How I Started My Food Blog and YouTube Channel

Belqui, food blogger. How I started my food blog and youtube channel
How I Started my Food Blog and YouTube Channel


If you are reading this post, it may be because you just watched my video on YouTube on how I started my food blog and YouTube channel, if not, you may have found this via Google search or are a follower of mine. No matter which way you found this, I hope you find what what I am sharing you useful. If you haven’t watched the video, I urge you to do so as this is a short post about what I shared there for you. The video is at the end of the post.

✔︎ Make sure to start with a site, NOT No Wix site, you will not be able to monetize your blog with Wix.
Here is a great article for you to understand the difference between the .org and .com. and – Which is better?

✔︎ Create a Google Analytics account to track your sessions and learn visitor behavior, post performance, etc. You must have your website up and running to do this.

Google Analytics Example

✔︎ Once you have your, site, you need to install Genesis Framework by StudioPress.
What is Genesis? “The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you’re a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.”
To use the Themes you’ll need to have Genesis because they are built with their framework.

✔︎ Choose a Theme. In there are many themes to choose from. Most are FREE. I decided to go with a paid theme from another company. All I had to do was download it to I went with Restored 316 (Divine theme) because I love their feminine designs.

Images of themes by Food Blog Themes
Images of website templates
Restored 316 Themes

✔︎ My recipe card
Recipe cards are great to include in your blog post. This will help the post get more ranking on Google and also allow people to print the recipe. Make sure to embed the YouTube video in the recipe card as a well. I use WP Recipe Maker. Recipe cards are customizable and there are different designs. Here is an example on my site.
Pulled Pork Spring Rolls
If you noticed, you can also add images and videos to each one of the steps. That’s also great for ranking on Google.

✔︎ Newsletters
Give visitors to your website the option to sign up for a newletter.
I personally find newsletters super annoying and I don’t always open the ones that end up in my mailbox but it is a very important way to reach those who follow your blog. I use MailChimp and have it set up to send an email to those who sign up for the newsletter when I add a new post. You can see who opened the email, etc. You can also set up campaigns and much more.

✔︎ Pick a niche (be an authority over that niche)
I decided to go with Latin and Latin Fusion because being Latina also reinforces the fact that I have knowledge in that area. If you are a vegetarian, you can niche in healthy foods and try to make your blog stand out by even niching in a little further.
This is a great article I found that I think is a great read.
How to Find Your Blog Niche

Instant Pot Eats (Clear Niche)
Vegan Yack Attack (Clear Niche)

✔︎ I needed help to get the website started because I had no clue what I was doing. I hired iMark Interactive for their Beginner Blogger Tune-Up. So worth the $127 price tag. I now signed up for a monthly Support Plan in the event that I need help with something or have a project that I want them to get together for me. There are several options for you to choose from.

✔︎ I create all my blog posts, upload my images, embed youtube videos to my blog. That is actually super easy to do.

✔︎ What is Search Engine Optimization and why is it important?
“the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. The key to getting more traffic lies in integrating content with search engine optimization and social media marketing”

Invest in learning Search Engine Optimization. There are courses you can take to help you and have monthly payments as well. Some even have in-person retreats. Everything Digital Marketing is wonderful. I recently got their course as it was on sale during this stay-at-home period. But no worries! There are plenty of YouTube videos and websites where you can find free guidance to help you get started and understand what the general idea is.
This is a good video to learn from My Simple Blog SEO Process That Gets #1 Rankings [Works In 30 Minutes]

✔︎ I also joined Food Blogger Pro, an amazing place that I call a university because of all the courses they have there. There are community forums where all the members help each other out and support each other. There you can join with a monthly payment or yearly payment.

Update 2021:
I no longer have this membership but it did help me so much when I started I still highly recommend for at least 1 year.

Food Blogger Pro

✔︎ Social Media presence
Super important! For food blogging I have noticed that the top social media presence for me is Pinterest. I get 76% of the traffic to my blog from them. Followed by Google Search, which is why Search Engine Optimization is very important to be knowledgeable about. Facebook and Instagram are great ways to have engagement with followers but are not big drivers to my website at all. I do post regularly though.
One thing to keep in mind is that now Pinterest is focusing a lot on Fresh Pins and videos. Here are some great articles to explain Fresh Pins and Pinterest Videos. I am making sure I do both.

