I’m excited to show you guys the new CharlesNgo.com 2.0!
I’ve been working on the re-design nonstop for a few weeks, and now it’s finally ready! If you’re reading the blog post directly, then make sure you check out the homepage.
Why do a Redesign?
I’ve have used the same Genesis theme since I first started. The blog has exploded in growth this year and I’m close to 20,000 unique visitors a month. If figured if I want to get to the next level, I have to evolve the blog with a new design.
I had 5 goals in mind when I redesigned the blog:
- Make it more professional looking. I want people to think, “damn this guy’s legit” when they see my blog. There’s a world of people who are interested in internet marketing but have no idea what affiliate marketing is.
I want to start expanding my blog beyond just affiliate marketers. I want to start going on podcasts and guest posting on bigger blogs (anyone have hookups?) , and I feel a better blog design will help me achieve that.
- Increase the email opt-in rates. It’s important for me to collect more emails to increase the blog traffic. If a new reader visits for their first time, they might forget to ever come back. Collecting their email could mean they can turn into a hardcore fan overtime.
- Make it Mobile Responsive. 35% of my blog traffic comes from mobile these days (and it’s only going to grow). On my old theme I was using a generic plugin to make it mobile friendly. This time I wanted the site to built to handle mobile traffic.
- Design a “Start Here” guide for newbies. Most of my audience are newbies and I want a special area just for them. A few months ago I visited a “travel hacking” blog and I was overwhelmed by the amount of information I saw. I tried reading some of the latest blog posts but they were using words I’d never heard.I saw in the corner they had a special “Start Here” guide made especially for beginners.I realized my blog information must be overwhelming for newcomers, so I wanted to start catering to them more.My Start Here guide is a work in progress but it’s going to feature:a) My official affiliate marketing guide for newbies.
b) Recommended tools and services.
c) I have 100+ articles on the blog. I’m going to organize them into an easy guide. I’ll also feature articles written by other affiliate marketing bloggers.
d) Technical guides.
e) Frequently asked questions
f) Free goodies such as landing page templates, ad templates, etc.It’s almost 2015 and there’s not much material out there for beginners. Man someone has to hold you guys down. It’s going to take a while but I’ll get there.This is going to help affiliate marketing experts too! The next time someone asks you to teach them affiliate marketing, just send them to my start here guide and save hours.
- Increased readability. I pretty much did everything on my own for the last site. One area I had no clue about was improving the fonts, and the proper sizes. I reached out to a few experts and found some fonts that really improved the readability of this website.
The Design Process
I always believe in “Imitate, then innovate.”
I put together a list of blogs that I loved for inspiration. From there I used a graph paper and pen to design a framework of my blog. I combined elements of various blogs and added my own touches.
I noticed a trend where most blogs these days have a “homepage” rather than lead you straight into the blog. This is designed to make it easier to direct first time visitors to the blog.
Next I had to find a designer and I looked at some of the firms that a lot of big bloggers used. Ultimately I decided to stick to what I know and go with oDesk. I wanted to design the website myself, and I just wanted a firm to execute my vision.
The project cost me around $5k USD to complete and over 100+ hours of my time. The cool part is the website will be evolving over the upcoming weeks. There’s still a few areas we’re working on improving, and there’s a lot of split-testing to be done.
Thanks to everyone that has ever signed up for an affiliate network, signed up for a service, or even bought some books through my affiliate links. Every cent I make from the blog gets re-invested back into the blog.
You can tell I’m here for the long haul. Most affiliate marketing blogs die after 2 years, but I’m still here and hungry as fuck. I really wanna see how far I can take this, and I want to help expand the industry that has given me so much.
Thanks for being a part of the journey.