A few months ago I sold my main website, that is, the website I spent most of my time working on. Whilst I do have various small content websites on the web, I found that I work better if I concentrate all my efforts on one project at the time.
My lastest project is WP Mods, a blog which will be updated 3 or 4 times weekly on WordPress related topics (WordPress is the script which powers the site you’re reading!). I will be posting about WordPress Themes, Plugins, Guides, News and more.
Developing WP Mods
I’ve been working on the site for the last month or so. In that time I have written about 20 or so articles to ease the burden of launching. The site was officially launched at the start of this week, though I have yet to spend any time promoting it. That’s something I will need to do over the next few weeks. I will submit some guest posts to some popular blogs in order to promote my new site but I also have two really good original WordPress themes ready, which I will be releasing for free via the site. This should bring some extra traffic to the site. I’ll probably release the first theme next week so that the site has more content for visitors to view when they arrive.
Once again I used Rajat and Oliver over at Blog Design Studio for the design (the same people who designed the theme this blog uses). They are probably not the quickest design team out there but that is not necessarily a bad thing as they make sure everything is working correctly from start to finish. I will no doubt be working with them again in the near future.
The launch of the site was delayed by a few days because of an issue with the logo. Oliver will be the first to admit that he is not a great logo designer. The logo he designed is good but it wasn’t the iconic logo I was looking for. Therefore I placed a contest over at 99 Designs, SitePoints flagship graphics competition site. I have used 99Designs in the past because you get to see a range of different logos and just pay for the one you like.
Unfortunately, I was incredibly disappointed with the standard of entries to my competition. I had paid $369 to host the competition, $300 of which goes to the winning logo designer and the rest going to 99 Designs to host the competition. At that level they predicted that I would have at least 70 entries but after a week I only had about 30, most of which were variations of previous entries.
The standard of entries was really disappointing. Some of the entries looked like they took 2 minutes to design, and I would have grudged paying $10 for them never mind $300. I’m not a good designer but I could have done better than some of the entries. One or two entries were ok though. In particular a designer called Afterglow submitted a logo with a great icon, however the text (i.e. WP Mods) was very basic and just used a regular font. I tried to explain several times that I wanted something better and showed several examples but every new entry was practically the same. I felt like I was hitting my head against a wall.
I extended the contest a few days but after seeing only 2 new entries in those 2 days I contacted 99 Designs and asked for a full refund. Full credit to 99 Designs, a full refund was processed within an hour or so. Ironically, during the contest they launched a logo store where you can get exclusive rights to a logo for $299 (and the standard of logos is pretty high).
In the end I went back with Olivers original logo design, and I’m quite pleased with how it works with the rest of the design. What do you think?
Plans for the site
From a monetization point of view, I’d really like to have the blog clearing $500 in the next 4 months, and at least $1,000 by the end of the year, though I’m hoping I reach both targets sooner.
To do this I just need to ensure that I continue to work hard writing on the site. And I’m sure I will continue to do just that once I see traffic increasing and more people increasing. I’m curious to see if I can get the site to 1,000 RSS subscribers within a few months. I think I’d be really pleased if it did and it would highlight that the site is going in the right direction.
Of course, only time will tell :)