Simple Guide on How to Start a Food Blog

Career, Nutrition Stripped

Simple Guide on How to Start A Food Blog | Nutrition Stripped

Ever wondered what it takes to start a food blog or any blog for that matter? Often you’ll read guides on what equipment to use, programs, etc., but those guides are missing the biggest part of running a successful blog — honing in on your mission and what you’re passionate about writing and sharing with the world.

Every day I get emails in our inboxes asking me about how I become a dietitian, how I started a blog, and ultimately how I got where “I am” today. I am deeply grateful and appreciative to connect with you about those topics and thank you for asking — but I also can’t begin to share how I “got here today” in such a short post! It’s more about who I’ve grown into as a person and how my philosophy about nutrition and wellness has developed from personal needs to helping this global community. In a nutshell, it’s so much more than how I started this blog, but I do want to share you some invaluable tips I wish I knew when I started NS (even if it was just for fun when I first started!).

I wrote this simple guide on how to start a food blog, but remember, it can apply to any kind of blog you wish. All of the elements are fundamental to any type of blog and I hope you find this useful.

No. 1

Be you. 

This is the most important “tip” that I can share a quote that celebrates uniqueness. “Be you. Everyone else is already taken.” Speak and write as though you’re having a conversation with your friend or your ideal audience. When you “talk” this way, it’s your unique voice that people hear and they’ll want to hear more of it, also it’s irreplaceable and can’t be copied by someone else no matter how much they try. The blogging industry since I started in 2013 has boomed and now it’s incredibly saturated which might make some of you who are just starting out feel overwhelmed and lost in the shuffle. I promise you, if you share your unique voice, you’ll come up with original content that only you have created and break through the noise and find your path. If you’re getting into blogging just to “blog” and repurpose other people’s content, my piece of advice would be to evaluate why you want to have a blog in the first place. I know it can be really easy to see someone else who is successful at blogging and pick up what they might be doing, but challenge yourself to harness your own style, creativity and find inspiration from within. You’re amazing and your voice should be heard, so speak it (or type it).

No. 2

Find a topic that you’re passionate about.

Blogging doesn’t have to revolve around food. You can blog about your daily life in hopes that it inspires someone else, your passions about art, your city, etc. The possibilities are endless. The only mega tip I have here is write with passion, experience, and knowledge. Too often I stumble across blog where the passion is there, but the author is writing incorrect things or writing outside their expertise which can be confusing and also misleading. People and your readers will love transparency and respect your work if you come from a place of goodness and integrity. Make sure whatever you’re writing is for the greater good, is going to inspire, help, or provide some sort of good vibes to the universe. We need more of that!

No. 3

Learn how to take pictures.

Photography is such an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to having a successful blog. You don’t need to be at a professional photography level, instead just take pictures of things you enjoy and that represent what you’re writing about and practice, practice, practice! Practice really makes your photography so much better no matter where you’re starting from. Here’s a personal example you guys… take a look at where I started back in 2013. This was shot with my iPhone4 and edited with nothing but Afterlight which is an editing software on the phone. Now you can look at examples of what I do all the time – huge difference in quality and I’m having a lot of fun with it.

Be sure to read my Photography Tips for Bloggers here to get a full list of tips, equipment I use, and resources that help me get to where I am today with styling. If you know that photography isn’t something you ever want to dabble in, there are amazing free or membership services like iStock or Shutterstock where you can pull from stock images that can fit the theme of your blog post. Another thing you could do is outsource someone to do your photography, a friend, an intern, or if it becomes a business hire a team member!

Mini Matcha Cake Donuts with Matcha Glaze | Nutrition Stripped

No. 4

Be consistent.

Find your schedule and stick to it. Whether that’s posting a blog once a week, twice a week, or daily! Do what works for you and only you, and maintain it. Your readers will start to expect and look forward to your blog post days so share that with them. From a work productivity standpoint, keep an eye out on the career category for related blog posts about building your daily work routine. As a team, we started with good ole’ google calendar to plan editorial but as we’ve grown we use a subscription program called CoSchedule which is amazing and keeps us all organized!

No. 5

Share it.

Using social media is a great way to let people know you have a new blog post up to read or just give your readers a little more behind the scenes action on what you do with the blog and why it’s important to you, etc. You don’t have to get on all social media if you have a blog, but try to get on at least one platform that you really love and enjoy doing such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or all of them! Do whatever works for you. Some people like one platform more than others – my favorites are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you have a food blog, you can also share your content with recipe galleries. Check out these delicious looking food galleries to start sharing your recipe creations on these sites to increase traffic and eyes on your posts: FoodGawkerTastespottingTasteologie Finding VeganPotLuckHealthy Aperture.

