Shauna here — this week, the brand new site for The Blogcademy went live. In 2012, I co-founded The Blogcademy with two friends with the goal of teaching bloggers and small business owners how to leverage their blogs to create a life they’re passionate about. The in-person workshops were an immediate success but an issue of scalability with this format soon arose — there were only so many places we could travel to and teach in per year.
Because of this, we regrouped and decided to launch Blogcademy Home School, a collection of digital modules featuring videos and accompanying worksheets. This would allow a much larger audience to access our teachings and learn about blogging at home, at their own pace.
To make Home School a reality, we needed to rebuild the entire Blogcademy website from scratch. This was the third full redesign in less than two years which might seem extreme for some — but each time, because of the growth the business was experiencing, we hit major roadblocks with the existing design.
If you’re a new business, chances are that you’re on a nearly nonexistent budget and short on time like we were when the first website was launched. Also, you may think you know your audience but there are always surprises. A brand new business changes so much in the first year that often, it just doesn’t make sense to sink huge financial resources into it until it’s a proven money maker. Launch and learn!
While the first Blogcademy site was very functional and we sold out multiple workshops without a hitch through its interface, there just wasn’t space for content like videos, testimonials and sponsorship information — things that weren’t needed in the beginning but had suddenly gained importance after we decided to do more classes.
The second incarnation of the site was much better but once again, we outgrew it quickly. Once we decided to offer more than just in-person workshops, an interface needed to be built to allow users to log in and access digital modules (each one has video segments and worksheets) as well as multiple FAQ pages for our three tiers of offerings.
It’s often hard to spot these twists and turns until they arise — when The Blogcademy launched, we had no plans beyond teaching in-person classes. Less than two years later, we’ve added mixer events and digital courses to the mix. Because of this, it’s important to stay lean and flexible and listen to what your customers want.
One brand new website, 10 new modules, 30 worksheets and a whole lot of splashes of turquoise later, Blogcademy 3.0 is ready to roll. Blog on!
Special thanks to Gareth Williams for the super fancy development of this website — we couldn’t have done it without you!