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      How to Start Your Own Food Blog: An Expert Guide


      Admit it — you know your way around the kitchen.

      Whether you’re wielding a whisk, perfecting paella, or creating the next culinary chef-d’oeuvre, it’s clear: Food is your gift, talent, and passion. And if you’re ready to take your compliments-to-the-chef recipes online, it’s time to set up your own blog. But where to start?

      Don’t get your garlic in a knot. We’ve got you covered.

      In this handy food blogging guide, we provide all the technical know-how you need to get your own food blog up and running, plus first-class advice from experts in the blogging biz. What’s more, we’ll share the best website builder tools for WordPress and all kinds of resources, so you can start showcasing your culinary chops and drool-worthy photography to bring in some dough. You provide the ingredients, and we’ll make your food blog restaurant-ready.

      Blog More with Managed WordPress Hosting

      Our automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on creating great content.

      Why Start a Food Blog?

      Food bloggers are some of the most influential people on the internet. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the stats:

      • More and more, people are ditching grandma’s recipe box and seeking food info on the web. It’s estimated that 50% of consumers now use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to learn about food, while another 40% learn from websites, apps, or blogs.
      • A massive 89% of consumers go online for recipes; 79% trust blogs for recipes and food information.
      • Food bloggers are the cool kids on the block, boasting four times as many followers than any other niche.
      • 59% of 25- to 34-year-olds head to the kitchen with either their smartphones or tablets.
      • Consumers are not only consuming food content online — they’re sharing it. Fifty-four percent say they share info and recipes with friends, family, and strangers.

      Millennials use mobile devices in the kitchen.

      Food blogs have rapidly become popular, credible, and sharable ways for talented, passionate (and normal) people to share their passion for food and recipe creation — and to make big $$$. Food bloggers influence consumer food trends and social discussion and are pioneering the modern food experience. Many have even used their taste-ful content to ink cookbook deals, score cooking show hosting gigs, and amass large and loyal followings that share their content globally.

      So if you’re a dish-developing foodie who wants to own a digital presence while becoming an influential voice in food conversation, there’s potential for you. It’s time to bring your kitchen online.

      How to Start a Food Blog (8 Steps)

      Let’s break it down. What do you even need to create a food blog, grow your traffic, and start making money with your recipes? Consult our handy guide below!

      1. Determine Your Niche

      When you’re ready to get busy in the kitchen, what’s your go-to creation? Do you specialize in vegan creations? Excel in gluten-free goodies? Are you the queen of 30-minute Instant Pot meals for busy moms?

      Whatever you do best — and what you enjoy most — is where you want to start. Finding your niche allows you to distinguish yourself from the millions of other bloggers out there and identify a target audience — which, in turn, helps you understand how to market your content and build a following.

      The Pioneer Woman food blog home page.
      Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman discovered her niche and developed a wildly-popular blog following by appealing to down-home, comfort-food eaters.

      “… blog about what you are passionate about. Don’t start your blog because you want to make money off it. Start your blog because you feel like you have something unique to share with the world. If you truly have the passion and drive, and you are constantly looking for ways to make it better, your blog will eventually succeed and hopefully, turn into a career.”

      Tieghan, blogger at Half Baked Harvest

      2. Create a Blog Name

      Time to get those creative juices flowing. What do you want to call your blog? Take time to brainstorm ideas, keeping in mind some typical internet behavior. Your best bet is something memorable and unique, but easy to find (and type) online. It should be related to your niche or help establish your brand.

      The Minimalist Baker home page.
      Dana Shultz of The Minimalist Baker distinguishes herself as a food blogger by choosing a blog name that clearly identifies her target audience — cooking enthusiasts who want simple, easy-to-follow recipes.

      3. Choose your CMS

      A content management system, (as the name implies) manages the creation and modification of digital content, making your dream of running a food blog dream a hassle-free reality.

      As far as CMS options go, we heartily recommend WordPress — and the love is mutual. At DreamHost, we wear our own WordPress-approved badge with pride. This powerhouse blogging platform fuels more than 30% of the internet and can power your blog, too.

      4. Purchase your Domain Name and Hosting

      Listen up. Getting a domain and choosing a web host are some of the most crucial decisions you’ll make when you start a blog.

      Your domain is an essential building block of search engine optimization (SEO), and a good domain name helps you get found online. Domains should match your blog name and can be purchased through a registrar.

      Or better yet: pair the purchase of your domain name with web hosting service. Your hosting plan will provide you with server space to store your files so online browsers can visit your site.

