Which Themes Will Best Build Your WordPress Blog?

A Theme Is Expected To Make Your Content Look Good

First Steps In Blogging: Choosing Your Theme

I have been blogging ever since 2004, and for the greater portion of that time I have used WordPress for the platform (although I have also used others including Blogger). I’m one of those experimenters who is always changing things around, so I have used countless theme templates for my blogs.

I know it can get confusing sorting through the thousands of template choices, which seem to do a hundred different things, so I thought new bloggers, or people thinking of setting up their own blogs might benefit from some of my experience.

WHAT YOU WILL FIND HERE:

  • A quick rundown on what it takes to start blogging, and then a look at some of the types and choices of themes that will help you forge your online presence.
  • Start with a simple theme that best serves your site’s purpose. Or go with a professional theme that gives lots of support through forums, etc. Once you are used to the way a designer structures the themes, especially if there is an underlying framework (like Genesis), you will find your way around it and get it to function for you through familiarizing your self with the way that particular theme works.
  • This won’t tell you that any particular designer is the best, but just to give you, the new blogger, a beginners guide to sorting through a huge playing field of theme designs.

5 Blogging Decisions

Top 5 Website Decisions

  1. Choose your platform
  2. Choose your theme
  3. Choose plugins
  4. Write content and decide frequency of posting
  5. When and how to monetize your site

These are the most important decisions to make when you begin a blog.

Beginner’s Guide For A Headstart

WordPress Websites: Beginner's Guide to Easily Building a Website & Customizing It With Themes and Plugins (Writing Skills Book 4)
WordPress Websites: Beginner’s Guide to Easily Building a Website & Customizing It With Themes and Plugins (Writing Skills Book 4) Once you have your site up and running, will they come? They will if you get smart about the use of social media and the art of gaining readers.

Choose The WordPress Theme For The Purpose Of Your Site

Because WordPress is one of the most popular platforms, it has been extended through themes and plugins for all sorts of special uses. Some themes have special plugins incorporated right inside to make things wonderfully flexible and useful.

It used to be that each theme had its plugins for common features like slideshows, etc.

The prevailing wisdom is to allow those features to be handled by plugins as they are commonly used: separately.

News, Food, Photos? Ecommerce?

  • Most of the professional lines of WordPress theme designers have a whole slew of specialized themes all ready for you to create the exact type of site you want.
  • Photo blogs need to highlight their great pictures. Art blogs are similar. Portfolio highlights which have images instead of text for entries or large images with minimal text serve these sites well.
  • News site and how-to sites are well served with magazine style themes.
  • For most blogs a typical 2 column style with either a left or right hand sidebar is the classic theme choice.

WordPress blogs are so versatile that they can look like almost anything and function for many purposes from ecommerce to community sites (with the addition of buddypress or bbpress). The more complex the use requirements the more likely the theme will be highly complex and probably professional, costing a fee.

Those themes are a far cry from the early ones that had just a small number of templates.

What Is A Template?

The structures inside the theme which create posts, pages, contact pages, 404 pages, archives, etc.

 

How To Install A WordPress Theme In Your Site

Your Blogging Experience

Free Or Professional Themes For WordPress?

In blogging, one of the first things you will decide is the platform. This is the general software that supports your blogging site. WordPress is one of the most popular today, and can be both self-hosted (you pay for your hosting and run your blog on the server space of your hosting plan) or free, through WordPress.com.

Other platform examples:

  • Blogger
  • Typepad
  • Tumblr
  • Drupal

But since you have made the choice for WordPress, the next big decision is how you want your site to look and act, and that “frontend” experience is dictated by your “theme”.

Themes can be both simple and extremely complex, they can be free or professional (themes that you buy) also known as “Premium themes”. When I first blogged, I used only free themes. I now need more features and I have purchased professional themes.

