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      How to Do Keyword Research for Your WordPress Blog


      iPhone repair near me. Easy dinner ideas. How to create a website?

      A key way to get traffic to your website? Understand how people search for things on the internet.

      By tapping into search behavior, you can help optimize your website for high rankings in search engines. With a well-positioned search engine spot, you have a better chance of getting found by internet audiences.

      Keywords are vital for search engine optimization (SEO). Doing some research into the things people are searching for will not only help you better understand your target audience but also to plan and utilize high-value keyword phrases in your blog posts to earn better rankings in search engines.

      In this guide, we’ll show you how to conduct smart keyword research, then how to use those target keywords on your site to boost your organic traffic and earn prime search engine rankings. Let’s get started!

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      DreamPress’ automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on keywords and not kernels.

      What is Keyword Research?

      First, let’s talk about what a keyword is. When people are searching Google for something, they use certain words to find what they’re looking for. Those words or phrases are keywords.

      Keywords used in a Google search

      Doing research into the keywords people use when searching online can help you optimize your website for those keywords — helping improve your blog posts and increase your traffic.

      The great thing is, you don’t need to take a stab in the dark at guessing the keywords people are using to search the internet. There are actually smart keyword research tools available to help you make data-driven, effective decisions when it comes to accomplishing essential tasks, such as:

      • Identifying the keywords people are actually using
      • Creating relevant content that ranks well
      • Understanding your audiences (and adjusting your offerings to meet their needs)
      • Scoping out your competitors’ SEO strategies
      • Earning more web traffic
      • Building a loyal audience

      Long story short: Making keyword research a part of your content strategy will help you build visibility and, ultimately, grow your site.

      Of course, optimized keywords aren’t the only way to earn your content prime search engine real estate, but it’s an essential building block for SEO, increased conversions, and rush-hour e-traffic. Plus, if one of your overall goals is to monetize your site, you need to embrace SEO as the foundation of your site’s content. The numbers prove it: 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making purchases.

      How to Get Started with Keyword Research

      Now that you know how vital the keyword research process is, let’s get into the real nitty-gritty: how to do keyword research for your WordPress blog.

      The obvious place to start is Google. Today, Google handles more than 100 billion searches every month — around 60,000 every second. But even with billions of searches and the abundance of available info on the web, 60% of all organic clicks go to the top three organic search results, so the ranking of your site in search engine results matters.

      Most SEO-focused keyword research for WordPress focuses on Google — the powerhouse search engine fuels more than 76% of all global desktop search traffic, and over 94% of the mobile/tablet searches. Plus, Google’s free Keyword Planner is one of the most popular keyword research tools, allowing you to identify the most searched keywords, and use that essential insight to better your blog’s visibility.

      Before really diving deep into keyword research, it’s important to understand a few terms:

      • Search Volume: The number of times or volume of searches that are conducted for a particular keyword during a specific time-frame.
      • Search Traffic: The number of visits to a website measured by search results clicks.
      • Search Intent: The reason why a consumer is conducting a specific search. It indicates what they’re looking for — whether that’s information, a particular brand’s webpage, an answer to a question, or a product they intend to purchase.

      Understanding these terms is critical, as they indicate different data that you can use to do better keyword research and content development. Some keywords might get a high search volume — meaning, they get searched a lot — but don’t receive a lot of search traffic, meaning the number of clicks.

      Capital of Maine Google search query.
      The search volume for this query is likely higher than the search traffic — because it displays an answer box, the results might not receive as many clicks because the searcher has to take no further action to find what they’re looking for.

      In that regard, search volume can be misleading. In addition to volume and traffic, it’s essential to understand not only what keywords people type in a search engine, but also what their search intent is — meaning, what they’re actually looking for. Don’t worry — search intent doesn’t require any mind-reading, as most search queries can be separated into a few main, easy-to-identify categories:

      • Informational: How-to or what-is searches, (i.e., “how to make tea”)
      • Navigational: Branded searches, (i.e., “Facebook login” or “Capital One”)
      • Commercial: Specific attributes queries (i.e., versus or best queries, “women’s plus size dresses”)
      • Transactional: Searches directed toward a purchase (i.e., buy, download, etc.)

