There is no rule book for creating a successful business in the blogging profession – just lots of ideas and the long process of finding what works for you and your unique audience. And coffee. There is a lot of coffee involved in a successful blogging business.
We all start with something that inspires us. I knew a little about cooking and about marketing due to my previous career – but I knew nothing of photography or social media or search engine optimization. So that was the middle – my middle – where I started my career. Any professional blogger will tell you that you are always working forward on your new content with your new knowledge and backwards to update your old content with what you know now but didn’t know when you created it.
I am often asked about equipment, cameras, or other resources I use to both create content and manage the site Whole Food | Real Families. I hope this page is helpful in answering those questions. While I am not an expert in all these areas, one of the most satisfying, enjoyable (okay, sometimes frustrating) things about blogging is getting to dip your toes in so many professional and creative areas. I hope this section that outlines my tools helps you with wherever you are in your middle – moving forwards and backward at the same time.
I am always glad to chat about blogging, no matter if you are interested in it as a profession, a hobby or just curious about the way it works. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What camera do you use?
I have a Canon Rebel T5 DSLR. I like using a Canon. I personally find them to be more straightforward than a Nikon but it really is a personal preference. The T5 is a nice entry level DSLR camera that takes great pictures. It is a crop frame camera – which is why it is affordable for burgeoning photographers and bloggers.
I feel pretty strongly that buying a pile of complicated equipment before you have a clue is a waste of money. It can lead to a whole lot of frustration. So once I know how to use a piece of equipment well enough to know what I am missing, then I trade up to the more complicated version. I actually wrote an article about photography and blogging at HollyHomer.com, where I am the managing editor. You can read it here.
I’m ready to move up to a full frame camera… it is on the list.
What lenses do you use?
An 18-55mm zoom lens comes standard with the Canon Rebel T5 but I generally use a 50mm f/1.8 STM lens for food photography. Most food photographers use a 50mm lens for the detail it captures. I have a long wish list of lenses and camera equipment I would really like to own and use. But I am in no rush to purchase them all. I like taking new equipment one piece at a time. Once I learn everything I can about the pieces I have, I will expand my collection.
If you are not a blogger, you can skip this part because it is the most boring part of blogging. But…. I LOVE Tailwind. Pinterest is a great traffic driver for bloggers and Tailwind makes life much easier. I love social media and interacting with readers in real time. But I also have 3 children and a husband who like to see me occasionally and social media is around the clock. So being able to schedule is a huge help. Then I focus my social media time on interacting and answering questions from readers, rather than logging into and out of different networks. I have never found anything easier for Twitter scheduling than Buffer. And am currently in love with Planoly for Instagram.
Where do you get the backgrounds you use in your photographs?
I purchased a couple of vinyl backdrops early on that I use occasionally. But mostly, I make them or find them. I have several I made from a couple of packs of bead board from Home Depot. My friend Kristine has a great tutorial for how to create photo boards here. I also love to use the piece of wood someone else wanted to throw away. A sheet pan that has been used so often you can’t get it clean. I have been known to use old shirts. And don’t forget my collection of scarves from the 1980s. (I knew I would get around to them eventually!)
Where do you host your site?
I recently moved to SiteGround and am a little in love with them. (Only in the good way, not in the weird way.) Their customer service is TOP NOTCH, including 24/7 live chat with people who are actually knowledgeable and helpful. My former host had 24/7 live chat but mostly they just said: We are not responsible for that or we don’t do that. I also find it very helpful that my site is hosted at SiteGround, my domains are at SiteGround and my emails are at SiteGround – instead of being scattered all over the place.