The Official Relaunch of My 4-Hour Workweek

It’s finally here, and I’m super excited!  As I mentioned in my post last week, I am “relaunching” this site to hopefully bring bigger and better things to the internet, specifically to those who read this blog.  For most blogs, businesses, etc., the concept of a launch or relaunch revolves around a single event – for My4HWW, the relaunch will be an evolutionary process – one that will happen over the coming weeks and months.  What you see right now (the new theme) is only a very small part of what I have planned.

The devil is in the details, so allow me to further explain this relaunch…

Relaunch Details

There’s a lot to tackle here, so I’ll try to go over it in some sort of logical order.  The superficial stuff (which is where I’ll begin) is what you see today, but the deeper, more important items will be rolling out in the next several weeks and months.

The Theme

Ah, yes, the hallmark of any major website change.  After always using a free theme (and there’s nothing wrong with this if you can find one that works for you), I broke down and purchased a membership with WooThemes.  They have a really nice collection of WordPress themes that work for blogs, businesses, and everything in between.

You can buy a single theme for $70 (which includes a couple bonus themes), but I went with the standard monthly subscription, for which I paid $125 up front (and then after the first month, it’s $15/month).  This gives you access to their 81 current themes, along with the new themes they add each month.  The really cool thing is – you can download all 81 themes and then cancel your membership to avoid the subsequent $15/month charges (and this is completely permitted by them).  So, that’s what I did.  Yes, it’s a bit of an investment, but now I have 81 themes saved to my computer (it was like I paid $1.54 per theme) that I can and will use on my future niche websites. Okay, that sounded too much like a WooThemes sales pitch, so I’ll stop it there.

What made the theme transition really easy was the use of a free plugin call Theme Tester that I mentioned in my post about the best free WordPress plugins.  It allowed me to play around with different themes and tweak them until I found one that worked for me.  I was extremely impressed with the way this plugin worked.

The Logo

Right now, I’m using a logo that I designed myself, but I really don’t like it much.  I will probably pay someone in the near future to design a more professional looking logo.

Comments

This goes along with the new theme, but you’ll notice that the comments section is much more attractive than it was before, and this is one of the primary reasons I wanted to change my theme.  The old comments I had were very ugly looking, which I don’t think helped ignite conversation.

I’m really hoping the new comments section will give people more of an incentive to interact.  While My4HWW is mostly a platform for me to write, I’d like it to become more reader-centric – that is, build more of a community right here on the blog.  I know this isn’t easy to do, but including a more appealing comment interface is a step in the right direction.

Increased External Connections

There are three primary ways to be exposed to a blog’s content:

  1. Reading content on the actual site
  2. Subscribing to the RSS feed (and reading the content through an RSS reader or via e-mail)
  3. Newsletter subscription

I consider #2 and #3 to be “external” connections.  In an effort to increase my blog’s internet presence (I say that in the least narcissistic way possible), I’ve added ways to enhance my RSS and newsletter subscriber counts:

1) Subscribe to RSS via e-mail

I think this has always been possible with my blog’s RSS feed, but I’ve never actually had a link for it.  I read somewhere recently that there are lots of people who prefer to subscribe to a feed through e-mail (instead of using an RSS reader), so it makes sense that if you don’t have an easy way to subscribe via e-mail, you could be missing out on a lot of subscribers.  The placement isn’t ideal (so I may change it), but right now you can subscribe by clicking the “EMAIL” button next to the RSS icon in the top right corner of the site.

2) Subscribe to newsletter with comment

I wanted to add a way for people to check a box to subscribe to my newsletter when they leave a comment (since they already have to input their name and e-mail address in order to leave a comment), because I’ve seen it on other blogs and it seems to be a nice, non-intrusive way to get more subscribers.  The problem was, it seemed like the plugins necessary to accomplish this cost at least $70 (I saw one that was around $150), which seemed a little extreme.

Today’s your lucky day if you are also looking to add this to your blog, because I found a plugin that does this for free. The plugin is called “Qoate Newsletter Signup” and it’ll allow you to add this newsletter sign-up check box like I’ve added (see below).

3) Subscribe to newsletter with pop-up

I debated adding this for a long time, after seeing it appear on many other respectable blogs.  I think some people don’t mind, whereas I can see how it might annoy others.  I’ve decided to add it and have it pop up only one time, so that once you close it, you should never see it again (unless you clear your browser’s cookies).

