So I published my first blog post on 1st August this year (when I restarted this blog) and a few weeks have passed.
I’ve written a few blog posts and built up the courage to share them with a friends, clients and even students of mine to get feedback.
The feedback so far has been pretty positive, which I am grateful for as it’s helped to tame my fears of sharing my opinions online but at the same time it’s got me wondering why the hell I waited so long to get started.
That aside, the one question I have been getting a lot is why I haven’t used a better WordPress theme.
I think what you’re really wondering is why am I, a self taught web developer and coder, who’s built a lot of WordPress sites for myself and clients, using the default Twenty Sixteen theme that comes with WordPress to represent my brand and not an amazing looking premium theme?
Great question don’t you think? and I’m so glad you asked.
The answer is probably not what you’re expecting it to be and before I tell you let me tell you why I’m using WordPress.
WordPress, in my opinion, is the best content management system to run your blog. The magic that goes on behind the scenes is quite amazing.
In fact, once you learn a few basics, I believe anyone can successfully run a blog without having to become a web developer or seasoned coder.
A standard installation of WordPress on your own web host, usually includes a few default plugins and a couple of default themes from wordpress.org.
This is a great starting point on your journey to creating a remarkable website or blog.
One of the WordPress themes that comes with the WordPress core software is Twenty Sixteen.
I am intentionally using the default Twenty Sixteen theme on this blog for the moment.
There are 4 reasons:
- Helping people is my priority
- Time is limited
- To overcome my most immediate fear first
- What’s my brand? – I have no clue just yet
Helping People Is My Priority
My main reason for doing this blog is because I truly love helping people. So much so that I’ve even been told off by my wife on occasions when I spend more time helping others grow their online businesses than I spend on my own. Sorry honey!!!
The way I see it is, you’re here on my blog to read something that will help you. It could be a tutorial to help secure your WordPress website, a personal story to inspire you to get started blogging or learn to code, or maybe a review showing you what app I use to organise ideas.
Whatever the reason that has brought you here to spend some time on my blog, I’m pretty certain, it isn’t to check out what WordPress theme I’m using.
So if that’s not your priority, then it’s not mine either.
Time Is Limited
When starting an online blog and online business, there are a lot of decisions to make and even more things to do and the time available every day is limited?
Yes there are a lot of mission critical steps that you have to follow to get your website setup correctly and make sure it’s secure.
Activities like registering your website with Google Search Console and adding Google Analytics tracking code also need your attention now and yes, it’s always a good idea to have a backup routine setup to keep your blog protected in case of a technical issue, malicious or otherwise.
I just don’t think finding and customising a WordPress theme is mission critical right now.
There are much more important activities to accomplish before worrying about what your blog looks like.
Now, if you’re trying to start a blog while holding down a full time job, then you certainly have to prioritise what tasks are mission critical and what tasks can wait till a little further down the road.
Even if you’re, like me, working on your online blog and business full time, time is limited and you need to prioritise.
When I asked myself whether I should spend time to customise a WordPress theme right now, I realised that pushing this task a bit further down the road wasn’t going to make or break my blog.
Adding a beautiful WordPress theme and making my website more aesthetically pleasing is definitely on the “things to do” list, but for now, it wasn’t mission critical.
To Overcome My Most Immediate Fear First
Starting something new always exposes hidden fears. We are so good at slowly directing our lives into routines where we never have to face our fears or go outside our comfort zones, but starting a new project doesn’t afford us that luxury.
I have tried to blog before and quit, read my first blog post to learn more about that.
I knew this time that I had some fears I needed to overcome.
For me the fear wasn’t building a WordPress site or customising a theme or coding or anything technical. For me the fear was writing, sharing my opinions and knowledge and accepting that my knowledge was good enough to serve you.
And I knew, if I spent time focusing on making my blog look great and customise a premium WordPress theme, then all I would really be doing is delay the inevitable, which was facing my fears and start writing and publishing content on my blog and perhaps even find a way to avoid the fear and quit.
And I’m not prepared to quit this time!
My most immediate fear was writing and sharing my opinion. I’m not a professional writer, just above average if you ask me, but the truth is I love helping people.
And I figured, if I can help people when I meet them in person or via skype video calls, then I really needed to overcome this fear of writing and start publishing the tips I would share with people in a real life setting.
To me, if this blog is to be a success, I’m need to push myself out of my comfort zone and overcome my immediate fear of writing online, and to do that, I need to simply write more and more often.
And that’s exactly what I intend to do with my 30 days 30 blog post challenge.
What’s your biggest fear when it comes to starting your own online business. Tackle the most immediate fear first and then move on to the next one, and trust me everything else can wait.
What’s My Brand? – I have no clue just yet
The last reason why I’m using the default WordPress theme is because I haven’t spent time to work out what I want my branding to be. I’ve not even spent time to think about the logo.
As I write this, I have no idea what colour scheme my website will have, what my logo will look like, what fonts I’m going to use or anything related to my brand.
I’m telling you this to show you that it’s ok to start without be fully ready or prepared.
If your goal with your blog is to inspire, to teach, to help and even to make money, then you really must just start sharing your thoughts and knowledge. That’s what people want, your guidance and real life experience.
And anyway, what’s the worst that’s going to happen?
Are you really worried about someone coming to your blog, seeing you haven’t spent time customising your brand and then leave never to return.
Well, how would you even know they visited?
That’s right, you probably wouldn’t even know, yet you’re letting that fear of rejection stop you from moving forward.
So summing things up.
I’m currently using Twenty Sixteen WordPress default theme until it’s time to upgrade my theme (timeline yet to be decided).
The reasons are because I want to spend my time writing more content that can actually help you (my readers), time is limited and helping you is my priority, writing content is my immediate fear and I’d rather get over that fear first to help serve you better in the medium to long term and finally because I have not figured out what I want my brand to be yet.
My goal with my blog is to be as real and authentic as I can. It’s damn scary but at the same time so easy because I’m just writing here like I would if you and I were sitting across from each other at a coffee shop.
Wherever you are at right now with your online business idea or blog, I give you permission to decide what is important to you and focus on that.
Everyone has their opinion about how things must be done, but let’s face it, this is your journey, so you make the decisions.
If you want to customise a premium theme on your blog first, then do that, if you want to write more content to get into the habit of writing like I am doing, then do that.
Choose one thing that you know is holding you back and stop everything else for a few days and just take action to overcome that one fear.
Trust me, when you put all your focus and energy to tackle that one fear, it wont seem so big anymore and most times you’ll realise the fear was all in your head.
And for those designers amongst us who still want me to improve my blogs design, I promise I will and I’ll share how I made my decisions and how I customised my website, code and all 🙂