Blogging seems like something that is easy to nail down, and really anyone can do it, but doing it well enough to stand out and be heard is something else entirely. Not all of us can be Carrie Bradshaw after all.
Writing out your opinions and beliefs like word vomit is easy, it’s figuring out how to make what you are saying something of quality, that will draw people in, make them stay and keep reading and stimulate them into thinking beyond what you have written. In short, it’s hard, but not impossible. I have done countless blogs for this degree, and each time I feel like I’m closer to meeting not only this disciplines definition of successful blogging but my own.
I never blogged before I started this degree, as most of us had, and so we were relatively inexperienced as we built our online presences from the ground up. This year, and particularly this class, has been beneficial in encouraging us to build our blogs as something other than an assignment for university, to put some individuality on our WordPress blogs as we thought about our presentation to the virtual world. For over a year, my blog has only been aimed at attracting the views of fellow university students, as they are the only ones most likely to see it. This is not entirely true, as seeing as my posts are sent out into the very expansive void of the internet, anyone has the potential to seem them. Thus, shouldn’t I accommodate and plan to that possibility? I slowly shifted in the tone and style of my writing, removing some colloquial jargon of the degree, for instance the subject codes for past subjects. I feel as though while I am still undertaking the class to keep the code for ease of access to my tutor, lecturer and fellow students.
At the beginning of this year, I changed my url from my name to a slightly more generic, eye-catching url in an effort to differentiate my personal life and my university blogging life. In retrospect, this wasn’t a necessary step as I began to add personality back into my very bland and generic blog. A clean, welcoming blog with few distractions would be easy on the eyes of people visiting- perhaps even those with disabilities to be taken into consideration. I added more categories, a search engine and twitter feed into my blogs design to add attraction. Another feature included were widgets connecting my Instagram and Youtube, including personal pages into my professional one to blend the two elements of my social media lives together. I feel this provides viewers with more to engage with, to learn more about the blogger behind the keyboard. This will appeal to more general audience in my honest opinion, rather than only, general university discussions.
I began to inject into my posts my own personal voice, rather than regurgitating others and not voicing my own opinions on matters. It is an very vital part of being any kid of writer, as well as a blogger, to have your own thoughts but be supported by facts and thorough understanding on what you are speaking about. I find that my own personal flair involves a lot of incorporated humour and particularly gifs, in order to convey my message and garner viewers attention. When I am reading blogs, I enjoy reading something with humour and a sense of casualness about it, to keep the piece alive and engaging. I also find breaking up the writing with images or gifs is helpful to keeping me from skipping over massive chunks of writing, So this is what I strive to keep my blog like. This is the best way I know how to communicate, through personal tone, humour and apparently gifs.
Conversely it is hard, to find that balance between humour and maintaining a sense of authority in your writing and take it seriously. I must also understand, the ethical responsibility of my postings and their content, ie crediting sources and images appropriated, and me mindful in my writings on the consequences of what I am saying. The internet is a powerful tool for free speech, and that can be wielded for good or evil. Just because my blog is lost in a sea of thousands and visibility is hard to garner,it does not mean you are invisible and can write things that may cause harm.
My strengths as a blogger I feel from this subject that have been improved and developed are my construction of my posts, and the evolution of my blog design. The minor things I might have skipped over in my initial naivety of starting a blog, that really do go a long way in the big picture like organising categories and a non-bust theme and layout.
Where my weaknesses are, I sense, are poor time management with my blogging. Towards the beginning of the semester I stuck with a regime of posting everything before Sunday night, a schedule which quickly fell apart. Where my writing is very creative with flair, I need a lot of motivation to write what I have in my head. Regular posting is imperative for maintaining attraction and drawing readers, and an area I really must focus on improving.
I have grown accustomed to using blogging as an outlet for addressing issues I come across, and I seek to improve my online presence as I go along. I’d like to branch out from only blogging about my assigned tasks and research my own areas of interest. What any blogging site needs is a plethora of interesting and engaging content, which I hope to build up over time as I expand my blogigng areas. I will also engage in increasing my visibility to gather more readership, most likely by adding in the use of tags onto my posts, so people reading about the issues i’m writing about can find them quickly and easily.
i have learnt through this degree, that blogging doesn’t have to be a chore or boring task to complete for class, and if I wish for other to actively engage with my writing, I must do so first!
So happy blogging, see you all online!