Blog writing has become a staple in my University degree and though at times I may think of it as the worst thing I have ever encountered I also know its importance as the career path I wish to follow. My processes reflected below have been challenging at times but I believe the overall outcome is something I know that I have worked hard to achieve and am proud with its results.
Blog Writing Weeks 1-9
When designing my blog I feel like I may need a strong disclaimer at the beginning stating “Not a confident blogger!” Through the duration of BCM240 Media, Audience and Place, I have definitely found the content to be interesting and engaging yet I know that I am struggling to comprehend the meaning of it all. My greatest struggle of my blog writing has always been my confidence when it comes to academic writing. Ever since my high school days teachers have always commented on my lack of ability to analyse and discuss information effectively and have since struggled to find a groove that allows me to write successfully. I think over the last 9 weeks I have definitely found it a little easier to write, my previous semester in BCM210 taught me a lot about my writing style and how I can try to change this.
My blog posts often lack when I do not put time and effort into them so I know I need to ensure effective planning to be using my blog as the great resource it is. I think that I definitely could have done more work with my blog posts in finding more outside sources from what we were given in the lectures and tutorials. If I had branched out further and discovered more information this may have made it easier for myself in understanding the course content and the direction I was taking with my blog. It is quite hard to blog academically, yet in an informal manner to encourage readership.
I also am struggling to find engaging content resources such as videos and images that enhance my blog posts and help make my blog look less like large boring text posts. I am often scared to place these in my blog as am worried that they may not be exactly relevant to the topic that I am writing about, or maybe other people do not perceive them the way that I do.
Reader Engagement Strategy
One of my biggest downfalls for reader engagement has been consistency. Many social media creators, such as Katie Wagner, have said consistency is key to maintaining a successful and interested audience. It is not only important to stay consistent with posting content, but also consistency in your tone of voice and the topic of content you are creating. I can easily say that due to my blog being used mainly for academic purposes the consistency of my content topic is all the same as it is always related to media and communications work. I have already mentioned that I am worried my writing tone is not consistent and am unsure if this affects my readership. My consistency of posting is obviously preventing me from reaching my full blogging potential, and I put this down to not prioritising blogging and struggling with other commitments such as work and other university classes.
Towards the end of my blogging process from weeks 5-9, I began asking questions at the end of my blog posts to try and encourage user engagement. Though this did not really work, I believe if I had a greater established platform it may have been more effective. During weeks 1-5 I did a lot of reading of other peer blogs and included links to these in my own work, during weeks 5-9 I stopped with this process, which probably could have bettered my writing and user engagement. By collaborating with others I would have opened myself up to other people’s platforms and generated readers from them. In weeks 1-5 when I did receive comments on my blog I always aimed to reply to these to create chatter about my blog posts (Te, 2015) and respond to any questions people had.
During the entire semester, I have shared links on my Facebook and Twitter to encourage my friends, family and peers to engage with my university work. My friends and family on Facebook often like my posts with my links but this does not reflect in my WordPress stats. This could mean that I need more engaging and interesting titles and imagery to get people more interested in my topics (Connell, 2015). I also think that categorising my blog posts and tagging them with multiple hashtags made it easier for viewers to have an understanding of the topics I was writing about and draw outside viewers to my blog.
Task 1 Feedback
My feedback from Task 1 was entirely positive so there wasn’t much that I needed to change for my blog. I have kept my blog design and style the same, as it is minimalistic and easy to navigate. Including links and widgets to my other social media accounts like twitter, my other educational based platform, helped me share my blog posts and people stay informed on what I was thinking and feeling. Stephanie said in my previous feedback that there were good connections made to other students’ posts, which I am afraid I have failed to do this time around. This could bring down my mark and not make my posts as successful as last time.
To help me improve my grammar and writing, at the beginning of this semester, I downloaded the Grammarly app for my computer. Doing this was actually so beneficial to my writing as I began to notice small errors that I was making when putting together my sentences and could easily fix these with a click of the button.
Overall I believe the outcome of my blog is definitely to my taste, visually appealing and informative about the topics that have been presented over the last semester. I hope all the readers who have been along for this journey have enjoyed the content and continue reading as the BCM journey continues.
Until next time,
Connell, A. 15th September 2016. “How to Boost Engagement on Your Blog (So it Doesn’t Look Like a Ghost Town.” http://www.bloggingwizard.com/reader-engagement/
Te, T. 22nd July 2015. “ 3 Tips for Encouraging Interaction On Your Blog.” http://xfep.com/blogging/3-tips-for-encouraging-interaction-on-your-blog/
Wagner, S. 25th July 2015. “Why Consistency is key for Social Media” http://katiewagnersocialmedia.com/why-consistency-is-key-for-social-media/