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If you’re new to blogging, there’s a good chance you’re making some mistakes on your site that may not make your blog look as professional as it could be.
There are a few easy things that pretty much every blogger does to give their blogs that professional blogger feel.
Don’t worry, every blogger goes through the awkward first steps of blogging. Before they’ve heard of SEO or knew how to download a plugin. So, if you’d like to skip the learning curve and make your blog look more professional sooner, check out these 6 tips!
1. GO SELF-HOSTED
The first thing you want to do is go self-hosted with your blog. This means to get yourself a domain name and buy hosting from a hosting company.
Many bloggers start out with a free blog on WordPress.com, Wix, or Blogger. And while they are okay starting points, if you’re looking to make your blog look professional, a free blog is not the way to go.
I’ve got a ton of resources on why you should self-host your blog, comparisons on the two hosting companies I have used over the years, and a video on the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org!
If you’re going to self-host your blog, I recommend going with Siteground or Namecheap. I started out with NameCheap on my blog and eventually upgraded to Siteground. Both are really good hosting options!
Recommended: Why I Switched to Siteground Hosting!
2. INSTALL A PAID THEME TO MAKE YOUR BLOG LOOK PROFESSIONAL
Buying and installing a premium theme is one of the easiest ways to make your blog look more professional! When you get WordPress, you have the option to use a free theme but there are many issues with free themes.
They aren’t as customizable so you can’t make them fit your brand and, usually don’t look as good.
If you’re looking for a good theme, I bought all of my themes from either Creative market or Etsy! There are some themes for as cheap as $25!
3. ADD PLUGINS
Another easy way to make your blog look professional is just by installing free plugins on your site.
You can install things like a contact form, social share plugins, Instagram feeds and so much more! Plugins basically just add either useful things, security protection or pretty up your site and make it easier to use!
For a full list of plugins that I recommend, check out this post on WordPress Plugins here!
4. HAVE AN EMAIL LIST WITH A FREEBIE SIGNUP
Having an email list is not only professional, but it is the best way to keep in contact with your most active readers!
You can sign up for a service like Convertkit and create a welcome series or a freebie to get people to sign onto your list. And then you can email them as often as you like with useful information, tips and tricks, and even sell to them!
The point of an email list is because these are the people who want to hear more from you. They trust you enough to give you their email, and they are raising their hand to tell you they want to hear from you regularly!
I’ve been using Converkit for years now, and it is hands down my favorite email service to use! It is a bit pricer than some I’ve tried, but it is still the best!
5. MAKE YOUR BLOG LOOK MORE PROFESSIONAL BY FORMATTING YOUR POSTS
If you have a blog post that is just a block of text, no paragraphs, no headings, nothing to break up the words, you’ll find people leaving your site very quickly.
So an easy way to look like you know what you’re doing is to format your blog posts!
Attention spans on the internet are only about 8 seconds long (no, seriously there was actually a study done!) So if you just leave your readers with a block of text, they aren’t going to stick around to read it!
To make your blog look more professional, and keep readers around longer here’s a few things you can do.
- Short paragraphs (2-3 sentences)
- Use heading (H2 and H3)
- Use bullet points
- Add in photos
Doing just these simple things will help your readers skim the information if they want to, find what they’re looking for, and go about their day! This may seem counterproductive but that’s what you want!
6. HAVE COHESIVE BRANDING
Branding is what ties everything together. You want to have a cohesive brand to make your blog look the most professional.
It starts with having a good premium theme. If your site is hard to navigate, or the colors hurt people eyes or just generally turn them away, you won’t be very successful.
You want to keep branding consistent in your emails, across social media, and on your site. And I mean that in more than just colors. Keep the way you speak consistent, the message you put across, the way your blog posts are laid out, and more.
At the start, your blog may not look the best, In fact, it likely won’t. I know mine didn’t! And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. We all started somewhere, and it’s actually good to just start and then grow as you move along!
I hope these tips helped you skip part of the awkward starting phase and helped you make your blog look a little bit more professional along the way!