      There are generally certain types of content that are displayed in the results for each search intent category; for example, informational search intents might include guides, and commercial investigations will likely include comparison articles. When planning and creating content for your site, you’ll want to gear it towards what the searcher is looking for — their search intent — so that you can meet a need and create value. Additionally, when competing for keywords (more on this later), you’ll want to investigate the content types of the top-ranking pages so you know how to build your own content.

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      How to Do Keyword Research for Your Blog — in 3 Steps

      If you’re just starting out and looking for a free or very low-cost keyword research tool to get you going, we’ve got you covered:

      • Soolve: a simple but great tool for building a keyword list from multiple search sites.
      • Moz’s Keyword Explorer: a comprehensive keyword research tool that analyzes keywords by search volume, sorts by predictive keyword metrics, performs competitive keyword analysis, and allows you to review SERP details by keyword. In addition, you can find keywords in question format and access Moz’s proprietary Keyword Difficulty score that shows how easy (or hard) it is to rank on each SERP. Requires an account setup and allows 10 free queries a month.
      • Keywords Everywhere: a paid browser extension that’s easily installed on Firefox or Chrome that offers valuable data on monthly search volume, cost per click and competition data of keywords on multiple websites. This tool works by credits; 1 credit = 1 keyword, $10 for 100,000 credits.
      • Ubersuggest: This tool goes beyond simply offering keyword suggestions, extending its capabilities to competitor insight, top SEO pages reports, valuable backlink data, and deep dives into well-performing content pieces.

      If you’re looking to up your SEO game, check out a few above-and-beyond paid keyword research tools, like MarketMuse, BuzzSumo, Ahrefs, or SEMrush.

      As we mentioned, Google has a great (free!) tool — called Keyword Planner — that helps conduct keyword research for your WordPress blog. While its features are geared primarily toward PPC advertisers, the Keyword Planner is still an excellent platform for identifying keywords that will help you build a strong SEO strategy. Because we think Keyword Planner is the best place to start, we’ll focus on how to use this particular tool in our guide.

      1. How to Use Keyword Planner

      First, you need to get set up with a Google Ad account — if you don’t already have one. Click on the “Tools and Settings” button, then under the Planning Tab, click “Keyword Planner.”

      Then, click “Discover new keywords.”

      In the search box, you’ll enter words and phrases related to your business and/or enter your site URL and click “Get Results.” You can adjust or add keywords, or add filters to refine your search.

      Let’s say you enter a few keywords related to your niche — for example, “custom smartphone cases.”

      The resulting data displays additional keyword suggestions, along with a broad, average monthly search range, competition level (how many people have bid for that particular keyword in Google AdWords), and bid price ranges for specific keywords (this can help you judge the commercial intent of a searcher). You can analyze and utilize the data by filtering results, downloading keyword ideas, adding keywords to your plan to get detailed forecasts, accessing visualizations broken down by categories, and searching volume data.

      When conducting keyword research, start by searching broader keywords, then gradually narrow results down to identify keywords with low competition and more search volume. Focus on selecting keywords that answer your customers’ questions and aid them in making smart buying decisions. With the tool’s results, you can see your own keyword performance and then compare it with your competitors.

      With the displayed results, you can build a list of potential keywords for use on your site.

      You’ll likely want to target those keywords that earn high search volumes in order to bring crowds to your blog.

      But don’t forget about long-tail topics — a way to smartly utilize keyword research.

      Long-tail keywords are search queries with a low individual search volume, but as a group, they usually have a large total search demand. Targeting long-tail keywords can help you rank well and drive traffic to your blog. The easiest way to identify long-tail topics? Scout out your competition’s traffic-generating pages.

      2. Incorporating Target Keywords on Your Website

      Next, incorporate your list of keywords into your WordPress site.

      Essentially, you need to include those keywords on your site — on landing pages, documentation, in content like articles and blog posts, as well as in titles, descriptions, and categories for products you sell. Keywords are vital for helping you create better content that meets your audiences’ needs and get found by your target consumers.

      Now, you’ll want to take your keywords and incorporate them into your site to start optimizing your site for search engine rankings. Start by adding your strongest keywords to your site’s title and tagline. To do this, go to the Settings tab on your WordPress dashboard, then click General.

