The Best WordPress Themes for Lifestyle Bloggers

the best wordpress themes for lifestyle bloggers

You started your lifestyle blog and you’ve got amazing content, but readers are not sticking around because your website is just blah. We like pretty things, it’s just in our nature. And although we’ve all been told over and over again that we should not judge a book by it’s cover, we usually do. That goes the same for judging a website by it’s theme. Let’s be honest, we’ve all looked at an outdated website and immediately clicked that x button because we figure that there cannot be anything valuable on a site like that. Don’t let your web design drive your potential audience away!

Luckily, there are some super talented women who have designed gorgeous, responsive, easy-to-use WordPress themes for bloggers! Here are our favorite WordPress themes:


Pretty WordPress Theme

“The Pretty WordPress Theme is designed for the female entrepreneur, and blogger. You run your business efficiently, and need a site design that reflects your impeccable style while streamlining your content. The Pretty WordPress theme is ideal for lifestyle bloggers! She is sophisticated and playful. She effortlessly mixes denim with pearls. She throws her hair in a top knot and tackles her to do list like a boss. She sees the good in everyone. She is Pretty. She's not just pretty on the outside, you can choose to sell products with the Pretty WordPress theme, share your favorite recipes and so much more with this airy, elegant theme.”


“Pretty Happy: Colorful Feminine eCommerce WordPress Theme comes with lots of little extras. I love adding seemingly small things to theme designs for you, because they make a huge impact. I want you and your content to really stand out and make an impression on someone, so I go to town with little extras you may or may not notice throughout each of my themes. You can change the color of various elements using your customizer in the dashboard of your site. I’ve strategically placed customizable areas in this theme that will keep your color evenly dispersed. I also go to great lengths ensuring you’re able to easily place your brand in any of the Pretty Darn Cute Design themes and keep the colors aligned with your brand. I want you to enjoy your theme, and rest easy knowing it’s providing you with the best features available. Hooray!”


“The Pretty Fabulous WordPress Theme is packed with function, and created for the modern day influencer who needs a fresh, vibrant canvas to showcase their life, work, and hobbies while being flexible enough to work for anything or anyone. Pretty Fabulous is the human equivalent of that super fancy girl who always has her hair and makeup done, and dresses in bright, fun colors! But she’s more than just her looks, this theme packs more features than any I’ve ever created.”


“A busy website can sometimes feel like an overly cluttered home. The Pretty Simple theme is full of white space, clean lines, and simple design elements helping you and your readers feel relaxed in your organized home on the web. Installing the Pretty Simple WordPress Theme on your site is the equivalent to taking a deep digital breath and exhaling intention. Only what you need, nothing more. Simple customization options. All our our WordPress themes are fully responsive, and Pretty Simple is no exception. She’s fully responsive and looks amazing on all devices. I wanted Pretty Simple to be the Martha Stewart of WordPress themes, she’ll get you feeling organized while providing that gorgeous simple aesthetic you crave.”


“The Pretty Creative WordPress Theme is a theme for creatives. It was designed by a creative, with creatives in mind. No matter what it is that you create, the Pretty Creative WordPress theme will showcase your work in a polished way that allows your creativity to shine. Use the customizer options to change out the polka dot image, add whatever you like where the graphics are on the home page. The options for getting creative with this theme are endless, and oh so fun. Did I mention it's eCommerce ready? Do you sell products, or downloads? Great, this theme is WooCommerce ready! Don’t sell anything? Awesome, just skip the “install WooCommerce” part of your setup instructions and you’re golden. It really is that simple.”



 

“Living a life of glitz and glam doesn’t mean you have to live in the big city and wear the highest name brand clothes. You can live a life of Glam right where you are! With the Glam theme, you can spotlight and draw attention to all of those areas of your life that make you or your business fabulous. With the same flexibility and versatility that you have come to expect from Restored 316, this theme is a sure fit for anyone!”


“It’s time for you to Sprinkle your business with organization and functionality. With a gorgeous design and loads of possibilities, this theme is sure to fit your needs! Sprinkle Pro is perfect for businesses that have products, services, and content that needs to be noticed. In a world with so many choices and distractions, your website should create a clear path for your ideal customer. The Sprinkle Pro theme does just that!”


“You’re classy. You’re glamorous. You’re stylish. Why not ensure that your website is, too? Present your content and show off your style in the most Dazzling way possible! Custom coded to display your Reward Style products and keep your fashion finds front and center, this theme is sure to dazzle your readers! Not a fashion blogger? That’s okay, too! This theme offers functionality and flexibility for bloggers and businesses of every kind. Regardless of what you do, you’ll be doing it in style with this theme.”


