Thinking about starting a blog? Or, maybe you’re already a blogger and just curious about what tools and resources I use to manage Girl Gone Gourmet?
Then you’ve come to the right place – Welcome to my blogging resources page!
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I only recommend products I have used from companies I trust – the purchases you make through these links help keep this blog up and running, so thank you!
I use Bluehost for my hosting company and have really been pleased with it. I’m not a super technical person, but I was able to migrate my blog from Blogger (a free blogging platform) to WordPress with the help of Bluehost. If you are new to blogging I highly recommend signing up with them if you are serious about growing a blog – they are an affordable solution for someone just starting out.
Using WordPress as a blogging platform means you have access to thousands of different themes for your site. Girl Gone Gourmet uses Foodie Pro, which is built on the Genesis Framework (the two can be purchased together). If you’re not ready to spend money on a theme (I blogged for over 5 years using a basic template on Blogger) WordPress also has lots and lots of free themes available.
Photography Tools & Resources
The first DSLR I owned was the Canon Rebel XSi DSLR Camera. It’s considered an old model now, but it’s still available and a great option for someone who is new to DSLRs and food photography. I used the lens it came with (EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens) and was very happy with it. It’s not as easy to use as a point and shoot, but once you learn some basics you can take amazing pictures with it.
Our current camera is the Canon EOS 7D. I say “our” because both Steve and I are photography people (he loves taking pictures when we travel, I love taking pictures of muffins when we’re home) and this camera serves us well. It’s pricey, but a good investment if you’re crazy about taking pictures and want great photos.
Then main lens I use for food photography is the Canon EF 50mm lens, which I find is easy to use and helps me get great food shots. Plus it’s lightweight, unlike some of the other lenses we use for travel photography.
I use both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for editing and they are awesome tools, but the learning curve is steep. If you aren’t ready to take the plunge and purchase the software you should definitely try the digital subscription option. I’m more comfortable with Lightroom (it’s great for photo organization and editing), but I am starting to learn more about Photoshop. I don’t like to do tons of edits to photos, but they are great tools for tweaking and adding that final polish that makes photos really stand out. I also use Photoshop to create all of my Pinterest pins that have multiple photos and text in one pin, which has had a significant impact on my Pinterest traffic.
Tasty Food Photography, written by Lindsay Ostrom of the blog Pinch of Yum, is a great tool for anyone who wants to take better food photos with their DSLR. Lindsay, a former teacher, does a great job breaking the basics down so that the reader can start taking great photos right away . She covers it all – aperture, shutter speed, ISO, composition, photo editing basics, and workflow tips and tricks.
Blog Promotion Resources
There are a gazillion food blogs so promoting my blog is something I spend a lot of time doing. Right now there are two main ways I promote – through food photo sharing sites and Pinterest. Here are the main photo sites I use:
If you want to generate traffic to your blog Pinterest is a great tool to help you do that. It’s currently my #1 traffic source thanks to a helpful tool called Tailwind. Before I signed up for Tailwind I pinned things a few times a day, but didn’t get much traction for my efforts. In order to unlock the power of Pinterest I highly recommend using a pin scheduling service like Tailwind – I mean, who has time to sit at the computer all day long and pin? I don’t, so I use their scheduler tool a few times a week to plan my pins – I decide how many pins I want to pin and to which boards. Tailwind provides the schedule (based on peak periods when engagement is most likely to happen) and then I sit back and let Tailwind do all the work. I also have access to all sorts of metrics so I know which pins do well, which boards have the most engagement, and which content is being re-pinned by other users. Oh, and their customer service is great – they are very responsive and helpful any time I have questions or need assistance.