Once you decide on WordPress, the fun just begins

At first it might seem there is little difference between free themes and pro, especially if you can find a free theme with support, with a community centered around troubleshooting and guiding newbies. There are even free themes with complex features, and a great look. But generally, a pro theme will have a higher level of design expertise, good code, and be kept up to date in compliance with the many upgrades that WordPress has engineered in recent years. In the case of the “Hybrid core” themes: the themes are free, but the support forums and articles require a paid membership.

I found many years ago that keeping up with the complexity of code, features that I wanted, and time to design were just too much for me as an individual blogger. I broke down and purchased a Pro theme membership.

Membership- what’s that?

OK. In professional themes there are often two ways to go:

Buy a single theme for a set amount of money OR buy a membership to a design company you like and have access to many themes and the support of experts. The choices are yours (choices, choices!).

Always Changing

The internet, and thus the type of writing and the look of websites, is always changing. The one thing that impacts wp theme choice today is the transition of web users to mobile phones. No longer is the desktop the primary way we access the web. This has resulted in another choice that we ought to be making:

CHOOSE A RESPONSIVE THEME FOR YOUR BLOG.

A responsive theme is one that looks good in a variety of size screens, and adjusts well to mobile users.

Most web designers are creating their frameworks and themes to be responsive now, but if you have made a previous decision, check to be sure your present one has “responsive” features.

My Own Challenges

I write lots of content and the field I blog in is crowded, and getting more crowded every day, so I need something that will stand out. One of the biggest problems for me has been the pagespeed, or time necessary to load a page on your computer screen. The template is going to impact these challenges.

CHILD THEMES ARE RECOMMENDED

The updates for WordPress result in the need for the templates to update, as well. When that happens many of the customizations are lost. Some themes have an interface which helps to preserve your changes either through use of an area to add your css or to add a “child theme”. I like it when the designer adds easy customizations to the backend or admin are of the theme.

Tips To Help You Choose The Right Theme

  1. Make a List. Do you want a blog, a gallery of photos or art? Need a portfolio for clients or e-commerce possibilities? What do you want people to do on your site?
  2. Check how much support is given for the theme. Is there support from creator or forum? How satisfied are the users of the theme? Take note of these things and add it to your decision.
  3. Check structure and flexibility of the theme. Does it have the type of pages you need? Are the style and your content a good fit?

About The Major WP Theme Players

Who Are They? What Are Their Benefits?

Some of these well known designer companies started with free themes. I used them in the past. This is not a definitive list, just some comments about the ones I know enough about to have opinions about their themes. The first two are theme platforms (theme structures that support many different styles).

Divi Is ET’s Cadillac Theme

Divi is their premier theme.
Divi is their premier theme.

Elegant Themes

This is the one I ended up paying for, probably because I am kind of artsy in my predilection for theme looks, and Elegant themes has one of the most artful, and just plain pretty, looks to their themes.

Elegant Themes, by Nick Roach, are a bit complex, but made easier with the back end epanel that automates most decisions of style and action. Support is so-so, but I don’t have other experience to compare it with. The entire line of many themes- all sorts of styles and basic purpose (they have a dynamite portfolio page) themes to choose from.

I have some affiliate links, if you decide to buy their themes and want to possibly support me in some small way. Note: I became an affiliate after I liked their themes, and am not advocating because I am an affiliate.

It seems like many of the best free themes went professional, and some of theme have limited free versions available. “Platform” Pagelines is one of those, look for others.

Platforms are the software that run the blog. WordPress is a platform for blogging. “Framework” is the basic structures under the “parent themes”, underneath those are the”child themes”. The platform runs all the functions and bells and whistles in the background, the theme or the framework has the basic and not so basic features that creates the look and use of the site. A parent theme is alone or under the child theme, which “sits on top” and is called for creating the specific look of the theme- the colors, graphics, and typography, as well as special templates. It can completely change the way the parent theme is experienced by visitors.

Not all themes are built apart from special frameworks, but many of the pro theme are, and the looks are usually the result of child themes. Look for Thesis and Genesis family themes to have this type of setup.

Best Theme? Review And Advice

What Are The Big Changes In Themes?

