Blogging has become a major part of my writing process. Each Monday, I publish a new blog post that is related in some way to reading and writing. Today’s is no exception, but it’s about the process of creating a new blog.
Since 2009, I have taken advantage of WordPress.com’s free blog templates and platform. Until recently, I felt satisfied with the one I had been using from the beginning. I also appreciated not paying a monthly/yearly fee for using it. A newbie to creating a blog, I needed something simple so I could teach myself how to set up a blog, and WordPress offers online guidelines for how to do so. Over the years, I became somewhat adept at publishing my posts and keeping my pages updated.
But now that I have a fourth book (a novel, Freefall: A Divine Comedy) coming out on August 1, 2018, I want a more professional looking site.
When I couldn’t find a free template on WordPress that would give me the kind of author platform I need, I searched for literary blog templates. That took me outside of the free WordPress world and into a whole new range of options where I fell in love with what is now my new theme. And, yes, the theme’s name is “Literary.” It was designed with writers in mind, and I love the way it displays published books on its pages. Do take a look!
Unfortunately, I not only had to pay for this template, but I also had to upgrade my WordPress.com account to the business plan. Otherwise, I couldn’t have used this more advanced theme. Since the business plan offers continuing support from “happiness engineers” (and they really do bring happiness to novices like myself who are fumbling around in this world of codes and obscure language), as well as access to excellent plugins such as Yoast SEO, Google Analytics, Page Builder, and so much more, including ways to sell your books directly on your site, it’s well worth the expense. And it’s a tax write-off.
So while my approach ended up costing me more than I had anticipated ($300 per year for the business plan plus around $60 for the new theme), I not only have my own easily remembered domain name now (lilyionamackenzie.com), but I also have a site I can constantly improve as I grow more familiar with all of its possibilities, including sliding images, videos, and other tantalizing prospects.
I would love to hear from other bloggers about their experiences in setting up a blog and your response to my new format!