During the last nine weeks of the BCM240 (Media, Audience and Place) course, I have transformed and redesigned my blogging habits and posts thus to engage with my already established audience as well as my newly found audience. In order to create a more professional atmosphere within my blog posts as well as on my blog in general some changes had to be made. This meant looking into how to word my blog posts in a way that would showcase the content in a creative and respectful manner. This course in particular focused greatly on research and interviewing participants for their responses, this meant a certain aspect of care, respect and responsibility had to be take when relaying the information gathered onto my blog. Therefore it was imperative that I had the consent from my participants to use photos, videos and their own content from their answers to my questions. Thus meaning I had to transform my blog into a safe place where this information could be freely accessed but also looked at in a respectful manner. To combat these issues, research into how to write a successful profession blog post was done as well as research into consent when writing publicly which was interlinked with the weekly topics found in the lectures, tutorials and weekly readings.
Morten Rand-Hendriksen (2011) clearly presents how you should behave while blogging online and identifies the responsibilities bloggers hold when it comes to their creative content. Hendriksen places great emphasis on the codes of ethics based on the codes and ethics of the Norwegian Press as blogging and content online is linked closely to the bases of these rules, stating “this role carries with it a responsibility to be fair, honest and respectful not only towards your fellow members of society but also toward fact” (Hendriksen 2011). This source is something that I had to look carefully at when creating content for my blog on the topics that I mentioned, were sensitive and needed careful consideration.
In order to engage with my already established readership and allow for an expansion of my readership, I decided to take a different approach to my blogging and express myself in a more personal manner, thus allowing my audience to get to know me. “To achieve your business goals, your blog needs a personality to make it stand out in the sea of information competing for your target audience’s attention” (Cohen, 2013). This statement is something that has stuck with me this year while I have been redirecting my blogging practices. I have found that by adding my own personal flare into my blog has meant that my readership has increased and has spread across to many parts of the world that I could have only imagined for my blog to go. By following the tips on ‘9 Tips To Develop A Winning Blog Personality’ has allowed my blog to grow, however, this source does combat the issue through a marketing perspective therefore some to the tips had to be changed or manipulated to fit the atmosphere and purpose of my blog. Adding personality to my blog was a main focus of mine to gain readership, I did this by adding my own personal stories into my posts as well as making videos, something that I enjoy doing to add a different element to my blog as well as change the layout of each post.
I feel like I have constructed my blog as a foundation into the course topics, as well as into who I am both as a persona and as a blogger. By using the topics mentioned in the lectures has allowed me to establish a foundation for my posts, by allowing further development of my understanding of each topic by finding examples and research into the technical aspects. The formula I have taken with my blog has allowed my writing style to change and develop as the weeks have gone on as well as allowed for a varied audience to come through my blog and see what I have created. I have also add the element of discussion within my posts, by asking for people opinions and comments on the topics or examples that I have been referring to, this helps me engage with my audience more and also adds to the personality of my blog.
Another aspect of my blogging practice that I have implemented is the layout. Not only is the layout of my individual posts eye catching, by adding various pictures to keep the audiences attention but has also been integrated into the categorisation of my posts as well as the key words that have been tagged to ensure my posts receive maximum reach. Both the categorisation and tagging of my posts have different advantages that allow for a greater reach, “tags are meant to describe specific details of your post…your site’s index words” (Editorial Staff, 2016), and “categories are meant for broad grouping of your posts…they help identify what your blog is really about” (Editorial Staff, 2016).
In response to the first assignment task, I have learned that I need to be more thorough with my sources and add more information into the research tools I am evaluating or exploring to give more depth and meaning to my posts. I have tried to do this by adding more definitions to my posts about the core concepts to give the extra element of professionalism as well as having the ability to engage with my audience on a deeper level by providing them with extra information so they can use that as a foundation for their own research into the topic if they wish.
A key aspect that has allowed me to gain a larger and wider audience has been the mentioning of blogs written by different and varying authors, especially those of my peers who are taking the same topic in a different direction. This I feel has allowed my audience to expand their knowledge on the topics, which I have not covered, therefore creating a network around the subject and its content. Something that is mentioned in an article written by Adam Connell in 2016 on ‘How To Boost Engagement On Your Blog (So It Doesn’t Look Like A Ghost Town)’, this particular article does give me extra pointers on how to approach my audience in a different way to maintain and expand on my readership.
Cohen, H 2013, ‘9 Tips To Develop A Winning Personality’, Heidi Cohen Actionable Marketing Guide, weblog, 7th February, viewed 27th September 2016 <http://heidicohen.com/9-tips-to-develop-a-winning-blog-personality/>
Connell, A 2016, ‘How To Boost Engagement On Your Blog (So It Doesn’t Look Like A Ghost Town), Blogging Wizard, weblog, 15th September, viewed 27th September 2016 <http://www.bloggingwizard.com/reader-engagement/>
N/A 2016, ‘Categories vs Tags – SEO Best Practices for Sorting your Content’, wpbeginner, weblog, 13th April, viewed 27th September 2016 <http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/categories-vs-tags-seo-best-practices-which-one-is-better/>
Hendriksen, M 2011, ‘Code of Ethics for Bloggers, Social Media and Content Creators’, weblog, N/A, viewed 28th September 2016 <https://mor10.com/code-of-ethics-for-bloggers-social-media-and-content-creators/>