Blogging over the past nine weeks has allowed me to create a deeper understanding of my sense of self. Initially, my blog was a place for un-related posts that I uploaded with no real thought of the audience’s perception of my work or even what each blog post meant. Before starting this class, my blog posts looked like tiny pieces of broken glass serving no greater purpose. During this blogging experience I have transformed my blogging style in an effort to glue the pieces of broken glass together with one key and common factor—the discovery of authorship. Now, my blog posts have become auto-ethnographical accounts that link each week’s topic to an element of my life, culture or past. This allowed me to blog as a researcher whilst also blogging for myself and identifying the key links between the two.
This nature of authorship was coined by Joel Bloch and Cathryn Crosby who’s work inspired me to transform my blogging practices into something valuable.
“While the internet has often been thought to de-centre the role of the author, blogs have been often made the author the centre of attention.” (2008)
With this in mind I decided to use this idea of the author as the centre of attention as what made my blog posts stand out from the rest. By revolving my blog posts around my own experiences, I added a deeper value to each week’s topic whilst also putting the key elements from the lecture into perspective for not only myself but also my readers.
However, by centring my blog posts around my experiences, I ran the risk of turning each blog post like a diary entry. To ensure that this didn’t happen I made a conscious effort to acknowledge my audience. I did this by starting each blog post in a similar way that allowed my readers to think about their own lives.
By doing this, it not only attracts the reader’s attention but also immerses them into my blog from the start where they begin to think about how my blog post relates to their lives.
“Your unique perspective, background, opinions, and personality will make your content unique. It won’t appeal to everyone, but it will appeal very strongly to those that relate with you.
Your audience might have read a dozen blog posts but they might not really get it until they hear it from you. What they really want is the story. Your story.” (Jobson. S, 2015)
This ties in with my decision to use a professional voice with a conversational tone throughout my blog posts. This was effective because it creates a unique style to my blog posts whilst also allowing the audience to feel like they are talking to a person who is telling a story, rather than reading an essay that was written with the intention to be marked. Laura Spencer states that having a conversational tone is the pivotal point to every blog because it makes the blog more relatable, credible and easier to understand (2015). In this blog “The Regulation of Cartoons in my house,’ I used a conversational tone to allow me to feel like I was re-telling which allows the audience to feel like my story is relatable.
However, whilst writing in public, I did struggle with gaining an audience to read my work. In order to overcome this challenge, I turned to Steven Snell where his blog post ‘5 common blogging problems and how to overcome them’ recommended social media as a tool to utilise audience engagement. However, Snell didn’t just encourage posting to Twitter and Facebook which are the common places that I would post my blog, they also recommended that I post my blog on Reddit and other sites such as Bloglovin.
Once I posted on Reddit, Bloglovin and Twitter the amount of visitors that came to my page began to increase, even to international standard where people from the U.S.A and India were visiting my page. I also started using different hashtags in order to attract an audience outside of the BCM240 hashtag.
Over my nine week experience of blogging I started to understand the importance of acknowledging the ethical standards within all of my posts. Before this semester, I would include any photo that I found on the internet and use it throughout my blog post or as my featured image. I didn’t realise that I needed to be granted permission to use specific images. So in order to improve my blogging strategy in terms of its ethical standards I watched this video created by Mohawk Media which explains each different type of licence and how I can use them.
This video altered the way that I posted content on my blog. It allowed me to use images that I was allowed to use whilst also introducing me to sites like Pexels which has now become my go-to place to find great quality creative commons licenced photos.
Upon reflecting on my feedback from my first assessment, I discovered that I needed to make my site a blog that the academic staff wanted to follow. In order to achieve this, I used what I learnt from the creative commons video in order to select great quality photos for my feature image which fits the scale of my blog design. This satisfyingly created a new aesthetic to my blog design which made each post look more presentable whilst also having a professional feel to it.
However, I did struggle with finding photos under this licence that directly linked to the points I was raising in my blog post. Although, after scrolling through the images I discovered that the trick to finding the perfect photo is all about what key words I use in my search and not being afraid to sift through the related images which often lead me to the perfect picture.
Also, in order to enhance my blog to make it a blog that the academic staff want to follow I ensured that built my blog to become a bridge made out of pebbles. This is the famous quote by Steven Johnson which I have related to my own blog to express the idea that each individual blog post is almost irrelevant. But when you put them together with the other blog posts from my site, they become an aggregated cohesion of my sense of self relating to my past and my perspective. This is the key element that I have centred my blogging experience around.
My blog is no longer a scatter of broken glass, my blog is a mosaic that that shines true to who I am.
Bloch. J & Crosby. C 2008, ‘Chapter 3: Blogging and Academic Writing Development,’Computer Enhanced Laguage Aquisition Learning, ICI Global, Pennsylvania, pp, 37
Jobson. S 2015, ‘4 Rules for Creating Awesome Content Your Audiences Will Love,’ CoSchedule Blog, 23 February, viewed 3 October 2016, <http://coschedule.com/blog/creating-content-your-audience-loves/>
Johnson, S 2009, ‘How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live’, TIME Magazine, 5 June, viewed 2 October 2016 <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1902818-2,00.html>
Mohwak Media, 2011, ‘Creative Commons Kiwi,’ Online Video, 4 July, viewed 4 October 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeTlXtEOplA&feature=youtu.be>
Snell S 2015 ‘5 Common Blogging Problems and How to Overcome Them,’ Vandelaydesign 21 March, viewed 4 October 2016 <http://www.vandelaydesign.com/common-blogging-problems/>
Spencer. L, 2015 ‘Why a conversational writing style is important,’ Writing Thoughts, 15 April, viewed 4 October 2016 <http://www.writingthoughts.com/why-a-conversational-writing-style-is-important/>