Last year, if you were to take one glance at my online writing skills as a first year journalism and media and communications student you would have cringed. As insightful as they were, there was no depth or evidence within my blog posts and the worst part of all…I had no voice. This blog post is going to reflect the progress of me finding my blogging identity over the past few weeks.
The more immersed I became in my digital media subjects, the more I began to learn the logistics behind blogging, developing an online presence and connecting with audiences. Connecting with audiences has been my most major goal this semester due to contributing to my digital artefact on Youtube vlogging. It was during this experience that I began reading article upon article in order to find what was restricting my blogs. I came across this style guide by mail chimp. Although excessive for a student blogger, there are valid points addressed. The blog helped me in finding what style of voice in which I wished to convey. Knowing the exact style and a way to describe the way my work sounds has helped me to sustain it. I believe that the best part about my writing voice would be honesty, approachability and I would hope it is somewhat informative. I learnt that having a voice can also attract certain niche audiences which works in your favour as a blogger.
Another element I believe has shaped my blogging experienced is the way I have made myself love the lecture content by applying it to things I enjoy. It is easy to write about things you care about, therefore when integrating it with the BCM240 lecture information makes it much easier to put it into practice. This is evident in my blog post which I used my favourite hobby, Yoga, as a contrast of multitasking in a world where technological devices are providing us with ways to fit more into our lives. As we are currently studying the ethnographic research behind new media I was able to explore other corners of the blogosphere. This meant understanding the findings behind ideas such as space and censorship in ways which I would have never thought of. Keeping an open mind when blogging always helps when it is conveyed to the audience.
Blogging is a two-way experience, this means the writer corresponds with their audience and the audience reflects for the writer, this is seen when readers leave comments. I am one to take criticism to heart and one thing I have learnt since blogging for BCM is to change this by taking criticism constructively, as this is a big part of successful blogging. The fact of the matter is, as an online blogger you’re instantly open to criticism through your comment sections on your social media pages. This blog post allowed me to understand that ‘honest feedback’ is beneficial as it strengthens the bond you have with your readers. I applied it when reading my comments as it allowed me to adapt on the necessary changes along with noting the things I did successfully, even if it meant asking people in the comments what they meant.
Another big contributing factor to my progress of finding my blogging identity was marketing your blog across all media platforms. Whether it be through linking or hashtagging I learnt through this blog post that each platform has a way of promoting content that you must take into consideration. It suggests sharing important tweets four times a day in order to cover these time differences and works across all platforms. With experience in Youtube I have found no issue with the marketing side of the platform however since blogging realized this is proven a lot more difficult. I believe this comes back to the fact we live in an attention deficit economy where time is valuable. This is why generating engaging content when blogging is the key to success.
Lastly, the most effective practice I have used to form my online writing identity is reading out loud. What is worse than reading back on old work to find none of it made any sense? Your audience reading your new work and it doesn’t make any sense. One of my worst habits is being completely ambiguous. This is because I assume the audience has a pre-existing knowledge of what I am talking about. Therefore, when reading your writing aloud it helps to place you in your audience’s position. This particular blog has helped me achieve this. To conclude the blog in two short sentences ‘don’t confuse your reader stick to one idea at a time and round up your messages at the end.’. As we are researching the factors of the attention economy it is important to note that being concise in your wording is crucial. Readers will only read work depending on the substance of the content. That’s not to say a long blog post won’t be engaging, as long as the content makes sense to them.
Overall, my blogging experience for BCM240 has been exciting, I love being at the forefront of the new digital age. Every time I write a new blog I feel as if I learn more factors to improve on the one before. Learning my blogging voice was the first step to giving me confidence to explore the networking world further. I believe constructing an online identity is one of the most important aspects to high quality content that engages readers. In saying this, there are obstacles, because as I mentioned this is concept is new. We are continually learning and that’s the exciting part about the online network. Blogging has allowed me to become a better writer and more aware of my online audience in a way that motivates me to take this into a career opportunity.