some of their weekly meals around when you publish, like making a special dinner every Friday night or treating the whole family to a fabulous brunch on Sunday mornings.
And since you’ll be putting out great (and yummy) content on the regular, you’ll gain visibility – which you can further enhance by leveraging your existing network. Post your content to your social media platforms and get involved with the many, many communities of epicures out there (Facebook Groups are a great place to start).
To recap, food blogging is absolutely worth it if you love to cook and want to share your favorite meals with the rest of the world. Not only do food blogs have the capacity to be high-earners, but they’re also extremely popular, right up there with travel blogs and broader lifestyle content.
If you want to know how to become a food blogger, you need the following:
- A focus or theme for the blog; niche it down.
- The ability to multitask and wear a lot of hats, both creative and business-focused.
- A budget that can support all of the ingredients, cooking equipment and technical equipment and software you’ll need.
Once you’ve got that down, you can go full steam ahead! Learn to use the tech tools you invested in, pick a name for your WordPress blog and a website builder, and download a dedicated recipe plugin. Then it’s time to have fun week after week by adding content, building your brand and growing your audience with social media.
And most importantly, remember this: even if you’re a beginner in the world of WordPress and blogging, you can still learn the ropes and run an agile, professional-looking blog in practically no time.