The New Entrepreneur’s Journey

Published by 31 Comments

As you can no doubt tell the new Entrepreneur’s Journey is now live. I’ve been testing everything to make sure it is working as it should be but no doubt some errors and design layout issues are hidden away. If you come across any major problems using the site please contact me.

New Features

Besides the overall colour and layout changes you will find a few new features, including:

Audio “play” buttons – In an effort to enhance the usability of this site I have added audio explanations for some key features. I will continue to add more audio descriptions where I believe the extra explanation is helpful. In general the audio buttons are targeted more at first time visitors and novice surfers to help explain the purpose of this website and it’s features. Some people learn better with their ears rather than their eyes and anything I can do to create additional communication channels is beneficial.

Highlighted areas – The two areas above the fold (currently housing the ‘Popular Articles’ and ‘Blog Traffic School’) are specifically placed to give me an area to highlight particular features of this site. Often within a blog topics are ‘lost’ as new entries relegate them further and further into the archives. I specially planned the new design to have an area that I could change whenever I wanted to bring attention to certain products or services or articles etc.

New email updates subscription service – The old Entrepreneur’s Journey subscriber email list has been moved to the right sidebar below the box banner. Behind the scenes I have also switched over this mailing list to the RSS-to-email feature of Aweber, which means I no longer manually have to send out updates when I write a new article.

I’ve set up the system to send out an email whenever three or more new articles are published so email subscribers should receive summaries and links to the latest posts about weekly. Previously I only sent out notification when a new full length article was published but using this new system subscribers will receive notice for every post made to this blog. I’m going to write more about the new Aweber feature in a future email since you are probably a little bit confused with how it works because I know I was before I started playing with it.

I still recommend people learn how to subscribe with RSS but I understand some prefer email so I need to have a robust solution for them as well. If you haven’t yet subscribed either by RSS or through email I suggest you go to the right sidebar now and do so, I’ve got some pretty good content coming up in the weeks ahead.

Blog Traffic School – Since I am devoting most of my time outside of blogging and BetterEdit.com towards Blog Traffic School I wanted to really focus on it and make sure everyone who is interested knows about it and subscribes to the pre-launch list to stay up to date. Hence it is highlighted on every page of this blog. If you haven’t done so yet please sign-up to the email list now.

Banner placements – In an attempt to further monetize my sites I had to develop a better way to include advertisements using the recently installed PHPAdsNew. I didn’t want the site to become overrun with banners so I surfed around a few blogs and blog networks and used them as inspiration to come up with the current general layout here. This design includes an above the fold box banner, as well as a sidebar tower and individual entry standard banners. The banners do not intrude the content but are prominent enough that they generate exposure, either for external advertisers, AdSense links or my own internal campaigns. If you are interested in sponsoring this site visit the Sponsorship Opportunities page.

Better use of space – What I like the most about the new design is that is appears much like the old design, remains reasonably clutter free but manages to cram in a lot more in the same amount of area. It doesn’t quite fit right in 800*600 screen resolutions, which incidentally I learned 20% of net users still use so it’s worth catering for, but all the content can be viewed in that resolution better than in the old design. I like the colour usage better (kudos to Phil, my designer) and with the network tabs down the left side I can keep all my blogs linked together in a pseudo-blog-network. Overall I think it’s prettier and more professional too, which is important given the direction I am heading with my blogging.

Who Did The Design?

Philipp Hartle is the designer that did the new look for Entrepreneur’s Journey. He’s also currently finishing up the look for Small Business Branding. As you can no doubt tell I’m pretty pleased with his efforts. Phil is located here in Brisbane, my hometown, and is a friend of mine. It was really good to have the option of face-to-face communication although we only met once initially to get the overall theme decided and then communicated through VOIP for most of the changes after that point. I recommend Phil for blog design work if you are in need of a fresh and funky design.

Feedback

I’d love to hear what you think of the design so please leave a comment with your opinion. I suspect some people will still prefer the old design and there are always people that hate change, no matter how much it can enhance their lives, but regardless I value all sound judgements. If you think there are some features that could be improved or areas that aren’t quite clear let me know and I will see what I can do.

Yaro Starak
Entrepreneur’s Journey

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

Read more from Yaro Starak »

Learn How To Make $10,000 Per Month Blogging 2 Hours A Day

Enter your email to join my newsletter and download
the Blog Profits Blueprint Exclusive Report

31 Comments

  • I like it Yaro – really like the side tabs – now, when are you going to add BlogTrafficSchool.com :-)

    One thing though: the logo, it’s just too plain especially for such a nice overall design.

  • Oh Martin I can’t tell you what issues I have with logo development! It’s such a personal thing and we tried to come up with something that I liked and had the entrepreneur’s journey at heart but to no avail. In the end I decided the text based logo was good enough and easily changed if I ever come up with a good logo.

  • Nice work Yaro – I know you’ve put a lot of time and effort into this. I love the audio and the way that you’ve fitted in so much more content without making the site look cluttered. I hope to do something similar when I get round to redesigning my ultra-clunky blog design :)

  • Lee

    Love the new design Yaro!

  • Looks good Yaro, like the colours. You might want to check your navigation elements in Safari ( see my screenshot at http://signal7.com.au/misc/yaro.gif ) as it slightly off.

    Mathew

  • Alastair Bridgewater

    Well, it looks like it should look good… But on my Linux Firefox 1.0.6 with no flash plugin the navbar is completely shot. The right side of the search box , along with the rounded corner, is in the middle of the screen horizontally. The Blog, About, and Articles links are in a vertical column to the left of that, with the remaining links to the right of the Articles link as they should be. And the background texture around the navbar is as messed up as you’d expect with these layout problems.

    Other than that, it looks great!

