This is your guide to creating and running a successful food blog. By the end of this introductory series, you’ll have clarified what type of blogger you’d like to be, picked a domain name and understood what skills and tools you’ll need to start your very own food blog.
Current estimates suggest there are 40,000 to 100,000 food blogs out there and that thousands get started every day. Some of these “blogs” are merely recipe journals, some are started and immediately abandoned and others involve a lot more effort and upkeep, but this range gives you an idea of just how many blogs exist.
Starting a food blog is a commitment – both to yourself and to your readers. Many foodies would love to start a food blog, but don’t know where to turn to get all the information they need, including technical assistance and website design for their new blogs.
This lesson focuses on how to pick a domain name. Domain names are used in URLs to identify a particular web page and are what your readers will think of when searching for your site. For example, this blog’s domain name is asweetpeachef.com and this particular blog post’s URL is https://www.asweetpeachef.com/how-to-pick-a-domain-name. Make sense?
Picking a domain (blog) name can be tricky. There are a few things to consider before getting started:
- Does anyone else already have a blog or website with that name? Do yourself a favor and do a quick google search to see if anything comes up. Avoid competition with other blogs/websites. You both don’t want to step on a fellow blogger’s toes and you don’t want to lose your traffic to another similarly-named blog.
- Is there a .com available with your desired domain name? All domain names have a suffix which indicates which Top Level Domain (TLD) it belongs to. Typical suffixes include: .com (for commercial/business), .net (for network organizations), .org (for non-profit organizations) .gov (for government agencies) and .edu (for academic institutions). You can access this information for free on specialized search engines such as godaddy.com or instantdomainnamesearch.com.
- Is your name easy to spell? You don’t want people to not find you because they can’t spell your name. Consider this before getting creative with your spelling as well — like with ideas such as “Kat’s Korner” or “I 8 it” and the like. Still feel free to use them, but understand the easier the spelling, the more people you’ll get to your site.
- Is your name keyword-friendly? Once your site is up and live, google and other search engines will start to access the data on your site and use it for their search engines. For example, every day, people who have never heard of this blog will find my recipe for Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream based off their searches on google for “Vanilla Ice Cream recipe.” This is a great way to gain traffic to your site and to expand your potential readers. Consider this when choosing a domain name as well, as targeted keywords (i.e. using keywords such as “vegetarian,” “healthy,” “easy recipes” and the like in your domain name) will help you with accessing more potential readers.
- Is your name cute and catchy? Does it provoke interest? Like it or not, people will make split-second judgments about your site, including your domain name. If you can choose a domain name that invokes their interest, all the better.
- Does your name let people know what you’re all about? This follows the same logic as Number 4 above. Additionally, your blog name will be how people refer to you. Many people see me as Sweet Pea Chef, not Lacey. Just think about it… The Pioneer Woman, Bakerella, Smitten Kitchen, White on Rice Couple. Yes, we all know their names too, but that’s not how we remember them. This concept also applies if your blog will focus on a particular diet or topic. For instance, you may want to use the word, “vegan,” “paleo,” “raw,” etc. to let people know that’s what your focus is. You can also convey this as a secondary motto or tag line on your site (which is what I choose to do with “Cooking Can Be Easy”).
I hope you find this content helpful. Stay tuned for more lessons in this series. Please contact me if you’d like more in-debth, hands-on assistance, as I also offer consulting services to help you get started or to improve your current blog.
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