How to avoid looking like a new blogger (even if you are one!)
February 11, 2019
There is a lot to learn when you start a blog, and when you get further down the line in your blogging journey you sometimes look back and cringe at how terrible your blog was when you first started.
It happens to us all and it’s just a part of the whole learning process. However, it can mean a lot of extra work later on if you don’t know many of the secrets of successful bloggers when you first set up your blog.
But just because you’re a new blogger, it doesn’t mean you have to look like one. If you want to look like a professional blogger from day one, take a look at these tips.
10 tips to help you look like a professional blogger
Buy a domain name and go self-hosted
Using a free blogging platform screams ‘Newbie’ as soon as someone lands on your blog. If you go self-hosted you can also buy your own domain name which looks much more professional.
The difference is a domain name that looks like this:
Or a domain that looks like this:
To buy a domain name just do a Google search and look for the best deal, you can always transfer it to another provider at a later date. You may have seen before that I always recommend Siteground for hosting – this is simply because it’s who I use for two blogs and I’ve never had any problems with it. It starts at just £2.75 per month and supports WordPress.
Add a favicon
If you’re thinking ‘what is a favicon?’ it’s that little icon that appears in the browser next to your blog name.
If you don’t set this yourself, it will either appear as the default WordPress logo or nothing.
Favicons should be 32×32 or 16×16 pixels and you can set this within your WordPress settings. As the icon is so small it’s best to use something simple like a symbol or logo rather than a design with lots of text.
Buy a theme
A free WordPress theme is another giveaway of a beginner. If you use one of the free themes you will end up coming across other blogs that look exactly like yours.
You can buy WordPress themes on Etsy or on a site like ThemeIsle that has lots of themes to choose from costing as little as.
If you want to take blogging seriously it is worth spending money on an amazing theme at the start of your blog so you don’t have the hassle of changing your whole blog design later on.
Use professional images
It can take a while to learn how to take beautiful photos and find a style for your blog. So many new bloggers take photos on their smartphones that aren’t professional looking and it ruins the whole look of their website.
If you’re not skilled at photography, using high-quality stock photos will make your blog look more established. Whilst you can use free stock photo websites, you will see these photos used on many other websites especially on new blogs.
Subscribing to a website that publishes regular styled stock photos will make your blog look more professional and established. I recommend Oh Tilly for feminine styled stock photos, you can sign up to receive 15 photos for free to see what you think.
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There are plenty of online generators that create the policy for you, you just need to add in your own details and information.
Keep ads to a minimum
It’s tempting to fill up your blog with adverts when you first start so that you can earn as much money as possible while your traffic grows. Covering your blog with ads makes a website look amateur and ruins even the best blog design.
Limit the number of adverts on a page and try to fit the ones you do add in with your blog layout and design in terms of the size and colours.
Share quality content
Many bloggers feel that they have to churn out as many blog posts as possible when they first start, and whilst this is a good way to generate a lot of traffic it’s important to go for quality over quantity.
Learn how to write a great blog post and create some useful content that answers your readers’ questions. Do some keyword research, and make your blog posts SEO friendly so you don’t have to go back and edit them later. Several longer posts will be more beneficial than lots of short posts. Be consistent with publishing posts, successful bloggers stick to a regular schedule of content.
Learn how to use Pinterest
There’s so much to learn when you start a blog that it can be tempting to put some things off until later. Pinterest is one thing that you should master early on as it using it properly will help you to drive traffic from day one.
Make sure your blog is set up for Pinterest so that you, as well as other bloggers, can start pinning your content to reach a wider audience.
Add social share buttons
You should also add social share buttons so that you start getting your posts shared to social media right away. There are various WordPress plugins that you can use for this.
Set up a subscriber’s list
One thing that many bloggers don’t realise until much later is how important it is to gather the email addresses of people who are interested in your blog posts. By not setting up a way for your readers to subscribe early on, you are missing out on lots of valuable contacts.
Add a form for people to subscribe when you set up your blog. You may not get many subscribers to begin with, but even a few a week will add up to a decent amount over the months.
So, if you are starting a blog make sure that…
- You go self-hosted and buy a domain name
- Set up a favicon for your blog
- Buy a well-designed theme and a subscription to some professional stock photos
- Don’t add too many adverts
- Write good quality blog posts
- Learn how to use Pinterest properly
- Include social share buttons
- Start collecting subscribers
And if you want to learn as much as possible to create a professional looking blog from day one, check out all of our blogging tips and tricks.