Welcome to Part 4 of our series, and if you’ve just joined us then I recommend going back to the previous parts before continuing. I have been following a step-by-step process so encourage all of you to start at the beginning. Today, we`ll be discussing WordPress customization because this is important since it’ll directly influence user engagement. I want to ensure when you guys are done that you`ll have a site which is engaging visitors, and building retention.
Here`s what we`ll be discussing today:
- Choosing the right theme
- Choosing right colors and layout (very important)
Your feedback will be greatly appreciated. Let’s get started.
When you are done installing WordPress, and have setup the basics like tweaking permalinks, plugins, etc then it`s time to ensure you have installed the right theme which will become the ultimate design of your blog. Why is this important? It has been suggested the right theme will ensure you keep visitors on your website increasing retention going forward. I have been able to setup various websites for my clients and been in the business long enough to understand what works compared to which doesn’t. I have knowledge on statistics which I’ll like to share with you so you can implement what I’ve learned into your blog too.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right theme:
First, your theme can be selected by going to Appearance then Themes. Click “Add New” then go through the FREE themes available. Next, you have the option to purchase a premium theme, however you have to make sure you look for the following which I’ll discuss below. I personally use MyThemeShop websites when searching for a custom made template. You can filter until you find one which meets your budget, and other requirements.
When choosing the right theme, you should make sure they come equipped with the following: This applies to any theme you are choosing – Free or Premium
- Responsive – This will ensure your website is displayed correctly on all platforms. Your goal is to make sure your blog is optimized for all platforms. Google introduced a mobile update which gives preference to those websites which are mobile-ready.
- Retina Ready – The theme will look great on displays higher than 300px. Many of the new displays have a resolution of 300px so it’s important you are ready for the shift going forward.
- Easy to customize: This means to choose a theme which has a drag & drop interface so you can place things easily within the theme. This feature is also great for those with little coding experience.
- Optional: Having a theme which allows you to change colors & fonts quickly. This just makes it easier because NOT everyone is good at changing the .CSS file.
- I prefer a theme which is SEO ready so you can easily add your metadata into the correct slots.
The most important are: Responsive, SEO Ready, and Easy to Customize.
Once you have found the right theme, simply upload and click install. If you are choosing from the FREE themes then it’s as easy as clicking install & activate.
The Right Colors
Choosing the right colors for your theme is very important because you want it to be easy on the eye while being attractive. It’s stated that people usually know within a few seconds if they’ll remain on the site which normally depends on the color selection. Here’s the fundamentals of color selection:
Logo – The color of your site should depend on your brand & logo. This way it’ll match, and colors will look solid.
No Bright Colors – It’s important to stay away from bright colors because they are harsh on the eyes. This can be distracting while reading content lowering engagement & increasing bounce rate.
Use Primary Colors – What does this mean? You’ll notice while researching your competition that they all use certain colors. I always do my research before selecting my final colors. I would recommend you do the same so you have a better idea of direction, and can implement the same colors into your blog.
It’s important to understand that colors can be tweaked all the time. This means if you are NOT happy with the primary colors you can change them afterward. However, having a theme with a color drag & drop features will allow you to do this easily.
The layout of your blog is very important because you need the menu and sidebars in the right place. There was much discussion over the right places however we have enormous data on what works over the years. Here’s what I recommend for your blog, and you’ll find this is normally the layout for all major blogs.
Menu – Always place menu at the top because this will be the first thing visitors will see. It’s always a good idea to have it above the fold. Next, the menu will increase the chances of them skimming through your website, and finding other content.
Sidebar – I recommend keeping sidebar on the right because people tend to read from the left. Even though this is up for discussing I’ve just noticed from experience the right sidebar is the popular way to go.
Now that we are done talking about theme selection and customization, I’ll like to discuss choosing the right topics, and creating your first actual post. Once you know how to write content and publish, you’ll be able to streamline the entire process going forward.
Advanced Blogging Tip: Have a Poor Link Memory
I create oodles of content daily. One tip to being prolific is to have a poor link memory. I forget what I published content-wise and link-wise to keep publishing content frequently. Do you know how most bloggers publish one blog post, include a link to a product and/or service, and keep checking the post again and again, to see how the link performs as far as clicks and conversions and sales and profits and money? I never do that. I have no time and energy to check how my links perform because I have a terrible link memory. I am always on to the next piece of content to create and the next link to place and the next person to help because I have a poor link memory. I forget links. This works perfectly for me; makes me super duper prolific.
Most bloggers attach to and cling to particular business links. What happens if you attach to a link? You give attention and energy to checking the link again and again instead of creating more content from a generous, prolific energy. How can you appear to be all over your niche if you check links regularly throughout the day and if you are not creating helpful, new pieces of content? You cannot be super successful if you are not prolific and you cannot be super prolific unless you have a poor link memory. Be generous, abundant and detached by forgetting links you place in posts; especially links pointing to business opportunities.
I link to my blogging course quite a bit but never get attached to any one link or blog post or guest post through which I link to it. Why? I have more fish to fry. I have more content to create and more bloggers to bond with and more folks to help and more bloggers to connect with and heck, after converting 50 more of my eBooks to paperback, I will have over 200 products about on Amazon, under the Blogging From Paradise umbrella. That is a lot of products to promote! We need to have a poor link memory to forget the prior link we promoted so we can move forward and promote more links, more content and greater blogging success. Envision yourself having an abundant mindset. What happens if you do not feel like anything seems short, scarce or running out? Being prolific is what happens. Being generous is easier if you are not burdened by any link to promote, to review and to assess regularly. I am not opposed to scanning metrics if doing so feels good and relaxing but most bloggers never take the time to assess their genuine feelings when it comes to how they feel promoting links.