  1. Mobile friendly has gone from a suggestion to mandatory. This is driven by the shift of users from desktops to their phones for most internet use.
  2. Design plainly favors a “flat look” that is directly related to its good looks on a phone screen.
  3. Functions increasingly move from inside the theme to a separate plugin.
  4. Style ranges, but a light modern look reigns. Alternatively, handcrafted, like watercolor elements has grown in popularity.
  5. Clean interface and fast loading becomes ever more important for a professional site.

Thesis Theme by DIYThemes

Thesis is used by some of the most successful bloggers, but so is Genesis. It has a more open look.

At first this was the premier theme platform that all the serious bloggers wanted, Genesis has since caught up.

I used the designer’s, Chris Pearson, famous ‘Cutline’ theme for quite awhile on one of my blogs. His design technique is clean and he was known for his beautiful typography. The Thesis theme has a distinctive clear grid that supports all sorts of features. I have not purchased it. Some love this theme, others found it complex to work with (word on the street of bloggers I “follow”.)

Personally, I would consider working with it just because of its nice open feel.

Genesis Theme

I used Brian Gardner’s themes before he started “Studiopress” and loved them. If I had been ready to buy a theme at that time, I would have stayed with and bought what turned into the “Genesis” theme. I am still considering it, although I hate to switch from themes I am familiar with ( learning curve when starting to use a new type of theme).

Genesis themes have a distinctive blocky look that is eye-catching and easy to navigate. They can be highly customized (in my experience). They are very well supported.

What are the assets and liabilities of these choices?

Free Pro
Costs nothing Costs a fee
unlimited styles,some great,some poor pro styling
sometimes supported, usually by fans usually supported, by experts
often has built-in links to theme creator links can be deleted

What Was I Using?

Past tense because I bought a premium set of themes that did not live up to the promises. Caveat emptor.

I bought MySiteMyWay for myself, I liked them so well. Unfortunately they didn’t keep up with updating and I had to count it a loss.

Both Elegant Themes and Studiopress have proved reliable.

I also purchased and used Elegant Themes, and Studiopress, which I had used in the past.
Each one has a learning curve to use, but they also provide forums and support.

Presently, I use Elegant Themes on almost all my sites, but still experiment with the latest free WP theme that comes shipped with the software.

Become A WordPress Ninja

I WISH I HAD A GUIDE IN THE EARLY YEARS OF STARTING A WORDPRESS BLOG

There is no reason for a steep learning curve with all the great learning resources available today. A book will condense all the important steps so you can start the important part: writing all your great content.

WordPress Is The Top Choice, So Learn To Use It

WordPress Domination - Beginner to NINJA in 7 Days: In Just Seven Days, You Can Go From WordPress Zero To WordPress Hero
WordPress Domination – Beginner to NINJA in 7 Days: In Just Seven Days, You Can Go From WordPress Zero To WordPress Hero

Don’t let your WordPress blog just sit there, learn how to develop it into a powerful online presence. Even if you are starting from zero knowledge, a guidebook like this can take you quickly through all the steps.

 Buy Now

WordPress to Blogger?

Usually it is the other way around, but if the easy route is desired, Blogger is easier to learn.

Switch From Blogger To WordPress

Success Isn’t A Secret

WordPress Revealed: How to Build a Website, Get Visitors and Make Money (Even For Beginners) (Volume 1)
WordPress Revealed: How to Build a Website, Get Visitors and Make Money (Even For Beginners) (Volume 1)

The big three for many people starting a WordPress blog: builb a good site, get readers to come and stay, make some income.

 Buy Now

Get To Know Your Theme

Go to the forums or get some initial support to know what your theme can do for your site. It will save you lots of time and otherwise you may not use all the features.

Which is best? Do you have a theme you love?

WordPress Themes, Pro or No?

Which side of the fence are you on?

Better Late Than Never – Redirecting Old Blog To New

I had an old blog (from 2003) that had lots of good rep and some google rank just on the fact that it was OLD. I waited for years to move it from Blogger to WordPress on the basis that I really didn’t want to lose the ranking that it still held onto.

