Food blogging is the coolest thing in Delhi, and I’m sure it’s the same at other places in the country. Ever since I moved to Delhi, I have been talking to various food bloggers and Zomato reviewers. It allowed me to have an inside look at the problems and challenges faced by food bloggers. I honestly feel I can help a lot of them with what I know. That’s probably why I’m writing this post on how to start a food blog in India.
Let me tell you what you can expect from this post. It’s surely not the most detailed explanation on how to start a food blog, but if you have always thought of how, to begin with, food blogging, this is a post that can give you a general idea on how to start it. If you have already started blogging, read this post to brush up your knowledge and then join my Facebook group for updates about the more advanced posts I write.
How to start a food blog in India?
Why do you want to start a food blog in the first place? Is it because you want to share your experiences & knowledge of food or is it because the idea of free food fascinates you? A lot of people in metro cities, where food blogging is a popular thing, get into this niche because they think it’s their pass to free food. But with this mindset, you cannot grow beyond some free lunches & dinners. I will tell you more about it later in this post. If you love food & want to build a career out of it, then hop on to the next point.
2. Type of Food Blog
Most of the times, there are two kinds of food blogs. One is where you dedicate yourself to cooking & creating recipes, and the other is where you talk more about food reviews and facts about various cuisines. Both of these are equally amazing, and you can go for any of these according to your preference.
3. Setting up a food blog
To start a food blog, you would require a domain name. There are various free options available with WordPress & Blogspot, but I would recommend you to have your domain name. It gives you more power, more authority and you can do anything with this particular website you create.
When you go for free options, you get very limited. Of course, you can pick the free one with plans to have a self-hosted website, but that usually gives your online brand a significant setback. So, why not just invest a few bucks and get a self-hosted site? All you need is to buy a domain name, get hosting and boom! Your blogging setup is almost ready.
I have discussed the pros & cons of both of these options in my post here.
4. Decide the content & frequency
Once you have the blog setup, you need to start posting. But instead of randomly posting anything and everything, I suggest you begin in a planned manner.
First of all, decide how many posts you will do per week. It’s always better if you post more but you need to be consistent. So, decide on how much time you can devote to this latest blog of yours.
Then take a notebook and brainstorm about the content you will post. Now, there are a lot of bloggers who work on niches like technology and blogging, and most of the times, all they have to do to create a blog post is sit on their computer, do the research and write. But food blogging is different. It needs a lot of preplanning.
That’s why I am suggesting that you should decide at least one month of content in advance. Think of it what you will write about. If those are recipes, grab the ingredients, start cooking, take pictures and then post. I will discuss the photography part later on.
If those are food reviews, go to the particular place, try the food, click the pictures and then write about it.
If those are just curated posts about food, you can do that thing of just researching and writing.
But it’s crucial to plan out things as with the kind of niche you’re in; you can’t just decide in the morning that you want a blog post and right it in four hours and then post. You need to pre-plan, pre-film and then post.
5. Food Photography
To start a food blog, you must understand that photography is the most important aspect of food blogging. Good photos are a necessity. A lot of food bloggers use DSLRs (I use Nikon D3300) but even if you don’t have it, you can start blogging. Your phone’s camera will be okay for you as a beginner, but keep in mind the following:
- Don’t click photos with flash.
- Take photos in good lighting.
- Focus properly on the dish/subject.
- Edit the picture to right proportions.
- If you don’t know how to edit photos correctly, just increase the saturation a little bit. All the picture should do is to make you drool. If it does, your picture is perfect. My favorite editing software is PhotoScape.
- Put a logo or watermark on the picture. Keep it in the corner; else it will just spoil the entire picture.
- Resize the image to 1080px by 800 px. (More on this later).
6. Writing the blog post
Now there are a lot of different ways to write a blog post, and there are no rules. You can write however you want, but it is a must for me to try and stop you from making blunders while drafting the two most common types of posts on food blogs – recipes and reviews.
- Always write the quantity of the ingredients. A lot of people just forget it.
- Begin with a new introduction. People love it when you share personal things with them. It helps them connect with you.
- Explain each step correctly and use pictures for every step. This isn’t a rule but if you want a quality food blog, having pictures with each step will just make you stand out.
- Close with a question or a phrase that would encourage your users to comment on your blog.
- Maintain your integrity. You sell yourself for a free dinner, and your readers will eventually find out. Keep that in mind.
- Search about the cuisine you’re trying before you start to review the food. Here’s a fun story on why it’s important to do that – I reviewed a place in Delhi called Londoners which serves British cuisine. They have a dish named ploughman’s platter which is a very typical traditional dish of the cuisine. I was told about a blogger who went to the place and complained of how it was served cold. While that could have been a big blunder on the restaurant’s side that they served him a cold dish, but it wasn’t. Because ploughman’s platter is served cold. Now, just think how stupid he would seem to be when he would have written about this complaint on his blog. Not only will he make a fool of himself but also lose his credibility. So, don’t do that. Research before you write.
- Describe the food well. What was it, what ingredients it included and what was the taste like. All of these are important. It will give you an edge if you also discuss the preparation of the food in your reviews. It’s easy. All you need to do is ask the chef, and they will easily share.
- Take good photos. It’s important to have good photos to go with your reviews.
7. Posting the blog
Once you have the pictures and content, you can go ahead and post the blog. Now, I can write a longer post about what to do and what not to do while posting a food blog post, but I think I will cover it in the future blog posts. For now, you must understand that you need to use big images. Remember I told you how you need to resize your photos? That’s the exact size you need to have while the photo is being displayed.
A lot of new food bloggers use small images thinking they look good, but they just don’t. Visual content is relevant, and you need to give it some space to stand out. Also, don’t think that the images are automatically resized in WordPress. They aren’t!
8. Promoting the blog
The job as a food blogger doesn’t end with writing a post. It begins there. Now, you need to promote this blog on various social media channels. You will also need to do the SEO if you want to rank in search engine results. It’s all very technical but easy to understand the process. You can learn it quickly. So, do it.
That’s all you need to know to start a food blog. I have listed the major steps involved and very few intricate details of food blogging. It’s surely not a complete post, but there are more posts to follow in which I will discuss the photography, promotion, making money from a food blog and SEO parts in details. In case, you want to follow those updates, do join my Facebook group so that you can get quick updates.
If you have any subject or question that you want me to answer first, please mention in the comments down below.
Participating in Half Marathon Blogging Challenge with Blogchatter.