My 1000th Post: How To Start a Food Blog

This is my 1000th post. Can you believe it? 1000 posts. That’s craziness. That means I’ve sat down exactly 1000 times with a new window here and a new idea, a new experience to convey to you all. That’s a lot of times. I hope you appreciate it!

Since I’m a veteran now of 1000 posts I am going to use this opportunity to play teacher. Despite popular opinion, I’m not playing teacher just so I can wear a wool skirt. You see I’ve had some requests–via e-mail–for advice on how to start a food blog. My response to these people has generally been: “How dare you expect a man of my calibre to throw away brilliance on fools such as yourselves!” but then my little conscience fairy woke up and was like, “Adam, be nice, these people need help.”

So here, in celebration of 1000 posts, is my small effort to get some of you going on foodblogging odysseys of your own. Let’s begin at the beginning.

Why should you start a food blog?

Great question! Many of you shouldn’t. Foodblogging (like any other blogging) requires time. You really have to ask yourself: “Why am I starting a food blog?” I can think of two legitimate answers:

(1) I have a love for food that I want to share with the world;

(2) I want to document my eating and cooking experiences but I don’t really care about sharing it with the world.

Those of you who fall into Camp 2 are basically not looking to be bloggers, you’re looking to keep an electronic record of your meals cooked and eaten using blog software. That’s fine, but I’m not giving you advice today. My advice is for those who want to grow a successful, largely read food blog.

So how do I do it?

Ok, you’ll need a few things. For starters, I really really really think you need a camera. There are some bloggers who can pull off blogging without pictures (Andrew Sullivan, Jason Kottke) but they’re not food bloggers. The few food bloggers I can think of who don’t post pictures on a regular basis are filter bloggers. What’s a filter blogger? This is a blogger who acts as a filter and fishes for food-related content on the web, posting it for all to see. Occassionally they come up with original content but more often than not they’re picking and choosing what they consider to be the best articles about food out there on the web.

What are some examples of filter food blogs?

The first that comes to mind is Alaina Browne’s A Full Belly. Alaina culls (is cull the right word?) great food content that you may or may not have found on your own and shares it with the world. She’s what I’d consider the perfect example of a filter foodblogger.

Josh at The Food Section acts as a filter food blogger on the side of his site under “Appetizers.” And Bruce Cole does a similar thing over at Saute Wednesday (built on the fact that food sections are published on Wednesday.)

What are the advantages of filter food blogging?

I think it’s safe to say that filter food blogging requires less time than other forms of food blogging. If you’re someone who loves to scan the net for food related content and you regularly discover items that the mainstream press doesn’t cover, you’d be a welcome addition to the filter food blogging community. Plus, you can make your blog as specific or as broad as you’d like. You can cover, as Alaina did in her former life, only NYC related food media or you can cover something really esoteric like three-headed shrimp stories. The choice is yours.

Ok, but what if I want to come up with my own content? Like you do?

Then you need to ready yourself. Again, you’ll need a camera. The best makers of original content in the food blogging universe (Clotilde, Heidi, and Pim come to mind) all have cameras and feature pictures prominently on their blogs.

There’s a reason for this. Unlike political or music blogs that focus on things that rarely have a visual component, food is something tangible, something you can hold, and something you want to see before you taste. And the fact that you see food before you taste it–the fact that how the food looks often affects whether or not you want to taste it–makes photography an integral part of food blogging. Any food blogger can write on and on and on and on about a piece of pie or a fish eyeball they ate at El Bulli, but more than in any other form of blog (and maybe I’m overstating) when it comes to food blogging, a picture’s worth 1000 words.

Ok, ok, I get it…

I don’t think you do. Not only should you have a camera but you should break up the text on your site with lots of pictures. For example, I’m growing concerned right here that this post is crazy text heavy. So I will post a picture of my cat, Lolita, to break things up a bit. When someone’s scrolling the site later this will catch their eye. It will be hugely effective.


Very nice. Now can we get on to the specifics? I don’t even know where to begin.

There are two things you have to do to have a food blog. Well only one, really. You have to choose blogging software. I’m a huge gigantic megawatt fan of Typepad which is what I use to run this site. It is so user friendly that I need only direct you to their site and you should be able to figure things out. So go to Typepad and look around. It’s great.

Next, you may want to buy a domain for your site. I actually named this site “The Amateur Gourmet” because I purchased a domain at and I needed to come up with something and I kept trying different combinations and suited me best. If I would’ve chosen, things would be a little different around here.

