How to Make a Blog Look Professional without Spending a Lot of Money
Blogging has become one of the most productive ways
to share thoughts and ideas since the Internet was created. Virtually anyone
can operate a blog regarding any subject matter they wish. It is a way the some
will develop skills in a particular subject or provide a way for a master to
share his or her information with the rest of the world. Blogs can be monetized
relatively easy and they have provided the means for a great many people to acquire
additional income in an age where the economy isn't looking so bright.
For a greater impact to your visitors, your blog should look the part of a professional. While you may receive a few visitors once in a while, a professional look can keep them coming back for more. You want to concentrate on these return visitors as it increases the chances of each visit being the one that pays off.
1. Themes - Whether you are using Wordpress, Joomla, or another content management system to operate your blog, the theme for the site can set the tempo. Although you could find free to use templates and themes for your site, some of the more creative individuals will design their own. This can be done either by learning website coding such as HTML or PHP, or by using tools such as Artisteer in order to create the perfect theme for your blog.
2. Grammatically Correct - The content of your blog can say a great deal about your professionalism. Correct spelling and grammar play an integral role in the success of your site. If people can't understand what you're writing, they will move on. In order to help with your writing skills, use tools such as Firefox, Word, or other automatic spell-checking device. Although they don't help exceedingly well for grammar, at least your words will be spelled correctly - and that is a huge bonus.
3. Social Plugins - If you're using a CMS to manage your blog, it would be wise to include plugins that manage social media buttons and sharing. This not only helps you accumulate additional interest, but most major sites have these buttons as well. It gives one the sense that you are a professional in your field and are willing to prove it. Not to mention that millions of social media users love clicking on good content to share on his or her favorite sites.
4. Advertising - Most people will monetize their blogs by using systems such as Google Adwords or affiliate marketing banners. These can be quite a lucrative method if you have a large number of visitors per day. However, you don't want to saturate your blog with banners and links. Too many can take away from the content and could create confusion for your readers. In this instance, less is more. An overabundance of banners makes a page look too needy, tacky, and unprofessional.
5. Imagery - Adding a relevant image to your content has been a proven method to help keep readers interested in the blog. You don't want too many of them, however. Perhaps one or two images for every 500 words of text should be more than enough to make the page look stylish while allowing the reader to find the content he or she is looking for.
With determination and time, virtually anyone can have a professional looking blog that can bring in enough money to replace a full-time income. Your designs and plugins should match your information and be a shining example of great content that others would want to share. You will get out of your blog as much as you put into it. Manage your time wisely and provide the ultimate blog regarding your specific niche.
Ken holds a master’s in business leadership from Upper Iowa University and multiple bachelor degrees from Grand View College. As president of morningsidenannies.com, Ken’s focus is helping Houston-based parents find the right childcare provider for their family. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his three children and his wife.