Thanks for visiting the StrawmarySmith Blogger Resources page! This page is for other bloggers who – like myself – are just trying to share some great recipes with the world. I started this blog in January 2015, but I’ve already seen such a huge growth in both my blog and on social media. I owe it all to a few resources that have helped me thrive, and this page is meant to share them with you.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to make a purchase, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. However, I’m only sharing links to resources that have personally helped me grow my blog and that I truly believe in.
Food Blogging for Dummies – Before I even started my blog, I bought Food Blogging for Dummies by Kelly Senyei (Just a Taste). This book was my go-to for all the basic information I needed: how to start a blog, what it should look like, how to take pictures, the basics of food photography, using social media, and more. So many post-its, so many questions answered, and all the information necessary for a beginner. I emailed Kelly to thank her for writing such a wonderful resource for beginners, and she even responded! It was great to know there’s such a helpful community of food bloggers out there. And speaking of community…
Food Blogger Pro – If you aren’t already a member of Food Blogger Pro, you need to be! If there was one resource I use more than any other, it’s handy ol’ “FBP.” Membership is $29/month and worth every penny. It’s run by the creators of Pinch of Yum, and has all the tools you need to build your blog. There are dozens of walkthrough videos on everything from how to use your SLR to how to set up a giveaway to how to backup your blog. My favorite tool on the website is the community forum. Members post their questions and get answers from each other. Questions like, “Hey, why does my website’s logo look funky?” and “What are the best Pinterest group boards to join?” and “Why aren’t any of my photos being accepted on FoodGawker?” Yes, I’ve asked all of these questions. And yes, I’ve gotten answers to all of them, and so much more. I think that’s definitely worth the $1 a day membership. You can also save on your membership with these coupons.
Genesis Framework & Foodie Pro Theme – When I started my blog, I was using a generic theme, but in July, I decided I needed an upgrade. I went ahead and bought the Genesis Framework and Foodie Pro Theme on StudioPress. Much like a car has both a frame and a paint job, your website could have a framework and a theme. Genesis is the framework for your website, and your theme will sit on top of that framework just like your paint job car gives your car its flair. There are plenty of themes for purchase on StudioPress, but the one I’ve bought for my site is Foodie Pro. You’ll notice a lot of your favorite food blogs use this theme (just scroll all the way to the bottom and the copyright is in the end of the footer). The best part about buying Genesis on StudioPress is that you have unlimited support with their customer care, and they will respond to your emails quickly anytime you need help with your site’s theme. I contacted StudioPress multiple times when I was switching my theme over, and got thorough responses each time. Also, the creator of the Foodie Pro Theme is on ShayBocks.com, and there you can find tutorials and walk-throughs on how to customize the theme to meet your preferences. For video tutorials and even more customization, use this extensive guide.
Tasty Food Photography – Not only have the creators of Pinch of Yum made Food Blogger Pro for us newbies – they’ve also made the Tasty Food Photography ebook. This ebook is a 1 stop shop on everything you need to know about food photography. Honestly, one thing I learned when I created my blog was that I could write a knockout statement about how delicious my new pasta dish was, but without a top-notch picture of it, no one would visit my site. People eat with their eyes. This book will show you how to hook new readers in with your food photos. You’ll get info on setting up your food, using light, utilizing props, changing your camera settings, editing your photos and more. There are even how-to videos in the ebook to teach you how to edit in both Photoshop and Lightroom. Did I mention there’s a 30 day money-back guaruntee?
Adobe Photoshop Elements – There’s no way around it. You need photo editing software. The software I’ve been using since day 1 is Photoshop, and I’ve only gotten better at editing with the resources I’ve mentioned above. Do you ever take a picture and look at it afterward and think, “Well, gee, it didn’t look like that in person!”? That’s what Photoshop will help you do – take a photo and make it look just as good as it did in real life.
PicMonkey – This one is not an affiliate link, but I had to include PicMonkey because it’s such a great tool! It’s the fastest and easiest way to create a long collage of photos that you can put on Pinterest. Who loves long pins? I know I do!
How to Monetize Your Food Blog – So you’ve started your food blog, but where’s the money to show for it? It’s all hiding behind this ebook. It’s a very short read, but has a lot of helpful information on how to set up ads on your site, backfill for ads, and get the highest CPM. Wait, what’s backfill? What’s CPM? The answers are in this book, and it’s how I set up all the ads on my site. It’s also the reason I’ve created this resources page and inserted affiliate links. As if that’s not enough, this ebook includes info on working with brands and creating an ebook of your own. I keep going back to it every time I decide to take another step toward getting the most value out of my blog.
Thanks to all the wonderful people behind the resources above, I’ve been working every day on a blog that I can truly be proud of. I hope that these resources help you as much as they’ve helped me. If you have any questions on these or need more guidance, feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use my Contact Form. Happy Blogging!