No. 6

Engage and be mindful

My philosophy, is that if you’re going to put yourself out there on social media or a blog, you should also be ready to take on the responsibility to engage with your reader and followers. That means answering their questions, talking to them, and commenting back as much as possible and in your honest way. Honestly, THIS is my favorite part of having Nutrition Stripped, connecting with you all over the world. My pet peeve is seeing bloggers or large social media accounts totally ignore their readers/followers, c’mon now why even share things if you’re not open to conversation! Okay so now that we’ve covered some simple tips from a mental/emotional side of things, let’s get to the nitty gritty of what you actually need logistically to set up a blog.

Nutrition Stripped Society

STEP-BY-STEP setup of your blog

  1. NAME: Use a name for your potential domain that represents you well, is catchy, easy to say, and one that you like – and obviously one that is different from others out there. I recommend doing a legal search for business names so there are not any legal issues you may get into – a good place to do that is google but also the Trademark database. You’ll be doing more damage if you use a name similar to someone who already has a large blog or following since they’ll get all the SEO priority (and it’s illegal if they’re a registered company!)
  2. BUY DOMAIN: BlueHost (about $15 per year) and GoDaddy (about $19 per year) are just some to choose from. Basically, you’re buying your .com and this doesn’t matter as much as your hosting site.
  3. HOSTING: I use WPEngine for how large the Nutrition Stripped site is now. I have thousands of images, blog posts, WooCommerce, and quite a lot going on behind the scenes! But if you’re looking for a blog only, you got it easy. I’ve used BlueHost, GoDaddy, and A Small Orange in the past when the blog was smaller (though I no longer recommend A Small Orange after the site crashed while using their serice and very disappointing customer service). I enjoyed BlueHost the most and the price point may be more reasonable if the blog is a hobby rather than part of your career choice at around $4/month. Some hosting sites/servers are $400+ a month depending on your traffic and needs. When your site grows you may consider using Cloudflare and MaxCDN, which help with high traffic spikes and keeping your server strong. I also recommend buying your own server– dedicated server versus sharing, this is what NS does now since it’s grown and it works great!
  4. PLATFORM: WordPress is the most used in the blogging world, followed by SquareSpace, and both great for different reasons. We use WordPress and love it. When I first started, we used themes from WP and as we grew, we’ve designed and created completely customized websites so there’s nothing else like it out there and most importantly meets our readers unique needs.
  5. DESIGN/THEME: Once you have your domain, the host, and now the platform, you can customize it with a theme. A theme is how your blog will look. When I first started blogging, I used the Foodie Pro theme which is so awesome, modern, and highly customizable. I also am a big fan of the Genesis theme from StudioPress. Nowadays, I completely design my site from scratch and work with my IT team on developing my vision. Again, if blogging is a hobby, finding a theme you love visually is perfect enough! Themes on WordPress can start as little as free upwards to $150 for a one time purchase.
  6. PLUGINS: Plugins are widgets and/or operating modules that help your site perform functions like: clicking to tweet, hover over a picture to pin on Pinterest, show off your social media feeds on your sidebar, recipe function, or get people to sign up for your newsletter so they keep in the know! These are most often free unless you get into customized plugins and advanced needs.
  7. ANALYTICS: First you need a Gmail account if you don’t already. Google Analytics and Webmaster tools is where you’ll want to start to track your traffic, see your progress, and have some data on what your blog is all about. Getting the Yoast SEO plugin will help you make sure your posts and content are SEO friendly and optimized for Google search. This isn’t a must have, but if you want to take blogging to the next level this is an important tool!
  8. EMAIL/NEWSLETTERS: I could write a WHOLE blog post on the importance of mailing lists and setting one up as soon as you start your blog! I LOVE sending out monthly exclusive newsletters that have recipes, wellness tips, challenges for the month, and special stories I only share with the NS newsletter folks – it’s also an amazing way to keep communication open and close with your community. Oftentimes I’ll have readers reply directly to an email I’ve sent from the newsletter and I can chat back (and do!) asap. I use ConvertKit and that’s really the only email marketing tool I recommend. I’ve tried so many in the past but this one is the best out there from functionality, to design, user friendliness, automations, email marketing templates, and it’s the optimal service to use for bloggers.
  9. CALENDAR: This might sound fancy and complex, which it can be, but if you’re just starting out try planning out what blog posts you want to share and write and stick to your timeline and keep it consistent like I mentioned before. I’ll be sharing more on how to manage time and productivity with blogging too.
  10. GO GO GO! Just start, just do it.

