Food Blogger Resources
As a food blogger, sometimes it can get overwhelming trying to decide how to set up your site. I thought I’d share some of the products and the services I have used. This is an evolving list that I will add to as time passes when I feel new items need to be mentioned. To be honest, I may earn a small commission if you click through to some of these sites, but it costs you nothing extra. Hope this serves you and if you have any questions about anything on this list, please let me know.
Bluehost was our first hosting company for a lot of reasons. They’re extremely affordable. And they offer 24/7 support. This is so important. I found the people on Bluehost to be extremely responsive and helpful whenever I called, and as a new blogger I called them a lot. They offer a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can see if they’re a good fit for you. Plus they also offer free domain registration. They’re really a perfect hosting site for the beginner blogger. Plans start as low as $7.99 a month, but click here and you’ll save even more!
Flywheel, based in Omaha, Nebraska, is another web hosting company that offers superb service. They are recommended highly by WordPress and offer managed support for your WordPress site. What does this mean? Well, among other things you won’t have to deal with WordPress updates that you know nothing about or worry about hiring professional help. They do it for you. And they also manage Security, which means they watch your back for malware or hacking attempts. That helps you sleep better at night. Plus they have a built-in caching system that helps your website to run smoothly with fast load times. I’m currently being hosted by Flywheel and I’ve found their support to be excellent. If there’s a problem, all I have to do is give them a call. For all that, their plans are extremely affordable. Their plans begin at only $14 a month and they do offer a 30 money back guarantee. I’ve barely covered all that Flywheel offers, so click here and watch some of their videos.
When your traffic begins to pick up, WP Engine really is a host you should consider. This company, based in Austin, Texas, is really picking up traction in the web hosting field for one good reason. They’re great at what they do. They promise “stunning speed” and they mean it. They pride themselves on having their managed sites up to 4x faster than any other managed host. Pretty impressive. One way they do this is to be extremely proactive in helping you have the best plugins that won’t slow down your site. Their reputation depends on it and they are there to help you succeed. They also want your site to be secure so they diligently watch it with you, so you can feel secure. And they pride themselves on their “best-in-class customer service and that includes their Support. They are there for you 24/7. With all of this, their hosting fees are a bit higher beginning at $35 per month, but you get a 60 Day money back guarantee if this is not a right fit for you. Plus, right now you can get 20% off your first payment! For an annual contract that results in 4 months free. Not bad! Click here for more information.
I began my food blogging career with a free theme. It was fine to begin with but it really limited what I needed to do with my site. So I switched to Studio Press. This great company has several themes to choose from depending on what your needs are. I chose a Genesis (parent) theme and I’m now using the Genesis Foodie Pro (child) theme on this site. I was attracted to it for several reasons. It works wells for food bloggers, it has a clean look and the back end site is fairly easy for a beginner blogger. Plus I thought the price was reasonable. You can find out more about Studio Press here.
If you’re interested in having professional looking recipes on your website with nutrition information, check out WP Recipe Maker. I love working with Brecht. These people go the extra mile to help you. Their recipe plugin is amazing, especially with their spot on nutrition information. Couldn’t be without them. Find out more about them here.
Even if your blog is new, it’s never too early to start collecting subscribers for your email list. There are many many email services that help you set this up but there are really two that stand out – ConvertKit and MailChimp. I decided to do a deep dive on both of them to help you compare what might work best for you. You can find that comparison here.
Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom are the great blog team behind the Pinch of Yum website. Their spin off website is called Food Blogger Pro. I don’t think I can say enough great things about this site. They have created a “training camp” for food bloggers complete with videos, podcasts and a community forum to connect with other food bloggers. These people have really become a family when you’re out there in the wilderness. If you’re new to blogging, check out the Food Blogger Pro website here.
One of the smart things to do when you are food blogging is to join Pinterest. It’s a fun website dedicated to photos of all things you love. The problem is it becomes addicting and when you’re busy creating recipes and writing blogs, you need extra help. Enter Tailwind. This great tool helps you schedule your photo submissions so all you have to do is take photos of your recipes/blogs for you and send them on to Pinterest. They’ll schedule your photos for you and even make suggestions on when the the best time to schedule is for you. It’s a good tool. You can learn more here.
For the most professional photos for your recipes, you need good equipment. Not the most expensive equipment, just a camera that will take exceptional pictures. I started and have stayed with the Canon EOS Rebel T6. There was a small learning curve, but I think that’s true with almost anything. The one I have is this one and it does a fine job.
Interior lighting is vital to good photos. Some people go with natural light, but the problem is that you can’t always count on clear sunshine with no clouds. So artificial light comes in very handy. I began with EMART Photo Video Daylight lights. They’re good and they work and when you have two of them with umbrellas you can overcome a lot if shadows. I’ve also heard good things about the Lowel EGO Digital Imaging Tabletop florescent lights. They do cost more, but the light is much more controlled. Check out both of these to see which one is right for you
One of the ways you can monetize your website is with ads. I do have to say I use Sovrn ads and I’m delighted with this company for a whole lot of reasons. You are in charge of your ads. You can monitor the performance of your ads and you can try out new ad partners when they are available. You can also control the number and the size of your ads on Sovrn and place them where you want to be placed. Unlike other companies who have a page view per month requirement, they has a far more open policy. I would advise you to sign up with Sovrn even when you first begin your website, so you can begin making money even while you sleep. Click here to find out more about Sovrn.