Author Presence: Setting your #Blog Header Photo

Author Presence: Installing your Header Photo on Your Blog

The last time here you installed your Blog Theme and your About,me Widget. Now we are going to do that thing people think is so cool. We are going to install the Header Photo.

What you need to know:

Size: Header 990 width x 180 height pixels

File Type: jpg or png (yes jpeg and jpg are the same)

If your image is larger than this you will end up cropping it, which means cutting down to the appropriate size. In some Themes you can move the crop area around to get what you want, in some you can’t move it. Also in some the suggested size does not have to be followed but I don’t recommend that your Header Photo be so large it takes up your entire landing page screen.

What should your Header Photo be?

Some choose to include their image with a quote from some famous author. Or perhaps just the quote. If you have books already, you can include them. Some people simply put a nice image of something they like, or something that they feel represents them or captures their personality. As with everything else remember the word, professional. This does not mean professional quality necessarily, but professional in nature and content.

For my example blog I am going to use a peaceful image for now.

We are once more headed to the ‘Dashboard’ of our Blog.

Once in the Dashboard, since we are changing some type of appearance of the theme/blog, we are going to to go:


Then Customize

You will not be taken to a very, shall I say ‘funky’ looking page that is nothing like what we have see so far. On the page you see the landing page of your Blog as it appears now. At the bottom you can click the three different little screen options to see how your blog looks in the different types of devices it will be viewed on.

To the right you will find the areas to be used today:

  • Custom Design-This usually requires a premium, meaning paid upgraded packages.
  • Colors
  • Header
  • Front
  • Widgets
  • Site Title

The first thing to do is go to Header. I think that is a bit obvious since we are dealing with the Header Photo. I say this to simply show you the obviousness of what we are doing and how easy it is to actually figure things out on your own if you wish.  One piece of advice. Take note of what Theme you are using, by this I mean write it down. You will be tempted to try other Themes for fun and end up deciding you liked your first Theme and will ultimately have no idea what that Theme is after looking at 20 or so different ones. (Yes, I have been there and done that.)

For Coraline after I clicked on Header I have some built in images I may use. Instead I will click Add new image.

In the middle of your screen you will see Select Files. Click it.

I loaded a photo my son helped me take. I was lying on the ground and he blew bubbles above me. Thus my Header Photo is of one of those bubbles.

Bubbles 1 - Copy


You now see what your page looks like in the ‘funky page’ window.

If you don’t like it, just try again.

The image is going to be very short in height. For example if you look at the image of the bubbles the only bubble i was able to include was the large one in the middle. That’s fine with me, but just keep that in mind when you are coming up with your images. yes you can, with Coraline, expand the height but it will take away from your landing page visibility. I like to have at least my first post heading and some content showing.

If you are, and once you are happy let’s go ahead and look at the Front option here while we are in the Customize ‘funky page’.

You can either have a Static, meaning the same thing every time someone visits page, or a Your latest posts landing page. This really is up to you. I use the ‘Your latest posts option’. But some of you might wish to have the Static page be for advertising your latest book with their then been being able to click the Blog button on the Menu around your Header Photo . . . the normal location.

I don’t do anything with the Widgets here. And we will discuss them another day.

Site Title includes what your Site is called, regardless of your URL address. And it also include your Tagline. Remember the Tagline can be what you are the author of or just some one line thing like your motto. For now I am leaving mine blank.

You will also see a box to check or uncheck. Display Header Text. On my Ronovan Writes site since my Header Photo includes Ronovan Writes I don’t display the text. But for this blog I will keep it for now.

Now click Save at the bottom right. Then click the X in the bottom right.

You should now be back at your Dashboard. To see how everything looks in full screen, click your Site Title in the Top Left corner.

The next time we will connect our blog to the account. And possibly connect it to Twitter as well.

You may be wondering when will it be time to post something, write a blog post/article. I am of the mind to have the connections to everything set first and then I can devote my time to writing. Sure there will be times you will connect other Social Media to your site along the way, but we’re going to make this right from the beginning.