To do this, I’m using Pop-Up Domination – you’ve probably seen this promoted a lot on other blogs over the past month or two.  I was intrigued by it and actually purchased it awhile ago, and have been using it on some of my other niche sites (including my P90X site for the niche site duel).  It’s effective.

[Just a tip to save you $10, if you’re interested in buying it – it costs $77, but if you go to leave the site, you’ll get a pop-up that gives you the option to click “Cancel” and be taken to a sales page that allows you to purchase it for $67.]

I’d really appreciate it if you would leave me a comment and let me know if you think this added feature is annoying, or if you don’t mind it.  If it seems like people are really bothered by it, I have no problem with removing it.

Simplified Category Organization

Previously, I had a million categories for my posts, and some of them were redundant.  I’ve consolidated them and now have quite a bit less, but I can probably simplify them even further.  I think makes the blog easier to navigate, because the average visitor isn’t overwhelmed by dozens of topics/categories like they would have been previously.

The Future of My4HWW

This is the part I’m really excited about, because I honestly believe there’s a lot I can do to add even more value to your experience of reading this blog.

Focus on High Quality Content, Not Schedule

In the past, I’ve always been concerned with posting at least twice per week, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays.  I think having a schedule is fine, and there are many bloggers who will go to great lengths to not stray from their established schedule.  There are a few bloggers who manage to publish exceptional content on a regularly scheduled basis, but then there are others who are willing to post borderline-garbage writing, just to maintain a schedule.

Glen from Viperchill has proven that you don’t need to post often to have a popular blog, although I think his case is somewhat of an outlier.

While I will still try to maintain my usual schedule, I’m no longer willing to sacrifice quality to do it.  In other words, if I have a killer article that’s going to take me a week to write, there may only be one post that week.  I’m sure you’ll be able to live with it. :)

Greater Emphasis on Passive Income Projects

I’ve been heading down this path for awhile, but I want to make it official: While I will have the occasional article about social networking or various other blogging-related topics, I want my focus to be on the passive income projects on which I’m currently working.  I won’t always spill every last detail (this is for my own protection), but I can assure you that I’ll provide enough transparency so that it’ll be both interesting and informative to you.

More Interviews

I’ve published some interviews on this blog in the past, but I’d like to get back to doing it more.  If you have an interesting story, or have achieved some sort of success that you think others would like to read about, contact me and I’ll see if we can set you up with an interview on this blog.

Increased Social Networking Interaction

Currently, I’m a regular participant on Twitter (you can interact with me there), but I feel like I’m one of the few bloggers who doesn’t have a Facebook fan page.  I’ll probably outsource the design of this (the landing page, that is) and hopefully have it set up soon.  I think fan pages offer a much better structure for conversation compared to Twitter.  If I had to draw comparisons, a Facebook page is more like a message board, whereas Twitter seems to be more like instant messaging (except that it’s public).

Introduction of Video

I don’t know yet what part video will play on this blog, but at the very least, I’d like to experiment with it.  Right now I’m trying to look for a good video camera (any suggestions?) and then I’ll see exactly how I want to integrate it into this blog.  At the very least, I’ll need the video camera so that I can take cool videos of the Savannah cat I want to buy eventually.

That’s All!

Well, not really, because I’m sure there will be more than what I’ve explained above.  I just wanted to go into some detail about everything I’ve been thinking about lately with respect to this blog, so you can see where I’m headed.  To kick off the new My4HWW, I’ll be publishing my November income report later this week, and as I’ve mentioned already, November is looking like my best month to date!

As always, if you want to stay in touch with this blog’s posts without having to constantly check the website, you can subscribe to the RSS feed (either with an RSS reader or through e-mail).  Thanks for all your support, I really appreciate it!

– Eric

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42 Responses to “The Official Relaunch of My 4-Hour Workweek”

  1. Nice job on the new look.
    Personally I dont think there is anything wrong with your logo, it defines your brand.
    I think ill definately subscribe to your site now, I have it bookmarked and usually check it once a week but subscribing is more useful, I dont use rss so email is the best option for me

    Keep up the good work

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Stephen, and I appreciate the feedback on the logo. I guess I just don’t have much faith in my Photoshop skills. 😛

    [Reply]

  2. First off, I’m really liking the theme.

    Second, I thought Glen was an outlier, as well, and considering how small my blog is (less than 600 unique visitors a month), I thought for sure it wouldn’t apply to my site. I’m planning on posting the details at the end of the month, but when I looked at my stats around the middle of the month, I was on pace to match October’s traffic. This stunned me. Why? I had Zero (!!!) posts at that point. All I’ve had time to do this month is comment on other blogs and do a few retweets. That’s it.

