Chili Pepper Madness

December 05, 2013

How to Start Your Own Food Blog

How to Start a Food Blog How to Start a Food Blog

If you enjoy cooking and have always wondered what it takes to start a food blog of your own, here is some information to help get you started. We got started years ago and have had web sites in various formats, from the early html-based sites, which we still have, to Wordpress and a Joomla-based blog and web site. We both highly encourage you to start your own food blog as a way to not only share your recipes, but also to express your creativity and let your unique voice be heard.

You may or may not want to earn an income with your food blog, but that doesn’t matter. This will help you get your new blog online so you can decide for yourself.

Here we go!

How to Start a Food Blog

Disclaimer: We’ve included some affiliate links below. We do earn a commission if you make a purchase through those links. We can both personally recommend each product, though, as we’ve used them all with great results.

Four Components to Starting a Food Blog

  1. Register Your Domain Name and Purchase Hosting
  2. Choose a Content Management System and Installation
  3. Install a Theme
  4. Fill Your New Site with Recipes and Content

Step 1: Register Your Domain Name and Purchase Hosting

We place these steps together because it is much easier to do both with the same company. Choosing your domain name should be simple for you. You probably already have something in mind, don’t you? Choose something fun and interesting that will be memorable and will make people want to visit your site. Our main domain name, ChiliPepperMadness.com, pretty much says what we do. We focus on chili peppers! Even though we do more, the name works for us.

Search for your domain name to make sure it is available at the company web site. If so, add it to your cart and then find a hosting package.

Hosting is basically rental space online. Like a physical storefront, you need to pay the hosting company to keep your new site somewhere on the web. Most places offer a very basic plan with a discount for ordering for 12 months or more. We recommend choosing a yearly package. Just make sure it is compatible with either Wordpress or Joomla.

A quick note: Patty and I are web site developers by trade. We have built scores of web sites of all types since 1998 and we've hosted sites all over the place. The links below represent the companies we trust the most to help you. Here are the hosting companies that we recommend:

Blue Host

Hostmysite - We have our own Private Server here.

HostGator

GoDaddy - We have a number of web sites here

We’ve used all three of these companies. When we grew with our own business, we eventually moved to our own Virtual Private Server, which is currently at Host My Site. However, a basic hosting package will be perfect for you to start, as you can always grow from there.

Also, if you're looking for eCommerce capabilities from the get-go, consider 3D Cart. They've built a flexible shopping cart system that includes a content management system to help you get going. Sign Up for 3D Cart.

Step 2: Choose a Content Management System (CMS) and Installation

If you are not a skilled web site developer, or even if you are, it is best to choose a Content Management System for your new site. A Content Management System allows you to manage your site through a web browser. You simply login through the administrator address, like http://www.yournewsite.com/administrator, and then make your edits. You can add, edit and delete recipes, check on comments, or whatever else you want to do. This makes it simple for you to access and update your site from anywhere.

We recommend two choices of Content Management Systems – Joomla or Wordpress.

We have used them both and each one is easy to use. Wordpress is more traditionally used for blogging. Joomla is more traditionally used for larger sites that need more functionality, though they are both great choices.

When choosing your hosting package above, you can also look into purchasing a Wordpress or Joomla hosting package if they have one. Here are some links to help:

Blue Host

Hostmysite

HostGator

Add your hosting package to your shopping cart along with your chosen domain name. Again, we recommend purchasing 1 year or more. Now, check out and you should be ready to begin.

Installation

Installing Wordpress or Joomla is easy through the administrator. If you have trouble, support from your hosting company is always there to help you.

Once you have completed your installation, hold onto your username and password, as you will need that to log into the administrator every time. Also write down your ADMINISTRATOR LOGIN URL. For Wordpress, it would be:

http://www.yournewsite.com/wp-login.php

For Joomla, it would be:

http://www.yournewsite.com/administrator

Now, go to another browser window and type in your address. Boom! You should see a site online there, though it won’t contain any real content yet. Log into your site admin with your username and password and you can now begin adding pages and content as needed. But first, you should install a theme! A template theme will give you a huge head start on making your site look appealing.

Step 3: Install a Theme

A theme is basically the outer skin of your site. It is the DESIGN, the look and feel. It will also include certain types of functionality, but overall it is the outer shell of your new website. There are many themes available, both free and paid. In our experience, the paid ones are better as they are given much more attention to detail and usually have more functionality to them, though you don’t need to pay a lot for a great theme. Here is a link to a theme company that we both recommend:

Rocketheme.com - Professional Wordpress Themes

Rocketheme.com - Professional Joomla Themes

We’ve both used Rocket Theme and love the results. They offer themes for both Joomla and Wordpress and every theme contains a lot of great functionality.

Step 4: Fill Your New Site with Recipes and Content

I will leave this up to your imagination! Just remember one thing: Have fun! Give us your best recipes!

Other Services We Recommend

Cloud Backup Storage

Once you start amassing a HUGE amount of food photos, you might need to back them up somewhere. I couldn’t believe how quickly our files built up. Talk about storage! And what would happen if your hard drive failed and you didn’t have a backup? All that time and effort you put in would be lost. You can use a local hard drive, but we like to keep a lot of that information backed up online somewhere in case of emergency, basically, “in the cloud”. “The Cloud” is simply a collection of online computers used for backup storage, so if one server fails, the others pick up the slack. Data is much safer that way. We use JustCloud and they’ve been great. The JustCloud software automatically backs up the files we choose. It is completely automated.

Just Cloud

Email Marketing and Social Delivery

One way we like to market to our customers and visitors is through an email list. Basically, people can sign up for our list on our site and receive a free download of our “Top 10 Chili Pepper Recipes” ebook. Once they are on our list, we send out a monthly newsletter with updates, recipes and more. We use Streamsend. Streamsend is exceedingly easy to use and helps us track clicks and more. We’ve been using it for years. Plus, you can sign up for a trial account.

Visit Streamsend for Email Marketing

Good luck! Let us know when you are online! We'll be sure to stop by.

Mike and Patty Hultquist

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About Us

Hi, Everyone! It is nice to meet you. Welcome to Chili Pepper Madness, the food blog run by Mike and Patty Hultquist, a couple of spicy food lovers. Chili Pepper Madness is a special tribute to all things chili peppers, including chili pepper recipes... LEARN MORE ABOUT US

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