March 2nd, 2016 marks the day I wrote my first blog post. The post named “So, who am I? And why am I here?” is a generic short post which our lecturers ‘encouraged’ us to write to open us up to the world of blogging. Myself being completely obsessed with reading, writing and everything in-between; saw this as an opportunity for my thoughts to fly and as a way to make friends through my course. This was successful for my first and second semesters at University. My BCM110, BCM111 and BCM112 classes allowed me to write beyond my wildest desires; despite not entirely understanding some of the concepts in which we had to write about. Although I was thoroughly confused most of the time, I received praise for my engaging writing, ‘hilarious’ memes and my overall effort with the upkeep of my blog.
The first semester of my second year at Uni was where my downfall began. Despite only needing to curate blogs for two of my classes; I slacked off and began to neglect my blog writing. In return, I was unable to fully comprehend the tasks given to us and likely left them to the last minute. Thank goodness, that I’m able to achieve results quickly if I put my mind to it; which is why my last minute blogging never caused much of a hassle. Although, there are many things that I need to work on to improve my overall blog writing, appearance and engagement. My writing often begins with the explanation of one thing into another; without entirely providing solid evidence, background information or linked sources. This in return, causes my marks to spiral downwards; as the effort I put into my blogs during my first year are seemingly non-existent. I partially blame this on the huge 3 month break in-between my First and Second year of Uni which made my grow used to the non-uni life, and also partially blame it on the 4 day a week part time job that I’ve secured.
By looking at my stats for 2016, I received enough attention that kept me pleased. The majority of my blogs had multiple comments on it, with encouraging messages on what they liked, what they disliked and how I could improve; which I whole heartedly appreciated. Through this, I was able to gain a multitude of followers on my blog; and even gained friendships through this. Aspects of my blog writing, such as hyperlinking, categorisation, background sources and being clear and concise are some of the reasons as to why I may have grasped views from those in the course, and those who may just be curious.
If we look at the comparison of my stats for this year; it’s clear that my views and overall attention has decreased dramatically. There are a few reasons as to why this has happened: my attitude towards blog writing has changed, my availability to write has decreased and the use of my twitter account has also diminished. My twitter account being a strong variable as to why my statistics have fallen. During my first year, I implemented all my blogs, thoughts, ideas and any creations onto twitter and always used the hashtags to spread my name across the platform. In the past few months, I’ve rarely used twitter as a social media platform for my blog, and instead tweet about random thoughts and feelings; most likely not surrounding the ideas of assignments and class discussions.
Colloquial language is another factor that I could improve on. I believe that most of my texts are formally written; and whilst I understand that they have to be formal to an extent, incorporating colloquialism might make my writing easier to read, more engaging and an overall better experience. Through this, readers can understand my point more, and even relate to my argument/main point of focus.
Despite these negatives, I have learnt a few things from blogging throughout the past two years. Hyperlinking is extremely important, and is one habit that I haven’t left since my very first blog. By finding useful sources, extras and background information; this allows the readers to comprehend my writing more; yet allows me to keep my writing clear and concise without unnecessarily lengthening it. I’ve also learnt to categorise my blogs into the specific classes; which makes it not only easier for me to manoeuvre through my blog, but makes it simple enough for readers to navigate their way through and throughout.
Joshua Payberah from the Digital Branding Institute provides 5 tips to bettering your blog and making it more visually and aesthetically pleasing. These 5 tips include:
- Breaking up text into bite-sized paragraphs
- Adding pictures to illustrate your message
- Getting attention with videos
- Making use of colour
- Making quality the standard
He states that whilst reading, people tend to “glaze over” poorly formatted websites and move on; which could be a reason for unpopularity and/or not reaching your desired audience. These five tips could enhance your digital brand, as well as create a more eye-catching and pleasing website for an audience to view; thus bringing in more of a watching/reading audience and gaining popularity through this.
Overall, I’ve come a long way since my first blog post in early 2016. I’ve written multiple blog posts, some I’m extremely happy with, some I never want to read again; I’ve learnt how to implement social media as a platform to spread my ideas, posts and thoughts on, hyperlinking is something that I regularly do now and It’s become easier to let my words flow and create posts which are worthy, and most of all; I’m able to identity and develop my problem areas, yet maintain a consistent writing quality which I believe readers have been enjoying, and will continue to do so.
Payberah, Joshua. “5 Ways To Make Your Blog Visually Appealing ».” Digital Branding Institute. N.p., 2017. < https://digitalbrandinginstitute.com/blog-visually-appealing/