“Delight your readers with a fresh new design and a pop of color using the new Delightful theme! Filled with many color schemes and features this theme is sure to get your readers attention! Organizing your content by categories on your home page to make it easier for your readers to know what your brand is all about. Create product listings or even a full shop! Whatever you choose to do with this theme it’s sure to be a delight!”


“Simply Charming is the first feminine parallax WordPress theme built with the Genesis framework! Wondering what parallax means? Parallax means that a static or set of static images are in the background and the content of the site moves upon scrolling while the background images stay in place. This theme is absolutely gorgeous no matter how you use it, and fits so many different needs”


“Geared to showcase your latest and greatest work…whether it’s a novel or an Ebook…Novelty is here to help showcase it! Created with the female author in mind, this theme is designed to bring attention to the latest masterpiece that you’ve poured your heart and soul into. With the same versatility and personalization capabilities that you’ve grown to expect from us, this theme can be used by authors and businesses alike! This new theme is packed with great features and functionality…you’re not going to want to miss out on it!”


“Imagine a place where your talents bloom to their fullest potential. Showcasing your beautiful products, services, content, and photography in an organized and simplified layout is exactly what the Bloom theme can do for your website. Bloom’s built-in portfolio feature is perfect for photographers, designers, artists and artisans to showcase all of their work. We want to see your business Bloom with this theme, today!”



Do you use Wordpress? We’d love to see some of your themes!

xx,
Katie

the best wordpress themes for lifestyle bloggers
the best wordpress themes for lifestyle bloggers
the best wordpress themes for lifestyle bloggers

Blogging Tools That Make Our Lives So Much Easier

blogging tools that make our lives so much easier

We all have our go-to, essential tools and programs we direct ourselves to every time we sit down for work. Other than stating the obvious app of Instagram, we have several apps that help us run our everyday kind of business. Little things like email marketing, using proper grammar in writing copy, to even purchasing a domain name are all things someone first starting out may forget! Check out our life-saving favs that we can’t help but to rave about!

NameCheap

First and foremost, you are definitely going to want to get a domain name tied down to you. Because what’s the point of being a blogger or an online biz owner if you don’t have your own website?! NameCheap is the best for helping you find the perfect domain name. It can be split up in 3 different categories: individuals, business, or resellers - all in which to piece together the most efficient way to help you. It will tell you what domains are available by having a search bar smack, right in the middle of the homepage. NameCheap works great with WordPress users, too! The best part? It is one of the most inexpensive resources to purchase your domain. They really do put the “cheap” in NameCheap.

Grammarly

So, have you ever gotten frustrated because you have to go back to your iPhone or make a Word Doc just to see the spelling of a word or whether to use affect or effect? No need to worry any further with Grammarly! It’s an add-on for your computer and will jump onto anything you’re typing to give you pop-ups of recommended words, phrases, and proper grammar to use. If you’re a blogger, I’m sure that your Mac or website you use for your blog will help you if something is misspelled. But, wouldn’t you love it if you got extra help to structure your sentences differently or even helping you stay consistent in a passive/active voice, too? We love it so much because we sometimes will write all day long and little things like that will happen! Get started here!

blogging tools that make our lives so much easier

Capitalize My Title

We honestly can’t be the only ones out here who have pondered a good chunk of time if certain words should or shouldn’t be capitalized in titles. And we both have degrees in this kind of stuff! Capitalize My Title has saved us so much time, energy, and disputes on what we think should be capitalized! All you have to do is go to their website, type your title in the bar provided, and it will tell you instantly! Not to mention it helps in all different types of writing formats!

Canva

Think we are anywhere near done from gushing about Canva? Not a chance! Canva is the place where we create beautiful templates for our InstaCrush Society members, share ideas with collaborators, and experiment with new designs. You can make literally anything in Canva. From inspirational quotes, advertisements, to Instagram Story Q & A’s, the possibilities are endless. If you’re a blogger, this is a great tool for announcing you have a new post up!

