BY :Toni OkamotoPUBLISHED : July 19th, 2018UPDATED: October 6th, 2021
My reason for starting a food blog in 2012 was not because I’m a foodie, but because I wanted to bring a vegan resource into the world that addressed the very real concern of cost. I really had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that it was better to do something than nothing. I didn’t have much knowledge or understanding of anything computer-related, but I did have a strong enough passion to learn a lot by the way of my best friends, Google and YouTube.
If you, too, are feeling that it’s better to do something than nothing, I’d like to help you out. First, know that you don’t need to be an expert, or have fancy equipment, or spend all of your money on whatever it is you think you need to buy before you can start. Just make do with what you have. It reminds me of a book I read when I was deep into marathon training. The author was talking about how often, people go out and drop $200 on cute running gear, but never actually make it on a run. He recommends that instead of wasting money on something that you may never do, try it out first. If you find that you’re enjoying your training sessions even though you’re using your janky old high school P.E. shoes, invest in some good quality Mizunos. Same with blogging.
Here are my step-by step recommendations for starting a blog:
*Note: Some of the links provided are affiliate links, and I’ll make a small commission. The money I make goes into an account for my Plant-Based on a Budget expenses and helps me keep this site running smoothly.*
Decide on a niche and a name! There are so many blogs in the world that you want to make sure that you and your voice stand out. Make sure to pick something that you love, and name it with that same loving feeling. You can also get your community involved. When I was trying to decide what to name Plant-Based on a Budget, I asked my friends and family to help me out. It was fun seeing what people liked and didn’t. Check on BlueHost or NameCheap to see if your favorite name is available.
Choose your host! I’ve been using GoDaddy since I started, but as soon as my prepaid year is up, I am switching to BlueHost. GoDaddy has been okay and has spent HOURS AND HOURS with me on their 24-hour hotline, but, alas, it’s time to move on. I’ve had a lot of problems with my hosting over the years, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about BlueHost, so I’m eager to try it out. And, best of all, if I don’t like it after 30 days, I get my money back!
Time to decorate! Pick a template for your website! This was one of my favorite things. I searched for hours on Theme Forest to find the look that suited my vision best! You can also find some great options on Elegant Themes.
Design your logo! For nearly all of my graphic design work, I look to Fiverr. You can get a logo designed for as cheap as $5!! You can also have them build your whole website and do just about anything else you need. I’ve had them create logos, design graphics, do voiceovers, podcast edits, and more! It’s my favorite and most-used service.
Promote! Tell your mama and your papa, and whoever else will listen about your new blog! It might be annoying for some, but when starting a blog, it’s best to cross-promote your work everywhere. You never know whose eyeballs will stumble across your content. For example, on my first day of being a food blogger, I posted a recipe and some text to my personal Facebook. Turns out that my friend ran the social media for a group called PCRM and shared my website. On the first day, I had 500 subscribers because of his post!! I also suggest starting your blog’s own Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages to further your message.
Speaking of subscribers! If you want to eventually become a full-time blogger, invest your time and money in building your e-newsletter. Social media algorithms may push you out or become dead to the world, but your email list will always be tried and true! For a long time, I used MailChimp, but I recently switched to ConvertKit. It’s specifically designed for bloggers like me (and like you because you’re now pretty much a blogger).
Hope you find this helpful! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions. 🙂
About Toni Okamoto
"They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
'Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways...
we got to start taking better care of ourselves " - Dead Prez