How to make healthy choices every day

How to start a food blog

How to start a food blog

I get a lot of emails with the question: How do I start a food blog? As in, all the technical stuff. Do I use WordPress? What theme is best? What kind of hosting plan? etc. And the truth is that I don’t do it all myself so I’m not the right person to ask. Luckily, my husband Mikkel, who handles most of these things for me, has written this guide to how My New Roots began, and how you can start your own food blog too.

What is a good name for a blog or website?
Your food blog needs a name but instead of being caught up in .com domain name availability, I would actually recommend that you find a name that you really like when you start your food blog (because it is going to be with you for a long time). Sarah’s first name idea for this site was “New Roots” but since that was already used elsewhere, she added “My” and My New Roots was born.

Another important aspect of your naming is that it will force you to think about the focus of your blog so you can stand out in the crowd. With the abundance of blogs today, it is hard to get a following with a very general theme but if you get more specific, it is more likely that people will start following and recommending your blog.

Get a domain and a host
You can register your domain at a lot of different companies but registering the name and getting a hosting plan with the same company is the easiest way if you’re just starting out. I would recommend because you can get started for less than $5 per month and the domain name is free when you sign up for hosting too. Think about it: your cost of running your new business is less than $5 per month. Not bad!

When you’re up and running with a domain and WordPress, you can focus on what really matters: your content.

Plus, Bluehost has this neat little green button:


Once you’re up and running with a domain and WordPress you can focus on what really matters: your content.

Did you just come up with a genious name for your site? Then register it right away: choose the Basic plan and off you go. 

Install a theme and design your blog
Already have a domain? Congratulations, you’ve gotten over the first hurdle! Now, to the blog itself. “What theme do you use?” This is probably one of the questions we are asked the most. My New Roots runs on a customized theme, but in its structure it’s very close to the free theme Twenty Twelve by WordPress. The free WordPress themes Twenty Twelve, Twenty Fifteen etc. are actually very good candidates if you are just starting out because their designs are very simple so you don’t have to remove a lot of colors and images to make them your own. Simply add a logo, change the font if you like and you’re ready to start posting. Because the “Twenty …” themes are made by the WordPress team there are frequent updates so your theme works with the latest browsers and is fast and secure.

If you want to invest just a little bit of money and build a solid foundation for growing your site, and you like having a support email in case any problems arise, then I recommend buying a licensed theme – you can find themes specifically for food bloggers at or have a look at the excellent food blog theme Foodie Pro theme by Studiopress. Buying a theme like Foodie Pro will not only give you solid code that is SEO friendly, fast and reliable, it also means that you can build your website using the Genesis Framework, which is essentially a really user-friendly way to build a website without knowing a thing about code.

Foodie Pro WordPress Theme

Finally, it’s a good idea to use a child theme if you make changes to a theme – this means that you keep your own customizations (logo, colors etc) separate from the main theme so you don’t risk getting your changes erased by an update. You can read a good introduction to child themes here. Or, if you run Foodie Pro with Genesis: congratulations,  that’s all taken care of for you.

Design tips
The biggest challenge of webdesign is that you can do everything but that doesn’t mean that you necessarily should do it. You can choose a really fancy font but some people with older computers may not be able to see it and it can make your site slow, you can make rotating slide shows and have nice effects but they may become something people scroll past the 100th time they visit the site. Therefore:

1. Make a simple logo or logotype. Less details makes it better for the web, in general.

2. Choose a font that is easy to read, and please keep the text left aligned.

3. Learn how to take good photos – here are some photography tips from Sarah

Do I need to hire a designer?
If you’re just starting your food blog and want to keep the budget in check, then no. You can easily get started on your own, especially if you’re a little handy with Photoshop and Illustrator. If not, watching a few tutorials online will get you comfortable with the most basic techniques that you will need in day-to-day photo editing, and making graphics for Facebook and Instagram. You can make a logotype just by using a font you like and adjusting it a bit (remember to get a proper font license or use a free font). Here’s a little guide to making a beautifully simple logo for your food blog.

Ready to publish!
This is what it’s all about: writing your posts, taking photos, and connecting with people who are interested in the same subject that you have chosen to write about.

Have fun, and feel free to ask questions in the comments!

Mikkel / My New Roots


16 thoughts on “How to start a food blog”

  • Thank you for the guidance that is too helpful and your blog is worth it. I was looking for a blog that guides how to write a good blog then I find yours and it gives an idea to write a food blog.

  • I needed to take a minute to thank you. Your guide convinced me to go ahead and finally start my own blog. I wanted it to look professional from day 1 and I must say that it has been a great hit ever since I launched. Your guide has helped me incredibly much, and I am so grateful you put it together for people like me. Keep up the awesome work. Thanks again and greetings from Germany.

  • Hi there, I am trying to start my own blog and i have found that yours is very helpful. Thank you. I am, however, on a pretty tight budget getting this started and paid for my domain and theme and then went to try and install it and it wont let me. it wants another $49 to do it for me and there is NO option to do it myself. Please help?

    • Hello! I wish you the best of luck but I cannot help with this. Do take care and I hope it all works out for you!

  • Every day I try to learn something more challenging on different blogs. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. Here I enjoyed your content and learned lots of useful terms. I really appreciate your thoughts.

  • I love this post. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the details of starting a blog that you put it off forever, or worse, are so afraid that you never do it. You just have to start sometime, and there is no such thing as a perfect launch.

    • Hi Victoria – that is absolutely right! Find what lights you up and just share! Done is better than perfect 😉 Good luck!

      xo, Sarah B

  • This is a great post. I have made it step 4. I went with bluehost, and a free theme and am now stuck and not sure where to turn. My blog is to share recipes with family and friends. I have a full-time job so don’t have time to spend hours on it. I work all day on a computer so hard to do it through the night too. This leaves the weekends and holidays. There are some features I would like and I don’t know if I can’t do them with the free theme or if I just can’t figure it out. I want a page that has the picture of the recipe and when you click on the picture it takes you to the post with that recipe. I am thinking about buying the foodie theme from studio press. Do you know if this is something they would be able to help me with if I purchased a theme from them? How is the support from Studio theme? Can you actually talk to someone on the phone or is it all on-line? Thank you. I love your site!

  • Thank you so much for this post! Being a tech novice, I was overwhelmed by the choices, but still wanted something of high quality. I followed these directions to a tee (got bluehost, genesis and the foodie pro theme), and I am really happy with my purchase. I really trust your advice and am so glad I went with it!

  • I just want to warn people reading this page if they do sign up with Bluehost they bill you for all 3 years upfront. Its not 5.95 per month your getting billed. I called them and apparently its normal in that industry to advertise what it would be per month even though you are paying upfront, but I don’t think its obvious to someone starting their first website who isn’t a web dev.
    I still think its a good offer and decided to keep it, and what you have written in this post is extremely helpful and awesome, so please don’t think I’m being a wet blanket. But I just wanted to warn people about that in case their bank account can’t take a 300$ hit. Also the rate is in american dollars so if your from Canada keep in mind it will be slightly more.

  • Awesome post, thanks so much for sharing! I’m 46 and a 2x breast cancer survivor, just starting to blog. Hoping to reach and inspire others, “you can get your sexy back after breast cancer”!

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