ESSAY 2

My online publishing reflection, how to become a popular blogger?

To be honest, it is really grateful for me to have such amazing chance to become a blogger and online publisher in this semester, I have learned many valuable things from PUB 101, which taught me how to use WordPress and elaborated my online presence. For a long time, I have had a big passion on moments recording, writing is definitely one of my hobbies as well as photographing, but this was my first time to practice blogging in totally English, thus everything is fresh and exciting. In recent years, except the social media, blogging has become one of the most popular ways of communicating and sharing information, in this platform, people can talk about their interests, write about their life experiences or publish their thoughts subjectively in a more detailed way.  As Tara mentioned that: “the discursive spaces of the blog as critical to the activity of trading cultural and social capital and, importantly, shaping expressions of emerging identity” (Tara, 2010), after our exploration of the world of blog during this course, I realized that blog is not only a great self-promotion tool to help you address and communicate with your audience but also a channel to make benefits.  Also, the design and content of the blog are significant for attracting viewers, software like Google Analytics will help blogger to know their audience, running a blog is not an easy work that I thought before, the fact is plenty of things you need to make effort on.

Bloggers today are writing a blog for various reasons; some of them have their own story to tell, others may do the business to promote their own products. My blog was created for sharing my traveling stories and experiences with the world, which also included the introduction of my selective tips and cuisine. This is defiantly a valuable blog for supporting people who love traveling and gives them the best tips, besides, my blog is also very welcoming those who like beautiful traveling photos.

Design is also a key for a popular blog, my blog is mainly focused on the visuals and I believed that the atmosphere of the blog will change viewers’ emotion and feeling, this is the power of color-as the symbol of eye-catching. In the beginning, I designed this blog to present lively and fun, which showed an optimistic theme that uplifts readers rather than a traditional travel blog. But after I read some of my peers’ reviews, I knew that the original design might be too intense as a blog aesthetic, thus I took their advice and spent much time adjusting in order to match my blog content and online identity. Finally, I chose to design my blog in a pink background that creates a lovely atmosphere which is quite appealing in a more simplistic style. Moreover, viewers can various breathtaking travel photos in this blog, as Gertz states that: “The art direc­tion isn’t a sub­sti­tu­tion for the con­tent, but it begs us to dive in and get dirty. The cov­er gives us a hint about what’s inside, and teas­es out our emo­tion, beg­ging us to read the rest” (Gertz, 2015), those pictures not only decorate the blog but also guide visitors into a reading world.

Google Analytics is an effective tool that helps nowadays’ bloggers, advertisers and marketers to analyze their online target audiences and adjust website content into the best results. Originally, I imagine my target audience group consisting mostly of girls who like travel and delicacy between the ages of 18 and 25, but according to the data which shows on Google Analytics, the age group is expanded broadly that beyond my imagination because the primary audiences are 25-34, and even include the elderly in 65. What really surprised me is that the data show 54.15% of my audience is male, but 45.85% are female. Pod claims that Data is big business, most of us accepted the idea that digital data equals money (Pod, 2016). Google Analytics creates a new chance for me to know the internet and data trails deeply, which gives me a clear idea of who my audiences are, how they behave and help me to improve my website and expand my marketing.

Furthermore, incorporating transmedia into the blog will contribute to connect your blog to the relevant audience and boost your traffic. In my own view, Instagram is a great online channel for me to attract the audience, according to my google analytics I knew that many readers of my blog come from my Instagram, visitors can drill deeper into the expanding world of their followed bloggers through these transmedia platforms. In addition, the rising global phenomenon of online harassment and online shaming needs to be noticed by all internet users, everyone should control their actions towards and reject online shaming appearing, thus I decided to set up some community guidelines for my blog to prevent horrible comments or shaming happening.

Overall speaking, after reviewing my whole semester’s experience as an online publisher, I have a deeper understanding of blogs rather far than before. As the semester comes to the end, it’s really hard to say goodbye, thus I decide to continue blogging after this course and keep recording my travel footsteps, which helps me to improve my writing and record all the beautiful moments in a journey. Additionally, the photos on Instagram will still be updated, Vlog may be coming soon in the future and I hope to attract more audiences to my blog ideally. Furthermore, marketing is another goal of my future plan, making some money from my favorite thing is literally a great experience. Regardless of what the future is going to be, I will insist to work on it and become a better online publisher. Blogger has taken over the world, but want to become a successful and fantastic popular blogger still needs much effort than we think. Lastly, I would say that this is the end of my PUB 101 class, but it’s just the start of my blog.

References:

Gertz, T. (2015). “Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse.” Retrieved from: https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines

Pod, A. ( 2016). “Digital breadcrumbs: The data trail we leave behind us.” Retrieved from: http://podacademy.org/podcasts/digital-breadcrumbs-our-data-trail/

Tara, C. (2010). “Digital dressing up: modelling female teen identity in the discursive spaces of the fashion blogosphere.” Journal of Youth Studies. Retrieved from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13676260903520902

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