It’s almost the New Year! A time when people make all kinds of plans and start all kinds of new stuff. So it seemed like kind of a good time to expand on the topic of blog stuff that I started awhile back and I have two fun things to share.
#1 – I added a new page called Blog Sweet Stuff where these posts will go to live so they can be referenced easily. It also tells you a little more about me and how I ended up here doing whatever this is and enjoying it immensely.
#2 – I made a list of free stuff you will need if you decide to go traipsing through blog territory. PLUS IT’S ALL FREE!!! And free stuff is fun.
When I set up Sugar Dish Me I Googled (annnnd I actually just typed Goofled.) stuff until my brains hurt. I have a massive spiral notebook full of scribble scrabble and lists of notes and notes about lists of stuff I needed to figure out. Oh how I wish it were all in one place. So this list probably won’t be your everything, but it’s a good place to start.
- AddThis Social Follow Buttons – so EASY!! see mine?———————————————->
Choose the style and layout of your icons, enter the url’s for each (example: Sugar Dish Me’s Facebook page url is https://www.facebook.com/sugardishme), and then copy the code and paste it to your blog (in WordPress you can use a text widget). Whaaaaat? Why did that take me a whole day to learn?Now everyone can follow you in all of your places (P.S. If anyone wants to teach me how to cleverly communicate via Twitter without feeling stupid or over-editing I am all ears).
- Feedburner - (for email subscriptions and RSS feed)
This lets you insert an email/RSS feed subscription form into your blog so that people that wanna read your blog can!! WordPress offers a feature similar to this with their Jetpack and it is also free, but not everyone blogs, and not everyone blogs with WordPress. I’ve found Feedburner’s subscription form to be simple and helpful so that I can keep track of all my readers instead of just those on my blogging platform. Yeah.
- Google Analytics – to see how things are going
Feedburner is powered by Google and so are Google Analytics (but you probably guessed that since it says Google and everything). This service is so comprehensive you’ll wonder how on earth it could be free. But it is. And I still learn new things it can do on the regular. If you get it all set up, you can go to Home->RealTime->Overview and you can see how many people are visiting your blog right that second! Weird, right? I know.
- One Cool Site – is full of helpful tips and tricks
Most recently I concerned myself with authorship and whether or not Google’s rich snippets were associating me (Heather Tullos) with my recipes and posts at Sugar Dish Me. This is important stuff you guys! Search Engine Optimization and all that mess. Take credit for your work! Or at least make it all consistent (same anonymous name/image associated in all your internet places kinda thing). One Cool Site gave me a most clever solution for backdating blog posts and it worked!!! I also used this WordPress Support Forum Thread. Do it.
- Easy Recipe – my most complimented change to date!!!
This is the plugin I use for my printer-friendly recipes. If you are blogging about food this is a serious must! It has made it so so so much easier for Sugar Dish readers to actually COOK the stuff I post which is actually the point, ya know? Anyway, there is a free version (the one you see on my recipe posts) and there is a $14.95 version. The free version is great! But is has a few limitations. Like the photo displayed in the recipe will always be the first photo in the blog post. And you can’t insert links (like when you cite your sources or tell people what kind of chocolate to buy). The PLUS ($14.95) version is completely customizable– you can make it match your page! It will be my next Sugar Dish blog purchase, no doubt.
So that’s enough free stuff to get you started and keep you busy for a little bit I think.
For the first post I wrote to get you started with self-hosted blogging click HERE.
For the page that breaks down Sugar Dish Me and includes more helpful links click HERE.
For the Tasty Food Photography ebook follow the link below.
Click here to visit Pinch of Yum.
For questions leave a comment on this post!