Getting Started with Your Own Food Blog - Skillful Cook
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Getting Started with Your Own Food Blog

Ok, so you know you love food and you know you want to write about it and share it with the internet world but like...how? We know that feeling! Here are some of the amazing tools that we totally stand by that got us up and off onto our feet and continue to help Skillful Cook grow. Host engines, marketing software, staging platforms, and just simple Wordpress theme guidance to help you get started (which can sometimes be the hardest part!).

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below 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.

WP Engine

WP Engine is the host we currently use for Skillful Cook. Many hosts don’t do managed servers for blogs with the kind of traffic that Skillful Cook sees, but having a host that managed the server for us was important to us. WP Engine provides great, speedy support and has a really nice admin panel. You don’t need to be a high-traffic blog to reap the benefits of WP Engine, either - anyone who is interested in fast and reliable managed hosting should consider WP Engine!

Backblaze

We turn to Backblaze for extra backup and storage. We’re a small and mighty team here at Skillful Cook, and Backblaze is our trusted source for safe and secure storage of content.

VaultPress

VaultPress is the company we use to backup the Skillful Cook WordPress account. Skillful Cook has over 1000 pages and posts that we’ve written over the past ten years. The blog has also helped us generate some extra income as well. My point? It would really stink if something happened where Skillful Cook was wiped out and we lost everything. Vaultpress ensures that if that something like that did happen we’d be able to recovery everything from a backup. If you’re looking for a more cost effective solution check out BlogVault.

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ConvertKit

ConvertKit is the email marketing software we use to send Skillful Cook blog posts via email, as well as other email campaigns and marketing automations. It’s easy to use, specifically built for bloggers, super powerful, and has fantastic customer service.

CoSchedule

Keeping an organized editorial calendar can be super tough, which is why we love CoSchedule. It allows us to see all out blog content in one place, schedule posts, and schedule and post all our content to Instagram with just a click. You can also give it a try for free!

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StagingPilot

WordPress plugin and theme updates can sometimes have unexpected consequences. Most of the time, everything goes totally fine. But sometimes the updates cause things to look funny or even take down your website entirely. StagingPilot saves you from these mishaps by testing the updates on a staging server first, then only pushing them to your live site if everything looks good. This helps us sleep better at night knowing that updates are automatically tested and performed on Skillful Cook.

Buffer

Buffer is our go-to spot for posting to content to Facebook and Twitter. It’s an easy-to-use platform for scheduling content, engaging with readers, and reviewing social metrics.

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Tailwind

Tailwind is the tool we use to schedule all of our Pinterest content. It’s simple to use, super powerful, and helps ensure we’re covering all the bases on our boards. You can even give it a try with a free trial to see if it fits yours needs!

InfluenceKit

We’ve been using InfluenceKit for several years and it’s our trusted tool for reporting back to brands on sponsored campaigns and providing our partners with real-time metrics. It integrate well into various social platforms and puts together a beautifully organized report to share.

Tips for Monetizing

For 5+ years, every month Bjork wrote a post about the different ways that we make money with this blog. Our hope with these posts is to provide readers with information and inspiration. We definitely don’t pretend to have any “secrets” to blogging. If you’re interested in monetizing your blog you can click here to check out our past monthly reports. In our first month (August, 2011), we earned a whopping $21.97. 🙂 We’ve since been able to grow that significantly, but even if you don’t plan to get rich from blogging, hopefully the reports can show you some ways to make a little extra money from an enjoyable hobby.

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Food Blogger Pro

Food Blogger Pro is a central location for people that want to learn how to start and grow a food blog. There are two primary parts of site, the video training and the community forum. The videos provide easy-to-understand tips for getting started with your food blog and step-by-step instructions for how to do things like install advertising code, create a branded email address, or use the manual settings on your DSLR camera. The community forum is a place where you can go to get questions answered by other food bloggers. We’ve really been honored to walk alongside other food bloggers as we continue to figure out ways to really understand the crazy world of food blogging.

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Clariti

Clariti is a software tool that helps us manage all our blog posts (1,700+!)  all in one place, so we can find actionable insights that improve the quality of our content. Clariti provides a bird’s eye view of our website data through built-in integrations with WordPress, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console. We create projects and tasks to help us stay organized and on track. Clariti has made the process of optimizing blog content so much easier - and significantly faster - to get increased traffic, revenue, and SEO ranking.