From novice weblog to professional weblog: How one can enhance your writing

When I started blogging in 2008, I set up a free blogger account and just started writing about everything I wanted. It was great! In a few months I grew more as a writer than when I studied creative writing at college.

Until I realized that nobody was reading my blog. I would publish my best letter and no one would read it. It was frustrating, even humiliating. I finally decided that I didn't just want to have an amateur blog. I wanted to be a professional blogger.

It took four years, but in 2013 I finally made it. I became a professional blogger and author (and still do it today!). In this article, I want to tell you how to turn your amateur blog into a pro blog.

Can people REALLY make money with a blog?

Yes! But that doesn't mean it will be easy. Now that blogging is so established (and most of those who make money have switched from bloggers to e-commerce experts), getting started is more difficult than ever.

I think it is possible, but it will be an ascent that requires clever planning, writing and marketing skills and a lot of grit!

But here's the thing: if I can, you can too. I started as an aspiring blogger and now my blog is earning over $ 100,000 a year. It may take a while (it took me about five years to make my living blogging), but you can do it if you concentrate and keep trying.

In this post, I want to share the biggest things that made the difference for me.

10 steps from amateur blog to pro blog

What is the way to become a professional blogger?

1. Choose the right blogging foundation (i.e. self-hosted WordPress or Squarespace).

One of the first things I learned as an amateur blogger was that the best bloggers had self-hosted WordPress blogs, which meant they paid five to ten dollars a month to the hosting company to put their blog on Keep computers of the host. It's like paying a marina to dock the boat. (Take a look at my favorite blog host, Bluehost, for example.)

I finally found out that experienced bloggers would look at you like an amateur if you didn't have any of these self-hosted blogs. They could instantly tell the difference between a free blog and a self-hosted blog, and once they did, they thought twice about reading your content (and linking to it!).

I was shocked. My free blogger blog didn't just lose me as a reader. it lowered my authority.

Nowadays, many professional bloggers also use Squarespace, which I think is great. It's a little more expensive than a self-hosted WordPress blog and gives you a lot less control, but is easy to use and can be started quickly. Find out more about Sqaurespace here.

The point, however, is to create a strong blogging foundation with the right tools. How to create a professional blog can be found in my tutorial on the author's website here or log in to Bluehost and create your WordPress blog here.

Are you ready to update your blog? Create your self-hosted WordPress blog here.

2. Track your progress

When I started blogging, I was content to just post and publish my posts, knowing that my writing was public so people could find it.

But then I started to wonder if anyone was actually reading my letter? So I installed Google Analytics to see how many people actually visited my blog. It took me an hour, but I figured out how to put the hieroglyph-like code into my topic and opened my analysis page.

I found that about seven people read my blog. That's it? I thought.

At that time I decided to start a search to attract more readers. The teaching here is as follows:


What is measured is managed. If you want more readers, do you measure how many you currently have?

Only after you start measuring can you make strategic decisions about how to increase this number.

3. Focus on solving people's problems

One of the biggest breakthroughs in my blogging was the realization:

People read blog posts to solve their problems.

In other words, they read for themselves, not for you. In fact, they couldn't care less about you unless they actively follow you.

Instead of chasing people's attention, just offer great solutions to their problems and let them come to you.


People read blogs to solve their problems, NOT to strengthen your ego.

4. Choose the right topics

And by topics I mean a group of problems here (see above).

There is a debate in the blog community about whether or not to choose a niche for your blog. However, everyone says that writing about what you want doesn't work.

Instead, your blog needs something to tie it together so that when you think about it, people think of you.

Choose a topic for which you can become an expert, for which you are infinitely curious and which preferably does not contain too many people, but also a few people.

For me, I started writing what I wanted, realized it didn't work, wrote about traveling for a while, and then started teaching creative writing, which was my real passion (and a great way to learn during class) ). .

It may take a while to figure out what topics to write about – and what problems you need to solve for people – and that's fine. But once you've decided on something, stick with it for at least six months.

5. Write great blog posts

Content, as they say, is king.

The other things are important, don't get me wrong. All of this is important if we have a great design (which we'll cover in the end), build a strong network (which we'll talk about next), and build on the right blogging platform.

However, if you can't write good blog posts, you won't get far.

By the way, I'm not talking about being a perfect writer. Using the right grammar, avoiding typos, and a good sentence structure are helpful, but you can still be a good blogger even if you're not a perfect writer.

No, you need to write posts that effectively grab people's attention and help them solve their problems.

Here is a structure that I keep using on my blog to do this (to learn more about it, here is my best blog template):

  1. Identify the problem. What is the problem people are facing and that you will help them with in this article? Tell the reader how you can help them.
  2. Make the problem personal. How did you personally experience this problem? Connect to the reader!
  3. Tell a solution story. Build your authority by talking about how you solved the problem.
  4. To solve the Problem. What are the specific steps to solve the problem?
  5. Call your readers to take action. Call your reader to take action!
  6. End with a question for discussion. Blogging is a two-way medium. Invite a discussion with a question.

By the way, note how this post follows the same format. That's because it works! Learn more about this blog post template here.

If you're wondering how long your posts should last, check out our guide to the length of the best blog posts.

6. Make friends with other bloggers

And best befriend bloggers who are a little ahead of you.

