Essential Resources For The Ultimate Blog
This page has been created as a helpful resource for you.
Keywords are so important! Once I learned about choosing optimum keywords for my posts and pages, I gained more organic traffic from Google (impressions and click through rate doubled in a month and after only optimizing about 5 posts). KWFinder is my favorite tool for this. With this tool, you will get 3 free lookups per day. I personally use the middle annual membership, 100 lookups a day. Interested in a personal consultation with me to learn how SEO can improve your site?
Check broken links and fix them with Broken Link Check!
Page Speed Testing: webpagetest.org (A & B’s are good) or pagespeedinsights (85 or above, 4000 or less optimum)
Tailwind is my favorite pinning scheduler that saves so much time. The system picks the best time to “pin”, which results in more “repins” and better engagement. Try Tailwind today! I use Canva and Picmonkey to make beautiful pins.
If you decide to seek out work via paid sponsorships with brands, you will need a media kit. Whatever format you choose to create your media kit, be sure to send to the brands in pdf format. I also like to include a proposal with my media kit.
Host For Your Blog:
WPOPT is the current hosting company for my blog. Now, with WPOPT I receive great customer service, tech savvy, friendly and helpful support. I highly recommend them!
WEBSITE BLOG THEMES:
Genesis Framework: I started using this framework in early 2014 and love it! It is the best! Their responsive design means that your site works well with different devices, browsers and monitor sizes so readers get the best experience possible.
Foodie Pro: This is my current theme and it is great for food bloggers. Very user-friendly – I have been able to make many changes/updates easily.
Studiopress Themes: There are many great themes to choose from to create the website of your dreams!
Free Themes for WordPress: Interested in starting a blog but don’t want to purchase a theme right away? That’s what I did for the first year of my blog. There are so many free themes to choose from. My suggestion is to do some research and choose a highly rated one with good reviews.
BLOG BACKUP – Vaultpress
EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE:
MailChimp – This is the email subscription service I currently use. It is free up to 1000 subscribers. Mailerlite is another great option.
Recurpost is a place where you can schedule all of your post in advance. All you have to do is set up a library of posts and once it goes through them all, it starts over again. Plus, you can also schedule one post at a time.
Food Photography –
Looking for a great guide for food photography? This guide will teach how to take amazing photos and is much less expensive than a course!
Tasty Food Photography e-book – This book has been a valuable resource for improving my food photography skills. I decided one day to treat myself to this book and am glad I did. I find myself re-reading many parts of this book often.
Learn The Craft of Blogging:
Sticky Blogging Writing Class – This class took me from staring at a blank screen to a delivering great content to my readers. If you are ready to learn great techniques and how to connect with your readers, this is the class for you. Bonus – there is a private alumni group that you will be able to join.
Smart Blogger – lots of great articles about blogging.
Tools For Your Blog:
Grammarly – Research shows that some readers care so much about typos, that after encountering one, they will assume the writer is less conscientious, less intelligent, and less trustworthy. Yikes. Not exactly the effect you’re after. No worries with Grammarly in your life! And I love how it works on everything I write, from posts to emails to essays. Plus, it’s completely FREE!
Google Console –
My Essential Favorite Plugins Include:
Social Warfare – A WordPress plugin that adds beautiful, lightning-fast social share buttons to your website or blog. And so much more!
Askimet – Akismet blocks spam comments to your blog. As your site grows, this plug-in is crucial or else you will be monitoring thousands of spam comments on your own. Not fun!
WP Recipe Maker – I use this to create a printable recipe card at the end of my posts.
Yoast SEO – helps improve your site’s SEO and you write better content.
Social Warfare – This is a premium plugin, but I find my site runs faster. If you wish to convert from HTTP to https, this plug-in will restore your social shares, which would be lost in the conversion. If you are doing this conversion, check with your host to see if they can do this for you.
Pin It For Images – This puts a convenient “pin it” button on every image so people can easily pin to your site- P.S. Pinterest is a huge traffic driver!! My personal Pinterest tips: create “long” pins, join group boards in your niche, recirculate old content, find the best time to pin and spread out your pinning (this way you won’t be pinning the same recipe to 12 boards at the same time)!
Related Posts Thumbnails – the bottom of each of my posts always have several tiny thumbnails with links to similar posts or recipes. Based on the recipe category, similar posts are chosen at random to display at the bottom. It’s another easy & effortless tool to advertise your other posts.
Google Analytics – Set up analytics so you can track traffic coming to and from your site. Google analytics is a great way to see the times of day people come your way, along with your popular content, unique visitors, page views, etc.
Social Media/Traffic Driving Sites:
Driving traffic to your website is ultimately your goal, right? Here is a list of the sites that I primarily focus on right now. There is a ton to explore, but the ones listed here are the sites I focus on most.
- Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links listed are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are companies that I have found helpful and trustworthy. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed!
What blogging tips would you like to learn more about? What questions do you have? Let me know!