A good blog shows personality. And some great blogs are great because their owner is human and not a perfect machine.
But there are some things that just don’t look professional on your blog. And while little flaws may make your blog more human and personal, some of these flaws can seriously hurt your blog or business. Most of them are easy to avoid – even without spending tons of money on editors, graphic designers, and other little helpers.
Here are 7 ways to make your blog look more professional, even when you are just starting out, and without spending loads of money.
1. Choose the right WordPress Theme
Ok, I am assuming here that you are using WordPress – but the same goes for other website builders like Squarespace.
If you start your blog, take the time and browse around a little. Choose a theme for your blog that fits your personal preferences and serves your needs. WordPress has a full library of themes and I am sure you can find one for free or a small budget that looks really nice.
If you don’t like the themes in WordPress you can browse the web – there are endless WordPress themes for free or for small budgets. But make sure that you choose one that you like and that looks beautiful.
2. Make your site loads fast
This is not a joke. If you want to grow your audience you want your website to be fast. This does influence how Google ranks you in search. But much more importantly your readers don’t want to wait for ages for your website to load. And if your website is very slow, it does not give a professional impression but does look more like a hobby.
That means you have to choose your hosting with care. We once were in the awful situation that we launched a course and the hosting kind of collapsed: it got so slow, no one could actually buy the course without waiting minutes for each step. And the web hosting company did not care or help to solve the problem.
Believe me: you don’t want something like that to happen to you, so make sure you choose a good hosting company with a good customer service – and no they are not more expensive than others. Here is what we did not like and what we are using today for our hosting.
3. Edit your texts
It is hard to always come up with flawless posts, especially when you are new to blogging and are writing a lot.
An editor would then be pure luxury. But not every newbie blogger can afford to pay for an editor.
That does not give you an excuse to NOT proofread and edit every single piece of content on your website. If you have a friend who is willing to do it, it helps to let someone read your posts and give you feedback – especially when you are starting out and not sure if your posts are interesting.
For editing and proofreading, you can use a tool instead of paying for an editor – we use Grammarly. The chrome extension marks every spelling mistakes you make while typing in your browser. That makes finding most of the spelling mistakes very easy.
To get better at writing an app like Hemmingway App can help you identify complicated sentences or even bad grammar. You can learn a lot about good writing from Hemmingway App.
4. Structure your post
Reading online text is much harder and slower than reading a book. Structure is crucial to keep the attention of your audience. With blog posts the paragraphs should be short – rather go for one sentence paragraphs than paragraphs that cover several lines of text.
Also, use elements like subheadings and bullet lists. They help to skim the text, read much faster and find the important items in the text. – Your readers will be thankful for every bit of structure they get in your post, especially when you are writing longer blog posts of several hundred or even thousand words.
5. Choose a great title
A lot more people will see your title than will see the actual blog post. And the title will decide over the success or failure of your post – at least to a large part.
Image Source: Quicksprout
A blogger who can come up with catchy titles that inspires clicks and shares is already half way on his way to success, while a great storyteller who sucks at the titles will have a hard time to get people to click on the headline whether they find it in Google, Social Media – or even your email newsletter.
Do you want to learn more about creating a great headline for a blog post? Here are some interesting facts about creating a headline that gets clicks and shares!
6. Ad Visuals
There are several reasons why you need visuals. They help to structure your post and make reading a longer text easier. People often find it easier to understand and remember things they „saw“ rather than read.
And if you want people to share your posts in social media you have to provide images that they can use.
The times when a tweet was 140 characters and that was it are long over. Well not really. But today a tweet that is supposed to get attention also needs an image. And the same goes for (almost) any other social media platform. If you want your post pinned to Pinterest you need a Pinterest ready image. If you want your post shared on Facebook you need an image in the right dimension.
And tools like Canva can make creating beautiful images for social media easy – and the free version of Canva is going to get you very far. They even provide templates for you – but if you want pins that will get a ton of repins and clicks from Pinterest, I rather recommend browsing around Pinterest, see what kind of images other people from your niche use, and learn from there.
7. Make it easy to share
If you want your audience to help you spread the word about your post, you need to make it easy. Share buttons certainly help a lot. Make sure your share buttons always provide a ready made tweet, pin or post. Choose your share buttons with care so that they look good with your WordPress theme.
Don’t expect your audience to do your job and create the social media post and image for you – that does not give a professional impression.
Final words on how to make your blog look more professional
The above tips are things that everybody can do. They are not complicated. And they are achievable for every you too! And they can make all the difference.
Even if you are starting out, you want to get the above things right. You don’t want to have your blog look as if you don’t care. It is not about being flawless. It is about providing a place where people like to come and feel welcome!