These ultimate resources for food bloggers can help you run your blog less like a hobby and more like the business it is!
ULTIMATE RESOURCES FOR FOOD BLOGGERS
Starting a food blog can be hard. If you’re starting out on your own there is so much to learn and for the most part, you’ll need to wear all the hats in your new business. From deciding on what topic or niche to focus on, building a website and taking the leap into video, these ultimate resources for food bloggers can help you learn the skills you need!
The following resources are products, services, and free resources that I’ve personally used to help me turn my food blogging hobby into a business. I’m only including products and services in this ultimate resources for food bloggers guide because I do think they can help you get to where you want to take your food blog!
This list is massive! So i recommend starting where you are and picking and choosing the resources that will help you most now. Also, save this link, maybe even bookmark it as a reference you can come back to! I do plan to update the list a few times a year, so keep checking back for additions to these ultimate resources for food bloggers!
If you’re just starting out or are a hobbyist who wants to up their game, these resources can absolutely still be helpful for you! Take your time going thru them and find the best resources that will help get you to your next goal.
To start a blog of any kind, you’ll need a website. The following essential tools are needed for building a great website.
- Siteground – I currently use Siteground to host my site. There are quite a few different services for hosting and purchasing domain names, but I choose Siteground because it’s fast, secure and has an amazing support team.
- Bluehost – Bluehost is the hosting company that I started with. I do still have my domains registered thru them and they are a good place to check out if you need your business to be budget-friendly.
- Genesis Framework – From the start, I’ve used the Genesis Framework on Cup of Zest. It helps you build an awesome website along with a child theme. I highly recommend it.
- Feast Design Co. – The team at Feast Design Co. offers many food blogger focused child themes to help you easily design your food blog with the recipes as the focus. I currently am running the Foodie Pro Theme on Cup of Zest.
- WP Tasty Recipes – As a food blogger and recipe creator of any kind, you want your recipes to shine and WP Tasty Recipes does just that. I’ve tried lots of other recipe plugins and WP Tasty Recipes is by far my favorite. The team is always working on improving the plugin and offering the best updates to keep your recipes looking good. They also offer other plugins which I use on Cup of Zest, and you’ll want to check those out too!
- ValutPress – This is a MUST. Vaultpress keeps your website backed up, secure and safe. I can’t stress this enough, having automatic backups from VaultPress is a necessity to running your food blog as a business.
- Yoast – Good SEO can make or break a website. If you want help making sure your blog posts are optimized properly for google, Yoast is the way to go. They have a free version, which is so helpful.
You’re not just a food blogger. You’re a business owner, and one of the key things you need to learn as a business owner is marketing. When you are just starting out, you do ALL THE THINGS. That includes marketing your content. You put a lot of time and money into creating the best recipes, blog posts, and videos. If you don’t learn how to promote your content (which is marketing!) then you won’t be able to reach the people who need your recipes!
Email Service Providers
- ConvertKit – I LOVE ConvertKit. Their website is easy to navigate, you can easily email specific groups of people, and they have great tutorials to get started. ConvertKit does cost money, but when you are able to make the investment, I highly recommend you do so.
- MailChimp – MailChimp is where I started with my email marketing! It is really good for beginners and will help you grow your email list, which is so important in business.
- Tailwind – Tailwind has the best Pinterest scheduler out there. If you’re ready to stop spending hours pinning your recipe content, definitely check Tailwind out. It’s helped me grow my Pinterest account without spending hours and hours manually pinning content.
- Later – I love Later for scheduling my Instagram content. They do offer scheduling for other platforms too, but I personally only use it for Instagram. Also!!! They offer a FREE plan (with limited abilities) so you can try it out without committing to a payment!
- Milo Tree – Want to grow your social channels and email list? Milo Tree is a great way to promote your list and social channels via a super easy popup for your website.
