Building a blog is serious work. There is lots to know, lots to do and lots of choices to make to design your perfect blog. In fact, sometimes making a decision about which products to use or how exactly to build features into the blog can be the most time consuming part of getting started. Early on I found good advice, mainly from the people at Food Blogger Pro, and luckily enough they also have great blogging tools that I have found to be worth the investment. This page is meant to serve as a resource for existing bloggers as well as inspiration for aspiring bloggers. If I can build one, so can you!
I’ve listed the tools below in order of the timeline in which I acquired and began using them. For me it was often about money and deciding what and when to buy. Some things I needed right from the start, like the recipe card plug-in. Whereas others I felt could wait, like a Tailwind membership. This is just what has worked for me. I hope it helps you, too!
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Oddly enough, I actually purchased this years ago, before I had visions of starting my own blog. As a mostly self-taught photographer, it especially came in handy when I wanted to start using the manual settings on my camera. It was also helpful to see comparisons between ok photos and great photos, to gain perspective on where my skills fell at the time, and how they could evolve.
I knew I could write recipes and I knew I could take pictures, so that part of blogging felt natural to me. As for all the rest, well, let’s just say I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and that was A LOT! Everything I learned about getting started and then where to go from there came from Food Blogger Pro. Hands down, I could not have started my food blog without being a member of Food Blogger Pro and utilizing the amazing content and community forum they place right at your fingertips. An All-Access pass, basically, to learn from the experts. Where in the world would I have begun? How could I have known or learned or discovered all that Food Blogger Pro has taught me in such a short amount of time? The answer, nowhere!
I knew right away that for my blog to be a good resource for homecooks, I had to have a reader-friendly recipe format. Recipe cards were an absolutely must, and the minute I started to compare options I really was drawn to Tasty Recipes. I also knew, from being a member at Food Blogger Pro, that I would have the support I needed should anything complicated arise. I’m excited to report that the plug-in is even easier to use now than it was when I originally downloaded it, and I still love it!
At first, I was reluctant about including nutritional information, mostly because I knew the process of doing so accurately would be time consuming. However, I learned about Rich Pins and the importance of having strong Structured Data (from Food Blogger Pro, of course), so I knew including it would be an important step for SEO. I researched free options, but the minute I started comparing Nutrifox with other products, I knew within five minutes that this plug-in was not only going to enhance my Structured Data but it was going to be the quickest and smoothest way to get nutritional data into my recipe cards. End of story. I am still in shock when I use it at exactly how fast and easy it is to create a new recipe and upload the data into my blog post.
Let’s face it – if you want to grow traffic to your blog, Pinterest is one of the best (or THE best) way to do it. But I was starting from scratch on Pinterest. The other truth is that Pinterest is a huge time suck and I knew I couldn’t dedicate the real-life amount of time necessary to grow a following. That’s why I decided a scheduling tool was imperative. Tailwind is easy to use and one of those tools that does for me what I can’t do on my own, which is why I think it’s worth paying for.
Another great plug-in from the people at Food Blogger Pro. I decided to buy this after committing to Tailwind because my goal is to grow my Pinterest traffic. This seemed like a relatively inexpensive way to enhance the work I was trying to do with Pinterest.