How to Choose and Customize a Theme For Your Blog
In part three of my blogging for life series, I wrote about :
"Why You Needed Web Hosting For Your Blog." Today I'm going to tell you how to choose and customize a theme for your blog.
A theme is like an artist behind your blog. You will already have been given a very basic theme once you log into your blogging platform. However, you want to stand out, not loud mind you, but with a pop, a splash of color, and boldness. You want your readers to remember you.
Your first order of business will be to find a theme that fits perfectly with your name, brand, and what you are trying to give your readers. It may seem a little overwhelming with the thousands of themes available. It's also all too easy to find yourself attracted to that "pretty, shiny theme" that could end up being your reader's worst nightmare. So step away from the shiny things and select a theme that ties in with your blogging niche, etc.
Once you have chosen a theme you think is ideal, try it out. Most blogging platforms will have a link you can click on that allows you to see an instant preview of what your blog could look like. This tool can give you an idea of whether it's the right thing for you. It's like trying on a piece of clothing and deciding if it's the right look for you. If you like the theme, simply hit the install button on your blogging platform.
One of the really cool functions that you can add to your theme is plugins. A plugin allows you to add contact forms, link highlights, forums, and more. But before we talk about plugins let's discuss how to customize your current theme. You can edit themes in the sidebar of your blog's platform. From inside of the sidebar, you will see an options menu which will vary depending on your chosen theme.
The option you are looking for is the main category that allows you to edit the site identity. This is where you will add the name of your blog and a tagline if you'd like. When you have finished, simply click, save and publish.
Next, do a simple search for a plugin for SEO to help you optimize your blog's content. SEO is the building block of your blog and allows search engines like google to list your blog using specific keywords and phrases. Much of your blog's success will come from SEO.
The very idea of incorporating SEO into your blog's content may seem intimidating, even downright scary! But there are several great tools, plugins, books and websites available that can help you with SEO if you are a newbie.
After choosing an SEO plugin, you will want to go to your blogging platform and head over to the webmaster tools link. Look for a tab titled, Google search console. From here you need to verify your website to Google's search engine. Follow the steps provided after you have logged into your google account to verify your new blogging website.
You can head back over to webmaster tools if you would like and take a look around. You'll be given a detailed insight about your blog's site, including SEO keywords on your pages, any issues your blog may have, your rank within the google search engine, and more.
Next, add any social media sites you are a part of from your dashboard. Adding a social media widget to your blog will allow your readers to follow you on other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Another feature you may want to consider when editing your theme is the title separator. A title separator gives you the advantage of using a symbol to make your blog more personal. While it is not necessary, it offers separation between your blog's post title and your website's name in your meta title when a reader searches for your blog posts using Google.
What is necessary are permalinks? These are the static hyperlinks that lead to a specific blog post or page. Your blogging platform has more than likely set it to its default site setting. That is something you do not want because it doesn't tell your visitors, your readers what the page is really about.
To customize the default permalink link, you should see a settings link on your dashboard that will allow you to choose an option that works for you. Many bloggers however tend to choose the post name option to create a more personal permalink for each of their blog posts.
Now that you know the basics of setting up your blog theme and customizing it, get ready to write your very 1st post in part five of my Blogging For Life Series.
Once you join, you'll have permanent access to the series, discover freebies to help your blog, connect with other members who are new to blogging, and more.
Success begins with you.