Clothes maketh the man. – This paraphrased aphorism was as true in the 16th century as it is today. But why am I talking about clothes here on bloggingtips? Because the way your clothe your site is important too, and the clothes are called “Themes”.
Your WordPress theme is the design of your website or blog. The colour, layout, number of columns, alignment, header, footer, and so many more design elements are all embedded in the theme you choose. In short, the entire aesthetics of your site is specified by the theme. But it’s not just the appearance, the theme can also power the website with add-ons like widgets and plugins. In short, themes allow you to change the look and functionality of the website without any change to the content in it. Whether you want to be fun, elegant, or clean, it’s all in the theme. Whether you want to be social or a recluse, that’s in the theme too. They can be unique and stylish, or just good old vanilla or 2013.
Zeroing in on the perfect theme is long process and goes back to the basics of why you want the website, what you want the site to do for you. The questions you must ask yourself are, “Am I using WordPress as a site or blog?”, “How will my site expand my goals?”. Based on this, you must choose the theme that best caters to your needs, the theme that reflects your cause. By default, WordPress comes with a theme. You can either customize the existing theme or choose a new theme from the dashboard.
WordPress makes changing the theme a really simple task (just click!). There are over a thousand free themes to choose from.
Free WordPress themes
Usually, free themes are pretty simple in terms of design. Modifications you can make on the layout are pretty limited. Furthermore, free themes do not always come with colour schemes or styles to add to the aesthetics of your site. Free themes can be downloaded and installed directly from the WordPress Dashboard. When using a free theme, it is important to pay heed to the author’s updates. Remember, free themes that are not regularly updated may lead to security vulnerabilities in your site.
Perfidious developers sometimes hitch the themes to everything from spam links to malware that harm the site once the theme is installed. The themes they provide might be attractive and may enhance your aesthetics but they may contain malicious code that harm the site. One precautionary measure that you can take before installing a free theme is to choose the theme from a trusted site. The following links contain themes which are trusted and are likely to contain no threats:
Premium WordPress themes
Another option is to go for the Premium WordPress themes. Since Premium themes are generally safer than free themes and less likely to contain malware or trojans that will leave your site open to hackers. Premium themes are also advanced in other ways and come with options to configure the settings or layout. In simple terms, they offer more options in terms of colour schemes, additional plug-ins, etc.
Premium themes is a paid service. While they are not custom made for you, they do offer customizations to make the theme feel like your own. Also, you have better technical support from the creators or designers. They lend you a hand if you encounter problems with the theme. The cost of themes vary depending on the theme vendor and the complexity. It can range from $20 to $80 for a theme on a single site. Many vendors also offer developer packages which let you use the theme on unlimited sites. While most Premium themes are trustworthy in terms of security, some of them are likely to contain spam links. So buy from trustworthy sources. Some places to purchase premium themes are:
Not all themes are equal in terms of their functionality, and security. Each theme caters to different needs and uses. While choosing a theme, don’t look at the colors, they can be changed. Instead, focus on the overall layout which is often fixed and cannot be customized to your need. Finally, the extra options that can be added to the theme are the plug-ins. Plug-ins provide additional features beyond what your theme offers like calendar, backup, embedding other blogs, twitter feeds, etc. While some plug-ins are free, others have to be purchased.
If you are creative, make your own theme. And remember to backup your theme as well as your content, for the theme is an important vehicle to carry your message to the world. Polonius may have been an old windbag, but he was wise in the ways of the world. Dress your site well. Choose your theme with care.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
1 Tip for Being an Intelligent and Prospering 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?
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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