At one point we were all a new blogger, struggling to navigate the site we just signed up to and trying to figure out what to even write about. We have all been there, and it really can be a struggle sometimes. Before I was a blogger I’d come across so many beautiful and professional looking sites whilst trying to find one of my favourite cookie recipes. I’d be in awe of the sleek designs and professional imagery I saw. I wondered how much time and effort was put into creating and maintaining a site like that.
We assume that people who have professional looking sites are long standing bloggers and have been in the business for a while, but thats not always true. I have blogging friends who have beautiful looking sites who just posted their first blog a month ago. It’s really all down to the time and effort the individual puts into their website.
Having a professional looking site is really key so that other people [especially brands] see that you’re serious about your site and the content you create. So, in todays post I thought I’d share some tips for new bloggers and established, on how to make your site look professional. Of course these are just little pieces of advice that I have found which have worked for me. These tips are not essential for you to have a professional looking website, but they do help.
PURCHASE A DOMAIN
One of the first things you should do if you are wanting to look professional is purchasing a domain name. Now if you’re unfamiliar with what a domain is, it’s essentially a website address. So before I purchased my domain my site was http://www.olivialucieblake.wordpress.com , and after I purchased my domain its now http://www.olivialucieblake.com. Doing this really changes the whole feel of your site!
Here on WordPress depending what domain you choose they are really quite inexpensive to purchase and the licence lasts a whole year too, which is great. With WordPress plans such as Premium and Business, WordPress includes a free domain whenever you upgrade for a year, which is really handy!
CHOOSE A GOOD THEME
When I was a new blogger I found the theme choice so overwhelming. There were so many to choose from! Having a nice theme really makes a difference in how people perceive you as a blogger. It’s kind of like the cover of a book, with how it draws people in and encourages people to want to read more. So making sure that your blog theme is cohesive and easy to navigate is important.
I’ll mention here too that your blog should be easy to navigate. If its hard to find things on your site its more than likely visitors will click onto your blog and click right off again. If I go onto a website that is overwhelmingly packed with information or doesn’t have enough information on it, I click off. It’s good to have that right balance.
HAVE A PROFESSIONAL LOGO
Ever since I started creating logos for businesses, I have come to realise how important they are. A logo is really the face of your brand and its what sets you apart from other people. Having custom digital content is something I recommend to anyone just starting out as a blogger, especially if you’re wanting your blog to become your business one day.
Branding and logos are really important. Think about some of your favourite brands, and what instantly comes into your mind? Most likely their logos and branding. Take McDonald’s for example, everyone knows the McDonalds logo and thats what symbolises them and makes them stand out from everyone else. It should be no different for you!
Not only is the look and feel of your blog important to give that professional feel but so is the content you produce. I speak often about being consistent with posting new content, but I really want to emphasise the importance of it. Publishing new content on a regular basis helps to boost your traffic and your interaction. Its a great way to showcase your work and really get your name out there.
Remember not to flood your readers with too much content, but having a good balance is essential.
USE STOCK IMAGES
When I first started blogging I always wondered how other bloggers took the time to take such a variety of beautiful stock images. Stock images are the images I use on almost all of my posts. I used to try to take all of my own images but found it was taking up too much of my time so swapped to stock images instead. Just be careful where you get them from as some aren’t copyright/royalty free and its against the law to use peoples images without the relevant permissions.