Welcome to the Educating Bloggers Series!
In this little corner of my blog, I will help you learn the simple steps to starting your very own food blog (or any other kind of blog)! Included will be weekly posts with new tips and ideas of how to get your blog started from the ground up!
This series will show you all you need to know about creating your own blog! It’s going to be long and a little tricky, but totally worth it in the end! If you follow these simple steps and guidelines, you will be on your way to a successful blog and the beginning of a second income (or with a lot of dedication and effort, your main income)!
As I develop my own food blog and learn more helpful tricks along my blogging journey, I will keep posting and updating my ideas and progress! I know that at first, blogging isn’t going to be a full time job. You are going to need at least a year of hard work and dedication in order for your blog to start earning an income.
But once you finally start generating an income from your blog, you are going to be on your way to financial freedom and being your own boss! How awesome would it feel to wake up each morning and work from the comfort of your own home (even in your PJs if you want!) and create your own schedule and routines based on what works for you!
Okay, let’s get into the the second post in the series!
What to do Before Launching a Food Blog
Read the first post: How to Start a Blog
1. Write Your First 10-20 Posts
Having a successful blog is all about great content. I listen to the Food Blogger Pro podcast all the time and nearly everyone that is interviewed says that working on great content is the best place to start building your empire!
The reason why you want to launch your blog with existing content is becuase then you will actually have stuff to share with people right away. The best place to spread blog content (ESPECIALLY RECIPES) is via Pinterest. I literally grew my audience from 300 page views in December, to 2,500 page views in January and then to 8,800 page views this month in February just by updating my pinterest tactics!
When you write these posts make sure you have some awesome pictures to go with them. If you don’t have an nice camera for food pictures (I suggest investing in one soon) you can use your phone paired with natural lighting. Natural lighting is the key for more repins and clicks! And vertical pictures. You can easily string together a few pictures along with a catchy title in Google Drawings! It’s very basic and super easy to use.
A great place for beautiful free stock photos (free also means that other people can use them so they won’t be unique, but there are tons so it’ll be fine for a beginner looking for awesome pictures) is Unsplash. Check it out and download the ones you like!
Takeaway: Make sure to have great content written along with long vertical pictures for each post.
2. Write Your About Page
This is something that is very important and you should spend about an hour writing and editing some awesome content. Don’t stress too much about your about page, but also make sure that it’s welcoming and screams your personality in every word. When people visit your site, they often check out your about page to get to know you better. Sometimes we forget that we are here to connect with people as well as share awesome recipes (or other content).
Also add a contact page and if you’re feeling super motivated, you can add a page where you talk about your “story” and how you got where you are today. Check out my about pages and the tabs underneath to see what I’m talking about. I like to keep my About page updated about every month to make sure that it’s ranking well in Google and my readers know what’s going on!
3. Setup Category Tabs
This is especially helpful for food bloggers since most of your recipes will need a category! Even if you are a niche food blogger like baked items or sweets, you can still create categories from those!
Here’s a brief tutorial on how to create your custom menu tabs (sorry for my weirdness)
7. Create a Simple Logo & Header
The easiest free place to create a simple logo and header is in Google Drawings. Just like you did for your pinterest friendly pictures for each post, you can create an appealing logo for your site!
For the top banner, use the dimensions: 2500 x 250. Play with these a little to fit your needs, but don’t go any smaller than 2500 wide to make sure the quality of the banner looks good on all devices.
For the logo icon, use the dimensions: 300 x 300. This will be the icon people will see on a top tab when they click on your site.
5. Sign up for an Email Service
I’ve tested a few free email services and have found that MailChimp is the best and the easiest to use. When starting out with your blog, you need to understand that growing your email list is the most important thing for you to do because these subscribers are YOURS! They aren’t followers on social media accounts which can be taken away from you at any time; they are your personal list of emails that you have permission to contact at any time!
This is very important when you start releasing things like eBooks and online courses to sell because they will be the first ones to hear about it and get a chance to try it out. In MailChimp, you are able to send out emails and schedule emails as well as set up a custom email for when you get new subscribers.
Their is a paid version for MailChimp when you hit the 1,000 subscriber mark and then it will unlock so many more features and opportunities for growth! I’ll be talking about that later down the road when I actually hit 1,00 subscribers 🙂
When setting up MailChimp with my blog, I followed this tutorial from YouTube! It was an amazing help and he does such a good job walking you through everything you need to know.
4. Update Social Media Accounts
Pinterest: Upgrade to a business account and start to organize your boards to match with your brand. Hide boards that aren’t relevant and create a special board just for your blog pins.
Facebook: Create a business page and invite all your friends to like your page! Have a link to subscribe even though you haven’t even launched your site yet doesn’t mean you can’t get some subscribers!
Twitter: Create a new account just for your blog, or modify your current account to fit the needs of your blog. Link to your email subscription.
Instagram: Create a new account just for your blog, or modify your current account to fit the needs of your blog. Link to your email subscription.
6. Invest in a Decent Camera
This is something you’ll want to do eventually, but it doesn’t have to be right away. Especially if you are a food blogger, having awesome pictures that are 100% yours is the key to higher repins and quality followers.
This is the camera that I am currently using for taking food pictures. It’s not the best for vlogging (which I have started to try to do more since it’s so popular on youtube) but it does take awesome video if you are just having it set up in one place.
Thanks again for reading and tune in next week for how to write a killer about page!