      WordPress site title and tagline.

      An important caveat: this is more appropriate if you’re just launching your website. In fact, it’s the ideal time to make SEO decisions about your domain, title, and tagline. If you’ve got an established site, proceed carefully with rebranding. You’ve likely already built a following and should avoid whiplashing your visitors with sudden changes. If you’re still looking to boost your SEO — and every website should be — focus on adding your keywords in other places.

      Outfit your header, slider, and individual page headings with customized keywords. Make sure your site’s images have descriptive alternative text and don’t skimp on writing a solid meta description for each blog post — take advantage of every opportunity to include relevant keywords on your site.

      Then, add optimized keywords to your individual posts and pages. Try to add targeted keywords at the beginning of each blog post in a natural way. Meaning, they should fit the content and not confuse, annoy, or distract your audience. An SEO-specific WordPress plugin — like our fav, the Yoast plugin — can help.

      3. Analyze Your Efforts

      Now, it’s a good idea to get analytical. Meaning: review the success of your keyword research efforts.

      How do you know if your keywords are earning you prime search engine real estate and successfully driving traffic? Tap into the Google Search Console and Google Analytics by using a tool like MonsterInsights on your WordPress blog to track analytics and user engagement from your keyword implementation. The results can help you adjust your strategy as necessary.

      Google Search Console

      Google Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site. The tool gives you an overview on search and site performance, helping you check indexing status and optimize the visibility of your website. The Coverage section is particularly important, giving you insight on which of your site pages Google can and can’t index, as well as intel into keyword queries. It alerts you to technical issues that need to be resolved in order to earn better site SEO.

      While Google Search Console is used to improve and optimize your site, Google Analytics is another valuable resource that gives you data about the performance of your site, including information on the number of visitors to your site, where visitors are coming from, how much time they spend on your site, what devices they’re using, and other useful insights.

      Google Analytics homepage

      Under the Acquisition tab, you can identify which channels bring visitors to your site. The “site search” section under the Behavior tab can show you what users are searching for on your site —  this can also help you develop valuable content ideas and improve the usability of your navigation. Bounce rate is another important metric that can clue you in to the UX of your website, as well as the success of your keywords.

      Understanding analytics can take some time. But utilizing Google’s free tools to improve upon even the smallest aspects of your site can boost your website’s visibility in search engines. Keep working!

      Searching High, Not Low

      Strong SEO begins with smart keyword research. Targeting smart keywords and optimizing them on your site helps you to not only attract more traffic to your WordPress website but also to build authority and trust with your audience.

      The ultimate goal for your site? Get more traffic by providing what people are looking for. Keyword research helps you target the correct keywords and gives you insight into how to utilize those keywords on your site and in your content, in foundational ways that will improve your SEO and bring searchers to your site.

      When they find you, your site should wow them. With our award-winning services, DreamHost can help bring your WordPress site to the next level. Check out our web hosting solutions today.



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      How to Start a Photography Blog (In 4 Steps)


      Photography is a popular and useful hobby, especially with the variety and convenience of advanced camera options we have now. Whether you’re into dark rooms and film or high-end digital lenses, turning your photography hobby into a business might be on your radar. Figuring out how best to get your work online, however, can be a full-time job.

      That’s where WordPress and the time-saving functionality of website builders come in. When you combine the content management options of WordPress with drag-and-drop site design capability, it’s easy to turn your big ideas into a professional photography site.

      In this article, we’ll cover four steps for creating a photography website with WordPress. We’ll also discuss why this platform is the best option and share the best website builder tools for WordPress to help you attain your dream photography blogging site.

      Take that lens cap off your camera, friend, and let’s get started!

      Why You Should Consider a WordPress Website for Your Photography Blog

      When it comes to Content Management Systems (CMSs), we make no bones about it — WordPress is the best. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. WordPress owns 50–60% of the global CMS market. Additionally, it’s the first choice for 14.7% of the top 100 sites on the web.

      Outside of those numbers, WordPress’s practical, open-source platform is another reason we suggest it for a photography blog. A nearly endless array of custom themes and plugins are available to help you eliminate distractions and create a truly unique website for your photography.

