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Hello! I'm Denelia, a social media marketing graduate and business enthusiast. I help online businesses grow their social media presence while maintaining a healthy business mindset.
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How To Look Like A Professional Blogger From The Beginning



Skip The Newbie Phase With A Professional Blog 


Take a look around! It looks like I've been here for a while, doesn't it? Let me tell you a little secret, I only started blogging eight months ago. The beginner stage was ruthless, but with a little time, I managed to make my blog look like its been around for ages.

Nowadays it very easy to tell beginner bloggers from established bloggers. New bloggers tend to have their blog set-up in a way (which we will get into later) that shows their lack of experience. They are usually missing very important elements or doing something out of the ordinary with their blog.

However, with knowledge, this does start to change, which was present in my case. As a beginner blogger its important to research and learn as much as you can. Only with experience can you grow into a professional blogger.

Instantly, after making my blog look professional I saw an increase in page views, search engine rankings and my connection with other bloggers. Just by making a few changes, I was able to take my blog to the next level.

psst...I need to let you know that some of the links below are affiliate links. It's not anything bad, this just means that if you make a purchase through one of the links below I might earn a small commission. (at no extra cost to you of course!) If you want to learn more about affiliate links click here to read my disclosure policy.


Why Is a Professional Looking Blog Important?

Let's be real, blogging is based around page views. You want people to come to your blog, read your posts and maybe even comment. You're writing with the hopes of someone reading your work. However, it has been proven that most users will click off if your website doesn't look "professional". There has to be a sense of trust between you and your readers and if your website looks sketchy or as if it was designed by a five-year-old, you're probably losing readers.

What Does An "Unprofessional" Website Look Like?

To answer this question, let's compare two currently active blogs. Which blog out of the two below are you most likely to read?

sincerely-jackline-lifestyle-blog



lisa-is-cooking-lifestyle-blog


The majority of people would say Sincerely Jackline (the first blog) because it looks more professional. You feel as though you can trust what you read on this blog. Jackline has on-brand colours, clear bold fonts and an easy to read navigation bar. On the other hand, Lisa Is Cooking (the second blog) looks less professional because of the features listed below.

Here is a list of things that make a website seem unprofessional:

  • Random colours (no colour brand)
  • No Clear Navigation 
  • A million pop-ups and ads
  • Poor Format
  • Bad/uncomplimentary fonts
  • Not owning the domain (ie. deneliastorm.blogspot.com or wixsite.com/deneliastorm)
  • No defined purpose or meaning (tagline or niche isn't obvious)

How Do I Make My Blog Look Professional?

Buy A Website Domain

The first blog investment I made was buying my own domain. I knew from the beginning that no one in this industry would take me seriously if my website was www.deneliastorm.blogspot.com so I bought www.deneliastorm.com.

I purchased my domain from Google Domains for only $17 CAD/year. That's right, they charge on a yearly basis. I recommend Google Domains to any new blogger looking to buy a trustworthy but inexpensive domain. I haven't had any domain regarded issues since I bought my domain from Google and I'm happy with their service.

Why Is Having Your Own Domain Important?

  • Certain monetization platforms (ie. Google AdSense) require you to have your own domain
  • It shows that you're serious about blogging and are willing to give a little ($) to get a little ($)
  • Most social media platforms will only let you add a link to your blog if you own the domain
  • You get complete ownership over your blog and can customize it however you please 

Use A Premium Theme

If you have a blog, you most likely want to gain something more from it. Some people blog as a hobby, but it's also a pretty popular side-hustle. As everything that can potentially become profitable, you need to give a little to get a little.

Buying a premium theme will probably be one of the best blog investments you'll ever make. Not only will you be able to customize it as you like, but you'll also make your life easier because most premium themes come with all the attributes (ie. about me page, sidebar, social media icons, copyright claims...) a blog needs. 

