Over the summer I decided to move our blog from its former location to this new site hosted by WordPress. I learned a lot about switching platforms, so if you’re thinking of moving your own blog to a new platform, or if you’re just starting a new blog, here are some things you should make sure to do:
Spend at least two months choosing a theme
There are so many great free themes available through your web platform, so make sure to go through them all to figure out which one is right for you, your audience, and your message. Instead of writing new posts, procrastinate by switching your theme! Again! In addition to taking your sweet, sweet time finalizing your decision, make sure to switch themes at least three times a week. This will confuse any new readers you have, and it will confuse you, too. This brings me to my second tip.
Of course you’ll confuse yourself and your readers by changing your theme as often as you shave your legs (over the summer, that’s every other day if you’re me [and you’re welcome for that piece of information]). But there are other ways to confuse yourself, too. You can set up a bunch of new pages for your new blog and then forget to publish them and freak out when you can’t find them on your preview screen. You can read a bunch of other blog advice articles and try to follow all of them, even if they’re contradictory. You can add and delete design elements so frequently that your blog looks like a font ogre barfed on your page. Do it all!
Be as indecisive as possible
When you move platforms, you have the potential to redefine yourself and gain readers. But who will the new “you” be? Should you merge your personal blog with some of your professional work to streamline your online presence? Sure! But, maybe not. Should you focus your blog posts on a specific niche, like television (because you watch too much) or books (because you read too many)? This focused posting could help you build a readership. Yes, that’s a great idea! But, wait: maybe focusing on the folksy-nerdy stuff you’ve always written about would be the best move. You don’t want to alienate anyone, right? And everyone loves to read your ramblings about your dog, right? You’d better just sleep on it and decide in the morning. What you can decide on now, though, is that it’s time to change your theme design!
I hope these tips help you as much as they helped me. And when in doubt, just stare at your blog for a while before abandoning it for six weeks in favor of watching television and eating caramel apples. Good luck!