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Step 4 – Customizing Your WordPress Blog



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.

Theme Selection

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

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Hi everyone! My name is Rizvan Ullah and my blog Ranktactics provides internet marketers with tutorials on traffic generation, social media marketing, product reviews and case studies. Check out Top WebHosting Providers for bloggers, and CDL practice tests to follow another one of his passions.

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Conquering Blogging Fears Sometimes Involves Shedding Blogging Tears



Build a list. Publish posts frequently. Guest post. Work harder.

I did all that stuff. I still struggled. You did all of it, too. Some of you at least.

But I bet you we were in the same boat years ago. Perhaps you sit in the boat of blogging despair now. You did it all. NOTHING seems to be working. Create value. Make connections. No traffic. No money. I can advise good things take time. Or I can say to be positive and be strong. In truth, being positive, patient and strong all are effective means to conquering your blogging fears.

Shedding tears is the quickest, most direct, simplest way to conquer blogging fears. Every fear is scary because fear frightens you. Crying out fears literally dissolves the fear-fuel; as tears shed, so do fears. Chip away; be present, relax, and allow fears and tears to flow in a quiet room.

Guys; until you face, feel and release fears, you cannot be generous, abundant, patient, persistent and prolific. Why? Fear is an anchor leading to:

  • writer’s block
  • general apathy
  • laziness
  • indecision
  • sloth

I can advise you to generously help people but if you feel bogged down by fear, you will ignore me because you just want to help yourself. See how far you get blogging-wise helping yourself. Expect to publish a cyber diary. Nobody reads self-centered bloggers but the blogger themselves.

Crying Leads to Shining

Last night I worked through the evening. Sickness mixed with energy surges inspired me to work then to meditate at 3 AM. Fatigue and allowing unearthed sadness in me; I cried uncontrollably for 10 minutes. Guess what? I immediately felt better, peaceful, poised, calm, grateful and generous. Perfect energy for accelerating my blogging success. But not crying out those energies creates a fear-burden sapping my generosity and abundance.

From my trip to Oman.

Do Not Be Tough Because Repressed Fear Leads to Endless Struggle

I have seen many struggling bloggers work 18 hour days doing smart stuff but injecting work with fear-strain-force. Guess what? Struggles ensue because you cannot get over what’s still in you. Do not be tough. Do not repress fear because fear will destroy your blogging campaign. Every struggle is fear. Every failure is fear. Feel fear – however unpleasant – to move along the struggle, to be generous, to trust and to succeed.

In my eBook: Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger

I explain thinking, feeling and acting like a pro leads to professional results. How can you think, feel and act like a pro blogger if you fear running out of money? How can you succeed if you deeply fear failure? How can you be a generous, trusting person if you feel terrified to spend time building bonds and creating content?

Fear makes you a blogging fool. Blogging fools spam people, publish thin content and fail forever until they face, embrace and release fears.

Cry it out. Seriously. I felt such a purge last night. I continue to predominantly feel amazing, light and relaxed by feeling whatever emotions arise in my being. Nobody enjoys feeling sad, but in the same vein, you will be completely blind to and fabulously ignorant of good, successful blogging advice if you feel burdened by sadness. Nobody succeeds in a happy, abundant way being saddled by fear and sadness. Let it go. Process your emotions not from logic, but from raw energy.

Once the tears go, then fears go. From that energy you are free to become a highly successful, prospering blogger because you act from an abundant, generous vibe.


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Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?



Writing and self-publishing eBooks scares bloggers.

I piddled in my eBook writing pants until 2012. People told me I should write ’em. I looked for every reason in the eBook NOT to write eBooks. Nobody would listen. Nobody would buy. Nobody would care.

Turns out, people listen, buy and care enough to publish 5 star reviews for my eBooks. Look at the featured image for this blog post describing this eBook:

7 Tips for Writing Successful eBooks Quickly

I locked down five, 5 star reviews because I taught my readers how to write successful eBooks fast. But years prior, fear clouded my mind concerning writing eBooks to the point of me refusing to write one. You may be in the same cyber boat; but you better not miss the eBook writing boat. Lucrative profits serve as one part of the picture. Digging deeper, writing eBooks brands you, distancing you from the herd. Plus you feel good writing short reads and gain trust and extra credibility in the eyes of readers.

Why Do You Resist Writing eBooks?

