Happiness Smiley

Well, things certainly look a bit different around here!

If you’re reading this in your email then I suggest you check out The Start of Happiness online now to see our brand spanking new design!

Check it out: www.startofhappiness.com

Yes, we’ve had a major facelift 🙂 So, welcome to The Start of Happiness v2.0!

There’s also a couple of other exciting things that are changing around here and I want to tell you all about them.

It all starts now!


Happiness Smiley


Introducing The Start of Happiness v2.0

As you know, The Start of Happiness has been up and running now for 1 year and to celebrate this occasion I figured it was time to refresh the site and refresh the branding to take it to the next level.

Although I absolutely LOVED the old design (and I know many of you did too) there were a few things that led me to want to make a change. These were:

1)      Lack of a logo

2)      Colour scheme getting stale

3)      Design feeling ‘crowded’

4)      Design feeling ‘immature’

5)      HTML5 was recently released (website coding)

6)      WordPress 3.6 was recently released (blogging platform)

7)      Genesis 2.0 was recently released (my blogging framework)

8)      Mobile-responsiveness

With a list this long it’s no doubt that I would want to change! The great thing is, a lot of the technological side of it has all happened in the past couple of months which has made upgrading now seem like the perfect time to do so.

I want to quickly touch on the 3 main reasons I decided to make the change as I’d love to also hear your thoughts.


1) Design

To me, the old design was a bit immature and the colouring was a little stale. Although the ‘smileys’ and the colours made it seem like a very fun site, I feel it took away from the actual content of the site and this is something I want to put more focus on – ie providing more and better value to you.

For reminiscing sake, here’s a screenshot of what our beloved community used to look like.. a special edition during Christmas 2012:

Start of Happiness Website

The old design was also cluttered making it hard to navigate. A core focus on my new design has been on trying to make it as simple as possible, almost taking on a minimalistic approach. I LOVE minimalistic design but I know this is not for everyone so hopefully you find it’s a nice balance.

The Start of Happiness has also never really had a logo. We’ve had a header but it’s not something that you could easily replicate elsewhere. The key branding of The Start of Happiness has been the smiley men.

I’ve kept the smiley man present but not as prominent as he used to be.

Again, I’ve taken on a very minimalistic approach when it comes to the new logo design.

What are your thoughts on the design? Comments? Suggestions? Jokes? Abuse?


2) Mobile-responsiveness

Did you know that 25% of all visitors to The Start of Happiness use mobile technology? This might be your mobile phone or your tablet.

Previously, the old design did not cater for those viewing the site on mobile. Now, the site is fully optimised for mobile technology so you can stay up-to-date easily and readily on any device you choose.

Seriously, try it out now! Check out The Start of Happiness on your mobile device and let me know your thoughts!




3) Passion to Profit

Another big reason for the change is that I want to add on a new element to The Start of Happiness.

For the past year I (and our guest bloggers) have been talking purely on the topic of Personal Development and Happiness. Something that’s been on my mind for quite a while now is that I know people are looking to do more of what they love. How do you get to do more of what you love? You turn what you love doing into a profitable business.

That’s what I want to start talking more about. How can I help you to start turning your passion into profit. Wouldn’t you just love to earn an extra $100 a month? $1000 a month? $5000 a month?

If you remember the last survey I did way back at the end of last year, we found that more than 75% of you indicated a 6 or below (out of 10) for being able to regularly live out your passions. That’s crazy! I want to change this!

This is not to say that this is all I’ll be talking about.. quite the contrary. It’s a perfect extension of being happy and living to your full potential. If you can get paid to do what you love, then you’re well on your way to living a pretty incredible life!

I’d love to be able to help you get paid to do what you love.


Guest Posting is Open!

I’ve also had a large increase in others wanting to know whether they can guest post for The Start of Happiness. So rather than reply to everyone individually, I’m officially opening up The Start of Happiness to guest posts where you can submit your contributions for review!

The Start of Happiness is a place for community. It’s a place where anyone, from anywhere in the world can share their insights, knowledge or stories to help others live more happy and successful.

Guest authors will have their own personal profile here on The Start of Happiness.

If you would like to get your voice heard and share it with the community, please check out our contribution guidelines and feel free to submit for review. I (and the world) would love to hear from you!


Daily Motivation

The new Start of Happiness comes with daily motivation to keep you inspired and energised to focus on and reach your goals.

A new page is up which will be updated daily (obviously) so be sure to bookmark the URL and check in each morning to get your burst of motivation to kick start your day. These quotes will ALL be written by myself… this is just another way I want to add value to your life and help you on your journey.

