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How to Make Your Blog Look Professional
Are you wondering how to make your blog look professional?
Even if you are a new blogger, there are several simple steps that you can take to ensure that your blog looks professional from the start.
If you haven’t started a blog yet, read my full guide on how to start a blog or sign up for my free Blogging Bootcamp email course below:
Blogging does have a bit of a learning curve, but by following the right steps you can make sure that you are off to a strong start with your blog.
Here are the top things to do to make your blog look professional:
1. Go self-hosted.
The first thing you can do to make your blog look professional is go self-hosted instead of using a free blogging platform such as Wix or WordPress.com.
Web hosting is very affordable (only $2.95 a month with Bluehost) and it allows you so much more flexibility and customization. Not to mention, if you want to monetize your blog, you will NEED to be self-hosted.
Having a self-hosted blog also allows you to have your own .com domain name, as opposed to a domain name that is something like http://www.yourblog.wordpress.com. That doesn’t look very professional, right?
With a self-hosted website, you will be able to have your own .com domain name for your blog, which is the standard and looks much more professional.
Click here to get web hosting with Bluehost for $2.95 a month.
You also get your domain name for FREE with Bluehost, saving you $15 to $20.
I have a complete guide on how to start a blog which will walk you through the exact steps of setting up your blog with Bluehost in under an hour.
2. Pick a good blog name.
Another way to make your blog look professional is to ensure that you choose a good name for your blog that is not immature or unprofessional.
Some things to avoid are using misspelled words, hyphens, and numbers in your name. Also, be sure you are picking a name that you can see yourself telling to someone in a professional situation without embarrassment.
You also want to choose a .com ending and avoid alternate endings like .net or .biz because they are not as professional. If the name you want isn’t available as a .com, I recommend adding modifying words or choosing something else.
I also wrote a whole guide about how to choose a blog name that goes in-depth on tips for choosing the perfect name and brainstorming ideas.
It’s a huge pain to change your domain name later on (trust me, I’ve had to do it!) which is why it’s important to choose a good name from the start.
3. Use a nice WordPress theme.
You don’t need to hire a web designer to make your blog look professional, but you do need to get a nice WordPress theme for your blog.
WordPress themes are templates that you can install on your blog to create the layout and design. There are free and paid WordPress themes.
You don’t necessarily need a paid WordPress theme, because there are some really good free WordPress themes out there. However, for the maximum level of customization and eye-catching professional design, I would recommend that you get a premium WordPress theme for your blog.
My favorite paid WordPress themes come from:
All of these theme designers offer great customer support and setup documentation to help you install your theme and get your blog looking just the way you want it to. (Even if you aren’t tech-savvy!)
The important thing is to choose a nice, professional theme for your blog (and don’t use the really basic default theme that it comes with!)
4. Don’t go crazy with fonts or colors.
Your WordPress theme might allow you to customize the fonts or colors on your blog. But you probably should NOT mess with these settings.
I have seen way too many new bloggers go crazy with fonts and colors and make their website look like the ridiculous over-the-top PowerPoint presentations I created when I was in elementary school in the early 2000s.
This is NOT the look you want to go for. The background color of your blog should not be any color but white or have a pattern to it. And the fonts on your blog should be professional and readable (no Comic Sans or script fonts!)
And the color of your text should be a dark color such as black or a very deep navy, with the exception of links which should be a contrasting color.
5. Create the necessary pages.
If you want your blog to be professional, there are several pages you should have:
- Contact page with a contact form or your email address
- About me page with a bit about yourself or your blog
- Affiliate disclosure if you want to use affiliate links on your blog
You should make sure to display the links to these pages somewhere on your blog (I chose the menu at the top of my blog for a link to my about me page, and put the rest of the links in the footer menu at the bottom of my blog.)
6. Write blog posts the right way.
So you have your blog set up… now what? It’s time to start writing!
One area where new bloggers often make mistakes is writing blog posts. If your blog is just something you’re doing for fun and you don’t care about growing an audience or making money, then you can write whatever you want.
But if you want to take your blog seriously and treat is as a business, it’s important to write blog posts in an easy to read and professional manner.
Your blog posts shouldn’t be long, rambling personal journal entries. Instead, they should have a point and be helpful to your audience, whether this is offering tips, answering a common question they have, sharing a how-to guide, etc.
Check out this guide to the types of blog posts new bloggers should write.
The formatting of your blog posts also matters. Having blog posts that are just giant walls of text is not professional, and makes your posts hard to read.
Instead, you should focus on writing short paragraphs (2-3 sentences) and break up the text using headers, numbered lists or bullet points, and images.
7. Use professional images.
The final thing you can do to make your blog look professional even as a beginner is to be sure you are using great images on your blog.
If you are using your own photos on your blog, it’s important to take the time to learn about photography and editing to ensure your images are top-notch. It may also be worth investing in a nice camera and a photo editing program such as Lightroom in order to create beautiful images for your blog.
However, if you aren’t great at photography, there is another option.
Stock photos are a great alternative for bloggers who want to use beautiful images on their blog and social media, but don’t have the time/skills needed to take photos on their own. (Looking at myself right here!)
I use stock photos from Haute Stock on my blog. You can read my review of Haute Stock for more details about this great stock photo membership.
In my opinion using stock photos is one of the best ways to make your blog look professional, especially if you aren’t a great photographer yourself!
How to Make Your Blog Look Professional
These are seven ways to make your blog look professional!
Even if you just started your blog, you don’t have to look like a total newbie. Following these steps will help you become a pro blogger in no time.
For more tips for new bloggers, be sure to read: