It’s one thing to start a blog and get it going, but if your goal is to take it to that next level, you’ll want to look like a blogger that people should be following. There are a few things you can do to your blog to make yourself look like a professional blogger who has been at it for years, even if you’ve only just started! Let me fill you in.
1. Have your own domain
One of the top things to do when you’ve decided to take your blog seriously, is to make sure you have a domain. A domain is your own URL, eg. www.yourblog.com and is your own personal home on the internet. As great as it is to be offered a free URL, like a .blogspot.com address or .wixsite.com, it just doesn’t look good. You want to look like you care about your blog and aren’t just along for the free ride, so putting in around $15 a year to own a domain is definitely worth it.
Whether you have a Blogger blog or Wix site, there is the option to add your own domain to it.
2. Add a site icon
A little thing that can often be overlooked is your blog’s site icon, or ‘favicon’. This is the little icon that shows up in someone’s browser when they’re visiting your site, or when they bookmark it.
I notice a lot of bloggers, particularly on the Blogger platform, forget to upload a favicon in the Layout section, so instead they have the Blogger icon displayed. This makes it look like Blogger owns your site – make sure you add one in so your blog looks like its own space on the net, not Blogger’s! I include a custom favicon with each of the Blogger templates I sell so if you’ve bought one I recommend uploading it. If you’re on WordPress, go to Appearance > Customize > Site Identity and upload one there.
Make sure it’s in line with your brand! Whether it be your brand submark, or a little illustration/icon in the colours of your branding.
3. Perfect your theme
If you’ve spent money on a brand new blog theme, make sure you complete installation and fix every little corner of your blog until it’s perfect. A half-installed theme or one that doesn’t look finished can really ruin the entire appearance of your blog.
Check through your side bar – is there anything floating in there that you really don’t need? Maybe some old sponsor badges, a heading with nothing underneath it, too many random gadgets? Have a good look at your site as if you were someone else visiting it for the first time and constantly edit every area of your theme until you’ve perfected it.
4. Quality over quantity
When you’ve just started a blog, posting as much as possible is necessary as your blog needs a lot of great content for your readers to find when they land on your page. Once you’ve got a good mix of posts sitting there, you can start spending a bit more time on quality posts that will really pack a punch and attract new visitors.
If you keep putting out posts that have been rushed to push content out, new readers may land on a rushed post and think the entire blog is of poor quality. If though, they land on a recent top quality post that you’ve put a lot of effort into, it will give them more of an incentive to stay and search around for more, or to come back when you publish a new post to see if it’s another good one to read.
5. Don’t ruin your Pinterest
One thing that drives me mad is when I find a blogger who creates amazing blog post images and content, only to find when I visit their Pinterest page that they pin the same blog post image to their Pinterest over, and over, and over, and over again, with nothing to split it up. I view their Pinterest by Pins, and the entire feed is the same image. Their whole display collage banner at the top of their profile is the same image pinned 20 times.
To me, that can be the worst first impression of a Pinterest page and one that will stop me from following them. Knowing that if I follow, I’m going to be scrolling past the same image a thousand times while going through my homepage – no thank you!
It’s great to promote your latest blog post, but make sure you pin at least 10 other images before pinning about that blog post again. Trust me, it’ll attract more followers.
6. Disclaim affiliate links
If you want to build trust with readers, as well as save yourself from getting in trouble, one of the most important things you can do is to add a disclaimer at the top of the post when you’re going to be adding some affiliate links into it.
More and more laws and guidelines amongst affiliate partners are popping up that you need to comply with if you’re really taking your blog seriously, especially in the US, UK and EU regions, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and let your readers know if they might end up clicking on affiliate links.
7. Be present on social media
Did you know, the more social media accounts you have running that are linked to your blog, the better your blog’s SEO will be? Not only that, it makes it look like you’ve got everything covered, and gives new readers more reason to follow you.
It is good to focus your efforts on the social media accounts your able to keep up with, however make sure you have a presence on as many as you can. If you’ve only got an Instagram icon sitting in your side bar, it may look like you’re not putting as much effort into your online world as you need to be. New readers need to see that you’re all over it to make them excited to be following you.
8. Use your submark
When branding your blog, you should have a submark. This is typically your logo in a circular form (mine is at the top of the image for this blog post).
The more you use your submark, the more people will recognise it and take notice of your content on social media. This is especially useful on Pinterest – when there are thousands of blog post images to scroll through, you want people to take notice of your’s and they will if you have consistently branded them.
If you make these few tweaks to your blog, I guarantee you will make more of an impact on people who find it.