As well as creating content for Feast Glorious Feast and connecting with my lovely readers and subscribers over on social media, I also offer virtual assistant, wordpress developer & consultancy services to other food bloggers too. Got to keep busy right?!
Virtual Feast Services is the name for the consultancy and services arm of my business. If you or someone you know needs any help with any aspect of their food blogging business, be sure to contact me or head over to my dedicated Facebook Page for more information.
Site Structure Reviews
Newsletter Form & Email Creation
Recipe Card Updates
Sitewide & Content SEO Audits
Slideshow Video Creation
Pin Graphic & Template Creation
Genesis Based Theme Design
Recipe Card Redesigns
I would highly recommend Virtual Feast Services. Chloe helped me with my Pinterest strategy and completely captured the ethos of my brand. She has worked tirelessly to meet deadlines. Chloe has surpassed all my expectations & has really helped me up my Pinterest in all areas. Thank you.Georgina – Culinary Travels
I highly recommend Virtual Feast Services! Chloe is super professional and works tirelessly to ensure deadlines and clients requests are met. Her video editing skills are amazing too! I can’t wait to work with her again!Andrea – The Petite Cook
I would highly recommend Virtual Feast Services. Chloe updated my About Page and Work with me Page and I am very happy with the result. Communication was excellent and responsive to my needs. Chloe shows respect for the client while sensitively offering useful advice based on experienceJanice – Farmersgirl Kitchen
Many other services are available, simply get in touch to discuss your requirements
Plugin / Software / Services Recommendations
I am often asked for recommendations for various blogging tools, and especially hosting. I only recommend companies/products/plugins that I’ve used myself or have experience in.
Some of the below links are affiliate links and may earn me a commission.
I can 100% guarantee that I have recommended all of these without the affiliate schemes being in place and indeed I’ve almost certainly lost out on a whole bunch of income over the last year or so!
This is the big one. I read everything I see about hosting including other peoples experience. I no longer use or recommend Siteground as their product and customer service are both in decline. I also do not recommend my current host 34SP as they refuse to turn off auto updates for WordPress which is against all sane advice.
My current recommendation is BigScoots. I have set up several clients with them after hearing great things and I have so far been very impressed with their customer service. They are not the cheapest but at the end of the day, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Using Genesis Framework as a theme framework is a no brainer. There isn’t currently a better, faster, easily customisable option with lots of child themes to choose from out there.
Trellis by Mediavine has now started rolling out. And it might well be that Trellis becomes a superior product in time. The initial site speeds and feedback is certainly promising.
But it has just been released with just 3 very basic child themes. And a good amount of useful functionality like recipe indexes don’t yet exist. So whilst I will be continuing to watch this space, right now I continue to recommend the Genesis Framework as the best starting point.
I can help with new Genesis theme installs. Whether you just need help with the basics and a little hand holding or want a full install and design service, get in touch.
Genesis Child Theme
I’ve never made any bones that there are things that I don’t like about Feast Design Co. I couldn’t have any less time for the guy who runs it if I tried. But the fact is that they are currently producing the best, fastest and most up to date child themes for food bloggers.
This website currently runs on a Restored 316 child theme. Like Feast themes, they run on the Genesis Framework. But they are not brilliantly fast and new products appear to be put before making sure that their old ones are running the best they can be.
They’ve even confirmed to one of the industries leading experts that they want to make pretty themes and that they’re not interested in site speed. Well I am. And you should be. Because Google certainly is.
Which brings me back to Feast. Buying the annual subscription to their plugin is really the only viable option going forward. It provides all of “modern” design options and ongoing support. Plus you get access to all of their themes.
If you need to start out on more of a budget, you can buy just one theme without the plugin and add that later. As long as you are aware there will be some extra design work to be done at some point in the future.
If you are changing child theme entirely or just adding the plugin, get in touch if you need help or advice. I’ve implemented a number of “modern” homepages, mobile menus, recipe indexes and footers. I’ve worked on brand new sites, made small tweaks, whole site theme changes and specific pages only.
