Content Marketing, Convince and Convert, Digital Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Blogging and Content Creation, Convince & Convert News, Crowd Sourcing

Please Help Me Pick a New Look For My Blog

I’ve been making a few tweaks to Convince & Convert recently, with the help of my friend (and WordPress/SEO ninja) Chuck Reynolds.

We’ve added Disqus as the commenting system. Changed the sharing tools to incorporate Sexy Bookmarks plug-in (Michael Stelzner at Social Media Examiner turned me on to it). We’re working on tweaking the subscription center at the top a bit, too.

But I need your help with the biggest change – the header.

I’m a big believer in humanization of your blog (in fact, it’s one of my 11 must-dos for serious bloggers). And while I have my photo on the right side of every page (I like the photo – by my friend Tyson Crosbie – do you?), I’d like a stronger visual identity overall. I’ve never loved the top header. A little too sterile, in my opinion.

So, I have three options below for consideration. I’d sure appreciate if you could vote in the poll, and if you have comments about particular elements of the designs, please do sound off. Thanks for your help!

(click to enlarge)

Option 1

new header layout 01.png Please Help Me Pick a New Look For My Blog

Option 2

convinceandconvert social media strategy 2.png Please Help Me Pick a New Look For My Blog

Option 3

convinceandconvert social media strategy 3.png Please Help Me Pick a New Look For My Blog

[polldaddy poll=2649517]

Related
  • http://ubermarketing.wordpress.com Akash Sharma

    Hi Jay, Interesting you are looking for a makeover of your blog, I have seen @DannyBrown and @jackieadkins doing that recently, I think the 3rd one would be the most refreshing one to bet on and yes lets see what the majority says.

  • http://twitter.com/tinhangliu/status/8672716491 Tin Hang Liu

    RT @jaybaer Please Help Me Pick a New Look For My Blog http://bit.ly/9g0Hh9 #SMM

  • http://www.adamsherk.com Adam Sherk

    Looks like the polling is fairly split right now, which I guess shows that you've got three good variations. Personally I think having the photo on the far right anchors it a bit better, but people seem to be responding well to #3.

  • KatFrench

    I like the search box placement of Option 1 best, but the pattern and overall look of Option 2 best. To me, Option 3 is a little too orange (and I like orange).

    Of course, it's purely subjective. :)

  • http://www.educationtrainingsolutions.com Jan Schwartz

    I like the image in option 2 and the banner colors, but a little lighter, in option 3. Also like the search box placement-easy to find.

  • jasmineholmes

    I really like option 3 because it is the least cluttered—your logo really pops without being distracting and the search is easy to find. I do agree that there is too much orange especially with the first menu item below it also being orange. I'd like to see that button in a different color so it doesn't run together like it does now.

    All three are great options. You have a very talented designer!

  • http://twitter.com/rjdavila Ralph J. Davila

    I like option 2 because it has a clean look still, while allowing for the rollover links to have a dramatic contrast with the header. Option 3 will blend too much with the rollovers. Also, the screened image leads the eye towards your image at the right. Just my opinion though…

    -Ralph

  • http://www.patrickokeefe.com iFroggy

    Hey Jay,

    I voted for number 2, but I changed my mind. :) I like number 1, except for the search box. A suggestion: eliminate the “Convince and Convert” button in the menu. I don't think it's needed. The logo being a homepage link is a fairly well known convention at this stage. Either that, or change it to “Home,” so it's shorter. Then, put the search box on the right side of the menu, to the right of the buttons. :)

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks,

    Patrick

  • MrMcPixel

    I actually like the strong orange color better in number . But your head looks trapped between the title and the search bar.

  • andrewspoeth

    Jay, would you like us to run this through Enquiro's eye tracking lab? Our treat.

