As the end of blogging for another subject comes to a close, I’m feeling pretty good about the whole thing. I think Media, Audience and Place has been my favourite subject to blog for as there are few constraints and all the different concepts we’ve explored are really interesting things to think and write about.
The design of my blog is a major hurdle I’ve overcome. I’d never really bothered to make my blog both pretty and easily to navigate, and prior to this semester it was a bit of a jumbled mish-mash. The design is something I’m still not 100% happy with and trying to build upon. I find it really difficult to pick a good theme – WordPress is so limited in the ways you can customise a theme and it’s incredibly frustrating. However, I quite like the theme I have now – at very least it’s a large improvement on the last few – as it shows all the widgets down the side instead of hiding them in a tab. I also like the layout of posts; showing only the feature image and title, rather than scrolling through entire blog posts. I’ve had to fiddle around with the theme a lot to make its kind of okay.
I also struggle to find a good header image that is relevant and fits the size limit; a lot of good images are too small and end up being stretched and blurry. I ended up using a website called PicMonkey to create my own customised header. I think the overall theme is easy to navigate for anyone who visits my blog. It’s quite organised and makes sense and the theme works well with the content I produce.
Over the semester I’ve tried to transform my writing style to be more ‘me’. It’s been embedded in me by other subjects to write formally, but this is a style of writing I find that does not at all suit blogging. Whenever I read a blog that begins to sound like an essay I exit out of it, I wanted to sound conversational as to engage people to read the entire blog. At first, writing for a blog was something I found really difficult, writing academically is something that has been ingrained in me throughout high school and university. Writing about academic topics but in a very colloquial way is a whole other ball park and it definitely took some getting used to.
I organised my categories by name of the subject, but I kept the subject code in brackets otherwise I find it confusing as I don’t know subjects by name but by their code. I included the name so that people passing through would not only see the subject code and be confused, this way they can have a bit of an idea as to what content each category contains. The tags included currently are only the subject code, however I think if I had the time I should go through my blogs and include various tags depending on the specific subject of that blog. This might help attract more readers searching general tags. I’ve tried to add hyperlinks in my blogs, where relevant, and recently I’ve started including extra relevant reading material at the end of each blog post.
I tried to remain consistent in my blogging as I find it’s most effective in producing quality content to attract readers regularly. Although this was at points difficult I tried to upload on a weekly basis when I could to encourage regular scheduling and influx of readers.
To find out about more of my online presence, I have a little ‘About’ tab below my header. I’ve also made sure to link my Twitter in my header. I think Twitter is the best platform for attracting readers to my blog as it’s an open website which many people use. I usually Tweet links to my blog posts and also have my blog linked on my twitter profile. I also linked my Instagram, although it’s not particularly relevant to the blog I think it shares a personal aspect of my life. I know when I read people’s blogs I’m always curious to know more about them. Twitter and Instagram are great public social media platforms to express more of myself as a person for those who are interested and I think for establishing a good readership, interconnectivity and interaction with readers is key.
Regardless of promotion on Twitter I find it difficult to attract people who aren’t a part of the BCM course as I don’t have a significant on Twitter or my WordPress and I’m still trying to discover different ways to attract external readers. I’ve included recent comments to show interaction with other bloggers. Whenever people comment on posts I try to engage in conversation and debate with them. I wouldn’t really cal what I have a ‘readership’, but I’ve gotten a lot more (well, a lot for me) followers during this semester, however most of them seem to be my fellow classmates.
Blogging has helped me explore known issues and topics I’d never even considered, encouraging me to think about things. The wonderfuly thing about it is that it allows free reigns on creativity and helps you grow.
It’s also good to be a part of this little cohort of bloggers exploring similar ideas. Whenever I feel stumped I read blogs from other people in my course and let their content inspire and help me. I’ve learned a lot from others and it’s interesting and exciting to see how everyone interprets a similar concept in so many different ways. Hopefully during the summer I find time to use this blog as a space for my own personal ideas and ponderings. Until next time!