Food Blogging Resources

The tools I used to build this blog

I thought it would be useful to create a resource page that you can use to see the services and products that I used for this blog. I hope you’ll find some useful insights and information here. Please note that I only mentioned products and services that I used or ones that are well established. These are the indispensable products and services that keep my blog running.

Some of the links below are affiliate and I will earn a commission if you purchase through them. I only link to products and services I trust.

Wordpress Themes

OP2 logoI built the Taste of Asian Food blog on WordPress. WordPress installed a default theme called ‘Twenty Fifteen’ You can change it to another theme by accessing the 'Themes' tab under 'Appearance' on the WordPress dashboard.

Want your blog to look great? Without an attractive and friendly layout, even the best content and recipes won’t lead to success. They have hundreds of free themes you can choose to customize the look of your blog with. However, these free themes have limitations-  they lack the flexibility to customize the appearance of your blog.

My blog is built on Optimizepress, a premium theme that enables you to customize the look of your blog with a wide range of templates and ready-to-use icons. For example, the background color of this paragraph (now white), can be changed to another color or a background image by a few clicks. The ability to customize your blog extensively is also available in other premium themes such as DIVI and Thrive.

My Reference Book

The Food Lab imageThe Food Lab- Ever wondered how to pan-fry a steak with a perfectly medium-rare interior with a charred crust? How to roast a moist, succulent turkey by foolproof method that works every time? All the answers are in The Food Labs.

The Food Lab is written by J. Kenji López-Alt, the managing culinary director of Serious Eats, and author of the James Beard award-nominated column The Food Lab, where he unravels the science of home cooking. He explores cooking with a scientific eye. In fact, the New York Times just referred to Kenji as “the nerd king of internet cooking.”

The Food Lab demystifies cooking techniques and believes that chefs follow its meticulous experimentation. As he said, "understanding what goes on behind a recipe is the best way to become a better cook". This is an invaluable book for anyone who aspires to be a good cook.

Professional cookingProfessional Cooking- Professional Cooking by Wayne Gisslen is not only for those attending culinary schools. It is a cookbook that covers all aspects of modern cooking. Topics covered include the basic principles of food science, recipe development, proper techniques to prepare sauces and stocks, cooking meat, fish, baking and many others. It gives comprehensive understanding of ingredients and basic cooking techniques that are the foundation of success in the kitchen.

The book explains the basic methods of cooking in detail, and reinforces learning through recipes.

This is the first book I read after I got seriously involved in cooking. It still serves me as the main reference and I usually get the answers from this incredible book.

On food and cooking imageOn Food And Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen- Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. It is the one book that is indispensable for a serious cook. Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, the book explains everything to do with cooking, from the variety of proteins in egg whites through the differences between full cream and low fat milk, the science behind baking to how to calculate optima roasting times for meat and much more. The latest edition has been updated with more than one third of new content.

This is one of the most useful books I ever read after I wanted to seriously improve my cooking skills.

Managing The Email List

Aweber iconAweber- This is the tool I use to collect email addresses from my readers. Aweber allows me to create opt-in forms, grow a mailing list and send emails in bulk like a breeze. Aweber comes with HTML email templates, thank you letter templates and a wide range of opt-in form designs. It simplifies the entire process from collecting email address sending to sending emails. Without Aweber, it is almost impossible to manage a large number of subscribers.

Wordpress Plugins

A plugin is a piece of software that can be uploaded to extend functionality or add features to your WordPress site. You need the self-hosted version of WordPress from WordPress.org to upload and use plugins on your WordPress site.

There are many WordPress plugins available for free download from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory. You can access these free plugins by logging in to the dashboard of your WordPress site, hovering the cursor on the Plugins tab and clicking ‘Add New”.

There are also premium or paid WordPress plugins, which will give you more advanced functionality. You can also upgrade certain free plugins to the premium versions to access more of their unctions.

Below are the plugins I used on my website:

yoast imageYoast SEO– This is one of the best SEO (search engine optimization) plugin for WordPress.

Essentially, this plugin will guide you through how to write the optima title, description of your site and a list of requirements to follow in order to rank high on Google. This will potentially increase the visibility of your post title on Google and subsequently traffic to you page.

This plugin is super easy to use as it will give you a red, yellow, or green rating on the SEO scale. If you get a yellow or green, follow the tips given until you get a green rating. Now your post and page is considered optimized on-page, which is the fundamental requirement to get good ranking on Google.

Akismet imageAkismet — Spammers can take the fun out of blogging by polluting the comments on your WordPress site. According claim to be able to block 99.9% of spam from reaching your blog. These comments will be filed in the spam folder which can be easily emptied.  So  far I am glad that this site has been free from spam comments thanks to Akismet.

SNAP imageSocial Networks Auto Poster (SNAP) is a unique plugin that gives you an ability to automatically post your messages, posts or announcements to the most popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Blogger/Blogspot, etc.

I use it for every post I write. If I want to announce in my social media that I have a new post, I just need to click the Publish button of my post. SNAP will send my new post announcement to all my configured social networks accounts. That saves me plenty of time from manually copying and pasing the announcements to all the social media.

Backup dropbox imageWordPress Backup to Dropbox automatically uploads a backup of your entire website, all its files and database to Dropbox. It has been created to give you peace of mind that your website is backed up on a regular basis.

Just choose a day, time and how often you wish your backup to be performed and wait for your backup to be dropped into your Dropbox! With this plugin, I can automatically back up the entire website to my Dropbox every week.

SummomeSummoMe- Share makes it stupid-easy for your visitors to share your content with their friends, family, and others. The floating share bar on this page is installed by SummoMe. SummoMe also offers the free pop-up opt-in box. The pop up box you saw when you first logged in to this site also comes with this plugin.

The more people share your site and content, the more viral traffic goes back to your site.

WP Ultimate Recipe Plugin  is a user-friendly plugin for adding recipes to any of your posts and pages.

Visitors will be able to adjust the servings, print the recipe, find other recipes using a specific ingredient, share your recipe. It keeps the recipe clean and tidy, and allows inserting multiple images into the recipe. Some of my recipes are constructed by using WP Ultimate Recipe plugin. Chicken Adobo is one of them.

Tools For Food Photography

Nikon imageNikon D5300- I have been an amateur photographer since my school days. I still remember working in the dark room and developing than precious black and white photos manually with hypo.

Nowadays I might not need to know all that to be a good photographer, but a reasonably good camera is essential for food photography.

Nikon D5300 with Auto Focus-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Zoom Lens is my choice. It is an entry level camera and lens, but has all the key features to take good still photographs. It has ISO expandable to 25600, built-in Wi-Fi for sharing photos, and the ability to take full HD for your video recipes. This is one of the value for money DSLR camera set for anyone who wants to venture into food photography. If budget permits, you can go for the Nikon D7200 with the 24.2-megapixel AA-filterless sensor and superb 1100-shot battery life.

Food Blogging Course

resource pageFood Blogger Pro- Food Blogger Pro is a food blogging course developed by the successful food blogger Lindsay of Pinch of Yum. She shares her knowledge of how to start a food blog and make a profit. You can learn everything you need to know about food blogging all in one place.

You will find over 250 video tutorials to teach you everything from how to get your blog started, improve yoru food photography, increase traffic to your blog and start generating income through your blog. Besides that there is a community forum where you can get questions answered by other food bloggers.

This is definitely one of the best courses I have been through that helped me benefited tremendously in developing this blog.