A struggle I see from a lot of beginner bloggers is that they feel like they can’t stand out online because there are a zillion other bloggers.
They also feel like they can’t “measure up” to these other bloggers who *seem* to have it all together and make growing their blogs look so easy.
Do you feel like this? The good news is that you’ve landed on the right blog. It’s kind of my thing to help beginner bloggers stand out online by unlocking what makes them unique and different from who they’re comparing themselves to…and then monetize from that uniqueness through their blog.
For this post, I want to start really small by sharing a few low-priced investments to make your blog stand out and get taken seriously. Because I totally understand that spending money on your blog is scary and not necessarily something you want to do in the beginning of your journey. Ready? Let’s dive in!
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase by clicking on them, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, that will help me continue to bring you valuable content. Thanks for supporting In Search of Sheila! 🙂
1. Domain Name
The secret to standing out when you’re a beginner blogger is making your blog look PROFESSIONAL.
It’s all about faking it until you make it, right?
And one of the best things you can do to look professional is to invest in a domain name for your blog.
Purchasing your own domain name is usually one of the first investments bloggers make as they step up their game.
I know it was the first investment I made!
Dropping the .blogspot or .wordpress from your URL will get the message across that you take your blog seriously and in return, you will be taken seriously.
Even before someone lands on your blog, they can already think of you in a professional light because you have a .com!
Now, as far as where to purchase a domain name, there are several options. I personally got my first one through GoDaddy when I started out.
If you decide to use Squarespace as your platform you’ll get a domain name with your monthly or annual plan.
Advanced Tip: I self-host my blog through a web-hosting company called SiteGround and use WordPress.org. If you want to go a step up and still use WordPress as your blogging platform, I recommend this route. Now, you can avoid all of this and sign up with Squarespace. Your choice!The secret to standing out when you're a beginner blogger is making your blog look PROFESSIONAL. Click To Tweet
2. Professional Email Address
A professional email address is something like firstname.lastname@example.org
Mine is email@example.com
I get lots of emails from my community and I would say that the majority of them DO NOT have a professional email address.
A lot of the times it’s not even a Gmail account associated with their blog, it’s their personal email!
Allow me to enlighten you: invest in a professional email address today. It’s the smallest investment in this whole post and it will really help to give your blog a boost.
Take this scenario: you want to guest post on a pretty big blog. You’re kind of scared to contact the blogger, but they just announced they’re accepting guest posts and it would really help you expand your reach. It could be your big blogger break!
But if you send your pitch to them with a personal email address (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) and there are a bunch of other submissions…you could possibly lose the opportunity because you got beat by another blogger who came off as more professional…because of their email address.
I know this might sound really petty, but it’s not personal guys. It’s business!
G Suite offers a $5 a month basic plan to get your own email address. That’s less than you pay for Starbucks in a month!!!
Advanced Pro-Tip: If you self-host with SiteGround you get a FREE domain email address that comes with your plan. Not a lot of people I talk to realize this, so they’re spending money on G Suite for no reason!
3. Professional Website Template
Okay, this is where it gets good.
Even with a domain name and professional email address, if your website is not necessarily nice to look at, you could also be hurting your chances of getting your blog taken seriously.
The first thing readers notice when they land on your website is how it looks. Let’s just get real about this okay?
I look at a lot of blogs and I can instantly form an opinion about them within seconds of landing on their site.
For instance: if you reached out to me for a guest post, I would definitely take your website design into consideration (and what your email address is!)
The fact of the matter is, it’s not personal. It’s business.
If I’m going to showcase someone on my blog, I want their blog, mission, and branding to be pretty similar to mine.
Because I’m thinking about my audience. And in turn that will benefit you, because if my audience digs your stuff and want to learn more, they’ll head over to your website. If your website is not that appealing, they’ll exit out. Then they might question my credibility.
See how this works?
And ALL of this can literally be avoided with a NICE LOOKING WEBSITE TEMPLATE!
I can’t see how much traffic you’re getting. I can’t see how many email subscribers you have. I can’t see how much money you’re making.
