If you feel like nobody is reading your blog, it could be that no one considers what you have to say to hold any weight. You might be an expert in a range of things, but if others don’t believe you, you will not get the dedicated audience you need. One reason for this is that your blog does not look professional enough. While we wish that appearances aren’t the be-all and end-all, they still have a place, especially in the blogosphere.
To make your blog look more professional and bring in more readers, here are three steps for success.
Create an Appealing, Eye-Catching Look
An appealing, well-organized blog will immediately make the visit a more pleasant experience for your readers, but you need to understand what makes a blog satisfying. Colours that are easy on the eyes and don’t assault the senses is an excellent place to start. Dark backgrounds are out; they look like a rebellious teenager and are hard to read.
To make your blog look more professional, use a white background with clean, attractive fonts, images and colours. Using plenty of images, whether your own or stock photos, will help break up the text and also provide context for what you are discussing.
It’s also useful to use a consistent colour scheme throughout the blog to make it feel like a single entity, rather than a range of different posts thrown together. For example, my logo colours are dark grey, light grey, and green. I’ve written down the exact hex codes for these colours in my blogging binder, so that when I’m creating images, I can incorporate these colours (if possible—green is sometimes hard to work with).
An organized blog is also important. Readers want to be able to find information quickly. Use menus and headers to help readers browse, and include an easy-to-find search bar somewhere on your blog.
Branding your blog with your colours, logo and fonts will help readers feel comfortable on your site and come back again. Think of your home decor and how you welcome guests to your house. You want your blog to have the same clean, welcoming, “come right in and make yourself at home” atmosphere. Choose attractive colours, create a recognizable logo, and use just a couple favourite fonts for a cohesive look throughout your site.
Successful bloggers find a lot of their growth comes from being able to speak to readers and other bloggers. To take advantage of this, include a contact form on your blog, usually in your About Me page, that will allow readers to send messages. You can also list your email address for readers to email you. Another way for readers to contact you is through comments on posts, but this can lead to spam, so it’s worth investing in a content filter or anti-spam plugin.
A physical blog address can also make your blog look more professional. Use physicaladdress.com (in the US) and Canada Post’s Flex Delivery (in Canada) to get a physical address while protecting your privacy. This will allow you to receive invoices, packages and more in a separate PO box rather than your home and will enable you to keep your inbox clutter-free. Canada’s anti-spam laws also require you to have a physical mailing address in your email newsletter.
In my email newsletter, I frequently tell my subscribers to feel free to hit reply to with any questions or comments. I love it when my subscribers actually do that! It’s a great way to start a conversation with your readers and get to know them and their needs, and to build relationships. I always say moms need moms and I mean that, even if the mom you’re able to reach out to is a blogger on the other side of the country.
Refocus Your Niche
If you’ve kept a blog for a while, you will have years worth of posts. While all of these posts show your journey as a blogger, they can also make your blog seem unfocused or cluttered. You have evolved as a blogger since your first ever post, so going through your old posts and removing any that aren’t connected with your usual topics can make the blog more focused and organized. (This is something I’ve been working on for a few years; it’s a big job because I’ve been blogging for over a dozen years now.)
You don’t need to remove all of your old posts, just those that aren’t relevant to your current niche. Doing this will keep readers on your site, even with less content, and help promote you as an authority on your subject. For example, many of my early posts were just “this is what we did today” type posts. They aren’t really interesting to anyone beyond me and my mom; they certainly don’t offer any help or value to readers. Sometimes I delete these posts and use my Yoast plugin to redirect the URL to a more informative post; sometimes I update the post so that it does offer value to my readers.
Make Your Blog Look Professional
Building a loyal following on your blog can take time, but if you put in enough dedication and hard work, you will get there eventually. Part of ensuring your growth as a blogger is understanding when things aren’t working and adapting your platform to change your fortunes. Looking more professional is one way to do just that.
What tips would you share to make your blog look more professional? What attracts you to a new blog, or what do you find annoying when reading a blog?