Are you a food blogger, or interested in starting your own food blog? I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that food bloggers can use to see the products and services that I use with my blog. The list will continue to evolve as I find different resources that are worth mentioning, so be sure to check back often!
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have actually used and love. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed below. Thank you for supporting Marsha’s Baking Addiction!
STARTING A FOOD BLOG
DOMAIN NAME & HOSTING
Choosing the name of your website, and hosting. Web hosting is like renting your little space on the internet to put your blog! Here are my recommendations.
TSOHost – TSOHost has been my hosting company ever since I started my blog in January 2015, and I believe they are the best UK hosting company when it comes to pricing and customer support. You even get a free domain when your choose the Professional plan for only £4.99 a month!
Wpopt – I moved over to Wpopt hosting in May 2017 and couldn’t be happier. Every blogger I know recommended them, so I made the change. It was a smooth transfer with no site downtime. Their customer service is amazing, and they are super helpful!
MAKING IT LOOK PRETTY
Themes are a little like an outfit for your blog. They each have their own layout, and you can choose which layout you like best. Here are my recommendations.
Bluchic – Bluchic has the most beautiful, feminine themes for your blog. These are not free themes, but they are professional, fully customisable, responsive, and SEO friendly. Bluchic also has a Documentation and Support page to help you set up your theme just like the demos.
Restored 316 – Another site where you can purchase beautiful and feminine premium themes for your blog. This is where I purchased my first ever premium theme.
SoloPine – SoloPine has a collection of beautifully laid out themes. This is where I purchased my current theme.
Looking for a custom-made theme for your site? I highly recommend Purr Design who specialises in designing food blog themes.
Here are a few plugins I use on my blog, and which I highly recommend.
Social Warfare – My social sharing buttons that appear on my blog posts. These buttons are fully customisable, and you can make them suit your blog design perfectly. They load in fast, and don’t slow down my site at all.
WP Recipe Maker – I use WP Recipe Maker for the recipe cards on my posts. I used a little CSS coding to get it to look how I wanted it. WP Recipe Maker includes the latest SEO standards, they stay on top of the latest developments and were the first to switch to the new JSON-LD structured data standard. You can even upgrade from the free plan to include a Unit Conversion, and Nutrition Facts in your recipe card for your readers. Last but not least, their customer support is awesome!
EasyIndex Pro – I used to use this plugin to create my Recipe Index. This plugin lets you create beautiful indexes to suit your style.
ShortPixel – ShortPixel improves site performance by reducing image size, resulting in faster page loading, and a better SEO ranking. Resulted smaller images are no different in quality from the original. Sign up here and get access to 200 free image optimizations, and after that you can get 5,000 image optimizations each month for only $4.99!
Akismet – Akismet stops those pesky spam comments from getting through to your site. You won’t have to worry about spam again!
Yoast SEO -The all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more. Yoast is a powerful tool that can help you make your site as search engine-friendly as possible.
Canon EOS 1200D Digital SLR Camera – This is the first and only DSLR camera that I’ve ever purchased, and is what I’m currently using for my blog. I used the lens that came with the kit up until December 2015. I highly recommend this camera to any beginner interested in taking food photography more seriously. It’s an excellent, inexpensive option for beginners!
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 Lens – This is the lens I use on my blog as of January 2016, and is the first and only camera lens that I’ve ever purchased (besides the one that came with the kit). This is great quality lens for the price, and I highly recommend it as a first lens for food photographers.
Adobe Lightroom 4 – I use Lightroom 4 to edit my photos before posting them onto my blog.
BUILDING SITE TRAFFIC
MailChimp – MailChimp is the email marketing software I currently use to send out recipe post updates via email to my subscribers. With their free option, it allows you to store up to 2,000 subscribers, and send up to 12,000 emails per month! They even have beautiful, fully customisable email templates, too.
Tailwind – Pinterest scheduling tool. I use Tailwind to schedule my own pins as well as other bloggers’ pins, too. Tailwind gives you unlimited pin scheduling, best times to pin, a powerful analytics of your pins’ performances, and profile and board metrics. If you’re looking to get serious about growing your Pinterest following, Tailwind is your best friend. Tailwind is also an official Pinterest Marketing Developer Partner for Content Publishing!
Buffer – I use Buffer to schedule my tweets and retweets. There is a free version of Buffer which allows you to schedule up to 10 posts at a time per social account added (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and LinkedIn). For Facebook, I schedule all of my posts using the native Facebook scheduler.
FOOD SUBMISSION SITES
Here is a list of the food photo submission sites that I use to drive more traffic to my blog. There are SO many out there, but the ones listed here are just the ones that I submit to.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED LIST:
Here is a list of everything I have recommended throughout this post!
- TSOHost (my previous hosting company)
- Wpopt (my current hosting company)
- Canon 1200D (my current camera)
- Canon 50mm f/1.8 (my current lens)
- Adobe Lightroom 4 (my photo editing software)
- Adobe Lightroom 4 Tutorial
- Photoshop (where I create my long pins for Pinterest)
- Photoshop: How to Create a Long Pin Tuturial
- The Food Photography Book by Nagi @ RecipeTin Eats
- The Complete SEO Guide for Food Bloggers by Hurry The Food Up
- Bluchic Themes
- Restored316Design Themes
- SoloPine Themes
- Social Warfare (my social sharing buttons plugin)
- WP Recipe Maker (my recipe card plugin)
- EasyIndex Pro (a plugin to create beautiful index pages)
- ShortPixel (image optimization)
- MailChimp (email marketing software)
- Tailwind (Pinterest scheduling tool)
- Buffer (Facebook and Twitter scheduling tool)
- Akismet (keeps spam comments under control)
- Yoast SEO (all-in-one SEO plugin for WordPress)