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How To Love Your Blog

 

About 9 months ago, I made a decision to change the focus of Successful Blogging. I love blogging but I wanted to tweak some parts of my business.

Enter Ramsay, Jon, Yaro - three top bloggers, who, like Cher and Madonna, are recognized in the blogging world by just their first names, and who have become my mentors.

Then along came Dre and Cami, who recently helped me change the branding and visual look of the website.

Redesigning Successful Blogging

When I started out with Successful Blogging, the blog had 2 sidebars and was mostly gray in color. It was very 2010.

Last year, I cobbled together some new design elements. I added a feature opt-in box and got rid of one of the sidebars. I even learned a little HTML through this HTML5 Beginner's Guide.

This year, I was ready for a complete redesign. My stuck-together elements weren't loading quickly (you lose visitors that way) and I wanted a more cohesive look.

So, I started out my branding journey by searching the internet (is there any other way?) and discovered  The Branded Solopreneur and quickly signed up with Dre for her One-on-One Branding Mentorship.

Andre “Dre” Beltram of The Branded Solopreneur

As Dre says on her "About" page:

I believe visuals are the least inhibited way we have to communicate. I believe visuals are the purist way to convey our messages to others. I believe visuals are the MOST powerful expressions of our voice.

I loved the look of her blog and if you check out just one her blog posts, read  “visual diarrhea”  - as opposed to “verbal diarrhea”, which I call 'selling without taking a breath or asking questions' (just ask my former sales reps!).

So Dre and I hopped onto a Google Hangout and she reviewed Successful Blogging. She gave me great branding advice on how to amp up the visual elements on the blog. Dre even called me a bad-ass, which I discovered is one of her favorite expressions! Together, we decided on new colors, watermarks, visual templates and other goodies and a fun time was had by all.

After the Hangout with Dre, I was ready to get the blog redesigned. Enter Cami.

Camila “Cami” Rojas of TC Designs

I met Cami through Adrienne Smith when she featured Cami on her blog, along with some other great solopreneurs. I immediately emailed Cami and asked her to do my redesign. She is a joy to work with and creates websites in Genesis (my theme of choice).

Take a look around SB's new blog design. Cami gave me a new logo. Different fonts and colors (keeping our iconic red but refreshing the shade). A new feature opt-in box, along with redesigned sidebar widgets. New social media covers (over at Twitter, Google+, and Facebook).

I really love my redesign and highly recommend both Dre's and Cami's work.

MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION FOR YOU  Why your Email List Isn't Growing and How to Fix That

Redesigning The Business Side

Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic and Serious Bloggers Only

When Jon offered his year-long mentorship program for newer bloggers this past fall, I wasn’t sure that it was right for me. I had taken his "Guest Blogging" course (which is wonderful and I highly recommend it) and I was in his "Serious Bloggers Only" forum, but I wasn't a beginning blogger.

I decided to join the group when I realized that was the only way to ask questions of Jon (and his right-hand woman, Marsha Stopa) on a weekly basis without paying tens of thousands of dollars for one-on-one coaching.

And he has delivered. My traffic has skyrocketed due to his advice on just what types of posts to use and I’m being featured as a ‘case study’ on the SBO forum this week. "Serious Bloggers Only" is worth every penny of the $29/month fee, not only for the relationships I have built there but for the monthly “SBO Mini-Courses". Plus, if you join, you'll get to watch my case study webinar 🙂

Yaro Starak of Entrepreneurs-Journey

I had read Yaro’s blog for 3+ years when he sent an email about joining his new mentoring group, EJ Insiders. I quickly signed up to the forum-style group and was very happy to discover other like-minded bloggers.

We ask Yaro whatever questions we have and he responds with insightful comments.

The great part about the evolution of the forum is that now everyone helps each other out. There are accountability partnerships, monthly coaching calls with Yaro and we are trying a new webinar-style call each month that I’m in charge of. (I was very surprised when, upon opening up the forum website one day last year, I saw the word “Expert” below my name. Yaro had promoted me to “expert” level and I did a happy dance around my living room!)

dancing gif photo: animated dancing cat gif Funny_Pictures_Animated_Dancing_Cat.gif

Ramsay Taplin of BlogTyrant

Ramsay has over 10,000 subscribers and is successful at affiliate sales, consults with businesses and has coaching clients. When he opened his two-month private coaching offer last year for only 5 students, I jumped at it. Unfortunately, it filled up before he got my application. But my luck changed when someone had to cancel and I was first on his wait list.

