Last Updated on June 23, 2020 by ellduclos
How to Look Like a PRO Blogger Right from the Start
Long time no talk! I apologize, it’s been quite a busy month! But I am so ready to get down and teach all those bloggers just starting out, how to look like a professional blogger right from the beginning!
Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to LIE or pretend to be someone you aren’t. I am instead, sharing all my TOP NOTCH tips to help you get your blog out there FASTER, + make you look like an “expert” right from the beginning so that you can start earning some income from your passion!
A little background about me: I started my blog in April 2017, so a little over a year ago. I pursued the crap outta my passion and didn’t give up. About 6 months in I started making over $1,500 a month from my side hustle! NOW I make up to $7,000 a month from blogging. (of course each month ranges). Blogging is now my full time job and it only took me a year!
Am I saying that it’s going to happen in a year for you? NO. It could be a year, it could be a few months, or maybe more! It all comes down to how DEDICATED you are. Nothing comes easy. You have to work hard and consistently at your passion in order to see growth.
BUUUT since I know your end goal is to pursue blogging as a career, I want to share with you some of my tips on how you can look like an “expert” right from the very beginning!
DISCLAIMER: Affiliate links are used, I only recommend products and services that I absolutely LOVE! read more here.
Tip One: Choose a Proper Platform – Ditch the FREE
This tip is HUGE. If you want to seem like a “professional blogger” you gotta look like one. If you have a blog with the domain name: “www. yoursitename . blogger . com” you don’t look so profeshhhh. I know you probably don’t want to hear that, but it’s the truth! Unfortunately if you are trying to make this your career, you will have to invest in your blog a bit. (I knowwww…the groans…I get it.) I didn’t want to invest in my blog in the beginning but I am damn glad I finally did! I would have never made the income I am making now if I stayed on a free wordpress platform without my own domain name!
I suggest self-hosting right from the very beginning. In my personal opinion it’s the best platform to grow your blog + biz.
Perks of self hosting
- You own your blog
- You own your domain name (no .blogger .com crap at the end)
- You can monetize your blog however you want, no limitations
- You have quality, high speed servers
- You can customize your blog however you’d like, including plugins and email list builders!
Without being self hosted you don’t have complete ownership over your blog and you do have to follow rules when it comes to monetization. Also your customization will be limited.
I chose to go with Siteground because their support team is top notch! I use their 24/7 live chat to help me with any issues (so don’t worry you are not alone when self hosting!) They also have free SSL certificates which is a MUST … AND they have super fast server speeds. WIN WIN WIN
They start at just $3.95 with my link, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed (: You get to also choose a domain name with them if you’d like OR you can go through someone like name cheap for a domain name.
Tip Number Two: Get Started on Pinterest ASAP
Don’t wait! Pinterest is the golden key for bloggers. All the professional bloggers are on Pinterest, I promise! If you think about it, Pinterest is like a free marketing platform for bloggers. You click on images in Pinterest and it brings you to someone’s blog!
I started utilizing Pinterest my 3rd month into blogging and wish that I had started way sooner! Within a month of taking Pinterest more seriously, my blog traffic went from 5,000 monthly viewers to 25,000 monthly viewers! Pinterest will bring you your targeted traffic.
I even put together a SUPER affordable course with all my Pinterest strategies (including how to properly use Tailwind) I like to keep my products as affordable as possible because I know how tight money can be when you first start out.
If you haven’t utilized Tailwind on Pinterest yet, you should definitely try it out! Board booster was really popular but as of June 27th they are no longer available. Tailwind is approved by Pinterest and is my favorite Pinterest scheduling app! It allows me to pin in my sleep and helps me reach audiences all over the world! Without tailwind my account would be no where near 1 million monthly viewers!
All in all, Pinterest is key to growing your blog traffic and reaching your target audience! So don’t sleep on Pinterest!
Tip Number Three: Give Your Site a Brand Look
If you are wanting to look “pro-fesh” you need to give your site a “brand look”… Your blog is essentially going to be your BRAND! You want to make it look as put together as possible.
- Choose a theme that is appealing and easy on the eyes. I LOVE HelloYouDesigns , their themes are stunning. Or you can find some gorgeous affordable themes on CreativeMarket.