For more on how we use Canva, check out these blog posts:

Coschedule

What if you could be guaranteed to get 20 hours back each week? Well with Coschedule you will be able to plus a ton more! You will organize all of your marketing in one place where it is easy to understand and use. Build teams, keep projects & to-do lists on track, and be able to promote and manage posts all in one condensed location! Get proactive in your organization with your team, business, and with yourself! Who doesn’t love a beautiful color-coordinated online calendar at the tips of your fingers? Coschedule gets things done for the busy working woman that you are - just get it set up and get rolling!

blogging tools that make our lives so much easier

ConvertKit

One of the most overlooked tools, whether it be your blog or biz, is your email list! And ConvertKit is our favorite tool to help us utilize our email list to grow to its fullest potential. Here’s the thing - you may not know anything when it comes to starting an email list. We didn’t either! Luckily ConvertKit gives you three different options of levels you can start at: Beginner, Experienced, Advanced. Depending on which level you select, ConvertKit will help you down a path to learn how to email market like a pro! It helps to configure analytics of your subscribers and how to improve your productivity with email marketing. Start your money-making email list here!

Tailwind

Is your business marketing centered around Instagram and Pinterest? Are you finding it crazy time-consuming to go through both accounts and constantly having to post and figure out what is working for you by hand? Then Tailwind is here to save you time and stress from your problems! What Tailwind does is help users save time by planning and scheduling posts, maximize your reach to highly-engaged audiences, and become informed of the types of people who are getting exposure to your content! Tailwind is especially great for teams in your biz to stay organized and on top of current goals! You can join us in being super automated and super organized from here on out!

Learn more about Tailwind in these posts:


We’re always on the hunt to find other amazing sites and tools that can help organize your blog and streamline your productivity! What tools could you not blog without?

Xx,
Katie & Maddie

blogging tools and resources we could not blog without
blogging tools and resources we could not blog without

The Essential Guide to Branding Your Blog

essential guide to branding your blog

There are millions of blogs floating around the world wide web. Millions! Without strong branding, you are destined to be lost amongst the sea of blogs. In this blog post, we are going to cover what exactly makes a brand, what the benefits of having a strong brand, and how to create your own brand for your blog!

What exactly is branding?

Branding is the distinctive design and experience of a given business. It goes way beyond just colors and fonts - it includes design style, tag lines/slogans, website, marketing, philosophy, customer service, social media presence, and more.

A brand is literally what people say about your business when you’re not in the room.

— Jeff Bezos

 

Why should i brand my blog?

If you want to create a successful blog, you need to think of it as a business. It is not uncommon for a blog to turn into a huge business - take Betches for example. Betches was created in 2011 by three college seniors for college-aged women. The three women each invested $1,500 in the beginning and now the brand is worth millions!

Why was Betches able to scale their blog so quickly? Their branding was clear from the start and it evolved over time as their audience, mainly female millennials, grew. Their voice is unique, authentic, and humorous, and it has remained consistent since their initial launch. As their blog posts began to go viral, they were approached by a book agent and began writing their first New York Times bestseller, Nice Is Just a Place in France..

Today, the Betches founders (Aleen Kuperman, Samantha Fishbein and Jordana Abraham) are running a multi-million dollar media company, headquartered in Manhattan. Betches Media’s about page describes themselves as, “We’re the website, Instagram, podcasts, store, books – everywhere that young females go to experience the thoughts that run through their heads, but are too afraid or uncomfortable, to say out loud.” Their office is branded so well, that if you walked around the office without knowing who’s it was, you could probably guess that it’s Betches (see office pics below)!

Betches Headquarters - strong branding
Betches Headquarters - strong branding

Of course, we totally understand that starting a blog is a lot of work and sitting down and putting together an entire business plan right off the bat is probably unrealistic. And that’s okay! There was little-to-no plan when starting Girlcrush Collective, but as we started posting, the brand developed. Plus, your branding is never set in stone, you can always re-brand.

To make branding your blog simple from the start, we recommend focusing on these three aspects: your site’s look/design (logo, theme, typography, color palette, etc.), your mission, and your voice.

For Girlcrush Collective, we created a consistent color palette (predominantly pink), fonts, and logo. We use the illustrated women as a major element of our brand. Our mission has been the same from the start: to create a community and source of resources and inspiration for female bloggers, business owners, and influencers. Our voice is friendly and feminine, we want our audience to feel as though they’re reading posts that are written specifically for them, from a friend.

Download Elite Blog Academy’s Free Beginner’s Guide to Branding Your Blog!

 

Creating Your Blog’s Look & Feel

Your blog’s appearance is the first aspect of your brand that your audience will see, so it’s important to put some thought into this one. When I (Katie) started my social media marketing business, I chose a purple and green color palette. Anyone who knows me (and even probably people who don’t know me) know that I am all about pink. But when I was starting my business, I thought that because there were so many pink brands out there already, I should go with something different.