Ramsay's coaching is 1-1 and he answered all my many questions on blogging and business. It was worth the investment and I now have a great colleague that I can ask to promote my posts and still answers my occasional questions.

Wrapping It Up

It has been a great journey of change over the last 9 months.  And I'm happy that the changes are now visually represented on the blog. 

How To Love Your Blog

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75 comments on “How To Love Your Blog”

  1. I am soooo proud of you, Sue! I applaud your bravery in investing in yourself and you biz and committing to your success. The true definition of being a successful blogger, you are.

    I'm honored to have been able to be a part of your redesigning journey and can't happy dance enough in seeing the amaze balls that you've got in SB. You're an inspiration to all bloggers, lady! Grateful for the new friendship we've formed and can't wait to see the levels of success you reach. Remember us little people when you make it to the top...I have a sneaking suspicion it's straight up for you. 😉

      1. Even I have been a part of SuccessfulBlogging's redesigning process.

        Its Great to see Sue trying out different things for her blog.

        I have been following her blog since three months & have noted a significant success.

        1. Hi, Kaushik,

          You are a HUGE help to me - creating infographics, doing WordPress work, creating some graphics, etc. etc. And you help out my clients. I couldn't make it without you!

          Thanks so much for all you do and for your comment,
          Sue

  2. I love the cat GIF Sue. ???? Your new site and blog success is definitely worthy of a happy dance! Congratulations.

    1. PS I'm not sure why my smiley emoticon above turned into question marks? Nevertheless, congrats again. What a great support team you have.

  3. Hi Sue Anne

    If we admit that competition has stiffened in blogosphere so we should also accept now freemiums won't pay as much as premiums can and to face the competition we have to pay for formal learning instead of doing randomly.

    I am also big fan of Yaro and Jon and most of the blogging things I learnt by regularly following their tips and tutorials.

    I am glad to know you were referred as case study in SBO and I know their standards is so high and getting such position does mean how skilled one is.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this very helpful post to love my blog.

  4. Hi Sue Anne,

    Your blog's new look is just great, colourful and bright.

    Love the cat dance!

    Thanks for all those great tips.

    regards,

    Brigitte

  5. Today again I like to thank you for sharing expert advice on how to redesign successful blogging. The success comes from passion and passion come from love.

    "You are Special", I know it may sound like a cat-poster. But for the success of your blog and to get success in your life you have to make yourself feel special.

    When I love something, I put my whole focus on that and this works on easkme. I works long hours but never get bored. The more time I spend the more I feel satisfied.

    You are doing great job Sue. Thank you again.

    1. Hi, Gaurav,

      You are so right - when you love your work, it claims your focus and you don't mind working long hours.

      I appreciate your comment!
      Sue

  6. Hi Sue

    As a newbie it was so helpful reading your article. Good to know that even professionals feel they can reinvent themselves. New website looks great!

  7. Thanks for the wonderful resource share, Sue! I like both the old version and the new, but especially the new logo. Beautiful font.

    I've definitely got to work on both visual and verbal diarrhoea on my site. I just hope that being as busy as a skunk with diarrhoea doesn't stink the place up any worse ...

    Plus, I'm in one of those situations where, despite a certain element of ugliness, so many things are working ... fearless experimentation is not so fearless, if you know what I mean, but onward anyway.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi, Anthony,

      I believe in not changing until you feel it in your gut.

      Plus, with having such great mentors, they were able to direct me to the moves that would reap the largest return. It makes the experimentation less fearful.

      I appreciate you comment today!
      Sue

  8. Hi, Sue, I just had to drop by to say how much I like the new design and one aspect in particular… It stood out in your email and it's perfect for your blog, I'm talking about the font in your logo.

    I'm sure some people will think this is a tiny detail but it really is very sophisticated. I hope this doesn't come across as silly flattery, it's just a description of a font!

    Cheers 🙂

    1. Hi, Donald,

      I know my designer, Cami, will be so glad to hear that. She gave me about 10 different variations before I agreed on this one. It took the longest of all of the tasks to decide on. So having you say that means it was worth the time and effort that she and I (along with Dre) spent.