On Pinterest, you want to pin constantly, which is why when you are a young blogger, you want to make sure you take a ton of shots of the food in different angles and maybe even settings. I pin 3 to 5 pins a day. I used to do it manually until I found Tailwind, now I do batches that will be pinned for about a month or two, depending on how many pins I create and schedule. This takes time but it’s great at the same time because you don’t have to remember doing this every single day. In Tailwind you can also join Tribes, where you add your pins to for other Tailwind members to repin and for you to repin theirs as well.

My Tailwind Scheduling Dashboard

Update 2021: I no longer use Tailwind because I noticed that the new algorithm changes for Pinterest did not favor pins via them. Pinterest also Launched their own scheduler in 2020. Now I am posting straight on to Pinterest as I publish to my blog.
Pinterest’s new algorithm changed so much in 2020 that by mid year many of us food bloggers lost more than half our views per month. I went from almost 600k per month to 135K or so. Instead, I decided that I would focus on implementing better Search Engine Optimization (to get people to my site via Google). Today, 77% to 81% of my website traffic comes from Google which is great! Not depending on Pins is very much a relief.
I also noticed that “Fresh Pins (same recipe, different images after the first created pin)” never performed as good as the original pin. Other bloggers as well.

Same recipe, different images or look.

Group boards are also very popular amongst food bloggers to share their pins to and drive more traffic to their site. Here is a great article on that.
How to Find the Perfect Group Boards on Pinterest {3 Killer Strategies!}
A great Pinterest resource is Simple Pin Media. I have learned alot from them.

To create my Pinterest pins I use Canva. I love them because their templates are beautiful and very customizable.

Canva Templates

Update on Canva portion added August 20, 2020 ????

I am now also using Canva’s YouTube Intro feature and I love it!!! and I don’t use it just for YouTube I also use it to promote new recipes on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can add video, special effects, music, edit video length, mute sound of your video and so much more! Below is an example of what I created to promote one of my recipes on social. After this, I received so many messages from bloggers asking me what I used to create those. This is why I needed to add it to this post. It’s truly a game changer for me.

I will be creating a video showing you how you can use this powerful tool to market your blog. So look out for it on my YouTube channel.

Episode Promo created with Canva’s YouTube Intro

Update 2021:
I am now using Canva for IG, FB and LinkedIn stories and I love it! Here is an example:

Latin Style Braised Short Ribs

✔︎ YouTube is a whole other beast! LOL
I get about 2% traffic from YouTube to my blog because people tend to stay on YouTube and don’t necessarily read the description to get to my blog. This is why I always make sure that I work on increasing my subscribers there and create good content to increase my watch time and monetize on YouTube. One thing that I think is very important for me to note is that you should not be discouraged about not getting a lot of views to your videos during your early YouTubing months. Many of my videos gained traction a couple of months after I uploaded them. Slowly but surely you will see that the numbers will go up and one or two may even go viral! So hang in there and stay positive. Just focus on creating great content.

I always embed my cooking video to the blog post for the recipe it pertains to and also to the Primary sidebar of the blog. This sidebar will stay there no matter what page you visit on the blog. But in that sidebar I tend to put my latest videos. I have two there right now. Sometimes I have the latest video and a video that performed very well on YouTube.

To create my YouTube thumbnail I use Adobe Spark, but Canva can also do that for you.

Adobe Spark, where I create my YouTube thumbnails

✔︎ Beauty shot in the Youtube video
When I started the blog, I didn’t put a beauty shot at the beginning of my videos. I never even thought about how it could influence someone to click to watch or stay with the video further.
I always opened with my “YouTube intro reel” and then start with my hosting or straight to cooking. What I realized quickly was that we could lose people with that intro, even if it has food featured. People want to see what they are about learn to cook, like right away! So I decided to shoot beauty shots, whether it’s a hand grabbing a chicken wing, serving food on the plate, etc. the end result of the recipe basically. Always. Sometimes I even use an image of the finished dish as well. The point is to have them want to continue watching what you’ve got. Here is an example of kept that concept in mind.
Onion Strings and Rings

✔︎ How I edit my YouTube videos
I started simple. I had a mac and it came with iMovie for free so I used that for months. I began to feel limited in its functionality and have slowly transitioned to Adobe Premiere Rush ($9.99 a month). I love it because it has so many great options for titles and making the video transitions cool.
For more simple editing on your phone, I like the VideoShop app as well but there are so many more out there so do your research.

✔︎ Music for your videos
As we all know, music is essential to giving your videos a distinct mood. I have a membership at Soundstripe where I can download the songs and have license to use them with the assigned video. Their library is extensive and its so fun to search for the right track.

