Have you ever thought about starting a food blog to share your delicious recipes with other gourmet lovers? Food blogging has become a very popular niche. As a food blogger you run recipe blogs, cooking blogs, vegan blogs, nutrition blogs, healthy food blogs or any other blogs about food. Popular food blogs usually consist of daily recipes, discussions regarding a specific cuisine, or user generated recipes and tips (or maybe all of the above!).
But how to become a successful food blogger? Starting a food blog all begins with your love for food and delicious recipes, creative ideas, fun sharing your thoughts with others and by using the right tools. With a suitable WordPress theme, along with a few clever and free WordPress plugins, you can deliver a great user experience for your audience. By starting a food blog you can rival any of your gastronomic competitors. You can become the place to be for your gourmet loving readers. You can even make money with food blogging and earn a living while doing what you love.
What do you need to start a food blog with WordPress?
The popular MH Magazine theme is excellent for a wide variety of online magazines and digital news outlets. WordPress is inherently flexible, but it's only as flexible as the theme and plugins you're using. That's why we have made the MH Magazine WordPress theme flexible enough to accommodate a vast variety of magazine and news niches. In a series of blog posts, we'll show you how to use the MH Magazine theme for various types of blogs and websites.
Today, we start with a WordPress food blog and recipe website. What follows is a collection of features most food websites possess along with the ways MH Magazine can help achieve your goals. Or, if a particular feature you might need for your food site isn't inherent in this magazine WordPress theme, we'd suggest some free plugins that'll do the trick. Now, let's get started:
WP Ultimate Recipe is a beautifully simple WordPress plugin that will turn the MH Magazine theme into a recipe and food website with little effort. The WP Ultimate Recipe plugin and the MH Magazine theme are built as standard to work across all modern smartphones, tablets, and desktops. This feature alone is crucial for recipe websites.
Readers of food blogs are often standing in the kitchen using a mobile device to read cooking instructions. The basic WP Ultimate Recipe plugin is free and will do more than enough for most online recipe magazines. In case you should wish to do even more, there are paid for premium versions available. Premium plugins to start your own food blog usually include lots of extra features to enhance your food website even more.
The WP Ultimate Recipe plugin also comes with the built-in ability to allow your readers to easily print your recipes. Your recipes are formatted perfectly when the Print button is clicked. This is the best way to get your recipes into the homes of aspiring chefs who aren't fond of smartphones or tablets. The ability to print recipes also is great for food lovers who prefer to store their favorite recipes in a scrapbook.
Food is right at the heart of our culture, so it's no surprise a lot of social media content revolves around tasty looking photos and recommended recipes. It's therefore important to ensure your recipes and news articles can easily be shared across popular social networks. Social networks are also ideal for food lovers to discover new food blogs.
The MH Magazine theme comes as standard with share buttons of popular social networks built-in to posts. This ensures that your readers can easily share your recipes and food related content across their social media platforms. The social sharing buttons can be displayed at the beginning and / or end of your post content. You may also disable the share buttons within the options panel. This is helpful in case you prefer to use a social plugin instead.
User Submitted Recipes
Writing hundreds of recipes is hard work even for the best food blogger. The perfect solution, of course, is to get your readers involved and let them submit their own recipes. Your readers are often as excited about sharing recipes as they are about cooking them. Not to forget, eating the results! User Submitted Posts is an excellent free WordPress plugin, allowing your readers to submit their own recipes.
These user submitted recipes can be automatically published or be saved as drafts for you to review. Therefore, it's your decision if you want to publish the submitted recipes on your food blog or not. Getting readers involved on your food website can also be crucial for your success as a food blogger. If you manage to build a community around your website, you'll have a solid fundament to drive traffic to your site and even make money with a food blog.
The MH Magazine WordPress theme offers some custom widgets, like MH News in Pictures, MH Carousel or MH Posts Horizontal, which can display small thumbnails of featured images from your posts. Using these custom widgets you can show a nice gallery of food images in a neat carousel or grid like layout. When readers click on a certain image, they will be sent to the corresponding article to learn more. This is great to feature your favorite dishes.
You may be wondering how to make money as a food blogger. Most recipe websites and blogs about food earn income through advertising. Therefore, MH Magazine includes several widget areas to display advertisements throughout your food website. Displaying advertisements in various ways on your site makes sure your recipe website gives your readers everything they require, while also ensuring you earn enough money to make your hard work in the kitchen more than worth it! Popular food bloggers usually also make money through sponsored posts.
While advertisements on your food website can be a good source of income, selling products such as cook books or branded cooking equipment is an excellent way to give your readers what they need to make the most of your recipes, while earning money for your business. WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress e-commerce plugin, allowing you to quickly and easily sell products online.
With WooCommerce you can accept all common payment options, including PayPal. You can also sell your products in many different currencies. The WooCommerce plugin will allow you to setup your own coupons and promotions to give your readers the very best cooking products at the very best prices. This e-commerce plugin for WordPress is ideal if you want to extend your food website with an online shop.
With possibly hundreds or even thousands of recipes on your food website, it's important for readers to be able to quickly find what they're looking for. Creating descriptive categories and tags for your recipes is good. However, it's also beneficial to allow readers to be able to search by typing in a key phrase.
Fortunately, WordPress has this covered right out of the box with a blog search and standard search form. Ensure that your search bar is prominently positioned – for example in the header or sidebar of your website – so your readers never struggle to find the recipe or blog content they're looking for.
Search Engine Optimized
As a food blogger, your number one source of traffic is probably going to be search engines. Fortunately, the MH Magazine theme has been built with search engine optimization best practices in mind. This gives you the best possible chance of receiving a healthy, consistent traffic stream from Google or other search engines.
However, the technical aspect of SEO is only one element for good rankings in search engines. If you truly want to rank well with your food blog, you need to publish high-quality and valuable content for your readers. Also make sure that you choose a descriptive food blog name and you can even research keywords to outrank your competition.
Fancy yourself the star in front of the camera? Firstly, WordPress is able to handle videos with ease right out of the box. Simply paste the video URL from your favourite hosted service such as YouTube or Vimeo, and your video will be available instantly. Secondly, MH Magazine offers the MH YouTube Video widget to easily display YouTube videos in various widget areas of your food blog or recipe website.
Letting your audience follow along with your every move provides a level of interactivity not seen on many food websites which could truly set you apart from your competitors. The videos from popular networks usually work effectively across all devices, including smartphones and tablets, and best of all, they interact seamlessly with the MH Magazine WordPress theme. This is ideal if you want to offer high-quality video content on your food website.
Wrapping up: MH Magazine WordPress theme for food blogs and recipe websites
MH Magazine is already an excellent magazine WordPress theme by itself. In addition, with just a couple of free plugins, it can be turned into an excellent food and recipe blog. Split your post categories into food types such as Vegan, Vegetarian, Meat Lovers and Seafood; use standard WordPress posts for regular blog post; WP Ultimate Recipe for your own recipes; accompanied by the User Submitted Recipes plugin for user generated content.
Before you know it you'll be the proud owner of your very own food lovers community, becoming the go to website for exciting and enticing recipes. What do you think about starting a food blog? Have you been involved in food blogging before? No matter if you're already a food blogger or if you're just starting out with food blogs, we would love to read your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Tip: In case you're looking for some help in order to boost your food blog business: There's an eBook called Career Food Blogging: The $100,000 Food Blog Business Plan which already helped a lot of bloggers out there.