      Thanks for the comment! It meant a lot to me.
      Sue

  9. First time I read your article and I get valuable information. It will really helpful for new bloggers like us.

    Thanks for sharing your expert advice.

    Keep posting..!!

    1. Hi, Rohit,

      Thanks for being a new reader and welcome to the Successful Blogging Team!

      I appreciate your comment and keep sharing your stories with us.
      Sue

  10. Sue,

    When I come to your site, I know I'm on Sue's site! Great branding, color choices and design elements.

    I "found" Dre by accident looking for branding for my freelance writing business. I immediately gravitated towards her style and practically read every post she had on her site.

    Great story to share with everybody!

    Elna

    1. Hi, Elna,

      I appreciate your comment. Dre is truly unique and I found her through Carrie-Anne Foster's site. I loved Carrie-Anne's site and then checked out Dre's site.

      Dre is truly one of a kind, in the best sense of the word, as you know from reading her blog. She taught me so much about design and visuals.

      Thanks!
      Sue

      1. Thanks so much for the shout out, Sue!

        I'm loving your new look! It has a crisp, clean feel. No distractions and everything is easy to find.

        Great job!

        1. Thanks so much, Carrie-Anne. That means a lot to me coming from you.

          I appreciate you taking the time to comment!
          Sue

  11. Hi, Ryan,

    Your comment warms my heart! I respect your opinion as a valued colleague and I appreciate your comment so much.

    Thanks!
    Sue

  12. Great Post Sue and Loved your New Blog Design it,s Really Cool and Simple and Designing Site after some time is a Good way to make Blog Cool and Responsive day by Day.

    Regards:

    Raza Nagori

  13. Hi Sue,

    Thanks for this post. I've often wondered if all the courses and groups out there are actually worth the money.

    (So far the only blogging product I bought online was a dud, and I got a refund!)

    It sounds like you've made a huge financial commitment over the last year, and it would be interesting to know if you feel the increase in traffic etc has paid for this commitment already, or if not, when you project that it will?

    In the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy your new look and your great tips.

    All the best, J

    1. Hi, Jane,

      I feel that I made an investment in my blogging education. It has been worth every penny. The trick, as you have already found out, is to pick the right people to associate yourself with (I had some misses also when I first started out).

      Thanks so much for your comment today.
      Sue

  14. Hi Sue Mam,

    It was the first time on your blog and I am so glad that I am landed on this awesome post.

    Yes, an impressive blog design can attract more visitors for your and make your blog successive.

    Although a great post and awesome design.

    Keep writing and would like to visit again to read more some interesting.

    Have a great day 🙂

    Naveen

    1. Hi, Naveen,

      Welcome to the Successful Blogging Team! Please continue to read and leave comments when you enjoy a post.

      Thanks so much for your nice comment today.
      Sue

  15. Hey Sue Anne,

    I love love love the new look and I also appreciate you sharing your redesign journey with us too. As you know I'm going through a rebranding phase myself and have taken some of your suggestions so thank you for that by the way.

    I'm SO glad that Cami stood out to you from the list of people I shared in an earlier post. She's such a sweetheart and I love what she does. I'm so thrilled with the design of your blog and even happier that you're thrilled with it too.

    I admire everyone that you've mentioned here and you are so smart to be mentored by these amazing people. I always say if you want to get to a certain place then you need to learn from the people who are where you want to be. Jon, Yaro and Ramsay are all truly amazing people who are so successful. I have no doubt that their coaching programs are worth every single penny.

    Love this post Sue Anne and will be sharing it as well. I think this is important because there are so many people who are "stuck" and think they can't change things up. Well yes you can and you're living proof.

    Great job my dear.

    ~Adrienne

    1. Thanks SO much, Adrienne! I'm so grateful you introduced me to Cami by way of your blog. She does a terrific job.

      I've been very lucky to have such great mentors. And lucky to have met you!
      Sue

  16. Great piece on the resources for bloggers. I'm also a Serious Bloggers Only student, and think the advice is great. I think I found you through the forum, and consistently think your posts are great. And I like the re-design, with best wishes, Alexandra (@WritetoPromote and @Midsizegarden

    1. Hi, Alexandra,

      Serious Bloggers Only is great because I meet people like you!

