How to Start a Food Instagram – 12 Tips to Become an Instagram Food Influencer


Want to know how to start a food Instagram account? We’ll cover everything you need to know in this complete guide.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a food Instagram account, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to your success. 

Let’s just get something out of the way first – this is an incredibly competitive niche. There are thousands of food accounts on Instagram, so you need to make sure you take the right steps to set yours up properly.

The good news is that this is also a very popular niche with plenty of potential to attract loads of followers.

In this guide, we’ll show you step-by-step how to start a food Instagram account. Follow these strategies, and you’ll be on the best path to attracting millions of followers and building a successful food brand. 

1. What Are Your Instagram Goals and Objectives?

Before you start creating content, you’ll need to decide what you want to accomplish with your Instagram account. What’s your long-term goal?

This should go beyond gaining a lot of followers. Rather, determine the kind of impact or incentives you want to achieve. 

Setting clear goals at the start of your Instagram food journey is important because this will keep you on the right track. If you’re planning on making money from Instagram, then you’ll need to make sure your account is on the right track.

Here are some goals you should consider for your food Instagram account:

  • Mission or purpose: Sharing your food journey to inspire and help others could be your main goal. Maybe you want to promote healthy eating, a special type of diet, or want to teach people to cook better with less effort? Whatever the case, think about how you’re going to inspire your followers. Having a clear mission in place will help you to gain a loyal audience and create more meaningful content.
  • Think about brands: One of the most popular ways to earn money from a food blog on Instagram is to work with brands. This involves creating sponsored posts (more on this later). From the beginning, think about what types of brands you aspire to work with and set your Instagram account up in a way that attracts the right audience for this. 
  • Attract clients: Your food Instagram account can also be used to attract new clients. Maybe you sell cooking classes, food photography courses, or do catering. If this is a goal for you, then think about how you can build your Instagram account around your potential client base from the beginning.
  • Ecommerce: Your Instagram food blog is also a great place to sell products to your audience. If you want to do this, think about how you’ll integrate this into your content strategy and goals from the start.

Once you’ve got your goals in place, every step that follows can be made in line with these goals. 

Choosing your name, planning your content, setting up your account, and measuring analytics should all be done with your goals in mind.  

2. Set Up Your Instagram Account

Once your goals are in place, it’s time to set up your Instagram account. This is the fun part. 

Here are a couple of steps to take.

Decide On Your Niche

In case you haven’t already, you’ll need to decide on your specific niche. 

“Food blog” might be your main niche, but try to be as specific as possible. There are many different types of food accounts you could start. For example, your account could be focused on:

  • Healthy eating
  • Plant-based food
  • Barbeque and beer
  • Family recipes
  • Outdoor cooking
  • Baking and desserts
  • Japanese food
  • Eating out
  • Cocktails
  • And plenty more!

Each of these niches will have its own different audiences, and being specific will help you to tap into them. 

Also, get a basic idea of how your content is going to look. Will there be a human behind your food account, or will it just be photos of food in unknown locations? Will you be sharing recipes or will you be sharing your lifestyle as a foodie?

The more specific you are with your niche, the easier it will be to create content, gain followers and work with brands.

Sarah Graham Instagram Profile

Decide On Your Name

Next, it’s time to choose your food blog name.

A good food blog name should be simple and descriptive. People should know exactly what your food blog is about by hearing your name. For this reason, using descriptive words like “baking”, “nourish”, or “eat” in your name is a good idea. 

It’s also a good idea to use small words in your name. For example, “Healthy Eater” becomes “The Healthy Eater”. This will make a big difference. If your goal is to become a food influencer, you could also just use your own name or a variation of it like “Tom’s Food Adventures”. 

Your name is important, but don’t worry about this too much. The type of content you post later is more important than your name, and this is what your audience will associate with your name. 

Pro Tip: If you’re planning on starting a food blog or YouTube channel as well, then reserve all of these names and make sure they’re consistent across each platform.

Epicurious Instagram

Set Up a Business or Creator Account

Brands and businesses shouldn’t be using personal accounts. If you’re setting up an Instagram food blog, consider it a business and use the right account. This is important because it will allow you to access Instagram Insights to learn more about your followers and engagement.

This is incredibly important for being able to look back at your account goals and monitor your account’s success.

You can follow this guide on how to create a business account for Instagram.

