To anyone interested in starting a food blog, I have to say that my site would not be anywhere without the help of the great tools and resources listed below. I absolutely recommend each and every one of them and use them on a daily basis.
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Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR Camera – Once I realized that my iPhone just wouldn’t do for food photography, I put this camera on my wish list. It has TOTALLY changed the look of my photographs (See here vs. here). It was fairly simple to learn how to use and I have to say that it was the most important step that I took in creating this blog.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens – This is the lens that I use for all of my food shots. The Canon Rebel comes with a standard lens that is great for taking action shots and portraits. However, this 50mm/1.8 lens is great for getting up close and personal with your food. This lens is what gives you that great detail and the blurry background, which really helps visitors focus on the food you are preparing.
SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB Flash Memory Card with up to 95MB/s- SDSDXPA-064G-AFFP – This little guy actually makes a big difference when shooting. It speeds up load times and holds enough data so you’re never caught having to delete photos in the middle of a shoot. Critical when you’re starving and actually wanting to eat the food you just made… like NOW.
Lowel EGO Fluorescent Light Unit – If you live in the Pacific NW (like I do) or work full-time (like I do), you may find it difficult to find the natural daylight which is the preferred lighting method for food shots. These fluorescent light units solve that problem. I would estimate that 90% of my photographs are shot using the assistance of this light. Some bloggers even use two.
Portable Light Reflectors – Used in conjunction with the fluorescent light unit above, or the natural daylight, reflectors help bounce light into any dark nooks and crannies in your food which are in need of a little extra attention. These portable ones are great because they pop open quickly and fold back up for storage in even the smallest of spaces.
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (Photoshop CC + Lightroom)– I use both Lightroom and Photoshop to edit each of my photographs. Lightroom helps to fine tune the colors on your photographs and makes it easy to rename and organize your photos. I love that they offer a monthly plan, with a free trial for your first 30-days.
Food Blogger Pro – Aside from my camera this was the most invaluable resource in getting my blog going. Lindsay and Bjork, who have their own food blog, Pinch of Yum, have compiled all of their great knowledge into one totally helpful site. They go over EVERYTHING – Topics include web hosting, SEO, food photography, monetization, and many more. There are helpful short videos as well as a community resource, a great place for you to connect with other food bloggers.
GROWING YOUR FOOD BLOG
BlueHost – Bluehost is one of the most user-friendly WordPress hosting companies out there. They offers free domain registration at an extremely affordable price ($3.95/month). I use them for my blog and have had great results with them.
MailChimp – It’s a great idea to start an email subscription list. I send out a weekly email to my followers with a recap of new recipes that have been posted. You can also set emails to send out each time a new recipe is posted. It’s all customizable based on your personal preference. MailChimp is free for those with less than 2,000 subscribers.
TailWind – This great service enables you to schedule pins ahead of time. It gives recommendations on the prime tips to post your pins and ensures that they are spread out over time, so that your posts don’t look “spammy”. This has been a great tool for me and has increased my Pinterest traffic and followers dramatically.
Photo Submission Websites – Submitting your photos to food enthusiasts sites is a great way to bump up your traffic. I submit to Foodgawker, Tastespotting, HealthyAperture and Finding Vegan, just to name a few. It’s an easy way to self-promote your blog and can help to gain exposure.