When I started this website several years ago, it was for simple reasons. My husband’s family has a lot of recipes that are unique to them. We have family recipes for Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas and Easter. I also struggled with cooking early on in our marriage and as time went on and I tried recipes over and over and over until I got them right I found that the recipes that DID turn out was quickly growing along with my cookbook size.
So I bought a binder.
And then a bigger binder.
And then an even bigger binder.
Finally they wouldn’t fit.
A few of my friends had been turning their cookbooks over to digital formats and “blogging.” I used HostGator for starting my food blog and posted a few of our families favorite recipes and never in a million years would’ve thought that a few recipes would’ve turned into appearances sharing my story on TV, radio and teaching classes in the community. Sharing how to take regular recipes and turning them into healthy recipes has been something that I did years before I started my website and is something I still enjoy now.
If you’re looking at starting a food blog, here are five simple and easy tips for getting started:
1. Make a connection to your recipes: Simply posting your food recipe doesn’t connect and grab your readers. When I recently posted about my elimination diet the doctor put me on for colitis and shared one of the recipes I had adapted, one of my readers emailed me some of her favorite recipes and websites that followed my diet. Connecting your readers is important.
2. It’s NOT always about the photos: While we all want that perfect jaw dropping photo that gets pinned a million times, some of my most “pinned” recipes are some of my worst looking from the early days of Pinterest. While getting that close up shot of your ice cream with the perfect drippings going down the side of the cone with your expensive DLR camera might make you famous, at first just learning to use the right lighting, settings and features on your current camera will work too until you can justify buying the nicer camera.
3. Hire out what you can’t, research and do what you can: When you first start, navigating the world of getting your site up and running can be frustrating and totally overwhelming. You really have two options: DIY or pay. I chose the do it myself route and spent hours researching which is the best platform to use, which website designs were best for food blogs, and on and on and on. If you just don’t have the time and energy to do it, hiring someone to do the dirty work of web design is probably your best bet.
4. You will always learn something new: I have people ask me all the time about social media campaigns, advertising, web design, and SEO when they get started. And I simply reply, “I really don’t know. I’m still learning.” Things are constantly changing and evolving on the online world and staying up with everything requires lot’s of reading, researching, conferences and bouncing off ideas with other fellow bloggers.
5. Find a good hosting company: When I first started out, I wanted the process to be as simple and easy as possible. I chose to go with HostGator. HostGator provided me with 24/7 live support, marketing services for SEO, domain services, design services, and one click WordPress installs. I loved that they took away a lot of the work for me leaving me time to photograph and write about my recipes.
One of the things I loved about HostGator the most was the personalized help I received. When my site was running slow, I received an email giving me suggestions for getting my site running faster again. They were always simple and easy ways and if I had questions a rep was always available to help me.
HostGator now offers Optimized WordPress. Optimized WordPress is a new hosting platform that is specifically built for an optimized and managed WordPress environment. Optimized WordPress hosting packages will come pre-loaded with PHP 5.6 by default (the most recent PHP version offered). HostGator will handle all of the core, theme, and plugin updates without the need for any action on your part. In other words, you won’t have to worry about logging into your WP-Admin panel to handle common updates. Additionally, Optimized WordPress does not provide cPanel access, allowing you to install and access your WordPress sites without needing to access or navigate an extra control panel to do the things you want to do.
Additional information about HostGator Optimized WordPress can be found here.
Getting your food blog up and running can be simple and easy when you have the right tools and help.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.