My advice would be to start your blog on typepad, use their domain for the first month or so and make sure you’re really committed. If you feel like you’re updating frequently and you’re enjoying it then buy a domain name. Typepad will help you send the data to the doman name (it’s called domain wrapping or something) but let’s not worry about that now. Typepad will help you with that.

You mentioned updating frequently. How frequently should I update?

Here’s the secret to successful blogging. Are you ready? To be successful, you must update frequently. That’s nothing new—most blogging gurus say the same. There are many reasons for this. The more you update, the more content you create, the more content you create the more Googleable you become. (I’ve learnt this watching my statistics: I get the large majority of my hits from Google searches for strange things that have nothing to do with food, only because there’s some obscure word in the title.) Clotilde explained to me once that Google has an algorithm that dictates how Googleable you are: it’s based, I think, on how many people link to you and how often you update. So updating frequently has its rewards.

But also, and more obviously, the more you update the more often people will check back to your site. The blogs I check most often are the ones I know will have new content every day. The more regular the new content, the more regular my visitation. I’m sure you can relate as a blog reader.

So what should I write about? Just cook stuff and write about it?

This is a tricky question. It’s as complex as telling a room of wannabe novelists what they should write about. It really depends on you and your interests and what you’re setting out to do.

The perfect example of this is Adam Kuban of Slice and A Hamburger Today. He loves pizza and he loves hamburgers and so he writes about them. It’s that simple!

Clotilde’s success is largely built on her wanting to share her experiences living and cooking in Paris. It’s a simple concept that’s attracted a huge audience.

The idea of a “simple concept” is one you should really consider. Some blogs can rest on the laurels and the talent of the people running them, like Heidi’s and David Lebovitz’s. But most of us have to create an easy to process “hook” that’ll keep people coming back. My hook, as you all know, is that I’m an incompetent louse who really wants to learn about food. Hence my blog details my adventures making mistakes and learning the ropes.

This sounds like work. What if I can’t come up with a concept?

Don’t worry too much about it. More important than a concept, more important than anything, really, is that quality that makes all great writing worth reading and that’s your voice. Bring yourself into your food blogging and everything else will follow. When I first started, I wrote a ridiculous food song every Thursday night and sang it for no good reason. You can still hear them on the lower left hand of the site. Why are those there? Do they really have anything to do with food? Of course not. But they give you a sense of what I’m about.

And that’s another thing: as a food blogger, you’re not just writing everything you know about food, you’re sharing your personal experiences and in doing such you’re sharing little bits and pieces of yourself. I believe that the more you share, the more loyalty you’ll generate among your readers. Of course there’ll be the occassionally hate messages (but you can delete those) and angry phonecalls from family members who think they look terrible in the pictures you’re posting (AHEM) but the more you give the more you’ll get. At least I believe that to be true.

What else might I get? I like getting things.

There’s lots of evidence that blogging, even food blogging, can bring you fame and fortune or at least a small semblance of it. Julie of Julie/Julia Project has a book out now (or at least it’s just about to come out) and other food bloggers have books on the way too. I’ve had lots of opportunities arise from my blog that I can’t tell you about yet. But rest assured that blogging is a great way to put yourself out there—especially when you feel like you’re spinning your wheels in life, which is how I felt right before I started this blog.

Is there anything else great about food blogging

Yes. Aside from the fact that lots of people will read what you write on a daily basis (which is always exciting), you get to act as your own editor, producer, director, publisher and secretary. You can make money from blogads and Google ads (though not enough to act as a super incentive). You can find a way to channel your creative energies (hence all my films and songs and EXTREMELY LONG posts like this one.) And, best of all, you have a great reason to really explore the world of food: both in the kitchen and out in the world. If I didn’t have a food blog, I doubt I’d cook all the stuff I cook or eat at as many places as I do. I do most of it so I can sit down later and process everything that I just experienced, for better or for worse. And over time you’ve created this gigantic record of your journey. If you click my archives and read the posts I posted my first couple of weeks as food blogger, I think you’ll detect a marked difference in my competence level, my knowledge and my confidence both as a writer and as a chef. Foodblogging pays off.

You mentioned “as a writer.” Do you think food blogging helps your writing if you want to be a writer?

