Fake it til you make it: look like a professional blogger from the start

look like a professional blogger

Some people blog for fun, others want to start a business with their blogs. If this is you then when you start a blog there are a number of steps you can take to make yourself look like a professional blogger from the very beginning. By doing these from the start you won’t need to make over your blog down the track and it will make you look like you know what you are doing.

How to Look like a Professional Blogger

After five years of trying and testing, here are my ways to look like a professional blogger from the start:

Use WordPress.org

For me, WordPress is where you want to be. It has everything you need and is so easy to use. But don’t waste your time starting with the .com version if you are looking to have this as a business. It doesn’t support ads, plugins and loads of other things. You are better off starting on the .org platform from the very beginning. I made this mistake and it means then transferring everything from one site to another. It was annoying and unnecessary. You can also use Blogger but I know nothing about that platform. Avoid WIX and other things like that- WordPress and Blogger are the two biggest and they are the most supported.

You can also self-host with Siteground – this sets up your blog with WordPress once you sign up. This is one of the most popular ways for bloggers to set up their blog. It’s very easy to use and only costs about $50 a year. This cost is to set up your blog and to host it for a year so it’s really affordable and great for starting out.

Sign up to Siteground

Register a business and domain name

Make sure the domain name you want is available before you choose and register your business name. You don’t want to be making changes down the track or having a domain that doesn’t match your name. It’s bad for your branding and your SEO. Make sure you check for any trademarks as well. You really don’t want yourblog.wordpress.com or yourblog.blogspot.com. Also, make sure you register domain names that are similar to yours so that no one copies you with something so close. I buy all my domain names from Crazy Domains. I find them really affordable and easy to use and the instructions for setting up your DNS so you can have a Gmail account with your domain name is really easy. You can also check what domains are available.

sign up for Crazy Domains Here

Have an email address with your domain name

Nothing looks more unprofessional than having yourblog@gmail.com as your email address. You can either set an email up through your host or, what I recommend, which is set up a business account with Gmail. I love this because you can access it anywhere like a regular Gmail account but it’s all with your domain. This is also the account you’ll use with your Google Analytics. Having a blog email that has your domain makes you instantly look like a professional blogger.

Have a Work with Me page

As a professional blogger, if you want to work with brands then they need to know how to reach you. Have a page about you, your blog, your interests and what you write about and then have your email address (not a form) available on this page so you are easy to contact. Nothing puts brands off more than you being uncontactable. As well as blogging I also work in PR and if I can’t find a blogger’s email immediately (not a form) I take them off the list. The reason a form doesn’t work is that brands and PR can’t add your details to their media list if there is only a form, so you end up in the too hard basket.

Align your social media

A Professional blogger needs business social media accounts. Have a blog instagram (not your personal one), blog facebook page, Pinterest, whatever you are into. Don’t be using your personal pages as blog pages.

Once you have set these up make sure you have your blog link and your contact details clearly displayed as well.

Meet Edgar

To help with managing your social media I recommend Meet Edgar. It takes a little while to import all your content (if you have a lot) but it’s the absolute best and it means you can set up a blog social calendar and not need to post manually to facebook every day. I post about 5 – 7 times a day on facebook so this seriously saves me about 20 hours a month. I would be lost without it. You don’t have to only load it with your blog posts, you can set up questions, memes, videos – whatever you want to share.

This link for Meet Edgar will get you $10 off your first month so you can try it out.

Tailwind

If you want to build traffic, Pinterest is a great way to do it. But, just like other social accounts, it can take forever to be pinning every day. Time that could be spent on other things. So I use Tailwind to schedule my Pinterest. I increased my Pinterest traffic by about 1000% after using Tailwind (chances are you found this article on Pinterest!). Tailwind also has Tribes, which you can only access through them. They are basically group boards to join in your niche. If you sign up, get the year subscription. It’s way better value for money.

Use great photographs

Blogs are a visual medium as well as a written one and it’s important that your photographs are of a good standard. No grainy, crappy pics of the kids or badly lit shots of the product. I learned this the hard way. I’m not naturally a visual person so it took me a long time to learn what a good picture looks like. I had some solid lessons from a friend who is a photographer and I still send her pics for approval and advice. So if you have a photographer friend hit them up for some tips.

