There are a lot of creative ideas in our heads which we food bloggers want to execute. And whether that execution gives us a hard time or is a cake walk, all depends on the tools we use. While some of us might be great with editing pictures using professional software such as Indesign, Photoshop or Coral draw, the others might suck at it but be pros when it comes to making their picture frame look surreal.
After discovering how to get more clients in my last article for this series, let’s talk about content creation and promotion with the best blogging tools for food bloggers.
So here is my list of blogging tools and ways which are easy peasy to use to balance out our skewed talents:
Capture – Creating visual content with the right tools
1. Use beautiful aesthetics
Ever wondered why in some amazing shots there are some random props? Some randomly thrown spices, wooden spoon and the prettiest them all, fabrics! The napkins crisscrossing the picture frame enhance the aesthetics of the otherwise bland shot. This just proves how much we love imperfection and how better we relate to not so perfect things.
2. Use your camera smartly
The question which haunts a newbie before they even venture out for food blogging is, do I need the latest expensive camera? How will I take good pictures if I do not have a good camera or the best phone? The choice is usually between a professional camera and a smartphone camera, mostly inclining towards the latter. A smartphone is something you always carry, easy to use and of course with no extra investment. And even if it is not the latest One plus with portrait mode or the fancy iPhone, your final outcome can be brilliant if you use it the right way.
- Experiment with manual exposure, focus, aperture settings
- Play with lightings. While natural lighting is best any day, different modes of lighting like lamps, candles can add layers to your pictures.
3. Tripods can be your best friend
Food bloggers know the struggle of going through crowds in narrow lanes, busy streets to find the best food, and sometimes when we reach some iconic places we have to make do with an awkward selfie as a memory, as we are usually out on our own. A tripod will not just help you take a picture with a timer, but also makes holding your phone extremely convenient. I prefer the gorilla tripod, one – because it is so rough and tough to be used, and two – because it looks so oddly different!
Edit – Making up for the bad light and the blurriness
Well if you are a blogger you would want your content to be your IP which nobody steals surreptitiously. This app is where you can easily put your watermark or logo on the pictures as well as videos. Oh! And you want to create the portrait mode effect without having those high-end phones? Just blur out the background using the focus feature and the result would almost be the same. #LittleTips that do wonders.
This is probably the most user-friendly app I have used, with all the basic as well as advanced features I needed. Available for iOS, Android and Microsoft phones, this is one of my go-to blogging tools. It not just gives predesigned templates for collages but also let you edit the pictures and has decent filters in-built.
I use an iPhone at the moment and do all my colour correction and editing on the phone itself. There are so many options, from increasing the exposure to decreasing the saturation or playing with the dark point. It even lets you rotate the picture to some angle and crop it too without decreasing the overall quality of the picture. The in-built filters are lit, but play around with the manual settings (it sounds SCARY I know) and you would like it better.
Edit Videos – Weaving that story together
It lets you edit the videos with such ease! I am honestly very scared of applications and call myself technologically challenged, but to my surprise editing pictures on iMovies, especially on the phone is not just easy, but a lot of fun too. You can crop the video, add music, add text, designs and even play with the speed! There is so much to be explored there.
At least for people who are not very tech savvy, this is a professional software which gives you all the features you might need for video editing, but with an ease of use. It is technically a free version, but unless you pay for it, the ugly watermark won’t go away. One good thing is, there are a lot of learning resources available on the internet for Filmora which come really handy when you get stuck somewhere.
Design – Making creatives
The most famous, go-to site to make creatives. It gives you some really amazing design templates of different sizes, for different platforms and occasions. Not just this, you can add text content and png files as well as find free as well as paid pictures from within the gallery.
It was this site we all used before Canva came and hijacked the online creatives made a scene. But yes, after Canva it will be Befunky I will check out as it has some really nice templates to use.
For the technically sound people, one of the most user-friendly professional editing software. Easier to use and with a lot of scope of working with the tool. P.S. I don’t say this, but does my friend who is a graphic designer who has used Photoshop, Coral draw as well as InDesign
Post – Sharing your content the right way
As a blogger, you need to have a sound social media presence to grow holistically. The platforms act not just additional leverage, but also are an asset on their own. There are different ways in which different bloggers work, some like to keep things planned and post as per a schedule. Some like to keep their feed live and post as they go. If you are the former kind, scheduling will make a lot of sense, not just it takes away the stress of following time schedules, but also ensure you don’t miss a post even if you get busy.
Facebook publishing tools within the platform let you schedule your posts. You just need to upload your picture, write a caption, and do it the way you would have done had it been a usual post. Now, when you click on the share button, instead of ‘share now’, schedule it for later. The minimum gap needs to be of 10 minutes. From the dashboard, you can see all the scheduled posts you have and can even edit them if required.
Tweetdeck is my tried and tested application which I used to schedule the tweets while I used to work for an agency. In food blogging, I rarely use this platform, but in case you want to, why not?
Till a few weeks back I used to think scheduling posts on Instagram is impossible in India. There were applications which let you do this, but they did not work in our country. But being the Indian I am, found the jugaad (thanks to my colleague). There would be two apps you would need here, one which lets you do future posts – Later, and the other which lets you change the location of your phone, Browsec. Set your location to be of another country, schedule the posts using Later and then change back the location to what it actually is. Voila! Painful, but it works.
Here, I did not talk about Social Media Management applications such as Hootsuite, or Social Sprout or any other. Why? The free versions of these applications are limiting and are rather more suited for bigger organizations who would not mind subscribing to the pro versions. Also, it does not make much sense for a food blogger because they would primarily need Instagram & Facebook, and at max Twitter, using these applications individually will prove to be a lot easier and efficient than using a 3rd application to manage the Social Media. KISS – Keep it simple silly!
Another two apps which do not fall into any of the above categories but I swear by are Grammarly and Pexels.com. Although I try to keep my grammar correct while I am writing something, a double check never harms. Grammarly is such an amazing tool if you are writing online. It does spell check, grammar check as well as give suggestions for your text! About Pexels, out of all the websites which give free pictures, I find the best quality ones on here. The variety is decent and the site does not keep throwing pop-ups for you to pay some money. But, be a good person and give the credits when you use the free images by the kind photographers 😊
I have done this awesome series on Digest myHQ about what I have learnt so far being a food blogger in this exciting 4 part food blog series.
1) How To Get Started As A Food Blogger In India
2) 9 Strategies To Create Content As A Food Blogger
3) A Food Blogger’s Insights On How To Get Clients For Your Blog
4) Tools That Will Make Your Life Easier As A Food Blogger