Update 2021:
I now use Epidemic Sound. Why? because they have a better selection of Latin music for my needs. Most of my recipes are Latin and Latin Fusion and they fulfill that need to perfection! I am using mostly Modern Latin tracks. But you can stick to Soundstripe if you like their selection the best. They are still a great option.

Epidemic Sound

✔︎ NOTE:
You have potential sources for income, your blog’s website and your YouTube channel.

✔︎ What you need to monetize your blog
Mediavine and Adthrive are two of the top ad networks used by many food bloggers. They require 50K sessions a month (per Google Analytics) and be in good standing with Google AdSense. This is why it is important to start tracking your analytics as soon as you start your blog.

Update 2021:
In 2020, I began monetizing my blog with She Media! At the time of this original post I didn’t have them on my radar. I got accepted in early July 2020 when I had 17K sessions per month on Google analytics. I am making enough to cover the blog expenses which is great!

✔︎ Invest in looking as professional as possible
Find a student photographer (free) or hire a professional photographer to take pictures of you for your marketing materials. I hired a local photographer here in AZ to take some pictures of me in a kitchen at an Airbnb. My family and I had recently moved from the east coast to AZ and renting a townhouse. I didn’t like the lighting or the cabinets there so I did a one day rental to get the right shots. Another investment, yes, but so worth it. If you look through my social media images, they look very professional and aspirational. The greens were the colors I wanted for my brands’ palette. Even though I don’t cook in that kitchen, I love that this is the image people see when they find me or I come up on Google searches.

Pictures by Gabby Canario (Phoenix, AZ)

✔︎ Be yourself
Be authentic, share about yourself. You want people to want to know about you, have a vested interest in you as a person, not just your recipes.

✔︎ How I approached starting a food blog at 44 years old
I have a very specific mindset about life at this age, it is never too late to do anything. I still feel like I’m 21. If I want to do it, I can do it. If someone doubts that, I set out to prove them wrong. I am also not too busy, I make the time. It may take me longer than most because I am a special needs parent but I put one foot in front of the other and keep on trekking. I am not too broke, I invest slowly on what I think is the next beneficial step and have a strategy to make things happen. I don’t compare myself to other bloggers, I actually admire their hard work. I am in complete understanding that they are a different person than me. We can cook the exact same thing, same niche, but we will never deliver it the same way because we all have something that makes us unique. I am my only competition. So I focus on myself and how I can make myself better at what I do. I am realistic that things will take time and I focus on my goals and trust me I have many. 🙂

I am here if you have any questions!

I will continue to update this post as I gain more and more knowledge so keep checking it! 🙂

How I Started My Food Blog and YouTube Channel
Start your Food Blog Checklist
My Process Checklist


  1. Thanks for sharing Belguis. Am planning to start my own YouTube channel, hope I’ll find the courage to do it. Thanks so much for your ideas.

    1. You can totally do it! Go for it. Just take it one thing at a time. I was overwhelmed too and did it. I am so happy I did. Remember, you can do anything you put your mind to. 🙂

  2. Very helpful Belquis, I am planning to start my channel also, what type of camcorder or camera did you start with or would you recommend?

    1. I actually started with my iPhone and a Canon Rebel t7i DSLR camera. Using both for different angles, so basically camera A and B. Now I actually really love my iPhone 11 Pro Max and have decided to use it full time in my new home studio setup. I feel it’s easier and crisper than thee Canon. I need less color editing. It’s crazy but phones now are so advanced that it can do the job of a super expensive camera. I purchased a wireless mic for the iphone and I think it will work great. Tomorrow I am posting my first episode using all iPhone and with the new mic. Watch and let me know what you think!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this post! It really helps people like me. I want to ask you though – you say you can’t monetize content on Wix (cos I just started one on Wix) but how so? Do you mean online ads and affiliate marketing – that sort of thing? Cos I did a few searches on google – looks like Wix can do those things too…

    1. Hi! Thank you for reading the blog post. For food blogging, the big ad networks are Mediavine, Adthrive and She Media. They aren’t compatible with Wix. They work on There are also food blogging plugins that are great for website growth that are not available on wix.
      If you are on FB, I urge you to join food blogging groups. The one I have found most useful is Food Bloggers Central. If you have a question, you have so many very experienced bloggers there to cover it all. They are amazing and have helped me a lot in this journey.

  4. This is one of the best “How To” I’ve read! Very transparent in sharing your process and generous with your resources. Thank You!

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