Best Photography WordPress Themes

cameraIf you are a photographer, it is very important to showcase your work to photo enthusiasts and potential customers. One of the best ways of doing this is by creating a photo blog or site. There are numerous WordPress themes in the market that can help you build your online portfolio, even if you don’t have any coding knowledge.

1. Photoblog

This awesome responsive and Ads ready WordPress theme is ideal for creating photo galleries, business portfolios and even personal blogs. You can choose from a wide range of blog layouts, post formats and page templates. In addition, Photoblog comes with a homepage builder, gallery builder, social sharing buttons, custom widgets, inbuilt pagination, threaded comments, dummy data, child theme support, cross browser compatibility and WPML support.

2. Exposure

Exposure is a retina ready and responsive WordPress theme suitable for anyone who does photography professionally or as a hobby. It comes with two inbuilt sliders which can help you showcase your photos as well as videos. Some of its major features include color pickers, varied shortcodes, inbuilt events calendar, inbuilt page layouts, Google fonts integration, mega menu, visual drag and drop page builder, unlimited sidebars, advanced SEO options and a visual contact from builder. Exposure comes with free video tutorials which make it easy for anyone to build their site.

3. Lenze

Lenze is an appropriate WordPress photography theme for any creative portfolio or photography website. It comes with three option for your homepage layout; box style, full width and full screen. This theme boasts features such as a responsive design, responsive grid items, video and audio support, multiple transition gallery sliders, gallery and portfolio filter, an advanced theme options panel and a PHP contact form.

4. Photographer

This is a jQuery, CSS3 and HTML5 powered theme well known for its distraction free and minimalist design. It comes with amazing features such as a live photowall homepage, optimal image viewing, inbuilt galleries, flexible videos and images, unlimited portfolios, video embedding, custom settings panel, Google analytics integration, theme customizer support and Google fonts. Photographer also comes with custom widgets for social sites such as Picasa, YouTube, Pinterest, Dribbble, Flickr and Instagram.

5. Superba

Superba is a media-centric WordPress theme that allows you to choose between a white or black skin colors. Its page builder comes with features such as widget areas, pricing tables, progress bar, shortcodes, photo galleries, blog, divider and counter. This theme also comes with other features such as templates, uber albums, taxonomy, WooCommerce integration, video support, multiple menu and logo layouts, live appearance customization, Ajax  portfolio filter and child theme support.

6. Sorrel

Sorrel is not only suitable for photography sites, but also for personal blogs and technology-related sites. Built on the powerful Bootstrap 3 framework, this theme offers a wide range of options for customizing your site. You can choose between different types of post formats, shortcodes, widget areas and color schemes. Sorrel comes with other features like infinite scrolling, masonry layout, Twitter widget and font awesome icons.

7. Alpha

Alpha is a one page WordPress theme that comes with a clean and modern design. One of the best things about this theme is that the default images that come with it are free to use. You can choose between three different types of layouts; video background, half screen slider and full screen slider.

Do you know of any other themes not listed here? Please share in the comments section below.

Top Wedding WordPress Themes

weddingWhether you are a wedding planner, photographer, consultant, designer or blogger, having a professional website for your business is very crucial. There are several WordPress themes that could come in handy in designing your wedding-related site.

1. Wedding Suite

Wedding Suite is a retina ready, fully responsive WordPress theme which boasts a clean and minimal design. It comes with four different templates, as well as features such as an easy to use visual composer, guestbook, RSVP form, boxed and wide layout versions, typekit font integration, RTL support, custom fonts option, one page navigation, unlimited colors and customizable headers. Users of this theme will also get free access to plugins such as Essential Grid WordPress Plugin, Visual Composer for WordPress Plugin, Parallax Layer Slider Plugin and Revolution Slider Plugin.

2. Monument

This is another great responsive, minimal and one page WordPress wedding theme. It comes with features such as a wedding countdown timer, powerful theme options, AJAX RSVP forms, inbuilt SEO settings, layered PSDs, clean code, Google web fonts, header slideshow and detailed documentation. Monument is WPML ready and compatible with all the major browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari.

3. Perfect Couple

This is the perfect WordPress theme for couples that are planning to get married. It comes with a default ‘About Us’ and ‘Our Love Story’ page where you can share the beginnings and highlights of your story. You can write a short description of your family, friends and bridal lineup in the ‘Most Important People’ page. The ‘Events and Parties’ page is ideal for sharing information about your bachelor and bachelorette parties. Perfect Couple comes with other features such as a blog, gallery, integrated Google maps, registry, background options, date countdown and customizable colors.

4. LUV

This is a beautiful one page WordPress wedding theme that can be used for weddings as well as engagement. LUV comes with features such as advanced typography, one click demo install, custom post types, WPML support, one click demo install, CSS3 animations, a drag and drop page builder, smooth scroll, custom background, favicon and logo uploading, backup option, visual composer and child theme support.

5. Ever After

Ever After comes with a drag and drop page builder which allows you to customize the appearance of your site. In addition, it comes with inbuilt events and love stories post types which allow you to tell your story in words and pictures. Other notable features of this theme include RSVP form integration, gift registry, Polaroid gallery, countdown timer, post format support, sliding side menu, Google fonts and detailed animation.

6. iLove

iLove is a WordPress wedding theme running on theme options by PlutonThemes. Its key features include special ilove font incons, Ajax php contact form, advanced blog options, Twitter feeds, scrollable gallery, voice control, full screen slider, advanced typography, 5 customer post types, powerful theme options and parallax effect.  

7. David & Mary

This simple and responsive wedding event WordPress theme allows you to choose between a dark and light version, as well as a wide range of colors. It also comes with powerful theme options, numerous short codes, third level dropdown menus, image gallery, threaded comments, logo showcase, testimonial management, 404 template and one click demo import.

Other WordPress wedding themes worth checking out include Eros, Wedding Event, Merit and Marry Me.

7 Crucial Pages for Your Music Site

Music siteA well-designed, professional website is very important for any serious musician. It gives you the opportunity of showcasing your product, interacting with fans, building a following and networking with others in the industry. Here are some of the pages which you need to incorporate in your site:

1. A shop page

This is an absolutely important page for every music website. The shop page is where your fans get an opportunity to purchase your music. You could either sell our music directly from your site or upload it on a third-party site like iTunes and link from your shop page. The advantage of selling directly from your site is that you end up making more from each sale. Besides selling music, you could also consider selling other things like tickets and merchandise.

2. A blog page

If your music career is dynamic, it would be advisable to have a blog page on your site. A blog is very useful when it comes to updating your fans about the latest development in your career and the industry in general. For instance, you could share your thoughts on trending topics, your reflections of the last gig, or updates about your upcoming album. You could also consider inviting your fans to contribute guest posts on different topics.

3. An About page

People who visit your website for the first time probably don’t know much about you. This is why it is very crucial to have an about page in your site. This is where you share your story with people and give the opportunity to know you at a deeper level. You could talk about your beginnings in music, your challenges, your highlights and your accomplishments so far. Don’t forget to provide links to other pages on your site where people can buy your music, watch your photos/videos or make bookings.

4. A contact page

As the name suggests, this is the page where you provide contact details to your fans and prospective customers. The first contact details you should have on this page are your social media profiles, especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Most of your fans will want to interact with you on those platforms. You should also have an email address or contact form for potential business partners who would want to communicate in a formal way. However, it would not be advisable to post your personal phone contacts on this page since people are likely to misuse it and waste your time.

5. A gallery page

As it has been said, a photo is worth a thousand words. Fans would want to see photos of your latest gig, your family, your recent vacation or the latest award ceremony you attended. A gallery page on your site will give you the opportunity of showcasing such pictures. If you are running a WordPress site, you will find numerous gallery plugins which you can download at no cost. Such plugins will enable you to showcase your photos in an organized manner.

Having these pages on your site will enhance your chances of success as a musician. Be sure to keep it simple and remember to constantly update your content.

Guidelines for Choosing a Blog Monetization Strategy

<> on November 26, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.Nowadays, more and more people are making money through their blogs. Here are some of the most popular ways for monetizing a blog:

  • Selling ad space – Many companies advertise their products and services on blogs in an attempt to reach the blog readers. Some of the most popular types of ads include banner ads, wallpaper ads, page peel ads, text link ads and video ads
  • AdSense – This involves displaying Google ads on your blog. Whenever someone clicks on any of these ads, you get a commission
  • Affiliate marketing – As an affiliate, you earn a commission whenever you refer customers to a merchant. You can join one of the many affiliate programs and then promote different products and services to your readers
  • Selling your own digital products – Besides being an affiliate, you could also create your own digital products for sale. This could be how-to videos, online courses and eBooks
  • Offering premium content – You could create a members-only section on your blog and charge visitors a fee to access premium content. This could be exclusive webinars, videos or resources not available anywhere else
  • Sponsored content – You can make money by publishing announcements and product/service reviews sponsored by advertisers