Why? Because we learn from people, not just from our own experience. One of the main reasons The Write Practice has grown so much over the years is that one of my good friends, Jeff Goins, started blogging ten months before me and taught me everything he learned. (And one of the reasons he's grown so fast is because he made friends with Michael Hyatt and learned from him.)

We grow through relationships. That is true in life. It is true at work. And that also applies to blogging.

Go to conferences, follow other bloggers and reach them via email, find friends. I have found that these types of relationships not only serve you throughout your career, but can also become the best friends you have because they reach you in a way that many people don't.

7. Be generous

Every marketing is based on two principles:

  1. Be generous
  2. Ask for help

If you want to expand your blog, bookmark, sell more books, or get paid to write, do more of these two things.

Be more generous.

Please ask for further help.

Here are some ways you can expand your blog if you're generous:

  • Give readers a short eBook or one-page guide when they sign up.
  • Offer a chapter of your book for free.
  • Make a giveaway. I gave away apple clocks, flights to Paris, copies of Scrivener, copies of ProWritingAid, Amazon gift cards worth $ 100 and more. I like and Kingsumo for hosting giveaways, but Gleam is my current favorite. Check out Gleam »
  • Read other authors 'books or talk about other authors' blogs to build relationships with them (see Tip 6).
  • Organize a free webinar on a core topic. For example, I use Zoom for live webinars and teach how to develop bestselling book ideas and how to become a bestselling author. Check out Zoom »

How can you be generous today? Share in the comments.

8. Create your email list

Email is the best marketing channel for online sales. Better than Facebook (by far). Better than Instagram. Better than Google Ads.

People who sign up via email spend more money and are more likely to buy.

That said, if you want to take your amateur blogging professional, you have to use them to create your email list.

How do you create an email list? Note here that it's not a Google Sheet with a set of email addresses that you occasionally copy and paste into an email. Here I'm talking about a list of people who have subscribed to your email marketing software to receive updates from you.

Not sure which email marketing software to choose? Here are the two I recommend:

  1. Mailerlite. Simple and powerful (but not quite as simple or powerful as the next tool, Convertkit), many of my students thought Mailerlite was a great option for their author newsletter. You can register for Mailerlite here.
  2. Convertkit. I personally have used Convertkit for years to host my email newsletter and I highly recommend it to authors. You can register for free with up to 100 subscribers. After that, it's a paid service. However, your email list is a good place to invest. Therefore, this should be one of your first upgrades. Update to Convertkit here.

How do you create your email list? Go back to step 7 and be generous!

9. Learn how to use SEO

My biggest source of traffic is neither social media nor my email list. It's search!

Understanding how search engines send new readers to your website is one of the best ways to improve your amateur blog.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your content so that users who use search engines can easily find it.

The best thing is that you are already doing this if you follow the blog post template I talked about in step 5!

How do I use SEO?

I use a tool called Ahrefs to find out what readers are looking for in my niche. For example, here is a keyword, a commonly used phrase to search for, and The Write Practice stands for "creative writing instructions".

If you know what problems people are actually looking for help with, you can better write blog posts that solve these problems.

Check out Ahrefs here.

10. Don't have an ugly blog

I said that last for a reason.

People worry too much about what their blog looks like. And I understand It's easy to spend dozens of hours messing around with your blog thinking that this is how you will become famous if your blog looks just right.

It will not work.

You can have the most beautiful blog in the world, but if you don't solve people's problems, they won't read your letter.

No, just make sure your blog is not ugly. How?

  • White background
  • Clear, legible font (at least 16 pt)
  • Simple picture in every post ( makes this easy)
  • Simple color palette (no more than 4 overall colors, e.g. white, black, blue for links and an accent color)

Simple is better. The focus should be on your writing and the support of your reader, not on clever design.

The best tools I've found for my blog are the following:

If you want your amateur blog to look like a professional blog, it's a long way to get Divi to create a clean, simple look and spice up your pictures with Canva!

Your primary goal in building your amateur blog

Regardless of whether you write fiction or non-fiction, trust is your most important resource. People want to know why they should trust you, why they should spend their valuable time reading the words you write.

And if you break that trust, for example, by having an ugly amateur blog, they won't stay long.

Don't let your future readers down. The world has to hear your voice, but first you have to give them a reason.

But if you do it right, they will follow you for a lifetime.

Good luck!

Do you want to update your blog? Check out my guide: Building an Author's Website. Or upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress website through Bluehost.


Professional blogs have professional blog posts! So let's start a short writing exercise and practice sketching a blog post using this six-step template we talked about above:

  1. Identify the problem. What is the problem people are facing and that you will help them with in this article? Tell the reader how you can help them.
  2. Make the problem personal. How did you personally experience this problem? Connect to the reader!
  3. Tell a solution story. Build your authority by talking about how you solved the problem.
  4. To solve the Problem. What are the specific steps to solve the problem?
  5. Call your readers to take action. Call your reader to take action!
  6. End with a question for discussion. Blogging is a two-way medium. Invite a discussion with a question.

Take 15 minutes to review an issue you're experiencing. Just add a short sentence for each of these steps (and if you have a multi-step solution like the one I described in this post, you can quickly outline all the steps).

If your time is up, post your writing practice in the comment section below. If you are posting, please provide feedback on at least three other authors.

Have fun writing!

Joe Bunting

Joe BuntingJoe Bunting is the author and leader of the write practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real adventure story in France. It was a # 1 new release on Amazon. You can follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).