      WordPress hosting plans through DreamHost combine the best of tech, tools, and service at a budget-friendly price to help make creating your food blog a snap.

      DreamHost’s WordPress Hosting

      Plus, DreamHost isn’t just a smart option for all the behind-the-scenes setup. Our customers get access to WP Website Builder an easy-to-use drag-and-drop site builder tool for WordPress that simplifies the process, allowing you to customize without coding and make the perfect food blog fast. *chef’s kiss*

      With WP Website Builder, we include a suite of premium themes, tools, and plugins — built by our friends at BoldGrid — to help simplify the start-up process and make it easier to edit and manage your website as it grows. Rest easy because you don’t need to start from scratch. Starter content is packed into every beautiful, responsive, and customizable design.

      5. Setup

      To get started, you’ll need to select “WP Website Builder” as an option during your DreamHost purchase. Then, we’ll automatically install WordPress and website builder tools, BoldGrid’s Inspirations and Page and Post Builder, for you.  Once you’re logged into WordPress, you’ll see the Inspirations setup page.

      Inspirations “Welcome” page

      Three simple steps? We knew you’d like the sound of that. And it really is that simple! Click Let’s Get Started! to continue.

      Designs for WordPress

      At this stage, you’ll select a theme. You can narrow your options by specific industry-related categories or browse them all to find your perfect starter site. (Hint: There’s even a collection of food-tailored themes under the Restaurant category.) For this guide, we selected the “Hifidel” theme.

      Hifidel Theme

      Next, you’ll decide on basic pages and add the functionality you want. You can also view how this theme looks on other devices, like smartphones and tablets. The easy-to-use, drag-and-drop editing paired with design blocks (over 100 options!) helps you build faster and edit easier. It’s simple for beginners, with advanced options for seasoned professionals, making it possible to create the perfect site.

      Now, you’ll click Next and enter additional details that help populate your website with social media icons and contact info.

      Easily add social media icons to your site.

      Then, click Finish and Install. Easy as (your famous cherry) pie, right?

      Installation is now set up on your WordPress account. From your dashboard, you can continue customizing your website. You’ll want to adjust your site design and add essential elements.

      Customize Your BoldGrid Theme

      For increased functionality, you’ll also want to install useful plugins. We install a handful of valuable plugins, like SEO, Gallery, and Backup, but you should consider additional tools, like plugins for controlling spam or building forms. (There’s even one for recipes!) Be sure to check out our list of the most essential plugins this year.

      With a form-building plugin, you can set up a simple contact form to help you turn your traffic into an email list — a powerful (and critical) way to market your blog content to readers.

      6. Create Content

      This step is where it gets really gets good. Time to enrich your website with your one-of-a-kind recipes, heartfelt blog posts, and gorgeous food photography. Your food blog isn’t going to do you much good if it’s empty, so prioritize high-quality content.

      Set up a blogging schedule to continually outfit your blog with fresh, consistent, relevant, and yes, delicious content — and to keep yourself organized. Content is what’s going to draw readers to your site, so make it good and keep it coming. When it comes to content, you should always be cooking up a fresh post (or repurposing an oldie but goodie).

      Hint: Kate of Cookie + Kate has a bunch of excellent food blogging resources here.

      High-quality food photograph.

      “You have to publish high-quality content every single day. Readers hitting your site for the first time should see consistently updated, fresh content, and they should know that if they come back the next day, there will be something new to read. That’s the only way to get people returning to your site several times a day, checking to see if you’ve updated yet. These can’t be throwaway posts, either; everything you publish to your site needs to be a carefully crafted, professionally-photographed piece of content that will either teach or inform. Then, the next day, you need to do it all over again, and be comfortable with pushing the previous day’s work out of the spotlight after just a brief 24 hours.”

      Julie, blogger at MealHack

      7. Spread the Word

      Promote your blog by creating content that’s optimized for search engines. Market your content through an email list and social media, such as an Instagram account, Twitter, Facebook, and even a YouTube Channel. You can also consider pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

      And don’t forget about increasing traffic through SEO improvements (we can help with this — the WordPress website builder has on-page SEO tips built right in!) There are lots of hungry people out there looking for your unique expertise — plan a marketing strategy that helps them find you.

      BoldGrid’s SEO Window

      SEO isn’t black magic; it’s about making your quality content findable. It’s important to understand and implement the basics. Here is Google’s SEO starter guide [PDF] and Bake Your Day’s SEO For Food Bloggers Guide.”

      Kate, Cookie + Kate

      8. Monetize

      It’s true — your blog posts can make you money. But likely, it will take time and lots of stellar content. So keep producing. Advertising, networking, affiliate marketing programs, and pitching are all ways you can bring in $$ from your blog.