Well, due to the fact that I am a total amateur, I went through some very damaging steps because I simply didn’t know what to do. First I used a v-e-r-y slow meta-refresh to transfer people from the old Ilona’s Garden Journal to the new Home Garden Companion site.

Not a good idea. Besides being slow, it is seen as a malicious script.

I tried turning all 1000+ posts into drafts and taking the blog private. I felt like that was shooting myself in the foot!

So, finally I got serious, looked up how to make a proper 301 redirect and bit the bullet.

For those of you who don’t want to do all the really messy, bad stuff that I did…here is the really useful, clear page of instructions complete with the code you will need to make these happen.

How To Switch Using 301 Redirects

~From WP Beginner, great info for anyone trying to work on a wp blog.

The redirects appear to work well. I don’t know if I will recover the Google ranking after all my shenanigans, but it was Bing Webmaster tools and Google info that helped me realize the importance of creating proper redirects when moving a site.

Be sure to use Bing and Google webmaster tools (both of them). They are free, don’t take much of your time, and prove extremely useful when you need to know insights about your blogs.

Hope this helps someone else trying to move their large site from Blogger to WordPress.

This is the step, AFTER migrating the posts over to the new blog.

I found that step to be pretty easy because I used the included import plugin in the WordPress installation. It worked extremely well and I only had to upload some missing pictures. Which was relatively easy.

 

Google Adsense Plugin Is A Success

I started using the plugin from google for adding Adsense to my site. The idea was to give it a couple weeks. And although coincidentally the spring is my most visited season on my garden site, the amount of income that came from using the plugin has proved that it really is a success.

I am not a big earner, by any means, but the amounts from 2013 had become downright pathetic. I would be happy for 2 cents a day.  Now it is much better, and I have hope that with hard work on the site, Adsense might be a supplement to online income.

I says it is still in Beta, but I am hoping they continue to develop it; this plugin has been a real boon to my site. I am hoping to use it on more of my sites, soon.

If you are interested in trying it out yourself, here is the link in the WordPress repository:

Google Publisher Plugin

Google Adsense Meets WordPress With A Plugin

Reading their Google Adsense Newsletter, I saw the wordpress plugin that was added to the WP repository. Added it today on the only site that makes me any money ( though it has dropped to very low amount). I’m giving it two weeks to see if there is any difference. Then switch it to another of my sites if there is little improvement  ( I want to keep watching it)

 

Post Formats In WordPress

wordpress

I have had a devil of a time trying to use post formats in themes that don’t have them automatically included. I have a number of uses for the formats in mind for one of my sites, but am committed to a theme that doesn’t include them.

As post formats have come and gone from the core of WordPress, they are now supposed to be included through plugins (or in the case of themes, written into the functions.php)

So if you would like to use post formats, one plugin to try is WCK which adds the post type and new taxonomies. I’m am working with that to solve my problem of getting the formats without hacking my theme’s functions (which is hard work for someone like me).

My Premium Themes

I have been using Elegant Themes for a number of years, and their newer themes have custom post types that are often included in only one theme. I hacked the functions to transfer my post-types and get them to show in another theme change. In the meantime they developed their Divi theme which, once you are used to it, is fantastic. I love its look, and feel I can finally have a theme that is truly customized to the needs of my site.

I think part of the challenge is the fact that WordPress has evolved so radically. It can do so much more, more easily, than in years (versions) past.

If you are wishing to include post types in your theme, and have little to no coding skill, get one of the post type plugins that are being developed. I expect to see more come online in the near future.

OR… you could go with a theme that has them built-in (like the native 2014 theme for WordPress).

There are times you need all the bells and whistles, and that is when to go for a premium theme. There are ‘lite’ versions of premium themes that are quite good which might be adequate for your needs; but they usually have limited support if you need custom solutions or are trying to troubleshoot something that has gone awry.