  • http://twitter.com/weintraub/status/8680240411 Weintraub Adv
  • http://twitter.com/bigbrightbulb/status/8681776948 Crys Williams

    I voted for Option 3 RT @KatFrench: Please help the crazy-smart @JayBaer choose a new blog header: http://bit.ly/a55SHs

  • Michelle

    There are elements I like about all 3. Option 1 draws my eye to your picture immediately, which helps with that humanization goal you're pursuing. I like that some of the background in the photo is retained and that the header background is paler behind. That combination makes the colors of the photo pop, thereby making it look more professional and more appealing. I also really like the picture's position on the far right. As another comment noted, it anchors the header better. However, I almost forget to look at the title of your blog because it is bland against the pale background. Option 2 zooms your photo a bit more, which I really like. Other than that, I think Option 2 lacks visual interest. Option 3, for some reason, reminds me of a news station web site. And as others noted, it is too orange. However, the larger text against the colored background makes the title stand out as much as the photo. I voted for Option 3 for that reason. However, if you could use the top layout, making the picture slightly larger, put the search box where it is in Option 2, and then change up the left-side background color and font size/color to be more like Option 3, it would be perfect. More commentary than you wanted?? ;)

  • http://twitter.com/jackimieler/status/8683868836 Jacki Mieler

    I voted…and my choice is pulling into the lead! RT @jaybaer: Please help me pick a new look for my blog. http://bit.ly/bz2mfr

  • http://jimmy-gilmore.com Jimmy Gilmore

    I'm going to go with layout two but suggest you take a new picture. We all want to see you smile.

  • http://twitter.com/dariasteigman Daria Steigman

    I also voted for Option 1 because I like the search box placement best. While I like the strong colors in #3, I don't like the way your photo cuts off the page (and then the search box hangs).

    Good luck with your decision. It seems the rest of us are all over the place.

  • sara22

    Hi Jay, I'm loving option 3, and it looks like it's in the lead so far. Have to say though, when I first saw the picture, I thought you were mock shooting yourself in the head. Intentional?

  • http://davidhorne.me david horne

    digging the overall look of Option 2. not sure I like the placement of the search box.

  • http://twitter.com/socialemail Social Email Guy

    Voted 3 before seeing comments. Why? I guess the background image in the picture says something about you (I hope). One is very fairy tale (makes make think Tinker Bell) and I know you don't sell that ;-). Two is very graphical no personality (you need personality, I don't on my blog where it's not about me but the content). I also picked 3 because there was no 4. 4 would be logo on whte background, some orange and personal image but without the Tinker Bell lights. 2 many words I guess?

  • http://twitter.com/socialemail Social Email Guy

    By the way: nice crowdsourcing / co-creation / collaboration :-)

  • Chris Rogers

    I initially like #3 best, however, not a big fan of the screened back logo – i.e. if #3 was a bit less busy, it would be my favorite. Also, orange is a good color for you as past performance can attest.

    Went with #1 because I like the circles floating off in space as they remind me of good ideas – which you're pretty much king of.

    The background pattern in #2 reminds me of the album cover from Tommy by the Who – overall, a decent effort but it will always play second fiddle to Quadraphenia in my book.

  • Arthur Cundy

    They are all kind of similar. I voted for option 2. Your photo was bigger and I am all for brand equity. :)

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    yes, Danny's redesign was really well executed, IMHO.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Best. Comment. Referencing. Rock. Opera. Today.

  • http://www.scribnia.com/author/show/473/david-spinks/ David Spinks

    Who's doing these designs? I like em.

    I like #1 the best. If it had the organization of the #3 one I think that would be most intuitive. People look to the top right for the search bar first.

    So the style of #1, with the picture in the middle and the search to the right like in #3 would be perfect IMO.

  • http://msherrwhenonline.com Ms. Herr / @MsHerr

    Love that you're moving to headliner position on C & C. It's where you should be. A few critiques based on what I do & don't like about each of the designs.

    Option 1: Dig how the left hand graphic fades into the image in the coffee shop, but don't dig that particular left-hand design. Feels too soft and glittery for you.

    Option 2: Dig the pattern more, and OK with your orange aura, but that little white cutout between your fingers where your hands meet your face… methinks that needs some orange too. It looks forgotten the way it is.

    Option 3: Dig how the orange fades into the coffee shop portrait on the left, and dig the C & C on the right, but don't dig the hard-edge transition from your portrait (on the right) to the C & C or the way your right shoulder (viewer's perspective) gets amputated.

    Regarding comments about the search box location, I'm used to a left or central location on search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.), but a right-hand location on content sites. I completely missed it in the first two headers, but noticed it readily in the third. It was only after I saw others' comments that I went back to specifically look for the search box.

