I am going to post a link to all the sites I'm using at the moment to make my blog fashionably professional, and also, to the ones I've found so far on my journey this past couple of days.
I think everybody should start by picking a background. STOP right here if you want a three column page layout like mine, you should change that first. See it doesn't make sense to go looking for a background, fall in love with it, and then realize that you want three columns instead of two, because then that background won't work anymore. Go here if you want to do that. You will also find how to remove the border lines behind headers, how to remove lines between your sidebar items, how to remove the navigation bar on the top [all of which I did] and a lot more other tricks that you can do to customize your blog.
Now, if you decided that two columns is fine for you, I did found a great place, shabbyblogs.com where you can get your background, blinkies, buttons, and all that extra shabby stuff.
NetworkingWe all know how to network, at least a lil' bit, I mean, who doesn't have Facebook, and/or Twitter? But the thing is, it doesn't stop there. Yes, you should definitely market your blog everywhere possible, but I found some blog targeted communities, that happen to be really useful [so far], so go take a look, and see if they work for you. There's technorati and blogcatalog where yo can claim your blog, as well as meet other bloggers, aheemm, increase traffic, anyone? I really like blogcatalog, it has really cool widgets that you can add to your blog, as well as groups you can join, and you can friend other bloggers, etc.
WidgetsI don't have a fancy definition of what a widget is, but if you know how to use blogger, you probably know already. They're all those little things you can add/remove from your blog (the archives, your profile, AdSense, polls, lists, etc) in order to customize it. Two of them that I'm using right now and I really like are LinkWithin which links related posts, and the AddThis button, which lets you do just that, add your blog to other places.
Google ToolsThey're FREE! So take advantage of them. Google AdSense and Google Analytics. AdSense makes you earn money just for blogging... I know! They choose the ads for your page and everything, and Google Analytics, well they analyze pretty much everything for your page. You can see how many visits you got, how much time visitors spent on your page and all that good information that helps you be a better blogger.
I think I covered all the basics, because like I said, I am no expert and I'm also just starting, so this will save you days of searching, investigating, and reading to see what works, and what not, or where to find all those cool things, everybody seems to have, but you can't find anywhere.
ExtrasSome other useful links. Enjoy
Pro Style Bloggers
My Blog Makeover
How To's For Your Blog
Make Money Blogging
Blogs By Women