I watched an amazing video over on ProBlogger a few days ago (its 30mins long) and three simple questions were asked, these were:
- Can you tell me what your blog stands for?
- … and what problems it solves for people?
- … and how do you solve them?
Frankly I was dumbstruck by the entire video. Up until now I have not even considered the majority of the parts of the mind map and have taken it as a kick up the ass to get things in order.
Again, as with a few of the recent posts published, this is about myself and me working out what is going on and where to focus. By publishing this, I am intending for a couple of things to happen:
- You gain a better understanding of where this blog is going and what to expect
- I understand the above more fully
Site logo & design
The site design has carried me along up until now, however “is a dead fly with blood drips really the right impression that I wish to give readers?” Probably not… is the honest answer. The design came from the urgency to just get on and get writing almost a year ago and whether right or wrong, its been the header & logo since then.
The logo nor header area really reflect the new image that I wish to portray and I’ve pulled in the assistance of a good friend and design expert Rob Cubbon.
Working from experience and also looking for some assistance for a discounted rate, saying “I need a logo designed” wasn’t going to be particularly helpful to Rob or myself for that matter and after a few doodles in the note pad, I came up with a rough outline, which I’ve included below:
Yes this is pretty basic, however incorporates the key elements that I am aiming for, which is more control over the font being used, an actual logo, ink splatters, although I’m aiming for these to be coloured ink splats like found in this image so that I can increase the colour palette used on the site and some form of digital aspect, either through the use of a barcode or pixelation.
I’ve been quiet taken with the use of the author faces in the header area after reading this article on the 13 best and most powerful blog header designs on the internet, although I’m not sure if you’ll be seeing my face in this sites header just yet, or at least past the stock image I use for most sites currently.
Also, we’re playing with a “ripped paper”cross section to the site to separate the header & navigation menu from the content area. Not entirely sure what the finished version is going to look like and probably by the time you read this article, it’ll be live & I’m sure you’ll agree, it’ll be a marked improvement on the old design.
Who is the audience?
A screen shot from the video is below showing the mind map which is discussed:
In a brainstorm, I came to the conclusion that the following are the audience types & persona’s that vist this site:
- eCommerce business owners
- People looking for help with eBay & Amazon
- Current clients
- Former clients
- Potential clients
- Colleagues from former roles I’ve held
- Head hunters
- CEO’s & Directors of products & services in the eCommerce arena
- PR firms
There really is quite a mixture from what I can tell from the interactions through email, comments, calls and the web statistics. However I feel that I’m failing them all and I’ll cover that in more detail shortly.
What problems do these have?
A really interesting brainstorming exercise was work out and detail the different problems each of these persona’s have and where they fit with the content that I have been producing up until now.
Again, these are results from the brainstorming exercise:
- Problems using eSellerPro
- Understanding eSellerPro
- Making best use of eSellerPro
- Selecting the right backend tool to help their business
- Checking up to see if I have posted something defamatory
- Looking for help with eBay
- ” ” ” ” ” with Amazon
- ” ” ” ” ” with eCommerce
- Making the best use of the online marketplaces
- Marketing their businesses
- Making their businesses more efficient
Whether it is users with general questions or stemming by their desire to use the application more effectively, after three years with the team at eSellerPro, I suppose such a weighting is to be expected. There were one or two others that I’ve not included, however this was the general jist of the problems that I could come up with the the visitors that arrive here.
Note: If you can suggest any other types or reasons, I’d value you help, either in the comments at the bottom or directly via the Contact Matthew page
I just finished reading an excellent book called “Predictably Irrational“, it was recommended by Rick, the head of a US based PPC company called “CPC Strategy“. Actually I’ve not spoken to Rick in a while now and as its not a bank holiday for him, I’ll drop him a line when he gets in. I’m not sure how we met, but we spoke and hit it off, really nice chap.
Back on topic, one of the differences to this book was Dan’s actual inclusion of the data from the experiments that she performed, this was sometimes lacking in other books on a similar topic, like “Why we Buy” and “Inside the mind of the shopper”. I used to think that psychology was a load of bollocks, how wrong was I and eagerly learned about the “Skinner Box” created by a graduate student at Havard, called “B. F. Skinner“.
This box, used to condition animals (oh don’t feel bad about this, the next bit is or rather was a revelation to me) through reward/punishment mechanisms. What was found that rats that performed the “correct” action and were rewarded would carry out the action required when they felt like it (as it was generally food, although I suspect punishment was used here as well), however the most interesting part was when the subject was not rewarded for the action and the reward happened randomly. Oh how this hit home.
Dan used a couple of brilliant examples in her book, the first was a fruit machine, if you knew that you’d win 9 out of 10 times, would you continue to play? When was the last time you played bingo? Did you win? When was the last time you checked your iPhone or Android for email, knowing full well there is no email because it makes a sound to notify you of a new message?
Which leads me to my original point, frequency. Frequency of posting here has been hap-hazard, sometimes I’d skip whole weeks and not post anything. With the full dive-into #ProjectE and the desire to improve my own brand and that of the new project I’ve committed to, the sources of content are abound, however I was considering setting up a routine for posting here, to let you know exactly when I would be posting and dividing it into two or three post types, however you (as I) can be the subject to the same process.
Now will this be the only post you’ll find here this week?
Back to the original questions
I identified several key audiences and also some of the problems that the audience have or experience, which allowed me to answer the original three questions. One of them was quite concerning and I’m looking forward to working on this one specifically in the next few weeks to try and amend some scorched bridges.
I do have an overlap between the content that I create here and that I have been creating for #ProjectE, as this becomes more public you’ll see why, however it’ll be fun crossing the two over.
New site layout
I started writing this article yesterday, since then you’ll have noticed that the site has now been altered. For one a new logo has been added and I have redesigned the header area completely. The homepage article layouts were tweaked and the footer is more substantial.
I’ve also realised that I am failing badly on numerous of the key pages on the site, I’m working on these today, so expect a couple of new video’s to be added.
I’ve just been back through and re-read this article, while I do ramble, it was what helped me refocus on what this blog means and where its going. I’ve got a lot of work to complete on the site if I want it to take me where I want it to go.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with the new look, however what do you think?