3 Things Every Instagram Business Account Should Have

It doesn’t matter what type of food content you’re going to post, you’ve got to get the basics down first. These are the three essential things to include when you start a food account:

  • Profile picture: Use a professional logo or headshot for your profile. The ideal Instagram profile picture size is 180 x 180 pixels. But Instagram profile photos must be at least a minimum size of 110 x 110 pixels. Try to avoid making your photo look too filtered.
  • Bio: Your Instagram bio is like a mini trailer, showing people who you are and what kind of content they can expect from you. Choose your words wisely. For tips on how to create the perfect Instagram bio, check out 10 Tips to Create the Perfect Instagram Bio to Attract a Bigger Audience.
  • Link: If you have a website or food blog, let your followers know by adding it to your profile. If you don’t, you can share blog content, ebooks, or YouTube videos.

Bon Appetit food Instagram

3. Define Your Ideal Followers and Join Your Food Niche

Think about the type of person you want following you. That’s who you will be creating content for on a daily basis.

Defining your ideal follower is also known as creating a buyer persona. Not to get too technical, but when you know exactly who you want to attract to your Instagram page, you’ll be able to create more specific content that they’ll be sure to love.

Look into your competitors in your niche and see what their audience looks like. Try to create a list of your audience’s interests, and make sure you’re always able to create content that they want to see. 

Once you’ve chosen your niche and you understand your audience, then try to only post this type of content.

Follow Other Instagram Food Accounts in Your Niche

Instagram is a social platform. You’re not just there to post content. Instead, use your Instagram account to follow other food bloggers in your niche. 

This will help you connect with prominent food bloggers, get inspired by their content, and stay on top of industry trends. Most importantly, it will make you part of a community.

This is what your Instagram audience wants to see.

When you decide on your niche, join it and become an active member within it. Engage with other food bloggers’ content, discover new ideas for food photos, and embrace the “social” side of this social media platform.

4. Post High-Quality Food Images and Videos

Your Instagram food blog account is all set up, so now it’s time to start posting. 

When you do this, make sure you post the highest-quality food photos that you can. This is the bread and butter (excuse the pun) of your Instagram food blog, so you can’t afford to produce food content that isn’t up to standard.

Instagram is a visual platform, and high-quality images are everything. There is a lot of competition out there, so you need to get your food snaps looking amazing if they’re going to attract followers.

This can be tricky when you first create your food account because food photography is a whole new kind of art in its own. 

The best approach is to practice your food photography skills every time you eat something. If possible, try to build up a bank of content before you start your account. This will let you post more strategically.

Here are a few tips to help you take amazing Instagram food photos:

  • Shoot in natural light: The best light for food photography is soft, natural light. Avoid harsh lighting. If you don’t have professional lights, you can dampen regular lights with a white sheet. 
  • Use a proper camera: If you’re serious about food photography, consider investing in a high-quality camera. A quality DSLR will make a huge difference to your photos. Of course, phone cameras today are very impressive, so you can always use them. However, if you want to take your food blog to the next level, and it’s within your budget, a professional camera will make a big difference. 
  • Know your angles: Play around with different angles and understand what kind of an impact each one makes. Aerial food shots are always classic and work well on Instagram. 
  • Learn to edit: Touching up your photos afterward can really make them stand out. Editing is also important for maintaining a consistent Instagram aesthetic. Adobe Lightroom is a good editing option.
  • Invest in equipment: If you’re serious about food photography and take lots of photos in your kitchen, then you might want to invest in some proper photography equipment. Professional lights, a quality tripod, and props can make a huge difference.

Understand Food Styling

When you start a food Instagram account, you’ve got to think about how you’re going to style each shot. Here are a couple of pointers for great food styling:

  • Use textured backgrounds: Place your dishes on different textured surfaces, like marble slate or wooden boards. You could even get printed photography boards to give you different textures.
  • Tell a story: Don’t just photograph food, but think about how someone would eat it. Include a fork sticking into your bowl of spaghetti, a hand drizzling syrup over a stack of pancakes, or a few crumbs sprinkled around a slice of cake. If there’s lemon in your sauce, you could include a bowl of lemons in the background of your image. Great food photography looks natural and entices the viewer.
  • Think about depth and scale: Objects like human hands, cutlery, or a glass of wine add depth and scale to your images.
  • Use the light you have: Studio lighting is great, but food photography often comes out best in completely natural light. Experiment with different areas to shoot and find ones with the right light.
  • Choose natural angles: Try to shoot with realistic angles. Think about the view someone would have if they’re actually eating the cake or drinking the coffee. There’s no need to get too creative. 

Instagram food styling

Top Tip: If you’re creating a food blogger//influencer account, then include your face in photos. This could help you get 38% more likes.

5. Start Posting 

Now you’re all set up, so it’s time to get posting. This is the exciting part you’ve been waiting for. When you post your content, here are a few best practices to consider.

Focus on the Caption

Your caption engages your audience, and it can help you to crack the Instagram algorithm

Focus on writing engaging captions. As time passes, you will soon see what types of captions your audience responds best to. 