It was just a matter of months before I decided that my branding was holding me back from being my authentic self. I ended up merging my social media business and Girlcrush Collective, and went with pink, pink, pink. When you create your brand around your personality, it makes things much easier!

branding your blog

If you’re not sure where to start with your brand, try asking a few friends and family members to describe you in 3 words! That’ll give you an idea of how others perceive you. If people are describing you as fun, bubbly, and friendly, you’re probably not going to want to go with a dark or black and white theme.

 

Your Blog’s Logo

When creating your logo, there are several options. If you’re a creative person with design background, you could design your own logo! If you’re not too creative, but you are slightly tech-savvy, you could find a logo template and customize it. There are lots of great logo templates on Creative Market, as well as Canva, the free design website! But if design is not your zone of genius, you can always hire a designer to create a logo for you.

 

Branding with Fonts

Fonts are my favorite. And a great font is memorable and will make your blog more recognizable, especially if you use the same fonts across all media platforms. There are lots of free fonts as well as premium fonts. If you’re not absolutely in love with a font, it’s best to start with free fonts as you may decide to change your typography in the future.

I invested in these fonts for Girlcrush Collective because I fell absolutely in love with them! Font Squirrel is a great resource for free fonts, and Creative Market is my favorite place for purchasing premium fonts! They even sell fonts in pairs that were created to compliment each other.

Nothing breaks my designer heart more than seeing two terribly paired fonts. Check out our post, Font Pairings to Boost Your Branding (for less than $20) for some inspiration!

 
 
 

Color Palettes

Color palettes are essential - consistent colors in your blog and associated platforms helps create a memorable brand. As we touched on earlier in this article, colors say a lot about your brand. A blog about unsolved murders probably should not have a bright, rainbow template, just like a vegan blog with lots of fruit and veggie recipes should probably not be black and brown.

Text placeholder (1).png

Pinterest is a great place to go to start finding color inspiration! Just search color palettes or color schemes, and you’ll find thousands of beautifully put together palettes. Another inspiring resource for creating color palettes is Coolors.co. Coolors is a random color palette generator, and it’s kind of addicting!

branding+color+palette

Creating Your Blog’s Mission

Why are you starting a blog? What inspired you to get started? Is it as a creative outlet for yourself? Maybe it’s a book blog where you share your personal book reviews and recommendations to your audience. What’s the purpose of your blog - is it to inspire your readers? Or maybe it’s a source of entertainment for your audience, or even an educational blog that teaches your audience about a particular subject. Answering these questions before getting started on your blog will help you focus your content and identify your target audience and ideal readers.

 

Creating Your Brand’s Voice

Blogging involves a whoooole lotta writing, my friend, and it’s important that you nail down your voice. If I were writing this blog for professional men in their 30s - 50s, I’d want to look into changing the way I write. When determining your voice and writing style, I like to think of my target audience as one specific person. How would you speak to that person if you were sitting at Starbucks with them? That’s the voice you’ll want to write in. You want to be relatable and easy to understand.

Download Elite Blog Academy’s Free Beginner’s Guide to Branding Your Blog!

How to Create Pinterest-Worthy Blog Graphics

how to create pinterest worthy blog graphics on canva

Originally posted on katiemander.com

Are you adding all of your content to Pinterest but not getting any traffic?

Although people consider Pinterest to be a social platform, it really is a visual search engine. And like other search engines, there are algorithms in place to show the best content first. Luckily, it is simple to create Pinterest graphics that people will want to repin, and I am going to show you how!

Important things to know about Pinterest:

  • There are over 150 million monthly active users on Pinterest

  • There are more than 50 billion Pinterest pins on 1 billion boards

  • 87% of Pinterest users have purchased a product because of Pinterest

  • Longer half-life than Facebook. This means that it takes 3.5 months for a pin to get 50% of its engagement

    • This is 1,680 times longer than a Facebook post!

  • Call to action pin descriptions can increase engagement by 80%

  • Red and orange images receive 200% more repins than blue images

  • Light images receive 20 times more repins than images that are dark

  • Pinterest images in a feed will only ever display as 238 pixels wide

    • This means that it is much smarter to create portrait graphics, as landscape images or square images will be very small

    • Longer pins will take up more space in a feed and will be more likely to capture the user’s attention

Have you heard of Canva?

It’s about to be your new best friend.

Thanks to Canva, you can create Pinterest graphics even if you have no background in design!

canva tutorial for pinterest

Create a free account using your Facebook, Google account, or email.

