Tag Archives: processpost

Process Post #4 – My Audience

My audience is something that is already sacred to me. I picture my audience as people who need softness and a little extra love in their lives. I picture my audience as the me that I lived as for so long. The quiet, lonely girl who needed a little extra self love, but couldn’t recognize it yet. I also see the girl who loved to play with makeup, but couldn’t find a way to express it. With Makeup Your Mind, I want to foster a safe place for my audience to be unapologetically happy.

I’ve started doing this in my design with soft colours, like the main type being in a soft grey instead of black. I find this softness to be less assaulting than black, and I also aim to keep the colours minimal, so I don’t overwhelm. I also show this softness in the site title, the thin cursive implies softness. As of now, my post headers are still quite bold, but I plan to change that.

I also picture my audience as unpredictable though, I don’t know exactly who’s going to stumble upon my little slice of internet, so I’m doing my best not to alienate anybody. I have thought long and hard, and yes, I do have an audience that I want to reach. The whole point of my blog though is to invite and foster happiness, so my goal audience goes beyond what I picture in my head, and extends to anybody who wants to play with makeup or wants some self care tips, and some extra love.

Process Post #3 – The Design Process

The Design Process of my blog is something that is far from over. The more I learn about CSS and my theme the more I’m able to manipulate and change it to match my vision. The last few weeks have been a massive learning process for me, and I’ve loved every second of it.

A lot of the design things I’ve done have been done through the “customization” tab, and these have mostly been the header image and the colours of my blog. I love my over all colour aesthetic of soft grey, pink, and yellow. I also love that I can pull in my love of floral in the header image. The other love that I’ve been able to incorporate in my blog this week is fonts. On a recommendation I installed the “Easy Google Fonts” plug in, so I can easily change the fonts of my headers and body text. However, the font that I really wanted to change was my title font. I wanted something softer with a cursive feel to go with my floral themes, as well as my softer colours. In doing this I had some challenges.

Firstly, this was the first time I’d ever gone into the CSS of my theme and changed anything. I was nervous because I didn’t want to “break it”. Secondly, once I figured out how to change to font in CSS, I wanted to enlarge the space that the site-title fit into because I wanted to enlarge the font. To do this though, I had to again go into the CSS and further manipulate it. Thankfully I was doing this in a lab and had guidance from my instructor so I didn’t break it. These were the two major challenges that I faced in changing my site-title font, but in the end, I am incredibly happy with the way the title of my blog looks.

I also have a few notes on design of my blog in general, and some of my motivations. I want my blog to reflect softness, hence why I chose to do my main font in a dark grey as opposed to black. I feel the contrast is still obvious, but the font colour is not as harsh as black would be, as I don’t think black would look right with my overall theme. I also have made the decision to include spaces and blank space in my posts. I choose to space paragraphs as oppose to indent because I feel like is breaks the post up more and makes it easier to read. Who just wants to look at a solid wall of text? I also feel like the the spaces between the paragraphs adds a certain airiness to the posts.

So far, I love the design of my blog, will things change? Probably, this is still a learning process, and I’m sure as I learn and become more adept with CSS and everything else that goes into designing a blog I will make different decisions and lots of changes. I look forward to seeing the way my blog morphs and changes with my design and CSS skills.

 

Process Post #2 – Social Media and Blog Set Up

After reading Craig Mod’s “How I got My Attention Back”, his line “Total disconnection is a privilege, certainly. But I found it necessary to retreat and reset. To feel once again what it was like to have an attention without fighting for it each minute.” has really stuck with me. The whole theme of disconnecting for self care resonates with me, because much like Mod, I disconnect as part of my own self care routine. Social media doesn’t play a huge part in my life, but in the past I have gotten lost scrolling through random and mindless things on Facebook. I quickly found this habit extremely destructive and toxic, so I deleted the app off my phone. Even though I’m not hugely active on social media, I do see patterns where I’ll start spending a lot of time scrolling through random things, and for me, this habit has proven to be extremely destructive because it has a tendency to put thoughts in my head and distort my view of reality, while also eating up a lot of my time. So when I catch myself falling into this habit, I simply disconnect from the platform that’s causing the problem. I have deleted both the Facebook and Instagram (even though I’ve only had Instagram for a short time) apps off my phone, making them only accessible through safari which forces me to think about why I’m going on the site, rather than just going onto the platform mindlessly through an easily accessible app. I highly recommend that people try this when they notice they’re spending a lot of time on social media platforms, because the actual process of opening a browser and logging into a social media site forces you to think why you’re going on the site, and it can open your eyes to habits.

Overall, looking at my experiences with social media, as well as how long I went without having some of these platforms at all, I’m fairly confident I could go offline for a month (if it didn’t impact the way boss and teammates got in contact with me). Over the summer I spent a lot of time at my family’s cabin, and I used this time as time to really try and disconnect, so I actually think I’d really enjoy a month disconnected.

 

Check out my Instagram for a better look at this image! jordananne76 (link is at the bottom of the page)

The other thing I worked on this week was how I wanted to set up  my blog. Though I have a pretty clear idea of what I want, and I think I’mpretty close to getting there, I mapped out the basics of where I want to place things. This is obviously not an exact replica of my blog, but I think it clearly maps out the basic placement of things, while still showing my colour theme. This map also shows the few things that I’m still unsure of, like my side bar, and I can guarantee you will see some changes in the sidebar as time goes on.

Overall, I’m fairly happy with the layout of my blog, but there will defiantly be minor changes as time goes on.

 

This week I also added my social links to the footer of my blog! my main social media platform for my blog is Instagram, but I do have Twitter and Pinterest as well.

