5 Essentials you need to start a blog and the sources where to find them!
I have been blogging for over a year and have learned several tips and tricks in the blogging world. I started on my fashion blog ClassyYetTrendy.com in 2014. It is on the Blogger platform, whereas UrbanGirlBakes.com is on the WordPress platform. There are so many options you can implement when you have a blog on WordPress. Templates, plugins, Spam protection, you name it. There are a few essentials you need to operate a successful blog. I’m passing along to you 5 essentials you will need to start a blog.
1. Blog Hosting
When you have a blog, you want it to always work reliably and load quickly. My blog UrbanGirlBakes.com is a self-hosted WordPress site by BlueHost and I’m pleased with the service! It’s cheap too! Click on the banner below to find out more.
2. Well-Designed Blog Theme
UrbanGirlBakes.com operates on the Genesis Framework with Foodie Theme, customized by me. When I was starting my food blog, I had heard several positive reviews on this theme and they are true. This theme is clean, customizable and loads fast. I highly recommend it!
3. DSLR Camera & Tripod
Taking photos with a DSLR Camera is recommended to make your blog stand out! The quality of the photos taken with a DSLR camera far exceed photos taken with a pocket camera or the camera on your phone. I use the Nikon D3100. It comes with an 18-55 mm kit lens. I bought a 50mm lens and I use this lens for almost every photo on my food blog. This lens gives the slighly “blurred” background effect in food photos, excellent for showcasing your food items in the foreground. This lens is also excellent for fashion photos. I’ve heard great reviews about Canon cameras also. The Canon EOS Rebel T5 EF-S 18-55mm IS II Digital SLR Kit is a good entry-level DSLR camera.
A tripod is necessary to stabilize your camera so you photos don’t turn out blurry. When I started blogging, I purchased my tripod at Target. It was about $50 and has been a good tripod. If I have a chance to upgrade to a better tripod, my choice would be the one shown below.
Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera
Nikon 50mm f1.8G Lens
Magnus VT-3000 Professional High Performance Tripod
4. Props (for Food & Craft blogs)
Items that fall into the “Props” category are your backdrops, dishes and linens.
Your backdrop is the “canvas”, like a wood board or table. For my Snickers Fudge Brownies blog post, I took photos of the brownies on an old wood tray I bought an antique store. I turned the wood try upside down and voila a rustic-looking canvas! The background is a cookie sheet! The more you take food photos, the more creative you’ll be at using backdrops.
You’ll need dishes to put your food in. I like to use small bowls, plates and cups. You want readers to focus on your food, not seeing a big plate with a small portion of food on it. I also like to use solid color dishes or ones that have clean lines. Here’s one of my photos displayed in a pint-sized canning jar:
If you want to add interest to your photos, use a napkin or a piece of burlap to place under the dish. It will “anchor” the dish and will add a bit of texture and color to the photo. For the Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream post, I used a pink polka dot napkin to tie in with the color theme of the ice cream and strawberries.
5. Light Reflector (for Food & Craft blogs)
When you take photos of your food, the best place to be is next to window. You want to use natural light in your photos. If the natural light is too bright, it will cause a shadow. When you use a light reflector, the light will bounce off the reflector and back onto your food. This lets light shine all around the food, creating the best photos. I Heart Naptime has some excellent food photography tutorials, especially one about using a light reflector.
Would you believe I use a large piece of white foam for my light reflector? I bought it at Hobby Lobby for about $5. If you want a need a professional light reflector, here an excellent one: Neewer 43-inch / 110cm 5-in-1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector
If you want to start a blog, see my Easy 3-Step Guide on How To Start A Blog