Absolutely. Sitting down every day and having to organize your thoughts and figure out new ways to describe the food you just ate definitely makes you sharper and, over time, more relaxed behind the keyboard. I write most of my posts in one long sitting and I reread them once and I publish. That’s it. And this proficiency becomes useful when you’re writing e-mails or essays or cover letters or plays, like the ones I write for school. You feel free-er to experiment and to make mistakes. Food blogging can be as formal or as informal as you want it to be. It’s really what you make of it.

Ok, wrap it up.

Ya, this post is really long. I hope some people found it helpful. I had fun writing it…but I think that’s the reason why I’ve lasted 1000 posts, because I do find this sort of thing fun. If you do too, I say come aboard! The more the merrier.

[P.S. It occurs to me that I didn’t talk about design. I’m really incompetent when it comes to that and I sought out the help of an internet designer who, unfortuantely (I believe) isn’t taking on any new clients. But if you’re worried about designing your site, shop around. I’m sure you’ll find someone…]

[Also, if you do start a food blog and you have it up and running for a few weeks let me know. I’d love to see what you come up with. Good luck!]

62 thoughts on “My 1000th Post: How To Start a Food Blog”

  1. As a matter of fact, two friends and I started a wee little embryo of a food blog a couple weeks ago, largely thanks to your example. At this point, it’s basically the three of us commenting on each other’s posts, but hey, you’ve gotta start somewhere…

    (Also, I’m the same Tara who made the Martha Stewart pine cone cake in your AG Challenge way back when.)

  2. Great post, Adam. I think you have probably already inspired quite a few people, but this will certainly prompt a few more people to start food blogs.

  3. Adam, this is great and helpful :) I’ve recently started a food blog after years of wanting to. Very sober and helfful suggestions – thanks!

  4. Congratulations on your ongoing success, Adam. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for the past year and a half. It’s one of my first 4 stops of the morning as I browse the internet over coffee at my desk.

  5. Great post and not a word too long! I’m a big fan of your site, Adam! One thing I love is the variety. You visit low-to-high end restaurants and cook with different flavors. I stopped visiting other food blogs because they always seem to cook the same things with the same spices and such. Yawn.

  6. Wonderful blog today, Adam, and all your points are well taken. As a foodie in faraway Portland,Oregon, I love reading about your adventures in food in NYC, the home of my soul (and my late father).

    And talk about sharing yourself – I really feel you and yours are a real part of my life. I check your blog daily and when you’re not around I feel something’s missing. I love reading about your mom too. She’s a real firecracker! And I get a good sense of your family dynamics in some of those posts too.

    I ‘spose some day you’ll graduate and get a real lawyer job and won’t have time to do a daily post. I’m missin’ you already, sigh.


  7. Congratulations on your 1000th post, Adam. I’ve been enjoying reading your blog since I started a few months ago.

    That watermelon salad looks great. I {heart} Paula Deen. She and Ina Garten are my Food Network favorites.

  8. Hi Adam! Thanks for this great post!!! I just started my blog last month and am just flying by the seat of my pants kinda…thanks for the good advice :-)

    BTW, my very first post on my blog has a link to yours :-) I tried out the “Bizarro Burnt Butter Brown Sugar Cupcakes”…

  9. adam! i was just remembering your j.j. cupcakes a month or so ago (was trying to remember how i came across your blog – a link from clotilde or jackie, can’t remember whom), and here you are at post 1000! CONGRATULATIONS!!! :-)

  10. hey..thanks so much for the detailed help..will seriously think (after a month’s worth) of getting a domain name. i like blogger, but kinda wishing i had used typepad now :)

    my site’s getting better..and the pictures DO make a huge difference.


  11. Adam, thanks for sharing your lessons learned in getting to 1000 posts. I’m only at 60, and you’re an inspiration.

  12. Congraulations on your 1000th post! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog thoroughly and I do hope you do not mind that I’ve added a link to it from my newly hatched site :)

  13. Congratulations on your 1000th post, Adam! I love reading your tales of New York. Also, thanks for the invaluable advice on blogging. I just started a food blog a couple of months ago and am having a great time writing about all my culinary adventures in San Francisco and occasionally New York and Spain.

  14. So, Adam….let’s just say one has a blog, wants to upgrade a bit and is willing to commit to updating more often, and take plenty of pictures…then how does one get people to come read and comment? It appears that most blogs are read largely by other bloggers. How do they know where to go?

    Love yours, by the way!