      Hint: Julie of MealHack has great info on monetizing your blog.

      Cutting board with fresh ingredients.

      I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try to make money off your blog, but don’t align yourself with a brand or project that isn’t a good fit. You are the company you keep. Focus on producing your best content and building your audience, and the opportunities will come.”

      Kate, blogger at Cookie + Kate

      Starting a Food Blog: The Last Course

      For all you foodies looking to share your culinary talents with the world, it’s time to get blogging! We make starting a blog easy. Sign up for WordPress hosting through DreamHost and take advantage of WP Website Builder to enter the food blogging scene with an appetizing (and easy-to-whip-up) site.



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      Kubernetes Reference Guide


      Updated by Linode

      Contributed by

      Linode

      This is a reference for common Kubernetes terminology.

      Calico

      Calico is an implementation of Kubernetes’ networking model, and it served as the original reference for the Kubernetes NetworkPolicy API during its development. Calico also provides advanced policy enforcement capabilities that extend beyond Kubernetes’ NetworkPolicy API, and these can be used by administrators alongside that API. Calico uses BGP to distribute routes for Kubernetes Pods, without the need for overlays.

      Cluster

      A group of servers containing at least one master node and one or more worker nodes.

      Container

      Similar to virtual machines, containers are isolated runtimes that you can run your applications and services inside. Containers consume fewer resources than virtual machines, as they do not attempt to emulate a full operating system running on dedicated hardware. Instead, containers only bundle the files, environment variables, and libraries needed by the applications they run, and they share the other resources of the operating system that hosts them.

      Containerization

      Containerization is a software architecture practice that organizes applications and their dependencies in containers. Containerizing an application requires a base image that can be used to create an instance of a container. Once an application’s image exists, you can push it to a centralized container registry. Docker, Kubernetes, and other orchestration tools can download images from a registry to deploy container instances.

      Container Storage Interface

      The Container Storage Interface (CSI) specification provides a common storage interface for container orchestrators like Kubernetes (and others, like Mesos). The interface is used by an orchestrator to attach storage volumes to containers and to manage the lifecycle of those volumes.

      The objective of this specification is to allow cloud computing platforms to develop a single storage plugin that works with any container orchestrator. Linode has authored a CSI driver for Linode’s Block Storage service, which makes Block Storage Volumes available to your containers.

      Controller

      A Kubernetes Controller is a control loop that continuously watches the Kubernetes API and tries to manage the desired state of certain aspects of the cluster. Examples of different Controllers include:

      • ReplicaSets, which manage the number of running instances of a particular Pod.
      • Deployments, which manage the number of running instances of a particular Pod and can perform upgrades of Pods to new versions.
      • Jobs, which manage Pods that perform one-off tasks.

      Control Plane

      kube-apiserver, kube-controller-manager, kube-scheduler, and etcd form what is known as the Control Plane of a Kubernetes cluster. The Control Plane is responsible for keeping a record of the state of a cluster, making decisions about the cluster, and pushing the cluster towards new desired states.

      Deployment

      A Deployment can manage a ReplicaSet, so it shares the ability to keep a defined number of replica Pods up and running. A Deployment can also update those Pods to resemble the desired state by means of rolling updates. For example, if you wanted to update a container image to a newer version, you would create a Deployment, and the Controller would update the container images one by one until the desired state is achieved. This ensures that there is no downtime when updating or altering your Pods.

      Docker

      Docker is a tool that allows quick deployment of apps in containers using operating system level virtualization. While Kubernetes supports several container runtimes, Docker is a very popular option.

      Dockerfile

      A Dockerfile contains all commands, in their required order of execution, needed to build a given Docker image. For example, a Dockerfile might contain instructions for:

      • Installing a specific operating system referencing another image,
      • Installing an application’s dependencies, and
      • Executing configuration commands in the running container.

      Docker Hub

      Docker Hub is a centralized container image registry that can host your images and make them available for sharing and deployment. You can also find and use official Docker images and vendor specific images. When combined with a remote version control service, like GitHub, Docker Hub can automate the build process for images and can trigger actions for further automation with other services and tooling.

      etcd

      etcd is a highly available key-value store that provides the backend database for Kubernetes.

      Flannel

      Flannel is a networking overlay that meets the functionality of the Kubernetes. Flannel supplies a layer 3 network fabric and is relatively easy to set up.

      Helm

      Helm is a tool that assists with installing and managing applications on Kubernetes clusters. It is often referred to as “the package manager for Kubernetes,” and it provides functions that are similar to a package manager for an operating system.