    Hope that helps. :)

  • MeganBacon

    Love the fact that you asked! In my opinion, the more color the better! Third option's my fave.

  • MeganBacon

    What if you take the color of the third option, but use the setup of the first option (picture on far right, search box on left)? Just a thought though…

  • http://twitter.com/4byoung Brenda Young

    Hi Jay, I like number 3 because it looks less cluttered. The header has a better aesthetic but it also doesn't detract from the posts below.

  • Mia C

    I like the color in the 3rd option but placement of graphics & search in the 1st option…so voted for 1 but I agree on the color.

  • http://twitter.com/BraunDoug Doug Braun

    I like the rich color of option 3, but think that the background orange color should have a more gradual transition towards the middle… it seems to change very abruptly in option 3. Perhaps shift the photo a bit to the right so that the orange behind the main heading has room to fade more gradually. Perhaps it could fade a bit more on the right side of your photo as well. Anyway, my 2 cents… :-)

  • http://twitter.com/ryanzuk Ryan Zuk, APR

    I like Option 1 for its splash of color (but not too much) in the header. Search placement tucks in well too.

  • Marc

    Keep your brand (logo) clear of any intrusions like images, color transitions and search boxes.
    All three could work but you have to eliminate clutter around your C & C brand.

  • http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Arrow/614198260 Sarah Arrow

    I voted option one, but I like 3 better now I have thought about it. The orange grows on you…

  • http://twitter.com/transitionaltee/status/8694101531 Teresa Basich

    I'm working on a new look for my blog. Will you pls vote on the version you like best? Thanks! http://bit.ly/bz2mfr /via @JayBaer (do it!)

  • http://twitter.com/rollergirl314/status/8694447791 jess o

    @jaybaer I voted for #1! Makes you look magical! Which you are. http://bit.ly/bz2mfr

  • http://twitter.com/jaculynn/status/8694608632 Jaculynn Peterson

    Done! RT @AmberCadabra: Help @jaybaer vote on a new look for his blog header: http://bit.ly/bz2mfr

  • http://twitter.com/marketingfails/status/8694758073 Paul L’Acosta

    RT @AmberCadabra: Help @jaybaer vote on a new look for his blog header: http://bit.ly/bz2mfr

  • http://twitter.com/alexschleber/status/8694805698 Alex Schleber

    RT @jaybaer: I'm working on a new look for my blog. Will you please vote on the version you like best? Thanks! http://bit.ly/bz2mfr

  • http://twitter.com/arekibo/status/8694840418 Arekibo

    I'm working on a new look for my blog. Will you please vote on the version you like best? Thanks! http://bit.ly/bz2mfr (via @jaybaer)

  • http://twitter.com/ayoungone/status/8695089743 Anna Young

    #2 RT @jaybaer: I'm working on a new look for my blog. Will you please vote on the version you like best? Thanks! http://bit.ly/bz2mfr

  • laineybirdy

    #3 pops nicely!

  • howlingzoe

    actually, I do not enjoy any of them because I think your image is going to get missed. I actually like it where it is right now and might move it up, but not all the way to the top. I understand the “F” pattern of website eyepath, however, I think that is the weakest point of the “F”. I find your callout now to be stronger.

    From a design perspective alone, I like option 1.

  • http://twitter.com/cmozilo/status/8697516378 Cori Mozilo

    RT @jaybaer: I'm working on a new look for my blog. Will you please vote on the version you like best? Thanks! http://bit.ly/bz2mfr

  • Gina Logrande-Ackley

    By far the 3rd option is the one that your eye is drawn to first.

  • http://michaeljbarber.com michaeljbarber

    I'm all for #3, but the embossed-like C&C logos are a little cheesy and you aren't cheesy. Maybe just one instead of a couple. Love the Sexy Bookmarks.