      One more plus? WordPress software is free. That means that even as a brand new blogger, you can afford a self-hosted website.

      How to Start a Photography Blog With WordPress (In 4 Steps)

      One of the first steps in designing a photography website is to determine your own style or niche. Whatever your blogging focus might be, knowing this ahead of time will help you design your site and target your specific audience. Take a few minutes to set some goals for your site and then write them down.

      Once you have your blogging goals, the following four steps should help to guide you through setting up and designing a site with WordPress.

      Step 1: Choose Your Domain Name and Web Host

      Picking out a domain name can be a fun but frustrating process. One of the best ways to stand out as a blogger is with a unique and brand-oriented name. You might find, however, that many of the names you want are already taken.

      Fortunately, while choosing a .com is still popular, there are quite a few new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) available that might be just right for your photography site if the domain you wanted is unavailable.

      Searching for a domain name.

      As for selecting a hosting provider, this step might seem overwhelming at first. However, there are a few things to keep in mind as you shop that should help. For instance, if you plan on setting up an e-commerce page as part of your blogging strategy, you’ll want to look into what each host provides for that use case.

      Regardless of your goals as a blogger, other significant features to look out for include:

      • Storage. If you plan on using the same host for your website and your photos, you’ll want to investigate the amount of storage that’s available. There may be several options, or even additional storage available as an add-on to handle your larger, high-quality images.
      • Software. You’ll also want to consider whether you’ll need a one-click solution to get started with WordPress. This is an excellent option for anyone who is not hiring a developer and isn’t a programming expert.
      • Support. The last thing you want is for your clients to run into downtime while trying to view your photos. Make sure your web host has 24/7 support, and read up on its site backup and restoration options in case something happens.
      • Extras. Some hosts come with extra features you might want to consider. These can include premium themes or plugins, staging sites, or site builders.

      No matter what type of hosting you ultimately decide you need, here at DreamHost we offer a wide range of WordPress plans.

      WordPress hosting at DreamHost.

      You Take Great Photos, We’ll Handle the Hosting

      Our automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can stay behind the camera.

      Step 2: Install a Dedicated Photography Theme

      Installing a theme enables you to customize the look of your WordPress site. What’s more, it’s as easy as uploading a file or clicking a button. There are a lot of photography themes out there, however, so deciding which one is best for you might be the hardest part.

      If you’re using DreamHost as your WordPress hosting service, you’ll have access to WP Website Builder. As a photographer, this means you can drag-and-drop your site elements in a front-end view of your website. You can choose from photography-specific custom templates and view your changes live as you make them.

      Getting started is easy. You simply need to select “WP Website Builder” as an option when purchasing your DreamHost plan.

      Adding WP Website Builder to DreamHost.

      Once you complete your purchase with the website builder selected, WordPress and premium plugins built by our friends at BoldGrid will be installed. The Page and Post Builder and Inspirations will appear in your menu options once you visit your WordPress dashboard.

      Once you’re logged into WordPress for the first time, you’ll be immediately taken to a setup page. When you’re ready, select Let’s Get Started!.

      BoldGrid Inspirations.

      Next, you’ll be able to choose from a menu of theme categories. Inspirations includes 20 stunning photography-friendly themes.

      Theme choices.

      Once you select the theme you want, you’ll be guided through choosing some custom content options. You can use preset page layouts and create menus. You’ll also be able to test your theme’s responsiveness to mobile devices.

      Content choice settings.

      You might notice additional content on your WordPress dashboard now as well. There are some tutorial videos, for example, in case you need extra support along the way. Plus, if you want to spice things up later and change your theme, the Inspirations menu will lead you through that process.

      Step 3: Select Plugins to Enhance Your Site

      Now that you’ve selected a theme, you might want to look at some plugins as well. WordPress plugins are add-on packages of code that can enhance and extend the functionality of the platform. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the best way to manage them, in order to make sure you’re keeping your site safe and secure.

      Photography blogs and websites have some unique needs, such as the ability to display and watermark high-quality images. You may also need to create image galleries with password protection or tie your e-commerce options to a file download manager. All of these tasks can be tackled with plugins.

      One tool to check out is Photography Management.

      The Photography Management plugin.