  • I am loving the new design Yaro! As Mathew mentioned about the navigation, I am having the same problems. I am using the latest version of FireFox and it is showing the same as his screen shot.

    But other than that, very well done. I look forward to seeing the new Small Business Branding design as well!

  • Hmm, something must have gone kooky somewhere since I tested with FireFox before launching and it looked better than IE.

    I just tried all kinds of CSS tricks to fix the problem but I think I will have to call on Phil to get it perfect. I’ve put in a temporary “cheap” solution which should have fixed the navigation bar issue on FireFox but now the spacing isn’t quite how I want it.

    I’m beginning to develop a love/hate relationship with CSS…

  • I’m beginning to develop a love/hate relationship with CSS…

    Nothing wrong with CSS, if all these damn browsers out there would just be compatible with each other then it would make life much more easier.

  • Mike B

    Looks good, nice and clean. I use the flashblock plugin for firefox so I don’t see the flash ‘play’ buttons. That is my choice but just realise that not everyone will have flash enabled.

    You may want to check out the w3.org html validation service. It is currently showing up 132 validation errors and warnings on the html for this page and 74 for the index page. Valid html/xhtml helps browsers to parse your page correctly.

  • Thanks for the feedback and comments guys. I’ll get together with Phil and see if we can sort things out and get as close as we can to validating in the W3 standards. Hopefully we can launch Small Business Branding without any issues.

    Does anyone have any ideas on the best software/code to produce streaming audio so it’s completely cross-browser compatible and not dependent on users having flash? I’d like a simple solution that will display well in all browsers.

  • Your update looks great and gives a more “proffesional” apperance than before. Very well presented and extremely inviting.

    My first thought was that it look’s very “American”…and I mean that in a complimentary way!

    Anyway, this is my first comment on your site after many week’s of reading. Thankyou for everything and your generosity on your site…you are quite an inspiration!

  • Alastair Bridgewater

    The navbar looks a lot better here now, but the Site Map link is right below the Blog link. Comparing between Firefox and IE, it looks like IE is using a sans-serif font and Firefox is using a wider serif font of about the same height, give or take a couple pixels, so it’s overflowing the row.

    In fact, it looks like serif fonts for the “Internet Marketing for Small Business” bit at the top of the page, the navbar, article titles, and article text. Either Firefox is looking for a font I don’t have, or you may have missed a font-family in your CSS.

    Other than that, as I said, looks great. Good luck with the Small Business Branding launch.

  • I really like the new design. It’s so much clearer and easier to find what you were looking for. Congrats!

  • YARO, I really like your new design. The audio adds a great tuch! I am looking forward to your Blog Traffic school!

  • Not sure what is going on with your FireFox fonts Alastair. The fonts in IE and FF look exactly the same for me, but thanks for bringing it up.

    How hard it is to make a site cross-browser compatible and compensate for all the little nuances! I’m glad I don’t work in the design field, this stuff must drive people crazy.

    Thanks for all the comments and feedback guys.

  • Hey guys, can you tell me if you are still having issues? I think I fixed the problems but I can’t be certain.

  • Love the new design, it’s very smooth. You’ve clearly been busy.

    S.

  • It all fits on Safari and on Firefox now, good work.

    Mathew

  • One thing I don’t like is the 2 column sidebar. It’s a touch to clustery. And I run from it. Everything else looks good.

  • Cowboy – I had the exact same thoughts when I went and made the site fit in 800*600, before that it wasn’t so tight in that area but it’s a moot point, I want this site to be at least readable in 800*600.

    I’m convinced now that two column designs are best if you want to fit 800*600 and have limitations because of banner dimensions etc but it was too late to change for this design. I’m happy enough with how it looks now.

  • There is no reason why it should not look good in BOTH 800×600 and 1024×768.

    With the larger font size the main text seems rather squished and jammed in because of the dual nav columns. This is especially evident when viewed at 1024×768 and there is all this spare space on either side not being used.

    Worth looking at http://www.useit.com/alertbox/ and looking at some of his articles and applying his ‘rules’.

    Just in terms of a few second visual comparison, I kinda liked the old site better (there may be usibility aspects that make the new much better, but i have not ‘devled’ yet!

  • The site looks great. Perhaps you could write a post on how to choose a company to design your site and the costs involved.

  • Yaro,

    *jaw drops*
    Absolutely beautiful!!!!

    one suggestion however….
    where you have the tab to go to your other blog…I would have it load up exactely as your EJ blog, but perhaps a different colour scheme….

    either way….good job..looks amazing!!!

    Jay

  • You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people, all of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time!’ Think that’s it!!!

    But anyway, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and I think the new design, especially above the fold, is a great overall improvement to the blog.

    Good work.

    Aitch

  • On a side note from the design, the Manage Your Subscriptions link down with the commens fields that is shown after you subscribe to the comments is broken. It takes you to a 404 error page.

  • Chris – I just fixed the subscription manager, thanks for the notice.

  • Nice! I like it.

    Dave

  • Yaro, this is a great improvement (not that the previous one was bad). Definately going to make things a bit easier.

  • [...] My fellow Aussie, Yaro Starak from Entrepreneurs Journey and SmallBusinessBranding offers up his new blog design … Nice! [...]

  • I agree with what Will said, you’ve crammed a ton of content in without making things look a mess – congratulations :)

Leave A Comment

Comment Rules: When leaving a comment you can be critical of others, but if you are rude, we'll delete your words. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name or keywords, as the latter comes off like spam.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Profits BlueprintLearn How To Make $10,000 Per Month Blogging 2 Hours A Day

Enter your email to join my newsletter and download the Blog Profits Blueprint Exclusive Report

Follow Yaro: Email | RSS | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube