Why Type of Blog Do I Need?

There is no such thing as the perfect car. Some people prefer smaller vehicles that are more fuel efficient and easier to maneuver. Other people need something that is capable of going off-road. Others still need the extra cargo space that a pickup truck or SUV is able to provide. At the end of the day, everyone’s needs are different and that’s why there are so many different types of cars. You just need to find the one that best suits your preferences and needs.

The exact same philosophy easily applies to the world of blogging as well. When it comes to themes for blogs, once again, there is no such thing as the one size fits all model. Some people desire certain features while other people desire a completely different set of features. As such, it’s important to think about what you want to get out of a WordPress theme and how you can go about getting the right theme for your blog.

Just as there are individual differences in car models, there are individual differences for blog themes too. At the same time, themes can generally be classified into a number of different categories, just like cars. Do you need the subcompact, the convertible, the luxury sedan or the cargo van of WordPress themes?

The Personal Blog

If you are thinking about starting a personal blog to explore your personal interests, there are certainly a large number of blog themes to consider. In general, personal blogs should aim to be as uncluttered as possible, allowing the content to speak for itself while still providing enough of a personal touch to differentiate the blog from the rest of the crowd.

In general, personal blogs take on the now-conventional reverse chronological configuration. This means that the most recent blog entry is shown at the top of the page, with older posts being displayed underneath. It is up to you whether you want the main page to show entire posts (as is the case with Beyond the Rhetoric) or if you want the main page to show only excerpts of the posts (as is the case with Blogging Tips). There are pros and cons to either approach and it can largely depend on the length and frequency of your posts.

Most personal blogs have one or two sidebars where additional information, like category listings and social media links, can be displayed. The header area usually contains a branded image or logo, clearly showing the name of the blog. A tagline can also be shown in that area.

News and Magazine Styles

Is your blog going to be reporting on a particular industry or niche in some way? Instead of the standard “reverse chronological” layout that you find on many blogs, it may be more appropriate to take on a magazine style WordPress theme instead.

Instead of showing your blog posts in a linear fashion, these blog themes make your site look more like an online magazine. You may have post thumbnail images, for example, that are arranged in a grid-like pattern. Frequent posts may be shown as being part of different categories with feature articles highlighted at the top of the page. Good examples of this include BranfordMagazine theme and the custom theme found at Mobile Magazine.

Focused on Video Blogging

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So, what happens when you offer a high-definition video running at 30 frames (pictures) per second? There’s a reason why so many people online are starting to shift their focus toward video blogging (or “vlogging” if you prefer). It creates a more personal and media-rich connection with your readers (or viewers, as the case may be).

When it comes to blogs that are focused on videos, it is important to have strong integration with your video streaming service (like YouTube), as well as enough “width” in the content area to show the video in a fairly large resolution. You could be as simple as Dot Com Pho, but for the greatest opportunity for success, you may need to step up to another level.

A fantastic example is iJustine. In addition to the videos she has within her blog posts, she also highlights videos in thumbnail form in her sidebar. She also does a good job of linking back to her blog from her YouTube channel. This is critical for the success of any video blog. Another much more advanced and media rich site to check out is GameTrailers.com. It is very video focused.

The Right Blog Theme for You

Just because you really like the theme you find on one particular site does not mean that it is necessarily appropriate for your own blog. Consider what would provide the best user experience, what would highlight your type of content in the best way, and what would give you the greatest chance at success with your blog, however you choose to define it.

This blog post is part of the BloggingTips.com Complete Guide to Blogging. Be sure to visit our Blogging Guide for the full break down of all chapters and posts in this series.

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