How To Improve Your Blog Design For A More Professional Look
I’ve been blogging for almost 9 years now, yes NINE, almost a decade. How on earth did that happen? It’s fair to say my website has come a long way in terms of style and design. When I first started out, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I created a free ‘blogger’ website (which did me well for the first couple of years) and made a very shoddy DIY header which I now cringe at.
When it comes to your blog, you want to look professional, not only for your readers but for potential business partnerships too! You don’t want users to land on a cluttered, busy site with a million pop-ups and a messy layout. This is not going to encourage them to stick around, nor any repeat visits for that matter.
A professional looking website doesn’t have to cost a tonne of money, in my opinion, less is more! Keep it slick, simple, and easy to navigate for your users. Here are some of the top tips I’ve learned along the way…
Buy your own domain
This is something I wish I had learned way sooner! It was a good 3-4 years until I actually bought my own domain tillyjayne.com as previously I was hosted on blogger. If you’re strictly a hobby-blogger, this is fine, but I wanted to take my site to the next level. Generally, marketers, SEO folk, and PR’s are not interested in collaborating with a site that doesn’t have its own domain. Why? It comes down to the fact that when you link to their client, it won’t give their site a boost if you’re sitting on a blogger hosted site still. You also won’t be able to grow your website’s domain authority either, which is fairly important when it comes to working on sponsored content.
Find a theme with great reviews
If a custom design is out of your budget, then look for a great pre-made theme instead. My site here is a customised theme that I bought off of ThemeForest, and it does the job! Although, do be mindful that when you buy a theme, you’re responsible for the upload unless stated otherwise. It took me AGES to populate my new theme and edit it how I wanted, so if you feel a bit daunted by this then it’s best to find a company that will provide you the theme AND installation. My tip? Always check the reviews! If a theme has a bunch of bad reviews then you know it’s a no-go and likely to cause you a real headache.
Think about your fonts and design
Another important element to giving your website that professional touch, is the graphic design and fonts. If you’re after fonts free of charge then Font Bundles is a great destination for tonnes of amazing choices – you can even search different categories too, so, if you wanted a handwriting font you can select from a number of fabulous options. It’s these little details that really make a big difference to the overall look and feel of your website! Thinking about starting a newsletter or giving yours a makeover? These fonts are also super handy for your emails too.
Engage a web developer where necessary
For me, finding a reliable web developer was a real lifesaver. This means I now host my website with him and he also takes care of any website issues that occur (like that time I accidentally turned my website pink and couldn’t reverse it – sorry Matt) giving me peace of mind. It’s also handy for those little custom tweaks you might want to make that are a little too advanced for your own web skills.
Think about your colour palette
It’s a good idea to have a set colour palette, not only for your blog, but to strengthen your own branding too. I must admit, this is something I’m working on improving for myself with a bit of a rebrand in the works. It will help you to look more professional and stand out from the crowd when it comes to pitching for work.