      This plugin is a client management solution for photographers who need to provide images and galleries to their customers. It can help you create a login portal for clients and provides notifications when your clients complete an action.

      Another reliable photography plugin is Envira Gallery.

      The Envira Gallery plugin.

      The Envira feature list is extensive. It includes options for watermarking your images, which may be an important part of your security strategy. You can also set up a storefront, create video galleries, and import content from Instagram. Combining this kind of tool with our website builder makes displaying your work dynamically online a cinch.

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      Step 4: Create Compelling Content

      When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there is more to think about than just keywords. What other pages say about you is just one other element that is vital for securing better page rankings.

      Gaining backlinks or having your pages shared on social media are both effective ways to build page rank and clients. One way to garner more backlinks is to create compelling content. This could come in the form of tutorials, downloads, infographics, videos, or podcasts.

      A beautiful example of these options can be seen on the Julia & Gil photography site.

      Julia and Gil photography site.

      Adding a blog to your page is also a great way to build a following and establish yourself as a trusted name in the industry.

      How to Promote Your Photography Business

      Now that your photography has a home on the web, you might be wondering how to get more eyeballs on your work. Self-promotion can be a challenge at times, but with WordPress and your professional theme, you have plenty to showcase!

      There are a few ways to approach promoting your new site, including:

      • Social Media. Sharing your work on social media can reap significant benefits. One way to get into the habit is to stay on a posting schedule, so interested viewers know they can regularly expect new content. Here’s how we recommend promoting your blog on social.
      • Testimonials. Research shows that 82% of consumers seek recommendations from family and friends before making a purchase. This makes customer testimonials a powerful tool on your website.
      • Call to Action. If your goal is to gain clients or fill up your email subscriber list, you might want to study up on the art of writing a good Call to Action (CTA). This will clearly guide your site’s visitors towards the action you want them to take.
      • Portfolios. Creating a portfolio can give you a portion of your site that is specifically geared toward promoting your skills. While your entire website might function as an advertisement, a portfolio allows you to pick and choose your best work to highlight.

      However you decide to promote your new website, it’s a proven best practice that keeping your site information up-to-date and accurate is crucial when it comes to improving SEO and gaining a following.

      Blogging Photographers

      Whether it’s nature, weddings, family portraits, or street photography, you can personally display your images with a professional photography theme and WP Website Builder. WordPress’ niche photography plugins can also help you add unique elements to set your site apart.

      Here at DreamHost, we want you to be focused on the next shot — not whether your site might crash. Our complete WordPress hosting solutions come with easy built-in solutions for backing up your website and maintaining top-notch performance. Additionally, WordPress setup is fast and easy, so you can get up and running and share your amazing images with the world!



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      How to Start Your Own Food Blog: An Expert Guide


      Admit it — you know your way around the kitchen.

      Whether you’re wielding a whisk, perfecting paella, or creating the next culinary chef-d’oeuvre, it’s clear: Food is your gift, talent, and passion. And if you’re ready to take your compliments-to-the-chef recipes online, it’s time to set up your own blog. But where to start?

      Don’t get your garlic in a knot. We’ve got you covered.

      In this handy food blogging guide, we provide all the technical know-how you need to get your own food blog up and running, plus first-class advice from experts in the blogging biz. What’s more, we’ll share the best website builder tools for WordPress and all kinds of resources, so you can start showcasing your culinary chops and drool-worthy photography to bring in some dough. You provide the ingredients, and we’ll make your food blog restaurant-ready.

      Blog More with Managed WordPress Hosting

      Our automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on creating great content.

      Why Start a Food Blog?

      Food bloggers are some of the most influential people on the internet. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the stats:

      • More and more, people are ditching grandma’s recipe box and seeking food info on the web. It’s estimated that 50% of consumers now use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to learn about food, while another 40% learn from websites, apps, or blogs.
      • A massive 89% of consumers go online for recipes; 79% trust blogs for recipes and food information.
      • Food bloggers are the cool kids on the block, boasting four times as many followers than any other niche.
      • 59% of 25- to 34-year-olds head to the kitchen with either their smartphones or tablets.
      • Consumers are not only consuming food content online — they’re sharing it. Fifty-four percent say they share info and recipes with friends, family, and strangers.

