Diary of a New Blogger: Upgrades

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*** These posts are  a a little more journal/stream of consciousness oriented, giving you a candid look into the ups and downs of being a new blogger.  I hope that these posts will be helpful to you on your blogging  journey.  Shanna ***


Stairs Steps Paris MonmarteFrustrated with my blog’s lack of growth, I have already switched from the free theme that I started with to a professionally designed theme that I forked over money for.

It was a very hard choice to make.  I loved my theme.  It was clean and beautiful, filled with photos and character.  It seemed from the outside like a great match for my blog…

…Except for the utter lack of support.  And the fact that Google Analytics was telling me that I had a 68% bounce rate (for anyone not attuned the meaning of this particular piece of blogging lingo, the bounce rate measures how many people come to your site and leave from the same page that they came to).

The 68% bounce rate was without a doubt coming from the fact that at time, I would go to my blog and wait….and wait…sometimes as much as 15 seconds for it to load.

After careful deliberation and research, I decided to go with the Swift Theme.  While not quite as graphic heavy and visually appealing as my old theme, the pages load so much quicker.  I can tell already that Google likes it better, and I am anxiously watching Google Analytics to see if the switch makes a difference in my traffic levels (Swift theme is much more SEO optimized than what I was using before).

No major switch like this is without its problems, but the ones that I have had have been relatively minor and quickly dealt with by the excellent tech support from the designer that comes with the paid version of Swift.  Overall, I am very pleased.

Some things that I really like about Swift Theme:

  • It is very easy to customize the color scheme.
  • There are many options available for customizing the layout.
  • The designer is consistently coming out with upgrades and improvements, and the tech support has always been consistent and easy to use.
  • It is fast.  Swift theme is significantly faster than the other theme that I had.

A glutton for punishment-am-I.  I love blogging (despite the fact that it is sucking up free time that I don’t really have).  I already have ideas in rattling in my head for a couple of other blogs that I would like to start…it seems like travel isn’t my only addiction now.

Astronomical Clock, Old Town Square, Prague
Our tour guide gave us an interesting perspective on this famous clock in Prague’s Old Town Square.

My biggest challenge at this point is time management.  Even when I do have time to get blogging tasks done, I feel like perilously little actually comes of that time (and the problem is that sometimes, it is the wrong things.  For instance, spending an hour fumbling with getting a widget to work rather than writing posts and other similarly important things).

Now that the theme switch is just about completed, I am looking forward to getting back to the normal tasks of blogging (writing, connecting, etc.) and to trying to find an efficient time management routine.


Are you a blogger that made a switch from a free theme to a paid one?  Was it a good investment?

What tips do you have for handling time management challenges and making the most of your blogging time?

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