Tag Archives: Design

Best WordPress Themes for Writers

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.

Read through the description given.  Key things to look for are required plug-ins, JavaScript functions, and custom fields.

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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Easy Updates For Every Page In Your Website

new-content-graphic Keeping your content fresh is an important component of staying on top of everyone’s search engine results rankings, including Google.

But, sometimes, content just goes stale.  Maybe there is nothing more to write on the subject.  Maybe the problem that you found a solution to that nagging problem that you have been blogging about, but you still want to make sure that others can find those articles so that they can find the solution too.

And, let’s face it, sometimes, you are just too busy writing, designing, building, and fixing things to do the search engine spider’s bidding and get out an update your content just so you can keep that #1 search ranking.

The truth of the matter is that just because something was written a while ago doesn’t make it any less relevant, factual, or entertaining.  Sure, some things go cold like elections, tax season, Christmas, and all manner of other things with a built-in shelf life.  But, other things are still relevant.  Tips on touch-typing would be just as useful today as they were in 1999.  Likewise, tips on reading Latin, using a feather duster, building a birdhouse, and learning how to make origami penguins would all be unchanged despite the march of progress.

Unfortunately, the Google Spider doesn’t know any better.  To him, fresh is best, even if your timeless article is way better than the garbage ranked ahead of you.

Fortunately, there is a quick and easy way to update every page on your website in just seconds, if you build it properly.

Update Every Web Page With Little Effort

Whether you have a blog based website, or other website, chances are that it has some sort of sidebar, header, or footer that has at least one part that is consistent across the entire web site.  A quick change to that part ensures that every single webpage in your whole website changes enough to be considered “new” again.

The trick is to make a substantial enough change to be considered more than just a minor change without throwing off the look and navigation of your website.  That is why, you want to build in a section that you can change, complete with its own coding to ensure that the area is always the same size regardless of the content in it.

Again, the best areas for such a defined block are the header, sidebar, or footer.  Insert an introduction, a recent events section, or a blurb about the services or products you provide.  Then, once a month or so, make a single change to that section and watch all of your pages be shiny and new again, at least to the spiders.

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