There's no question about it. Blogging can be great for your freelance writing business. Your blog can attract clients. You can use it to create a "living" portfolio of your writing. Your blog can highlight your niche expertise. And blogging can connect you to colleagues and prospects you want in your professional network. It can also bring in direct income and be a lot of fun.
One of the earliest things you'll do when you launch a new blog is choose its design, or theme. Generally I recommend WordPress as a blog platform for writers (and anyone else really), so today I want to share a few resources with you -- places where you can find great WordPress themes.
The WordPress Themes Directory
This is the theme directory hosted by WordPress itself, and all of the options here are free. It can be a great place to start for your first blog or if you just want to play with a few themes to get the hang of customizing them.
ElegantThemes.com is a WordPress theme club. That means you pay a yearly fee and then you can access all of the themes they've released in the past, and all of the themes they release while you're a member. It also gives you access to their support forums.
This is my personal favorite theme club and I've used their themes on several of my smaller blogs. For just $39, it's tough to go wrong here. But just in case you're concerned, you can preview every theme available before you actually sign up.
Theme Forest is a great place to go if you want to purchase one-off premium WordPress themes. Prices are more than reasonable -- generally in the $30-40 range. And the themes often have a lot of features available that free themes do not.
That said, you have to contend with the fact that they're all from different designers, so there is no consistent quality. And I've found that while some themes are gorgeous on the surface, they aren't all well-coded and some are quite bloated in an attempt to offer a lot of built-in options.
So if you're brand new to WordPress, I'd suggest sticking to more straightforward options at first unless you find a theme that you won't want to customize much. In general though, this is my first stop when I'm looking for a new base theme to customize for a project.
If you've been blogging on WordPress for a while, have you used these resources? Do you have other favorite places to find WordPress themes? If so, share them (or your experiences with these sites) in the comments below.
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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