EXTRAS to think about…

  • Money: How will you generate revenue from operating your blog to help cover food/operating costs and your time? Read up on How to Monetize your Food Blog (it’s an incredible resource on how to use ad networks as well!)
  • Time management tools: Asana, Teambox, CoSchedule, and good ole’ Google Calendar are just a few to help keep organized.
  • Mental exercise: All of the Zen Habits archive articles are fantastic to read through. Many times I’ll take a scroll through his wonderful blog posts about general mental and emotional health. Running a blog can be a lot of work, it’s important to stay in the game and know your limits to avoid burnout/stress.

I hope this helps answer your questions, let me know what questions you have, feedback, more advice, etc.!

xx McKel


*This content is continually updated. The last edit and update was 10/2017

Share your thoughts

  • Thank you so much for posting McKel!!!

  • Awesome, Mckel! Thank you so much for these reminders. Your perspective on business is SO clear, honest and simple – which is what makes it so inspiring to me! I have learned so much from you and continue to be inspired by what you do! xoxo

  • McKel, Thanks for these tips. I’m curious about lighting? I invested in a Canon Rebel last year and I’m slowly teaching myself to shoot but I’m always chasing the (natural) light. The photo you posted on IG looks great… Do you have a recommendation for indoor light kits?

    Congratulations on your success with Nutrition Stripped! It’s really inspiring!

    • Ahh lighting… I only shoot in natural lighting so I can’t speak to that! I’m writing about food photography next up 😉

  • Kale ya!!! That was awesome ma dear.. I have a lifestyle blog called Delicious by Chanelle and I’ll tell you being consistent is a rough ordeal sometimes. I love my space though. A place where I can be my sassy and silly little self.
    One thing I’ve learned through this social media world is that I shouldn’t try to attract people who aren’t genuinely into who I really am. I figured out how to own my “weird” and to attract others who appreciate it as well. Now posting consistently and buying a new lense after mine shattered at the Women’s World Cup is 2 things on my list after reading your post! #TeamNutritonBloggers #BiggestFan

  • Thank you, McKel! Excellent information and very helpful for me to implement a few items and also reassess where I am with others. Much appreciated! 🙂

  • Adela

    Hi McKel,

    Thanks for sharing your great tips. Came just in time for starting my blog. Greetings from Slovakia!

  • Great tips! Inspiring to see how far your photography has come! I have a lot to learn about it!

  • This post is literally the one thing I have been searching for this past week. I’ve just started a food blog myself and your tips are so so helpful! Thanks 🙂

  • Hi!
    I’m a passionate follower of your blog and I’m coming to Nashville for the first time from New Zealand! Inwould love any wholesome recommendations of places to eat and things to do.
    Your blog and business is fantastic and such an inspiration for the life coaching I’m embarking on (transitioning out of corporate work very slowly!!)

  • Shyla

    LOVE this post! Thanks so much. Those were all great tips that I plan to utilize in the future. I completely agree that being yourself and adding unique touches to your blog is what makes it so special! I love reading different health/wellness blogs and noticing the little quirks they all possess because the writer gives that to the blog!

    You are SO inspiring! Keep it up!

  • McKel, thank you so much for sharing! I currently shoot with my iPhone, but I’m wanting to invest in a camera to take my blog to the next level. I’ll have to check out the ones you mentioned!

    And thanks for the reminder to be myself. That’s something I struggled with when I first started my blog, but I’m getting better at it!

  • Valentina

    Thank you for the advice! Looking into starting my blog this summer so much and now convinced I need to learn to use Lightroom 🙂

  • McKel, You’re such an inspiration for so many aspiring bloggers and especially RD bloggers. Thank you so much for being a part of the Healthy Aperture community and for mentioning the site 🙂

    • Thank YOU Regan for doing the same and being so supportive of other RD’s- and thank you for those kind words! xx

  • love hearing your take on this. great post and super informative. xo

  • Allison McIsaac

    Thanks for the tips Mckel! You’re a rockstar!
    I am a recent nutrition graduate and RD (c) living in Halifax, Canada. I have truly been inspired by your blog and online presence. I have been working verrrry hard, starting my own nutrition blog and nutrition consultation business over the past few months and as you know there is so much to learn when you are starting out! I strongly agree with Tip #1 to Be yourself, but understand how many people struggle with this starting out when they are trying to find their niche and voice, myself included!! Great advice to remember. I feel like my weakest link right now is my photography skills/lack of equipment and I look forward to your future post about this. I am also curious to know what plug ins you would recommend and also about the legal side of things (disclosure, privacy policy etc.) and how I go about setting these things up.
    Congratulations with your success with Nutrition Stripped, its truly inspirational to all of us fellow RD’s out there!

