WP Engine is the host we currently use for Pinch of Yum. Many hosts don’t do managed servers for blogs with the kind of traffic that Pinch of Yum sees, but having a host that managed the server for us was important to us. WP Engine provides great, speedy support and has a really nice admin panel. You don’t need to be a high-traffic blog to reap the benefits of WP Engine, either – anyone who is interested in fast and reliable managed hosting should consider WP Engine!
The Genesis Framework
The Genesis Framework is what is currently running on Pinch of Yum. Genesis 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, which is what we did with Pinch of Yum.
Free Themes From WordPress
WordPress has thousands of free themes available if you’re not interested in purchasing 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 right off the bat. Be sure to do some research and check the theme’s rating and when it was last updated before you download it and install it onto your blog. I would recommend looking for themes with a four or five star rating and that were updated within the last 6 months.
When I was a senior in college my computer crashed and I lost everything. Papers, lesson plans from student teaching, and worst of all, every single picture I had taken over the past two years (including all the pictures from my 3 month trip to Spain). Needless to say, I’m pretty intentional about backing up all of my files now. CrashPlan is a super slick program that runs in the background of my computer and creates a backup every 15 minutes. Now, if my computer crashes, or I spill a mug of coffee on it, ahem, I don’t have to worry about losing my documents and photos. I use the CrashPlan+ Unlimited plan.
Vaultpress is the company we use to backup the Pinch of Yum WordPress account. Pinch of Yum has over 1000 pages and posts that we’ve written over the past ten years. The blog has also helped us generate some extra income as well. My point? It would really stink if something happened where Pinch of Yum was wiped out and we lost everything. Vaultpress ensures that if that something like that did happen we’d be able to recovery everything from a backup. If you’re looking for a more cost effective solution check out BlogVault.
ConvertKit is the email marketing software we use to send Pinch of Yum blog posts via email, as well as other email campaigns and marketing automations. It’s easy to use, specifically built for bloggers, super powerful, and has fantastic customer service.
Keeping an organized editorial calendar can be super tough, which is why we love CoSchedule. It allows us to see all out blog content in one place, schedule posts, and schedule and post all our content to Instagram with just a click. You can also give it a try for free!
WordPress plugin and theme updates can sometimes have unexpected consequences. Most of the time, everything goes totally fine. But sometimes the updates cause things to look funny or even take down your website entirely. StagingPilot saves you from these mishaps by testing the updates on a staging server first, then only pushing them to your live site if everything looks good. This helps us sleep better at night knowing that updates are automatically tested and performed on Pinch of Yum.
Sprout is the social media management program we use to schedule and send all of our Pinch of Yum social media posts. It has a dashboard that is super easy for scheduling messages across multiple platforms, uploading videos, and managing incoming messages. They are also always adding new features to keep up with changing social networks and willing to help out with any questions.
Tailwind is the tool we use to schedule all of our Pinterest content. It’s simple to use, super powerful, and helps ensure we’re covering all the bases on our boards. You can even give it a try with a free trial to see if it fits yours needs!
Tips For Monetizing
For 5+ years, every month Bjork wrote a post about the different ways that we make money with this blog. Our hope with these posts is to provide readers with information and inspiration. We definitely don’t pretend to have any “secrets” to blogging. If you’re interested in monetizing your blog you can click here to check out our past monthly reports. In our first month (August, 2011), we earned a whopping $21.97. 🙂 We’ve since been able to grow that significantly, but even if you don’t plan to get rich from blogging, hopefully the reports can show you some ways to make a little extra money from an enjoyable hobby.
Food Blogger Pro
Food Blogger Pro is a central location for people that want to learn how to start and grow a food blog. There are two primary parts of site, the video training and the community forum. The videos provide easy-to-understands tips for getting started with your food blog and step-by-step instructions for how to do things like install advertising code, create a branded email address, or use the manual settings on your DSLR camera. The community forum is a place where you can go to get questions answered by other food bloggers. We’ve really been honored to walk alongside other food bloggers as we continue to figure out ways to really understand the crazy world of food blogging.