      Helm Charts

      The software packaging format for Helm. A Helm chart specifies a file and directory structure for packaging your Kubernetes manifests.

      Helm Client

      The Helm client software issues commands to your cluster that can install new applications, upgrade them, and delete them. You run the client software on your computer, in your CI/CD environment, or anywhere else you’d like.

      Helm Tiller

      A server component that runs on your cluster and receives commands from the Helm client software. Tiller is responsible for directly interacting with the Kubernetes API (which the client software does not do). Tiller maintains the state for your Helm releases.

      Job

      A Job is a Controller which manages Pods created for a single or a set of tasks. This is handy if you need to create a Pod that performs a single function, or calculates a value. The deletion of the Job will delete the Pod.

      kube-apiserver

      The kube-apiserver is the front end for the Kubernetes API server. Validates and configures data for Kubernetes’ API objects including Pods, Services, Deployments, and more.

      kube-controller-manager

      The kube-controller-manager is a daemon that manages the Kubernetes control loop. It watches the shared state of the cluster through the Kubernetes API server.

      kube-proxy

      The kube-proxy is a networking proxy that proxies the UDP, TCP, and SCTP networking of each node, and provides load balancing. This is only used to connect to Services.

      kube-scheduler

      The kube-scheduler is a function that looks for newly created Pods that have no nodes. kube-scheduler assigns Pods to a nodes based on a host of requirements.

      kubeadm

      kubeadm is a cloud provider-agnostic tool that automates many of the tasks required to get a cluster up and running. Users of kubeadm can run a few simple commands on individual servers to turn them into a Kubernetes cluster consisting of a master node and worker nodes.

      kubectl

      kubectl is a command line tool used to interact with the Kubernetes cluster. It offers a host of features, including:

      • Creating, stopping, and deleting resources
      • Describing active resources
      • Auto scaling resources.

      kubelet

      kubelet is an agent that receives descriptions of the desired state of a Pod from the API server and ensures the Pod is healthy and running on its node.

      Kubernetes

      Kubernetes, often referred to as “k8s”, is an open source container orchestration system that helps deploy and manage containerized applications. Developed by Google starting in 2014 and written in the Go language, Kubernetes is quickly becoming the standard way to architect horizontally-scalable applications.

      Kubernetes Manifests

      Files, often written in YAML, used to create, modify, and delete Kubernetes resources such as Pods, Deployments, and Services.

      Linode Cloud Controller Manager

      The Linode Cloud Controller Manager (CCM) creates a fully supported Kubernetes experience on Linode:

      • Linode NodeBalancers are automatically deployed when a Kubernetes Service of type “LoadBalancer” is deployed. This is the most reliable way to allow services running in your cluster to be reachable from the Internet.

      • Linode hostnames and network addresses (private/public IPs) are automatically associated with their corresponding Kubernetes resources, forming the basis for a variety of Kubernetes features.

      • Node resources are put into the correct state when Linodes are shut down, allowing Pods to be appropriately rescheduled.

      • Nodes are annotated with the Linode region, which is the basis for scheduling based on failure domains.

      Linode k8s-alpha CLI

      The Linode k8s-alpha CLI is a plugin for the Linode CLI that offers quick, single-command deployments of Kubernetes clusters on your Linode account.

      Linode NodeBalancer

      NodeBalancers are highly-available, managed, cloud based “load balancers as a service”. They intelligently route incoming requests to backend Linodes to help your application cope with load, and to increase your application’s availability.

      Master Server

      The Kubernetes Master is normally a separate server in a Kubernetes cluster responsible for maintaining the desired state of the cluster. It does this by telling the nodes how many instances of your application it should run and where.

      Namespaces

      Namespaces are virtual clusters that exist within the Kubernetes cluster that help to group and organize Kubernetes API objects. Every cluster has at least three Namespaces: default, kube-system, and kube-public. When interacting with the cluster it is important to know which Namespace the object you are looking for is in, as many commands will default to only showing you what exists in the default Namespace. Resources created without an explicit Namespace will be added to the default Namespace.

      Orchestration

      Orchestration is the automated configuration, coordination, and management of computer systems, software, middleware, and services. It takes advantage of automated tasks to execute processes. The subject of orchestration is often discussed in reference to lifecycle management for containers, a practice known as container orchestration.