      Millennials use mobile devices in the kitchen.

      Food blogs have rapidly become popular, credible, and sharable ways for talented, passionate (and normal) people to share their passion for food and recipe creation — and to make big $$$. Food bloggers influence consumer food trends and social discussion and are pioneering the modern food experience. Many have even used their taste-ful content to ink cookbook deals, score cooking show hosting gigs, and amass large and loyal followings that share their content globally.

      So if you’re a dish-developing foodie who wants to own a digital presence while becoming an influential voice in food conversation, there’s potential for you. It’s time to bring your kitchen online.

      How to Start a Food Blog (8 Steps)

      Let’s break it down. What do you even need to create a food blog, grow your traffic, and start making money with your recipes? Consult our handy guide below!

      1. Determine Your Niche

      When you’re ready to get busy in the kitchen, what’s your go-to creation? Do you specialize in vegan creations? Excel in gluten-free goodies? Are you the queen of 30-minute Instant Pot meals for busy moms?

      Whatever you do best — and what you enjoy most — is where you want to start. Finding your niche allows you to distinguish yourself from the millions of other bloggers out there and identify a target audience — which, in turn, helps you understand how to market your content and build a following.

      The Pioneer Woman food blog home page.
      Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman discovered her niche and developed a wildly-popular blog following by appealing to down-home, comfort-food eaters.

      “… blog about what you are passionate about. Don’t start your blog because you want to make money off it. Start your blog because you feel like you have something unique to share with the world. If you truly have the passion and drive, and you are constantly looking for ways to make it better, your blog will eventually succeed and hopefully, turn into a career.”

      Tieghan, blogger at Half Baked Harvest

      2. Create a Blog Name

      Time to get those creative juices flowing. What do you want to call your blog? Take time to brainstorm ideas, keeping in mind some typical internet behavior. Your best bet is something memorable and unique, but easy to find (and type) online. It should be related to your niche or help establish your brand.

      The Minimalist Baker home page.
      Dana Shultz of The Minimalist Baker distinguishes herself as a food blogger by choosing a blog name that clearly identifies her target audience — cooking enthusiasts who want simple, easy-to-follow recipes.

      3. Choose your CMS

      A content management system, (as the name implies) manages the creation and modification of digital content, making your dream of running a food blog dream a hassle-free reality.

      As far as CMS options go, we heartily recommend WordPress — and the love is mutual. At DreamHost, we wear our own WordPress-approved badge with pride. This powerhouse blogging platform fuels more than 30% of the internet and can power your blog, too.

      4. Purchase your Domain Name and Hosting

      Listen up. Getting a domain and choosing a web host are some of the most crucial decisions you’ll make when you start a blog.

      Your domain is an essential building block of search engine optimization (SEO), and a good domain name helps you get found online. Domains should match your blog name and can be purchased through a registrar.

      Or better yet: pair the purchase of your domain name with web hosting service. Your hosting plan will provide you with server space to store your files so online browsers can visit your site.

      WordPress hosting plans through DreamHost combine the best of tech, tools, and service at a budget-friendly price to help make creating your food blog a snap.

      DreamHost’s WordPress Hosting

      Plus, DreamHost isn’t just a smart option for all the behind-the-scenes setup. Our customers get access to WP Website Builder an easy-to-use drag-and-drop site builder tool for WordPress that simplifies the process, allowing you to customize without coding and make the perfect food blog fast. *chef’s kiss*

      With WP Website Builder, we include a suite of premium themes, tools, and plugins — built by our friends at BoldGrid — to help simplify the start-up process and make it easier to edit and manage your website as it grows. Rest easy because you don’t need to start from scratch. Starter content is packed into every beautiful, responsive, and customizable design.

      5. Setup

      To get started, you’ll need to select “WP Website Builder” as an option during your DreamHost purchase. Then, we’ll automatically install WordPress and website builder tools, BoldGrid’s Inspirations and Page and Post Builder, for you.  Once you’re logged into WordPress, you’ll see the Inspirations setup page.

      Inspirations “Welcome” page

      Three simple steps? We knew you’d like the sound of that. And it really is that simple! Click Let’s Get Started! to continue.

