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…
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Reading content on the actual site
- Subscribing to the RSS feed (and reading the content through an RSS reader or via e-mail)
- 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.
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.
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!