Create a Professional Blog

A professional looking blog can help build trust, resulting in more sales or conversions. Here are some considerations for creating a professional blog.

In my article outlining the problem with free blogs, I outlined the reasons why you need to think carefully before creating your blog. This is especially true if you want to create a professional blog. Blog readers are very observant these days, and they notice everything. They will notice if your blog is hosted with a free blog service such as Blogger. They will notice if your blog doesn't have its own domain name. And they will notice if your blog looks the same as 90 percent of all the other blogs out there.

Maybe you need to create a blog for an existing business. Maybe you'd like to earn an income from your blog. Or maybe you just want to showcase your abilities with a professional looking blog. Whatever the reason, you will need to be prepared to outlay at least some cash to set up your blog.

Cost vs Earning Potential

If you're anything like me, you don't like spending anything if there's also a free option — and yes, there are free blogging services out there. But if you're anything like me, you'll also come to the conclusion that these free blogging services are not worth your time. Indeed, a free blog could actually cost you money in the long run. For some of the advantages and disadvantages of free blogs, see create a free blog.

For less than $10 per month, you could have your own professional blog, capable of earning you thousands of dollars per month. Blog hosting is very cheap these days, and the cost is nothing compared to the earning potential of a typical blog.

The only other cost is your domain name — usually around $10 or $20 per year.

You need not outlay any more money to keep your blog running. This is all you need. In fact, the reason so many people can earn a living from websites and blogs is due to the low cost of web hosting.

Pre-Installed Blog

The easiest way to create a professional looking blog is to use what I call a "pre-installed blog".

By this I mean, a web hosting account that includes a blog. The blog software has already been installed by your web host. All you need to do is choose a template and start blogging.

ZappyHost offers pre-installed blogs from just over $5 per month with their WordPress hosting.

Self-Installed Blog

If you're more technically inclined, you might prefer a self-installed blog.

A self-installed blog is where you download blog software and install it on your own server (or hosting provider's server).

This option gives you the most flexibility in managing your blog, but you do need to know what you're doing.

Even if you do decide to choose the self-installed option, you still need to open an account with a hosting provider (unless you already have a hosting provider, in which case, it may be possible to install your blog there). Once you've got a hosting provider, you can download and install the blog software of your choice.

If you need a web hosting account, try ZappyHost. Hosting plans start from around $5 or $6 per month. As well as blog hosting, you will receive email accounts, forums, and much more. In fact, it even includes blog software, so you won't need to download the software yourself.

Once you've opened up a hosting account, you can install the blog software. If your hosting plan doesn't have blog software ready to install, you will need to download the blog software yourself. Some of the more popular blog software products include WordPress and Movable Type.

More Help

Here's more information to help you decide which blogging option is right for you.