You want natural lighting, so take it near a window, not with the lights on. Get some MDF boards and paint or contact them to use as boards to photograph on or as backdrops. Below is my favourite board at the moment. I just use the $3 contact from Kmart on an MDF board and it looks like a table.

If you aren’t great at photographs, don’t be afraid of stock photos. Canva is what I use for all my graphic design. Images are either free or $1 for a single use license and they have thousands to choose from. You can also by stock photos from Etsy and there are free photos available on sites. Two of my favourites are Unsplash and Pixabay.

I mainly use my iPhone for photos as I have the iPhone X and its camera is great. It doesn’t matter if you have an DSLR or just a phone, as long as your photos are clear, clean and well lit. I edit my photos on Colour Story app on my phone but people also love VSCO.

Have a blog style guide

This is something I just didn’t get at first. I used whatever sized photos etc. But it’s really important for your blog to be consistent. Each of my blog posts has a header image and these are made in Canva. I use the facebook app template because then when I post to Facebook, the photos fit properly.

Have your fonts and colours too. If you get a Canva business subscription (about $12 a month) you can upload your own fonts and save your blog colours which makes this so easy when you are trying to look consistent.

Hopefully, these tips help you start off your blog on the right foot so you don’t have to redo your blog several times like I did! There’s nothing worse than looking back at those early posts and thinking, “what was I even doing?”.

Now that you have read all this head over to find out how to turn a PR pitch into a sponsored post!

Good luck on your quest to be a professional blogger and let me know if you have any questions!

20 thoughts on “Fake it til you make it: look like a professional blogger from the start

  1. Sonia

    I’m still in the “research” phase of my blogging journey, but found this extremely informational and helpful. Thank you!

    Sonia

    Reply
  2. Karen

    These are some great tips. I sure wish I would have known them to start. I have been blogging now for 13 months. I actually have 2 blogs. but I kinda am wanting to go another way besides just beauty with simplyeverythingbeauty.com. but I don’t want to lose my acknowledgment with Google since I’ve had that domain name a year. My 2nd blog is bloggerbrewey.com I don’t even think Google recognizes it yet. I spend more time on my 1st blog but I actually get more views on the blogging blog. Thanks for the helpful guidance.

    Reply
    1. mmMaraya Post author

      Hi, I think you should blog about whatever you want to! Maybe with your beauty blog you could incorporate other types of ‘beauty’ like food and locations etc. What are you thinking you’d like to blog about now?

      Reply
  3. Alanna Sharp

    I love your tip about hitting up a pro photographer friend! I have a few and never thought to ask their opinion for blog images. I still struggle with the visual side of blogging, especially web design, but I think I’m going to steal your Facebook template from Canava idea! Thanks for a well-written and informative post!

    Reply
    1. mmMaraya Post author

      So glad it was helpful! Yes definitely collaborate with your friends and get them to use their expertise. I’ve been doing this for 6 years and I still struggle with the visual parts because I’m not a visual person.

      Reply
  4. Lataya

    Great post and thanks for writing it. Every time I read about beginning a blog lately everyone keeps suggesting using WordPress.org vs WordPress.com, but when I was doing my research everyone was saying a I needed was WordPress.cm now I’m learning that it’s not the right platform although all the YouTube video’s I watch no one says that I can’t do ads and I haven’t had a problem with plugins. I guess I’m just confused I paid for hosting through Siteground and I use the WordPress.com dashboard am I doing it wrong?

    Reply
    1. mmMaraya Post author

      Not at all! Loads of bloggers recommend self-hosting through Siteground and using the WordPress platform. It sounds like to you have it all sorted.

      Reply
  5. Vox

    Your tips are supreme! I do still have a gmail address, but all the other advice I have taken heed to–except that About Me page–I am working on that now. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    Reply
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  7. Lyndsey

    Thank you so much for sharing! I just launched Lemon la Vie at lemonlavie.com. It is a blog about achieving a flexible lifestyle through monetizing a blog, finances, and having the opportunity to experience the life of the modern woman and house wife/mom. Ha! That seems like a lot, but it has been my dream to take care of my family while contributing financially. I want to help other women do the same! Anyway, check it out if you’re able, and let me know if you’ve got any constructive criticism for my site.

    Reply

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