After blogging at Cooking Chat for over 5 years, during the summer of 2014 we decided to kick things up a notch here. Given the time and energy I was putting into cooking and writing up great recipes, why not put some effort into helping more people find the blog, and perhaps generate some additional income along the way? I thought I’d create this Food Blogger Resources page to share some of the things I’ve found to be helpful along the way. The list includes a number of affiliate links, but I only include resources that I’ve used and found to be very helpful. You can also check out my post on Moving a Food Blog to WordPress if you happen to be considering such a move. Or if you are looking to boost your social media presence, check out my Simple Method to Grow Your Twitter Following.
Food Blogger Pro Joining the Food Blogger Pro (FBP) community has been a great resource for me. Bjork and Lindsay created FBP to share the expertise they have developed in building the Pinch of Yum blog to the point where it has generated over $30,000 in some months. In addition to sharing their expertise, FBP is a great way to connect with a network of over 700 food bloggers sharing their questions and insights through a number of well organized forums. There are also great instructional videos on topics like Building Traffic, Food Photography, Generating Income, and much more. I definitely would say Food Blogger Pro membership is worth the investment of about $25/month for anyone serious about starting a food blog or taking their current blog to another level of success. Update: Food Blogger Pro only enrolls new members twice per year. Use this link to sign up for the Food Blogger Pro waiting list!
Tasty Food Photography ebook It doesn’t take much research to figure out that awesome food photos are essential to generating significant traffic to a food blog. Getting the Tasty Food Photography ebook created by Lindsay from Pinch of Yum was a huge step in improving our photos here at Cooking Chat, and thus features prominently on this food blogger resources page. Well worth the $19 for us! Using the book as a guide, we took the plunge on a “real” camera (will add some more about that later) and other tools. Since doing so, we’ve been getting accepted to the highly selective food photo sites with some regularity–see for instance our Tastespotting gallery. More important, the photos look so tasty–don’t you just want a bite of that Turkey and Butternut Squash stew to the right? There is also a new resource available on taking food photos with artificial lighting available through Food Blogger Pro.
Tailwind for scheduling Pins Many food bloggers report Pinterest is their number one source of traffic, so I’ve certainly been looking for ways to build my Pinterest influence. I realized a few months ago using a tool to schedule my pins was crucial for getting a steady stream of pins to my blog posts out there. I tried another tool for awhile, but have been very pleased with Tailwind since I switched to it. I like the way I can schedule the same pin to a variety of boards at intervals I set, and they offer great analytics to see which pins are having the most impact.
Foodie Pro Theme There are a lot of themes to choose from, but so many of the FBP members are happily using the Foodie Pro Theme that I landed on it fairly quickly myself. As I mentioned earlier, it has a nice search setup designed specifically for recipes, and it comes with EasyRecipe baked in. I also like the nice clean look, that sets up lots of visually appealing ways to display those tasty food photos. Some basic terms I learned in the process: you need to choose a WordPress framework as well as a theme when getting started on WordPress. Foodie Pro operates on the Genesis framework, which my research suggested is the most reliable. The Foodie Pro Theme is current priced at $129, with features described here on the Foodie Pro page.
Sunday Supper Movement: Participating actively in the Sunday Supper community has gone hand-in-hand with the FBP membership in terms of increasing traffic to Cooking Chat. Every Sunday, there’s an opportunity to participate in a blogging event and live Twitter chat (Sundays at 7 p.m. Eastern Time) organized around a fun and timely theme. It’s a very friendly and supportive group of bloggers, and my Sunday Supper posts are always among my most viewed.
Lowell Ego Digital Imaging Fluorescent Light Unit I quickly learned from the Tasty Food Photography ebook about the importance of good lighting for food photos. Alas, as I write this page in the waning days of November, there’s not any nature light to be had come dinner time. This light unit helps us still manage to still get some tasty photos taken when the sun has set.
Flipboard for Food Bloggers A blog post I wrote with 4 tips on how food bloggers can leverage Flipboard, a mobile social media platform.
Food Bloggers: 150+ Links to Everything You Need to Know Whether you are looking to start a food blog or tips to boost one that you have, this list of food blogger resources curated by Recipe Girl is bound to have some helpful articles for you to read!