Are you an established blogger who wants to make your blog look more professional? Maybe you just started blogging and want to know the best practices? Whoever you are, you can create a polished looking website easily through Blogger. Don’t worry about the start, as I will give you some tips on how to make Blogger look like a website.
Blogging with Blogger
When you think about blogging, the first thing that comes to mind is WordPress. It’s understandable since at least 37 million websites use WordPress.
Unfortunately, some people think that WordPress.org is not serving its purpose as a completely user-friendly CMS. For some people who need more of a straightforward alternative, it simply doesn’t work.
Don’t worry, as there’s a solution to this problem – Blogger.
There are several reasons why Blogger is a good alternative for WordPress. It has a quick set-up and registration process. After you register, you can begin writing your content right away.
Blogger’s ownership is transferred to Google when it bought Pyra Labs in 2003. Being under Google’s ownership means that Blogger is integrated with their other products. You can share space with both Gmail and Google Drive. Your photos are also stored in Google Photos.
What’s even better, you don’t need to pay extra for hosting. Google hosts Blogger on their own servers.
You don’t need to worry about security either. Everything is taken care of by the support system. Furthermore, you’ll be getting lots of features from Blogger for free!
Blogger’s only setback is its layout. The design is plain and minimalistic. Fortunately, you can always customize it.
To customize your Blogger site’s layout, go to your Theme setting on your dashboard and click Customize.
Blogger will bring you to its theme section. Go to Advance, scroll down click Add CSS. Enter the code in the space provided, and press Apply to Blog. It’s as simple as that!
Don’t worry about making custom CSS. There are lots of free CSS sheets for Blogger themes floating around the internet. Google will definitely help find something you like.
If you need a simple platform for a professional website that won’t require large feature sets – Blogger is absolutely great.
6 Ways to Make Your Blogger Site Look Professional
To help you create a more professional-looking Blogger site, I have provided some tips for you below:
1. Buy a Domain Name
When you register with Blogger, your website’s address will have an additional subdomain – blogspot.com. For example, if you want abloggerslife as your site’s address, it will come out as abloggerslife.blogspot.com.
Using a subdomain is simply not very professional, and shows that you’re not willing to invest in your project. Therefore, you should remove Blogger subdomain.
You can remove the subdomain by buying a domain from a registrar such as Hostinger. Check your domain’s availability, purchase it, and you’re all set.
You can add your newly-bought domain easily by going to Settings -> Basic. There you will find domain options under the Publishing section.
Click Set up a third-party URL for your blog, and Blogger will give you the option to edit the domain. When you’re done, press Save.
2. Create Your Own Logo and Favicon
A logo is another way to present your brand and identity. Your products, your vision, mission ‒ a logo must be able to showcase all of them. If you create a representative logo, it will help stand out among others.
There are ways to create your logo without spending a cent. The first option is the Zyro Logo Maker; it is an entirely free tool. The second option would be SoThink Logo Maker Professional. It offers a 30-day free trial for new users.
After you create your logo, you can place it anywhere you like. However, there is a place you must put the logo ‒ it’s called the favicon.
A favicon is the icon located on the left of your website’s name as shown in the screenshot above. Adding a favicon is an excellent little detail that shouldn’t be overlooked. It shows that you do care about your website’s appearance, and helps it stand out between tons of browser tabs.
A single favicon’s size should be no more than 100 KB.
Adding one is easy. Go to the Layout section on your Blogger dashboard. Favicon options are located at the top. Click Edit in the Favicon section.
Blogger will bring you to a new tab. There, upload the icon you want. After clicking Save, Blogger will refresh itself, and your favicon will appear.
3. Customize Your Template
A template is Blogger’s answer to WordPress themes – defining how your website is displayed on the internet.
Although Blogger has its default theme, it is essential that you tweak it to some extent. Your template’s primary color, main display, and other template-related aspects also represent you professionally. The more unique your template is, the more memorable it’ll be for your audience.
Of course, you must not forget ease-of-use. You need to make sure that users can go through your website smoothly, without needing to stop and think of where something might be.
Editing the template can be done in two ways ‒ CSS or HTML. Since I mentioned how to manage a theme through CSS earlier, I will help you edit the template through HTML.
First, you should go to the Theme section, press Edit HTML. Blogger will then provide an area to input the HTML code. After you’re done, press Save Theme.
4. Adding Important Pages
Now that you have tweaked your website layout and favicon, it’s time to move on to pages.
The great thing about Blogger is that it lets you add up to 20 menus under your header. For a professional website, you will need several static pages. Moreover, the menus can be used as shortcuts to access those static pages.
To create a professional website, you need to have the necessary pages ‒ Home, About, FAQ, and Contact.
Home is the main display of your website. It is what people see first when they go to your site.
Meanwhile, the About page is the place where you can introduce your product’s history, vision, mission, and – of course – yourself. If you are doing personal branding, the page is used to tell your history.
A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is used to answers the most common questions asked by users.
If users want to ask things not shown on the FAQ, you should point them to a way of contacting you. A Contact section could be presented as a static page too.
Afterward, you can add other pages relevant to your niche. If you’re a designer, you can add a “Portfolio” page. A writer can create a “Stories List” page. Add as many pages as you want, as long as they are relevant to your focus.
Here is how you add a page to your Blogger site:
You can create your page by going to the Pages section. After you have written your content, hit Publish.
There are several locations where you can place a link to an important page – those are the top menu, left sidebar, and right sidebar.
If you want to place it at the top, press Edit in the Top Menu section. Tick your desired page, and you are good to go.
However, if you want to place the pages at the sidebar, click Add a Gadget.
A pop-out window will appear ‒ press Page, where you can tick your desired pages. Click Save, and you’re done!
5. Adding Relevant Features
There are other features you can use on Blogger such as AdSense, subscription links, and other gadgets that are found in the layout section.
If you have social media related to your website, you can add buttons that will take visitors directly to the platform. Some companies offer automatic social media widgets such as POWr.
Remember to use widgets sparingly. No need to bulk up your site.
6. Optimize Your Site for Mobile Devices
The computer is not the only device people use to open websites nowadays. A study in 2016 stated that the usage of mobile internet keeps rising 16% year over year. This makes responsive design a must for any professional content creator.
Responsive design is a practice that works towards creating sites that look great and function perfectly on any kind of screen – from desktop to mobile phone.
Thankfully, Blogger has a special section for mobile layouts. It is located under the Theme settings. Click the wheel under Mobile to edit your mobile theme.
That’s Pretty Much It!
Congratulations, you’ve made it! You can now create a professional website through Blogger. After all, Blogger’s integration with Google offers plenty of features. You can set it up and master it much easier than any other platform.
Here are some steps on how to create a professional website using Blogger:
- Buy a domain name. Use your own domain instead of Blogger’s subdomain.
- Create your own logo and favicon. Make a logo that represents your identity and brand. After that, you can use that logo as a favicon.
- Customize your template. Use a template that suits your niche best. Make sure the template stands out.
- Add pages that are essential. Create essential pages for your professional website.
- Add additional features. Add extra features and social media icons if you need them.
- Optimize your site for mobile devices. Customize your theme so it looks and works well on mobile devices.
If you want to create a professional website, why not start as soon as possible? Hope these tips help you along your journey!