Here are dimensions to keep in mind for the Coraline images.

  • Header 990 x 180 px
  • Content area 500 px wide (Depends on if you have two sidebars. Otherwise you will need to adjust. If too wide your sidebars will then be shifted down below or disappear all together.)
  • Footers 220 px wide
  • Feature widget 450 px wide
  • Primary widget area 220 px wide
  • Secondary widget area 180 px wide

Much Respect


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Author Presence: Putting your Blog Theme in Place.

Author Presence: Putting your Theme in Place.

Last time we met it was choosing your Theme for your blog. Let’s say you looked at the links I gave you and you picked one out. I’m going with the Coraline Theme for my example Blog. One of the things we might do today is install the Widget, so go ahead and log into your account in another Tab or Window. This isn’t a must today but I am going to cover it.

You are going to actually pick your blog and activate it on your blog today and chose the layout. All very simple.

  • Log into your Blog.
  • Click My Sites
  • Click The Gear on the top right of the image of your blog
  • Click Go to Admin Dashboard

Now you will see a long list of words on the left side. If you take a moment you will be able to do some common sense figuring out of things. For now, since we are going to actually pick out your Theme and apply it to your blog, we are going to change the Appearance of your Blog.

So guess which of those words we are going to click on?


Technically you don’t have to click on it, but instead just place the cursor over it and it will show your options, but either way works.

Click Themes

Now you are going to want to Search for your Theme.

On the Right side click Free. Now there is normally a Search field here, if not, you can do the search function on your computer, or simply scroll down until you find your Theme. I am going to choose Coraline.

Once I find it, I will place my cursor over it and click Activate.

I click the x at this point because I don’t want to Customize, which means things like Add a Header Photo.

Right now I want to choose the layout. Each Theme has at least one layout. If it has more than one option, then you will see under Appearance something called Theme Options.

For Coraline click Theme Options.

I’m not worried about that Color Scheme yet that is at the top of the screen. What I want is to take a look at the Default Layout. I can’t tell you which one to go with for certain here as you will want to pick your own flavor.

  • But I am going to choose the one that says Sidebar-Content. That means my Sidebar will be on the left and my Content, that is my posts/articles will be on the right.
  • Then I click Save Options.

Now you want to see what it looks like, right?

Look at the top left of your screen and you will see the name of your Blog. Mine says Ronovan Author. Click it. Now if you are in Coraline you will see some things already in your Sidebar. Don’t worry, you will be putting your own things in there but what’s in there at the moment is just fine.

Now you have a choice to make. You can do one of about four things right now:

  • Put a Header Photo in
  • Put your Widget in
  • Write a post
  • Or really if you have had enough for the day, just stop. This post will be here tomorrow as well as the next day.

I think most people go straight for that Header Photo. Yes, that image is important, but I say let’s go with the Widget. After all that time we worked on them, and even put possibly two images in there already, let’s put them to use. You are your image. Period.

Again we are back at the Dashboard and under the Appearance toward the bottom, right where we just left from. In fact you could click the back arrow on your browser to get there.

Once there you want to click on Widget that appears after you click on Appearance or hover over it with your cursor.

The Widget is the easiest to find. Why? Because they are alphabetical. Yes, it’s the first one you come to. In the Coraline Theme on the right side I have Seven Widget Areas. I am only concerned with the Primary Widget Area right now.

  • Click on the Widget.
  • Primary Widget Area is already selected so all you have to do is click Add Widget.

Under your Primary Widget Area on the Right your Widget has appeared with a lot of information in it.

  • The ‘Your URL’ is what you are looking at right now. Notice most of it is already filled out.
  • I know mine is Ronovan. So I just need to type that in. So log in to your account and see what name shows up. Really it might say Home, but click on your name in the top right and edit and the name should appear in the URL.
  • Put that name in and click Save. Now let’s go see what it looks like.

