If you are going to make money by writing online, you are going to need your own website. Whether you hire out your writing services to others as a freelance writer, or you build your own websites to fill with your own personally written content, you are going to need your own site. Building a static site and gaining traction with it is tough. Until you are ready, you’ll want a blog, and no blogging platform is easier to use, more customizable, or better suited for SEO and monetization than WordPress.
Building a WordPress site is surprisingly easy. Jumping right in is the best way to learn. Get yourself a webhost and register a domain and start writing. Sure, there is lots to learn and your blog will not be optimized for its best performance right out of the gate, but as you gain experience and figure out how things work, WordPress is the platform that will grow with you.
Best WordPress Themes For Writers To Make Money Online
One of the first things you’ll end up wanting to do with your new WordPress blog is change how it looks. The layout of a WordPress blog, including what it displays, what fonts it uses, how many sidebars there are, how headers and footers are treated, and so on are all controlled by what is called a theme.
WordPress themes come in two varieties, free and not-free. The not-free themes sometimes call themselves “premium” themes, but there are plenty of free themes that call themselves premium too. The most important thing to understand when it comes to free versus pay WordPress themes is that not all paid WordPress themes are good, and not all free WordPress themes are inferior to their for pay counterparts.
Until you know more about WordPress and how it works, stick with a free theme. You’ll change your mind a dozen times the first year alone about what would make your writing look best and if you are shelling out $79 or more for each theme, you’re just wasting money.
Evaluating WordPress Themes
When it comes to WordPress themes, it is easy to be seduced by the coolness. The demo site, or thumbnail picture that accompanies the theme in the multitude of WordPress Theme Directories is the way to get an idea of what the theme looks like with a quick glance. Unfortunately, it is also the way to end up trying a lot of the wrong WordPress themes while skipping over a lot of themes that might be really great for your online money making enterprise.
How should you evaluate a WordPress theme?
First off, consider how it would look without the top graphic.
Most themes come with some sort of page-wide banner or graphic that helps promote the “theme” of the theme. For example, a automotive theme might have a cool picture of a car across the top. Ironically, that might be the only thing about the entire theme that is related to cars!
Since you don’t want a website that looks like a hundred other websites out there, you’ll want to customize the default theme. The first thing you are going to change is that image, because no matter what else you do, that image will make your site look like all the other sites with that image.
Now, look again.
Without that image is the theme you are looking at still a good one? If not, keep looking. Header images are a dime a dozen and you’ll be able to add the most amazing header image ever to virtually any theme out there.
If you aren’t looking at the flashy images on the theme, then what should you be looking for?
The answer is layout, style, and usage. Tweaking colors and bullets and so on are relatively easy once you know what you are doing. But, the overall layout and style are tougher, as is a site’s usage.
Don’t try and hack a 3-column theme to be a 2-column theme or vice versa. Likewise, don’t plan on redoing every font in the theme.
Most important of all, make sure you understand how to USE the theme. You can’t do that from the picture. Go to the original location of the theme, that is the developer’s website. If you can’t find it, that isn’t a good sign.
None of these things makes WordPress theme unusable, just understand that the functionality they provide can likely be used in any theme, including one whose look and feel might suit you better. Instead of forcing a theme because it has some scrolling image menu that you like, download the scrolling image plug-in instead and then use it on that theme that you actually wanted to use.
Use these tips to avoid wasting your precious time sorting through hundreds of themes that aren’t right for you.
Also, watch for our upcoming article, Top WordPress Theme Features to Look For and Top WordPress Theme Features to Avoid.
Come back soon.
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