Have you ever considered starting a food or nutrition blog? It’s easier than you might think, and if you commit some time, energy, and a little bit of money, it can pay off in many ways.
Why Start a Food or Nutrition Blog?
A food or nutrition blog gives you a much bigger platform to share your knowledge and inspire people to eat better. Instead of talking to one patient at a time, or a small group of people about one specific topic, a blog can reach thousands of readers a month. There’s something exciting and satisfying in knowing you have readers not just where you live or work, but also all over the world.
Blogging is also a great way to develop and share your knowledge in an area of nutrition that you’re passionate about. And having an internet presence lets a much wider audience see you as a subject matter expert – which can help boost your career in many ways.
Having a blog can also let you tap into your creativity, and if you choose, it can also provide some extra income. Most RDs who have a blog maintain it on a part-time basis. However, others can quit their day job to go all-in and make quite a successful living at blogging.
What Skills Are Needed?
A blog is a type of website, and for most of us, the thought of creating a website is overwhelming. However, the vast majority of bloggers learn as they go. So, while there is a learning curve for the technical part of it, rest assured that you can figure it out. There are thousands of online tutorials, YouTube videos, books, and other RD bloggers to help and support you.
However, it is essential that you enjoy writing and communicating. After all, that’s the purpose of a blog. If you want to share recipes, it’s also helpful to be able to photograph them. You don’t need fancy equipment to get started. A laptop and iPhone with a photo editing app will do the trick.
How to Get Started?
It’s surprisingly easy and inexpensive to start and run a blog, but it’s crucial to invest your time upfront and do it correctly. Here’s what you’ll need to do to get up and running:
1. Choose and purchase a domain name. A domain is the URL people will type in to get to your website. A domain registrar like GoDaddy allows you to search for names and purchase one for about $12 a year. Your domain name should be relatively short, easy to remember, and easy to spell. If you plan to share your content out on social media (you should!), it’s helpful to secure social media handles at the same time, so everything matches and makes sense.
2. Purchase hosting. A website host is a company that stores your website’s files on their servers. Hosting companies like Siteground or Blue Host have inexpensive options for beginning bloggers.
3. Choose a content management system to build, store, and display your content. WordPress.org has a big learning curve, but it’s hands-down the most popular and best choice because it allows you to customize your website as you grow. With WordPress, you can also run ads and incorporate e-commerce if you decide to monetize your website later on. Plus, it’s free!
4. Install a theme. A theme is like the exterior and interior of your car. It’s what makes your blog or website different from everyone else’s. Wordpress.org has many free theme options, or you can browse paid options through companies like Studio Press or Restored 316 Designs. I use the latter for my blog, Craving Something Healthy, and I love their customer service.
What Makes a Nutrition Blog Successful?
If only there was one easy answer! Here are a few things I’ve learned over my years of blogging:
• Niche down don’t try appeal to everyone. Successful bloggers target their information to a specific audience. That helps them become known as the expert in their area.
• Be authentic and use your voice. Nutrition content is available everywhere, but people will read and connect with your blog because they like you and your approach.
• Be social. Just because you post something doesn’t mean people will see it. It takes work to get eyes on your blog, and it starts with sharing your content on social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. It’s also nice to share other bloggers’ content – they may share yours in turn.
• Always learn and try new things. Consider your blog to be a work in progress. Learn by reading other blogs. Try adding videos or more photos to see what resonates with your readers. Take a few courses to up your blogging game.
Just Do It!
Fortunately, there are quite a few RDs who run very helpful how-to websites and online support groups. Here are some of my favorite resources for setting up and fine-tuning your food and nutrition website or blog:
• How to Start a Fitness Blog – Everything You Need to Know by Chrissy Carroll RD – This is a great article that goes into more detail about how to get started. You’ll also find lots of helpful tips to grow and monetize your blog on her website Build a Wellness Blog.
• Erica Julson RD is currently offering a free Start a Website Tutorial on her website The Unconventional RD. She breaks everything down into small, manageable topics that anyone can master.
• If you’re on Facebook, ask to join the Dietitians on the Blog group. It’s a private group of over 5,000 RDs who have blogs or websites, and it’s an excellent resource for sharing your content.
• Food Blogger Pro – This membership website has a wealth of resources for beginners who need to learn how to get set up, to experts looking to up their game. It’s most helpful for those who want to earn income from their blog. Many RD bloggers (including me) have been a member at one time or another.
If I’ve piqued your interest, jump in and don’t overthink the minor details – you can adapt and pivot as you go.