Wanted: Free WordPress Themes

I Need a New WordPress Theme! (I think)

I liked the (free) theme of this blog, so much so it’s dominated the background since I created the site (and that’s been awhile).

However, I keep getting assailed with bigger and better–that’s what led to publishing my grandfather’s 2nd (and more) novels in the first place; created this WordPress blog, opened (or resurrected) accounts for Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Etsy, Facebook and Pinterest. Is all this really necessary?

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Yes, these were all clickable–but WordPress doesn’t do html?

I’m still mainly clueless regarding the purpose of half of the above and as I’ve alluded to previously, really don’t know what I’m doing. So it goes that there is a constant need for more knowledge, ever more studies into making the present, better. Yes, I’m one of those that must learn from my mistakes!

Behind the desire to make something more desirable, more topical, create a larger readership, open more channels, craft a better product, I’ve been looking into converting this WordPress blog into a “self-hosted” website. Having read what I could, I’m still not sure of the benefit other than to infuse the coffers of others with my hard-earned Social Security money–all those years contributing my portion of those pitiful paychecks into that which is now being called the “entitlement.” (Guess I missed the benefits–don’t get me started).

Do you have a compelling reason for converting from a regular WordPress blog into a self-hosted website? (Maybe getting it to accept an html graphic?) I’d love to hear it! Since this is not “big business,” I’m thinking maybe I should just do more with the blog I have:

    1. Keep up the writing commitment
    2. Offer a wider content
    3. Continue with reviews (I do still love reading for fun)
    4. Change that old theme

New WordPress Theme

WHOA! I know what you are thinking! (I almost snuck that one in!)  “But it has served so well!” Or perhaps, “It was obvious at a glance the blog’s subject.” Okay, the last, arguably so.

Therefore, in keeping with the aforementioned warning [she] “doesn’t know what she’s doing,” I’ll only say this–I’ve been surveying some new theme ideas. Uh Oh.

Building the Platform

The Day 27 prompt is: What are the three most important things you are doing to grow your platform?

Having started this process with NaNoWriMo in 2011, I’ve been through the gamut of ideas, following rules and advice, and letting the creative juices flow until they became a trickle.

Several initial ideas were dumped: Garbage

1) Forget salt-water taffy at book signings. The kids grabbed a handful and the adults weren’t into taffy.

2) Started with inventories of flyers, bookmarks, postcards, and business cards. It was a toss up how many were found floating around the store, left quietly on a display shelf, or at the check-out. I’ll finish out the current stores, then redesign the business cards.

3) Laminated posters–found difficult to display without investing further in an easel (and I found irritating those authors who had as they captured the eye and blocked the traffic).

What were the three suggestions acted upon and still being implemented? Branding

1) Reading about the idea of “branding”, I went back to my book covers and changed the author’s name font so they were all consistent.

2) I’d established a blog and paid for custom domain. I’d created several very simple websites (including one for my Women On Wheels® chapter and this would presumably involve a shopping cart).

  1. A) Decided instead to create an Etsy and Pinterest account.
  2. B) Opened a separate Facebook account for Stanley McShane with a Rosepoint Publishing page and a Stanley McShane page on my personal FB account.
  3. C) Opened a Goodreads account in the name of Stanley McShane.

Would a database or email marketing list be effective? Possibly, but difficult  for me to consider or implement. I haven’t wanted to muddle a book sale with further requests assuming my ever-growing twitter followers and blog subscribers have first shown the interest and made the contact.

Other than the above, the current push for promotion and marketing strategy will have to solidify the platform, one which is hoped sufficient to provide a solid base for the current launch: “Sole Survivor-A Fiction Adventure Anthology” (released Monday).

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