Task: Build an Optimised Blog, based on Flowtown and Simply Zesty.
What You Get: What theme to use, and all the plugins needed.
Time: Couple of days of tweaking.
Budget: €35 for the theme
Blogging, as we all know, is important to a start-up, but as with every start-up time is precious and you want to get as much bang for your buck. Over the past year we’ve been researching how best to build your blog. In this blog post, we’re going to talk about the structure of your blog, and what’s the best WordPress theme to build a Flowtown or Simply Zesty sites.Yep we know content is still king, . But! Our thinking is if you’re going to put the time into creating good content (and it does take time) you might as well make sure the lunch box your putting it in is going into Neil Armstrong’s rocket, not Miss Daisy’s trunk. Once you get an audience you can follow your own design. Remember, not only does content take time to write, it takes time to build an audience. Here’s how Simply Zesty got to 1000k sign-ups in 3 months.
- Get 1,000 Sign-ups In 3 Months -
So from researching around, we noticed a pattern followed by popular blogs like Flowtown, Kissmetrix, UnBounce and our own SimlyZesty. They all had a similar layout, so be broke it down into blocks and then looked for a theme to jump start the blog, as John was busy working on the core our core website Bullet.
In this blog we’ll explain to you what building blocks you need to get your blog structure to that standard. We’ll give you the plug-ins, the themes and everything else so you can get your up and running quickly. The theme we use isn’t perfect, but it will get you where you want to go quick, bear in mind the whole blog took about 1 week to get working. Here is a selection of interesting blog posts here, and here.
Here is the layout of the layout of the Blog
Click to Enlarge
Here is targeted layout of the blog post
Click to Enlarge
Some Basics First
- Bullet’s blog is built on wordpress.
- It still took about a week to get it to the standard that Bullet’s blog is at, so you might need some techie help.
- Again, it wont mean people will read it, content will do that, but it increases your chances of getting found and shared.
Best WordPress Theme
- We used the ‘Edge’ theme by WP Bandits, they had the best wordpress theme as in visually the closest to the template blocks above – you can buy it here
Best Free WordPress Plugin’s
All the free wordpress plugin’s below are availible by (right click save as) all the plugins
Version 1.2.5 | By Jermaine Marée of WPBandit | Visit plugin site
Why: It makes the ‘Edge’ theme work
Version 1.1.9 | By Robert Mahfoud | Visit plugin site
Why: We use this for publishing large graphics we want to be 900px wide. Blog post default to 500px wide, but pages are 900px. This plugin lets us use publish the pages, but hide them from categories or the blog homepage. If you click on the info-graphic image about Irish tax, you’ll see the larger image sits in a blog ‘page’.
Version 5.0.0 | By ShareThis, Manu Mukerji | Visit plugin site
Why: We use this for our social sharing tabs on the bottom of our pages. It’s a little tricky to set-up, but their support unlike a lot of the plugins in very good. Having analytics on your social sharing is super important.
Social Media Tabs
EmbedIt Pro by SuperThemes
Version 1.11 | Visit plugin site
Why: This enables us to present embed html code on the page without WordPress messing it up. We use this so people can embed our infograhics. You can see it on the top of this blog page.
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