- Create Pinnable Images for your blog posts that have the same “look” so when people see your pins they think of you! You can use Canva or PicMonkey for this!
- Use the same colors and color scheme for all of your images.
- Try to also use images that are of high quality. I understand if you are not a professional photographer, because neither am I! I like to purchase stock images for photos that I can’t professionally take myself. There are free stock image sites BUT I like the inclusitivioty I get by purchasing my stock photos. SO MANY people use free stock images so the same images are showing up EVERY WHERE. I want to be as unique as possible. IvoryMix is my favorite for stock images!
- Invest in some “professional blogger” lighting so that your photos that you take inside are brighter and clearer! I use Limo Studio Box Lighting & the Neewer Ring Light , This improved my photo quality by SO MUCH! I also invested in a quality camera.The Canon PowerShot G7 X is by far my absolute favorite! Perfect for all you you tubers out there too!
Tip Number Four: Create an E-mail List from the Start
It’s important to be growing your e-mail list, JUST IN CASE social media decides to say “adios”, this will make it so that you have your “subscribers” all in one place! You’ll also be able to connect with your readers on a more personal level through your e-mail list too. Which is important!
I recommend using MailerLite, they are extremely affordable, free for up to 1,000 subscribers, and it’s SO EASY to use and set up! I recommend them over MailChimp.
If you are wanting to grow your e-mail list, make sure you have an opt-in! This is something that you send your subscribers for free to thank them for subscribing!
For example – I offer a free 28 day blog challenge to all of my subscribers!
The opt-in should be related to your niche, that way you are attracting your ideal audience!
Tip Number Five: Being as Consistent as Possible
I am so serious about this! Nothing screams “NEWWWWBIE” than not being consistent. I will be so honest with you. In the beginning it’s vital to be consistent, and keep being consistent with all that you do! Starting out as a blogger you will have many moments where you sit there and say “UGH, I don’t want to do this, it’s not worth it, I will NEVER grow.” I get it. I have been there and done that.
Do you want to know what 75% of bloggers do when they get to that point…They take a long a** break and give up. Your audience will start to wonder, where the hell did you go? They start to lose trust in you, and it doesn’t make you look profeshhhh at all.
I know this has been a lot of “the truth hurts” moments, but I am telling you how it is! You need to stay consistent. Long breaks can really hurt you. I know that breaks are important but if you disappear on your audience for months at a time, they will never trust you. Trust is important especially when it comes to making money through your blog! You NEED a trusting audience, and one way to get your audience to trust you is to consistently put out your best content and to be as consistent as possible!
Related: How to be a Consistent Blogger
Yes all the legal jazzy bits is what you need! I have an awesome post that explains why this is all a MUST! It’s important and you will look profesh with it and you will save your butt in the long run from any legal issues!
Your about me should give all the deets about who you are, what your blog’s purpose is and everything else!
You should then have a contact page with a contact form and e-mail address so that you can be easily reached if need be! (plus many brands will contact you this way if they ever want to work with you!)
A disclosure policy let’s your audience know that you do sponsored posts but that your opinion is never persuade by the compensation you receive! That every opinion is honest. It also discloses that you use affiliate links and get a small commission when others purchase through your links! But again, that your opinion is always honest.
Check out the legal bundle that has all the policy templates you need to protect your blog and biz!
Tip Number Seven: Have Social Share Buttons
This is so important! If you want your blog traffic to grow, you need to make sure that you have share buttons so that your audience can share posts with their audience if they enjoyed it! I use the social warfare plug in and LOVE IT. It’s free as well.
Tip Number Eight: Have Social Media Links Present
You don’t want to connect with your audience just through your blog, you want to connect with them on social media as well! So make sure you have your social media links present. Many themes will come with social media icons that allow you to link them to your social sites.
You can also use Milotree which is a plug in. This will pop up a new social channel for your audience to follow each time they visit your site! It will shuffle through them randomly and suggest a new one to your audience each time.
Tip Number Nine: Write with Confidence!
Nothing more important than writing with confidence. If you believe in yourself, others will too! That’s one thing that I learned throughout my journey. Through blogging I was actually able to find my confidence. Now I am confident in everything I do, especially when reaching out and pitching to brands! This is a huge topic that I cover in this post.