      Designs for WordPress

      At this stage, you’ll select a theme. You can narrow your options by specific industry-related categories or browse them all to find your perfect starter site. (Hint: There’s even a collection of food-tailored themes under the Restaurant category.) For this guide, we selected the “Hifidel” theme.

      Hifidel Theme

      Next, you’ll decide on basic pages and add the functionality you want. You can also view how this theme looks on other devices, like smartphones and tablets. The easy-to-use, drag-and-drop editing paired with design blocks (over 100 options!) helps you build faster and edit easier. It’s simple for beginners, with advanced options for seasoned professionals, making it possible to create the perfect site.

      Now, you’ll click Next and enter additional details that help populate your website with social media icons and contact info.

      Easily add social media icons to your site.

      Then, click Finish and Install. Easy as (your famous cherry) pie, right?

      Installation is now set up on your WordPress account. From your dashboard, you can continue customizing your website. You’ll want to adjust your site design and add essential elements.

      Customize Your BoldGrid Theme

      For increased functionality, you’ll also want to install useful plugins. We install a handful of valuable plugins, like SEO, Gallery, and Backup, but you should consider additional tools, like plugins for controlling spam or building forms. (There’s even one for recipes!) Be sure to check out our list of the most essential plugins this year.

      With a form-building plugin, you can set up a simple contact form to help you turn your traffic into an email list — a powerful (and critical) way to market your blog content to readers.

      6. Create Content

      This step is where it gets really gets good. Time to enrich your website with your one-of-a-kind recipes, heartfelt blog posts, and gorgeous food photography. Your food blog isn’t going to do you much good if it’s empty, so prioritize high-quality content.

      Set up a blogging schedule to continually outfit your blog with fresh, consistent, relevant, and yes, delicious content — and to keep yourself organized. Content is what’s going to draw readers to your site, so make it good and keep it coming. When it comes to content, you should always be cooking up a fresh post (or repurposing an oldie but goodie).

      Hint: Kate of Cookie + Kate has a bunch of excellent food blogging resources here.

      High-quality food photograph.

      “You have to publish high-quality content every single day. Readers hitting your site for the first time should see consistently updated, fresh content, and they should know that if they come back the next day, there will be something new to read. That’s the only way to get people returning to your site several times a day, checking to see if you’ve updated yet. These can’t be throwaway posts, either; everything you publish to your site needs to be a carefully crafted, professionally-photographed piece of content that will either teach or inform. Then, the next day, you need to do it all over again, and be comfortable with pushing the previous day’s work out of the spotlight after just a brief 24 hours.”

      Julie, blogger at MealHack

      7. Spread the Word

      Promote your blog by creating content that’s optimized for search engines. Market your content through an email list and social media, such as an Instagram account, Twitter, Facebook, and even a YouTube Channel. You can also consider pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

      And don’t forget about increasing traffic through SEO improvements (we can help with this — the WordPress website builder has on-page SEO tips built right in!) There are lots of hungry people out there looking for your unique expertise — plan a marketing strategy that helps them find you.

      BoldGrid’s SEO Window

      SEO isn’t black magic; it’s about making your quality content findable. It’s important to understand and implement the basics. Here is Google’s SEO starter guide [PDF] and Bake Your Day’s SEO For Food Bloggers Guide.”

      Kate, Cookie + Kate

      8. Monetize

      It’s true — your blog posts can make you money. But likely, it will take time and lots of stellar content. So keep producing. Advertising, networking, affiliate marketing programs, and pitching are all ways you can bring in $$ from your blog.

      Hint: Julie of MealHack has great info on monetizing your blog.

      Cutting board with fresh ingredients.

      I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try to make money off your blog, but don’t align yourself with a brand or project that isn’t a good fit. You are the company you keep. Focus on producing your best content and building your audience, and the opportunities will come.”

      Kate, blogger at Cookie + Kate

      Starting a Food Blog: The Last Course

      For all you foodies looking to share your culinary talents with the world, it’s time to get blogging! We make starting a blog easy. Sign up for WordPress hosting through DreamHost and take advantage of WP Website Builder to enter the food blogging scene with an appetizing (and easy-to-whip-up) site.



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