Blog themes can cost anywhere from $20-$100 depending on where and who you are buying them from. However, there is a cheaper option for beginner bloggers looking to save money.


Find Premium Themes On Fiverr

By using Fiverr I was able to get my blog theme installed and customized for only $16. Fiverr is an online freelance marketplace where you can find someone to help you with literally anything. 

blog-website-fiverr-search
preview of Fiverr search results

All you have to do is type in "blog website" and millions of people are ready to help you set up your blog. Depending on their skills level and experience, the prices will vary.

Fiverr freelancers buy the premium themes with their own money beforehand, that's why they're service is so much cheaper. The only thing you're paying for is the installation and customization of the theme. 

This is the premium theme I have installed and the freelancer I hired on Fiverr was able to customize it to my likings.

Fiverr is the best option if you are looking to save money but also take your beginner blog to the next level. Sign-up for a Fiverr account through my link by clicking here and get 20% off your first order. 

Think of it like this, if you use a free theme for your website, there are probably millions of others with a blog that looks just like yours. How are you supposed to be memorable and leave an impression if you look like everyone else?

Collect Email Subscribers 

You'd be surprised by the number of times I've gone onto someone's blog and wanted to subscribe, but had no way to do so.

Having a subscriber form shows that you care about your audience and want to connect with them. Without any means of collecting emails, you look 'unprofessional' because professional bloggers want to build that connection with their readers.

To collect email subscribers I've recently started using Mailerlite. As a new blogger, Mailerlite makes me look professional because its the same platform that a lot of established bloggers are using as well.

Mailerlite is an email marketing software that allows you to create sign-up forms, popups and more while giving you a way to connect with all the subscribers you've collected.

I like Mailerlite because of how easy it is to design and implement everything into my blog. I'm not very tech-savvy, but with Mailerlite's software, I'm able to design professional looking subscriber forms and automated emails without any problems.

If you're a new blogger, that's isn't too tech-savvy, and are looking for a way to collect emails I suggest Mailerlite. It's literally the easiest platform to use and can make your new blog look professional in minutes.

As an extra bonus for my readers, if you sign up for Mailerlite through my link you will receive $20 sign-up credit. Click here to make a Mailerlite account and claim your bonus!

Have A Clear Navigation Bar

This is something I struggled with when re-designing my own blog because as I said before "I'm not tech-savvy." But, having a clear navigation bar is a big step between looking professional and unprofessional as a blogger.


If you don't know what a navigation bar is, it's basically the drop-down menu at the top of every website. Here is what mine looks like.

denelia-storm-lifestyle-blog




A blog without a navigation bar is like driving without a GPS, you don't know where you're supposed to be going. Your readers will be aimlessly scrolling through your blog without a clue on where to start!

Having a navigation bar is directing your audience and telling them all the possible paths they can take on your blog. You're helping them navigate through your website.

What Should You Include In Your Navigation Bar?


When determining what I should and should not include in my navbar this article by Design Your Own Blog was super helpful: How To Prioritize Your Blog's Menu Like A Pro.

Format Your Blog Post

Denelia what do you mean by format your blog post?

I mean exactly what I said, format your blog post! Don't just write, then hit publish. There is so much more that goes into creating blog content.

The Content

Space out your work! No one on the internet (except people with PhDs) is going to sit down and read your 3000-word blog post if it has no paragraphs. As a rule of the thumb, after four lines hit 'enter' and start a new paragraph.

In addition to spacing out your work, make sure it makes sense. Re-read your blog post before publishing. Double-check that they are no spelling, punctuation or grammar errors. Ensure that everything flows nicely and there aren't any weird sentences.

Grammarly-Insights
Most writing platforms have an installed spell check, but sometimes they aren't good enough. That is why I use Grammarly.

Grammarly is a free browser plugin that will edit, proofread and spell check your work. I like Grammarly because as an extra bonus to catching my silly spelling mistakes, Grammarly can also help me get my point across.

