This class taught me a lot about not only publishing, but also about myself. My experience as a publisher this fall was definitely a positive one. At the beginning of the course, I was hesitant to put my work out there. I am very self conscious when it comes to my creative projects, writing and photography included. As a perfectionist, I hate posting work that I am not one hundred percent happy with. My blog helped me with my insecurities, and improved my writing abilities as well! The main reason I took this course is because I wanted to see how different blogging would be to the social media sites I use daily.
When I first created my blog, I struggled right away with choosing a theme that I felt best represented the layout I had pictured. Right away, it was clear that you have more control over your content on your blog compared to your Instagram or Facebook. I wanted my theme to be simple, yet not blend in with other blogs like Travis Gertz mentions in his article about design. In his article, he talks about why mainstream posts have all been similar lately. He mentions that in a connected world like ours, it is hard to not give in to pressures of copying what is popular. To be honest, I feel that I could have done a better job at making my blog unique. It is still something I am working on. The next part of the course focused on audience awareness.
When using my social medias, I never thought deeply about who my audience was. I would post what I wanted, whenever I wanted, not thinking about what impact it had on those seeing it. This blog was interesting because I wanted to make content that both my audience and teacher enjoyed. Using google analytics, I found out that the majority of my audience was from Canada. Considering that I had promoted my blog on my Instagram, I assumed that most of my blog readers were the same people that followed me on Instagram. In his 2002 article, Warner describes my goal for this blog perfectly. He states that content on a blog should be relatable for both the audience and the creator. As I said before, most of my blog readers are my followers from Instagram. I believe I have achieved this because prior to blogging, I already knew through comments that my audience liked my Instagram. I tried to reflect the same personality on my blog as well.
I read an article recently titled ‘Blogging Is an Art But Attracting the Right Audience Is a Science’. This article talks about how important it is to be consistent with your online identity. Being consistent ensures that you can not only attract the audience you want, but also maintain that audience. This is something that I struggled with, as I went in to the class not knowing exactly what I wanted my blog to be about. I am passionate about many things, photography, hockey, and reading just to name a few. It was hard for me to pick one of these passions and create a whole blog about it. Overall, I believe that my online presence is consistent. My blog posts are cohesive and reflect who I am as a person.
Another interesting part of the course was the lecture on monetization. As I mentioned before, I created this blog mostly so that I could have an outlet to express myself. For right now, I don’t think monetization is right for my site, as I post content mostly for myself.
Looking back at the semester, my view on publishing has had a major shift. Before this semester, I thought the word publisher only applied to those who worked in the publishing industry and created monetized content. However, this course taught me that social media has turned us all in to publishers. The way in which we distinguish ourselves from everyone else is through the quality of our content.
In the future, I plan on continuing my blog and challenging myself to produce more content than I did this fall. My goals for myself after this course are to continue building on my online identity, and incorporating my audience more. Soon, I plan to look back at which of my posts were the most viewed and I will tweak my future posts accordingly. I want to continue blogging so I can look back on my posts in the future and see how my photography skills have evolved.
Travis Gertz AuthorTravis Gertz is both a designer and partner at Louder Than Ten. He went to school to design magazines, ended up designing apps, and now does everything he can to bring those things together. He is not a machine.@travisgertz View profile. “Design Machines.” Louder Than Ten, 12 Apr. 2017, louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines.
Dholakiya, Pratik. “Blogging Is an Art But Attracting the Right Audience Is a Science.”Entrepreneur, 1 Dec. 2014, www.entrepreneur.com/article/240280.
Warner, M. (2002). Publics and Counterpublics (abbreviated version). Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88(4), 413-425.