But I can see your website design. Loud and clear!
Having a clean design will not only make you appear more professional and credible but make people come back again and again!
If you’re on the hunt for a reasonably priced website theme, I recommend checking out Creative Market. There are a ton of options on there for all platforms plus you can search using keywords to get specific about what you want!
Here are few of my favorite shops with WordPress templates:I can't see how much traffic you're getting. I can't see how many email subscribers you have. I can't see how much money you're making. But I CAN see your website design. Click To Tweet
4. AN EBOOK OR LOW-PRICED DIGITAL PRODUCT
I want to flip the script and share a tip to help YOU take your blog seriously…by investing in education.
Which I can’t stress how important it is when you’re just starting your blog!
Because it’s SO easy to get overwhelmed by #allthethings you think you need to be doing.
So then you try to do them all at once which just leads to burn out…
And getting absolutely nowhere.
BUT here’s the other really awesome thing about investing in education for your blog: IT WILL SAVE YOU SO MUCH TIME!
Because yes, you could totally try and learn everything for free by searching through Pinterest for hours.
But you just lost all those hours looking. Then factor in a couple hours of learning. Then another few hours of doing.
When you invest in an eBook or course you can skip the looking part and focus on the learning and doing.
Which means you’ll grow your blog quicker and start making an income quicker. Which is what you want, right?
I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to figure everything out on my own FOR FREE.
Yup, signing up for #allthefreebies that ended up cluttering my inbox with emails from people that I never actually wanted to hear from.
When we spend so much time LOOKING for the right resources, it holds us back from TAKING ACTION and DOING the things that will push us forward.
Again, the ball is in your court about what means more to you. Saving $$$ or saving time.
Because when you’re trying to grow a profitable blog, time IS money.
Pssttt I have my very own eBook that shows you how to grow a purposeful and profitable blog step-by-step here!Blogger tip: Stop wasting your time trying to learn everything for free. Click To Tweet
5. Time-Saving Tools
Another way that we can take OUR blogs seriously is by investing in tools that save us time.
Since this whole growing our blogs journey is already filled with super overwhelming with a million things we need to be doing, if there’s a magical tool out there that can make it a little less overwhelming, I’m on board.
Here are 3 of my favorite time-saving tools (and 2 are free!)
This list wouldn’t be complete without the holy grail of them all!
Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling tool that allows you to schedule your pins, meaning they can post on autopilot while you’re…at your 9-5. Or at the gym. Or working out. Seriously, it’s amazing.
We just can’t be manually pinning 24/7 guys! Pinterest is a HUGE component of my business because it brings in consistent traffic to my website every day. If I wasn’t consistently pinning, my traffic would never increase!
2. Asana (Free!)
Asana is a literal game-changer for organizing my life and business. I can manage multiple projects, launches, my blogging calendar, and recently I started planning out my Instagram posts in Asana which has helped me become so much more consistent!
3. Boomerang for Gmail (Free!)
This free tool allows you to schedule emails to send later which is amazing because whenever I get a sense of motivation to reply to emails outside of my office hours (aka at 9 pm on a Friday), I can still answer the email, but it won’t go out until let’s say, Monday morning. This will also make us look like we have our shit together when in reality we were alone at home on Friday replying to emails lol.
Want more tools? I have a whole blog post with my favorite ones!
And there you have it! 5 small investments you can make to help your blog stand out, look professional, and PACK A PUNCH for first-time readers so you can win their hearts and grow a profitable blog.Want to get your blog taken seriously? It starts with YOU taking it seriously! Click To Tweet
Ready to turn your blog into a business?
I’d like to invite to enroll in a free course to kickstart your money making journey!
In this 5-day email course where you’ll get daily lessons and action steps to help you create, launch, and sell your first digital product.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Define your niche so you feel clarity about who you help and how
- Develop your signature method so you stand out from the competition
- Come up with a profitable digital product idea that sells
- Create your sales page & determine your pricing
- Plan out a successful product launch that brings in sales