I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of the products and services that I use (and love) for running my blog. The items listed below are ones that I would recommend to others and have been really happy with. If you have any questions about the products, feel free to send me an email using the information on my contact page!
*Disclaimer – please note that some of the links listed below are affiliate links, meaning that if you were to make a purchase through one of these links, I would receive a small commission. Thank you for your support of Cookie Monster Cooking!
General Blogging Resources:
This has seriously been a life saver for me. To say that I am clueless about some of the technical aspects of blogging is an understatement. Bjork and Lindsay from Pinch of Yum offer a wide variety of video lessons that explain everything incredibly clearly and make it very easy to understand and follow. They cover everything from the back-end of managing your blog to food photography and ways to monetize your site. I cannot recommend this more highly. It has saved me so. much. time.
An awesome e-book from Kiersten at Oh My Veggies. There is so much great information in this book and again is written in a way that you can understand and implement the strategies on your own. It often feels like information on how to make money from your blog is hard to come by and I love that Kiersten shares so much here.
The Genesis Framework is what I currently use on Cookie Monster Cooking. The framework is flexible, search engine optimized (SEO), and quite frankly much much easier to use than what I was using previously. I use the Genesis Framework along with the Foodie Pro Theme that was customized and installed for me by Grits Design.
Are you backing up your blog? Seriously, you need to back it up. Could you imagine if all your hard work just vanished (I learned that the hard way with one of my computers in college)? I love using Vaultpress for this – you get peace of mind knowing that if something happens you can easily restore your blog (and hard work).
I cannot recommend the wonderful people over at WP Site Care enough. They have taken care of a few sort of a la carte techie things for my blog and have been just absolutely fantastic. So fast to respond to emails, patient with all my I-don’t-understand-what-this-tech-stuff-means questions and do just great work. Again, I highly highly recommend them.
Take a look at some of the early posts on this blog. To say the photos were not exactly awesome is a bit of an understatement. Improving my photography has been a big source of growth for my blog in general and this book from Lindsay at Pinch of Yum has helped me do just that. And the language she uses is easy to understand – so important especially for when you are starting out (or for when you are a few years in, just sayin’!).
Another great book that has helped improve my food photography immensely. I love love love this book and it has really helped me over the last few years. It is one of those resources that you end up referring back to again and again. And again.
I love my camera. It is definitely my baby. But please know that I had this camera before I started this blog. It is a pricey purchase and there are other cheaper options available depending on your budget. Having a great camera is certainly nice, but learning to use whatever you have is way more important. The photos I took even with this terrific camera were terrible until I learned what the heck I was doing!
This is my go-to lens for all of my food photography and in all honesty is the only one I really use when it comes to the pictures on this blog. I love it and it has been well worth the investment for me.
While I try to take as many of my photos in natural light as possible, let’s be honest – that just doesn’t always happen. Busy schedules and life get in the way. I use this light when I’m forced to take pictures in really low light or after the sun goes down. It is easy to use and you can set it up on a table or other flat surface.