More about starting with wordpress

The Newer Model: WP Twenty Twelve

Although I liked the Twenty Eleven theme for WordPress, I changed the Advent Blog to the newer version theme. One of the reasons was that I found the header was too large for my blog post style, and the Twenty Twelve had more features that I liked.

Of course the drawback was that I lost a few features, like the asides posts. For some reason WordPress developers didn’t feel it was important, although I could still add them in with an extra plugin. Another drawback to going with the latest and greatest default theme is the lack of child themes. Twenty Ten had lots, …T.Eleven, not so many, and T.Twelve had almost nil free child themes made for it. Its font sizes were way too small, too.

What did I most like about it? The newest themes, including Twenty twelve are “responsive” themes to show up well on mobile phones,etc. And that is where the internet is going…. mobile. It doesn’t make sense to have themes that look wonky on a phone, anymore.

I suppose those are things that will be ironed out in the future. For now, I am happy using the Twenty Twelve theme for my Advent Devotionals, which now have monthly devotionals throughout the year. I wish I could settle on just a few ideal themes for my wordpress blogs, but I seem to have a problem being truly satisfied, even with premium themes that I pay for each year.

My Favorite WordPress Plugins

wordpress

I have new favorites. I’ve been replacing some of the old favorites and adding new plugins that accomplish important tasks… here is the scoop.

Plugin Good For Ads

For Adsense I used to use Easy Adsense until it changed into something second rate, not to go into a rant or badmouth it. It served well for many years, but now I use Post Layout which gives much more control and doesn’t seem to try and siphon off earnings (of which there was never very much and is quite low at this point). Post Layout allows for other ad programs to be added, as well. So far, I like it.
Post Layout Plugin

Plugins Every Site Should Have

Some of my sites have been WordPress based for many years, and during that time went through changes including problems with permalinks, etc. I had lots of redirects and broken links to other sites, etc. So I am super excited about the plugin I tried, called “Broken Link Checker”.

It is very easy to use and I have gone through just about all the broken links to either unlink, or -more often- find the new links on site that dropped their pages or changed the location. I am looking forward to this plugin changing the speed and (possibly help) google rank. At least my site is updated and far better experience for readers!!!

(1.) I recommend every WordPress site to have the Broken Link Checker plugin.

For many years I used “All In One SEO”, and I have no complaint about it, but when I read about all that Yoast’s WP SEO plugin could do, I started using it. It is complex and I don’t have the learning curve completely mastered, but it is working well, and I think it will be a huge improvement for my site. It imports all of the settings and info from ‘All In One’.

(2.) Yoast SEO for WordPress

“Yet Another Related Posts Plugin” is one that I have used from very early on. It has been reliable and helps people find more posts, which is more important than ever on sites that have lots of content. I tweaked it to provide graphics, much like “LinkWithin” but without the nuisance keywords of the LinkWithin site coming up repeatedly. The new version of YARPP now has those thumbnails builtin.

I wouldn’t do without this plugin.

(3.) Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

Other New Additions

I started using the Jetpack because it was so highly recommended. Mostly the stats part of it interests me, I’m not sure about the rest of it (and it is extensive). The verdict will be in later in the year. But it is well worth trying, especially if your blog uses more of the features than mine would.
Jetpack.

Jetpack Plugin

Google XML Sitemaps isn’t perfect, but it helps provide a sitemap which is necessary and which I don’t understand well enough to provide for myself. I liked it much better when you could add pages, a feature which they have not restored as of this writing. Still, the plugin is a useful one.

Google XML Sitemap

WP-PageNavi is built-in to some templates, but if you don’t have it, this navigation tool is very worthwhile. It gives a logical and good looking way to navigate through the sites pages. Plus you can style it.

WP-PageNavi


I have used many plugins over the years, some of which I regret, some that I get more excited over the more I use them. If I wanted the essentials this list is one I would start with. It is not a definitive list by any means, but a great way to start your WordPress site.

