How to Create a Professional Looking Blog

Many people think that having a professional looking blog will cost hundreds of dollars in order to hire a professional web designer and completely optimize it, but this could not be farther from the truth.  It is completely possible to create a high quality blog or website without spending more than a few dollars, if you know what steps to take.  Of course, if you are short on time or do not want to mess around with adjusting website templates and perfecting your blog, go right ahead and hire a professional designer to create your blog.

The first step in creating a professional looking blog is to determine which blogging platform you will use.  There are at least a dozen platforms available that will allow you to create a free blog without having to pay for hosting or a domain name, but WordPress and Blogger are the two biggest.  Many people swear by WordPress and love the wide range of plugins and features available, but I will concentrate on Blogger in this article because it is a little known platform that can work extremely well.  Some of the benefits of Blogger (or Blogspot) include the fact that it is created by the ever powerful Google, it has a good selection of add-ons, and it is easy to upload your own HTML template.

If you have not done so already, it is free to sign up for a Blogger account using any Google account that you may already have.  Simply log in and hit create a new blog, after which you will be brought to a page to select your blog’s title and URL.  Unless you are planning on doing a lot of advertising to promote your blog as a brand, it is usually best to use your specific keywords in the title and URL so that you can reap all of the SEO benefits.  For example, if you would like to create a personal brand, then go right ahead and name your blog “Tom’s Tool Tips” or whatever you want.  However, you can get ranked higher in search engines and improve your traffic if you use a domain such as “howtousepowertools.blogspot.com”.  After you have picked your domain, there are several choices of basic templates that you can use and, to start, just pick any that appeals to you since you can change it later.

The basic Blogger templates are generally nice, but you can find free premium templates that have more functionality and look a bit nicer.  Simply search for “free Blogger templates” and you will find several sites that offer downloads.  Using these templates will require a bit of HTML coding knowledge, but you can find directions on how to change everything online.  Once you have downloaded your template of choice, go into the Template tab and choose to backup the template.  From there, you will be able to upload the new template and edit it through the HTML editor found on the Template tab.  When you preview your site, it should now have the new template live and you will now need to add new posts and change the respective pictures to your own.  This may take a while to get used to since it will require a bit of coding to get everything right, but you can easily find step-by-step instructions on how to do this on the template developer’s website.

After you have uploaded the template and filled out your blog with your pictures and posts, the next step will be to buy your own domain name to make it look more professional.  If the goal is to look as professional as possible, you will definitely want to change the “tomstooltips.blogspot.com” to “tomstooltips.com”.  This can be done directly through Blogger by going to the settings tab and selecting the advance domain options.  You can either buy a domain through Google for $10 or you can buy it at another registrar, such as GoDaddy, and point it towards your blog.  If you buy through GoDaddy, there is a very simple app that will automatically set up all the DNS records to point your domain to your blog.  GoDaddy also has the benefit of allowing you to buy a domain for cheaper, since a .INFO domain may only cost $3 and a .ORG domain may only be $6.  Either way, it is simple to set up a custom domain and make sure your visitors find your blog easily.

Creating a professional looking blog is very simple when using the Blogger platform and there are many tweaks that you can do to make sure it does not resemble a normal blog.  Free templates allow you to completely change the feel of the website and you can also edit the basic templates that are included in your account.  With a bit of research, you will find that only a few lines of code will let you remove the Blogger navbar, change column spacing, change colors, add widgets, and fit the blog to meet your specific needs. Next time you need to create a professional website quickly, and without spending money, turn to Blogger and you will be pleasantly surprised.

About Peter Jeferson 44 Articles
Learn how to take the triathlon challenge to improve your fitness and overall health. Read more of my articles to get tips on how to do everything from computer repair to improving your health to starting your own work-at-home online business.

5 Comments

  1. Good info on using blogger, but in my opionion while blogger may appear easy to set up and free, your content is at the mercy of blogger aka google, you dont own the real estate, If you are going to invest in a domain name, might as well own your own home. Webhost such as Hostgator, have a one click install for free wordpress, and starts less than 4 bucks a month. Then you have full control of the real estate your content is located. What happens if google shuts down blogger?

  2. Ugh, I just spent well over an hour writing a highly informative comment (I’m a writer/editor with moderate but rusty programming skills) on the pros and cons of both Blogger and WordPress as I had experienced them in the past.

    It was longer than most of these articles (!) and near the very end, I somehow triggered my mobile device to shut down the page and I’d saved (as back-up) only half. [Insert silent rage here.] I can’t stand the idea of rewriting the entire second half, so I’ll just keep this short(er) and sweet.

    I’m starting a new blog (again) as my creative outlet and a “home base” of sorts due to being scattered all over the Internet’s various forums and had planned to use Blogger (easier for me than WordPress based on past history). However, despite being quite knowledgeable about many things Internet, I was not aware that Google would technically “own” my own content.

    I don’t like that at all, particularly after seeing their massive destruction of StumbleUpon when they acquired it. It went from being a great concept of link sharing that also allowed individuality and original content to becoming a stark link dump, so all our pages look just like everyone else’s.

    After *four years* of dedicated reviewing, hand-coded blogging, and having become the most-reviewed and second most-followed blog out of the (then) 7 million users, the implementation of change after change has reduced actual page visits by over 90% across the board and rendered the site virtually unrecognizable from what we had.

    Most of its earliest users (like me) have either left in disgust or barely post there anymore, every page has been stripped of all individuality, and instead of being a site genuinely promoting good page finds with others like before, it’s now overrun by marketrs, SEOs and just generic self-promoters, which drastically reduced the quality of the content we received. I also missed the deadline to back up literally hundreds of pages, so countless personal photos, anecdotes and fond memories were all wiped out in a single day.

    Now that I’m aware that Big Brother Google technically will “own” my own personal content, not me, I think I’m going to go with WordPress with my own domain host. Thanks for the information on all sides. Cheers ツ

    • Hi Elise,

      Yes. Any changes in their terms means several months/years of effort goes down the drain. They can even close the service completely. This is something that Yahoo did with Geocities. It was used to host thousands of free sites, but it disappeared overnight.

  3. PS please excuse any typos or grammatical errors, these little mobile windows and keyboards make it hard to see the full post for effective editing. Sorry lol. 😉

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