The first thing you need to know is that running an ecommerce business is entirely different than running a food blog.
How you design a website for ecommerce conversion optimization conflicts with how you design it for food blogs. Our themes are designed for running successful food blogs, not ecommerce businesses.
I learned that if you work hard and creatively, you can have just about anything you want, but not everything you want.Ray Dalio
We've also built in styling for WooCommerce elements into our themes to save you the initial styling headache, but we're not experts in WooCommerce for WordPress, so:
We don't offer support for setting up or troubleshooting your shop
Update 2019: we've removed woocommerce styling from our themes. Fewer than 1% of food bloggers attempt to use Woocommerce, and as far as we're aware, 0% have successfully create an ecommerce store and food blog. It simply is not viable to run an ecommerce store and a food blog on the same website.
This is because there are a myriad of variables that get introduced based on your specific configuration and needs, which requires that each site lead their own custom approach to setting up WooCommerce.
Here are some resources we can point you to:
- How to Install WooCommerce in WordPress
- A Look at the Default WooCommerce Widgets
- Setting Up External Products and Affiliates in WooCommerce
Guide to selling online with Woocommerce
Also, my colleague and friend Michelle Martello actually wrote the book on Getting Paid Online and she has generously allowed us to share with you a chapter from her Minima Guide to Launching Your Website.
Download the FREE WooCommerce guide & checklist here.
Craving more? Grab both of her e-books to get the entire guides to launching and getting paid online.
Why you shouldn't install Woocommerce
WooCommerce has as many gotcha's and issues in itself as WordPress as a whole. For every 10 blogs that setup WooCommerce, 9 will fail to make enough money to cover the headache of simply running it. Before you even set up your first product, you need to decide:
- How you'll protect your customer's sensitive data
- Which credit card processor you'll integrate with
- How you'll charge and collect taxes (this requires an accountant)
- How you'll handle book keeping
- What your return policy is
- How you'll deal with chargebacks
- How you'll market the product
- What you're willing to spend on CAC (customer acquisition cost) vs. LTV (life-time value)
We don't recommend anyone set up WooCommerce until you can do it yourself, or afford to hire a developer to troubleshoot the issues for you (roughly: $1000/month). Below that threshold, the effort involved in setting up and maintaining it is simply not worth it. It's not uncommon to spend over 100 hours before even making your first sale, and building real revenue out of that takes years of optimization.
And all of this is a distraction to actually running your food blog.
Your best alternative
Instead, begin with simple affiliate programs and third-party fulfillment (eg. Amazon). The most common item to sell for food bloggers is a cookbook, and it's far better to use Amazon's services than to try to do it yourself.
If you're already set up with Paypal or a few other payment processors, you can actually create products and "Buy It Now" buttons right in the processor itself, and save yourself dozens of hours of headaches.
Lastly, we recommend Shopify as a dedicated ecommerce channel. The pace of innovation within Shopify means that their default setup will be 10x better than something you try to build yourself. At $10-$30/month it requires a small investment, but if you're struggling to justify $30/month, then you shouldn't even be thinking about launching an ecommerce store at all.