      Pod

      A Pod is the smallest deployable unit of computing in the Kubernetes architecture. A Pod is a group of one or more containers with shared resources and a specification for how to run these containers. Each Pod has its own IP address in the cluster. Pods are “mortal,” which means that they are created and destroyed depending on the needs of the application

      Rancher

      Rancher is a web application that provides a GUI interface for cluster creation and for the management of clusters. Rancher also provides easy interfaces for deploying and scaling apps on your clusters, and it has a built-in catalog of curated apps to choose from.

      ReplicaSet

      A ReplicaSet is one of the Controllers responsible for keeping a given number of replica Pods running. If one Pod goes down in a ReplicaSet, another will be created to replace it. In this way, Kubernetes is self-healing. However, for most use cases it is recommended to use a Deployment instead of a ReplicaSet.

      REST

      REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer. It is an architectural style for network based software that requires stateless, cacheable, client-server communication via a uniform interface between components. The HTTP protocol is most often used in RESTful applications.

      Services

      Services group identical Pods together to provide a consistent means of accessing them. Each service is given an IP address and a corresponding DNS entry. Services exist across nodes. There are four types of Services:

      • ClusterIP: exposes the Service internally to the cluster; this is the default type of Service.

      • NodePort: exposes the Service to the internet from the IP address of the node at the specified port number, which is in the range 30000-32767.

      • LoadBalancer: creates a load balancer assigned to a fixed IP address in the cloud if the cloud provider supports it. For clusters deployed on Linode, this is the responsibility of the Linode’s Cloud Controller Manager (CCM), which will create NodeBalancers for each of your LoadBalancer services. This is the best way to expose your cluster to the internet.

      • ExternalName: maps the Service to a DNS name by returning a CNAME record redirect. ExternalName is good for directing traffic to outside resources, such as a database hosted on another cloud.

      Terraform

      Terraform by HashiCorp is a software tool that allows you to represent your Linode instances and other resources with declarative code inside configuration files, instead of manually creating those resources via the Linode Manager or API. This practice is referred to as Infrastructure as Code, and Terraform is a popular example of this methodology.

      Volumes

      A Volume in Kubernetes is a way to share file storage between containers in a Pod. Kubernetes Volumes differ from Docker volumes because they exist inside the Pod rather than inside the container.

      Worker Nodes

      Worker nodes in a Kubernetes cluster are servers that run your applications’ Pods. The number of nodes in your cluster is determined by the cluster administrator.

      More Information

      You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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      A Beginner's Guide to Kubernetes, Part 5: Conclusion


      Updated by Linode

      Contributed by

      Linode

      A Beginner's Guide to Kubernetes

      Note

      In this guide you will learn about networking in Kubernetes and about advanced Kubernetes topics.

      Networking

      Networking in Kubernetes was designed to make it simple to port existing apps from VMs to containers, and subsequently, Pods. The basic requirements of the Kubernetes networking model are:

      1. Pods can communicate with each other across Nodes without the use of NAT
      2. Agents on a Node, like kubelet, can communicate with all of a Node’s Pods
      3. In the case of Linux, Pods in a Node’s host network can communicate to all other Pods without NAT.

      Though the rules of the Kubernetes networking model are simple, the implementation of those rules is an advanced topic. Because Kubernetes does not come with its own implementation, it is up to the user to provide a networking model.

      Two of the most popular options are Flannel and Calico.

      • Flannel is a networking overlay that meets the functionality of the Kubernetes networking model by supplying a layer 3 network fabric, and is relatively easy to set up.

      • Calico enables networking, and networking policy through the NetworkPolicy API to provide simple virtual networking.

      For more information on the Kubernetes networking model, and ways to implement it, consult the cluster networking documentation.

      Advanced Topics

      There are a number of advanced topics in Kubernetes. Below are a few you might find useful as you progress in Kubernetes:

      • StatefulSets can be used when creating stateful applications.
      • DaemonSets can be used to ensure each Node is running a certain Pod. This is useful for log collection, monitoring, and cluster storage.
      • Horizontal Pod Autoscaling can automatically scale your deployments based on CPU usage.
      • CronJobs can schedule Jobs to run at certain times.
      • ResourceQuotas are helpful when working with larger groups where there is a concern that some teams might take up too many resources.

      Next Steps

      Now that you are familiar with Kubernetes concepts and components, you can follow the Getting Started with Kubernetes: Use kubeadm to Deploy a Cluster on Linode guide. This guide provides a hands-on activity to continue learning about Kubernetes.

      If you would like to deploy a Kubernetes cluster on Linode for production use, we recommend using one of the following methods instead. These methods are also a much faster way to get a cluster running, and they will also integrate your cluster with some useful Linode plugins:

      More Information

      You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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