Here’s a helpful guide on writing Instagram captions

Top Tip: Using emojis in your captions is always a good idea.

Instagram food caption

Use the Right Food Hashtags

Hashtags are one of the best ways to get your content more exposure and more reach. Luckily, there are many seriously popular food hashtags out there. 

Each time you post, make sure that you use hashtags. It can make a massive difference to your organic reach.

Some of the most popular food hashtags include:

  • #food
  • #foodPorn
  • #yummy
  • #delicious
  • #dinner
  • #breakfast
  • #yum
  • #foodphotography
  • #foodie
  • #foodstagram
  • #foodblogger
  • #instafood
  • #foodlover
  • #instafood
  • #instayum

Instagram food hashtags

Tag People

Tagging a popular food influencer in your post can help it to get seen by them and their followers. When relevant, think about tagging your friends or other influencers in your posts. Just make sure it’s not spammy.

Add Your Location

Adding your location to your post can help you get more visibility. This is especially important for local marketing. If your food blog is also about traveling or visiting different restaurants and locations, then this is important. 

6. Post Plenty of Reels

Instagram Reels are one of the most important features on the social media platform. Right now, short-form video content is dominating social media. It’s one of the hottest trends in marketing and online content, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

And when it comes to creating a food Instagram account, reels are awesome ways to show off your content. Why are reels so important to focus on?

  • They’re a great way to hack the Instagram algorithm. They can help you achieve more organic reach and get your content going viral.
  • Reels are fun and high engaging
  • Video is a perfect way to really show off your food content – especially recipes
  • Reels allow you to show off more of your personality. They’re great for behind the scenes content

So don’t be afraid of video. Embrace video and experiment with Reels. This seems to be the direction that social media is taking. If you get good at creating Reels, you’ll soon reach a much larger audience.

Here are some top tips to help you create amazing Reels:

  • Use trending music in your Reels
  • Follow other popular content creators to stay oin top of trends. If you post trending types of Reels, you’ll have a much better chance of going viral. Always try to hop onto trends as quickly as possible
  • Posting 30- 60 second reels is optimal
  • For food accounts, you can post quick and easy recipe reels. You can always use this to link to a full video recipe on YouTube or a full recipe on your food blog
  • Get creative and have fun. Reels don’t need to be high-production videos. They should be fun and show off your real character

If you’re looking for new Instagram Reels ideas, then check out this helpful guide.

7. Commit to a Regular Publishing Schedule

Another important way to beat the Instagram algorithm and attract a more engaged audience is to post on a regular basis. 

This could be once a day, once every second day, once a week, etc. What’s important is that you post often and that you keep your posting consistent. Also, ensure you post content when your audience is most active and online. You can discover this in your Instagram Insights tab.

The best way to post consistently is to plan your content in advance using a social media scheduling tool. This way, your content can be automatically posted at the right time.

Between your scheduled content, you should also post plenty of Instagram Stories

You can post these every day as often as you want. There’s really no limit to how many Stories you can post. This is an excellent way to stay engaged with your followers and reveal more behind your brand.

8. Make Money From Your Food Instagram Account

Now that you’ve started a beautiful Instagram food account, it’s time to turn it into a business. 

There are many ways that you can make money on Instagram. This could be a passive side-hustle, or it could be a full-time business. Whatever the case, it’s always a good idea to know how you can monetize your Instagram food blog.

The more followers you gain, the more money you can make. Understanding your different income opportunities from the start is best. This way, you can build up your Instagram food content, especially for this purpose. \

Here is a quick breakdown of 5 different strategies you can use to make money from your Instagram food blog.

1. Instagram Shopping

You can use Instagram’s shopping feature to sell products directly through Instagram. You might not have products to sell, but if you gain a large following, this could be a good option to consider. 

You could sell anything that relates to your food count. This could be cooking utensils, your cookbook, homeware, photography props, or anything else.

Instagram shopping has many different features, like shoppable posts, shoppable stories, live shopping, and shoppable ads. This all gives you loads of social commerce opportunities. 

Instagram food shopping

Image: Instagram

2. Monetize Your Content

Just like YouTube, Instagrammers can monetize their content. This includes earning from video ads and using live badges during live streams. You could also make use of third-party membership sites, like Patreon, to gather support for your Instagram content.

3. Affiliate Marketing

Joining affiliate programs that your audience will be interested in is a great way to make money through your food account. You can promote affiliate products in your posts, such as the mixer you used, and earn a commission each time someone purchases that product through your link.

Instagram food affiliate

4. Paid Influencer Promotions

This is the most popular way to make money on Instagram. You can use your popularity to work with brands and promote their products through paid posts. This will involve reaching out to suitable brands and coming up with an agreement with them. 

