This is a continuation of the previous post “How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 1]” in which we went over the basics of:
- Choosing and purchasing a domain name
- Securing reliable web hosting (and what hosting actually is)
- Setting up WordPress on your site
If you haven’t read through the previous post, please do that now, since this week we are going to delve more into the nitty gritty of setting up your blogging site. It, unfortunately, will be coupled with a little more technical geek mumbo jumbo, that hopefully can be made not-so-scary for you.
Step One (Continued): Blog Setup
Selecting a theme for your blog
Now that you have the basic shell of a blog set up, you could dive right in and start adding content. But your site as is, looks kinda – well bare. Not to worry though, there are many many choices available to you (many of them even at no cost) to get your site looking both professional and spiffy.
What is a WordPress theme?
Think of a theme as a duvet cover for your bed. It has both functionality and draws guest’s eyes to the focal point of the room. A wordpress theme is basically an overlay or duvet for your site, adding in functionality and curb appeal to each and every visitor.
Choosing a theme that will match the content of your blog and will stand the test of time isn’t necessarily an easy task. This only being the case, because there are simply so many options out there to choose from.
What to look for in a theme?
The obvious first thing you will notice when choosing a theme for your blog, is the look and feel of the theme itself. The look and all together functionality is super important. You will want your guests to feel comfortable when looking through your site. This being said try and avoid themes that are heavy on the eyes. The theme also should match your content. In other words, if the main subject of your blog is Puppy Grooming Products you wouldn’t want to choose a theme that looks like a football field (regardless if football is your number one passion). Keep your theme relevant to the content of your blog.
For instance, going back to the example of puppy grooming the following themes might be ideal for that type of blog:
You are here because you have an interest in learning how to make money with a blog, so one of the ways to do that is by advertising for other people’s products and or services on your site, either directly or via an affiliate commission. That being said, your theme should have existing ad space built in. This would be accomplished in the way of additional columns (sidebars) or bottom footer area.
Finally, make sure that the WordPress theme that you are interested in supports updates and the latest widgets / plugins.
Where to find your themes?
When looking for a WordPress theme, the first logical place to go is the Official WordPress Theme Directory. There you will find thousands of themes to choose from, a great deal of them are free, others are being sold by the creator.
You can also do a simple Google search using simple keywords such as: “wordpress themes for pet business” (using the pet grooming example from before). There are literally pages upon pages of sites with outgoing links to WordPress themes in almost every single niche imagined.
Here are a few to get you started on your quest. Remember though, don’t make this one of those tasks that gets you stuck. I suggest looking for 10 to 20 minutes at a few sites to get a feel for what it is that you desire, then bookmarking the themes that you are most interested. Narrow that list down to 3 or 4 and then start a list of the pro’s and con’s for each theme. Spend no more than a day hashing this over.
- A collection of Nice WordPress Themes
- 45 Beautiful WordPress Themes
- 83 Beautiful themes you probably haven’t seen
- 15 High Quality Premium-Like Free WordPress Themes
How have you fared in your theme search? Any pointers that you would like to share with us?
We would love to hear all about your adventures in setting up your WordPress site in the comments below! And don’t forget to click subscribe to stay in the loop with future additions to this mini-course.