You might have noticed that a couple of things have changed around the pages of RobbSutton.com. Over the weekend, the design has gone through some changes and they are pretty drastic. While the actual article format hasn’t changed all that much, the overall site design went through a major overall. It was time for something different that fit the needs of the site and what you see today was the result.
The previous design based off the Headlines theme by Woothemes. While I really liked the way the site looked, the design was very image based and there was a lot of dead space between elements. Over time, I continually shortened up that dead space in the css, but it became distracting to the goal of RobbSutton.com (more on that in a minute).
When I was flipping through potential donor themes (I like to keep things cheap and base my designs off of established premium wordpress themes), I ran across a new one from the crew over at WPZoom that I knew would work perfectly. I downloaded the Yamidoo PRO Magazine and got to work. After several days of hacking away, I got to a compromise that was good enough for launch and initial testing. There are still a couple elements that need to be added and some bugs to fix, but overall I am really happy with the result.
So…back to the real reason behind the madness.
In the world of blogging, there is only room for one king. I know you have heard over and over again that content is king and there is no substitute. Well…I am here to dispel the lie. Content is not king. Why is content not the king in blogging? Because there are thousands of blogs out there with fantastic content that are still only make pennies on the day. Content by itself does not insure the success of a blog as there is an overload of quality content on the net.
So if content doesn’t sit at the head of the table…what does?
Conversion Is King In Blogging
Before you jump off this page thinking I just mentioned a mentioned a spam word…hold on for a second and go on this ride with me.
Conversion is you key into the best part of blogging…the interaction between blogger and reader. The absolute best part of this blog and my others is the connections I have been able to make with other like minded individuals. The only way you can build more relationships is by converting causal, first time visitors into subscribers to your rss feed and newsletter so that you can start the process of gaining trust.
Without that conversion, you can not build your business. Don’t worry though…content plays a HUGE part in the conversion process by attracting that first time reader to begin with, so it goes hand in hand with what I am talking about. It is also your first impression on potential new subscribers, so don’t go thinking you are going to convert well without some kind of quality content on your blog.
Now…what does that have to do with the site design change? While I really liked the way my previous design looked, it was not high enough on the conversion scale for my needs. Sometimes, by using too many images and distractions in the design, you can bring the eyes of your readers away from your content and conversion elements bringing that focus on the peripherals.
Not a good thing if you are a blogger.
So on the new design, you will find the focus back where it belongs: content, newsletter sign-ups and rss sign-ups. No clutter, no confusion and all out converting so I can connect with more bloggers and help them improve their blogs. That is what this site is about and that is the goal of RobbSutton.com. If anything else distracts from that goal, it has to go!
As you can see by the new layout, there is special emphasis paid to newsletter subscription sign ups and other assets for this blog. While I completely believe that many readers are visually attracted to blogs (through the use of images like I have talked about in earlier articles), there is a balance between the two that can not be ignored.
I have found success in blogging through helping others doing something they love…only better…regardless of niche. The more I give back and structure my sites in a way that makes that goal easy, the more success comes my way. It is a beautiful thing and outside of the connections made in various industries with passionate people…it is on of the other things I absolutely love about blogging. This new design is a step forward in the right direction to help more bloggers.
So what do you think?