  15. Congrats, 1000 posts is truly impressive. Good advice for those fledgling bloggers.

    2 points from one who considers himself to have been around for awhile:

    I distinguish filter bloggers as ‘webloggers’ and journal type bloggers as ‘bloggers’. One being more outwardly looking toward the Web and its links, and one more inwardly looking at thing off the Web. This difference and terms have been lost since the media fell in love with the word blog.

    Also, while frequent posting is important, there’ll be a point when you’ll feel you have to post for posting sake. This will lead to blog burnout. Take a break, eat a peach, get a beer, when you come back to the keyboard, you’ll want to write about it.

    Alyce, the easy way is to comment on others’ blogs and participate in discussions. Then somebody will find you, read you and add you to their list of food blogs.

  16. Congratulations on 1000 posts. Sheesh, I’ve only written 50 (29 of them from this month), so I can only imagine what 1000 must feel like.

    But I imagine it must feel great. I adore my food blog. I’ll say it here, because most of us are food bloggers reading this, so I don’t have to feel embarrassed: my food blog has become the center of my days. I’ve only been keeping it since May (and really only doing it well since the beginning of this month), but I adore the people I have met, the opportuities that have arisen, and the writing I have had the chance to do because of this food blog.

    For me, since I can no longer eat gluten, the blog is the perfect way to reach people. There are lots of us out there, and most people are depressed about missing bread. Not me. I’ve never eaten so well since I stopped eating gluten. Now, I’m really mindful, eating exquisite bites all the time. And since I’m taking photographs and writing about it, food has taken on this magical, hilarious quality. I’ve never been happier.

    And you were, truly, an inspiration. Thanks for writing all 1000 posts!

  17. Yes, if you had chosen for your site name things certainly would be different around there: you certainly wouldn’t be able to let Lolita sit on your lap while you snapped her picture.

    A sudden, cat-startling noise and….ouch!

  18. You have a great blog…..but doesn’t it seem like the FOOD BLOG world is full of great blogs already? Do you really think there is room for more?

    Would love to hear some thoughts.

  19. Hi Adam,

    I love your site and this piece was great. I’m still new to this endeavor and have been having great fun with it. In reponse to Amy’s comment about whether the world needs new blogs–I’d say yes. Especially in areas (like mine–upstate NY) where there are few food blogs. I can read scads of blogs about the Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest, NYC and Chicago but there are stories yet to be told in and bloggers can fill a void here. Plus, anything that contributes to making our world a more literate one (via writing and reading blogs) I’m all for it.

  20. Adam a fellow blogger, Mark Tafoya suggested your site to me as one I should visit often. I have read and re-read this post. I want to learn as much as I can. I felt like my recipes and experiences weren’t as exciting as some others but found that most bloggers are everyday folks with a little different spin on life and their relationship with food. Cracks me up that we are all spread apart and yet we all speak the same language…FOOD. Thanks for sharing your perspective. I had many belly laughs today watching all the videos. How do you find the time? Keep ’em comin’

  21. Thanks for this entry! I was a food writer for several years, starting in a local newspaper and using digital color pics made the articles. Having stopped the writing, cooking and photography for other reasons, I’m still new the the whole blog thing. You’ve been very informative and it’s great to read people like you! You (and all other bloggers I know) say the same thing, ‘you gotta be regular in posting”. So where can you purchase some blogger’s metamusil?! Chekc out my flood blog please and let me know what you think.

    I’m not daily regular. probably need more fiber… ha!

  22. Hi Adam,

    Thanks for the good advice! I started my french cuisine blog almost a year ago. Although I really enjoy the experience I also find it very demanding: writing one post per week is already a lot of work! Do you have any strategy to keep up?

    I hope you’ll like my blog. I’d love to know what you think about it.

  23. Hi Adam

    Just read your 1000th post. Could you take a look at my food blog which I recently started and tell me what your thoughts are?



  24. I’ve started blogging about two weeks ago. Creating content–not too hard. Creating the blasted $*&$#!! template and learning HTML code — not so easy! Reading these blogs is great fun and wildly helpful. I love it!

  25. Wish I had read this before I started just recently! I still have to get a camera and make mine more picture-worthy. But, I AM IN UPSTATE NY and so would love to hear your feedback, etc.

  26. Thanks for the advice on photos. I’ve been blogging for a few weeks now. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my posts so far.

  27. I am a relatively new food blogging (about 3 months old) so thank you for this post. Getting a seasoned writer’s perpective is definitely a lot of help.

  28. Wow, I just discovered your blog and have been reading it all morning – it’s great! I just realized that my food blog is just a filter food blog at its worst – I seriously need to get my digital cam out and put some more thought into my posts – maybe I’ll eke a little inspiration from yours!

  29. I stumbled upon this post, so it’s very late obviously. But it’s funny how you mention how to get noticed. I do a lot of web searching via Google and your site pops up a lot. Not a bad thing either, because I do enjoy your site.

    I’m a newbie to food blogging. I’m also a college student and eat alone a lot so my blog is a combination of eating/shopping for one plus developing my own skills and writing about my little adventures.

  30. Howdy, Adam,

    I’ve only started blogging a few months ago about food, down here in Bawlmer. But don’t forget that some of us with original content feel silly bringing a camera into a restaurant with us (with no camera in my phone)! My blog’s just about my dining out experiences, and I gotta tell ya, I feel self-conscious snapping away while people are eating – people armed with steak knives! Or chopsticks! Those things can put an eye out! But I would take more pix if I brought my camera into the restaurant with me – I’d just feel silly doing that. I link to pictures when I can, though.

    Oh, also love your site. I’ve put a link to it on mine! And I’d still do that even if you had called it!

  31. I totally agree that blogging really broadens your life. (You eat and cook something that you might not have considered to eat or cook before.) It’s a great experience.

    Though, breaking cultural and language barriers is difficult to do to entertain your audience.

  32. Hi Adam,

    I started my food blog a couple of weeks ago and THEN discovered your blog and read your advice. And of course I started ticking boxes in my mind: Have I done this? Have I done that? At least I thought about some sort of concept when I wrote my first post… But can I really judge myself if I live up to my own expectations? Lots of questions… Are you still interested in checking out newbies?

  33. I love your style! I agree, I find myself doing things I would not have done before having a blog, just to have something to post about. I wish I got more comments… how to accomplish that? You get so many, it must be very satisfying! Take a look at my blog if you get a chance! Oh, and I found your blog while looking for “arancini.” Just so you know.

  34. Diana Barry Blythe

    Fun entry.

    No, “cull” is not the right word. It means to cut out or separate the unwanted, tainted and contaminated.


  35. Great blog…great post. As a recent food blogger, I’m gratified to know I have a concept. (And don’t tell, but I got here via Gawker, not some foodie source.)

    PS – If Lolita were any cuter she’d be taxable.

  36. Congratulations on your 1,000th post. What an accomplishment! Thanks for the tips, too, I’m hoping my blog can make it to fame and fortune one day as well.

  37. Thanks for the great info, especially about the camera. I’ve been blogging for a month and there is a lot of organization that needs to be done for future growth. I’m trying to figure that out as I go. I think one of the best tips here is to get a good domain name to make migration from an editor easier if things get popular. thanks again. ;^P

  38. Hi Adam! Thanks for this post! It was very inspiring to me. I started freshcrackedpepper a few weeks ago and have found it very rewarding. I’d be delighted for you to check it out.

  39. thank you for your generosity, sharing this info with the world. i’ve just started a food/holistic health blog and found this to be very inspiring.

  40. Another great piece of information. I don’t usually have patience staying on the screen that long to read every thing. I have read your whole page. Great content. I like the style you write as you are speaking/ writing from your heart.

    Thx again Janet

  41. Thanks for the info. I loved “Julia/Julie” after I read it I started cooking, really cooking, at age 47, AFTER raising two kids, a husband and several different species of house pets.

    I’ve always wanted to write, really write, so maybe I’ll just check out this blogging thing. maybe there are some other older women out there who just rediscovered their ” G ” spot, as in Gourmet!

    thanks for the inspiration…..


  42. Thanks for the info. I loved “Julia/Julie” after I read it I started cooking, really cooking, at age 47, AFTER raising two kids, a husband and several different species of house pets.

    I’ve always wanted to write, really write, so maybe I’ll just check out this blogging thing. maybe there are some other older women out there who just rediscovered their ” G ” spot, as in Gourmet!

    thanks for the inspiration…..


  43. okay, so I took your advice and got my blog up and running on typepad by following the advice above. So will you please have a look? It is called BreakingBread by Sylvia Sweet!

  44. Enlightening! I absolutely love food and cooking. I have been thinking of starting a food blog but can simply fathom the know how and how to start. This has been quite helpful.

  45. Enlightening! I absolutely love food and cooking. I have been thinking of starting a food blog but can’t simply fathom the know how and how to start. This has really been helpful.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top