With over 440 million blogs in the world, it can be hard to stand out. Blog posts are published every day, on a huge range of different topics, appealing to many audience groups. Yet only a small percentage of these bloggers are successful, with up to 95% giving up within a year, often because their readership is upsettingly low, and not growing.
Of the successful bloggers, there are those that do well, maintain a sustained growth and love how their blogs look but have no desire to take it any further, and there are those that turn their blogs into their careers. Working with brands and businesses to earn money. If you hope to be in either of these groups, you’ll want your blog to look professional, and if you hope to earn a substantial income as a professional blogger, you need to present yourself as one.
This might sound tricky, but there are some easy ways to make your blog more professional without any advanced knowledge of web development or design. Here’s a look at them.
Make Sure It’s Easy to Navigate
The first thing anyone notices when they come to your website is how easy to use it is. Your readers should be able to work their way around your site without any difficulty. The best way to do this is testing it out yourself. Check that all of your plugins are working, all of your links work and that it works equally well and looks great on smaller screens.
Keep It Easy to Read
A common mistake people make is trying to over complicate things in an attempt to stand out. They go for fancy fonts and bright colors which combine to make their text almost impossible to read. A professional looking site includes lots of white space, easy to read fonts and a simple color scheme.
Include Contact Details
While in most cases, to work with big brands, you’ll need to pitch for jobs yourself, sometimes they will come to you. In which case, you need clear contact information so that both brands and regular readers can find you if they need to. Include your social media details, as well as a contact email address. It’s a good idea to include these in your about me section, on a contact page and in either your sidebar or footer so that they appear on every page.
Add a Search Bar
When it comes to making your site easy to navigate a search bar is a brilliant idea. Place it in your sidebar, header or main menu so that it’s always easy to spot and readers don’t find themselves in the unfortunate position of searching for a search bar.
Send Professional Emails
If you want to be treated like a professional, you need to act like one. While it’s important to write in your own voice on your site, any emails you send or contact you make on social media must be professional.
You should also always bear in mind that if a company considers working with you, and paying you a large sum of money, they are going to run a quick search first. They’ll look through your social media feeds and blog to make sure you are the kind of person they want to be associated with. So never publish anything that you wouldn’t want them to see.
There’s not much worse than a long post that’s absolutely full of text. People will take one look and either click away or give it the quickest skim. Be sure to include lots of images to break up the text and keep people interested.
The quality of these photographs is essential. At first glance, it’s one of the easiest ways to set apart the professionals from the hobby bloggers. When you are starting out, you’ll possibly be taking your photographs with your phone. This is fine, with great composition, a few accessories and some phone photography hacks, you can take some fantastic shots. But, at some point, you may way to invest in a DSLR for a more professional look.
While it’s always a good idea to use your own photographs when you can, to add a personal touch. Sometimes, this isn’t possible, and then you should make sure you use the latest free stock photos, that they are free to use without attribution and of high quality.
Making your blog look more professional is often about keeping things simple. You can do this with a few small changes.