At the beginning of the session, when asked to produce a blog I immediately began to feel anxious as I always have in the past with similar assessments. Creating and sharing content on a blog means putting myself out there for the world to see, exposed, but I was determined to improve on my blogging skills nonetheless.
A blog is a ‘regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style‘. There are millions of blogs online, and you can be sure to find one on almost any topic of interest; cooking, health and fitness, fashion, pets, you name it they have got it. With this knowledge alone the main question that immediately began to surface is why would someone want to read my blog? What is it that will interest them and why? What will attract attention and keep it?
Before I begun composing content for the session to come, I immediately scanned over my current blog and begun to take note of it’s layout, design, navigation and general aesthetics, jotting down anything that needed to be changed, edited, added or removed. The aesthetic appeal of a blog is the first point of contact you have with a potential reader and can affect the way people choose to interact with your blog. Upon further inspection I immediately noticed particular aspects that needed to be changed. This included the layout, font, colour scheme and tabs. The overall feel of my blog was too cluttered, messy and unorganised, although the biggest problem was the navigation, or lack there of.
Marie Asselin, the author of Food Nouveau explains that ‘A well-edited navigation menu is essential to a blog. It’s the gateway to everything’. I for one know that if I find a blog visually unpleasing and hard to navigate I will not be staying for long. Using WordPress’s customising function and their numerous editing tools I was able to integrate a more user-friendly navigation system (after much confusion when trying to get the tabs to work) that would allow finding content easier.
The most time consuming aspect of this project was without a doubt the research phase of the blog posts. I myself like to research the topic I am going to blog about. This not only includes reading over articles and relaying back to lectures and class discussion, but also reading other peoples blogs in order to gain perspective and inspiration, as well as generate further questions. Joshua Fields Millburn says that aside from researching your topic in order to ensure your content is engaging and unique you must follow the following steps:
- Be interesting
- Be honest
- Be yourself
A blog is more than just a space to communicate information, your content is not what makes your blog. As Millburn says ‘You are what makes your blog different; it’s about your perspective, your creativity, the value that you add’ is what draws people in. I can say that although I have grown more confident in writing and expressing myself little by little through each post I still have a long way to go, not only have I found that I can express myself through my words but also through the use of images and memes, allowing myself to break up dense content and further engage the reader.
Through the past 9 weeks I have found that one of the most important parts of blogging is to stay connected. One of the main purposes of creating a blog is to gain readership and without staying connected through various means of contact, it is impossible to do so. By linking your blog with social media platforms and sharing your content, you are able to ensure that your blog is visible and accessible. Thus, able to attract an audience. Through the progression of my blog I had begun to share posts on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and had further discovered the magic of hashtags. The use of the hashtags such as #BCM240 and #media alone has impacted on my blog greatly, receiving hundreds of views both within and outside of Australia, within months of blogging.
Whenever I tell someone that blogging is a part of my university work they are usually confused as to how it could be considered useful by any means and I can’t say I blame them. At the beginning of the semester I was a little skeptical as to how blogging would help me develop my abilities although quickly found my concerns were misplaced. As my blog continued to grow and develop so did my writing skills, I have found that I am now more able and confident in expressing myself through my writing and sharing opinions, and have also found that I need to pay more attention to my writing technique as it still needs improvement. Blogging these past few weeks has also helped me understand the importance of communication and sharing content, this is one aspect that I hope to improve on in the future. I am not an overly socially active person online, and so I find it difficult to keep up to date and share through media such as twitter and even more so on Facebook. This could definitely help widen my audience and gain more attention. As well as staying connected through social media, I will also look to further interact with other bloggers by commenting on their posts in order to create discussions.
Blogging has proved to be useful in many ways over the semester and there are many reasons for one to blog. For one blogging allows you to improve writing skills, gain confidence and open your mind to new perspectives and ideas. I myself find that reading blogs of a variety of topics inspires me in many ways. Health and fitness blogs inspire me to live healthier, travel blogs inspire me to explore and see the word, academic blogs inspire me to be better and try harder. Fore these reasons I wish to create a blog outside academic purposes where I can express my ideas and experiences, and hopefully inspiring others in return.
Taplin, R 2013, 5 Quick Ways to Improve Your Blog’s Design, Blog Tyrant, viewed 27th September 2015, <http://www.blogtyrant.com/blog-design/>
Asselin, M., 2014, ‘The Five Most Important Elements of a Blog Layout’, Food Bloggers of Canada, 4th June, viewed 29th, September 2015,
Millburn, JF 2015, ‘How to start a successful blog today’, The minimalist, 1st october, viewed 1st October 2015,
Becker, J, ‘15 reasons I think you should blog’, becoming minimalist, viewed 1st October 2015,