RESOURCES FOR HEALTH BLOGGERS
I thought it would be useful to make a page for resources that other health bloggers can use to see the items and things that I use with my website. The rundown will be persistently advancing as I find diverse resources that are worth sharing.
Disclaimer: Please take note of that a portion of the links beneath are affiliate connections and I will gain a commission on the off chance that you buy through them. I utilize most of the things mentioned below, and suggest them on the grounds that they are organizations that I have discovered reliable. It would be ideal if you let me know whether you have any questions regarding any of these!
VIDEO & PHOTOGRAPHY TOOLS
Canon EOS 6D – I recently upgraded to the Canon 6D after using a Canon 7D for a year (and before that a Nikon D40 for a few years). Not only does the 6D shoot incredible pictures, but it also shoots really incredible HD video. It’s an expensive camera, so if you’re just getting started look first at purchasing something like the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 or even using the camera on your phone. Remember – the best camera is the one that you have with you.
Canon 50mm 1.4 – This is my tried and true food photography lens. It’s an amazing lens that has stood the test of time for me (I used the Nikon version when I first started and now I’m using the Canon). It isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for with a lens. This lens is considered a prime lens, which means that it doesn’t zoom in or zoom out. You’re only able to shoot at 50mm, which isn’t a big deal with food photography (food is pretty good at sitting still). I shoot most of my photos with this lens, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a really good starter lens. The Canon 50mm 1.8 lens is almost as good for $250 dollars less.
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L IS – This is my newest food photography lens and I use this for those super dramatic up close up shots. It’s a premium lens, but it’s going to be geared towards getting that great detailed shot, right up close to your subject. It’s great for showing texture and creating a look that makes the person drool over the food.
Canon 70-200mm 2.8L IS – I use this huge lens when I’m taking a “portrait” photo – IT”S AWSOME!!!. This lens has a dramatic zoom, so you can sit far back from whatever your subject is and still get some incredible close-ups without them even knowing. So basically it’s a good lens for being spying on people. I use this most for family, travel and outdoor photos. This is awesome for any type of photos that involve people, places and groups.
Canon EF 28mm 1.8 Wide Angle Lens – I know a lot of photographers who have food as their subject, like using this one, and even though it’s not my favourite, it does have some great things going for it. This is going to give you a shot that’s farther back than the rest which allows for more styling and flexibility in spaces like the kitchen or an exercise studio. I tend to like to get in UP CLOSE with the subject. This is a great lens for overhead shots because you don’t have to climb on a ladder to get high enough for the perfect shot.
Indoor Lighting Unit – Lowel EGO – Lighting a shot at night in December in Canada isn’t easy! I always try to take my shots in natural lighting, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. If I need take photos after dark, I always bring out this light. It’s really simple to use – just an on and off button. If you’re serious about having great looking photos you should have some type of light that you can use in situations where natural light isn’t possible.
WD My Passport Wireless Memory Card – How fun is it to buy a memory card.? Not really. Butt his little piece of awesomeness is totally worth it. It’s a memory card with tons of space. This is extremely important if you’re shooting your photographs in RAW mode or recording video. If you have room in your budget it might be worth it to buy a few of these, just in case.
Adobe Photoshop & Premiere Elements 11 for Windows & Mac – Photoshop isn’t inexpensive, but it’s an incredible tool! You could start with the free trial first, just to make sure you’re interested in getting it. If you’re still a little hesitant on purchasing the software you can always purchase a month-by-month subscription.
Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling – Photography is an amazing tool that can have a HUGE impact on your blog or website. I’ve learned a lot of things – both big and small – in the last few years. The tips and tricks in this book are practical, easy to read.
GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR OWN HEALTH BLOG
Bluehost – Bluehost is my favorite hosting company now. I have found they are the most helpful, best service and best priced hosting company out there and I did a lot of research. Hostgator would be my second choice and GoDaddy my 3rd. Bluehost offers an easy way to get up and running with WordPress. They have free domain name registration. By signing in with 4HourBODYGirl, you can get a discount on their monthly membership cost. So if you are interested, just clink on the links. If you feel a bit confused be sure to check out the How to Start a Health Blog page if you want a step-by-step run down of how to start your own blog using Bluehost.
MediaTemple – Once you get to 5,000+ visitors a day on a consistent basis, MediaTemple is a good hosting company to switched to . It can be hosted on a dedicated virtual server. It may not mean much to you if you’re not a tech person, but the important thing to know is that a dedicated virtual server means that your blog can handle more traffic. The 8GB of RAM is a good start once you reach that level. It’s called the “DV Level 4″ plan.
The Genesis Framework – The Genesis Framework is the framework used by some of the web’s most popular bloggers, like Darren Rowse of problogger.net and Chris Brogan of chrisbrogan.com. With Genesis, you’re going to want to purchase the Framework ($59.95) along with a child theme (prices vary). It’s also possible to get a Genesis child theme custom designed.
Free Themes for WordPress – WordPress has thousands of free themes available if you don’t want to purchase a “premium” theme right away. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking to start your blog without spending a lot of money initially. Be sure to do some research and check the theme’s rating before you download it and install it onto your blog. Look for themes with a 4 or 5 star rating.
Carbonite Cloud Based Backup – When I went to Brazil my computer crashed as soon as I landed, and I lost almost everything. Luckily, I had it all backed up on my Apple “Time Machine” device but it was back home. I used to back it up on Carbonite, which is a program that runs in the background of my computer and creates a backup every 15 minutes. If I had it when I was in Brazil, I wouldn’t have had to wait 3 months to get all of my stuff back onto my computer. I could’ve just downloaded it all from Carbonite. Now, if my computer crashes, I don’t have to worry and can access everything almost instantaneously.
Vaultpress – Vaultpress is an example of a company used to backup a WordPress account. 4HourBODYGirl has over 500 pages and posts that I’ve written over the past 5 years. The blog has generated income as well. It would be a real shame if something happened where it was wiped out and I lost everything. Vaultpress ensures that if that something like that did happen we’d be able to recovery everything from a backup. Another cost effective solution would be BlogVault.
aWeber – AWeber is the email marketing software we use to distribute our “Blogging Tips” newsletter (you can see the sign up form in the sidebar to the right). We use AWeber’s “follow up” functionality, which allows us to create a queue of emails that are delivered to subscribers at certain intervals. As a blogger it’s important to connect with your readers through all different avenues, including email, and we think AWeber does a great job of making that really easy.
Tips for Monetizing – Every month I’ll be writing a post about the different ways that this blog is making money. I strive to provide you with the tools and motivation to be able to make money on your own blog or business. There’s a lot to learn and continually finding out the latest and greatest about blogging. If you’re interested in monetizing your blog you can click here to learn tips and tricks on how to grow your own blog.
Health Blogger Champ – Health Blogger Champ will be a central location for people that want to learn how to start and grow a Health blog. There will be 2 parts of the site, the video tutoirials and the community forum. The videos will provide easy step-by-step instructions for how to get started with your health blog and how to do things like install advertising code, create a branded email campaigns, or use your camera for best results. The community forum will be a location where you could go to get answers to your questions from other health bloggers. It’s been awesome working side-by-side with other health bloggers while I figure out ways to really understand the world of how to make money blogging.
DRIVING TRAFFIC TO YOUR HEALTH BLOG
Having links on these sites may help you to get your content in front of more people who may share on Pinterest or other social media sites. Here is a list of a few food photo submission sites that may be useful to you. There are TONS out there, but the ones listed here are some that I submit to. It takes a bit of time for the process of submitting, but when you see the traffic you can get from it, you’ll be happy! There could be 1,000 – 1,500 people visiting your blog per day if you get one of your posts featured which is huge.