Categories : Branding Graphics Website Design Wordpress Websites


the brutal truthIn one of the sections of his book entitled ‘The Brutal Truth’, John Reese has a sub-heading or chapter with the headline:

Mediocre Graphics No Longer Cut It, You Must Use Beautiful Top-Notch Design (No Exceptions).

When John Reese says something like this about website design, I listen.

Here is a brief description of his career so far:


In 2004, Reese astonished the online marketing world by selling $1,080,496 worth of his “Traffic Secrets” product over the course of eighteen hours. He launched a new product and made over a million dollars in less than a day without spending a single cent on advertising.

Reese realized early in his career that the best way to make money is to learn from others. The successes and failures of other experts in the online marketing field helped him learn to avoid gambling on new strategies with his hard-earned money.

For instance, Reese once sold a domain name for 900 dollars, and the buyer turned around and resold the same domain name for one million dollars in cash. Talk about a hard lesson learned!

In 1994, Reese created one of the first auto-responder services on the world wide web.

Since then, he has developed and launched over 100 projects on the Internet, including a free photography site for eBay users, which launched in 1998. Within the first 10 months after going live with his eBay photo hosting site, it was already ranked among the top 500 websites in the world for web traffic.

What did that mean as far as Reese’s bottom line was concerned?

He was making over 100 thousand dollars a month for a website that cost under 500 dollars to create and develop.

Reese is an eBay pro. He’s even made over 38 thousand dollars on a single eBay auction.

Reese has been sharing his expertise with other Internet marketers since 2004.

He is a pro when it comes to research and development, testing projects, tracking results, generating online traffic and conversion.

So when John says, “The days of ‘ugly websites’ that make a lot of money are over.” I listen to him.

He goes on to say:

Oh, I know, I know, but but but… you read about some split-tests where the ‘ugly’ design or ad converted higher than the ‘pretty’ version!

There will always be a place for simple, compelling copy-driven direct response mechanisms (i.e. ads, landing pages etc) in digital marketing.  It’s the copy that sells people and always has.

But there’s a ‘bigger picture’ happening. And ‘YES, there may still be a few ugly sites online that are having success today, and some may even be making a fortune right now, but

A) those are the rare exception and

B) I believe their conversions will only continue to get worse.

It’s only a matter of time, because a major shift is occurring and I’ve seen it as clear as day in DATA THAT DOESN’T LIE.

With the worldwide increase in device usage (smartphones to tablets) we find ourselves using these screens more and more.  Because of this behavioural shift it created an important focus on UI (user interface) design and user experiences.

If you haven’t noticed, graphical interfaces got cleaner.  And easier to use.

There’s an entire design ‘evolution’ occurring across the Web, mobile devices and more.  And it’s all about CONVERSION.  More professional, easier-to-navigate design makes more money.

Design now matters. A lot.

As competition grew, companies competed by having better design and better user experiences.  ‘Design’ is what people see and experience in the digital world.  It’s now incredibly important.

If your business doesn’t have awesome design you’re at a huge disadvantage.  PERIOD.

TRUST is a major factor with online conversions.  Great design is one element of establishing ‘instant credibility’ with prospects that don’t know of you and your business.  If you take two competitors with everything else the same, but one has better design than the other, the one with the better design wins – better logos, product packaging, use interface and more.

This wasn’t always the case online as just a few short years ago ugly marketing converted quite well (even for sales) and in some markets it still does.  But things are changing fast.  It’s still a ‘balancing act’ that the copy has to do its job, but more and more people feel better about doing business with a company that has more professional design and a better user experience.

It was reading ‘The Brutal Truth’ by John Reese that made me continue down the track of developing my Photoshop skills.

Joh Reese and ‘The Brutal Truth’ have eventually led to the creation of my product ‘Easy Actions‘ (launching 3rd July 2015) which is an easy way in for anyone to start creating beautiful graphics for their website, product packaging and much more



Mark Salmon is an internet marketing consultant. Mark creates digital information products about starting and building an online business. Prior to starting his online business, Mark was a corporate banker based in the UK, then ran a business consultancy for around 8 years before deciding that his future was internet marketing. You can connect with Mark at: Mark's Google Plus Page Mark's Facebook Fan Page Mark's YouTube Channel Mark's Blog

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