Have you been thinking that it just might be time for a blog redesign?
I sure have.
We are not alone in this idea. Some of the biggest names in blogging have recently done a redesign.
It is quite interesting to see where each of them went with their design.
Each day I visit the Chrises blogs.
For some odd reason some of my all time favorite bloggers are named Chris.
I am not sure if they got together at some Chris conference and developed a plan but oddly, I noticed that all three of them redesigned their blogs around the same time.
My Chrises are:
Each of their designs was quite dramatic in comparison to what they had. Frankly, I am not sure what I think of their designs but if I had to choose a favorite, it would be Brogans.
The top of his design is extreme minimalist. He gets right to the point and there should not be much of a question as to what this site is about. This is of course absolute brilliance, for the new visitor.
However, I then have to have scroll 5 times to get to his latest post. (If I were smart I would bookmark his blog page, so that I did not have to scroll so much every day.)
Why did Brogan do this?
Well, I have absolutely no idea for sure but I do have my suspicions. Before, I get into my thoughts on his new design, I want to point out that Chris Brogan is a leader of leaders in our industry. It is not like Chris just woke up one day and decided he was in the mood to build this design. There is no question in my mind, that he had a darn good reason for doing this.
What I think is that Brogan is a business man and he wants us all to remember that. If you follow him as I do, then you may have seen or heard him say that he was getting confusion as feedback in regards to his business. It seems that some people did not realize that he had started a digital magazine even though it was all he was talking about. It was quite baffling for him really but I believe that it also required him to take a step back and analyze his message.
Not too terribly long after that he wound up doing a total redesign of his main site / blog. Now, when you open up his site you immediately see the message in the image above. If that message is not clear enough as you scroll down you will see his products, courses, free resources, books and then finally his blog.
By the time that you get down to his blog there should be absolutely no question that if you have questions about being a business owner, it is likely that Brogan has answers for you. If then and only then that you did not click on a product link, will he invite you to read his blog. On his front page, it is clear that he is there to offer you something, whether it be a paid product or a free one, that will help you on your ownership journey.
A couple of notes
#1 There is no traditional navigation bar on his site. Your most obvious choice on the site is to either click on something or to scroll down. In the top right there is a menu but even there your choices are quite limited. Note in the image below that there is not a blog link in the navigation choices.
#2 You may not realize it but when you visit his site, you are being taken on a journey. Sure this journey is full of choices, you could leave his site, you could click on a product, you could click on the nav, or you can keep scrolling.
#3 Chris is hoping that you will anything except click away except under one important circumstance. If you are not interested in this topic, if you are not interested in being an owner then he does not want to waste your time.
There is one thing about Chris Brogan that I believe to be true above all things and that he has a true servants heart. He is not taking you on this journey for this sake of pure profit. He hopes above all hope that he can help us owners by not only giving us a more direct path to the answers that we need on his site but by also being more clear about what he has to offer.
Now the real question for me today is, what lessons can I take away from his new blog design for my own blog design? Below are my takeaways.
#1 Always be clear with your message.
It is clear that Chris Brogan serves a particular niche. Below is a quote from his about page that I believe speaks directly to his goals and they type of person that he is. I strive to be that clear in what I do as well but I think that I have plenty of room for improvement.
Most importantly, Chris provides education and tools to help you make your life and your business thrive, by teaching you how to own the game you most want to win. Through events and courses and other tools, Chris is dedicated to helping you grow your capabilities and connections and to getting you to that next level of ownership, no matter where you are in the process right now.
#2 Remember to have a servants heart.
It is critical to Chris that he is always there for his people. If you email Chris he will personally email you back. He is truly here to help us and serve us. Yes, he has to make a living and he wants to make a good one but it is not all about the money for him. If you spend even five minutes in his presence you will know this without question. If you are purely in the world of blogging to make money, then you likely need to move along. I myself really want to add value and while I do hope to eventually make a living do this, it is mostly because it is my passion. My goal is to make a living serving others in this capacity.
#3 Be a person of solutions and take people on a journey.
I want to see people who never thought that they could or would be blogging. I believe that there are so many valuable voices out there in the world that are currently not being heard. If I do this right, I could take people on a journey that will help them get their voice out there. This is my goal above all goals but this requires me to be specific and not too random.
If you are considering a blog redesign then spend time studying the leaders in your industry. Then remember to always consider your readers first. The blog is for them. Your blog design is there to make it easier for them to read. It is not there to show off your favorite colors.
Remember to always provide a great user experience.