Have you ever balked at the thought of sharing your blog URL when someone asks?
You can’t place your finger on it but no matter how many times you tweak your theme, every time the page loads you’re hit with the same horrifying look that to you screams “newbie” and you don’t want to share that!
Well there’s good news and bad news.
Your blog probably does scream “newbie” for real, and like with any other business, no one wants to give the newbie a chance.
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But the good news is, it takes just a few simple no/low cost tweaks to create an impression of a bigger, more professional blog so that you can:
- Get more return visitors.
- Increase your affiliate income.
- Sell your products and services better.
Even if you’ve only just started blogging today!
Let’s show everyone that you are a serious professional blogger who deserves to be taken seriously.
1. Make Your Blog Load Fast
Nothing screams “unprofessional!” more than a slow loading site.
Especially when all the pro sites load at lighting speed!
First go to GTMetrix.com and enter your URL, your goal is to have everything go green.
Also use Test My Site to test especially for mobile.
Here’s what to do if your results fall below industry average:
- Consider switching to a better web host.
- Remove unnecessary plugins.
- Use a fast premium theme.
- Install a caching plugin (I use Litespeed Cache).
- Use a Content Delivery Network (I use Cloudflare).
- Go easy on images and compress them.
2. Pay Attention to Looks
The most noticeable thing with pro blogs is that they look sleek and custom designed.
That is the look you should go for too.
Choose a premium wordpress theme that looks great. Some of my favorites are the Victoria Theme, the Maggie Theme, and the Ella Theme.
You could also pick a free theme like Astra and customize it if you are techy.
The other thing to pay attention to is what your blog graphics look like.
Your Pinterest and other social media graphics should all be spot on!
Here’s where to get kickass blog graphic templates you can use.
3. Use a Custom Blog Title
If your blog still says “A wordpress site” as its tagline that’s not right.
Mine for example reads “FindingBalance.Mom – Where Ambition Meets Motherhood”
To change your site title, from the dashboard go to Settings > General and enter whatever you like.
4. Your Name Vs “Admin”?
Another thing that makes you look less pro is when your name appears as “Admin” in the comments section.
If you take a look at my comments section, you’ll see that it says “Lily Ugbaja” when I reply to a comment.
To fix that, navigate to the dashboard, Click users > your profile.
We’ll get to making your photo show up like mine soon.
5. Make Your Links Sexy
The address people share on social media or type into the browser bar is called a permalink.
For this post, the permalink is https://findingbalance.mom/how-to-look-like-a-pro-blogger
I call this a sexy link because left to the default wordpress link structure my links will look something like this https://findingbalance.mom/p?2453
Here’s how to make your links sexy too.
Navigate to the wordpress dashboard. Click on Settings > Permalinks > change to “Post name” and save.
6. Add a Favicon
This tiny icon at the top left corner of the browser tab is called a favicon or a site icon.
For brand new sites it would look like a blank sheet or worse, bear your webhost’s site icon.
After creating whatever you would like to use as your site icon, you can upload it by clickng on Appearance > Customize > Site identity (sometimes you’ll find this under “Layout”).
You can also change your site title and tagline from here if you prefer!
7. Use Larger Fonts
Tiny fonts are hard on the eyes and any pro blogger knows that.
To make your blog attractive and appear like a pro blogger, you should increase your font size.
It’s pretty easy too.
In the same Appearance > Customize tab, Click “Typography”, “Base Typography” and set that to whatever you like.
I like to use 15px at least.
8. Don’t Forget Your Share Buttons
Pros always know to add share buttons to their posts.
But more than just making you look like a pro blogger, share buttons help spread the news about your blog.
What you are doing is giving your readers an easy way to share your blog with their friends.
Some of the best, lightweight social sharing buttons to add include Social Pug, Social Warfare and I’m personally using the Sassy Social Share Buttons.
9. Don’t Settle for Selfies
While a selfie may work for your personal facebook profile or instagram, a blog is no place to use your selfie if you intend to be seen as a professional blogger.