How Much Changes In A Year!

wordpress

I looked at the past posts here, and some are dated. The internet , and all things computer related change quickly. A year is an eon in internet time.

So pinterest buttons, yeah. They are a big thing for lots of people online, so most of the social plugins now include them. No need to separately install them, and anyway, there are load time issues with lots of little widgets fidgeting around on your blog.

One thing I am trying to work on is the information that those social sharing plugins of all types are a major source of drain on increasing page-load times. Plugins themselves bloat your site, so I have deleted the more redundant ones when possible. When I have more time I hope to compile a list of helpful things and the sources for the info in a separate post. If you can’t wait just do your own research on WordPress plugins and site load times.

Also. I used WordPress Twenty Twelve theme for my Advent blog this past season (Advent 2012). So the post on the Twenty Eleven theme is a little stale, too. Yet, in many ways I liked that theme… it was so easy to make aside posts, etc.

These are just some notes to give you a little heads up on things you may want to change about your WordPress site, in case like me, sometimes you follow old practices. I love the changes that WordPress and Joomla have made to their software! The old days of difficult updating and trying to manually delete hundreds of spam comments are a thing of the past.

OK, this is just a bite …don’t’ want to post all at once, but wanted to let you know this blog is ALLLIIIIIVVVVE. It is not a zombie blog…which reminds me that I will have to post on all the Zombie movies and stuff I’ve been watching…”Like Walking Dead” on Netflix. I watched them all.

One Year Later…

It has been almost exactly a year since I last posted anything in this blog. One year and two days, if you want the precise amount of time.

No apologies, just a note to say LOTS has been going on and there are significant things that pertain to the topic of this blog. Some will get posts that will appear in time, some won’t.

So what are some of the things I’m learning and doing that you might benefit from?

  1. I am experimenting with a free CDN on my most important site (in terms of what I created there and the amount of people that use it). It is working out well so far, increasing the pagespeeds for my site, delaying the time when I have to change hosts so I can do things right when I transfer that site to a new host.
  2. Improving my wordpress blogs with new plugins. I have replaced old favorites, deleted many, and trying out new, recommended plugins. One of them helps me customize pages with different themes. One is a new SEO plugin.
  3. Branching out into forms of making money from writing online. Lots to learn there, and some avenues are actually paying off. Learning lots along the way about marketing.
  4. Improved my Amazon affiliate income by multiples… I used to only make pennies, but I’ve seen a steady increase in this part of my work.
  5. Not all is success- my google adsense income dropped to almost nothing after I was so hopeful last year. Although I am working on trying to resume the levels of last year, not much dependable increase is apparent.
  6. Much could be said about Squidoo, which is one of my most satisfying and successful endeavors this past year. I started a blog dedicated to my work on Squidoo, http://ilona1squidoo.blogspot.com.
  7. Increased efforts on Facebook, decreased activity on twitter, stopped ignoring Linkedin, figuring out what each social media outlet is used best for, and finding that one person can’t reasonably keep up with it all (hence the hiatus on this and other blog writing).
  8. Worked hard updating all wordpress blogs (including this one) AND all the joomla installations which gave me no end of trouble since my host was absorbed into the EIG webhosting octopus. Not sure if they are trying to improve or not at this point- but it is better than earlier this year. They are definitely on probation with me as a customer.

Those are the topics in a nutshell. I also have many thoughts on how to work with social media and branding.

I Want To Be Rich, I Want To Be Famous, I Want A Blog!

rich n famous

rich n famousYou are smarter than that… but the headline grabbed you. What fool says things like this? Well, from a TV ad I saw recently, and from lots of stuff I read online, there are many such fools. But not you, and if you read on I will tell you things that I know about this. Things that will help you if you are just starting out. You’re looking at what you think are my proofs, aren’t you? The proof is in the pudding and all that…  “If this blogger is so knowledgeable, why doesn’t she (first lower indicator and expectation arrives with gender- I’ll share on that later) have lots of hits, lots of comments… at least a blip on the horizon?

