Whilst my blog may not yet have an established readership, this past semester at University has fostered a lot of growth with design and content. I established this blog last year to share travel stories and photos with my families and friends. Since my time abroad, it has continued to grow in content from my studies at University. Studying Marketing and Communications, it has become clear that blogging is a fantastic way to speak passionately in depth, about topics that are of interest to you. If you do it well enough, you can gain a large readership, which is amazing.
This blog is my personal brand; it shares with the world my studies, my travels and my personal interests. I currently have 30 posts to date on my blog, displayed using the free ‘Sela’ theme. I love the simplicity of this theme and how it still allows me to be creative. I change my logo up the top weekly, so stay tuned. Last week I also added a bunch of widgets including the follow button, social media icons that are linked as well as a recent posts section down in the footer of my blog. This will hopefully encourage readers to stay on my blog for as long as possible, by finding other relevant posts.
Kate and Sue, lecturers from BCM240, have been fantastic in designing interesting topical discussions weekly and collectively training their students up on key blogging skills. It has been a brilliant 10 weeks, and I am finally taking blogging seriously. I had an Interview this week for an Internship next year in a Digital Media consultancy firm and my blog came up in the discussion. It is so important that I continue improving on other things, not just my design and content. I need to focus now more so on gaining readership and retaining that.
The first way I am striving to achieve this is via connecting all of my social medias. By doing this I hope that all of my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook followers will find interest in my blog posts. The second tactic I will use is Link Building. This is something I currently do not do, I post in a style similar to a very short essay, when I should be trying now to make it into pieces that I connect to relevant parts of the Internet. I also will include key words and relevant tags, which should increase my findabilty.
Each week, I search the BCM240 hashtag to find out what my peers are focusing on with their blogs, when we are all advised the same topic. I generally do not comment, more so the silent observer. However I am realizing that in the blogosphere, if you want to be read you need to speak up! Not only on your own blog, but other blogs as well. If you respect other readers by following their blogs, you will hopefully be respected and gain readership in return.
Kate has helped me to understand WordPress jargon as well as key features needed to attract readers. The main thing Kate reinforced in our classes was the importance of our ‘about’ page. I could not just identify myself as solely a student and I could not label the menu with UOW Subject codes. It is not my hard drive it is my blog and it deserves better. I spent the past month figuring out the best way to identify myself without being to simple or cliché. I’m sure it will continue to be altered over the next few months even more so with further feedback from my peers and academics.
Whilst it was clear that aesthetics of my blog were very important, I also need to focus on the key topics for the subject. The semester focused on the social experience of media, the audience and the place, using ethnographic research to write. I thoroughly enjoyed going down memory lane with my Grandmother, Grandfather and Father. Writing about their personal opinions and experiences really enabled me to find out more about my family, yet also meet the briefs of the subject. My Grandmother, Valerie Barrow is an amazing writer and is connected to more social media than me. At 84 years old I am amazed, and hope that I can establish myself as a writer and blogger when I match her age.
Even though this subject is coming to a close, I am sure I will be having Kate and Sue in my final year of University to continue guiding my blogging skills. The blog posts will continue to come over the following months, more so away from the academic scene, and back to my traveling posts, with trips booked to Sri Lanka and Fiji. Thank you to the BCM240 academics and peers for your help fostering my growth from rookie blogger to amateur. This time next year I hope to have an established blog with a solid readership. To conclude I have made three goals for myself to help me achieve my blog goals; 1.Consistency in timing of posts 2. Connecting my social medias to increase readership 3. Reading, learning, sharing and commenting on other blogs.