Grammarly can determine how clear, readable and engaging your work is. This feature is especially important to bloggers that need straight to the point and engaging articles.

Many high traffic bloggers on Twitter have recommended Grammarly to me and my articles haven't been better. I highly suggest that any blogger should have Grammarly in order to put out top-notch content.

Sign-up for Grammarly by clicking here!



Spice It Up

Okay, now you have spaces in your work, but it's still boring. You have to switch things up a bit to make your writing interesting and engaging. Bring your writing to life! Professional bloggers don't write blog articles as if they're writing a book. The internet is a very fast pace place and your content needs to be skimmable.

How Can You Spice Up Your Blog Content?


  • Use headings, subheadings and different font sizes to emphasize important points
  • Add graphics, images and infographics to your post (the internet loves visuals)
  • Change up your writing! Use quotes, bullet points and different ways to present your writing
  • Be human. Show your personality and character through your writing. Nothing looks more unprofessional then reading something and thinking a robot wrote it

Links! Links! Links!

A blogger friend of mine was the one to teach me the importance of links. Her blog gets over five thousand monthly pageviews, so I would consider her somewhere near professional.

Now I have the opportunity to share what I learned with all of you and help you make your blog look professional. 

One reoccurring theme I found as I was researching how to make my blog look professional was that all of the big bloggers were always linking to something else in their post. Sometimes it would be an affiliate link, a link to another one of their posts or a link to someone else's post. No matter the type, a link was always present.

External Links

External links are just as they sound, links that lead to external sources. An example of this would be me adding a link in my post to another blogger's post that talks about what I'm discussing in more detail.

Professional bloggers use external links because it boasts SEO which improves your search engine ranking. When you link your post to articles Google categorizes as "credible" you inturn get a boost because of it. 

The same thing happens vice versa. When credible blogs have your blog as an external link, Google can improve your ranking. Think of it as a friendship, if your best friend has another friend you automatically trust that person because your best friend does. Google will start to trust you more because someone that it already trusts, trusts you.

Internal Links

Have you ever gone into a store for only one thing but came out with three? 

That's the point of internal links, to have your readers get more than they bargained for. For example, if you post an article about hair tips, link it back to another post in the category of beauty such as nail tips. 

Professional bloggers use internal links because it lowers your bounce rate because viewers will spend a longer amount of time on your website. It also has the potential to increase engagement.

You are your best promoter, so add those internal links and keep your audience on your blog.


Related Posts:

Blog Legally 

As soon as someone mentions the words copyright, disclosure or privacy policy I automatically think "these people are professional."

Having these legal pages on your blog not only protects you but it protects your readers. Every blog, new or established, should have the proper legal pages published on their website.

Yes, having legal pages do make your blog look professional, but the bigger picture is hat they protect you and your readers.

Create More Content

I have 3 posts on my blog, why don't I have 10,000 page views?

Because you only have 3 posts!

You know what really sets professional bloggers apart from the newbies, content. They have years worth of content for Google to analyze and rank while we only have what we started with.

So, what is the solution to this problem you may ask?

Write more content. That's it. Just write more content.

Make Sure Everything Works

This is my biggest internet pet peeve. A blogger would advertise a post so well and I'd be so excited to start reading it. Yet, when I click on the link, there's nothing there.

Make sure your links work!

Broken links are probably the most unprofessional feature your blog can have. There's nothing worse than promising something to your audience and never fulfilling it.

Use online programs such as Broken Link Checker to analyze your website for broken links and fix them as soon as you get the chance. You may have to seek out help from

Let's Recap

To make my blog look professional I need to:

  • Buy a domain
  • Have a navigation bar
  • Create an emailing list
  • Properly format my blog post
  • Create more content
It seems simple enough, right?

Your homework for today is to take your blog to the next level. Determine what area your blog struggles in and make changes for the better.

Share your blog re-designing and transformation stories with me in the comments, I'd love to hear about your wonderful blog creations.