As indie authors, many of us have created, or have thought about creating, a platform for sharing our works. It may be as simple as a webpage that shares all of your publications and your contact information. Having your own website, however, has been pivotal for many indie authors. While WordPress makes creating your blog far simpler than, say, ten years ago, there are still a lot of questions about the process that I hear from fellow authors. Hopefully in this series, I can help shed light on some simple tips and tricks for WordPress bloggers.
Perhaps the biggest advantage to wordpress, besides the plug-and-play level of ease with which it can be deployed, is something the IT world calls “modularity.” This means the ability to make custom changes and apply those changes to anybody’s system besides yours, without affecting your ability to update the original system.
In the WordPress world, these modules are called “plugins” and you are already familiar with many of them. WP today ships with Akismet, Jetpack, and perhaps one or two others. As an indie author, I have, at this particular moment in time, sixteen additional plugins installed and activated on my website.
Sixteen, you say? That seems like an awful lot. Part of the reason is just geekiness. I work in IT for my day job, so when I see a small technical need, I am more likely to go out and fill it than find a workaround. The other reason is that many plugins are extremely niche. They do one and only one thing. For example: serialize posts, or insert columns, or redirect pages. Do not be fooled. Just because a plugin does not do much does not mean it doesn’t do it well. In fact, in my experience, trying to do one thing well is far easier than trying to be the “go to” suite for lots of things.
The plugins that I will walk you through over the course of these articles will enable you to sell digital content on your site, embed PDFs, easily manage photos in a directory structure like on your computer, and back up your site once a week. All of these geeky things will incrementally improve your site. You may use other plugins which I do not, and you may be unimpressed with some that I use. That’s the beauty of modularity! It’s the drag-and-drop, kid-in-a-candy-shop customizability that really makes wordpress shine. Let me know which plugins you like to use.
Let’s get started!
Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.
Victor Davis is the author of one short story collection, Grains of Sand, and is publishing a second book, The Gingerbread Collection, in the spring of 2016. He shares his writing and reading adventures at his blog Mediascover. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. His Books & Stories are available on Amazon, Apple iBooks, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.