John Chow Received a FaceLift: Pros and Cons
John Chow recently changed his layout. Is this to keep up with Darren Rowse or is it to digress away from John Cow and other copy catters of his old blog style? In retrospect, I like John Chow’s new layout and presentation. It gives off a feel of professionalism and diversity. The old style was just to blog like and maybe a little cluttered? Though I think this new layout is still a little cluttered I think it is ‘cluttered clean’ if that even means anything.
John Chow’s new design just sticks out. When you go to his blog for the first time you will or maybe intimidated about his new design, worried if you should read it or not. I was real eager to see his new design and what it may look like, I was thinking it maybe a similar design to ProBlogger, but it wasn’t. It’s a new style a personality of John Chow. I think the blog really represents John Chow since all he blogs for is adverts with little tips on how to become an internet mogul. In the beginning I enjoyed his blog, but now I read because he brings a lot of new fresh information to the table (because of his ReviewMe). Here is a screen shot of his new design:
I have noticed some aspects of his blog and studied it a little bit and found some interesting things. I will list them below and explain them in my own views.
- Great Design
- Great Structure
- Vibrant and Energetic
- Popular Post location
- RSS easily accessible
- an eBook cover
- No direct download of his ‘FREE’ ebook
- Too many adverts
- Load Time
I will discuss the cons as the pros are obvious. In general I like his new design it proves to be a great place to be once you land on it. But….
I found some issues especially with his ‘FREE’ eBook. I saw that it has an ecover, and that is great, but you need to sign up now to get his free ebook. I downloaded his ebook prior and it’s a great ebook, straight to the point. In his ebook he states, he doesn’t promote an OTO (One Time Offer) because he wants his ebook to be viral. Providing it free without sign up or OTO, means the end user can promote and hand it out for free. This makes it viral because readers and bloggers can just share his ebook, instead of readers directing them to his page and signing up.
His eBook has lots of great information which directs users to his older post, very helpful and indeed viral. Now, John requires you to sign up. Will he start to do some email marketing? Does he properly know to email his list? I was interested to see so I joined his email list. I want to see what he will be offering in his emails, extra tips maybe? free stuff? off site contest? etc.
But the fact now that I see John collecting email address has me curios as to what will be the next step to his mogul journey.
This new design leads him to have a section called “Sponsors”:
I sent out ten emails to past advertisers asking if they would like to sponsor the new blog. I was hoping to sell six buttons from the deal. Instead, it got oversold. Rather than turn away advertisers I decided to increase the number of buttons to accommodate everyone. It sure it nice to launch a new theme with all ad spots sold out! Please welcome our new sponsors.
This increases the advertising he has on his blog, which I personally do not like. He is already gotten rid of his Adsense box and replaced it with an Ad flipping competition. Though it does put more money in his pocket, I just feel like the blog is loosing the touch of John Chow as a mogul and now into John Chow as an advertiser. I am not saying that he is wrong for doing this, but when I first found his blog and comparing it to his new layout, it has grown so much and evolved fast.
Lastly, when I first came to his site, it loaded a little slow; I do not know if it was my connection or maybe his site. So I decided to test his dot com at WebSiteOptimization. Here are John Chow dot com stats (click to enlarge):
HTML Images is 16 seconds to load! That is just too long for a website or even blog to load. It is due to banner images and CSS images. The load time is just too long and I did notice it on my end when I first visited his new design. John should consider trying to optimize it more so the load time can be decreased.
As you can see there are more Pros than Cons, but the cons weigh pretty heavy with his new blog. The fact that is his ebook is now downloadable via subscription and not a direct download is just a different issue, from the beginning he has been using his ebook as a viral tactic, and now it is a list growing tactic. But, I enjoy his new blog and style – it is the small things I notice which may play a bigger part than what it is suppose to.