- Thrive Architect – Do you have a service, product of freebie to promote? If you’re taking your food blog business to the next level, Thrive Architect is the way to go. It offers easy to build landing pages that make your website look like a professional sales page. While the parent company Thrive Themes offers an array of products, I currently only use Thrive Architect to build landing pages for the products and freebies I offer and only have good things to say about the product!
As a business owner, you need to start taking care of ALL THE THINGS! From the get-go, you need to keep track of your finances, protect yourself, and stay organized. These tools can help.
- Freshbooks – You’re running a business now, so you need to treat it that way. Keeping track of your revenue and expenses is so important and I’ve found Freshbooks to be the simplest way to do it. It also has fantastic invoicing software that I use weekly.
- Smart Receipts – Keeping your receipts organized is key, especially when it comes to tax time. I like using the Smart Receipts app on my phone to quickly snap images of receipts.
- Betterment – As a business owner, you have to start saving for your own future. Setting up a retirement plan is so important, especially if you don’t have an employer helping you with it. Personally, I use Betterment and love their service. It’s easy to use and they offer a great snapshot of how on track you are with your savings goals.
Working with Others
- Businessese – When you start getting business deals, brand sponsorships or hire out any of your blogging tasks, you want to protect yourself. Businessese has an array of easy to use contracts to help you keep your business protected.
- Hellosign– Hellosign has a FREE plan to help you digitally sign contracts and other agreements. I’ve used it for many projects, including hiring a virtual assistant and signing brand partnership contracts.
- LastPass – Not only is LastPass the best way to keep all of your passwords safe, organized, and strong, it also offers the ability to easily and safely share passwords with other people in your business.
Other Business Tools
- Google Drive – If you’re not using Google Drive yet, you need to! I love using google drive for organizing my blog posts, video content, and sharing docs with others. It’s fantastic and free.
- Grammarly – Okay, who needs help with checking their grammar and spelling. I absolutely do and while Grammarly doesn’t replace an editor, it is so helpful for picking up easy to miss mistakes in professional emails and blog drafts.
- MemberVault – If you have a product, service, freebie, or course you offer…get on MemberVault now! They have a free option, which I currently use to host my Appetizer Cooking Class (check it out here), and have been nothing but helpful with their tutorials. So if you have something you offer to your audience, you’ll definitely want to check out MemberVault.
This is an important one! There is SO MUCH to learn when becoming a food blogger and business owner. Without these teachers and courses, I would have been lost in my business journey. There is quite a variety of resources here. Each instructor and course offer’s their own perspective on business, so take a little time to find one that works for you!
General Food Blogging
- Food Blogger Pro – Wow, without Food Blogger Pro I’d probably still be sitting here thinking of starting a food blog. Their educational resources will help you build your site from the ground up. There are so many informative videos walking you step-by-step thru building your site, editing photos, and monetizing your food blog to name a few. If you need a good place to start, this is it!
- ProBlogger – There is so much information about blogging and turning it into a business at ProBlogger. I love their podcast and the information they share is invaluable.
Blogging as a Business Programs
- Shift University – Since 2016 I’ve participated in many of the programs Nicole Culver (the founder of Shift U) and her team have put on. Her programs, including Shift U & the Serial Method, have drastically changed the way I run my business. The training offered in Shift U are invaluable and have truly helped me turn my hobby food blog into a business. She has a free training going on now and you can join here to get an idea of what she teaches. If you have any questions about Shift U and the other programs Nicole and her team offer, I”m always happy to chat about it!
- Pitch Perfect Pro – If you’re ready to start pitching brands on your own for sponsorship deals, this is a fantastic program! I took Pitch Perfect Pro a few years ago and the tips and guidance Jenny Melrose offers will really help you get your foot in the door with brands.
Video & Photography
- Foodtpgraphy School – Sarah of Broma Bakery has such a mind-blowing photography course. I took the program when it was in its early stages and the information that the course offers will absolutely help you up your food photography game!
- Lightroom Magic – If you feel like you’ve got your photography skills down, but want to delve deep into post-processing using Lightroom, this is the course for you! Rachel is a pro photographer who breaks down all the aspects of Lightroom to help you edit your photos so they are beyond gorgeous.
