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Here are some of the resources that I’ve found to be extremely helpful as I put my food blog together. I hope that you’ll find them helpful too. If you have come across any resources that I haven’t mentioned here, I would love to know about them! Please don’t hesitate to contact me.
In order to manage an active, growing food log, you need a good workflow. Read about my workflow here . I’ve outlined the life of a blog post from the moment the idea is generated to the time it’s published on my blog, shared, and promoted.
Everything I learned about building a food blog, I learned from Food Blogger Pro. I can’t recommend this program highly enough. There are hundreds of videos that walk you through everything from selecting a blog name, to setting up the blog on WordPress, growing traffic, monetizing your blog, taking better food photos, and so much more!
On top of that, you get access to a Community of other food bloggers. The friendships that you build and the wealth of knowledge in this community are invaluable.
Like the design on my food blog? I can’t take any credit for it….it’s the Foodie Pro Theme on the Genesis Framework. It’s simple yet robust. It was designed specifically for the food blogger so it was just what I was looking for. Please note that you’ll need to have the Genesis Framework in order to use this theme.
Need WordPress help? Check out WP Curve. Just need one-time help? No problem. Need regular assistance? WP Curve has a very affordable monthly plan that gives you unlimited WordPress support any time you need. I’ve utilized this service a couple of times for some minor CSS modifications. It was taken care of in just a few hours. Excellent support. Highly recommended.
Tasty Food Photography
This book was my first stepping stone in breaking out of Auto-mode on my camera, and learning to take great food photos. This was written by Lindsay from pimchofyum.com. This awesome e-book is very simple to read and to understand. The very first photo I took right after I read this book was accepted on both Foodgawker.com AND Tastespotting.com!
I stumbled upon this great resource for food photography recently. This is put together by Dana from minimalistbaker.com. The photos on her blog are absolutely gorgeous. Dana walks you through the process of taking fantastic food photos step by step via 130+ videos. For those who learn better by seeing how it’s done live, this is the program for you.
This is my current camera. It is considered mid-range DSLR. I hope to upgrade to the Nikon D810 in the future as I get more and more into photography (check out my photography site at www.sandboxphotos.com). Remember, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a camera when you’re getting started, but you do need a DSLR. I recommend starting with an entry level DSLR like the Nikon D3100.
This is my favorite lens! I use this lens for a lot more than food photography. Fortunately, it’s very affordable (compared with other great lenses). It’s called a prime lens, which means that you won’t be able to zoom in and out – you’d have to physically move the camera closer or further from your subject.
My favorite plugins
The more plugins you have, the more it will bog down your site, so it’s recommended that you limit your plugins to less than 20. Here are my favorites:
* Askimet – protects you from comment and trackback spam
* Easy Recipe Plus – makes it so easy to add recipes to blog posts in the proper format
* Limit Login Attempts – prevents the bad guys from hacking in to your blog!
* Related Posts by Zemanta – encourages your viewers to click on more of your blog posts by automatically providing them with recommendations
* Simple Share Buttons Adder – adds social media buttons on each post. Makes it easy for your viewers to share your posts.
* VaultPress – backs up all of your precious data on your entire blog.
* Visual Recipe Index – this is how I made my recipe index (http://www.wokandskillet.com/recipes/) Go ahead – click on any one of those links in that index. All of my new posts get automatically added based on the category that I select for each blog post!
* WordPress SEO by Yoast – SEO made super easy.
Food Photo Sharing Sites
Food photo submission sites are a great way to build traffic. There are quite a number of them, but as a new blogger, it is worth submitting to as many sites as possible. My main sources of traffic continue to be Yummly, Foodgawker and Tastespotting.