To succeed in writing you need to have a professional blog. A professional blog will give you a portfolio of work to refer potential customers to.
Here are the 5 easiest ways to turn your personal blog into a professional blog.
Use Fotor to Edit Original Images
Whether this is for your blog heading, your twitter heading or as a post photo, use an original image. There are several sites that offer free stock photo’s. There is, however, nothing better than taking your own photo and adapting it.
If you are an avid reader of blogs you will see the same images appear again and again. To ease this problem original images are a must. For me this helps combine my two loves; photography and writing.
Once I have taken the photo I use Fotor to edit. Fotor allows you to use pre-existing templates to produce media. In addition to this, if there is not a template that suits your requirements, you can easily design your own. The comprehensive list of photo editing tools makes this a straightforward process. Fotor also has the facility to produce collage pictures. This proved valuable to me when I was putting together a post on social media that required many shots of Twitter responses.
The templates that Fotor offer are extensive, below are a selection.
The heading image for this blog was designed by Fotor and took me five minutes. The program is easy to use even for those with limited ICT skills.
The program offers both a free and pro version. I would suggest that the free version is enough for basic editing and to see whether the website is for you. For more serious editing jobs, upgrading to pro opens up many new editing tools.
Fotor is definitely an alternative from spending out on other expensive editing software. It comes with creative filters and a huge range of tools to work with. The upload and download are seamless and fast. The templates fit effortlessly into social media without editing. This is not the case with some of the leading competitors.
Once you have produced your killer image ensure you use relevant SEO.
Create a Niche for your blog
It is the tendency of many bloggers when they start to create a blog that caters to all subjects. I know I made this mistake when I started. The range of subjects that were included in my blog was extensive.
Recently I have changed my website to a couple of niche areas. This allows followers to know what they can expect from your blog. You will soon become an expert in those areas.
If your ultimate aim is to monetise your blog it is best to have a set niche. You can then be approached by companies within your niche to review their products.
Find your niche and then make this clear in your heading, subheading and blog description.
Ensure you pick topics you have extensive knowledge about and are passionate about. This will shine through in your posts and attract more readers.
If you have a range of interests there is nothing wrong with having more than one blog. You can then provide links to these new blogs so that your followers can find all your writing. I use Medium for all my articles and stick to my niche markets on my personal blog.
Have a Professional Biography
Once readers have found your blog it is essential to introduce yourself to them.
All established authors need a biography. This will introduce you to new followers and potential work opportunities.
It is best to write your author biography in the first person. Write all the facts about yourself without overselling.
Writing about yourself is a task that all of us find difficult.
Here are a few guidelines to help with this process.
- Have an introduction on why you are an authority on your niche subject. What are you offering the followers?
- Include things that build your credibility, what publications you have written for. How many books you have published.
- Keep it short, concise and interesting.
A good biography will inspire and inform without being boring and overly arrogant.
When you have completed your website biography allow others to read it. Let it sit for a couple of days and then revisit it to see where you can improve. Which parts do not flow well, which parts need emphasising more?
Once this is completed, it is time to shorten this biography to use on other social media. I keep two copies of my biography; one for potential freelance opportunities; a shorter one for Twitter and Instagram.
A strong writers voice
Finding your writers voice is the main thing that makes you stand out as a professional blogger. Readers will follow you because they like the way you write. Write as if you are sat in a coffee shop talking to the individual across a table.
You may have heard the quote write for one person. This is where the idea was established. You write your blog as if you are having a conversation.
A writers voice is not always easy to establish and is something that may take months to master. When bloggers start out it is quite common for them to adopt many different voices. Even now I know my writer’s voice will change after I have been reading certain literature.
If I have been reading Dickens I tend to increase the description. If I have been reading Patterson, then the sentences are short and quick. Being aware of this means that I can minimise the effect this has on my writing.
Since finding my author’s voice I have increased my followers on a more regular basis.
People either like how I write and follow me or move on to the next blog.
In addition to having a strong writers voice, I also have a set style that I try to adapt to all my posts. I change this to experiment, but generally, my posts follow a similar format.
Consistency Across Social Media
Social Media is not essential to have a professional writing career. Many writers get so caught up in their social media presence they forget about writing.
The biggest advantage to your writing is quality and consistency, not social media followers
Many writers, however, myself included use social media to promote their posts. For this social media is valuable and can increase post views considerably.
It is essential if you wish to maintain a presence on social media that you have a consistent brand image. Throughout social media, I use a similar header banner and an identical profile picture. Again Fotor can help you produce professional looking banners.
Remember your social media presence is also advertising your writing. Maintain a professional persona at all times. Many experts say resist discussions on football, religion and politics.
Nothing is more certain to turn followers away than a discussion on this trilogy.
Whichever social media you decide, I have my opinion on the top 5, ensure that you post regularly. It is also essential to interact with other followers. Genuine responses to posts and comments help build followers.
Here is your checklist for a professional blog.
- A good quality non-stock picture with appropriate SEO
- Concentrate on a couple of niche subjects
- A professional biography
- A strong writers voice
- A consistent approach across all social media