- VidIQ – This is for you, video creators! If you have your recipe video content on YouTube, VidIQ has so many tips for upping your video game. I recently started implementing the tips VidIQ offers on their YouTube channel and I’ve already seen awesome results.
- The Visibility Method – Glenneth Reed is the creator of The Visibility Method and she has been my number one resource for learning how to use proper SEO into my content. She has a great free guide for writing blog content for google and a very informative Facebook group. Definitely check out her free content and when you’re ready I highly recommend her paid services as well!
I love listening to podcasts for business advice and tips. Each of the following podcast hosts offers fantastic advice and slightly different takes on business. Find one that you like and binge all of their content!
- James Wedmore – Mind Your Business Podcast
- Amy Porterfield – Online Marketing Made Easy
- Jenna Kutcher – The Goal Digger Podcast
- Marie Forleo – The Marie Forleo Podcast
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO EQUIPMENT
This is the last part of my Ultimate Resources for Food Bloggers list because ultimately, you can create an awesome business with the equipment you already have. You don’t need to go out and buy brand new stuff, but if you’re ready to upgrade or add in a few new tools for your workflow, I hope this list helps!
- Canon EOS 7D Mark II – Currently we’re using Canon cameras for stills and the prerecorded videos we create. They are fantastic! When you make a purchase of a camera body, definitely make sure to purchase a lense as well. The kit lenses that usually come with the camera are not the best and if you’re serious about you’re photography, you’ll want to invest in a quality lens.
- Canon 28-135 and Canon 100mm – The two lenses I currently use are on the older end, but they still do a great job. I mention their age because you might not be able to find the exact same lenses that I use. Either way, currently I have the Canon EF 28-135mm which I use for overhead stills and the Canon EF 100mm macro, which is great for getting super close up and lots of detail.
- Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam – When I stream live video I use a mix of cameras. It’s currently my phone, the webcam on my laptop and this Logitech Webcam. The webcam has been great and a total game-changer with my live video setup.
- Slik Pro 700DX AMT Tripod and Manfrotto 131D Side Arm – Whether you are shooting food photos or filming videos for your YouTube cooking channel, you need a tripod. I use this Slik Pro 700DX AMT and also have this Manfrotto Side Arm for overhead shots.
- Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod and Vastar Universal Smartphone Tripod Adapter – Currently I’m using these two pieces of equipment for my iPhone filming setup. I really only use my iPhone when I’m streaming live content or quick videos for Instagram. I do really like this setup!
- Food52 – Not only is Food52 a fantastic resource for recipes, but they also have gorgeous kitchen equipment and serving ware. There are so many stunning options for props here.
- Etsy – I love purchasing my props from garage sales and antique shops, but when I’m looking for something specific that is vintage, Etsy is where I go.
- Erickson Surfaces – There are quite a few options for food photography services, but Ereckson is the top of my list. They are great quality and offer beautiful surfaces.
- Adobe Creative Cloud – I use adobe products for photo editing (Lightroom & Photoshop) and video editing (Premiere Pro). Their products are fantastic and they have great educational resources. There are also tons of how-to videos on YouTube as well.
- Canva – Canva is AMAZING! They have wonderful templates for creating graphics and social posts. I use Canva weekly when creating Pinterest PIns and headers for my social channels. BIG PLUS – It’s free!
- OBS – I use OBS when doing Live cooking videos on YouTube and Facebook. It allows me to live stream with multiple cameras and switch between camera angles. It is free, but there is a little learning curve. Jessica Stansberry has a very helpful tutorial for using OBS.
YOU MADE IT!
Congrats! You made it to the end of the Ultimate Resources for Food Bloggers guide. I hope you found at least one thing in this guide to help you learn how to turn food blogging into a business! If you have any questions or need any other recommendations, please let me know!
What was your biggest takeaway from the Ultimate Resources for Food Bloggers? Tell me in the comments!