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What the heck is a theme???
This was a HUGE question that I scoured the internet to answer when I was developing my blog. A theme is basically your blog layout, which I have outlined in my Start a Blog post, here. Your theme determines where your navigation menu is located, the color scheme that your site pages have, and makes your blog really look professional. If you want to monetize your blog, having a theme that looks neat and professional is key to looking like you’re taking your blog seriously. You should be taking your blog seriously from the moment you start planning it, like it’s your job. Someday it could be.
You COULD just purchase a theme, they range in price usually beginning at around $20. However, I really really recommend the Genesis Framework by Studiopress. Using Genesis is like owning a car– Genesis contains the engine and whatever makes the car operate smoothly and efficiently. The theme would be the paint job, what gives your blog or website the “wow factor”. Having Genesis is great because you can edit your theme without messing with the CSS, which is wonderful for someone who isn’t great at coding, like me. Genesis makes editing and adding new content to my blog SO easy! It’s totally worth the money–trust me.
If you’d like to know more about the Genesis Framework and how it can make your blogging experience easier and more enjoyable, you should check out A Beginner’s Guide to the Genesis Framework, by Studiopress.
Besides Genesis, Studiopress makes some really great themes. I especially like Brunch Pro and Foodie Pro, for their visual qualities. They would be great for anyone who wants to or plans on sharing a lot of visual material.
Not all themes work with the Genesis Framework, so keep that in mind when choosing a theme. The themes over at Pretty Darn Cute Design work with Genesis and they are affordable, super responsive, and professional looking. I personally like the Fun theme, which is also e-commerce ready for those who would like to have an online store. Happy is neat, clean, and whimsical, which is great for a personal or professional blog. Pretty is another e-commerce ready theme that is elegant and feminine. You can see their layouts below, but they all come with customization options such as color palette and placement of navigation menus, etc.
After you select and activate a theme, you are pretty much ready to add content to your new web site or blog. Make sure you send me your blog or web site’s URL so that I can check out what you’ve created. You can e-mail it to me at email@example.com. Happy blogging!