To start a food blog, with this idea deal surprisingly many people. Often it is about the technical trivia. Because the other things – cooking, baking, photography, writing – most people who want to start a food blog already have the confidence to do those things. Maybe the daily cooking is the reason, the joy of culinary pleasures or the desire for beautiful food photos.
The fact is that quite a lot of people dare this step and start a food blog. But it is also a fact that quite a few run out of steam after a few weeks. That’s why it makes sense to set the course in time, both technically and in terms of content, so that blogging doesn’t become a torture.
Blog software today is not only easy to use, it can also be visually designed and redesigned to your heart’s content. They are mostly available for free and you don’t have to be a programmer to manage setup and blog operation. The most common software for this is called WordPress. It runs on a server of the provider (so not on your own computer) and is free of charge. In many cases WordPress is even pre-installed and can be started and set up with a mouse click.
Is technology important? Yes. But choosing WordPress is a no-brainer: free, highly customizable, a huge community that can help with problems, and constant customizations and enhancements. Probably the best option at the moment if you want to start a food blog.
Domain and Provider
Today there are a large number of German-speaking providers who offer the infrastructure of your website for a monthly fee (hosting offers). I would always advise managing your own domain and not running a blog as a subdomain with a large provider. For example, WordPress and some other providers allow you to start your own blog without having to take care of technology and hosting (storage and connection of data) yourself.
If you later want to set up your own blog under your own domain name with a provider, moving the data can sometimes be tricky. So it is better to stand on your own feet.
For the choice of the domain name (so something like testschmecker.en) there are many good tips. I do not think the name is so important. Nobody is looking for a fantasy name of his own accord, which you have thought up. It is more likely that someone will come across your pictures and articles and like you, subscribe to you, or otherwise keep an eye on you. This is done by mouse click. To have a funny name is nice, but to start a blog based on it is unnecessary.
Domain name and provider are important? Yes, but… There are many good and inexpensive offers at German-speaking providers, a change is later relatively easy possible. The domain name, on the other hand, is something you keep for the rest of your blog life. But it doesn’t have to be crazy and super-original, just not absolutely wrong.
The layout packages that give your blog its distinctive face are called themes. There are a lot of them for free, for some so called premium themes you usually pay once around 50 euros. Besides these ready-made themes, there are also modular systems that allow you to change pages and layout with a click of the mouse. This is helpful, because most of the themes, which you have chosen in the beginning, don’t meet the requirements of your growing experience and demands.
After a few weeks you will miss some functions, which you might be able to upgrade with a plugin (there are a lot of them for free, too). Or one is dissatisfied with the structure, wants a different design, larger images, better overviews – whatever. This is not tragic and happens to every blogger. After some time, also due to technological developments – and your own priorities changing – so much has happened that it’s easier to move to a new blog (mind you, with the original domain name and content saved from the database).
Is the layout important? Yes, very! But the number of free responsive and fancy layouts is almost unmanageable. It is rather the agony of choice. And also here later changes are possible.
Other technique& Accessories
Yes, also for other things technology is not completely unimportant. A food blog without good photos is almost unthinkable today. Were you able to use Facebook, Instagram& Co. still directly from the cell phone with your pictures serve, is worthwhile for a food blog already something more effort. A camera of your own, maybe different lenses, good light or a setup to take good pictures with natural light.
Image editing can also become an exciting topic. A fast growing image archive also requires good and inexpensive storage solutions. And if you want to use videos, the whole shebang is even more elaborate and perhaps more expensive.
Especially when it comes to cooking there is another aspect to it. Many think: my kitchen is not presentable, the stove outdated, the dishes ugly. Accessories are important. But you don’t have to make a big investment. At the flea market or auctions you can get few unique pieces that fit your style and look appealing. And with a little bit of skill you can fade out a lot of what disturbs you while taking pictures. The rest comes with time.
Is photo technique important? Yes, but only for one’s own fun and demands. If you have a good smartphone and take good pictures with it, you can put further purchasing decisions on the back burner for now. Very likely the appetite comes while eating and later you buy successively a small or larger photo equipment. And as for accessories, a lot can be sourced or made appealing on a small budget.
The most common approach to owning a food blog is cooking and writing your own recipes. This is a wide field with many exciting aspects. I also don’t want to come with the tired argument that all recipes on this earth have not only been tried once before. They have probably already been published so that they can be found on the Internet.
But the fact remains that for pure recipe searching, search engines are often more helpful than blogs you have on your list. No matter what I cook and photograph today: Others have already done it before me. Of course, every image is unique and valuable (if you haven’t copied without permission). And I would like to say that my personal handwriting in cooking and photographing invites people to repeated visits to my blog. But probably there needs to be a secret ingredient to keep visitors coming back to your blog.
Is the orientation of my blog important? Super-super-important. If you don’t just want to store your own recipes for yourself and as an archive (that would also work without a blog), you want to be found with your content. As a pure collection of recipes you get lost in the flood.
Pure recipe collections have a hard time today – no matter how well they are designed. The big recipe websites have many recipes ready for every search query. I can choose the most suitable according to my own taste. And I can also use the "swarm intelligence" of the ratings. A recipe that has a few hundred good ratings on Chefkoch is much more likely to be clicked on than one with three weak ratings.
Recipe collection or more personality?
Everyone knows the phenomenon of binge-watching: I discover a good video, search for the appropriate video channel on Youtube or Vimeo and soon I click on one video after another. I have discovered a style, a personality, a theme that appeals to me. Now these don’t have to be the best videos in the world, with the best tips or unique content. But maybe just something that is on my wavelength
Is the own profile important? Yep. And the probability that one wins a following with it is large. You don’t have to be a star, have world-class photos or absolute high-end recipes to do this. For example, I like people who cook in an everyday way, but are still original, don’t use bad photos and show a bit of their personality.
What is my style?
Sometimes you don’t really know yourself. Then it helps to get an outside opinion. Friends, acquaintances, family. It is important that the personal handwriting comes across as well. Sometimes the story about the food is more exciting than the food itself. The art lies in the balance between self-presentation and narration on the one hand and concrete, helpful information and useful instructions on the other hand.
And because you might not be able to fit everything in your blog (or want to publish it there), it’s also legitimate to do it complementary on Facebook or Instagram. Precisely because most blog readers want to know more, at least when new discoveries are made, you also check the associated social media accounts right away.
Are my personal aspects important? Yes. No one has to make an ass of themselves over it, or spill the beans on things that are better left in the family. But people like people. And not first of all a recipe. Balance is important. Child anecdotes and family experiences are always funny. But I would think three times before I put names and photos of my loved ones on the web. I don’t do it, here is my limit.
What does continuity mean?
Launching a food blog is no magic trick. Keeping it going, on the other hand, does require some effort. In the beginning you might want to publish photos and recipes five times a week. After a few weeks, you’re often glad to have something to suck out of your fingers once a week.
What helps – with too many ideas and with too few – is planning. Gathering suggestions and ideas from fellow bloggers and other media. Continuity is very important. Maybe you can only manage one good blog article per week, but that’s ok too. For that, you can certainly post a snapshot or a short info on social media more often.
Is continuity important? Absolutely. With a little planning, you can avoid going off the grid for weeks at a time. Readers (in all media) are demanding and want to be entertained.
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