To do this, you will need to have a strong understanding of who your audience consists of and what their interests are. The more defined your niche is, the easier it will be to find brands to collaborate with. 

Instagram food influencer

5. Sell Digital Products

You can also leverage your popularity and sell non-physical products. This could include things like cooking classes, a food photography course, a digital recipe book, or even your original presets. 

Understand your audience, know what interests them, and see if you can create a product around their needs. This is a relatively easy way to make money from your audience without having to hold any stock.

Instagram cooking course

*For a complete overview of how to make money Instagram, including a list of 10 money-making strategies, follow this guide. *

9. Go Live On Instagram

Going live is a great way to make your account stand out. All of your followers will be notified as soon as you go live, which will help to gather a lot of interest in what you’re doing. 

You could do regular live cookalong videos, live food tastings and reviews, or just do live vlogs. 

This is a fun and effective way to get more engagement and more interest in your food account.

Instagram Live cookalong

10. Network With Other Food Influencers

Reaching out to food influencers in your niche and collaborating on content is a great idea. This will help you tap into the influencer’s audience and raise your popularity. This should be a win-win situation where you both benefit from the extra exposure. 

You can collaborate through:

  • A giveaway
  • Behind the scenes photos or videos
  • Fun recipe collabs
  • Product collaborations (like a collaborative digital recipe book)

Make sure that the person you collaborate with has a large following or creates amazing content. You also need to choose someone who will attract the same audience as you. Your aim is to tap into each other’s audiences to attract new followers. If your niches are too different, their audience won’t be interested in you.

Make a list of influencers and reach out to a few of them. You can never have too many collaborations. 

Top Tip: You don’t have to collaborate with food influencers. Think about influencers in other niches that your audience would be interested in, and try to collaborate. For example, if you have a healthy eating account, you could collaborate with a yoga influencer who has an audience with similar interests.

11. Host a Contest or Giveaway

Hosting an Instagram giveaway is a quick way to grow your Instagram followers and brand awareness. 

Anyone can host a giveaway, no matter how many followers you have. And as soon as you find a giveaway that works for you, you can repeat this process to continue growing your followers and increasing your engagement.

Here are four things you need to host a successful Instagram giveaway:

  1. Choose a prize that fits your niche. The prize you choose should be something your followers are interested in winning. For example, if you’re a barbeque foodie, then you could give away a new barbeque set.
  2. Have a start and end date for your giveaway. This gives you time to monitor or promote your giveaway and lets your contestants know how much time they have to enter.
  3. Follow Instagram Giveaway Rules when you’re hosting your giveaway. This protects you from any legal complications down the road.
  4. Write clear guidelines on how to enter. You want to make sure your instructions are fool proof to help increase your giveaway entries.

Need some inspiration for your Instagram Contest. Here are 10 Amazing Instagram Contest Examples.

Instagram food giveaway

12. Share Your Story

A great way to create a deeper connection with your audience is to share your personal story. 

Tell your followers about why you started your food account, what inspires you, and what your food goals are. Having a post dedicated to your personal story gives your account more meaning, and it will help to build more loyalty and more of a connection with your followers. 

Instagram food influencer

Follow the Best Instagram Food Bloggers

An important part of running a food Instagram account is connecting with the right people. Whether you want to engage with them on a collaboration or simply follow them for inspiration, here are 10 of the best food Instagram accounts to follow.

1. Minimalist Baker

For simple recipes that require 10 ingredients or less.

2. Georgina Hayden

For Greek Cypriot food, wholesome family cooking inspiration, and travel insights.

3. Hetty Lui McKinnon

For plenty of delicious dinner inspiration – mostly Asian-inspired foods.

4. Ashley Alexander

A popular personal food blog full of simple, wholesome recipes.

5. Sarah Brunella

A Swiss food blogger and Instagram food influencer showcasing all kinds of delectable treats.

6. Dorie Greenspan

A cookbook author and master baker.

7. Yolanda Gampp

A cake artist releasing weekly cake videos and posting plenty of baking inspiration.

8. Deliciously Ella

One of Instagram’s most popular plant-based food influencers.

9. Half Baked Harvest

Simply put, this is an account dedicated to good, honest food.

10. Fit Men Cook

An Instagram influencer focused on healthy eating and fitness.


Starting an Instagram food blog is a brilliant way to showcase your passion and tap into one of the platform’s most engaged niches. Before you just post random photos and Stories, make sure you understand your foodie brand and develop a clear strategy to help you succeed.

Follow the tips we’ve outlined above, and you’ll be able to create great content, produce an irresistible Instagram feed, and build a strong audience. Being a food blogger is an awesome way to build a brand online, and Instagram is possibly the best platform to do this.

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