Your Kindle publishing career is taking off — yippee! — and you’ve been encouraged to blog. Blogging’s an essential marketing tool for publishers, whether tiny or huge. But it all seems so complicated. How do you even get started?
WordPress blogging’s much less complicated then it used to be. As long as you’ve registered your own domain, most hosting companies offer “one-click” installs of WordPress. You can set up a blog within a minute or two, just by creating a new directory, deciding what you want to call your blog, and entering your chosen user name and password.
Hey presto: you’re now the proud owner of a WordPress blog… But what’s next?
Next, you can either start blogging immediately, or you can install a theme suitable for authors and book marketers, and some plugins. WordPress plugins are magic. They can turn a blog into anything you want it to be.
MUST You Use WordPress?
A couple of authors told me that they felt they “must” use WordPress. That’s nonsense. You can use anything that makes sense to you. I’ve tried just about every popular blogging service, and there’s none that’s inherently better than another. It all depends on what you want to do.
WordPress is powerful, it’s easily modified with themes and plugins, and it’s fun to use, because it’s so customizable. However, it’s not essential. I’ve got blogs on Typepad, Blogger, and Tumblr — and I’m sure on other services too that I can’t recall. I try everything, because I enjoy it, and because I blog for several clients. Each and every platform has its benefits and its challenges.
WordPress Themes for Authors
I’ve been blogging since 1999, so I’m not a huge fan of messing around with themes. Here’s why: WordPress is constantly updated. Sometimes these updates are essential security updates, so you can’t avoid them. Updates tend to break themes.
After coming close to tearing my hair out many times, and spending way too much money on themes, I favor the themes created by the WordPress team. Since I made my “stick to default themes” decision, I’ve had a much less technically-challenged time blogging.
Twentyfourteen is the current default theme; I’ve been meaning to install it on a test blog, but haven’t got around to it yet. It’s a gorgeous magazine-style theme.
WordPress Plugins for Authors
As with themes, so with plugins. The choice is endless. Plugins help you to turn WordPress into almost anything.
Here are several plugins for authors.
Author Wordcount Plugin
Author Wordcount shares your daily word count, and your word count goal.
I’ve heard many authors endorse MyBooktable, so it’s worth seeing if the plugin meets your needs. Basically, it’s an online storefront, which links directly to Amazon and other ebook retailers.
Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin
You may not want to develop a career as a book blogger. However, reviewing other authors’ books does help you to win friends and influence people, so the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin may appeal to you.
Disclosure: I’m Not Specifically Recommending Any of These Themes or Plugins
I haven’t used any of the items, so I can’t recommend them based on experience. However, I’ve heard good things about these products, so give them a try if they appeal to you.
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