Tip Number Ten: Network
It’s so important to network with other bloggers! You don’t just grow alone, but you grow together! Guest posting on other’s sites is HUGE. It not only helps improve your SEO (search engine optimization and ranking higher on google) But it also helps you to get noticed by more people! Plus you might even make some great friends!
I suggest joining my community BossGirlBloggers if you are wanting to network and collab with other bloggers! It’s a community of over 36,000 female bloggers and entrepreneurs! We all help each other grow and learn together!
Also learn why starting your own FB group could help you double your income as well!
I hope you enjoyed these tips! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or tips as well (:
Hope you will subscribe to stay updated.
Avion Anderson says
Excellent article. Even thou my blog is going to two months this June, started last month May. I am seriously going to take a closer look at what I did right and also what I did wrong.
Thank you so much! I always am checking to see what works and what doesn’t all the time. So important!
I completely enjoyed this post! I’ve learned so much just through these 10 tips, excuse me while I go make some additions to my blog 😉
Thank you so much! Makes me happy to hear (:
Thanks so much I learned a lot from this post. I’m a new blogger and always like your posts on insta gram and Pinterest.
Aw thank you! That makes me happy to hear (:
Hi! Do you have any recommendations on how to learn the basics of customizing your website? I’m in the process of creating my blog. I’ve downloaded the template, but I have no idea what I’m doing from there. I’m pretty tech illiterate which isn’t helpful in this case!
Hi! So I usually youtube tutorials for customization!! If you really hate it, it might be worth it to pay some one to set it up!
Great post! I’ve only just started my new blog and I am hoping it takes off soon.
Thanks so much!! It will! Keep pushing!
Teliah Nashonia says
Get tips ELL, I definitely used all of the tips from you when I first started out and they have opened so many doors for me. Thank you, for sharing.
Always helpful! I’ll have to add About Me page soon, thank you for a reminder 🙂
Thanks for the tips! I’ve recently become more seriously about blogging, but I had no idea where to start! I’ll definitely be implementing these! 🙂
What a great read!! I’ve been blogging for awhile but these tips were super great and relevant! Thanks for sharing!
Swapnil Panda says
Bookmarked this gem
Lyndsey @ Lemon la Vie says
Your post has reminded me of some (many) things that I need to work on. Have you seen that meme about “my brain is like a web browser with thirty tabs open”? Well, if not, that’s ok. You get the gist! My brain is all over the place!
Self-hosting is a must for me, as well as Pinterest, and I’ve been doing my best to network. So thanks for confirming that those things are good! Keep up your AWESOME advice!
Aw I’m so glad you found this post helpful!!! I totally can relate, my brain is the same way with multiple open tabs!! But we got this!! Keep going you are on the right path ?
Thanks for the wonderfully informative post! Having just launched my blog I really needed these tips from someone who’s succeeded!!!
Lots of love xx
Thank you for your kind words!! ?
I was excited to discover this web site. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!!
I definitely liked every little bit of it and I have you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff in your site.
Glad I could help! Thanks so much (:
Emidio Amadebai says
Thanks for sharing. Really solid advice for beginners. My blog is 26 days old now, and I have been reading and learning so much from other bloggers. Your post kind of summarizes many of the points I keep finding out there…in a unique (your) tone. I wish I could join your Facebook group, is it exclusively for women?
Thank you so much! I really appreciate that! And congrats on your blog and journey!! It’s a lot of work but it’s the best decision I have made thus far. My group is exclusively a place where other women can come together, connect & collaborate with women who are chasing the same goals!! There are so many amazing Facebook groups out there!
Hi Ell thank you so much for your post. It has given me hope and encouragement to continue on. My blog is new still working on the website elements. Still need to do some blog posts. Thank you so much!
Stacy, you are so welcome! Thank you so much for your sweet comment and for reading!
This was really helpful, thanks!
So glad you found it helpful (: thank you!
Amazing post Ell! I definitely agree with you on the importance of being consistent. With my first blog, that I don’t use anymore, I wasn’t consistent at all, and it really affected traffic.
But after I stopped using that blog, I quickly realised that I really enjoy blogging, and so I decided to start a new blog, and do it completely different, and I just launched last week! I am so excited to be back to blogging again!
