I get many questions coming in behind-the-scenes on food blogging, traffic, and photography equipment, so I thought I’d put together a resource page to help answer these questions. The products, services, and websites mentioned below are all ones I currently use for Kitchen Konfidence. Let’s dive in!
Food Blogging Services
Bluehost. This is the company I use to host Kitchen Konfidence. Bluehost is extremely affordable, reliable, and their customer service team is awesome. With plans as low as $4.95 a month, Bluehost is a great hosting company if you are just starting a food blog. Check out my article on How to Start a Food Blog for more details. When my traffic started really growing here on Kitchen Konfidence, I upgraded to one of their premium plans to better accommodate more visitors.
The Genesis Framework. My WordPress design is made up of the Genesis Framework plus the Foodie child theme. Genesis provides a solid foundation for my design while Foodie makes everything look pretty. You can install The Genesis Framework on its own, but you can’t install a child theme without installing Genesis first. If you’d like to install a similar set up on your blog, you’ll need to purchase The Genesis Framework ($59.95), and a child theme (prices vary). This design system is fairly inexpensive, easy-to-install and highly customizable. I installed everything myself. No need to hire a designer!
CrashPlan. It wasn’t until my second computer crash that I finally got smart, and started using an online data backup service. CrashPlan has a number of different options at various price points available to help you protect your data. It’s easy to set up, and the program runs in the background. Seriously, start backing up to avoid this situation all together:
MailChimp. MailChimp is the service I use to send out my Kitchen Konfidence recipe emails. A few years ago, MailChimp upgraded their free plan to include 12,000 emails per month at no cost. It’s pretty amazing. Their email builder is also super easy to use.
Photography Equipment & Editing Software
Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Last year, I upgraded to the Mark III from a Canon Rebel. The Mark III is pretty incredible. High picture quality. Stellar performance in low light environments. Overall, this camera is a beast! If you’re not looking to shell out the big bucks for a camera like the Mark III, I’d highly recommend the Canon Rebel. I shot on that camera for over 2 years, including photos for a magazine!
Canon EF 24-105mm. A versatile lens good for food and lifestyle photography.
Canon EF 50mm. A solid fixed-length lens for food photography. I shot on this lens for a while before adding the 24-105mm to the mix.
Eye-Fi Mobi 32GB Wireless Memory Card. Really any memory card will do, but this one is fun. Eye-Fi cards allow you to sync your camera with your phone or tablet (I use an iPad), and transfer photos to the device as you are taking them.
Manfrotto 3-Section Aluminum Pro Tripod. I almost exclusively shoot my food photos on a tripod. This helps keep the quality of my photos nice and sharp. Manfrotto is one of the best brands for camera stabilization. Don’t forget to get a Ball Head as well!
Lowel EGO Tabletop Fluorescent Light Unit. I always try to shoot food photos in natural light. When that’s not an option, and I need to illuminate my food at night, I opt for the Lowel EGO light. It’s easy to set up, light weight and portable. I also like to use this light to illuminate the food photos I take at night for Instagram. Poorly lit dinner shots are a thing of the past!
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5. This is the software I use to import, organize and edit my food photos.
Adobe Photoshop CS6. When more involved edits are needed, I work in Photoshop. If you want to test out the software before buying it, you can get a free trail here.
Driving Traffic to Your Blog
When I first started Kitchen Konfidence, I was able to drive major traffic to my blog through the use of photo submission websites. I still continue to use most of these sites today:
Other than that, my email list is a good source of regular traffic.
This list will continue to grow and change as the years go on, so please check back frequently. If you have any further questions, please contact me brandon [at] kitchenkonfidence [dot] com. Thanks!
Disclaimer: Some of the links throughout this article are affiliate links. Each of the services, tools and plugins I’ve described in this article are ones I am currently using or I’ve used in the past. I only link to products that I trust, and would highly recommend. Thank you!