Tag Archives: Themes

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 About.me Widget, so go ahead and log into your About.me 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 WordPress.com 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?

Yep-Appearance.

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 About.me 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 About.me 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 About.me 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 About.me 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 About.me Widget has appeared with a lot of information in it.

  • The ‘Your about.me 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 About.me 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 About.me 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 About.me 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

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

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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 About.me 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

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

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