I do. I am ruthless in assessing, observing, embracing and moving along my energies because watching your energy is the key to blogging success. Blogging from abundance, relaxation and trust leads to success while blogging from fear, scarcity, tension and anxiety leads to failure.
Which road do you prefer to take?
How to Get Over the Fear Nobody Will Buy Your Product
Promote the heck out of the product. Unearth fears. Feel fears. See fears come true. Release fears. Sell your product. More and more folks buy your product only if you face, feel and release fears aligned with the product. If you hold the fears ya ain’t selling the product. Even if you publish a blogging product – like my blogging course – and sell it for a little bit you will not generate big sales until you fail enough to finally feel fears triggered by failure. Feeling fears clears fears which clears resistance which helps you inspire more people to buy the product.
Getting over this fear is messy. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete loser? Nope. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete fraud, or huckster, or embarrassed or ashamed? Nope. You hate trying so hard and then, no freaking people buy the course you promoted 10,000 times but doing so and feeling fears triggered simply makes it easy to promote the product, because feeling and getting over the fear makes you promote the product like you breathe. Being in that space, plenty of people see the product and more folks buy the product.
I promoted my blogging course to the tune of 8,000 page views before someone bought it. 8000 page views was nothing. I had to clear fear-resistance during the 8,000 page views to show the world how fun, freeing and inspired this course was. Fear cleared, more people bought it at 10 times the initial price versus the initial cheapy price. Raising the price ten fold? Yep; another fear for me to conquer. But I did it, and far more people bought it at $350 than at $36. See how funny fear works? You fear something, refuse to feel the fear, and struggle. But feeling the fear and doing it anyway leads to increasing success. Buy the course for a fun, entertaining, inspired blogging guide. Tis the season for celebration and joy and love and fun, helpful blogging courses.
I have no tips for nudging into fear save meditating and doing yoga frequently. Following each habit expands your awareness which helps you become intimately aware of your fears, so you can feel fears and release fears. Feels rough but this is part of the blogging journey if you want to get over the fear of selling your stuff. Hey; do you want to hurt people, mislead people or lie to people with your blogging product? No? Then just sell the thing already. Ship it. Publish it. Fear is so insidious. Fear makes you do what you do not want to do, if you trust fear. Fear causes you to tune into an alternate, illusory universe, where nothing is true and everything is lies, smoke and mirrors. Do you really want to take that road? I did not think so.
All I can do is be a cheerleader. You need to be the athlete on the court, not the fan on the sidelines. Get on the court. Publish your product. Promote your product. You will eventually face, feel and release all the fears you need to release to become a successful blogger and to sell your product successfully, too. Get in the game. People will buy your product when you get clear on it.
Pro Blogging Tip: Release Expectations
Am I asking you to be a Blogging Buddha? Nope. Not really. No one save enlightened beings completely releases expectations but us mere mortals clinging some to a worldly life can largely release expectations, to become successful and to enjoy the blogging journey. 10 minutes ago, I checked my email. I received a few. I clearly make it difficult to get in touch with me through email because I want to give most attention and energy to building a passive income empire. Every second I spend in email, I could be spending creating content and building connections. Knowing this, it feels good to receive few emails because it helps me scale and move forward from an abundant energy.
Unfortunately, most bloggers have heavy expectations when it comes to receiving email. Bloggers expect a chock filled inbox, with all types of clients, Paypal payments and sponsored post deals. What happens if you get 3 emails daily, all responses to comments? Your expectations not being met levels you, depressing you, making you sad, sapping your energy. If you expect some sweet outcome and reality is not delivering you the outcome to fulfill the expectation, you eventually lose your blogging motivation and quit. Or you make the massive mistake of quitting after seeing your expectations fall short, then, you begin blogging again, quit again after expectations are unfulfilled, and you suffer through this vicious cycle until you fail and quit for good.
Release expectations. Begin blogging with an intent to live your dreams but let go the anchor of expectation because either you feel hopeless after not getting what you expected or you feel average when expectations line up or you feel super high and excited after exceeding expectations, leading to an imminent crash after your emotions settle down. Expectations are anchors, pulling you down, holding you back, preventing meteoric blogging growth. I expect little to nothing blogging-wise because my day is about having fun helping people to blog successfully. I cannot go wrong whether I sell a copy of my blogging course or not because I have no expectations; I just promote the course in a seeming billion places (coming soon) and leave things at that.
If anything, allow a little part of yourself to desire some expectation but make it tiny. Why? If the expectation does not come true quickly, you will keep blogging from an energetic, relaxed, abundant vibe, positioning yourself to succeed. Harboring wee expectations means you remain unstirred if the expectations do not manifest; no crushed, hopeless feeling. Meanwhile, most bloggers with grand, wild expectations often slam into tons of resistance because no spectacular dream comes through and manifest overnight. Living your dream life through blogging requires years and thousands upon thousands of hours of generous service.
Blog for an absolute love of blogging. Be passionate about the blogging process. Release largely on outcomes because weighing yourself down with expectations slows you down. Imagine desiring big blogging bucks only to see an empty inbox for the next 3 months? 90 plus days, zero dollars. After the 90th day, most bloggers quit blogging for good, because they came up so short on their expectations, being frustrated, disgusted, and tired of wasting their time.
Fall in love with the process – not outcomes – to fuel yourself for your blogging journey.
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