Guided Tour: The New

by Robb Sutton

You may have already noticed, but things changed quite a bit around In an earlier post, I had mentioned that I wanted this blog to feel more like home as I continue to pump out articles related to blogging tips, business building and lifestyle design mindsets for entrepreneurs.

The end result, is a site that not only appeals more to my writing style and feel, but has some cool elements that compliment the content. So…let’s take a quick walk around.

The New Design

The New

As you can probably tell, the new is a hacked up version of the new Headlines theme from WooThemes. I liked the way that Headlines presented the content so I purchased the theme and got to work on making it look like my own.

Logo by Vitamin

Vitamin hooked it up with the new logo. The strong type face portrays the “in your face” attitude I have to lifestyle design while the comment bubble speaks well to blogging.

Background by

I wanted something unique in the background. Not a solid color or gradient, but something that really spoke to bloggers and gave them an insight into my life. I am absolutely addicted to my Apple products (iPhone and MacBook Pro) and I use small notes and whiteboards to gather my blogging thoughts. The result was a background that displays my tools as a blogger. The grungier feel to the texture also speaks well to my mountain biking background and rougher speech on self motivation. You can check out Robert Losch at (he also did the background for my Twitter background @robbsutton).

Sidebar and Advertising

I needed a site that converted readers into subscribers and funnel that traffic in a way that helped other bloggers by inviting them to my free eBook and eCourse. To do this…I created 300×250 spots that “advertise” my free products and subscription options. Other than that…there are only useful widgets that display content…all direct advertising and affiliate banners were dropped completely.

There has been some heated debate about advertising on blogs and a couple of bloggers have even jumped on their soapbox screaming how great they are for not displaying banner ads on their blogs. At this point in time, I do not feel they bring the value to the site that is in line with its goals…and that is it. All of those other bloggers can keep their soapbox while they pat themselves on the back because I do what is right for my sites at that time (still use banner ads and direct advertising on other blogs). This does not mean banner ads are not going to display sometime in the future, but – for now – I did not feel they brought enough added value to the site to continue selling the ad spots. I want a non-distracting environment where bloggers can continue to grow their blogs.

New Toolbox Page


Two of my highest visited pages on this site is the eBooks page and the How I Make Money Online page. Due tot he success of these two resources, I also opened up my Blogging Toolbox page to show you guys exactly which tools I use to get the job done.

Brand New Service – Blog Consulting

Robb Sutton Blog Consulting

As of yesterday, I opened up a service publicly that was previously only going on behind closed doors. Behind the scenes, I have been providing blog consulting services for bloggers looking to start or increase their blog success. This has been a great way to work with other bloggers and help them achieve the success I have seen in blogging regardless of niche.

Now…you can get one on one consulting from me on your blog on how to clean things up and start seeing success in your blogging. You can find out more by clicking here.

Overall, the new design is accomplishing the goals I set out for the blog. When you are looking into your design and the changes you want to make, you really need to do what feels right at the time and then let your readers do the talking. When I first put this design up, I was using a featured panel on the homepage that looked really cool with automatic scrolling. But…I wasn’t seeing any increased click through rates on those articles, and…that meant…readers were not using that space. If they are not using it…it doesn’t matter how cool it looks…it is just dead real estate and it has to go! So…you will notice that the homepage no longer includes the featured box even if I liked the way it looked.

Now that the wrapping is off of the new, take a look around! I’d love to hear your feedback as you are the guys that click around and digest the content.


Related Posts


Dan Lew November 25, 2009 - 9:12 am

Sounds good, nice post, consulting and getting the right advice is key!

Robb Sutton November 25, 2009 - 11:51 am

That is the theory! The idea is to help shorten the learning curve for other bloggers.

Antti Kokkonen November 25, 2009 - 10:46 am

Hmm, I gotta seriously consider getting a proper premium theme, this looks sweet 🙂 And thanks for adding the toolbox section, I’m always interested to see the different services and tools people use.

Robb Sutton November 25, 2009 - 11:52 am

Thanks for the feedback! The tools thing hit me one night and I knew I had to do it.

Chris November 26, 2009 - 11:49 am

The toolbox was a good idea Robb! Had me thinking… Google Analytics might be a nice addition to the list. It plays nicely with a lot of the woothemes too.

Robb Sutton November 26, 2009 - 1:07 pm

That would be a great add. Especially since it is an industry standard for stat tracking.

Kevin November 26, 2009 - 12:59 pm

Hey Robb,

What you’ve done with the Wootheme is very nice. Did you customize it yourself or go through a developer?

Robb Sutton November 26, 2009 - 1:07 pm

Thanks! I customized it and did the background.


Leave a Comment