Hello, I thought it may be useful for me to put together all the resources that I am using to put together mydinner.co.uk. I am by no means a professional blogger but would like to share with you what I have learnt in the past year. I had to learn the hard way by trial and error so hopefully this page will make it a bit easier for new bloggers.
The tools to start your blog
Freshsites.co.uk is the hosting company I chose to host my dinner.co.uk with after trying out another company in the US. I was fed up with the UK- US Time difference, and the constant down times and after a lot of research decided to opt for Freshsites.co.uk who are based in Surrey. They specialise in wordpress hosting, backup their servers once a day and have a first class support team. Also they are very cheap. To host your website with them will only set you back £20 a year. They also offer domain registration; which is great as you can have all your resources in one place.
Make your site pretty with free wordpress themes. There are heaps of themes out there that help you create a professional looking website without you having to pay for it. MyDinner.co.uk is based on a free template called pinboard theme. To be fair I have a little bit of coding knowledge and have customized it a lot but you do not need to know this. Although you might want to learn CSS is fun!
Connect with your readers by sending out a weekly newsletter. I have been building my e-mail subscription steadily. At first by bullying my friends to join but now actually people are interested in my recipes The main reason I like mailchimp is because its very easy to integrate with Google Analytics and WordPress. You can customise the design to mirror the design of your blog and easy templates help you design Emails like a pro. Also it has really good analytics functionality. Best of all – IT’S FREE! For small fish like you and me who have less than 2000 subscribers.
Blog Photography Tools
Most food bloggers have a fancy SLDR camera but I have this baby! The Fuji X20 shoots all my photos on this blog. I would call it an advanced point and shoot camera. I am not an advanced photographer, although I am keen to learn so this compact little camera works find for me. It has a great selection of advanced filters, a superb sensor and image quality and the option for so many manual settings that it will keep me occupied for a while until I move on to proper SLDR. Also at under £400 it is the more price sensible option for me.