I am so glad you enjoyed it and glad to hear you are back at it!! (:
These 10 tips have really inspired me. Being consistent as you have stated is one of the major keys to blogging success. Moreover, networking and being confident are other great ideas. Nothing more, Thanks a lot.
So glad you agree! Thank you so much!
Hi Ellduclos, such an amazing ideas to start a blog on different niches. Really an useful post with clean and clear details. Thanks for sharing this post. Keep sharing.
Hey there! This article was super helpful! I am so glad I clicked on your Pinterest pin! You have some great classes you are offering that I need to take! Your Pinterest course sounds interesting! Your monetization course would be helpful as well for me right now. I just started nine months ago and after a bad tech week I was ready to throw in the towel! Then several things happened to make me think-nope-I have invested this much money, time and energy and I am going to fake it ’til I make it! LOL! Thanks for the tips! Looking forward to hearing more from you!
Aw thank you so much!!! I hope you find the rest of my tips helpful (: and courses if you end up taking them!
Benu Tyagi says
Excellent attempt to help those who are struggling with their efforts with blogging.
Hats off to you!
Love this article! Thanks so much for sharing. I am starting a blog now and have been working on it for a few months. I haven’t published it yet but will be soon. Will definitely be reading more on your blog.
Thank you so much Kristy! Happy to hear that (:
I’ve been considering starting a blog for a while now, so finding this article helps so much!! These tips are lovely and really help me understand how to properly start a blog!! Thank you so much!! ^-^
So glad to hear this! Thank you!
Thank you! Great tips! I will definitely be looking for more of your gems!
Thank you so much Teresa!
Deborah DeVault says
Awesome Blog…Awesome Info…Awesome Telling it How it is!! Thanks so much. Looking forward to following you and learning.
Thank you so much!
This is very helpful, thank you
Hi! Thanks so much for the tips. I appreciate the points about Pinterest; it really is like “free marketing.” I can’t believe how much it helped your traffic grow. And actually, I found this article through Pinterest! ? Great post!
Thank you so much Chloe!!
Thank you! This blog post was extremely resourceful, relevant and highly informative!
So glad you found it helpful!
I am seriously going to take a closer look at what I did right and also what I did wrong.
Laiba Khan says
this provided a very good checklist.. thank you.. just posted my first blog 2 days ago.. and have only 21 views.. i hope it grows more as my only source of traffic.. anyone else grew only by pinterest?
Keep up the good work! That’s a great start! 90% of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest!
geet vijayvergia says
it was a wonderful article. i have recently started my blog and will surely use these tips.
Thank you so much!
Thank you so much!
Siteground is turning out to be one of the most complicated user interfaces I have ever used. It is definitely professional-grade. This newbie is losing her mind over here. Hoping it gets easier. Thank you for the tips – looking forward to crossing the finish line!
Oh no! Sorry to hear this, it gets better with practice! You got this!
Emmaxfans blog says
Thank you for this guide, actually i’m a beginner and i blog on DIY, will put all these things in mind and practicalize it
So glad you found it helpful! Thank you!
When I click on the link for Siteground, it says starting at $6.99. Do you know how I get the $3.95 rate?
Unfortunately it seems they upped their prices
Aditya Mondal says
As I’m totally new to this (blogging) and wanna take this full-time, I came to know a lot about blogging from this post. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
Thank you so much!
Wow! How did you get 5000 views at the beginning if you didn’t use Pinterest?
My Facebook group I created!
Tyresha Hawkins says
So when you sign up or you signing up under web hosting or WordPress hosting under site ground??? Not sure on where to start
I do wordpresss hosting!
All of this sounds great. I will be retiring next March & want to have my blog up & running by then. I haven’t started yet because it sounds so daunting. Maybe by using your tips, it won’t be as scary as it seems! Thank you!
You got this!!! I am rooting for you
Thank you so much for this post. This is VERY useful content and tips, especially for newbie bloggers like myself. A lot of what you mentioned in this post resonates with me because I went through the exact same feelings, sometimes still do.
Thank you so much for your kind words! Sending positive vibes your way!
This article is beyond helpful! I can’t wait to dive in with this information and make some changes.
Thank you so much! So happy to hear this!
Thank you for these helpful tips. I definitely need to collaborate with other bloggers.
So glad you for them helpful thank you!
Thanks For information