Fear is the core reason. Fear of failure, criticism or wasting time sit near the top of eBook-related fears. I did not know how to sit down and write the darn things. Fear arose in my mind; how would I do it? Who would teach me? Could I find the process? Would I need special editors? How could I learn the technical steps for conceiving an idea to shipping the eBook on Amazon? Tech stuff really scared me; I had no idea how to save Word files with different, web-based extensions, let alone creating covers with proper dimensions via Canva to meet Amazon’s diligent standards.

From my trip to Oman.

Rather than learn how to do these things I allowed fear to get the better of me, refusing to write eBooks. But during a trip to India I met a reader and friend who begged me to write eBooks for a while. He had been on me for a minute. Meeting in person, he finally convinced me to write and self-publish an eBook on a lesser known digital platform. Later, I went with Amazon, and never looked back.

I had to dive into and nudge through deep fears related to failing and being criticized because I believed nobody would buy what I offered in eBook form. As my friend convinced me, I waded through ideas like wasting my time, getting terrible reviews and promoting my eBook to the tune of zero sales. Did it feel good to embrace these fears? Heck no. But the benefits of self-publishing far outweighed a few unpleasant emotions experienced during these fear-feeling sessions.

Nothing to Lose Everything to Gain

Gain by writing eBooks; if you take experience with you, loss is impossible. Even if you sold not a copy you take valuable writing, marketing and selling experience with you any time you write and launch an eBook. But if you generously help people and make friends, you will sell eBooks and help more people, reflecting gain back to you in physical form.

Digging even deeper, facing and releasing fears associated with criticism and failure benefit you across the board with your blogging campaign. Apply that same fearless nature to other aspects of your blog to boost your blog traffic and profits.

Write and ship.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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1 Tip for Being an Intelligent and Prospering Blogger



My eBook: 10 Tips to Be a Smarter and Richer Blogger

possesses an interesting cover for anyone not familiar with my eBooks.

For anyone familiar with my 100 plus eBooks, my cover is par for the course. Every single one of my eBook covers has been personally snapped by me. Images of paradise preserved by yours truly fit my brand, blog and eBook covers perfectly. Blogging From Paradise means retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. Sometimes I visit islands. Sometimes I visit mainland spots. In all cases, my eBooks and courses – as well as my blog – bleed travel images because this approach fits my brand and is unheard of in the blogging tips niche.

I totally respect any blogging tips blogger who posts featured images for their blogs and eBook covers consistent with content titles. Imagine a light bulb and dollar sign for the above eBook cover, for starters. But I went with a photo I snapped in gorgeous Rawai Bay in Phuket, Thailand for my cover image. Why? Nobody else on earth uses their travel photos as eBook covers and featured post images in the blogging tips niche. If nobody else does it and the move completely aligns with my brand message, this is the starting point for being an intelligent and prospering blogger.

Smart and Prospering Means Different

Every successful blogger I follow sticks to basic fundamentals but deviates from the norm in some regards. Different means bigger bucks and smarter prospering because readers notice that different flavor stepping away from normal. Folks enjoy my covers and blog post images, even though the content and eBook title technically have nothing to do with travel images. Guess what? Adding my brand logo aligns the eBook cover with my blog and brand. People clearly see I am about blogging from paradise. Why not add travel images to each eBook cover?

From my trip to Oman.

I follow a high number of basic blogging rules; create value, build connections, be generous and have fun. But if you do EVERYTHING just like most bloggers, you get lost in the herd. Nothing makes you stand out if you do not choose to stand out with at least one element of your blogging campaign. I stood out with eye-popping eBook images I snapped myself, in a blogging tips niche. How do you stand out? Ask yourself the question. Be straight with yourself to answer.

Bigger Profits from a Smarter Energy by Being Different

Cindy Crawford kept her mole. Muscle Man Arnold kept his accent. Steve Jobs made computers and peripherals outrageously expensive and designed quite weirdly compared to other computers and peripherals. Guess what? Crawford, Arnold and Jobs are legends who we won’t forget for a long time. Different makes you a serious fortune because people notice folks who stand out in some way, shape or form. This different approach bleeds intelligence; why work your butt off if you look just like the next guy and offer a mimicking service?

But Make Sure You Follow Some Fundamentals

Steve Jobs did not attempt to make computers out of cardboard. Arnold did not try to speak German in Hollywood movies. Cindy Crawford did not try to rewrite the foundations of modeling by wearing a fake beard of photo shoots. All icons followed basic rules for their industries because being too far out in left field usually makes you forgettable, or, impossible to spot. Follow blogging fundamentals to stay in the game but find that one thing that distances you from the herd.

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