Skip to Content

Blogger resources

(Please note: this post includes affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small referral fee if you make a purchase using these links (at no extra charge to you). These are all products I have personally used and recommend. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

So, you want to start a blog? Or have you already started one and are looking for ways to make it better, easier, more fun? Then read on, my friends! I've compiled a list of blogger resources on a few topics from where to buy a domain to how to market your blog.

If you are a fellow food blogger, no matter what stage your blog is in I highly recommend signing up for Food Blogger Pro. While primarily geared towards food bloggers specifically, there are still many helpful resources for any blogger on setting up a blog, hosting, marketing, plugins and more. You can sign up for your first month for only $1! You'll have access to hundreds of helpful videos (including step by step on how to create and set up a blog) you can watch at your own pace on topics from picking a blog name, photography, marketing, and beyond. I guarantee you'll be happy you signed up for this.

Otherwise, scroll through the list of blogger resources and click on the title to whatever is relevant to you at the moment. I hope you find something helpful!

Website names, hosting and design

Photography

Social Media

Getting Readers

Making Money

Continuing Education

Picking a name

Start brainstorming ideas for your blog name. Think of nicknames, favorite foods, or clever sayings to use for your blog. Think of your target audience, and if your blog will have a general theme. Generally shorter is better, as it is easier for people to remember. It's good to have at least a few ideas in mind as many names are already taken.

Get the latest recipe ideas + deals to your inbox! Add your name to the “insider list” here.

Buying a domain

Once you have some names picked out for your blog, the next step is to reserve or buy the website! You have a couple options here – you can reserve a free site at blog websites such as wordpress.com or blogspot.com, or if you're willing to spend a small amount of money, you can buy your own .com blog name. Unless you don't plan on updating your site very often or don't eventually plan to put ads up on your blog, I highly recommend going ahead and buying the domain name from the beginning, but you can switch from one of those free sites to your own domain later, if you're not yet ready.

I use my hosting company, Dreamhost, to buy domain names and it's easy to search for available domains here. If your desired blog name is not available, consider adding the word “blog” to the end of it, or go back to brainstorming.

Hosting your blog

If you buy your own domain, you'll need to pay to have it hosted. I use Dreamhost to host my blog. I find it really easy to use, it has a 1-step wordpress install and has many helpful features to get you up and running.

You'll want to install the wordpress.org platform on your blog, most hosts should have a 1-click install. It can be confusing, the difference between this wordpress (.org) and the free blogging wordpress (.com). Here's a good page that explains the differences.

Themes

Once you install wordpress on your blog (here's how to do it on Dreamhost), you'll need a theme. (This is only available if you have your own domain, not a wordpress.com blog.) There are some free themes that come with your wordpress install to browse, but if you want to invest in a theme with some more options, I recommend StudioPress Themes for WordPress. Personally, I use and love the Cravings Pro theme (I used to use the Foodie Theme) from Feast Design Co. which runs off the Genesis Framework. The Genesis Framework is a platform that your theme runs off of, it integrates all the security and performance features to give you a stable and secure website. There are many other great options for themes within StudioPress as well.

Also check out the WordPress Plugin WP Rocket to optimize your site speed and make it as fast as possible! You can get 20% off an infinite license by using this link.

Photography

Camera – You don't have to have a super fancy camera to get started. There are many food bloggers who take pictures just with their phones and editing apps. However, if you do want to upgrade to a DSLR camera and are ready for an investment, I started out with (and highly recommend) the Canon EOS Rebel T3i with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens.

I recently upgraded to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens, which I love but is a more hefty investment. I also use this tripod and this tripod head.

Editing – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is an amazing tool for editing your photos. Definitely worth the investment!

Food photography tips –Tasty Food Photography takes you through lighting, camera settings, props and more about how to get your food photography looking good enough to eat right off the screen.

Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling – the go-to book for food photography.

Social Media

Now that you have a blog, how do you get people to find it? Learn to market yourself with Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Pinning Perfect: This is a course from Blog Clarity on how to best market yourself on Pinterest. Lifetime access once you sign up and they are constantly updating the course with insider information!

Scheduling social media:
  • Scheduling your social media with Coschedule – I wrote a whole post on CoSchedule and how I use it. It is hard to keep up with all your different social media profiles. CoSchedule solves this problem by allowing you to connect a bunch of your accounts together and scheduling out updates ahead of time (includes twitter, facebook, tumblr, google+, pinterest and instagram)
  • Tailwind is what I currently use to schedule my pinterest pins. This is really helpful if you don't have time to be on pinterest all day every day and want to reach a larger audience! This link gives you a free month to try it out.

 

Getting Readers (in addition to promoting on social)

  • Interact with other bloggers – comment on their recipes, follow them on social media, etc. Connecting with other bloggers is one of the best ways to not only get more eyes on your blog, but also a way to find other photography and writing styles to help you figure out what you like. I am constantly inspired by other's blogs and stories.
    • Conferences are also a great way to meet bloggers IRL – my recent favorites have been Everything Food (EFC in SLC), Mediavine, TravelCon and ALT summit. It all depends on what you're looking to get out of it, but networking has been a big game changer for me.
  • SEO research. To rank on google, you'll need to make sure you're writing content that people are searching for. I use Keysearch as a tool to do keyword research and make sure I'm optimizing my posts for search engines. Use this link and enter code KSDISC at checkout to save 20%
  • Start an email list. People who find your blog and want to stay in the loop will be your most devoted fans! Be sure to start an email newsletter ASAP. Mailchimp is who I use and it's simple to get started (and free!).

Making money from your blog

  • Affiliates- Sign up for affiliate sites like shareasale and e-junkie (and amazon if your state allows). Promote products you love and get a small commission for if people buy it from your site!
  • Chelsea from Chelsea's Messy Apron wrote an e-book about how she made $40k in her first year of blogging. This is a few years old now, but it's really interesting to follow her month-by-month journey!
  • Ad networks. There are a lot of options these days, but be aware the many networks have their own minimum requirements before applying. I use (and love) Mediavine, and they require a minimum of 25k sessions/month.
  • Sponsored posts. Join networks where you can connect with brands or reach out to your favorite brands to collaborate. I recommend the course Pitch Perfect Pro to help you get started working with brands directly. If you want to go the network route also, my favorites are Ahalogy and AspireIQ.

 

Other helpful resources

      • I'm a member of Food Blogger Pro. Learn how to start and grow your food blog.Food Blogger Pro – Hands down, the most helpful resource I had in setting up my blog (even if you're not focused on food). Whether you want to learn how to take better pictures, how to gain more readers, or how to write your own e-book, it's all here. They also have a podcast!
  • PODCASTS – I'm a little obsessed with podcasts. Some of my favorites (related to business) include: Food Blogger Pro, Chopped Podcast, ProBlogger, Goal Digger, The Fizzle Show.

I hope you find what you're looking for, but let me know if you don't! Check back here or Sign up to receive special updates when new blogging resources are added and exclusive discounts for classes with limited availability!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, email me at Kelly{at}trialandeater.com.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.