      Thanks for your comments on the redesign - it's so nice to open the site now and smile 🙂
      Sue

  17. Hi Sue Anne,

    Wow! I love your new site and the story you shared behind it. Giving credit where credit is due to such wonderful people on your journey. You made a great shift without losing your branding. Way to go girl!

    I feel a sense of celebration in the air reading this. There is nothing better than moving forward as you have and will be doing. Great job and I wish you all the best!

    1. That means a lot coming from you, Donna! We both went through website changes this year. It's fun and is worth celebrating.

      Thanks for commenting,
      Sue

  18. Thank you for sharing these resources. I am sure they will be very helpful as I finally get serious about my blog instead of just letting it go to clients for the last 8 years. I have followed several people who teach about blogging and am letting go of some of them. You, however, are one of my faves. Thanks for all the ways you help us out here in blogging land.

    1. Hi, Linda,

      You made my day! Thanks so much for letting me know and for taking the time to comment.

      Sue

  19. Hello Sue, Your title just pulled me in. How to Love your blog? I really enjoyed your story here and do know the importance of branding and investing in your education to help you get the results you are looking for.

    You have done a great job with your blog here, It is clean and refreshing. Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

    1. Hi, Chery,

      I worked for an hour on that headline! Thanks for the compliment.

      I so appreciate your comment.
      Sue

  20. It seems that you change the template of your site, right ? It looks like the Epik theme from StudioPress, it's a great and cool template.

  21. I love the clean, fresh style of the redesign. It must have involved lots of time, efforts and consideration to redesign it into a more organized and intuitive look. Sometimes I heard about a redesign will impact the search engine optimization of an existing blog, thus affecting the amount of new visitors. I'm just curious, have you noticed any obvious rise or drop of visitors to your awesome blog? Keep on the good work!

    1. I heard that also and thank goodness, has worked in my favor. My visitor numbers are up 18% this week. My site also loads faster now and that helps a lot also.

      Thanks for your comment!
      Sue

      1. Wow, nice to hear that. That means the redesign seems quite successful. Probably the new structure and design, as well as the faster loading time look pleasant in the search engine crawler's eyes. Congratulations!

  22. I've just started a blog in blogging niche and also love it as well. Keep writing more nice stuff that people like me can read more and see as a resources and more ideas to writing about.

    Your blog is inspired me to writing this new blog.

    Thank you for that.

    1. Hi, Tony,

      Welcome to the Successful Blogging Team! I'm so glad that I can help.

      I really appreciate your comment.
      Sue

  23. Hello Sue,

    I loved the new design of your blogs. Really it takes a lot of time and effort to revamp your blog and I'm so happy that you've completed it.

    I really love the new shade of red. Also the theme is fabulous. Kudos to your designing team.

    Have an amazing week ahead!

  24. Hi Sue,

    Been reading your posts for a little while and have noticed your progress. I love the classy look of your site. Very cool! And thanks for your highly informative posts.

    Thanks,

    Alex

  25. Hi Sue,

    Wonderful article!! Now i can see why top blogger are real blogger with real success..they really love their blog and profession..:)

    Thanks for this useful info and article

    Dev

    1. You are so welcome, Dev! It's very true - passion plays a large part in blogging successfully.

      Thanks for your comment.
      Sue

  26. A clean design is great because it brings more visitors to blogs. This information is valuable and deserves to be share.

  27. Hello Sue, This is my First time visit on your Blog. Thanks for your great Article. By reading your this article just learn a lot's of points. And Your Blog is just looking awesome. but, have you noticed one thing? You Facebook Profile does not connecting with your Blog. When i wanted to send you a Friend request i can not. So, check the issue 🙂

    Cheers

  28. Good to hear a success story about going on a course!

    Your blog looks fresh and welcoming.

    I recently started a blog for my brand and have been trying to work out how to brand it and make it stand out from the millions of others out there!

    If you put one foot wrong on your blog, an image takes too long to load for example, it can completely end the relationship with that reader.

    We all need to keep upping our game!!

  29. Yeah Sue, your blog looks better right now. The center content style makes the content the major focus for your visitors which is always the best idea

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