    Traffic is a funny, funny thing.
    James M recently posted… Black Friday Deals

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks James! Traffic is a funny thing, and what you said reinforces the idea of always posting high quality content – the content remains relevant even when you aren’t actively posting, so it still receives traffic (either from current readers who go back to read something, or organic search engine traffic).

    [Reply]

  3. The new redesign looks good! I can’t wait to see how November turned out for you. I’ve been getting pretty bogged down in the details of a few different projects, but I guess all of these things just take time to get started. I also abandoned my first niche site after downloading Market Samurai and finding out that the first page results were all PR 3+ pages, even if at first glance they looked like crappy sites. Oh well! On to finding a new niche :)

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Brett! That’s the beauty of niche sites – if it turns out you targeted keywords that are too competitive or you don’t like the direct your site is taking, it’s so easy to just switch to something else and start building a new site. There are just so many niches and sub-niches out there, many of which aren’t competitive, ripe for the taking. :)

    [Reply]

  4. Congrats on the new design. I really admire you for keeping such a hard focus the blog and putting out so much quality content.
    Rasmus recently posted… My affiliate marketing failure

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Rasmus, I appreciate all the support.

    [Reply]

  5. Eric, congrats, the site looks sweet. Good luck with the re-launch.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks so much Moon!

    [Reply]

  6. I like the new layout. Lots of space – makes it easy to focus on the content!
    Andrew Walton recently posted… How Unlimited Cheap Energy Will Solve All The World’s Problems

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Andrew, that’s what I was aiming for!

    [Reply]

  7. I like the new layout, but agree, your logo needs some work. The idea is great, but the different stroke treatments for the little guy and the though bubble don’t go, and I don’t much care for the font styling.

    WooThemes is an incredible deal, too. I’ve used them on *several* of my own sites, and plan to continue to use them in the future. I’ll refrain from gratuitiously linking all my sites as examples :)

    I find that WooThemes are fairly good out of the box, but are structured well, so it is easy to tweak them as needed. I also usually kill the WooThemes credit in the footer – not that I don’t want to credit theme, because I do, but because I despise “powered by” links in general.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I know, the logo is a mess. 😛

    I’ve been impressed by the available themes from WooThemes – they’re really easy to customize with their special WordPress menus, and they seem to have a number of visually appealing options across several types of websites (personal blogs, businesses, “magazine-style,” etc.).

    I get what you’re saying about removing the credit in the footer – totally makes sense. The main reason I leave it in is to avoid people asking, “where did you get your theme from?” I still receive the question periodically, but hopefully having that in the footer will get rid of some unnecessary e-mail. :)

    [Reply]

  8. Hey Eric,

    I was going to highly recommend you go the 99designs.com route. I think my logo is ok, but could have been better. But what I did was run a contest and then once I found a winner with a style I like I’ve simply kept in contact with him.

    When I’m looking for a new fresh style I simply run another contest.

    You could get a very good one for about $200 – $300.
    Chris Guthrie recently posted… Need Hosting Check Out This Black Friday Sale

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Chris, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I know 99designs is pretty good, and I’m undecided between them and 48 Hours Logo. Both sites seem to offer the “contest” style for logo design, but projects at 48 Hours Logo start at $79 (vs. $200-300 at 99designs). I’m betting you get a wider range of higher quality designs at 99designs, so I’ll just have to see if I’m willing to risk spending $79 and potentially not finding a logo I like.

    [Reply]

  9. Eric,
    Awesome stuff! All of these enhancements look great! I’m perhaps most excited about your focus on passive income projects, those are my favorite posts on your blog!
    All the best,
    Ian

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Ian!

    On another note, I’ve been meaning to e-mail you about doing an interview on my blog – I’ve been swamped lately, but hopefully I can get in touch with you soon.