OK, here’s is part of what you learn from this post:  some things NOT to do, which can be just as important as the things you should be doing. Number one….

Things NOT to Do

(1)  If you change your website url…. people will no longer find you, and worse case scenario (like here) is that you will have to start all over again. In a much tougher competitive environment.

(2)  Second mistake I’ve made… but on purpose… is that I haven’t updated this blog. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it for a long time, and I was busy working on my other blogs. So this one just sat and became the sandbox for theme problems or tryouts I worked on, again, for the other blogs. The inverse rule: what you must do when you blog, is update regularly. You must write content. a blog cannot thrive if it is set up like an old static website. In fact, online activity has changed so much that websites cannot simply sit there without updating and lots of new content being created. The people who surf and use the web can no longer waste their time on sites that don’t care. Lack of updating on some sort of regular basis (it can be monthly or weekly or daily) is showing indifference.

Alright… that is enough for now about things I learned the hard way. Let’s talk about things I know now, and that you will hear from some very successful bloggers if you dig around finding their secrets of success.

A blog has to be marketed. This is what those promises of making an easy website and getting found in the search engines don’t tell you honestly. It is a lot of work and you have to sell your blog and your writing. You will be in the process of branding, creating your own brand. Like Coca Cola hopefully, but that is part of what sets your blog apart from gazillions of others that are populating the web. If you work very, very hard to write and create a beautiful website, it will not be read unless you market it. There are many things to do in this, but for this post let’s just promote the idea, in case you weren’t aware how much this matters.

A blog should have an adequate, nice looking theme (design or style). right now this one is very plain, but that is all right. It has many features in the backend where the work of functioning resides, it is pleasant looking in the way it uses the page space, and the navigation works well. Believe me on this. I have sites where I didn’t begin with good navigation and although I had been aware of this, the themes sometimes didn’t work well with what I was trying to do, either. It is hard to fix this. Not impossible, but try finding a theme that makes it easy for you to show off your pages and your posts to the readers… don’t make them dig for the information they need.

Be SEO friendly. This goes along with the importance of marketing. The search engines are what people use to find your posts and thus, your blog, which will make you famous, if not rich. Well, it will help put on on the map anyway. I bet you use Google, or if you are an iconoclast, Bing, to get here. Because I sure am not linked from anywhere. Not even from my own blogs yet. (SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”).

  • Before you do anything change the url structure you use. If you are using a wordpress blog… or even a joomla cms or anything that has goofy numbers and no search terms or key words in the link, Change It Now… you will be so grateful someone told you about this early. Make it pretty- something that includes the post headline, etc. maybe under the category. Do it now before you have lots of posts and changing it cause weirdness in the way wordpress finds your posts and the solutions tell you to do scary things like change your htaccess file.  Don’t know what that is? Just change the url structure now. Please. This is found ( in WordPress) under “Settings” and “Permalinks”.  More info on that.
  • Learn about SEO,  copywriting ( which is what you do when you make your headline interesting, your post readable, and other good things like that). You can find helpful information on site like Problogger and Copyblogger.  Google, itself, will helpfully tell things that will help them serve up your site more easily.
  • Learn how Facebook and Twitter can be used to market your blog and grow community. These are two aspects that not only make blogging more fun for you and interesting for your readers, but are two easy ways to market without as much time, money, or expertise as some of the other methods. If you don’t know about this side of the social media coin, it is not a steep learning curve, just one of the steps that many people use now for online communication.

Of course, if you would like it to be just you and and your blog, forget everything I’ve said here.

And, oh yes, I almost forgot. If you are a woman you must work much harder to have a high profile blog. But maybe “Mommybloggers” break the rule.

About Beginning With WordPress

wordpress

wordpressI see many new people coming into the blogging and website scene who want to use WordPress as their platform. That is a good thing, but in the learning process they want to skip the basics and jump into advanced level customization, even before learning how to navigate the basic posting and administrator processes. That is not such a good thing.

I see frustration ahead for those people.
Continue reading “About Beginning With WordPress”