Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting

Why I Blew Up My Website: The Real FAQ

It’s an exciting and scary time for all of us here at Convince & Convert. Why? Because in a 72-hour period, we completely overhauled our website, launched a new editorial calendar, and rolled out a brand-new weekly audio program.

Oh, and we did it while I was on vacation overseas, celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with my wife.

Because I’ve been away, I haven’t been able to tell you about the new site or answer any questions about what or why. So, I’m metaphorically cutting out the middleman, and writing the ultimate FAQ here.

Q. Why would you do this while you were on vacation?
A. I don’t really know. It kind of snuck up on me. But, considering I can be a little “neurotic” about launches and redesigns, I’m sure the team is DELIGHTED I was away.

Q. Who is this team, exactly?
A. Glad you asked, imaginary inquisitor! The site redesign was handled by Joel Hughes and his crew at Glass Mountains, a terrific web design and dev firm in the U.K. They also did Mark Schaefer’s new site, as well as my pal Rory Vaden’s Southwestern Consulting site. Easy to work with, they are. And smart. And kind. And conscientious. And thoughtful. Everything you’d want in web partners. Thanks, Joel!

On our side, I lit the fuse, as is usually the case. But the real work was done by the Convince & Convert Media team, led by the sublime Kelly Santina. Jess Ostroff, our Managing Editor (more on her below) was involved too, as was our social/community squad, which includes Christin Kardos (organic and community), Christina Moravec (strategy and analysis), and Andrew Foxwell (paid social, and Midwestern charm).

Huge thanks to everyone. Change isn’t easy.

Q. Why did you change the site?
A. It was time. We had been working with roughly the same design for over three years. We’ve grown a lot in that time, and while we’ve been able to make it work, the site’s look and under the hood infrastructure was starting to give off the “Christmas tree with WAY too many ornaments” vibe.

More specifically, I want to make it more clear what we do on the consulting side versus what we do on the media side. I want to underscore that Convince & Convert is led by me, but is a collective of more than 15 brilliant marketers. I want to make it easier to find great content. I want to make it easier to access the site via mobile, including speeding up page load times.

Q. How will you measure success?
A. A-ha! A question from a math lover! Bravo, mi compadre. Here are the internal success metrics for the new site:

Q. You changed the editorial calendar? Why? I like Convince & Convert already!
A. Thanks, Mom! Here’s the deal: We’d gone from four posts per week to 10 posts per week. It was just TOO MUCH content.

We did a big survey of our audience and used that data to create two, killer personas. We also did an internal brand positioning exercise to lock down on how Convince & Convert should FEEL and sound to the reader or listener.

And I got off my ass and actually wrote a legitimate content strategy for us for once, instead of just assuming everyone in the company knows what’s going on in my head every five minutes. (Ironic, because we spend a lot of time creating amazing content strategy for giant companies. But, you know, you’re always your own worst client, etc.)

Armed with these new criteria, I worked with Jess Ostroff—the original Convince & Convert team member from way back in 2009—and we decided to skinny up the publishing schedule a little bit, and create recurring content “shows” that you’ll see just about every week at Convince & Convert. They include weekly features where we’ll synthesize and analyze new research about social/content/digital. We have a weekly social media case study of the week. We have a forthcoming new feature (I’m psyched for this) where we recommend specific podcast episodes (not just shows) to marketers.

And, of course, I’m writing at least one post per week on whatever I think is interesting—I cannot be corralled by any editorial calendar! And, we have our weekly podcasts, which now include Social Pros, Content Pros, and the brand-new Experience This! Show about customer experience and customer service.

Q. Experience This!? When did that happen?
A. Last week! We launched an all-new show dedicated to showcasing businesses that deliver outstanding CS and CX, in a lively, interesting format with lots of takeaways for the audience. Plus, it’s interactive! You can call or email in with your ideas and suggestions.

Hosted by my friends Joey Coleman and Dan Gingiss, Experience This! is a totally different kind of podcast. You are going to LOVE it, I believe. Please give it a listen on iTunes or whatever. And if you’re feeling it, and iTunes review would be most magnificent and much appreciated.

The main page for the show is ExperienceThisShow.com. Big thanks to Oracle CX for signing on as the debut sponsor!

Q. How can I help with all this new stuff?
A. It’s very kind of you to ask. A couple things:

  1. Convince & Convert is a VERY large site. If you find something weird in the new design, please send us a note at info@convinceandconvert.com.
  2. Please let me know how you like the new editorial approach! jay@convinceandconvert.com is best. I’m always listening!
  3. Speaking of listening, download Experience This!

Many thanks for your support. I cherish every visit, download, click, and share.

Other questions about what we’ve done, why, and how? Leave ‘em in the comments, and I’ll answer.

Jay Baer
Founder, Convince & Convert