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By: Techvestor
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This is the second ongoing “experiment” on Money Lab. Here’s the other one. For all you science nerds, I KNOW this is not how actual experiments are conducted. This is not a real lab either 😉is is not a real lab either 😉

The Hypothesis

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I started Roasty in March of 2015 as an experiment to see if I was capable to growing a website faster than I did with Swim University (which I started in 2006). It’s worked better than I thought it would.

The first month garnered only 451 visitors with about 15 articles and videos published. Since then, we’ve published one new article a week.

In a past Money Lab challenge to earn sponsorship money with Roasty, I said…

As of March 2016, the site gets 20,000 visitors a month. It has 736 Facebook likes, 1,032 Twitter followers, and 421 followers on Pinterest.

At that point we had a little over 60 articles published with about 600 email subscribers in Mailchimp.

The Current Health of Roasty Coffee

In the past seven months, traffic, subscribers, and revenue has exploded. In October 2016, RoastyCoffee.com…

  • received 81,424 visitors.
  • has 2,184 people subscribed to the weekly newsletter.
  • has 101 articles published.
  • was featured in an article on The Huffington Post.
  • made $1,894.60 from Amazon Associates.

The Goal With Rebranding

In March 2017 (the two year anniversary of Roasty), I would like to double all the metrics mentioned. That means on April 1st 2017 Roasty needs:

  • To receive over 162,848 visitors (we will count “Sessions” in Google Analytics)
  • To have over 4,368 subscribers on the mailing list in Mailchimp
  • And earn over $3,789.20 a month in Revenue (including Amazon Associates and other products or services we build)

This is a realistic goal that I think can be reached in the next 6 months.

The Roasty Rebranding Plan

I set up Roasty fast. I took what I was doing on Swim University and duplicated it. Now, I want to rethink about how people interact with this brand.

I’m also just tired of the look. I want something fresh and modern. So first and foremost, it’s an emotional decision.

Second, my girlfriend and I wanted to work on a project together. Something that would make us some extra money we could put towards of future dream home (a cabin in the mountains).

While we were on vacation (in a cabin in the mountains), we brainstormed a bunch of projects we could work on together. Finally I said, “why don’t we just work on Roasty together?”

The argument being, it’s already built, has traffic, and makes money. All we have to do is work together to improve it.

The New Mission

Right now, Roasty helps people appreciate great coffee without having to be a fucking hipster. That is still the mission, but we want to expand.

We want to include a lifestyle element, which includes, more storytelling, discovering cool products, and discussing the science.

We’re going to beef up old content by adding more stories, photos, products, and videos. To start, we want to redesign the site to be more modern and easy-to-read. And I ALWAYS start a new website we the logo design first.

The New Logo

This was a challenge. I wanted the logo to be different, but still be coffee-related. It’s easy to fall into the coffee logo trap that includes a hipster influence (Here’s what I mean) and a coffee cup with some steam lines.

I went with a coffee bean because it’s the most ubiquitous and easy to identify. But since the brand is Roasty, I added some FIRE!

After designing it, it took some getting used to. I know it’s doesn’t SCREAM coffee company, and that’s EXACTLY what I wanted. It’s different, it’s modern, and it has grown on me!

The New Website Design

I haven’t started designing, but I have some ideas. I’m trying to find websites I love both for design and content. I’ve been inspired mostly by Alpine Modern for the past year – a local business here in Boulder, Colorado. I’m very drawn to the modern rustic look and Scandinavian design.

I want to focus all the design on reading. That’s exactly what I did on Money Lab. That means:

  • No sidebar! Too distracting and no one clicks anything.
  • Big, smooth fonts. Easy to read on any device.
  • Less design, more functionality. If it doesn’t entertain or help the reader, it doesn’t get added.
  • No navigation while you’re reading. Just like this site! It only appears when you scroll up. Makes sense, right?
  • Search! We have 101 articles and they should all be easy to find.
  • The Rabbit Hole effect! We want to customize what you should read next, not rely on some plugin with a basic algorithm.

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