Now all of that stuff that was there before is gone. Your image is there along with your bio and your Social Media Apps Buttons. Think about all you’ve done with this one Widget.

Not all of that information has to be shown. Back in that Widget area you can always go in and uncheck the boxes you don’t want to appear. If you keep your Bio up on your Widget then you might not need the About page at the top of your Header Photo. The About page is one of the most popular spots on my personal Blog. Why do I not show my Bio from my account? Because it takes up a lot of Sidebar space I use for other things. But if you are a minimalist in that regards do what you like. I am just going to show you what is possible.

Well that’s all for today.

See y’all next time.


Much Respect





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Author Presence: Choosing a Theme for your Author Blog

Author Presence: Choosing a Theme for your Author Blog

The last article talked about Creating a Blog as in just getting your name set, and your Twitter Bio. The Creating a Blog part is pretty important as today we begin to look at Themes for our Blog. Yes, I said OUR blog. I am creating one right along with you.

“What is a Theme and why is it important that I pick any certain Theme?”

The Theme is the layout of your blog and the options you have. You can look at LitWorldInterviews and then  compare it to RonovanWrites.

You will notice first that LWI does not have a Header Photo but RW does, the typewriter. Also LWI has a slider image option where you see the most recently interviewed Authors scroll by like a slide show. RW does not have this feature. The RW Theme is the Coraline Theme. This a good option for an Author.

The Coraline Theme gives you the option for different side bar layouts. It also has footer areas for Widgets, and you can even make the background to your text area transparent so if you have some image in the background you can have the words appear on top of it. Not really my preference but it is an option if you were doing some special event. So you have a lot of flexibility with this them. Click Here to see the details of the Theme and if you scroll to the bottom you can see other blogs that use it.

The Twenty Fourteen Theme is used by one of our resident Authors, PS Bartlett. Click Here to see it in action. I’ve played around with the Theme but not to the success that this site has going for it. Okay, so I haven’t played with it THAT much. I don’t know if there has been any premium upgrades made. It’s a nice layout and looks good. This looks like a professional site.  She has made her landing page, her first page you go to on the site be about her. That’s fine. Many site owners do that. It’s all a matter of preference. Click Here to see the details of the Theme and scroll down for other blogs that use it.

The Mystique Theme is one I used for the longest time on RonovanWrites until I just wanted a change. I set it up on my RonovanRants site, a site that I haven’t really done anything with as of yet. You will notice that the header does not have a photo, you can have one or not. There are different layouts for the sidebar . I put it here as the right and put some widgets in the footer areas. A friend is looking at changing up their Author site and this was an example I gave them. They wanted something that did not appear cluttered. I advised for the widget to be in the sidebar, possibly along with the Mystique Tabbed Widget which is at the bottom in a footer on the right. This makes for a clean look, with a slightly different background feel to it. If you have a book cover or a series of books this might be very nice. Basically Mystique is another versatile theme. Click Here to check out the details and other sites using it.

These are just three Themes you can choose from. This is the beginning of your journey. Some like to say they want a simple, clean and minimalist Theme. Okay, I get that. But you know what? Why not have a Theme that can be simple but can also give you flexibility in the future? Why do I say that? If you change from one Theme to another Theme you will often have to rebuild all of your Widget areas and do some other customizing. What I have done is found a Theme for my own personal use that I can change around any time I want, it will look different, and I don’t have to fix things all the time. And yes, sometimes variety and change is good when you’ve had a site for a while and you want to wake up your fans. Just make it easy for you to do it.

That’s why I go with the Coraline Theme. For the purpose of this exercise that is the Theme I will use. You don’t have to do that. You can choose what you like and apply what we do moving forward to it.

For the next time you will want to have an image for your Header Photo ready. That would be like the typewriter on my RonovanWrites site. One thing I did was make it so I did not need a Header Text Line by putting the name of my Blog on the Header Photo itself. The dimensions you need are 990×180 pixels.


Much Respect







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