I have now been a blogger for a year and a half, though I can truly say that it wasn’t until this semester that I truly began to understand what it means to hold the title of ‘blogger’. I feel like our tutors have taken us under their wings to refine our skills and now we are being set free into the blogging world. Thank you master. I will try to make you proud.
In all honesty though, I never truly realised the intricacies in the art of blogging. My blog layouts have always been simplistic. I love the colour white (I know, how boring) but to me, the colour white has always been so elegant and classic, elements which I hope will be evident in my future career. I also loved the professional layout of the premium blog that I purchased (I was a WordPress snob and succumb to the pressure to buy a theme, but I have no regrets). I was able to incorporate so many more widgets and customize my site more freely. This was very important to me as I have never liked being stuck within boundaries! I feel that in doing so, I have also made my blog more valuable to readers and as a platform for myself to create a writing portfolio.
One very important addition to my blog was the About page. I had previously not bothered about adding one however I now understand the importance of it. Audiences are able to visit the page and make a judgement of my blog and who I am as its author. The About page also gives my blog personality, a key element to the art of blogging.
Another thing I have loved and found to be very important when blogging is to have personality. Be funny and sassy! Have a laugh! That is the beauty of a blog. We are able to present information and develop thoughts and ideas in fun and interesting ways. I mean, after all this is YOUR blog! Go nuts and have a voice.
Tagging will also be your best friend when attracting audiences to your blog. I have seen my followers grow as I began tagging my posts. This was especially evident in the travel section of my post. I suddenly had travelling blogs follow me and like my posts which was great as I was able to read their content as well, demonstrating the interesting relationship between blogging audiences and bloggers. A tag cloud will also be able to give visitors to your blog a good overview of the themes and topics which are commonly explored on your platform. Through tagging, I have even had one of my posts on female journalists working in the media reblogged by a feminist blog. This was great moment for me as a writer and more importantly as an online blogger!
Through engaging with other students blogs, I was also able to become inspired about what to blog about or read new and interesting ideas I had not previously thought of. This is incredibly important as I believe collaboration is a fundamental element within blogging.
To ensure the successes of your blogs remember who you are writing for. Like George Orwell explains in his essay ‘Politics and the English Language‘ never use a long word where a short one will do. Making your blogs simple and easy to read increases your audience. Never use the passive where you can use the active. Write with purpose. What do you want your readers to take away from reading your blogs. Hyperlinking in your blogs is also a great way of referencing material and for providing your readers with other material that they may wish to engage with.
Conduct research to give your words credibility. This is important in developing a professional and honest relationship with your readers. I also always find it best to use contemporary examples in my posts, to give readers more context about your blogs content or arguments.
One thing which I feel that I must definitely improve on is my presence on Twitter. Personally, I have never enjoyed using Twitter though throughout Media, Audience and Place, I have seen the benefits that it can have in attracting followers and evoking discussions. On my future blogging endeavours I will consciously try to become more active and I mean why not – after months and months of trying, I successfully finally linked my Twitter to my WordPress.
Well I guess this is it. We are all off into the world of blogging and like the ending of any ‘white teen high school movie’ I wish you all the best of luck on this journey! Don’t stop believing and get the party started!