When I was 17 years old, I started my first blog. I have always had a passion for writing but never had an outlet to do so. When I started university, I finally found my way to sharing my art. It started with writing an article for SFU’s newspaper, The Peak, to finding my voice in Her Campus at SFU.
The truth is, I have been waiting 3 years to make it into this Publishing 101 course. I felt like it would be the start of something new for me and finally make me feel like I have a platform for my words to be read. And it did.
I have always known I want create a publication that feels like a safe place for people to turn to and generally keep them entertained. I had a few goals going into creating this blog: Writing in the dark under the stars. Navigating life, Discovering New Music, Discussing Pop Culture, and Showcasing Other’s Talent. I have leaned towards lifestyle, music, personal stories, and serious themes. By serious, I mean talking about taboo topics people may not see often. I have a 3 part series planned for a future post that discuss the question, “will we ever truly know who anyone is?.” answering the question, digging into wondering if we will ever know who we truly are, and ending with finding yourself amidst all of this.
One example was the article I have written about “Intersectionality.” It follows the story of Jennifer Harris being removed from her university basketball team due to the fact she is a person of colour and over the assumption she is gay. It is a story that is the perfect example of intersectionality that not many people seem to know about. I plan to learn more about these stories and inform my readers of them in the future. I also plan to talk more about life and the acceptance of some things not going the way we plan often.
Overall, I would say that I have created my publication in, as Amanda wrote in her peer review, a digital diary type of experience. It is about life, the ins and outs of the world, and genuinely enjoying what life throws at us. It would imagine my audience is for people of all ages, but I can also see it being catered towards people still finding themselves and looking for someone who relates to their situations.
Through my articles about a hair care routine, nostalgia on the past, lessons I have learned through my teenage years, and even my album reviews, I would say that I am addressing my imagined and real audience through captivating posts. I always made sure that I include an “aesthetic” so to speak photo and ensure my paragraphs are separated and easy to read.
My design includes large squares of photos that summarize the story I am about to tell. Thanks to my first peer reviewer, Maggie, suggested I change my background image to something that does not let the words get lost in it. That suggestion helped shape the way I see my blog and the way that it presents itself.
I take pride in the content I produce. I make sure to write about topics I enjoy and that I know other people will enjoy. I plan to produce more content that is challenging yet entertaining. Informative is more like it. The content I have provided thus far is more lifestyle based. I want to take a turn and make this blog be reflective of my 20’s. I am 20 years old and already feel like I have been through more than enough to keep me going for awhile. I personally enjoy story times, so I would like to incorporate more.
Google Analytics was really useful in terms of figuring out what I needed to do in order to boost my views. It was interesting to learn about the details of Google Analytics, such as bounce rate, and felt like it gave me that push to create the content I want to. I mainly kept my articles to this class and my friends. My friends have provided me with so many positive comments and thoughts. They genuinely enjoyed reading my posts, or so they say. It was not until I went into the analytics and tried to figure out how to boost my engagement and views. I finally took the plunge and posted the link to my article in my Instagram bio and gained 37 new viewers. I learned that people will read my posts when I promote them and they are most active in the mid- afternoon and early evening. This feature helped me gain the motivation I needed to carry on with my blog and reach as many people as I can.
Reflecting back to when I started this blog and writing in general, I have always been afraid to share my work. It reminded me of the article by John Suler that discusses the “You Can’t See Me (Invisibility)” section of our online disinhibition. I always hid in the behind my screen, as he explains “in many online environments other people cannot see you.” (Suler, 2015, par. 6). It is easy to hide who you are through your posts, but I have always made my posts personal, making it near impossible to hide my identity.
I find it ironic as I am afraid for some people to discover my work and read it. I believe moving forward, I need to understand that if I want to make it as a content creator and for the future of this blog, I need to start sharing my work. There really is nothing to lose if people I know start finding out about this blog. I am proud of what I post and would not post it if I felt like I did not want it associated with me.
Overall, my goal for this blog is to keep posting content I love and continue to expand my writing. I am very happy that I was able to get into this course. All of the lessons I have learned in lecture and from the guest speakers are areas of writing and producing content I never would have known about if I did not take this course. There is so much more to creating a blog than it seems on the outside. The analytics, incorporating transmedia channels, collaboration, marketing, and the list goes on. I will take every lesson I have learned in this class and move forward with this blog. I cannot wait to look back on this blog at the end of my university career and see where I am now.
May I continue writing and expanding my work through the creation of this blog and carry these lessons from Publishing 101 with me through these starlight adventures.
Cook, Emily. (2017). Emcookxo.wordpress.com. Former Blog. Retrieved from: https://emcookxo.wordpress.com/.
Cook, Emily. (2019). Starlight-adventures.com. WordPress Blog. Retrieved from: starlight-adventures.com
McCrae, Amanda. (2019). Peer Review #3. Peer Review Blog Entry. WordPress. Retrieved from: http://www.amandasadventures.ca/academic/peer-review-3/
SFU, Her Campus. (2018). Emily Cook | Her Campus. Online Magazine. Retrieved from: https://www.hercampus.com/user
Suler, John. (2004). “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” Retrieved from: Cyberpsychology & behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326. http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html
Su, Maggie. (2019). Peer Review #1. Peer Review Blog Entry. WordPress. Retrieved from: http://mlovetoshare.com/poisel/peer-review_1/. http://mlovetoshare.com/poisel/peer-review_1/.