    [Reply]

  10. Good to see you are relaunching. Been reading your content for a while now and am excited about reading even better stuff now you seem to be back with a renewed passion. :)
    Dean Saliba recently posted… What Do You Do To Stay Motivated

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Indeed, I’m back with more energy! Thanks for the comment, Dean. :)

    [Reply]

  11. Your new design looks great. I always read good things about woo themes and it looks very clean for your site. I’m looking forward to reading your new posts.
    Richard recently posted… How to Promote Your Blog Article

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Richard. WooThemes is a pretty nice theme site, and most of their themes are “clean” like this one.

    [Reply]

  12. Can’t wait to see the transformations! This whole thing must be pretty exciting for you. :)

    I also have been thinking about experimenting with video. I’d need a good video camera though (my current one is just plain aweful) 😉

    Sounds like things are looking up for My 4 Hour Workweek. How long has this blog been live?

    Christina
    Christina Crowe recently posted… Goals and Achievements – December 2010

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    It’s very exciting! :)

    I haven’t decided yet how important video is, but it seems like it helps other bloggers really connect with different audiences. I also think it could be a bit fun, unless I get camera shy.

    Things are definitely looking up here – this blog has only been live for 11 months! (Though I would say it’s only had actual traffic for the past 8 months or so).

    [Reply]

  13. Looks good, congrats! Looking forward to more interviews, video etc. Always a treat to get more of your great content.
    Colin8ch recently posted… Simplified Subscriptions- Stop Bugging Your Developers

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Colin, thanks!

    [Reply]

  14. Eric, the site’s looking great! And I like your logo; I wouldn’t do too much to it to change it up drastically :-) Also, thanks for the Qoate Newsletter Signup plugin referral. That’s a great idea. It’s like the items in the grocery store checkout lane – may as well tack on other things while you got ’em! LOL
    Kesha recently posted… Resources For Your Small Business

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Exactly! That’s why I really like that plugin a lot.

    Thanks for the feedback on the logo – I’m still not exactly sure yet how I’ll change it, but I’m pretty sure it will change in some way.

    [Reply]

  15. Eric

    Much improved layout and like your reorganisation too.

    Where did you get the Qoate newsletter signup plugin – I can’t find it!

    Ian
    Ian recently posted… Search Engine Optimisation for your Band Website fans &amp sales

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Ian! If you go your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins –> Add New and just do a search for “Qoate” you should see it as the first plugin listed. Let me know if you still have trouble finding it.

    [Reply]

  16. Hi.

    Your blog looks great! I’m also considering about one of the Woo themes.

    I also noticed that more and more bloggers are deciding now to publish their entries less frequent.
    Video Guy recently posted… How To Choose The Best Video Squeeze Page Template

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks! Yes, posting less frequent seems to now be more acceptable, though it only works if your infrequent posts are high quality (in my opinion).

    [Reply]

  17. Great new layout Eric! Hopefully you get more interaction and traffic
    Edwin recently posted… Increase Torrent Speed Download

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Edwin!

    [Reply]

  18. Hi Eric, congrats on the relaunch! Definitely like the cleaner site look, not too much clutter, easy to navigate!

    Thanks for all the motivation, always great to see others succeed, but also take hits sometimes but learn from the mistakes! Wishing you well in the future, and on the tables next week in Vegas!

    PS-If you ever need a LIVE person as a picture of someone in a hammock in a tropical location daydreaming as your next logo, I guess I will volunteer and take one for the team! Keep it up!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Ron, you’re definitely too generous to offer to lay in a hammock in a tropical location – I don’t know many people who would make that kind of sacrifice. 😛

    Thanks for the kind words!

    [Reply]

  19. Dopeness dude! Enjoyed reading this and thanx for the headsup about the “subscribe to newsletter” free plugin. I’m gonna’ check that out. Keep in touch!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    No problem Jacob, we’ll definitely be in touch!

    [Reply]

  20. Hi,

    Great post and as the developer of “Qoate’s newsletter sign-up” i’m glad to see that you like it. Just a quick heads up tho, i’ve recently recoded the whole thing from scratch and released it under a new name: “Newsletter Sign-up”. Using that one instead of the old one is highly recommended. :)

    http://dannyvankooten.com/wordpress-plugins/newsletter-sign-up/

    Best of luck, Danny.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the heads up, Danny!

    [Reply]

  21. Some good changes i see you have already implemented, makes me curious of how your blog looked before.
    Amit recently posted… OSHA Forklift Certification

    [Reply]

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