  • http://twitter.com/johnfoleyjr/status/8705202401 John Foley

    RT @jaybaer – I'm working on a new look for my blog. Will you please vote on the version you like best? Thanks! http://bit.ly/bz2mfr

  • http://twitter.com/lacorbeau/status/8711787925 Caroline Lacorbeau

    Please Help Me Pick a New Look For My Blog http://tinyurl.com/yd3vhpf

  • http://getajob-tips-for-getting-hired.blogspot.com/ Kathy Bernard

    Hi Jay, Regarding your blog changes, you might consider having your headline in the subject line of your emails instead of “A new blog post from Jay Baer”. If we've been following your blog, we've got that figured out because we are familiar with the Convince and Convert “from” name. I am new at blogging, but tend to notice that I get many more comments when I include an engaging headline that gets people interested in the topic. thanks, Kathy

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Although it's my usual practice, I'm not going to reply to each comment, since this isn't a very conversational blog post. But seriously, THANK YOU. 350 votes? Incredible. It is so gratifying to have this kind of feedback, and to recognize that you guys actually care what happens here. I'm am always grateful (and somewhat amazed) that people want to take time out of their incredibly busy existence to read my stuff. You are what make all of this worthwhile.

  • http://twitter.com/mollycgaines Molly Carter Gaines

    I'm a little torn between #1 and #3– but my final vote is for #1. I'd suggest that you move the search box somewhere below the navigation– maybe above the RSS feed option on the right? I also prefer the overall design to #2/3. (Love the color fade…)

  • http://twitter.com/mindsprout/status/8729082198 Sarah Hartshorn

    Pick a new look for your blog. A little help for the rest of us. http://ow.ly/14B82

  • http://twitter.com/mindsprout/status/8729082198 Sarah Hartshorn

    Pick a new look for your blog. A little help for the rest of us. http://ow.ly/14B82

  • http://twitter.com/strebel JoshuaStrebel

    can we see one without your mug in it? :)

  • http://buzzmedia.com.my/ David Wang

    Hi Jay, here’s what I think. I’m leaning towards #1 the most because of the position of the photo and the color, but am put off by the sparkles. Your face is coming off a little too big in #2 and is kinda hanging out in the middle of nowhere in #3.

    Also, since you’re in the process of fixing up your blog I wanted to remind you that Mofuse is not doing justice to your mobile site – http://twitpic.com/10nqvo

    I tried switching to Disqus but had lots of trouble importing my comments from WordPress, did you have any trouble with that?

  • http://www.masstransmit.com/ Adam Q. Holden-Bache

    I like the balance of logo left/head shot right, so options 1 and 2 work best there. I also think the header should contrast the content area, and I think #1 does that best (option 3 is too much orange, but could be toned down). The big question is about the search box- does it require that prominent a placement? Are people searching so much that it should receive so high a priority in your layout? I'd consider moving it to the right column- maybe between the subscribe and bio or better yet, maybe try to reduce some of the copy in your nav (i.e.- shorten Social Media Consulting & Coaching to just “Consulting & Coaching”) and add Search to the end of the nav bar? Anyway, it seems to be the point of contention in most of the comments. Good luck – all of them look quite good overall.

  • http://www.digitalmarketingstrategy.com Mike Corak

    I like 3 the best, but I like the search box on the right too. Thought about putting the search box on your head, allowing users to search your brain!?

  • http://www.socialbusinessbank.com/ Social Business Bank

    Option 1. No question!

  • http://adfarmonline.com/ Warren Fick

    Wow. What a great, active fan base ! Let me add my couple cents: if you like your photo (I do, too) I think you should avoid #3. It makes your head look confined. In addition, I think your photo looks better in context…so #1 over #2. But I think the search box placement in two or three works better. In #3, you're looking at the box, which is a nice flow.So the answer is…send it back to the designer. Tweak. We're looking forward to the results.

  • http://twitter.com/muellero Roland

    I like them all! Best wishes!

  • http://lahs99.com/ rososusilo

    you should do before choosing is, close your eyes, open and focused view photos Jay Baer, yes, photos on option 2, looks more cool.

  • letstalkandchat

    If you’re looking for webinar software, then check out Evergreen Business System. Its perfect for marketers and let’s you automate the scheduling of your webinars, build your list, and even follow up with your webinar registrants. If you’re going to buy Evergreen Business System, then you might as well get a free bonus! So check out http://www.mikelmurphy.com/evergreen-business-system-bonus-webinar-software/ and you’ll get a great bonus that tells you how to create a webinar, what is a webinar, and a blueprint for making a successful one. None of the other people offering bonuses are offering this. Hurry in case the guy (some dude that worked on Lord of the RIngs) offering the bonus decides to pull it down.