5 Ways to Make Your Blog Look More Professional (A Behind the Bookwyrm Feature)

POSTED ON April 18, 2018 BY Austine IN Behind the Bookwyrm, Guest Post

Hello, Knights! Today Lucy of That Book Gal is joining me here on the blog to give you 5 awesome tips for making your blog look more professional! If you have a blog (or any platform, really) keep on reading and make sure to check out Lucy’s blog and other media pages at the end of the post!

I’m a firm believer that all you need to have a great book blog is something to say and somewhere to say it. You don’t need to spend a fortune on domains, none of that. However, a lot of bloggers have asked me lately how they can make their blog look more professional. (it seems when you’ve been blogging for 7 years people think you have wisdom to share) Publishers often look at your blog to gage whether to send you books, people look at your blog to figure out if they want to follow you. So while you don’t need a fancy blog to be a book blogger, you often need one to help build an online presence. So here’s a list of 5 ways to make your blog look more professional.

Flow is Key!

If you scroll through my blog or social media you’ll notice everything matches. It all flows together, creating a look that works as branding. If you have watercolor polka dots on your blog, don’t have fabric stripes on your twitter. If everything matches, it’s identifiable, memorable. And the key here is to be remembered. I also recommend not changing your blog design every week or month or something. I personally keep my blog design changes a minimum of six months apart, because that’s what works for me. Find a design that works for you and stick with it, it’ll create a stability that, from the outside, is professional.

Keep to a Schedule

A big part of having a blog that at least looks professional is dependability. Dependability of design, and dependability of posting. So think through how much time you have to work on posting every week, and how much you read if you post reviews, and figure out a schedule that works for you. I personally read upwards of one to two books a week, so having a schedule that has me posting one review a week and two other posts works for me. I have time over the weekend to write up and schedule the other two. Also keep in mind that scheduling posts IS YOUR FRIEND. I used to write posts the day of or the day before and my publishing times weren’t the same and it was all over the place. Scheduling your posts will help keep you to your set schedule. I post 3 days a week, at 6am. That’s what works for me, but figure out what works for you.

Have a Review Policy

If you’re trying to make your blog look professional specifically to receive review requests or send them, it’s important to have a review policy. Even if you’re emailing your blog to a publisher to request an ARC, a review policy looks professional. This whole thing is making you look like you have your shiz together even when you don’t. If you have a review policy up it makes you look like you’re ready and professional enough to handle professional reviewing.

Quality Matters

You can have the coolest blog design ever but there’s one thing that will be your downfall. You need to use good quality, clear graphics. That’s one reason why I don’t recommend using Canva. It’s free and easy to use but if you import a high quality clipart or anything it exports in such low quality. You can end up with some super cute things but they’ll be blurry and pixelated and let’s face it. That’s not professional. So if you need to pay for a higher quality designer(picmonkey is what I use!), or hire someone to make your graphics(can be cheaper in the long run if you don’t need them super often, rather than paying a monthly fee for something you only use every 6 months) (also if you to hire someone I’m your gal! my rates are low and my quality is high) I hate that it does, but looks, how you present your blog, is important to building a platform and looking professional while doing it. Also make sure the content you’re posting is good quality too, because while looks are important and will draw people in, they’ll stick around for your content.

Put a Face to it

Y’all, I’m going to be honest like I always am. The internet is a strange place and anyone can come on here and lie. They hide behind profile pictures that have no people or faces in them and I’m just going to say it: if your profile picture is of a pixelated logo or you don’t have one or something and you’re trying to build a platform it won’t build trust. If you talk to someone for long enough it will, but you can’t talk to every potential follower. Putting a face on yourself instantly makes you seem more trustworthy and accessible. There are a lot of free stock photos out there so you still could be lying, and I’m not going to get into that or whether this being trustworthy is okay, but putting a face to your blog or profile is instantly more professional. And think about authors. Do their books have their logo in the back with the about me section? No. If you want your blog to seem professional, treat it like a job. It’s still fun obviously. I don’t want you to stop enjoying it, but take it seriously, if that makes sense.

I know the internet is scary and not everyone is comfortable putting their face on it. That’s fine. Everyone has their own comfort zone. But even just putting a good quality book picture or an artsy shot of your boots or something helps you look more trustworthy and professional.

I think it’s important to remember that even if you’re not doing any of these things, YOU AREN’T DOING ANYTHING WRONG. I don’t think you should blog for other people, but if you feel you want to make a change to something more professional, do it. It’s your blog, so in the end it doesn’t matter what people think as long as you’re happy with it. These are just some tips to help you build a platform and help it look more professional to others, which is something I personally value in my blog. There’s no wrong way to blog.

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About Lucy @ That Book Gal

Hi! I’m Lucy. I’m a young Christian gal, a hufflepuff, and I’ve been blogging for just over seven years. I’m obsessed with my two adorable cats, and I love to read. I’m currently a high school student and I’ve been homeschooled all of my life. I was born and raised in the best state of them all, Kansas and I’m annoying proud of that. I’m also a designer on Redbubble and I do freelance designing as well, making graphics and headers and all of the things for other bloggers, as well as affordable book covers for authors. I’m a bookstagrammer, I read mostly YA, post only spoiler free reviews, and have way too many books(as one does). I love writing YA books in my offtime, nearly as much as I love reading them.

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Behind the Bookwyrm is a guest post blog series where members of the book community come to NovelKnight to share their thoughts, opinions, interests, and anything in between! This series is intended for book bloggers, booktubers, bookstagrammers, booklrs, etc. If you’re using a platform to talk about books, then this is for you!

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7 responses to “5 Ways to Make Your Blog Look More Professional (A Behind the Bookwyrm Feature)

  1. Great list. However, you can get some really great quality images through Canva if you’re using it for branding. I have used Canva on all my images (well, the majority), you just simply have to be mindful to choose templates with higher pixel quality. I use either the Twitter post template (1024px by 512px) or the Instagram post template (1080px by 1080px) and never have an issue with bad quality, blurred images, or pixelation. Also, make sure to download your images as a .png which will give you a better resolution.

  2. I really enjoyed this post! But I have to say that I think Canva is actually a valuable resource for most bloggers. Being free or very affordable, they do have plenty of high quality graphics. I think it often boils down to using the correct templates and downloading the right files 🙂 I certainly would not rule them out!

    I love that you mention review policies and putting a face to it all! These were things I really struggled with initially. They are so important though 🙂

  3. […] at NovelKnight featured a guest post written by Lucy from That Book Gal on 5 Ways to Make Your Blog Look More Professional (A Behind the Bookwyrm Feature). Lucy gives some great pointers on how to optimize your blog to make it more professional. […]