I've recently received questions related to business-ey things so I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of resources that have made my online business life about a billion times easier. The list is divided into 2 sections: Photography and Business. Within the business section, you will find both food blogging resources and online business resources, which includes resources that I use for my private nutrition practice.
(Please note: some of these links are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through my link.)
I was a food photography novice when I launched Abra's Kitchen, I had a ton to learn and I felt very overwhelmed by it all. I started by investing in a camera and then set out trying to figure out how to use it.
How to Take Great Food Photos
The Ebook – Tasty Food Photography – was a game changer for me.
As a total photography beginner, this book was exactly what I needed to dive into the photography world without overwhelm. I was able to suss out the basics and start taking better pictures immediately. I still have a lot to learn, but this ebook was the perfect way to get started.
I shoot on a (fairly) inexpensive starter camera – the Canon Rebel T6i. I also just realized I have been shooting with the wrong lens for 2 years, so I won't share which lens I use 😉
I was beyond confused as to what type of tripod I needed/if I really needed one. I recently purchased the Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Aluminum Tripod Kit.
I thought I would use it much more frequently for photo shoots, but I find I still like handheld better and feel a little limited by the use of a tripod (reminder: I am a novice). However, the tripod has been invaluable for video shoots, the tripod kit contains an overhead arm which is super easy to use.
Additional Photography Resources:
I attempt to carve out a few hours each week to learn a little more about photography. I highly recommend Brooke Lark, Broma Bakery, and That's Sage for food photography courses, tutorials, inspiration, and drool-worthy photography.
Blogging and Business Resources
FreshBooks – This is the online accounting and invoicing system I have used for over 7 years. I honestly could not live without FreshBooks. It's easy to use and helps non-accounting people like me make sense of owning a business.
Cloudways – This is the hosting company I use for my website. When I switched to Cloudways I saw an immediate jump in site speed and traffic. I have worked with 2 other hosting companies in the past that I really struggled with (one such company lost my entire site, like every word I ever wrote, I cried like a baby). Finding a reputable and reliable hosting company is so important and I am so so glad I found Cloudways.
The Genesis Framework – You can think of this resource as my personal blog stylist behind the scenes. Abra's Kitchen runs on the Genesis Framework with the Foodie Pro Theme, which is essentially what a lot of popular food bloggers use to get their site looking super delicious 🙂 To set this up you would purchase the Genesis framework and then the foodie pro theme (disclaimer: I had someone do the setup for me, but I purchased the theme and framework first)
Food Blogger Pro – I have been a member of Food Blogger Pro for over 2 years. Food Blogger Pro is an online resource to help you start, grow, and build your blog. It is run by the team behind Pinch of Yum (a crazy town successful food blog). Lindsay (Ms. Pinch of Yum herself) was a former teacher and an excellent educator. The FBP video guides and tutorials are organized, easy to understand, and implement. The blogger connection forum has been incredible. Highly recommend.
ConvertKit – This is the email service provider I use. Prior to switching to ConvertKit I have used just about every email service provider out there; Constant Contact, Aweber, MailChimp, and InfusionSoft. I have found that ConvertKit is by far the easiest to use with advanced capabilities. In simple terms Convertkit has made it easier for me to send out appropriate emails to subscribers that are interested in certain topics (remember I run a food blog and nutrition business, I don't want to send nutrition emails to people that just want new recipes!)
Thrive Themes – Thrive Themes is a plugin that came highly recommended by my business mastermind crew. This is how I developed and designed that pretty little email sign up pop-up
Tailwind / A Pinterest scheduling/management tool – I had more resistance to this tool than any other. Pinterest terrified me when I started Abra's Kitchen, so much so in fact that I hired someone else to handle it. I quickly realized this was not a task that I should have someone else do until I really knew how to do it myself first. So I took my account back and dug deep into how to use Tailwind. Within 2 weeks I saw a 250% increase in my traffic coming from Pinterest and it keeps growing. Tailwind is a powerful scheduling tool that makes Pinterest much less scary.
Best Pinterest Ebook – Pintersting Strategies – Written in a very easy to understand and easier to implement way – Carly from “Mommy on Purpose” went from 0-200K pageviews in one month with her manual pinning strategy. I certainy did'nt see that level of growth but I also haven't fully implemented her manual pinning strategy. I did learn a ton of useful info that has helped my pinterest traffic continue to grow.
Blog Tutor – I am not the tech-savviest human and yet I have learned way more than I ever thought I needed to know to run an online business, but I still need support with some of the tougher challenges. Like converting to https/ security back-ups/ firewall/ and database optimization. If those words made you break out in a cold sweat, then you need to call Andrew at Blog Tutor. He speaks in human words (not the tech language that makes me want to cry). Andrew gives me blog piece of mind. (Prior to hiring Andrew I lost my site numerous times from hacks and poorly managed back-end stuff. Not fun.)
Optsus – Frank over at Optsus is my other behind the scenes website ninja. He has helped me with little and big fixes that are way beyond my scope. From CSS – to outdated plugins – to the emergency “Um Frank… I think I did something bad” kind of fixes. Everyone needs a Frank in their life.
Nutrition Practice Resources
For more information about how I run my private nutrition practice feel free to reach out to me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the nutrition supervision program I run with Dr. Jaime Scheher: IFNS – Integrative and Functional Nutrition Supervision