Things probably have seemed a bit quiet here at Location Rebel over the last month.
No, we haven’t been toasting to our success while drinking out of coconuts in some tropical location.
This story is even more exciting…
Two years ago, we moved everything from WordPress to Rainmaker. You can read more about that here.
At the time, it seemed like a great idea.
Well…the fact that we’re back on WordPress might tell you that it didn’t quite work out as planned. We have plans to get into that nitty-gritty of the change down the road…once we catch a breath!
But for today, we want to highlight the good news.
Location Rebel is better than ever.
We’ve gone back to basics with two big goals:
- A better experience for members
- More cool stuff for readers
So that’s where we are at today.
Sounds good, right? Let’s dig into these a bit more.
Improving the Location Rebel Member Experience
First the site design.
Overall it should look pretty much the same. We did that on purpose, we loved the look from the redesign we did a couple years back – so we decided to mostly keep that intact.
We’ve made a few updates to feature more from our YouTube channel, and there will be some other fun surprises down the road. But from a design standpoint, we didn’t want to fix what wasn’t broken.
Simple and Clean Course Access
Most of the biggest updates have been for our Location Rebel Academy members.
From there, we tested (and tested, and tested, like seriously I’m not lying) half a dozen different learning platforms. Where there are some pretty good options out there, none of them hit exactly what we needed over the long term.
So we went simple and re-created everything on pages with Memberpress locking all the protected content. If you’re thinking about doing something on a membership site, we highly recommend working with Memberpress, it’s super easy and even better than that, it simply works.
Courses locked and loaded, ok, what next?
You don’t even want to know how strong my opinions on sidebars inside courses are. I will assure you, they are strong.
The sidebar on the old Location Rebel Academy?
There were some frustrations.
Our new sidebars? Beautiful. Yup, I’ll go there. These are Monet level sidebars.
Members can navigate the entire site in a few clicks, they can see exactly where they are in a course and can easily go between sections and back to the dashboard.
This super simple, but meaningful tweak, is making the member experience so much better.
Making it Easier than Ever to Start Your Business
This is where the magic happens for new members.
We’ve taken a lot of feedback over the years on the introduction and onboarding process, we knew it had to be better to reduce overwhelm and provide a bit more hand-holding.
So what did we do?
Scrapped a bunch of confusing stuff.
We re-worked the onboarding from the ground up, keeping what worked from the old site, while making it more step by step and focusing solely on the most important first actions.
With the brand new Location Rebel Steps to Success and the improved How to Start a Blog mini-courses, we’ve got a system that can take a new member (who might not know exactly what they want to do) along the path that will work best for them.
Finally, we wanted to address something that we didn’t think gets talked about much: mindset.
We’ve learned over the years that new entrepreneurs often don’t get the importance of having the right mindset.
Setting the right goals and expectations for yourself is so key to your early (and long term) success.
In order to help better facilitate that, we created a brand new Mindset Blueprint that will help members with the get the perspective they need in order to be successful with their new business and lifestyle.
The Biggest (And Best) Update of All
Now for the big deal, the forums.
I’m pretty confident when I say that I think the most impactful part of Location Rebel Academy is the forums.
When I (Liz) first joined way back in the day, it was the forums where I met the first members of my mastermind group. It was the forums where I celebrated my big wins, and it was the forums where I asked for help.
Being active in there absolutely helped move me in a brand new direction, and let’s be honest, got me this job.
Now when it came to Rainmaker, the fact of the matter is, the forums were not good. They weren’t super well designed and were kinda clunky.
But there were two huge features that they lacked that at the end of the day we couldn’t get over:
- No ability to private message other users
- No ability to tag other members in threads
Yes, we know, those two things are well, kind of the point of forums!
Long story short, the old LR forums were an exercise in frustration.
So we knew that when it came to changing this integral part of the community, we had to get it right and make a really good first impression.
All I can say is, wow.
If I were writing like Sean, I’d say these forums are sweeeeeeet.
Discourse offers all the basics and then some.
One of my favorite features is how responsive it is. It took one click and I was able to add the LR forums directly to the home screen on my phone. Now I can pop in the forum whenever I want from anywhere, I don’t have to wait till I’m back at my laptop.
I’d say they are less a forum and more a way to create a thriving community. Yes, of course, there is messaging and tagging, but that really scratches the surface of what they can do.
It’s this part of the change that we are most excited about and we can already tell the members are digging it too because it feels like they are more active already (and it’s only been two days).
More Goodies for Readers
Now, let’s get to the second part of the change: readers.
Over the years, we’ve created countless shared Google Docs full of all the really cool stuff we wanted to do for LRA Members, blog readers, and the email list.
We haven’t exactly had the best conversion rate on that stuff. And that’s one of the big reasons for the change.
Being back on a WordPress platform lets us crack open those dusty old docs (Sean’s favorite: Treasure Hunts – keep your eyes peeled) and finally put some of our ideas into action.
We want the site to be fun, we want you to enjoy reading (or viewing) on a regular basis, and yea, feature a little “surprise and delight” a lot more often with cool stuff.
Now, we can do that.
Plus, we’ve got a couple of new launches coming your way too. Did you know we have two pretty killer products we haven’t even officially launched yet?
I know, right?
We’ll also be re-working a few of the current products to make them even better and a no-brainer value to help you address specific areas of building a business.
Building courses that can actually help people has always been my favorite part of working with Location Rebel. After all, it’s what worked for me, when I joined and we know there is so much we can share from years of experience.
We want to create stuff that’s going to help you build that dream lifestyle. From videos on the YouTube channel to new blog content to courses, it’s all coming.
So, of course, it should go without saying but there are plenty of thanks to go around.
First to the Location Rebel Members for sticking with us while we’ve moved the entire site not once but twice in the last few years (this is the last time, we promise).
We’re pretty confident this time we got it right and you notice a site that is an overall better experience for you and you’re excited to use.
Also a big thanks to the readers, we’ve been a bit short on content the last few weeks as the move picked up steam, but don’t worry it’s all coming back.
Plus, we’ve got a plan that is going to give you tons of value with better posts, giveaways, and fun stuff.
Finally thanks to the team of technical experts who helped to make this whole thing possible. Scott Ellis, Steve Latronica, and Richard from Discourse Hosting were all fantastic, and if we had to do this without you, Sean would have thrown all his golf clubs in a river, and I would have turned off my Internet for good and moved to the woods.
So thank you!
It’s amazing to us that after nearly 9 years, this thing is still thriving. We couldn’t do it without you, and we can’t wait to see what this next chapter brings.
Liz + Sean