BLOGGING RESOURCES

While creating the Becomingness that you know (and hopefully love), I have been fortunate to learn from some wonderful people, discovered some invaluable resources, and happened upon some excellent information. I have also made a few mistakes along the way, and would like you to reap the benefit of my trial and error.

Turns out I have a fair bit to cover; feel free to scroll away, or skip to a section that interests you –

Just a reminder – some of the following are affiliate links, which help keep Becomingness running. As per usual – you won’t find anything here I wouldn’t otherwise recommend wholeheartedly.

Blogging

Food Blogger Pro is exactly what it says on the box – professional food blogging advice and resources. Operated by the team at A Pinch of Yum, subscribing to Food Blogger Pro (the first month trial is only US$1, and US$25 a month thereafter) gives you all the food photography guidance and information you need to become a highly proficient food photographer, as well as tips on editing, social media management, advertising, creating eBooks, using analytics programs - the list goes on. I’d argue even non-food bloggers should check this out when they are getting started.

They’ve also got a book – Tasty Food Photography – if you’d prefer (more books below).

Squarespace is the blogging framework that you are reading right now. Squarespace is a simple, easy to edit framework, great for visual thinkers, and I am really happy with the search engine optimisation -  having pages featured on the first page of google search results after only a few days is something I never expected to achieve, and it rocks! (For anyone interested - Becomingness is running on the "five" template.)

Most bloggers seem to use Wordpress, which I have used before for other projects. You can check out Wordpress.com (which is similar to Squarespace) or Wordpress.org (which will provide you with support for a blog install you host yourself).  A self-hosted install of Wordpress typically has more outright functionality than Squarespace and a bigger support network, but can be a bit full-on with so many add-ins and options.

A note on hosting - if you choose to self-host your website, you can choose from literally thousands of hosting providers. A company I have had positive experiences with, and which offers great value for money, is Bluehost.

Courses

Australian College of Natural Therapies is where I completed my Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine. In reality, you don’t need a qualification this substantial to work as a nutritionist (at least not right now), but the knowledge I gained at ACNT has been invaluable, particularly the many hours working closely with experienced practitioners during my clinic session. 

The Life Coaching Academy is where I am currently studying.  This course is fantastic if you’d like to learn how to better help other people, but it will also improve your self-awareness, and teach you how to become a happier, more fulfilled person. I chose The Life Coaching Academy because it is nationally recognised and internationally accredited.

Bright Eyed and Blog Hearted, by Rachel Macdonald, is a game changer. If you’ve ever wondered “what if?” when it comes to blogging and business on the web, but never known how to take the next step towards following your dreams, this is an amazing place to start, and a community I am excited to remain involved in.

The Life Transformation Project, by Alice Nicholls, is a four week course which will help you heal your body and mind, improving your health through eating and mindfulness. Great for anyone looking to change their life for the better but who doesn’t know where to begin.

Photography

The Lowel Ego light is an absolute godsend for food photography. It very closely mimics natural lighting, but allows you to photograph in controlled conditions, any time of the day or night. It’s also readily transportable – you can bring it in to your kitchen, or place it on your dinner table or desk.  Whilst it does come at a price, assembling the equivalent lights and building a suitable light box can cost just as much, take a bunch more time, and leave you with a less portable solution. The Lowel Ego is also very handy for skype calls!

A word of warning – the light fitting in the Ego light is universal (220/240v AND 110v), but the supplied globes aren’t. Don’t make the same mistake I did and buy the wrong ones! (don’t ask)

Adobe Creative Cloud – particularly Adobe Lightroom – is a game changer for your photography. This, combined with the Lowel Ego Light, and joining Food Blogger Pro, are what got my photos consistently accepted by all the big “food porn” sites like FoodGawker, Finding Vegan, and Tastespotting, and drove a step change in my exposure. It may have even been what bought you to visit Becomingness in the first place.

Starting at around $10 a month, you can subscribe and get up and running with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. For me, that’s fantastic value for money. There’s a bunch of other programs you can access as well (for a higher cost) which I haven’t gotten close to mastering.

The Canon EOS 500D (or KissX3, or Rebel T1i, depending on where in the world you are) is my camera. It was the gift that my husband and I gave ourselves for our fist wedding anniversary – and whilst it hasn’t always had as much use as we’d planned, it’s now an integral part of Becomingness, which is pretty cool!

My primary lens is the Canon 50mm EF f/1.8 II. For a little over $100, or maybe a shade under if you shop really hard, you can pick up one of the best value lenses going around – a great lens for portraits, and very handy for food photography. I am eyeing off a Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM, but in the meantime, my “nifty fifty” is doing an admirable job!