This is another biggie. I have experience using Mailchimp, Flodesk, Madmimi and Mailerlite. My recommendation is for Mailerlite because I think that it is easy to use, intuitive and provides the most comprehensive product for up to 1,000 subscribers. This is what I use and what I have set multiple clients up with.
This includes being able to set up multiple automation which are a must for delivering content freebies/optins. This isn’t available on Mailchimp despite their free plan being available for up to 2,000 subscribers which seems better on the face of it.
Madmini is very basic and not much cheaper than Mailerlite. Flodesk is a new kid on the block and very good value for those with large lists. But the usability, analytics and functions are years from being fully rounded. They say it is in beta mode but I’m not convinced it should be a launched product at all yet.
ConvertKit is another popular product. I don’t have any experience using it but have generally only heard people being happy with it. For larger lists it could be worth considering. But for sub 1,000 lists, their “free” offering is extremely limited and I cannot see any benefits of paying for that product over using the free version of Mailerlite.
By clicking any of my links to Mailerlite, you will receive a $20 dollar credit on your account (and I receive the same).
One of my favourite tasks is creating email templates for clients to use or even putting together their newsletter each week. I also design sign-up forms and add them to sites and create automations such as welcome sequences. Let me know by getting in touch if you think you could benefit from some help!
Social Media Scheduling
I have used the Social Bee scheduler when I started my site as I got a cheap lifetime deal. I’ve got no real regrets about that. It did the job of auto posting to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for me. But I did find that it had limitations.
I’ve since moved over to CoSchedule and I have zero regrets about that. The biggest bonus is that it integrates directly with WordPress (via a plugin). So every time I create a new post I set up my social scheduling directly in the post edit screen. Amazing. Its changed my life. Well, it’s saved a lot of time.
It’s also cheaper than when I first started this site. It is now a no brainer that I should have started out using it. Any scheduler requires time to get it set up and sorted. Do it one, do it properly. And I think to do that, CoSchedule is the answer.
Setting up a new social schedule isn’t difficult but it is longwinded and tedious. Luckily long winded and tedious is my favourite kind of task so get in touch if you think you need some help with the set up or scheduling!
Tailwind is easily the most popular scheduling program around. I’m not going to tell you that it’s perfect because it isn’t. It can get slow and glitchy.
But they are an approved partner of Pinterest which means that you’re not going to get dinged by Pinterest for spammy posting. And despite any speed issues, it is still by far the best program for the job.
I recommend buying the lowest level plan without any smartloop, communities (formerly tribes) or create power ups. They’re not worth the money. I also recommend that you buy the annual plan rather than monthly as this gives you unlimited pins.
If you click on my link and purchase you’ll get a $15 account credit. (And for full disclosure, I get a $15 account credit too)
Making pin graphics is one of my favourite jobs. Taking 2 vaguely similar photos and making 6 or even 10 totally different looking pins is so satisfying. And with Pinterest wanting as many “fresh pin graphics” as possible, batch making pins is the easiest win. Get in touch and I’ll start making some personalised pin templates!
After trying a few different options, I finally settled on Wave Video as my preferred video editor for making slideshow videos. I use it to create short videos for Feast Glorious Feast and for various clients.
Send me copy of the recipe, your process shots and a few images of the finished product and see what I can whip up. Video is a great way of maximising advertising rpms and getting better reach on social. Win win! Get in touch to find out more.
WP Recipe Maker (WPRM) is my absolute go to. I use the elite package and use almost all of the functionality including recipe collections, unit conversions, nutrition calculation and labels, roundup blocks, jump to buttons etc etc.
Brecht who develops the plugin and provides most of the support is pretty much the most helpful guy on the planet. The support is second to none and I can’t recommend it enough.
Look out for sales on Black Friday and early Feb (Brecht’s birthday!) as these are the only times that there are every any discounts offered.
It is also worth making sure that you select the option to pay in $USD at the £ and € rates are the same which makes then much more expensive, even taking into account conversion rates.
Don’t spend all that time and money creating a beautiful website with great user experience and then use a recipe card template straight out of the box. They’re quick and easy to seamlessly integrate into you site design and make them only display useful information. This is my skill so get in touch for some help. Don’t forget the roundup black and jump to buttons too!