Welcome to my blogging treasure chest! This page is a collection of the tidbits and secrets that I’ve learned in building Foodie Fiasco to over 800,000 page views a month. Hopefully this can help with your blog! If there’s anything else you want to know or would like some personal assistance from yours truly, just leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bluehost is a fantastic hosting solution. In fact, they are so fantastic that I have used it to run Foodie Fiasco for years. There is no better testimonial than that. They are very well-priced and, most importantly, very reliable. Just sign up for an account, download WordPress, and voila! Your blog is born! They have a variety of packages to suit everyone. For under seven dollars a month (and free domain registration!), you get reliable hosting with a ton of user-friendly features, unlimited domains, and unlimited domains. Once your blog outgrows the $7 a month plan, there is the managed Bluehost Pro plan that I use, and there are also virtual private servers (VPSs) and dedicated servers available.
Thesis theme is the best. End of discussion. I’ve used Thesis on Foodie Fiasco from the beginning and am just over the moon with it. It’s rather minimalist right out of the box, but you can do some serious customizations and really make it your own without touching a line of code. The theme is very powerful, and is completely Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly. Of course, if you need a fabulous and affordable graphic designer, Chris Graver is your man.
Elegant Themes is known as one of the best deals on the Internet, and for good reason. I use the Foxy theme on Foodie Forward, and am truly impressed. For $39 dollars, you get unlimited access to 86 fantastic themes. 86! It. The themes are very user friendly with lots of options for customization, and a number of them are mobile responsive. With so many choices, you are bound to find the perfect one for you. Plus, there’s also a great support forum if you ever get stuck.
AWeber is the service I use for the Foodie Fiasco newsletter (feel free to signup in the sidebar to the right to see how I have it set up). The interface is very user-friendly and the software itself has the horsepower of a jet engine. There is a plethora of analytics at your fingertips about how your content is performing, not to mention its other features that allow you to make heartfelt and lasting impressions on your readers with little effort on your part. Highly recommended!
Content Management Service (CMS)
WordPress. I would recommend nothing else. If you have any intention to grow your blog at all, I encourage you to go straight for the self-hosted WordPress.org. You’ll end up there anyway. Just head on over to Bluehost, download WordPress, and you’re done. That being said, there is no harm in just getting your feet wet. Worpress.com is a great place to start.
Askimet: Do you like spam? Me neither. You need this plugin in your life.
Comment Reply Notification: Another must-have. Sends a notification via email whenever a comment is responded to. Great for you and your readers!
Relevenassi: As you will quickly learn, the default WordPress search function just doesn’t cut the mustard. This plugin takes care of that and then some.
WordPress SEO: A gold standard in the business of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this plugin can make a real difference in where your blog stands in the major search engine (such as Google, etc.)
Ziplist Recipe Plugin: It makes your recipe look all nice, printer friendly, and allows an image to show up in Google search. But the best part? It’s free!