Check it out at: https://www.startofhappiness.com/motivational-quotes/



Your Thoughts?

What are your thoughts on the new design?

Are you excited for the topic of Passion to Profit and building a business around your passions?

Let’s make our second year a year to remember!




About the author 

Brendan Baker

Brendan Baker is Australia's leading personal development blogger and and helps people build and grow online businesses based on their passions. He has created the Launch Your Life Academy and Your First 1000 Subscribers. Connect with Brendan: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

Brendan Baker is Australia's leading personal development blogger and and helps people build and grow online businesses based on their passions. He has created the Launch Your Life Academy and Your First 1000 Subscribers. Connect with Brendan: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

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  1. Brendan,

    I am pretty much a new reader here, so I don’t have a firm memory of what your site “used” to look like, but from looking at your screen capture, I like the new look a lot.

    Specifically what you had to say about mobile responsiveness. That is a metric that is only going to get more and more important and people who ignore it will fall behind. So kudos and bravo on the redesign.

    Love the “minimalist” look too. Too many choices does not make people more likely to find what they want -it just paralyzes and makes people LESS likely to make any decision.


    1. Hi SJ,

      Thanks so much for the feedback… I really appreciate it!

      It’s great to finally have a mobile website… makes it so much easier while on the move.

      I like your points about the minimalist feel… I completely agree. Hopefully this makes it a much more user-friendly experience!


  2. It is looking… AWESOME! Great job, Brendan! 🙂

  3. The content is excellent, as always! Kudos to you, Brendan: you’re an inspiration just by creating it!

    Clean and simple and minimalist is often a good thing. Speaking as someone who has worked a bit with web and user interface design, ‘clean and simple’ is not a magic formula for excellent/successful websites or software, though: everything depends on the site’s purpose and content—and on the viewership.

    To repeat: Everything hangs on the site’s purpose and content, and on the viewership. This is crucial. These are the primary goals and reason for the site’s existence in the first place. So the site design must fit those factors and needs—not the other way around.

    I don’t know all your viewership so I can’t speak for them, but IMO there is too much gray and white and blandness now, though. It makes me think this is a boring business site, or a pro forma notice on an official government bulletin board. Now when I think of checking out the site I won’t automatically feel, as I did before, “Great idea! Looking at SOH will cheer me up and inspire me!” And speaking scientifically, gray and white do not induce feelings of happiness and positive emotions in the people who see them, as yellow and blue actually do.

    Here’s a site with a similar purpose as yours, that has a clean and simple design, but also has enough passion and verve in the design to engage the viewer and make them want to see more. http://www.48days.com

    Great site, great content. I want your site to be successful and as helpful as possible to people, Brendan: it has excellent content and the world sure needs the message!

    All the best!

    1. Thanks, JP!

      I LOVE this feedback!

      I know it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea… and it definitely is a lot more plain in comparison to how the site was previously. I’ll be leaving it as is for now, testing the waters and potentially making a few tweaks here and there to spruce it up and find the right balance of minimalism and inspiring.

      This is great feedback for me to think about, I really appreciate it!

      1. Thanks for your gracious reply to my constructive criticism, Brendan. You are most welcome, and I hope it is helpful.

        And—since the site is your creation—it should certainly also make you happy.


  4. The new outlook is great, very interested in the passion for profit concept (really liking the idea of creating a blog myself)..
    The one comment that I do have is the site seems incomplete with lots of blank space which could be to do with my web browser rather than the site itself..

    Well done and if there’s anything I can assist with let me know 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jef!

      Blogs are great… I’ll be putting up some tools I use in the next few days to help anyone interested get started.

      I don’t think it’s your web browser… there is a LOT of white space 🙂

  5. Glori Surban says:

    I love the new look and the bigger fonts! Looking forward to greater things from SoH (as I like to call it. 🙂

    1. SoH it is indeed 😀

      I like it… I need to start using this abbreviation more!

      Thanks, Glori! I’m glad you like it 🙂 Hopefully it’s a little easier on the eyes!

  6. Tracy Attinger says:

    Love the new design Brendan! Clean, minimal & punchy! Great work! 🙂

  7. Vidya Sury says:

    Looking nice and expansive, Brendan! 🙂 May you shine even brighter in your “new home”!

    Love, Vidya

  8. Brad Foster says:

    Congrats on the new design!

    I really like it. It is definitely a lot more minimalistic. I think it’s a good thing 🙂

    1. Thanks, Brad!

      I’m a big fan of minimalist design. It puts more focus on the actual content which is where the meat on the bone is!

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