If you are a person who loves the words, who needs to share something with a wider audience than just friends you have probably thought about creating a blog. No matter if that is related to your job or hobby and you want to present a product or just share your thoughts and inspirations, the blog may be a great way to express yourself. The blog allows creating a complete image of something – product, place, thoughts, yourself, personal opinion, a way of living, books, cooking recipes, gardening or any other passion. And most important to present your topic in a progress.
There are tonnes of articles talking how WordPress is so easy for non-professionals and how you can manage all alone your website without no special developers skills with any multi-purpose theme. But my experience shows that even though it is true, this fact is not so useful. Because yes, if you have enough time to research and practice, you will definitely create a blog or even website. However, I bet you will not be pleased with the design, functionality, or both at the same time. And you need to realize that if you don’t have a resource to pay someone to support your blog you just need to move your skills to next level and learn basic WordPress managing tools, some image editing knowledge and optimization requirement for WordPress and for social media.
In this article, I want to share the very basic on my thought about creating good looking, modern and useful blog. Here you will find links to some themes, apps and tiny tricks that will help you if you are a beginner blogger. These tools will allow you to support your blog effectively with minimal budget and to manage it all alone from your kitchen table.
Choose The Right Theme
If you have no experience with WordPress and with blogging, my advice is to start with a free theme. There are a great bunch of really good looking and quality blog themes that can work great for you. When you gain experience you will probably not be happy with the functionality they provide and will want some more features and optimization extras. But for the first steps and if you are blogging just for fun I guarantee that the themes from the list below are just great!
1. Brunch Lite Free WordPress Theme
It is a great theme for a culinary blog but not only!
Easy to configure and great speed optimized Bruch Lite if really wonderful. It comes with a modern stylised recipe content section that is so user-friendly. This is the must-have feature for every culinary blog. One of the really great features are the galleries and this makes the theme appropriate for other topics as travel, photography or fashion. Supports sidebar area too which is a very useful widget in blog style content presentation. And it also includes Instagram footer widget which is absolutely what every food lover may need. And all that absolutely free. This is a great catch – enjoy!
2. Lilly Lite Free WordPress Theme
WordPress blog and magazine theme!
Lilly Lite is the right theme for you if you have quality visual content. Here you will find six homepage post list grid styles based on images and four single blog post styles. One of the great advantages of the Lilly theme is the SEO breadcrumbs, which will help you SEO optimize your blog. The theme relays on the basic blog style WordPress functions combined with awesome speed optimization (something very important when you have a lot of images) and clear modern design. One of my favorite displays in Lilly theme is the full-width header image single post style with a sidebar. It is the best post style for any travel blog I think!
3. Joy WordPress Theme
Beautiful Blog & Portfolio WordPress Theme
As mentioned above if you have experience in blogging the basic WordPress features will not be enough for you. This is why I want to recommend Joy WordPress Theme. Here you will find some awesome features as featured post slider and sticky menu. The subscribe listing that comes with Joy Theme is a great tool also and it is very useful for the blogs (there are multipurpose themes that do not provide such feature). The dark mode is another interesting feature of Joy Theme that may help you reach more stylish and clean look for photographer blogs or for portfolio websites.
Here you will find inline sharable quotes, optimized image dislpay, social share buttons with cool designs, gallery, nine single post styles, full width footer area, left/right sidebar, custom theme widgets and more!.
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To be a real blogger you should share your own thoughts, experiences, and inspirations. And when you talk about your perspective of something this definitely will be unique.
I think that the latest trend in blogging is to present everything along with your personal everyday living. This makes the text to be live and real and your audience feels that you are authentic which is the very best thing you may want to be in your blog. This is why there are so many vlogs lately – because with this way of expressing it is easier to show the background of your words and to show that what you talk and what you are is the same thing. The user really appreciates when you are honest and natural.
Shoot by yourself
The same is valid for the photos. If you have travel, lifestyle or cooking blog, for example, you should use your own visual content. Even if your blog topic is more abstract and you share poetry for example or philosophical thoughts it is better to use your photos.
I know that this may seem little discouraging as good shooting follows specific rules and it is whole science. But please relax and keep in mind that you are just a blogger, not a photographer (Well, sometimes you may be both and this is a really big advantage!). And also you have a personal blog, not a corporative one. Just shoot with your phone and follow your mood and initial intention. Nowadays with all the social networks as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, I think we all have a very good intuition about the shooting perspective and composition.
Optimize the content
This may be surprising for you but having great content is not enough. You should optimize it depends on where you want to be found by the audience. Otherwise no matter how attractive your blog is it may be not so popular. The optimization is a very big topic and here I can’t provide particular pieces of advice to follow. Just want to mention that this is something you should care about as much as the quality of your content.
The optimization opportunities of the theme you use may not be satisfied for you when you gain an experience with blogging. The free themes usually contain lite or no optimization features. So when you choose a theme maybe you should think in perspective and find a theme that fits best your blog topic.
Here I should mention that free versions of SEO plugins will not help reach great results in some situations especially if you want to earn money from your blog.
For example, if you have a culinary blog you should look for a theme that provides recipe displays. This will make your recipe looks better but most important these themes will probably use SEO Recipe metadata. Which will make your recipe easy to find with Pinterest or Google search.
Or if you are a photographer and use blog theme for your portfolio, you should look for lazy loading. With a feature like that, a page with lot’s of images will load faster and the loading speed of the site will be better. Something really important for your Google ranking.
Social Share Optimization
You can find a lot of information about social media SEO. The basic thing is to realize that social SEO is different than optimizing the content. The social SEO is part of the global marketing SEO concept. Shortly said social media SEO means making the content you want to share in different social media appropriate depends on the requirements of each media. So you can manage the images, descriptions, and titles of your social post. This is how the content shared from you and your users will live attractively in each social media.
With the free themes if there are any social SEO options they will be lite versions and will work for you if your blog is just for pleasure. But if you relay the blog to bring money, you should be more exacting.
All Creoworx’s themes include the plugin Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress. This is the best social share tool according to our team’s devs. It provides a really great bunch of options and opportunities and it is impossible to describe how useful this app can be for the social share of your content. You can preview the plugin features here.