You can make money on your blog using one or a combination of the strategies mentioned above. Here are some of the things you need to consider when choosing a monetization method for your blog:

Income potential

The amount of money you can make should be a key consideration when selecting a monetization strategy. Are you looking for a way to generate a little extra income on the side? Or do you want to make a full-time income through your blog? If you want to make a significant income, you should consider creating and selling your own products. You could even get affiliates to help promote your products. Another way of making good money is by creating a membership website with high quality content. The more your members increase, the more you will earn. However, if you are only interested in a small part-time income, promoting affiliate products or AdSense would be appropriate.

Time commitment

Before choosing a monetization strategy, consider how much time you are able to invest in maintaining your blog. For instance, if you decide to sell ad space, you will need to invest a significant amount of time writing posts so as to attract traffic to your site. Similarly, running a membership site will require you to spend much time creating valuable content for your members. If you are not able to invest much time on your blog, you could sell affiliate products or monetize with AdSense.

Expenses involved

Consider the amount of money which you need to invest in each monetization strategy. For instance, selling your own product might involve significant expenses in creating the product. In addition, you will need to invest more money in creating an ecommerce site where customers can access the product. If you decide to create a members area, you might be required to buy plugins and software to run your site. However, using AdSense or selling affiliate products does not require much financial investment.

Check what others are doing

One of the best ways of choosing a monetization strategy is by looking at what other blogs in your niche are doing. If most of them are using AdSense, it could be an indication that this is the best method for topics in your niche. If banner ads are common in most of the blogs, it could mean that there are companies out there which are targeting your audience. However, you don’t have to copy what others are doing. Identify a monetization strategy which is relatively untapped and take advantage of it.

Conclusion

Whatever monetization method you select, it would be advisable to diversify with time. Using 2-3 strategies will ensure that you are always making money from your blog.

Why You Should Not Be Worried About Unsubscribes

Email subjectWhen it comes to online marketing, growing an email list can be a very effective strategy for building a sustainable income and traffic. Whenever you send an email to your subscribers, it is always advisable to include an unsubscribe link which allows people to opt out. Consequently, you are likely to find people leaving your list over time. However, losing subscribers should not worry you. Here are some of the reasons why you should not be worried:

1. It is natural

It is natural and unavoidable for people to unsubscribe from your list. Even the most outstanding sites out there regularly lose people from their mailing lists. People could choose to opt out for a wide range of reasons. For some, it could be because their interests have changed while for others, it could be a way of avoiding getting too many emails in their inbox. Some of the people on your list will also unsubscribe as soon as they get something which was on offer. Therefore, you need to see unsubscribes as normal and inevitable.

2. Unsubscribes are a good indicator of what people want

The information gathered as a result of unsubscribes will give you a good idea of what your audience wants. Most email service providers provide data which can show you the number of people that left your list after receiving a particular email. If you get many unsubscribes after sending an email on a specific topic, it could be an indication that your audience is not really interested in that subject. In addition, you can test how your subscribers react to the frequency of emailing.

3. People who unsubscribe are not your perfect audience

The main aim of a mailing list is to connect with people that are a good fit with the topics covered. In addition, your audience should be a good fit with the type of emails sent, whether news, informative or promotional. Therefore, when someone decides to unsubscribe, they probably were not a good fit in the first place. They might not be interested in the topic, type of emails or the frequency of sending emails. Instead of worrying about such people, you need to focus on those that are an ideal fit.

4. It enhances responsiveness

People who choose to leave your mailing list were probably not actively involved in the first place. Eliminating these kinds of subscribers can greatly enhance your email click rates and open rates. It is better to have a small list which is responsive than a large list which is passive.

5. It lowers costs

Most email service providers charge fees depending on the size of your mailing list. Having many inactive subscribers on your list will end up costing you more but will not offer much in return. When such people unsubscribe from your list, you will be able to keep the costs of your marketing campaign down.

Conclusion

When someone leaves your list, it does not mean that you will never interact with them again. They might still visit your site and engage you on social media. In future, they might even end up subscribing to your list again.