Creating my online presence this term has been difficult but incredibly rewarding. Over the last few weeks, I’ve focused on the design of my website, as well as how I want to set it apart from every other beauty blog out there. I knew going into it that there are a thousand beauty blogs on the internet, and that the only way to succeed in such a widespread and competitive community would be to focus on being different. At the end of my quest to be different, Makeup Your Mind was born. With the creation of my blog I knew I wanted to focus on beauty and self care, because focusing on self care through beauty is a way I can set myself apart from other bloggers in this space. In creating my blog this term I spent the most time focusing on ways to build my audience, as well as looking for more ways that I can stand out in the crowded beauty space.
Building my blog has been no easy feat, and it is far from over, but I feel that I have created a platform that I can build off of in the future. In this process of building my blog, I turned to Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus article “How to Start a Successful Blog in 2017” on their blog The Minimalists. This article outlines steps that a blogger can take to make their blog more successful. I assume that many of these tips come from experience, and I turned to a few of these in the process of building my blog. The first thing I notices was a list titled “How to build a blog in 5 easy steps”. I was drawn to both “Designing your blog to get your desired look and feel” (Milburn, Nicodemus) and “Write compelling content that adds value to readers” (Milburn, Nicodemus).While I found the list a whole to be eye opening and helpful, these points specifically reminded me to focus on the look and feel of my blog, as well as the content. As the article goes on it gives more tips on creating a successful blog, but it does not expand on its initial list, while I found this to be strange, the points on the list were still a pertinent point in the formations of my blog.
The first step I took in creating my online presence, was designing my blog. I went into the process knowing that I wanted my design to reflect the soft and welcoming theme that I wanted my posts to portray. I achieved this through soft colours and scripted fonts. However, some of the changes that I’ve made to the CSS of my blog have reverted back to default settings, and I haven’t had the time to change them back yet. This brings me to the challenges that I’ve faced in designing by blog. The design still needs work, but I feel that my content grows and matures, my design will too. The design process is impotent to me because before my audience reads anything, they will be greeted with the initial design and feel of my website, and I’m driven to make an impact with this initial view. Over the course of the term I’ve made some important changes, and I hope to make many more in the coming months.
Travis Geetz’s “Design Machines: How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse”, has shaped my view of design, and has also inspired me to be different. In this article, Gretz complains that companies that have streamlined the creation process of a website or blog have damned the internet to conformity and simplicity. He repeatedly states that we are living in a world where everything on the internet is the same, and this scares me. Though I am using a pretty standard WordPress theme to build my blog, I want to make it my own. I chose a simple theme so I can manipulate it and change it as I need to. Wanting to stand out is also motivated by my goal of building an audience, and Gretz’s article stuck with me because of this goal. I Don’t want people to come to my website and feel like they’ve seen it a thousand times. I want people to feel like they’re seeing something new, and I want them to be compelled to explore my blog. This goes back to how people view a blog before they actually read anything. Gretz’s article inspired me because I want to hook people with my unique and design, so they are excited and motivated to stay to read my posts.
Just because I’ve focused on design, doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten about content. Going back to Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus’ article, Compelling content is important in creating a successful blog, and its also important in building a strong and loyal audience. Stephanie Walden further addresses building an audience in her piece “7 Tips for building a social media audience”. This article helped me look at the specifics of building a successful and loyal audience. Specifically, it outlines picking platforms. This ended up being important, because going into the process of building my online presence, I didn’t realize that success on one platform, could build success on my other online platforms. The platform that I’ve put my efforts into, apart from my blog, has ended up being Instagram. This platform suits the makeup/beauty aspects of my blog, as well as the self care aspect. This is because both of these things can be successfully portrayed through images. Focusing on Instagram as proven to be a wise choice, because it has definitely driven traffic to my blog, and it is another place for me to have a presence and an audience online. I feel that my choice to focus on Instagram will further assist my blog because of my decision to use Instagram as a way of including my audience in my blog through #selfcaresunday. By using the hashtag and tagging me in posts, I will be able to interact with my audience on Instagram and include them in my blog. To build my audience I have focused on being different and I have focused on utilizing different online platforms to build my online presence.
So Far building my blog has been a challenge, but I hope to be able to make progress with it in the future. I plan to take my online presence beyond this class, and I hope to expand my presence and my audience in the future. My goal with my blog is to make people happy, and to make people feel good, and I feel like I’m on track to accomplish both of these things. I feel by blog will add value to my readers lives, whether it be a simple foundation recommendation, or a self care tip, I hope by expanding my presence and my blog, and I hope I can help many more people in the future.
Gretz, Travis. “Design Machines: How to Survive The Digital Apocalypse .” Louder Than 10, 10 July 2015, https://louderthanten.com/coax/design- Machines.
Millburn , Joshua Fields, and Ryan Nicodemus . “How To Start A Successful Blog In 2017.”The Minimalists , 3 Apr. 2017, http://www. Theminimalists.com/blog/
Walden, Stephanie. “7 Tips For Building A Social Media Audience . ashable , 24 Dec. 2013, http://mashable.com/2013/12/24/grow-social- audience/#0sSMyxkgWZqr.
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