All my life I wanted to share the wisdom I had, whether it was when I was 15 years old in high school when I shared with my friends that nothing good ever happens after midnight or to now. When this blog assignment first came to be at the beginning of the semester, I knew exactly what I wanted to write on, life rules. After reading an article by William Kraska, (“What Makes a Good Blog?”), I learned that to have a good and successful blog, “Blogs become successful because of specificity and passion, according to Kevin Donahue, co-creator of Fanblogs, a college football blog described by Forbes.com as the best blog dedicated to a single sport.” (What Makes a Good Blog? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://journalism.nyu.edu/publishing/archives/notablog/story/good_blog/). After reading this article I knew, I wanted to make my blog about rules that have helped me throughout my short 19 years on earth. It was a specific genre and it was something I knew very well and would write on easily. I have not had too much success so far in building an audience, most of my comments are Russian bots, but I hope someday with more time and effort I will have an audience that will take what I say and use it to benefit their day-to-day lives. If anything Google Analytics has shown me the potential I have, like I previously stated, I do not have much of an audience, but I can have it, with the help of ads and promotions it is entirely possible for my blog to take off.
Most of the enjoyment I had with this course, was the design aspect. After I got a hand on how to design and how to use WordPress, I enjoyed creating this online space that was the essence of me and what I was trying to convey. I first decided to make my blog more lively after reading the suggested reading ‘Design Machines- How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse’ by Travis Gertz (Author & Gertz, 2018). I was inspired to make my blog stand out, Gertz explains how as a whole in this digital age it is so easy to get swept away with security and what we know will work, that all of our pages end up looking the same; and how it is so important to have design. He also explains how important it is that our content does not exceed our design or that our design does not surpass our content. This article inspired me to continue to work on the creativity of my blog, yet also keep up the substance to an acceptable level.
I did a lot of research on different blogs to see how they used specific tools that benefited them with their audience. One night as I was going deep down the rabbit hole of blogs, I came across serval various blogs and websites that all featured a more personal side. I had the idea to post more photos of what made me, well… me, pictures and videos of my life coincided with the theme of my blog as well. I also came across a website titled ‘Vandelay design’ (“Vandelay Design”), a design blog; an article struck a chord with me about design written by Steven Snell. It is called ‘Blog Design: Does Design Impact Your Success?'(“How Important is Design to a Blog’s Success?”, 2016), the article states that “The blog design can also seriously help or hurt the level of success of the blog by how it emphasizes or de-emphasizes the content. Readability is key. For visitors to appreciate the content, the design should emphasize it and not distract visitors away from it.” (How Important is Design to a Blog’s Success? (2016, May 23). Retrieved from https://www.vandelaydesign.com/impact-of-design/ ). I found that this article similar to ‘Design Machines- How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse’ by Travis Gertz, in the sense that, yes the design is very, but it should never take away from the actual content.
Growing up I never had any interest in the traditional sense of publication. I believed my opinion was not worthy of being heard in such a public space (on the internet), as I have not had much life experience nor have I had much exposure to writing, I thought I would be heavily judged. During this past semester, I have uncovered many valuable lessons from Google Analytics and WordPress; the main takeaway I had was that even if nobody views your blog or website, we are all publishers. I realized more than anything that I grew as a personal author, my confidence grew, my writing skills improved, and my view on publication arose. Now that we end this course, I am left with the desire to continue to create and to find that sense of self within the publication.
Reflecting on this course, I have learned a lot, about myself, my personal views on life and my views on the publication of self. Moving forward I want to continue my online presence; I would love to make another blog or format my blog now into more advice while travelling solo. I have recently travelled solo, and I have so many tips and tricks that I would love to share, and I think people would like to listen. The main thing I have lesrned from this course and that I will take with me through my future endeavours in life is that everything good comes with time. Working with a blog your online presence could take months or even years to develop, to quote my favourite movie, ‘Field of Dreams’- “Build it, and they will come.”