Process Post #10: Press Release

Take a drab press release and add some pizzazz. Choose a platform and create a new and improved press release. I chose Twitter as the platform for the new press release. Twitter will allow the CBC to post short yet attention-grabbing tweets, which users can respond to directly, and re-tweet. There can be multiple tweets: […]

Process Post #9: Google Analytics

I was surprised by a lot of things I found in Google Analytics. I looked at a period from February 1 up until now (March 14). Altogether, during this period, I had 43 sessions and 184 page views.

Audience

Looking first at where my users are from, unsurprisingly, the great majority are from Canada (with all coming from BC). But very surprisingly, I had 5 sessions from India (3 being new users, 2 being returning), 5 from the U.S. (spanning across California, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas), 3 from Russia (all from the same city but different users), 1 from Austria (but this had a bounce rate of 100% so was most likely a bot), and 1 from Portugal (most likely also a bot). In terms of language, most sessions were English but it was cool to see that I had a few in Russian, Chinese, German, and Korean, and Portuguese. In looking at my user flow, 4/5 sessions that came from the US visited my fake news essay. The Austria session also visited this post.

Behaviour

32 visitors of my 43 were new visitors and 11 were returning. Looking a bit deeper, it looks like users see an average of 4 pages per visit. This is fairly reassuring. To me, this indicates that people are actually somewhat interested in my content and are not simply leaving right away after clicking on my page. (My bounce rate overall was pretty low as well). This encourages me to make an effort to put more thought and dedication into my content and really make each post count. In terms of specific posts, other than the home page, many page views are looking at my process posts and about. Aside from these two things, the individual post that has the most page views is my essay on fake news (as I essentially alluded to above). I put a lot of work into that post so this is nice to see! There are also a couple of blog posts that have gained more page views than others. One I made about visiting Normandy and one that I made into more of a reflection on the current political climate are the specific ones that have more page views. It’s interesting to think why that would be. This will definitely incite me to put more effort into my blog posts, perhaps incorporating more reflection.

Most people are using Chrome to look at my blog, but some are using Safari. (One sad soul used Internet Explorer). The great majority are accessing my site from desktop, with only 5 being from mobile. I have looked at how my content appears from a mobile device and although everything looks normal, I do like the way it looks on desktop better than mobile. I just think the general layout of the site works better and appears more crisp when viewed from a desktop platform. Seeing as how most people do access my site through desktop, I think I will continue to develop my content with that in mind. However, that does not mean I will ignore that people are increasingly viewing content on mobile devices. I will definitely make sure that my blog posts function as they are supposed to on a mobile platform. It was interesting to note that out of the 5 sessions that viewed my blog on a mobile device, 2 had a bounce rate of 100%. So I am assuming 2 of those sessions were bots. (But the 3 that accessed through an iPhone seem to be legit!).

Acquisition

Looking at how people came to my site, 60% were direct. 10 sessions were through organic search. It’s unfortunate that Analytics doesn’t let me see what specific search terms landed people on my blog but it’s still cool to know that it happened. Finally, 7 sessions were referrals. Now this is the really interesting part. One referral came through this site. It’s some sort of weird Russian blog where this guy is accusing Google of being a lying thief. Then two referrals came from motherboard.vice.com, which is a legit site. Specifically, from this article. The article references the Russian guy that made that weird blog and says that he had been bombarding Google Analytics accounts with fake referrals. So now it makes a bit more sense. Essentially, the referrals were fake (or at least, that’s what I’m taking away from that). Looking at the behaviour flow, all visits from those referrals only visited the landing page then dropped off so it seems even more likely that they were just spammers. Such a weird thing…

 

Process Post #8: Monetization

Monetizing my site is something that I go back and forth on a lot. I have already expressed doubts about advertising being something that I don’t think will work for my blog. My blog is more of a reflective platform rather than promoting a service or brand so I just don’t like the idea of having ads on it. I feel as though the presence of ads would look almost out of place. I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to get Google AdSense to approve my blog anyways, so this may work out for the best. Now this leaves me with other possible options of monetization. As I learned through the guest lecture this week, there are actually quite a few ways to make money through a blog. For example, I could reach out to organizations to ask them for money in exchange for writing a review about them. However, considering my blog is about nature, that type of content doesn’t really fit. However, I did write a blog post about New Zealand so I suppose I technically could have reached out to the specific places I mentioned. Yet I doubt that would have resulted in anything. Tourist places are not places in which to make money through blogging about.

I think I would have to change up my actual content if I did try to make money through sponsored reviews. And that is not something I am willing to do. Right now, it seems as though I am heading in the direction of not monetizing my site. And I am okay with that. That was never a desire for me when I first started it and it still isn’t now. My blog is more of a place where I can reflect on things I care about and share those opinions with others.

Process Post | sunday.5th.march.2017

REMIX SOMETHING

“Remix something”… That’s all the instructions provided… This had me stuck for a while, so I did what everyone does these days when their brains don’t provide all the answers… I went to Google. Yeah, you guessed it – that did not help. I thought about it a little more and decided, what better to remix than myself. I took the photo I have on my ‘About Me’ page, mixed it all up with Photoshop and the results were… well… a bit odd.

The original for reference (really I just put it here to prove I don’t always look like that): 

TRACKING

This weeks results are fairly consistent. There wasn’t any days that I spent a drastically higher amount of time on my phone. I have noticed that I have begun to be less purposeful with trying to reduce the amount of time I spend on my phone. By no means have I given up trying to reduce it – but I think about it less now than I did when I first begun tracking.

*Note: Ignore Thursday’s results. I know for a fact that the results on Thursday were faulty as I accidentally shut the app down for the majority of the day.