Well, I certainly didn’t expect that setting up a new WordPress blog theme would take over my life, but it has. It started so innocently. I began browsing through my then free WordPress themes, searching for one that would give me a more professional online look as a published author. There were many to choose from, but none grabbed me. None said, “Hey, Lily, this look will enhance your author’s ‘brand.’”
What the hell, I’m not even sure what an author’s brand is, though I recall helping my stepdad brand calves and sheep when I was a youngster living on our Canadian farm. From that experience, I know that branding animals leaves a permanent ownership mark burned into their hides. A painful process.
And so is revamping a blog. At least it was for me. An amateur in the computer tech world, I had to research endlessly, and I still am.
When I didn’t find a WordPress theme I liked in its free offerings, I began looking elsewhere after googling “Wordpress themes for authors.” And that’s when I fell in love. Through “Meanthemes,” I found “Literary,” one made expressly for writers. I loved everything about it—the special books’ page, the carousels where book covers and titles can be shown, the revolving blog post conveyor: it was “ME”! Even the colors used in the demo theme .
So I bought it. That’s when reality hit me. Free WordPress does not support this theme. If I wanted to use it, I would need to upgrade to a business plan for $300.
I began rationalizing. The business plan was tax deductible and would allow me to do many more things on my blog than I’d been able to do in the past, most of which I’m in the process of discovering. I get improved SEO coverage (do you understand what SEO is? I don’t!), as well as plugins I’ve never heard of before: Google Analytics, Page Builder, Akismet Anti-spam, Jetpack, and so much more.
I felt a little like Alice in Wonderland, lost amidst this plethora of sources I knew nothing about. But I also had gained a helper: WordPress Happiness Engineers are available to me now and try to answer my numerous questions. Many of them have made me exceedingly happy until I run into my next problem.
But some couldn’t answer questions that dealt directly with my new theme. For that, I had to consult its author, who had done a poor job of documenting “Literary” for new users. It took weeks before this person got back to me and many more before s/he finally answered my questions.
Now I’ve finally made the transition. Sort of. I still need to better incorporate the landing page with my blog. A Bangladeshi technician created it through Fiverr (more on this next time), but at least it’s workable.
As for my author’s brand. I’m still not sure what it is, but I do know that making these extensive changes has branded me. It’s been a lengthy (two-month) process that prevented me from doing much writing during that time. But at least I now have a literary theme. I guess.