But you don’t need to use studio shots either!
Ask a friend to take shots for you using your phone camera if it’s very good (hopefully it is).
You should take as many as 20 – 50 shots trying out different angles and poses.
I’m sure you’ll find a great one to use.
Like Kimi from May The 4th Be With Us uses this on her blog.
10. Setup a Gravatar
Remember I promised to show you how to make your photo come up in blog comments.
Well this is it.
A gravatar helps associate a photo with your email address so that even when you leave a comment on another blog your photo still shows up.
Here’s how to set one up.
- Go to the Gravatar website.
- Click on the big, blue “Create Your Own Gravatar” button.
- Either create a new WordPress.com account or sign in with the one you have already set up.
- Add a new email address and then upload the photo of your choice.
- That’s it!
11. Use a Text Based Logo
A logo helps you look like a professional blogger too but why I advise new bloggers to use a text based logo is because it’s easy to get the opposite effect otherwise.
Sometimes a DIY or cheap logo will disgracefully appear as such.
But when you use text, your reader won’t even notice a poorly designed logo!
Another reason is because you’ll most likely never stay happy with your logo design for more than a few weeks and we don’t want you constantly changing that.
12. Add Legal Pages & A Copyright Notice
The one thing all professional blogs have is legal pages.
You need them to be GDPR compliant and even google won’t approve your blog for adsense without them.
Jade & Oak has some legal templates or search online for free ones to use.
Adding a “Your Name | Copyright 2019” is very easy and instantly gives off an air of professionalism.
13. Create a Pro About Page
This can make a world of a difference in how you are perceived as a blogger.
Most about me pages literally suck and scream newbie.
I have this detailed guide to help you create an about page that rocks!
You should probably also create a contact page too!
14. Use Social Proof
Do you have anything that could make your blog seem bigger? Use it.
Add a “featured in” block to your blog.
And try as much as you can to grow your social media accounts.
I’ve found that Pinterest is the easiest to grow. I’ve broken 2000 Pinterest followers in 6 months with a new blog using a smart tool called Tailwind.
Tailwind also helps you get traffic to your blog which in turn helps you make money.
15. Hide These Things
I feel that this bit is just as important as the things you need to show.
In the beginning you’ll have fewer shares, comments, blog posts…
You need to hide those!
Some social sharing plugins allow you to hide share counts until you get to a certain amount of shares.
Then you need to remove any widget that shows your recent comments or your blog post archives.
It’s also wise to remove your wp login meta from your blog immediately.
Create a sign up form using Mailerlite.
Create a product
For more inspiration, check out these examples of newer blogs you’d easily mistake for pros.
- 10 Best Productivity Planners in 2023 (you absolutely need one!) - January 16, 2023
- Is freelance writing worth it? 10+ benefits that say yes - January 6, 2023
- 10 Best Clothes For Apron Belly - December 5, 2022
7 thoughts on “How to Look Like a Pro Blogger (Impress & Make Money From Day One)”
these are some really nice bullet points you made here….
That real name vs admin tip is spot on Lily. Whenever I see a webmaster respond to comments with “admin says” I know they’re either a total newbie or a really careless person.
Nothing wrong with being a newbie, because we all have to start somewhere, and usually at the beginning:)
But it doesn’t exactly inspire me to buy from them, if you know what I mean?
That’s a really good point Nikola, thank you for leaving a comment.
Great post, this covers almost everything that a new blogger should take care of. When I started blogging, I did not do any of these. I was so overwhelmed that I decided to stop it altogether. Last year, I rebranded and launched my blog again, did everything you mentioned on the list and now, doing well. Your post is dead on!
Thanks for sharing Chhavi!
I’m glad it all worked out for you in the end.
The load time point is dead on Lily. Even as a newbie, you convey a pro image by having blogs load super fast. Meanwhile, struggling veterans usually run slow loading blogs, scaring off potential readers.
You are so right Ryan!
It’s no secret why you stick to your very simple blog design, super speed.
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