Who wasn’t a newbie before? Personally, I think it doesn’t matter to be a newbie so long as we make effort to improve ourselves along the way. I know most people would like to know how to write a blog like a pro when they just got started, including myself.
To make things simple, I am going to share with you some tips below to help your blog looks more professional (or comfortable if you don’t think it’s professional) to the readers.
1. Use a Professional Looking Domain Name
Does the look of a domain name really matter? Well, ask yourself how would you feel when you see the free domain name below:
Looks okay? What about this:
Better? Personally, I feel the second one (paid domain) looks a lot better and easier to remember. It is like your own branding that will attach to all your pages/posts in the URL. If you’re serious in creating your own blog for good, you should consider to self-host your blog on a paid domain name.
How to self-host my blog?
You need to register your domain name and get a web hosting plan to do that. See our guide on How Do I Self-host My WordPress Blog for detailed steps.
What if I’ve already built a free blog with WordPress.com?
You can still avoid the long-tailed URL by getting a paid new domain name and map the new domain to your site at WordPress.com. It’s called “domain mapping” and you can find the WordPress instructions here.
2. Use Simple Yet Professional Logo
Spending too much time to tweak the logo design with minimum design knowledge can be daunting and the result might not be ideal. Unless you are a designer or good in drawing. Else, I suggest that you go with the simple yet professional way – text logo with one or two colors only. See these examples:
Got it? You can do that yourself with Photoshop too. Perhaps this 6 minutes video tutorial will give you some clues.
3. Create a Favicon For Your Website
A favicon is a small, 16×16 pixel image that is shown next to the browser’s address bar, tab and bookmark menu. This little icon has become more and more important that you shouldn’t ignore to have one. Imagine you open multiple websites in your browser and all tabs have their favicons updated except yours that doesn’t have one. Doesn’t look good right? Sometimes it is this small little thing that differentiate experienced blogger from a newbie.
How to create a professional favicon?
Again, back to my point for the professional logo. If you are not good in designing, use simple text. Like this:
How to upload a favicon to my blog?
It depends on the theme that you’re using for your blog. It’s usually within the settings of your theme. If there’s no option for you to upload your favicon within your theme settings, you may try the following and see if it works:
To upload favicon manually: Place your favicon file (named favicon.ico) into your website’s root folder. For WordPress users, place it directly into your “public_html” folder.
4. Check Your Grammar, Especially Title Head
Your title head is your first impression to the readers (if not domain name). Sometimes we are just too busy and might overlook the grammar errors. A poorly phrased blog will drive your readers away without reading your full content, or they won’t be bothered to start reading your blog if the title head is written in poor grammar.
How does Pro manage that?
Have you heard of Grammarly before? This tool has improved communication among the world’s 2+ billion native and non-native English writers. It is a tool for you to check your spelling mistakes and grammar errors online. The best part is, you can use it for free (I use it to check my blog too).
5. Update Your Permalink Structure
The permalink structure is simply the style of URL your WordPress blog creates when you publish a post or a page on your site. By default, it will look like this:
What does that “?p=8” mean? It simply means post #8. But this is totally not useful to the readers and search engines when they are searching for relevant articles as nobody (even the author) would know what’s post #8 all about without going into that URL.
There are few styles available for permalink structure under your WordPress’s dashboard. The most common style and widely used by bloggers is the setting by “Post name” which looks like this:
In this way, your URL will be more descriptive and can be easily identified.
How to update your permalink structure?
From your WordPress dashboard, go to settings>permalinks>select “Post name” setting and update. As simple as that. See screenshot below:
Note: Though it’s best to change your default permalink structure before you start posting in your blog, you can still change it if you’re already half way using the default structure.
6. Add an Image and Organize Your Blog Post
An image is like the leaf of a flower which will somehow make your blog looks more lively. Try to add at least one image that is relevant to your blog post when you are blogging. There are some cool websites that allow you to download high-quality image for free like Pixabay and Pexels.
Organize your post’s layout with proper heading, sub-heading, bold font, spacing, links etc. An unorganized blog post will just make readers feel that your blog is messy and difficult to read. Not pro right?
Last But Not Least
I hope the tips above could help you to avoid some common mistakes that amateur bloggers make. After all, I truly believe that it’s your content that keeps your readers. A professionally structured blog without quality content will not last.
If you have more tips for our new bloggers, feel free to share in the comment box below. Thanks for reading!