This is a peer review of Ashley Yien’s blog, adventures with MIA, which can be found here: http://pawsitiveashley.com. Ashley’s blog centers around her French Bulldog, Mia, and branches into other dog topics as well. She blogs about Mia’s dog friends and shares information about the BC SPCA and ways to help dogs in need.
I believe Ashley’s targeted audience are cute dog or animal lovers, whom I believe her blog successfully appeals to. When we first arrive on her blog, we are greeted with an animated header with a cute Frenchie drawing and a cute paw print cursor. This use of an attractive header image helps peak audience interest and gets readers into looking more through her blog. The only critique I have of it is that I believe there should be no apostrophe in “adventures”. I’m not sure if this was a mistake or intentional but good grammar can help portray a professional-quality blog, which helps marketability. On the other hand, I think the writing style of Ashley’s blog, which is sometimes from Mia’s point of view, is very appealing to dog lovers. It adds a humourous and personal touch to her blog posts that I enjoy.
Overall, Ahley’s blog’s layout is simple, user friendly, and visually pleasing which eliminates user frustration and can help further the appeal of her blog to her intended audience. She integrates adorable and relevant pictures into her blog which helps engage readers. Many internet users today want information fast and don’t like to read large blocks of texts.
I believe Ashley really blogs about what she loves and has a clear sense of her personal online-self and a well-defined audience. “Designing from the heart of our messages out means we fully acknowledge that they will not speak the same way to every person.” (Gertz, 2015) She connects well with a wide variety of audiences. Additionally, she includes information on rescuing dogs and dog memes. This helps to further her blog appeal to passionate dog lovers and viewers who are just looking for a laugh. Also, I believe that there is a large community of dog lovers on the internet, which is her targeted audience. By blogging on a popular area of interest, it is helpful in gaining a bigger community for your blog and helps marketablity.
One improvement I think Ashley can make to the marketability of her blog is to include social media accounts. “The experiences of some news organizations offer another finding about the importance of diversification: bringing in revenue from several sources.” (Vara, 2015) An Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest account with pictures of Mia can potentially help attract more viewers and create more potential methods of monetization. One barrier to the marketability of Ashley’s blog is that there is already a high saturation of social media accounts of dogs. I’m not too certain about the number of dog blogs though. “Abundance, it turns out, is a much bigger problem to solve than scarcity, or as Clay Shirky frames it: “Abundance breaks more things than scarcity.” […] It is far better, economically, to have the fewest number of authors, the fewest titles.” (Nash, 2013) I think this can be overcome by providing consistent and quality content that continually appeals to her targeted audience. Ashley’s blog has great potential and I’m excited to see it continue to grow.
Gertz, Travis (2015). Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.
Nash, Richard (2013). What is the Business of Literature?. VQR Online.
Vara, Vauhini (2015). Survival Strategies for Local Journalism.