    • Thank you for all the kind words, I truly appreciate that! I’m glad you found this helpful and inspiring- I hope it helps you harness your passions! xx

  • Bonita

    THIS IS SO INSPIRING, I appreciate You☆★♡♥

  • rika

    Hi Mckel

    I absolutely love your blog and recipes. I have a quick question for you. Where did you get the bowl in this article? It’s so pretty

  • Megha

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

  • Nicole

    Thanks so much for this! The “how to monetize your food blog” link doesn’t seem to point to an active site. Do you have any other articles that would be good to read to learn this topic?! Thanks again!


    • McKel Hill

      Good catch! I updated the link and it’s working now. Pinch of Yum’s Food Blogger Pro is an amazing resource you can also check out through the updated link!


See what wellness looks like #IRL

follow @nutritionstripped

Looking for something? Let's find it!

Terms & Conditions

Photography, recipe, and content Policy

All content is copyright of Nutrition Stripped and shall not be copied, replicated, or duplicated. Please be courteous, respectful, and refrain from using it as your own. You may share a recipe or image only by contacting, referring, or directly linking back to Nutrition Stripped.

Photography and Recipe Policy 
We’re extremely flattered when asked to publish NS photography on a website or blog. We ask that if you’d like to share a recipe, photography, or content, you must get permission from the team first. Please keep in mind that all written content, photography, recipes, and general writing are copyrighted materials which have been a labor of love in the production of and have worked very hard to produce it.

Nutrition Stripped policy is as follows if you want to do the following:
To promote a recipe or photograph from my site You may post one photo as long as you give a direct link back to the post where you found the photograph/material including in the content a mention of McKel Hill, MS, RD from Nutrition Stripped. You may not republish the recipe itself. To use my photography for promotion other than sharing my original works you must request permission beforehand, a simple email will do. You may not republish my recipe or multiple recipes without direct permission. We occasionally allow other websites to post my recipes; which is decided at my discretion on a case-by-case basis and mostly with those we have an agreement with for example with my blog writing contributions. Please uphold the standards of the U.S. copyright laws for recipes and mycopyright policy.


Nutrition Stripped © 2016

Privacy Policy

Personal identification information
We may collect personal identification information from Users in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, when Users visit our site, subscribe to the newsletter, and in connection with other activities, services, features or resources we make available on our Site. Users may be asked for, as appropriate, name, email address. Users may, however, visit our Site anonymously. We will collect personal identification information from Users only if they voluntarily submit such information to us. Users can always refuse to supply personally identification information, except that it may prevent them from engaging in certain Site related activities.

Non-personal identification information
We may collect non-personal identification information about Users whenever they interact with our Site. Non-personal identification information may include the browser name, the type of computer and technical information about Users means of connection to our Site, such as the operating system and the Internet service providers utilized and other similar information.

Web browser cookies
Our Site may use “cookies” to enhance User experience. User’s web browser places cookies on their hard drive for record-keeping purposes and sometimes to track information about them. User may choose to set their web browser to refuse cookies, or to alert you when cookies are being sent. If they do so, note that some parts of the Site may not function properly.

How we use collected information
Nutrition Stripped may collect and use Users personal information for the following purposes: To improve customer service, information you provide helps us respond to your customer service requests and support needs more efficiently. To personalize user experience, we may use information in the aggregate to understand how our Users as a group use the services and resources provided on our Site. To improve our Site, we may use feedback you provide to improve our products and services. To run a promotion, contest, survey or other Site feature. To send Users information they agreed to receive about topics we think will be of interest to them. To send periodic emails, we may use the email address to respond to their inquiries, questions, and/or other requests. If User decides to opt-in to our mailing list, they will receive emails that may include company news, updates, related product or service information, etc. If at any time the User would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

How we protect your information
We adopt appropriate data collection, storage and processing practices and security measures to protect against unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure or destruction of your personal information, username, password, transaction information and data stored on our Site. Sensitive and private data exchange between the Site and its Users happens over a SSL secured communication channel and is encrypted and protected with digital signatures.