To begin, select Pinterest Graphic under Create a Design, as shown below.

canva tutorial for pinterest graphics

Selecting Pinterest Graphic will then bring you to the screen shown below.

The left-hand side of the screen shows Canva’s Pinterest layouts. Scroll through until you find one you want to use!

canva tutorial for pinterest graphics

After you choose a layout, it will display with all of the filler content – as seen below.

canva tutorial for pinterest graphics

Canva provides thousands of options to customize their layouts. On the left-hand side, you’ll see the tabs for Search, Layouts, Elements, Text, Background, and Uploads.

You can choose from a huge selection of free photos, icons, fonts, and backgrounds to alter the graphic in any way you want. You can also upload your own images to Canva. Don’t forget: use warm colors and light/bright images.

Layouts

templates and layouts on canva

elements

element options on canva

text

text options on canva
 

Using Canva’s Templates: Before & After

canva tutorial for pinterest blog graphics
canva tutorial for pinterest blog graphics
canva tutorial pinterest worthy graphics


As you get more familiar with Canva, you can start designing graphics from scratch!

Canva automatically saves all of your designs, making it easy to use the same design for each blog graphic. This will make your pins more recognizable on Pinterest!

 

How to brand your Pinterest graphics

Pinterest is all about visuals, so it only makes sense to make your profile as visually appealing as possible! When designing your Pinterest graphics, you want it to be clear that it’s your brand. By using your brand’s colors and fonts on your graphics, your pins will be easily recognizable!

Canva is a free tool and you can do everything that was mentioned earlier in this post with a free account. However, you can upgrade to Canva for Work. Canva for Work comes with some extra features that can be very beneficial if you’re creating lots of graphics for your blog, business, and/or social media. One of the most useful features for creating Pinterest graphics for your brand is the brand kit.

With Canva for Work, you can upload your brand kit to your account. This includes your color palette, your brand fonts, and your logos. You can upload your own fonts so you’re not limited to Canva’s default fonts. This is great if you have a specific font that you use for everything!

When you create a graphic, your brand’s color palette will always be available. This saves you from the hassle of having to type in your color’s hex code in order to use your exact color. You can set your heading, sub-heading, and body text fonts so you don’t have to change the fonts every time you add new text.

You can also upload all of your logos or brand graphics to easily add them to your Pinterest graphics!

Here’s what the brand kit page looks like on Canva for Work:

canva for work brand kit
 

More Resources for Creating Pinterest-Worthy Graphics

Creative Market

Creative Market is a designer’s dream. It’s full of fonts, graphics, photos, templates, and much more. If you’re not interested in designing your own pins, you can purchase templates from a designer on Creative Market. And the best part is, you can buy templates for Canva! Templates are no longer just available for Photoshop. When using templates from Creative Market, you open the file(s) provided by the seller, then follow the same instructions that were given in the first part of this blog post!

My favorite pinterest templates for canva on Creative Market


I hope this post was helpful! Once you have your pins on Pinterest, it’s time to share them! One of the best ways to share your pins and get tons of targeted traffic to your blog is by using Tailwind.

Tailwind is a Pinterest (and Instagram) marketing platform that has everything you need to drive traffic, sales, and leads to your website. The best part of it is that you can just schedule your posts for Pinterest, then Tailwind will post them for you! I like to schedule a month’s worth of pins in advance. Tailwind tribes are similar to Pinterest group boards. You can search for tribes that relate to your blog or business’ niche, then share your pins there!

Check out our blog post all about using Pinterest and Tailwind!

Join the Girlcrush Collective Tailwind tribe!

Join the Girlcrush Collective Pinterest group board!

We’re looking forward to seeing your beautiful pins!

katie mander
 

how to create pinterest worthy blog graphics on canva

Where to Find the Best Styled Stock Photos for Fall

fall stock photos

HAPPY FREAKING FALL YALL!

I am SO excited that fall is here. I love the colors and the scents and the weather. It’s fun to make your blog and social media accounts nice and festive! One of the best parts of fall is all of the beautiful stock photos - I live in Las Vegas now so I need to rely on these stock photographers to take great fall photos! And of course, they did not disappoint.

Maybe you also live somewhere without those beautiful fall colors, or maybe you are not great at taking photos. Whatever the reason may be, leaf your worries behind, these stock photos are spectacular.

Below is a compilation of fall/Halloween stock photos that will keep your blog or business in season!

 
 
 
 
 

Fall Stock Photos on Shutterstock

 
 
 

Do you have other stock photo resources that should be added to this list? Let us know below!

Xx,
Katie

 
fall stock photos
fall stock photos