Sharing your personal information
We do not sell, trade, or rent Users personal identification information to others. We may share generic aggregated demographic information not linked to any personal identification information regarding visitors and users with our business partners, trusted affiliates and advertisers for the purposes outlined above. We may use third party service providers to help us operate our business and the Site or administer activities on our behalf, such as sending out newsletters or surveys. We may share your information with these third parties for those limited purposes provided that you have given us your permission.

Changes to this privacy policy
Nutrition Stripped has the discretion to update this privacy policy at any time. When we do, we will revise the updated date at the bottom of this page and send you an email. We encourage Users to frequently check this page for any changes to stay informed about how we are helping to protect the personal information we collect. You acknowledge and agree that it is your responsibility to review this privacy policy periodically and become aware of modifications.

Third party links
Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g. click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you.  These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information.  To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice visit the NAI at To opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit

By using this Site, you signify your acceptance of this policy and terms of service. If you do not agree to this policy, please do not use our Site. Your continued use of the Site following the posting of changes to this policy will be deemed your acceptance of those changes. Privacy policy created by last modified on 7/31/13

We allow third party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our Web site.  These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g. click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you.  These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information.  To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice visit the NAI at To opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit

Disclosure Policy

Nutrition Stripped works with brands all over the globe that we can stand behind and that we know you’ll love too! Companies and brands will send me products to try or develop recipes with. Whenever I review or refer to a product that was provided to me, I will make it clear in the post, otherwise it is a product that I have purchased and will not necessarily mention in that post. 

Disclosure Policy
This policy is valid starting from 16 June 2013. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Nutrition Stripped. For questions about this blog, please contact Support [at] nutritirionstripped [dot] com.

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

While this blog may be compensated for a review of a product or service, such compensation will never have an effect on the honest opinion that I present on this blog. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content will always be identified.

Questions? Please e-mail Support [at] nutritionstripped [dot] com or refer to the FTC’s ruling on blogger disclosure: FTC Rules on Sponsored Conversations

Release of Liability
Any item promoted/advertised/sponsored on this site that you choose to partake in is your decision and I am not liable for any problems that arise including, but not limited to: not receiving products, receiving broken or damaged goods, seeing an item you bought go on sale after you buy it, technical difficulties with sites that I link to. Furthermore, any information you submit to any external site is at your own risk.

Affiliate Discretion Notice

Nutrition Stripped is a participant of several affiliate programs which is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking directly to sources that Nutrition Stripped genuinely likes. If you click on any of those links, which are known as “affiliate links”, and make a purchase within a certain time frame, I’ll get a small commission. The commission is paid by the third parties, not by you! Affiliate links and resources earned help support my efforts here at Nutrition Stripped, thank you!

Need help? Support

T-shirt Size Chart

Size US Sizes UK Sizes AUS Sizes
Small (S) 2-4 32-34 6-8
Medium (M) 6-10 36-40 9-13
Large (L) 10-14 40-44 13-17


No worries, just shoot us a quick email at [email protected] with SHOP in the subject and let us know what size you’re looking for and we’ll set you up!

Avocado Love t-shirt is made with super soft blend of 65% poly 35% viscose; it’s lightweight, flowy, hangs off the body and runs true to size. The boxy crop tee doesn’t show the tummy, just slightly when you raise your hands.

Matcha Matcha Matcha t-shirt is made with a durable 100% cotton blend. It runs a bit on the larger side, but shrinks an entire size due to the cotton.

Kale Made Me Do It t-shirt is made with super soft blend of 65% poly 35% viscose; it’s lightweight, flowy, hangs off the body and runs true to size. The sleeves are purposefully a little loose, hanging off the shoulders giving room to move.

Good Food Good Vibes t-shirt is made with super soft blend of 65% poly 35% viscose; it’s lightweight, flowy, hangs off the body and runs true to size. The sleeves have a deep scoop showing your side body more than a normal tank, great to show off a touch of your sports bra, lacy bra, or any tank underneath.

Each t-shirt is individually hand screen printed here in Nashville, TN by our friends Grand Palace Printing. Each design is printed multiple times to ensure quality color. A lot of love goes into making every single t-shirt, here’s how to take care of it when it gets to you:

+ Wash cold
+ Line dry or lay flat to dry to retain best color and size

Shop Support

Have questions about your order? Exchanges/returns, or just to share a testimonial of your experience with Nutrition Stripped? We’re happy to help answer any and all questions you might have. Please email us at [email protected]om.

Follow me on Snapchat

Send this to friend